As the Euro terrorists fired their machine guns into the air and their leader announced he had murdered my boss, a nagging question crept into my mind: Is this a Christmas hostage situation or a hostage situation that just happens to be occurring during Christmas?
You’d think I would’ve been fully consumed by the threat to my life and the lives of my co-workers, or at least been captivated by the ever-escalating cat-and-mouse game between the terrorists and Holly’s insecure but roguish husband. But no, this Christmas question just gnawed at me.
So as Ellis sputtered on with his cocaine-fueled braggadocio, I considered what would be the appropriate criteria for determining a true “Christmas hostage crisis.” How much would the plot of this hostage crisis change if it wasn’t during Christmas? Did the hostage crisis include any Christmas themes or motifs? And was the true meaning of Christmas learned through the hostage crisis?
Regarding the hostage-taking plot itself, I have to admit a Christmas party presents a pretty perfect opportunity to hold dozens of corporate yuppies for ransom. Everyone here is either drunk, high on coke, or having sex with colleagues they barely know. On most other days, we would all be working fourteen hours straight, getting high on coke, and telling racist jokes about the Japanese taking over America.
In terms of themes, Holly’s husband did write “Ho-Ho-Ho” on the sweater of the terrorist he just killed, so that’s a point for Christmas. And, of course, the name “Holly.” Another point for Christmas.
But on the other hand, the execution of Mr. Takagi feels less Christmas-y and more like a Labor Day thing, or maybe Columbus Day, depending on how you choose to think about it. Though the dripping blood stain Mr. Takagi’s brain left on the glass window does bring to mind Santa’s bright red suit. Also, the massive building explosion is more of a Fourth of July motif than a Christmas one. Still, one could imagine the explosive spectacle was reminiscent of what the shepherds saw in the Bethlehem night sky, so there is that.
But the biggest win for Christmas themes has to be my co-worker Susan going into labor. And just like Mary, she could not lie down in an office, because the terrorists refused to let her. Instead, she had to sojourn in the main lobby. All we needed were some farm animals and a manger.
This brings me to the question of the true meaning of Christmas: family togetherness. (And yeah, I know, “Jesus’s birth,” but let’s just go with family.) Holly’s husband rescuing everyone really brought those wayward lovebirds back together, allowing them to temporarily ignore the fundamental differences they have over their life-goal visions. Believing the holidays can overcome any and all family dysfunction—what could be more Christmas than that?!
So as the police take my statement while I shake uncontrollably from the psychological trauma and adrenaline comedown, I can’t help but think: Merry Christmas to all and Yippee-ki-yay, motherfuckers!