In this evening's first Yuletide vignette, a surprisingly pissy Artie bitterly wishes he'd never been crippled in the first place and, after lapsing into unconsciousness thanks to an icy tumble he's taken on an improperly-salted wheelchair ramp, he awakens to find that wish granted through a direct rip-off of It's A Wonderful Life, with last year's Leprechaun returning to assume the role of Clarence, because why the hell not? Of course, in keeping with the film, this magical black-and-white version of a McKinley High in which Artie has always had full use of his legs is quite naturally a foul and wretched (and hilarious) hellscape, so Artie quickly wishes everything back the way it was, and he seems far less angry about his lot in life once he wakes up from his temporary coma.
Next up is the ever-suffering St. Gay Of Lima, who martyrliciously decides to spend the holiday alone in New York City while Old Idiot Rachel flits off on a gay cruise with her gay dads. Unfortunately for St. Gay's meticulously maintained aura of victimization, Burt Hummel unexpectedly appears on his doorstep in Bushwick. Unfortunately for us, Burt's there primarily to inform St. Gay of his recent prostate cancer diagnosis, and vast and loud is The Anguish Of St. Gay until his father sends him all the hell the way over to Bryant Park, where he finds Dreamboat Blaine waiting for him at the ice rink as a sort of unexpected Christmas present, because why the hell not? The two ex-boyfriends play nice with each other (I think) before retiring back to Brooklyn, where the three gentlemen enjoy a very late holiday dinner.
Meanwhile, over in Ohio, Old Puck convinces New Puck to head out to Los Angeles for Hanukkah Week, and great fun is had by all until Old Puck admits his life out in California pretty much sucks. So, the boys head back to Lima, where they somehow convince their wary mothers to get together as one great big fucked-up extended family for the holiday, because why the hell not? The four do form a tight bond over what a stupendous dick Michael Mancini is during a lengthy meal at BreadstiX, though, so that's nice. Of course, the booze helps.
Also meanwhile, Brit-Brit saw a documentary on The History Channel about The Mayan Apocalypse that's supposed to be happening on December 21st, so she cashes in her life savings to buy fantastic presents for everyone she knows, then marries Lady Lips Von Bieberhausen, because why the hell not? Lady Lips is also an Apocalypse acolyte -- naturally -- so the two are quite dismayed when they wake up on December 22nd to find the world intact. Fortunately, their marriage ceremony was a fake concocted by Coach Beiste to prevent them from doing something really stupid, but it looks like poor Brittany's still gonna end up down a couple hundred thousand dollars on the entire escapade.
Finally -- FINALLY -- Coach Sylvester draws Stupid Boring New Idiot Rachel's mother as part of the faculty's annual Secret Santa nonsense and, after witnessing a touching little scene between the impoverished Roses, Sweet Sue breaks into their home on Christmas Eve to lavish them with cash and presents, because why the hell not?
Featuring "Feliz Navidad," as performed by Artie in Bizarro George Bailey mode; "White Christmas," as performed by St. Gay Of Lima and Dreamboat Blaine, with backup provided by about a hundred random Manhattan extras; "Oh, Hanukkah!" as performed by The Pucks, with a friendly assist from a variety of Hollywood Jews in a variety of inappropriate costumes; "Jingle Bell Rock," as performed Lady Lips Von Bieberhausen, with help from a sextet of festively-attired Cheerios; "The First Noël," as performed by Stupid Boring New Idiot Rachel; and "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas," as performed by nearly everyone.
"Dear Journal," Sue's Voiceover begins as the camera gradually focuses in on a carefully arranged line of festive votives blazing away merrily atop her desk. It hops around to take in the comforting sight of Coach Sylvester herself, happily penning these very words into her diary whilst surrounded by the sparkly seasonal garlands with which she's festooned her office as her voiceover continues, "It's Christmas again -- that time of year when parents aren't arrested for forcing their children to sit on an old man's weirdly hot lap." Sue's Voiceover then proceeds to get all meta on our collective behinds by also calling Christmas "that magical season when five seemingly separate storylines are cleverly sandwiched between commercial breaks and then tied together at the end like a beautiful bow." "Like that movie, Love Actually," Sue's Voiceover decides, adding, "which I don't think anyone really cares for, and yet it is constantly on cable." And as I am one of those people who don't really care for Love Actually, to the point where I've never actually seen it and absolutely never want to, I'll decide not to decide whether Sue's Voiceover is making any sense at all with that assertion, and instead follow along as we leap forward into...
...this evening's title card, whose letters are bedecked with a string of buzzing and blinking Christmas tree lights. Fun!
A set of terribly ominous sleigh bells rattles out what sounds like a jingly dirge on the soundtrack right before the heavily bruised knuckles on Artie's left hand fill the screen, and that spritely dirge continues in the background as the camera cuts to take in Artie's scraped-up and tear-streaked face while he wheels himself over to his locker deep within The Hallowed Halls Of Dear McKinley High. To be honest with you, the instant I saw that cut on his cheek, I was dead certain it meant Artie would now be getting a Very Special Boollying Episode of his very own, and I was thus all ready to start calling him "St. Cripple Of Lima" from here on out, but it turns out he just took a nasty spill on an indifferently-salted access ramp out by the school's parking lot. Thank God. Frankenteen lumbers up from out of nowhere to wonder what gives and, after Artie's filled him in on the whole humiliating situation, Bloaty The Gravy Clown insists upon escorting poor Artie to the nurse's office.