It was a Baxter family Christmas on the latest episode of “Last Man Standing.” When the Baxter kids tried to do their own thing for the holidays, they were brought right back home by the good old fashioned holiday spirit in Season 7, Episode 10 “The Gift of the Mike Guy.”
[SPOILER ALERT: This article contains spoilers for the latest episode of ‘Last Man Standing’]
The episode opens with Vanessa and Mike decorating the inside of the house for the holidays. Mandy and Kyle enter to reveal that they will be seeing “The Nutcracker” with Kristin and Ryan instead of helping decorate the tree. Vanessa is upset that her kids have outgrown their usual traditions but understands and plans a nice evening in with her husband.
Before leaving, Mike tries to get his wife to talk him out of buying Ed a gift for Christmas. Although they’ve never exchanged in the past, he understands that this is a special year given his friend’s retirement. After a brief brainstorming session with Chuck and Kristin back at the office, Mike meets up with Ed later in the day to reveal what he thinks is the perfect present. The city allowed him to name the access road that leads to Outdoor Man, which he named after Ed.
His friend is thrilled, but Mike can tell that really means he hates the gift. However, he can’t figure out why until he visits Ed, who is bartending at the V.A., the following day. Mike learns that Ed feels useless now that he’s retired. While he doesn’t want to take a step backward and go back to work at Outdoor Man, he knows that he needs some reason to get out of bed in the morning.
Ed confesses that he likes going to the V.A. because there are a lot of people that work there with the same issue as him – a unique skill set and nowhere outside the military to utilize it.
Realizing he has to do some serious rethinking about his gift, Mike goes home. Fortunately, he’s greeted by Kristin, Mandy, Kyle and Ryan, who all decided to skip the “Nutcracker” when the ladies realized that the tree would be decorated without their magic touch. This is fine with the boys, who both choke up at the sight of their own family stockings.
Chuck arrives to give Mike the last personnel report of the year. The combination of his family’s Christmas spirit and his employee’s work ethic gives him an idea. He returns to the V.A. and asks Ed to help him with a hiring push across all the stores in the New Year. He suggests using veterans as he’s looking for people with a unique skill set, and someone who knows where to place them.
Just like that, Mike has solved his gift for Ed, fixed the company’s biggest concern in 2019 and earned some much-needed time with his family on Christmas. However, one thing is missing.
Just as Mike laments that Eve isn’t around, she returns home brandishing a new star for the tree. The episode ends with the Baxter family singing an original Christmas carol for their dad and mom.