"I can't believe that that teacher let those students speak to us like that!" Rachel pisses once the children have retreated to the relative safety of the music room. "I can't believe she threw a shoe at us," Puck sagely notes. "I guess we're done caroling," Single-T Tina glums. The kiddies are busily decorating the fantabulous new tree Mr. Schue bought to "inspire" them, by the way, and Finn uses said tree as a leaping-off point to launch himself into a Buck Up, Little Campers! speech I'll be ignoring in favor of throwing focus over to Our Dear Little Brit-Brit, who asserts, "Pretty soon, no one will bully us -- Santa Claus can do anything, and this year, I asked for the Glee Club to stop getting picked on." The others shoot looks at each other until Lauren gives voice to what each of them is thinking: "She's kidding, right?" Artie pulls everyone except Brittany over to a corner of the room to confirm that Brittany still believes in Santa Claus, and consternation abounds until Artie delivers some cloying speech about how magical it is to have faith, or something like that, and right before we head into this evening's first commercial break, he indicates he has a foolproof plan to preserve Brittany's faith in morbidly obese home invaders.
Did I neglect to mention that Rachel none-too-subtly coerced Finn into meeting her in the auditorium during all of that? Ooops.
Mall. Artie's managed to wrangle Gaylord, Lady Lips, Single-T Tina, Quinn, Santana, and Mercedes for a trip to "Santa's Land" with Brittany, who gets things rolling by confiding to one of Mall Santa's helpers, "Can I be honest? I don't understand the difference between an elf and a slave." For her part, Quinn refuses to sit in Mall Santa's lap, because "Santas' laps are always really warm, and it's creepy." Artie argues that everybody has to take their proper turn with Mall Santa, because if Brittany sees that they all still believe, "it'll make her strong enough to resist all the Santa naysayers in the world." Again: Just go with it. Tina remains unconvinced, especially because Mall Santa -- who's of African descent, by the way -- "doesn't even look like Santa," but Artie assures her that "all Brittany's gonna see is the suit," and with that, we jump into a montage of each child's turn on Santa's lap. Mercedes is first to go, and she gamely plays along with the whole conceit by asking for a pony and a doll until she notices that Mall Santa "smells like McDonald's." Lauren Tuna would like Puckerman to love her, because he's a fox, and she'd also like some sweet potato fries, because she's a pig. Santana: "I want bling -- I can't be any more specific than that...okay, wait, hold up! Please tell me that is a roll of Certs in your pocket!" Quinn: "Do you have anything for stretch marks?" Lady Lips: "Chapstick. Lots of chapstick." Gaylord: "I want Channing Tatum to stop being in stuff." Tina: "When does Asian Santa arrive?"