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Christmas is a running gag in Calvin and Hobbes.


Calvin and Hobbes exchange gifts on the cover of Comic Relief.

Role and Description[]

Throughout the month of December, Calvin works himself up for the event, worrying about the presents he will get or being impatient for the day to come. His family, though, shows little of this enthusiasm. Calvin is often seen writing letters to Santa Claus, attempting to justify his misdeeds or point out his "good" behavior, although Hobbes will usually point out Calvin's naughty deeds.

Anytime Calvin writes a Christmas list to Santa, he usually asks for weapons, and a countless number of other items; he once asked his mom if she wanted to read his letter to Santa, and his mother, seeing what seemed to be 50 pages, was flabbergasted by that and, after reading some of page one, she told Calvin that he was going to be one sad kid on Christmas morning.

On another occasion, Calvin apparently wrote a list more then 200 pages long, since he used a box instead of big envelopes, and he later decides to go to the North Pole to see Santa and tell him he's innocent, only to pass Susie's house, and plan to throw snowballs at her, outpacing Hobbes to the point where blurts his plans out loud enough for Susie to hear. Knowing that Calvin plotted to throw snowballs at her, she throws one at him to teach him a lesson. Calvin attempts to "justify" it by throwing one back, until Hobbes told Calvin that it's his big chance to be good. Calvin resists the temptation, and goes back home, with his mom wondering if he even made it. Calvin said that they didn't get past Susie's house, but he proved how good he was, by telling her that Susie hit him with a snowball and he didn't even get her back, and that he deserved more presents. He almost tells her the truth, but then decides to lie that she did it for no reason, thus invalidating his efforts at being good, and Calvin complains that he'll "never make it."

On yet another occasion, published in Scientific Progress Goes "Boink", he's still asleep in his bed when his mother alerts him about missing the school bus after calling him three times. He then tells her that he's staying in bed until Christmas because he wants tons of presents ("loot" in his words) and that his chances of being good will improve if he doesn't get up and go to school, to which his mom replies that disobeying her and missing the bus "isn't good. It's bad." This prompts him to quickly get up, change clothes, and get out to the bus stop. Once there, he tells Hobbes that he hates Christmas time, especially that this time, he has three more weeks to be good if he wants any presents, to which he complains that he'll "never make it". He explains his situation, and when Hobbes rolls his eyeballs at him, a fight quickly breaks out between the two of them. Calvin finally realizes he did something naughty, and when he realizes the situation he tries to call out for Santa saying that Hobbes made him do this and that he didn't mean to fight. Hobbes, also calling out for Santa, says that he did because he started the fight, before another fight breaks out. When tensions finally heal, Hobbes still has a plan to teach his owner a lesson, and even Susie still believes he won't be on the Nice list.

Snowmen and snowball fights often feature here. Oddly enough, despite many Christmases having passed, Calvin has never grown past the age of six.

There are certain instances that don't involve fights or Christmas lists. In one instance published in Yukon Ho!, after he helps his mom pick out a Christmas tree at a local farm, Calvin asks his dad to help bring it in. His dad, however, insists on keeping it in the garage, allowing him to look at it anytime he wants and not have to worry about decorating it, insisting that they'd take it down in two weeks and that if his son gets a present, he can go out to the garage and look at the tree and "pretend the tree has lots of lights". Knowing that pretending the tree has decorations rather than actually decorating it would be a complete letdown to him, Calvin runs screaming about this to his mom, who lets his dad know that "Someone's going to get a lot of coal in his stocking, buster". This leads his dad to think, "This season gets less jollier every year."