The First Ever Glee Holiday Extravaganza finds Will Schuester suffering mightily through the seasonal good cheer, as this will be his first Christmas spent all by his lonesome, presumably because his parents died in a horrific and fiery car smash at some point over the last year and nobody thought to tell us about it. Because Will is nothing if not expert at sublimating his private disappointments by manufacturing supposedly educational tasks for his hapless Glee Clubbers, he decides to send the kiddies caroling throughout the school in order to raise funds for Lima's McKinney-Vento unfortunates, but all seems lost when the kiddies find themselves pelted with footwear as thanks for their troubles. How wonderful, then, that Sue Sylvester decided to rig the faculty's Secret Santa exchange so that each and every one of her colleagues ended up drawing her name. With an assist from Coach Beiste (and those few football players who aren't otherwise occupied hurling Yuletide slushies at adolescent outcasts), Mr. Schue promptly confiscates all of Sue's ill-gotten gains, intending to donate her fur-lined track suit, her really expensive blender, and her half-dozen Shake Weights to the homeless, but alas! Will makes the fatal error of calling Sue a grinch, so what does Our Miss Sylvester do? She dresses up as the actual Grinch -- with notable Sue Sylvester sidekick Becky costumed as notable Grinch sidekick Reindog Max -- and steals all her gifts back after thrashing New Directions' tacky holiday decorations with a golf club. Sniff! It's almost enough to make Yours Truly believe in Santa Claus again.
Speaking of which, coincidentally enough: Guess who still carries a torch for that jolly old elf? None other than dear, dim Brit-Brit. Which, you know, makes a lot of sense, especially after last week's revelation regarding Jiminy Cricket and her jewelry. In any event, Artie finds this faith of Brittany's endearing, so he conspires with several other Glee Clubbers to ensure said faith endures. To that end, they all head to the mall to present an exceptionally tan Santa with their holiday wish lists, and things go swimmingly until Brittany asks Tan Santa to make Artie's legs work again. Well, actually, things go swimmingly until Tan Santa pops a roll of Certs in his pants pocket when Santana Lopez perches on his lap, but it's the Brittany thing we're supposed to be worried about. Artie and some of the other boys convince Coach Beiste to pose as Santa in order to explain to Brittany why some wishes can't ever come true, but Brittany's miserable reaction to this news softens Coach Beiste's already nougaty interior, and the coach effects a true Christmas miracle when she somehow hacks up $100,000 to buy Artie an as-yet-unreleased ReWalk. I know high school football programs are disgustingly overfunded, but really?
In other similarly heartening news, Kurt's settling in quite nicely at Dalton, thank you very much, and Finn and Rachel are dunzo. And in the end, Sue for some reason decides to deck Will's halls with boughs of holly, and I am very sad to note that "deck Will's halls with boughs of holly" is not a fun euphemism for physical violence.
Featuring "The Most Wonderful Day Of The Year" from Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, as performed by New Directions while decorating McKinley's music room; "We Need A Little Christmas" from Mame, as performed by the Glee Clubbers on their disastrous tour of the school; "Merry Christmas, Darling" from noted anorexic Karen Carpenter, as performed by Rachel for some reason I've already forgotten about; "Baby, It's Cold Outside" from noted Esther Williams vehicle Neptune's Daughter, as adorably performed by Kurt and Blaine in their adorably appointed aerie; "You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch" from How the Grinch Stole Christmas! as performed by k.d. lang (!!) while Sue thrashes New Directions' tacky holiday decorations with a golf club (!!!<3!!!); the absolutely abysmal "Last Christmas" from Wham!, as performed by at least Rachel and probably Finn for some other reason I've already forgotten about; and Grinch's "Welcome Christmas," as performed by the kiddies after Sue stole all of her gifts back.
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The camera finds Will sitting alone in the festively decorated McKinley faculty lounge, casually attired in a holiday-themed sweater vest while nibbling on a casually themed holiday cookie. Emma soon appears in the doorway and hesitantly picks her way across the room to greet him with a meek-sounding, "Hey." Studiously maintaining an air of affable disinterest, Will barely glances up from his paper to respond in kind. Emma takes a moment to steel herself for what follows and, taking the seat opposite him, she asks, "Are we okay?" Will feigns surprise at the question, so Emma plunges on with, "We haven't really talked since I told you about me and Carl -- I mean, we haven't talked at all. Are you avoiding me?" "Not at all," Will LIES with much shrugging of shoulders and popping of eyebrows. An uncomfortable silence ensues until Emma changes the subject by wondering, "So, what are you doing for Christmas this year?" Will announces he'll be spending a little quiet time alone, thank you very much, so Emma of course tries to make him feel like a completely worthless piece of crap by squealing, "You can't spend Christmas by yourself! That's horrible!" "Carl and I are having a big Christmas Eve party," she continues, trying to be helpful while ending up being quite the opposite. "Please at least stop by." Will thanks her kindly for that most unwelcome invitation, then rather bluntly suggests they "keep things separate for a while." Emma's smile falters a bit at this, but she agrees that perhaps it's for the best. They stare into each other's eyes for a few very long seconds until the dulcet tones of Coach Beiste arrive from somewhere off camera to interrupt all of the awkwardness.
"Okay, educators, gather 'round!" Beiste bellows. "It's time to pick your Secret Santa!" Beiste has placed each faculty member's name in a "tub" that once contained a truly massive amount of protein powder and, well, you can figure out the rest. Emma's second to pull a strip of paper from the jar, and the instant she sees the name written she's received, she rolls those bush-baby eyes of hers all the way into the back of her skull. She quickly puts on a brave little face for Will's benefit, though -- a bit of intentional misdirection meant to make us believe she drew his name, I'm guessing -- and Will sticks his arm in the jar to pull out a slip that reads, simply, "Sue." Will sighs.
Out in the hall, Brittany's helping Artie decorate the interior of his locker, and it's really quite elaborate, what with the ornaments and strings of functioning lights and nutcrackers and such. As dear little Brit-Brit hangs a miniature stocking in one of the corners, she confides, "Last year? I left my stocking up over Christmas vacation? An entire family of mice started living in it? Their Christmas gift to each other was rabies?" Artie, whose sporting a truly fugly holiday sweater, replies with a little confidence of his own. "I told my parents that I only want one thing for Christmas this year: Stop friend-requesting me on Facebook." Dear little Brit-Brit beams at this, then thinks to ask, "What are you asking Santa for?" Artie's all, "I'm sorry?" but dear little Brit-Brit is dead serious. "Artie," she chides, "the roads to the North Pole are getting treacherous. You need to write your letter to Santa really fast and get it in the mail today." Artie gapes. Brittany, oblivious (go figure), adds, "And remember: Even the smallest envelope is heavy for an elf." With that, she turns to float off down the hallway, leaving the flabbergasted Artie alone to breathe, "No. Way!" Casually themed title card. And by that, I mean it's green instead of black.