The Fosters reflect on past holidays

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Ready or not, the holidays are here! Fortunately for television viewers, I can’t think of a better way to spend them than with one of the best families on TV at the moment: The Fosters!

When the Christmas-themed episode was announced, I was curious how the writers would work this into the flow of Season 2, that left off this summer, and clearly not at Christmastime. I found myself pleasantly delighted with the way things worked out. While we picked up with the cliffhanger from the mid-season finale, Brandon and Callie’s kiss, the episode quickly became a flashback to Callie and Jude’s first Christmas as members of the family.

I much preferred this route, seeing as I wasn’t thrilled when Callie’s immediate reaction to Robert not signing the abandonment papers was to kiss Brandon. She already has more than enough complications standing in the way of her adoption, did she really need to add another one into the mix?

As the flashback started, we were reminded that only Jude had been “officially” adopted at this point, and that’s something that was weighing heavily on Callie. But a piece of paper does not a family make, and in the end, Brandon was able to be there for her in a way I can fully support. While I admit that they were pretty cute picking out Secret Santa gifts, neither one needs a relationship at this point. In fact, more than anything else, they need someone to be there and never let them give up. They need a sibling, and thankfully, in the end that’s just what Brandon realized.

It came as no surprise that Callie and Brandon weren’t the only ones dealing with emotional issues at Christmas. Stef made it her personal mission to ensure her family’s holiday was about being together, and not getting caught up in the materialism of it all, something not helped by her visiting mother and her extravagant gifts. While this is normally a losing battle, as most parents can attest to, it was one that had a surprising twist at the end.

Before we can get to that twist though, we had to endure Stef being on edge for most of the show. She resented the money from her father’s estate all going to her mother, someone she viewed as less than fiscally responsible, and would’ve rather seen it going towards her children’s education. While I certainly understood where Stef was coming from, and it’s an admirable fight, I don’t think Christmas dinner was the best time to broach the topic.

Things were said, feelings were hurt, and it wasn’t until Sherri Saum swiftly turned off her Christmas light necklace, signaling Lena had had enough, that things finally calmed down. Thank you Lena for once again being the voice of reason! In the end, Stef had grossly underestimated Grandma Sharon, and she turned out to be quite the investor!

Stef quickly saw the error of her ways, and apologized to all involved, including her wife. I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again, we should all wish to have a marriage as strong as Stef and Lena’s! Sure, they fight over expensive earrings that weren’t supposed to have been bought, but who doesn’t? I always enjoy the way they call each other on their crap, and while they may fight or bicker, there’s always love underneath. They are a great example of what a strong, loving and healthy couple should look like.

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That’s a good thing too because Stef wasn’t alone with her family issues, Lena had some of her own to deal with. She was angry at her family spending the holidays with her half brother Nathan, who she hasn’t forgiven for using a derogatory term about her mother. All that tension brought up a great topic of discussion, and a great example of what makes The Fosters such an important show. Its a show with a very young and impressionable fan base, and it continually brings to the forefront topics that need to be discussed. Case in point: the great talk between Stef and Lena where Stef reminded her wife that sometimes people use hateful words, “because they hurt, not because they hate.”

Unfortunately, also said during their discussion was Lena’s declaration that “half is not full,” before Stef quickly reminded her that they have a house full of foster children. It’s just too bad Jude had to overhear everything, and the little guy didn’t have the best reaction. We saw a different side to Jude as he shoplifted a bracelet, but thankfully, after a good talk with Lena, who he’s always been able to bond with, he got smart and returned it.

Jude was also the one to point out that Nathan may just be jealous of Lena, something she hadn’t previously considered. Children can be very perceptive, and Jude was onto something there. In the end, Lena called her family and spoke with her mother and brother. After all, who wants to fight with family, especially at the holidays?

Gather round the tree for these goodies:

  • I loved having Annie Potts back as Stef’s mom, especially when she announced that she wears nothing but thongs!
  • Along those lines, Stef hates wearing a dress and her underwear leans toward the sensible over the sexy? Be honest ladies, raise your hand if you’ve never felt closer to her.
  • It was nice to see the twins stop bickering for once and work together on the decorating contest. Hopefully this is something that will carry into next season.
  • I’m not sure why there was so much time spent on Callie’s former Girls United housemate Daphne other than to remind Callie how lucky she is to be with the Fosters. But didn’t we all already know that? It felt like unnecessary drama.
  • I wouldn’t want to play poker against that store clerk that Jude dealt with!
  • I think we can all agree that Mr. Nesbit’s description of Jesus as “the pretty one, with the unibrow” was spot on.

Where do you fall on Brandon and Callie? Do you want them to be more than just siblings? What do you want to see happen when the show returns in January? Let us know in the comments section below!

The Fosters returns with the second half of Season 2 on Monday, January 19, 2015 at 8p.m. EST on ABC Family and ABC Spark.