The best and worst things

Forget holiday ham, big family dinner and bad sweater contests – we can all agree that giving gifts to friends and family is the highlight of Christmas, and the same is true in Guardians of the Galaxy Christmas Special. Of course, it’s about much more than the gift itself, as the young Peter Quill makes sure to emphasize – to Yondu and the audience – that gifts are a way to express affection and appreciation. And the gifts that the Guardians give each other perfectly express this: Gunn brilliantly captured the essence of each character in both giving and receiving.

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Mantis gives Drax the simplest and most obvious gift: the inflatable lawn elf Kevin Bacon he covets, and the joy he gets from doing so is infectious. Space dog Cosmo, like any good pet, brings Kraglin a dead rodent, and Peter Quill gives Groot a classic Game Boy, perfect for a tree that loves video games. Groot also distributes gifts to all of his fellow Guardians: a series of handmade dioramas depicting scenes from the holiday special. Returning to the animated beginning, Yondu is shown in the past giving young Peter Quill his twin blasters, the same weapon he used during his adventures in the MCU.

But the best gift comes from Nebula. In one of the show’s funniest moments, Rocket receives Bucky’s cybernetic arm as a gift, the same one that the raccoon coveted in the Avengers: Infinity War finale and vowed to get someday.

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