Serena brings Dan into the art space they created, the snow falling blown by fans, the snowflake cutouts, the projected winter wonderland. "Merry Christmas. Do you like it? Do you think it's cheesy?" The things that they give each other: the appearance, the burlesque, of Christmas, over the environmental issues interfering with real Christmas: this is how their relationship should work, 24/7/365.25: I will give you the fantasy that we can't really have. Because of the Palace, because of global warming, I will give you the fantasies we have in common. He takes off his jacket and is beautiful, coming into the fantasy, boggled. "I had help from my elves," Serena giggled, doing exactly what Vanessa wanted, as sweetly as possible. Dan sits on the bed and explains that her secret $50 present is back "at home," but that his real, his Dan, his perfect present he could have offered all along, his gift he could have given her that would have taken all the stress away, the watch and New Yorker and all of it, that answer to a prayer: he has it here for her, now. (And honestly, this makes Vanessa even better this week, like maybe for all time, and if you didn't already assume that the "10-08-05" story was what it was, this is pretty Christmukkah, for everybody at once. Vanessa gave Dan and Serena the story of Dan and Serena. As she will for the foreseeable future. That's pretty cool.) Serena unfolds a series of spiral-bound pages and realizes it's the story. "Um. Well, I was accidentally invited to a birthday party where I met a girl. She only spoke two sentences to me, but I've never forgotten her." Serena finally realizes there's a level of weirdness/sweetness about Vanessa's gift that nobody could have expected, and they kiss. Vanessa gave them both the gift she wants most.
And frankly, at this point, with the snow in their hair, there's not much to say. In the middle of a forest which is both unreal and more real than they realize, with no burlesque at all, with the history of their love continually unfolding around her, back two years and into the future, Serena finally makes love to Dan. And outside the box, outside the burlesque and the gift of snow, up on the rooftop, it begins to snow for real. The snow comes falling down, the lie becomes truth, the story stops being fiction, snow falls on New York, inside the gallery and out. When Blair and Chuck made love, I made a big deal about it: once you start taking off clothes, if you're brave enough not to stop, you see the person for real. The film falls off the projector, and it stops being a story you tell yourself and starts being a story nobody tells at all. And here again: in the middle of a video forest, in the middle of imaginary snow, the story turns true, further than Harold and Eleanor, or Rufus and Alison, or any of the stories grownups tell so they can go on living. The snow comes down, a gift from heaven. It couldn’t have gone any other way. Where they meet is the end of lies and the beginning of whatever happens after that. It's completely awesome, really. And you know I hate romance, and Dan, but sometimes stories come true, and it's good. This is one or two of those stories.