"The Gift" is the second Christmas episode of the courtroom drama series Matlock, originally aired on NBC as the eleventh episode of the show's second season.


Matlock defends a Santa accused of murder – Brian Emerson (Bryan Cranston). Maggie Crowley (Lise Hilboldt), his ex-wife, was murdered at five minutes past 10:00. She was hosting a Christmas party populated by Santa Clauses. Matlock also plays Father Christmas to Wendy Crowley (Jandi Swanson), Maggie and Brian's daughter, and spreads some Christmas cheer on a judge who has lost his Christmas spirit. After Tyler is hit in the head, Philip Tracy (Howard George), whose wife left him seven years ago, confesses that he had gone to the party that night to have it out with Maggie, and that he made all those threatening phone calls to her because of what she had done to his wife. He also says that he was so mad, he could have killed her himself, "but someone beat me to it". He also tells Tyler that he got a good look at the guy who committed the murder. Tyler then brings back Tracy's wife, Miriam (Judith Baldwin), as a Christmas gift. Her husband says, "Why did you come here?" Miriam replies, "He said you still loved me." Philip replies back to his wife, "But you left me!" Miriam then replies, "You sent me away." Finally, Philip tells Miriam, "I thought you don't want me anymore."


The episode was made available on the Matlock: The Complete Second Season DVD set, released by CBS Home Entertainment through Paramount Home Entertainment on January 13, 2009.

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