The Netflix sensation should finally capitalize on the one holiday the program has not yet highlighted—Christmas—for Stranger Things season 5 to succeed. Holiday settings have always worked well for Stranger Things. The young heroes wouldn’t be able to embark on adventures unless each season to set during the midterm break that precedes Halloween, spring break, or summer vacation, which serves a functional plot purpose on the one hand.
There is another reason why Stranger Things is so preoccupied with holidays on a thematic level. The popular Netflix series is dripping ’80s nostalgia, from the sets to the characters to the constant nods to the pop culture of the time. Steve, the show’s unlikely hero, is a charming supporting character who transforms the stereotypical jocks of the era’s films into sympathetic and nuanced characters. While some viewers may have fond memories of their time in school during the 1980s, the most recognizable images from that period for most people are those of hot summers, garish Halloween costumes, and, most importantly, dazzling Christmases.
Many holidays have been referenced in Stranger Things but ignored Christmas.
Every season of Stranger Things has a holiday theme and subversively dark exploits that holiday’s symbols. The first season of Stranger Things transforms the constant summertime images of unsupervised kids on bikes enjoying their small neighborhood into something more eerie and terrifying. Season 3’s Fourth of July fireworks served as a cover for the Mind Flayer’s onslaught, whereas Season 2’s chintzy Hawkins Halloween served as the scene of all-too-real slaughter and horror. Stranger Things is aware that the 1980s had a darker side and uses the imagery of these holidays to support this idea, in contrast to The Goldbergs, whose ’80s nostalgia is sincere and beautiful.
Despite being in its last season, Stranger Things has yet to mention the most apparent holiday of them all. Even though the 1980s provided audiences with holiday classics like Die Hard, Gremlins, A Christmas Story, and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Stranger Things has never featured a season that takes place around Christmas. After a five-year hiatus, Christmas would be one of the few occasions when the vast cast would likely all return to Hawkins simultaneously. Thus it makes perfect sense for Stranger Things to have its final season during the holiday. Vecna, the evil character from Stranger Things, previously closed out season 4 by covering Hawkins in eerie, Upside-Down contaminated “snow.”
Why Christmas to Needed In Stranger Things 5
Christmas matches Stranger Things’ ’80s nostalgia, and the innocent holiday would provide the series the perfect opportunity to undermine the stereotype of small-town sweetness. Stranger Things has succeeded by incorporating slug monsters, Mind Flayers, and graphic violence into the romanticized 1980s image prevalent in popular culture. By scheduling Vecna’s ultimate confrontation with Eleven over the holiday season, Stranger Things season 5 may take this strategy a step further than ever before. It will also enable the program to commemorate the new family the characters have created throughout the series. Season 5 of Stranger Things must embrace the best holiday setting the show has shunned so far.