‘Best Christmas Ever!’ Ending Explained & Film Summary: What Happens To Daniel?


Christmas film season has begun, and Netflix’s Best Christmas Ever! is all about the feel-good factor. We have two families—on the one hand, we have Jackie Jennings writing boastful Christmas newsletters and sending them to her loved ones, and on the other, we have Charlotte Sanders, who detested the newsletter and firmly believed that Jackie lied about her perfect family. Charlotte was not content with the way her life had taken shape, and she could not relate to the happiness that Jackie always spoke about in her newsletter. She believed it was too good to be true and never paid heed to reconnecting with her college friend. But her son, Grant, was intrigued upon reading Jackie’s letter, and when Charlotte sarcastically stated how she would want to visit Jackie’s place unplanned someday, her son decided to surprise her.

Spoiler Alert

Plot Summary: What Happens In The Film?

Charlotte’s envy is understandable, considering how perfect Jackie’s life seems. In her Christmas newsletter, Jackie spoke about how the monetary influx after selling her aviation company helped her take an early retirement. She mentioned her ten-year-old daughter Beatrix was already accepted at Harvard University, her son Daniel was working to solve a humanitarian crisis in Africa, and her husband Valentino ran a karate center and was on his way to direct the town’s annual Christmas pageant. Charlotte considered her life too ordinary to share with the world. Her daughter, Dora, was convinced that she was a superhero, and she desperately searched for her superpower. Meanwhile, Grant believed he was a ninja warrior, and his only best friend was Bob, his creepy toy monkey, and her husband, Rob, was a realtor and a dreamer. Charlotte was particularly not proud of how far she had come in life. She was an inventor meant to achieve greatness, but here she was, stuck with an underwhelming job as a reliability engineer.

The Sanders were on their way to meet Charlotte’s sister, Stacy. But Grant decided to pull a trick on her parents and reunite them with their college friend. Grant enjoyed reading Jackie’s life updates, and he wanted to meet her and her family. When Charlotte reached the driveway of what she assumed was Stacy’s house, she was spellbound. She did not expect her sister to have moved into such a spectacular place, and she rang the bell, hoping to be greeted by Stacy. But instead of her sister, it was Jackie who opened the doors. She was pleasantly surprised to see her friends after so long. Jackie had always asked the recipients of her letters to visit her at any time, and she was glad that Charlotte took it seriously. Charlotte soon realized that Grant entered the wrong address on the phone, and she apologized and was prepared to leave. But Jackie invited them to stay the night, and both her kids and her husband agreed that it was the best choice they had at the time. Charlotte was surprised to see how perfect Jackie’s house truly was, but she had yet to find out about her family. The next morning, she was greeted by the smartest woman in the house, Beatrix. A ten-year-old who listened to dissertations as night stories, Beatrix was pretty much the genius child Jackie mentioned. Charlotte struggled to take her eyes off Jackie’s husband, Valentino. A muscular man with ravishing features, Charlotte was a little disappointed to find out that everything Jackie mentioned in the newsletter was actually true.

What secret was Jackie hiding?

Charlotte searched for evidence to bring down Jackie’s reputation, but unfortunately, she could not get her hands on any juicy secrets. She was also bothered by the fact that Rob and Jackie used to be bandmates, and the bond between the two remained pretty much intact. Charlotte was quite surprised when she came across a letter that Rob had sent to Jackie. She wondered if her husband was hiding something from her, and she ended up going to the attic to find out more clues. Valentino suspected that someone had broken into their house, and with his one karate movement, he had Charlotte on the ground. But Charlotte realized that her doubt was baseless because hiding in the attic was not a forbidden secret but a Christmas surprise that Jackie had planned for her husband and daughter. She rebuilt the doll house that Valentino’s mother had left incomplete. But the beauty did not last long; the doll house collapsed as Charlotte attempted to get up from the floor. For the first time, we see Jackie lose her temper. She was aware that Charlotte was snooping around, and she wanted her to come clean. Rob believed it was Charlotte’s insecurity about her ordinary life that pushed her to find fault in Jackie. Charlotte finally admitted that she was searching for the letter Rob had sent Jackie. And as it turned out, towards the end, Rob, too, had started a Christmas tradition that involved sending family newsletters. He celebrated their every little success, and he was proud of the family he and Charlotte had built. Rob kept Charlotte out of the loop because she hated such traditions. Charlotte felt immense guilt for ruining Jackie’s Christmas surprise and doubting her husband’s good intentions.

The Sanders decided to leave, and Charlotte apologized to her friend. Jackie forgave Charlotte and requested that they stay for Christmas. Charlotte decided to buy Rob a house, something that he had always dreamed of, and she also started rebuilding the doll house that was left in complete shambles. But soon, Charlotte found out that her company was going bankrupt after selling defective vacuum cleaners, and she decided to revoke the real estate deal. She was completely heartbroken, knowing how happy Rob would have been if things had gone according to her plan. At the end of Best Christmas Ever!, while driving to the real estate office, Charlotte came across a Daniel Jennings Memorial Fund sign board, and she realized how badly she had hurt Jackie each time she stated that her life was perfect. The only time Jackie did not write a newsletter was a year ago, and when Charlotte met Rose on the way to the office, she mentioned how this time of the year usually made Jackie feel especially lonely. Charlotte joined the dots and when she returned home, she entered Daniel’s room. Daniel was an inventor who wanted to travel around the world in a hot-air balloon. After losing their son, Valentino and Jackie started a charity foundation to help the less fortunate. Their goal was to fly around the world in a hot-air balloon to raise funds for Daniel’s foundation. They knew it was what Daniel would have wanted, and it was the only way they could keep him alive. Jackie tried to remain positive after the unfathomable loss, and the truth that Charlotte was searching for was extremely tragic.

Why Didn’t The Film Reveal Information About Daniel’s Death?

Best Christmas Ever! does not delve into the details of Daniel’s death, probably because the film’s target audience includes children. The feel-good factor is crucial, which is why they chose not to discuss too much about the sad event. The focus was more on how the family coped with the tragedy and how Daniel’s memory was kept alive. Daniel was admitted to the hospital during his final days, suggesting a health condition might have led to his demise. 

How did Charlotte save the Jennings’ Christmas?

While the adults had complications of their own, the children started an investigation into Santa, which was led by Beatrix. She always doubted the existence of Santa, and she tried to win Grant and Dora into her team. Grant was disheartened when Beatrix showed one piece of evidence after another that proved Santa was a fictitious character and that it was the parents who bought gifts for the children. The children waited for one last sign from Santa before drawing the final conclusion. Meanwhile, Jackie hopped on the solar-powered hot air balloon to appear as the Christmas star for the pageant. But as soon as she took off, it started to malfunction. Thankfully, she had Charlotte to help her with the situation.

In the end, Charlotte, the engineer, came to Jackie’s rescue and fixed the problem, and her innovation, the chip mitt, also came into use. Charlotte joined Jackie on the hot-air balloon ride. She had mistakenly left the ladder loose, and it caught onto the sled decoration at Jackie’s place. Charlotte realized that the situation might be a boon rather than a curse. She had heard Grant complain about Santa not being real, and this was her opportunity to make the kids believe in Santa once again. The children finally cheered with joy when they spotted Santa Claus in the air. Beatrix deduced that, as strange as it was, Santa Claus was real. After making her short appearance as Santa, Jackie dropped Charlotte off and continued with the initial plan. Charlotte met an old, bearded man, and surprisingly, he knew her name. By the time she could ask him who he was, the old man was gone, hinting at the existence of Santa. Meanwhile, Jackie made it to the Christmas pageant on time in her hot air balloon. Christmas was a success, and the Jennings and Sanders formed a lifetime bond.

During Best Christmas Ever!‘s ending we find out that the Jennings and Sanders now send out their joint Christmas newsletters every year. Jackie and Charlotte together started the Chip Mitt business, and it was quite a success. The Jennings traveled the world in their hot-air balloon and raised money for Daniel’s foundation. Things worked out for the Sanders as well, and Charlotte and Rob finally moved into their dream house. Charlotte concluded that Christmas with Jackie was truly an eye-opening experience. She learned how important it was to act rather than complain about how life was unfair to her. Jackie also taught her to find happiness even when the present seems bleak. Best Christmas Ever! ends on a happy note with an unexpected occurrence leading to a change of destiny.

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Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni has worked as a film researcher on a government-sponsored project and is currently employed as a film studies teacher at a private institute. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies. Film History and feminist reading of cinema are her areas of interest.

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