A whispery non-Angela voice-over prays:
Angel of God, a guardian dear,
To whom God's Love entrusts me here,
And with this day give and serve, to life,
to guard, to hold, and to guide, amen
as Rickie Vasquez stumbles and falls on his hands and knees in the snow. He's all beat up and crying. He crouches over the snow and spits out a mouthful of blood as red as holly berries. It's kind of not a festive thing, though. He pulls himself up, still crying, and staggers around the middle of a crowded sidewalk as the citizens of Don't-Give-A-Shitsville push by around him. Merry Stinkin' Christmas. Rickie shuffles off down a dark alleyway. The camera pans over to show a girl with a guitar sitting on the curb, watching him go. The girl is dressed in a raggedy coat and looks an awful lot like Juliana Hatfield. Wow, I knew solo careers could be hard, but I had no idea. She turns away and begins playing chords to "Silent Night." The notes fade out to the sound of wind blowing
We're at Minute 00:45. Are you choking back tears yet? I am. Jeez.
"Silent Night" fades in again, this time as piano chords. At the Chase house, Angela sits at the piano, casually plinking the keys with one hand. Tasteful holiday knickknacks abound. Patty don't go for that flocked crap. Danielle complains that she's not getting a bike for Christmas. "It's not fair! Angela got a new bike when she was eleven." "What do you do? Keep, like, a running tally of everything we bought for Angela?" asks Graham. "Well, yeah," says Danielle. She keeps it in a special Excel spreadsheet and occasionally migrates data from her FileMaker Pro log of "Things Angela Didn't Get Grounded For," which is in turn cross-indexed with the microfilm copies of Angela's diary.
Patty frets about getting a Christmas card from some people who she'd dropped from the list (a huge breach of Pattyquette); Danielle's radar picks up on the fact that Angela has new boots; Graham walks around with a string of lights in that classic let's-walk-around-clumsily-with-a-string-of-lights-to-signify-the-freneticness-of-the-holiday-season way. Angela just sits there. "How come we never go to church?" she asks. Everyone stops talking. "Uhhhh well," says Graham. Patty starts saying, "Well, you know, in the last few years you girls, um -- haven't shown much enthusiasm " "So, do you believe in God?" asks Angela. More silence. Patty and Graham do tag-team hemming and hawing about believing in God without going to church, Graham being raised Catholic, blah blah. "We have certain, uh, certain differences," stammers Patty. "Which -- which doesn't mean that we don't --" Danielle stomps up from behind them and interrupts. "Do we have to keep talking about religion? It's Christmas."