Listen, I'm as tired of stuff that mashes up two things that nerds like into one chimera of presumed awesomeness as everyone else is, but every now and then, that rare thing comes along that's just really, really well done and well worth seeing. Today, we have one of those: Leigh Lahev and Oren Mendez's Merry Christmas, Will Byers.

The animated short is, of course, a mashup that parodies Stranger Things and the classic A Charlie Brown Christmas, but what sets it apart from your average It's Two Things project (aside from not being a t-shirt) is that it's really, really well done, and also builds to a pretty great punchline. Take three minutes and give it a watch!



It's honestly pretty hard to pin down a favorite thing about this, but aside from the fact that it's the perfect thing to watch in my current "it's almost Halloween and therefore it's almost Christmas" mood --- which for me usually begins sometime around late August --- is how dedicated Lahev and Mendez were at recreating the feeling of the original Charlie Brown Christmas special. The somewhat stilted, halting performances from the voice actors that echo the sincerity of the original, the subtle (and pretty amazing) blend of Vince Guaraldi's jazzy soundtrack with the Carpenteresque synth of the Stranger Things theme. It's genuinely good stuff.

For more from Lahev, check out her Patreon, where you can see more very well-done mashups, original content, and get an early look at her next project, too.