In case you missed it, the song in the background of the opening was "Simple Gifts," which the string quartet played during the unity candle lighting at my wedding. I think it was perfect for both occasions because the message is really that you need very little to be happy, and love and friendship make the world go 'round. On The Middle, though, it wasn't terribly fitting... except maybe for Frankie's parents, who recently lost quite a bit of money. The confusion over the dinner guests was perhaps the highlight of the episode, but I felt everything going on was a bit too busy to make it a classic.
Axl's prayers are answered, however, when company shows up to dinner. Thinking that his parents won't make a scene in front of his mother's boss and his father's brother's (ex-)wife and kids, he waits for the perfect opening. [awww, Brick's poorly-made lime jello salad made me sad. that kid is so often forgotten!] Unfortunately, the gambling and divorce news surfaces, blocking Axl from announcing his problems during the meal. He tries to bring it up again later, but Frankie's crazy actions at the mall make the news, so his moment is stolen once again. Finally, he blurts it out, and when Mike just says "it's your life," Axl is baffled and winds up lecturing himself. [haha, when Frankie's boss leaves, she jokes about Christmas dinner and he takes her seriously!]