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Watching this one again; EVERY TIME I love it. It is one of those episodes that seems like it’s 90 minutes long in the best way! There is so much to it! The figuring out the case and misdirect of it perhaps being the man playing Santa (and wow; I LOVE the grungy and grimy kind of half-assed look of the whole Christmas village thing there! Love Santa watching porn and smoking a bong!), the whole Krampus idea, the true horror feel of the bloody leather bags with people in them, then the HUMOR of the pagan Gods like Leave it Beaver acting all perfect on the surface, the torture of Sam and Dean, the heartbreak of those families who lost fathers up the chimney, the scenes from Sam and Dean’s childhood, and finally the whole other side of Sam not wanting to do Christmas because it’s Dean’s last one. Then giving in. I love it all; it’s like 3 or 4 stories in one episode and all done SO WELL!
I can’t help but watch it with an eye on Jared though. Knowing that it was right after this episode that he got himself from professional help for depression and anxiety. When I know that, I think I can see it in his performance though at the time it was totally fitting since he was mourning Dean’s pending trip to hell. But I can’t NOT see that now. Part of me is staggered that he did such a great job under such duress.
The other bit of reality that I love is knowing Jared really heavily spiked the egg nog without Jensen knowing so Dean’s reaction there is totally real. I love that.
I too LOVED knowing that Sam and Dean feel like they experienced totally different childhoods purely based on their outlooks and how they saw things. Dean rolled with it and kept “great” memories. Sam saw all they were lacking. This is clear many times over the course of the series and the flashbacks here really lay that out. It’s great. And sad. But great.
Both young actors were good, but Colin Ford as young Sam was perhaps the best child actor I have ever seen. Young Dean over-acted a bit, but he was great in the quieter moments. But Colin Ford…blows me away EVERY time.
And YES! The amulet reveal! Add that to the LONG list of amazing things in this episode! I loved the blend from the flashback to modern day when young Dean puts it on and it blends to adult Dean walking through the door of the motel room while wearing it to discover Sam did Christmas for him.
JINX, PigNaPoke! Ha ha! We thought the exact same thing!
It’s truly a perfect episode and I’ll still be watching it at Christmas when I’m 90 years old.