What Last Man Standing Season 7, Episode 9 taught us about gift giving

LAST MAN STANDING: L-R: Tim Allen and Kaitlyn Dever in the "The Gift of the Mike Guy" episode of LAST MAN STANDING airing Friday, Dec. 14 (8:00-8:30 PM ET/PT) on FOX. © 2018 FOX Broadcasting. CR: Michael Becker / FOX
LAST MAN STANDING: L-R: Tim Allen and Kaitlyn Dever in the "The Gift of the Mike Guy" episode of LAST MAN STANDING airing Friday, Dec. 14 (8:00-8:30 PM ET/PT) on FOX. © 2018 FOX Broadcasting. CR: Michael Becker / FOX /
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Last Man Standing Season 7, Episode 9 is entitled “The Gift of the Mike Guy.” It taught us that sometimes the best gifts are thoughtful actions.

It’s Christmastime on Last Man Standing. Season 7, Episode 9 was a terrific episode, with heartwarming moments, the return of Eve (Kaitlyn Dever), and some thoughtful gifts. While you can read the episode recap here, I want to talk about what this Last Man Standing episode taught us about gift giving. After all, the episode title is “The Gift of the Mike Guy,” so gifts were a prominent component of this episode.

Gift giving can be stressful for people. The film Jingle All the Way illustrated the challenges of acquiring the perfect gift for someone. People flock to stores on Thanksgiving night and Black Friday, and then they continue their Christmas shopping on Cyber Monday. Children write letters to Santa Clause. As adults, we ask our family what they want for Christmas.

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On Last Man Standing Season 7, Episode 9, Mike Baxter (Tim Allen) thought he found the perfect gift for Ed Alzate (Hector Elizondo).

The city allowed Mike to name the access road to Outdoor Man, so he named it Ed Alzate Way. Mike wanted people to come to Outdoor Man on the road named after the man who founded Outdoor Man.

LAST MAN STANDING: L-R: Hector Elizondo and Tim Allen in the "The Gift of the Mike Guy" episode of LAST MAN STANDING airing Friday, Dec. 14 (8:00-8:30 PM ET/PT) on FOX. © 2018 FOX Broadcasting. CR: Michael Becker / FOX
LAST MAN STANDING: L-R: Hector Elizondo and Tim Allen in the “The Gift of the Mike Guy” episode of LAST MAN STANDING airing Friday, Dec. 14 (8:00-8:30 PM ET/PT) on FOX. © 2018 FOX Broadcasting. CR: Michael Becker / FOX /

While Mike’s heart was in the right place, Ed hated the gift. As he noted, cities name roads after dead people. In his mind, with his retirement from Outdoor Man, he is no longer needed there. Naturally, Mike felt frustrated, so he shared his thoughts in his Outdoor Man vlog. It accurately reflected the challenges of gift giving.

https://www.facebook.com/LastManStandingFOX/videos/773246676342305/?__xts__[0]=68.ARCgAcppMxopBPB5l5y2j6TNug2-Z1N-GxfBez4CdMLcsQwzNKl9NCAEVJumzUMTyheYcY97fTNUcd3bnzeg-HlE-mNuoUYMM6H0bNM8TIKKnBAWK1I6Qnq1EwB82cdy7Ezc75zfyN4_LkSIL1SHM8Htt3-vp-hPYfgFonozDLjarjqykr9MnblUucdKAPpx56Q0L0yqs3E9EQD-xEbbMoTQaK_RANfiUTAYhgKsq0yZBVvCWVo_Q9P_YOsjZW-fgFfCEv-wmq0nBPkJznTNsTkSQt-HBsgX9Z5b03MnLiYNatQvSZGgdOeRxCnXAfxO18U-ju93vTSMdmDW1f-80BFROg0AhS1R_Fiw7Zs6aFN7Pkl-AQb1GapFOs86h0DMUkYU&__tn__=-R

Mike realized his mistake, and he sought to correct it. After conversing with Ed, he discovered the perfect gift for Ed. With Outdoor Man locations expanding, Mike needs to hire more employees. He asked Ed to take the lead on hiring new employees, specifically veterans. Eve is in the military, Ed is a veteran, Mike is patriotic, and Mike knows veterans like Chuck (Jonathan Adams) are hard-working good people.

This gift was heartfelt, and it gave Ed something he needed, a purpose. Ed personally gave Outdoor Man employees a card. While Mike joked about Ed’s cheapness in hand delivering them rather than paying for postage, Ed thought of all employees.

Hector Elizondo and I share something in common! We both handwrite Christmas cards with a different message on each card. Yes, a Christmas card is a material gift, but the personal note is a thoughtful gesture.

The three Baxter daughters gave another thoughtful gift. In addition to partaking in the old-fashioned family Christmas traditions, they ended the episode with a fabulous creative song, followed up by singing we wish you a Baxter Christmas. The song brought a smile to all family members’ faces, and everyone joined in singing we wish you a Baxter Christmas. As a viewer, I couldn’t help but want to join in the singing.

LAST MAN STANDING: L-R: Molly McCook and Christoph Sanders in the "The Gift of the Mike Guy" episode of LAST MAN STANDING airing Friday, Dec. 14 (8:00-8:30 PM ET/PT) on FOX. © 2018 FOX Broadcasting. CR: Michael Becker / FOX
LAST MAN STANDING: L-R: Molly McCook and Christoph Sanders in the “The Gift of the Mike Guy” episode of LAST MAN STANDING airing Friday, Dec. 14 (8:00-8:30 PM ET/PT) on FOX. © 2018 FOX Broadcasting. CR: Michael Becker / FOX /

I recently spent time with a good friend. Her Christmas gift to me was merely spending that time with me as we conversed while drinking hot chocolate.

After learning about her family enjoying the traditions, Eve came home. Her gift to her family was her mere presence. That action was a far better gift than a material possession, although Eve told Mike he owed her $111 for an Uber ride.

This is not the first time Last Man Standing has taught us about the nature of gift giving. In Season 3, Episode 11, Mandy gave Blanca’s niece a Christmas surprise. The girl’s father was stationed in Afghanistan. Mandy used her Christmas money to bring the girl’s father home for Christmas. It surprised both the girl and the Baxters. Mandy valued the girl’s happiness over her own money.

While naming the best episode of the revived Last Man Standing is subjective, Season 7, Episode 9 easily enters the conversation. Seemingly everyone had a funny line, it reminded us why it is a family sitcom, and it presented some of the aspects which make Christmas special. Last Man Standing definitely ended 2018 on a high note.

Have you finished your Christmas shopping? If you’re struggling to find someone the best gift, consider what Last Man Standing Season 7, Episode 9 taught us. A thoughtful action can serve as a better gift than a material possession. Thoughtful gestures, like writing people Christmas cards or joining them in watching a Christmas movie, can add to their merriment this holiday season.

Next. 25 best Christmas movies countdown #15: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. dark

The first 2019 episode of Last Man Standing will air on January 4 at 8/7c on FOX. Finally, I wish everyone a Baxter Christmas and a Happy New Year!