Blair's e-lationship with Chuck veers wildly all over the map when she finds out he's gone silent because he's gone to his father's hotel in Monaco for the holidays. What starts as a somewhat flirty exchange quickly gets ugly when Chuck reveals his knowledge of Blair's dalliance with her ex Nate -- and even uglier once he threatens to disclose their relationship to Nate, who's joined him abroad for some gay Christmas canoodles.
Howard brings his Parisian lover Roman home in the hopes that Blair will grow to love him. Eleanor deals with this all in a hell of a lot of style, and even manages to snag a Silver Fox of her own, named Jack Roth, with Roman's help. After breaking his leg and bringing in another hot gay dude named Freddy to ruin his relationship, Blair finally relents and lets Roman into the family -- but only once she's been assured that there's a room in their French chÃ¢teau for her, too.
Rufus finally meets the strangely likeable Alexander Bancroft and learns that his wife Alison hasn't quite given up the ghost w/r/t her Hudson affair. The family decides to spend one last Christmas together, and Rufus decides to make a go of it with Lily. He calls her from the snowy courtyard of the Palace, unaware that her boyfriend Bart Bass is upstairs, on bended knee.
Vanessa gets a story by Dan published in the New Yorker, although it's not the fabled poem "Sluts" from the books. To prove how much classier he is in the show, Dan immediately craps ungratefully all over Serena's gift, a beautiful and expensive watch. Instead, Serena gets Vanessa to help her plan a Winter Wonderland and eventually has sex with Dan in it; Jenny and Dan enlist Lily for help in bringing a Christmas tree to the Palace suite. The only person who doesn't trust Vanessa's well-wishes is, of course, Blair, who threatens her with deadly cuticle scissors.
Why, it's the Constance Billard choir, singing "Santa Baby" in skimpy-yet-wintry outfits, performing the half-hunched, half-slutty scoliotic movements that serve as their goblinesque choreography. I never noticed how very flossy are the lyrics of this song! When requesting favors or material gifts, I was told by my mother and my father's mother before her, one must never appear to behave in an overfamiliar manner! "Santa baby" indeed!
GG points out that, Upper East Side-wise, one of the signs of the season -- beyond the pandering to and solicitation of the Jolly Red Christian God of Commerce while dressed as a sexy Christmas stocking -- is the Constance Billard/St. Jude's Bazaar, "where the only thing bizarre are the donated items for sale." Beyond Nate's ass and everybody else's sovereign sense of self, Gossip Girl, what on earth do you mean? Well, there's an antique butter churn, for example, which Serena notes would go well with her beloved loom. She picks up a big furry Cossack hat and plops it on Dan's head, making him even more beaver-like than usual, and he slides past Siberia on the way to Talking About Climate Change. Serena scoffs, like any good scion of the moneyed elite, and calls him the Global Warming Grinch, but he's on a roll: "I'm just saying, Christmas should be white and snowy. I'd even settle for Manhattan slush." Sounds delicious! Scotch, bitters, a pair of Roger Viviers and a copy of The Ethical Slut, toss in some gold flakes, shake violently, and serve, while shouting. Shouting? Who's shouting? Um, the quickly approaching Vanessa Effing Abrams, both from her mouth and her crazy wild snake-filled half-dreaded hair. Security! Pretentious invasion of the bitterly vanishing middle class! Front gate! Security!
...Too late. You may ask yourself, given that these children attend classes and bizarre Bazaars whenever they feel like it due to the lackadaisical Millenial teaching principles of the Constance Billard School -- and indeed, the UES's similarly hapless attention to the inexorable precession of day and night that most of us consider mandatory -- how it is that Vanessa knew where to find them at all. I will tell you: Advanced Placement Stalking & Surveillance. "There you are," she says brightly, concealing her GPS tracking device discreetly in her madwoman's reeds. "What are you doing here?" They wonder, but they will never figure out the answer. Dan and Serena are sweet kids and good people, but not so quick on the uptake. Vanessa hands Dan his Xmas gift: a copy of The New Yorker. As Celia Rhodes would say, "Do go on."