‘Best. Christmas. Ever!’: Here’s What Happened to Daniel

Best. Christmas. Ever

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Netflix’s ‘Best. Christmas. Ever!’ is a heartwarming holiday film that beautifully intertwines humor, family dynamics, and a deep, underlying mystery. At the core of this story is the enigmatic absence of Daniel, a character whose presence, or lack thereof, shapes the entire narrative. This film not only celebrates the festive spirit but also delves into the complexities of life, loss, and the power of memory. Let’s uncover the truth behind Daniel’s absence and how it impacts the characters in this touching Christmas tale.

The mystery of Daniel’s absence

In ‘Best. Christmas. Ever!’, the Jennings family is depicted as almost too perfect, especially in their annual Christmas newsletters. However, the noticeable absence of their eldest son, Daniel, casts a shadow of mystery over their festive celebrations. The film skillfully uses this absence to build suspense as viewers, alongside Charlotte, the protagonist, become increasingly curious about Daniel’s whereabouts. Charlotte’s skepticism about Jennings’ seemingly flawless life leads her to suspect that there’s more to Daniel’s absence than meets the eye. This uncertainty adds a layer of intrigue to the film, as it keeps the audience guessing and engaged.


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Despite the joyful holiday setting, Daniel’s absence is a silent, lingering question throughout the movie. The Jennings family, always enthusiastic about sharing their achievements, seems to carefully avoid any mention of Daniel, which only fuels Charlotte’s and the audience’s curiosity. This deliberate omission becomes a critical plot point, driving Charlotte’s quest for the truth. The lack of information about Daniel becomes a symbol of hidden grief, hinting at a deeper, more poignant aspect of the family’s life that remains just out of reach.

Unveiling the truth: The emotional revelation

The journey to discovering what happened to Daniel in ‘Best. Christmas. Ever!’ is a path filled with emotional twists and turns. The film reveals that Daniel, once a vibrant and integral part of the Jennings family, met with an untimely and tragic death due to a severe illness. This revelation comes as a profound shock to Charlotte, who had been envious of the Jennings’ seemingly perfect life, and equally to the audience, who had been led down a path of light-hearted holiday cheer. The news of Daniel’s passing adds a layer of somber reality to the film, illustrating how life’s tragic moments can coexist with periods of joy and celebration.

The manner in which the film discloses Daniel’s death is handled with a great deal of sensitivity and respect. It becomes a defining moment in the story, shifting the narrative from a simple holiday movie to a deeper exploration of how families cope with loss. For Charlotte, the discovery is a moment of introspection and understanding. It dawns on her that behind the facade of perfection, the Jennings family had been grappling with a profound loss, a reality far removed from the envy-inducing updates in their Christmas newsletters. This realization brings a new level of empathy and connection between Charlotte and Jackie, as Charlotte begins to see the true strength and resilience behind Jackie’s cheerful demeanor.

Honoring Daniel: A legacy of love and adventure

In memory of Daniel, the Jennings family creates a unique tribute that encapsulates his dreams and their love for him. They decide to embark on a journey around the world in a solar-powered hot air balloon, inspired by Daniel’s favorite story, ‘Around the World in 80 Days.’ This endeavor symbolizes not only their enduring love for Daniel but also their commitment to keeping his spirit alive through adventure and innovation. The balloon itself, being solar-powered, is a nod to Daniel’s care for the environment, making the tribute deeply personal and meaningful.


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The journey in the hot air balloon becomes a pivotal part of the Jennings’ healing process, turning their grief into a mission of hope and remembrance. The family’s dedication to this cause is inspiring, showing how love can transcend loss. This part of the film beautifully demonstrates how honoring a loved one’s memory can lead to extraordinary achievements and a continued sense of connection. It’s a heartfelt reminder that those we lose are never truly gone as long as we keep their dreams and values alive in our actions and hearts.

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