The Glee Club celebrates Christmas, Will saying that trees and gifts is not the true meaning of Christmas. They prepare a plan to help out homeless children and raise money. While the Christmas season progresses, the Glee Club attempts to help Brittany forget about Santa as she has true faith that he is real. When the Glee Club brings her to sit on Santa's lap and ask for a gift, she asks for Artie to walk again, giving New Directions another problem to solve. Sue conducts a devious plan to destroy New Directions' Christmas while Rachel tries to win back her lost love with Finn.
PlotThe episode starts off with Emma approaching Will to ask if they were okay since she told him that she got married. Emma also insists that he come to her Christmas party but Will feels like it is best to keep separate for a while. Coach Beiste brings around the Secret Santa votes and Will pulls Sue's name out of the hat. The New Directions put up a very pitiful tree in the middle of the choir room while singing The Most Wonderful Day of the Year. Will walks in and says that the tree and the presents are not what Christmas is about. He tells them they are going to help out homeless children by caroling to the classrooms around school to raise money for the kids who need it most. The first song that they sing in front of the students is We Need a Little Christmas except the students throw insults and the teacher herself throws a shoe at them and they run out. Rachel asks Finn to meet her at the auditorium at four while Artie explains to the group that Brittany still believes in Santa Claus and that they should make it so she never knows any different.
The group goes with Brittany to sit on a mall Santa's lap. They all participate in sitting on his lap so that Brittany can keep her faith in Santa. Brittany asks Santa to make it so Artie can walk and, despite Artie's desperate hand signals, the mall Santa agrees to make her wish came true.
Finn meets up with Rachel while she is surrounded by fake Christmas trees and a band. She tries to give him a song but he refuses the gift and walks away. Rachel figures that the show must go on even though Finn has turned her apology down so she sings Merry Christmas Darling.While Will is stressing about what to give Sue for the Secret Santa, Blaine asks Kurt if he can help him practice the song Baby, It's Cold Outside, flirting heavily throughout the song. At the end of the duet Blaine tells Kurt that he is better than the girl he has to sing with. As Blaine leaves, Will stops in to say hello and asks Kurt if Blaine was "someone special," meaning if Blaine is Kurt's boyfriend. Kurt explains that he and Blaine are simply friends, but that Kurt does love him and Blaine is gay, so he is making progress. Will then admits to be bad at Christmas shopping and asks for help with his Christmas shopping for the Staff Secret Santa. He tells Kurt that he drew Sue and Kurt says he has the perfect idea. As Will walks down the hallways of the school he asks Emma who she was gifting to and she said she had drawn Sue's name as well. It turns out that Sue is everyone's Secret Santa. Sue tells them that she had rigged it and that she hates Christmas but she loves presents. The teachers say that they aren't going to let her steal Christmas.
Will and Coach Beiste decide to take back all her gifts to give to the homeless kids. Sue says that she has legal right to the gifts but Will checks and they have every right to take them back. They tell Sue that she is a Grinch. The Glee boys ask Coach Beiste to dress up as Santa to tell Brittany that they may not be able to get Artie walking right away. Sue meanwhile paints herself up as the Grinch and Becky as the Grinch's dog Max, so she can steal back the gifts that she feels are rightfully hers with the song You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch in the background. She not only steals the presents but she ruins their tree as well. In the middle of her destruction, Brittany walks in and thinks that Sue is Santa. Sue gives the story and lies to Brittany that she would fix up their tree and bring it back and leaves with Brittany's gift that was intended for the homeless children... just like the Grinch.When Will walks in and sees the mess the Glee group realizes that everything is gone. Rachel accuses the football players while Will accuses Sue. However Brittany explains that it was Santa who took everything supposedly to fix it and make it better. Will, under Artie's request, doesn't dispute this opinion. Finn doesn't want this to get them down because way worse things happen all around the world. Rachel asks Finn if he would help her save Christmas for the Glee club so they go looking for a tree. Rachel tries really hard to get Finn to be romantic again, but Finn really doesn't seem to want anything to do with her. While they are looking at trees separately they sing the song Last Christmas. At the end of the song they kiss but Finn still refuses to forgive her. Right then and there Finn officially breaks up with Rachel and leaves her all alone surrounded by trees.
The group decides that the boys will sell watches while the girl cut their hair, a reference to the O. Henry story "The Gift of the Magi." Before they can do anything, Will walks in and stops them and gives them a pep talk about how Christmas has become more of an obligation and less of a magical night. He suggests that they go out and find someone who needs Christmas magic and sing for them.
Brittany stumbles upon Santa (in truth, Coach Beiste in a Santa suit), and she sits next to him and Santa tells her that he has tried his best but it just isn't manageable to make Artie walk again. Brittany looks very upset after hearing that her Christmas wish isn't going to come true.
The next day Brittany tells Artie that she lost the Christmas spirit, because Santa isn't able to make it possible for Artie to walk. Will gathers Artie and Brittany but Artie decide to take Brittany home because she does not feel good. The Glee club decided to sing Welcome Christmas in front of the teachers to raise money for the homeless children. Meanwhile, Sue feels very proud of herself for being able to get her presents back but she isn't too happy to find out that she couldn't break the Glee club's spirit. It even looks like they have touched Sue's heart.When the Glee club gets back from singing, they find Artie using a new walking device called the ReWalk that Brittany found under her Christmas tree. No one knows where it came from, (Artie asked if it was Brittany's dad, though he says he didn't) but either way Brittany got her Christmas wish and Artie got to walk. Coach Beiste is seen secretly observing the Glee club's reaction to Artie walking, with a look of sheer joy. When Will gets home, he notices he isn't alone. Inside his house is Sue returning the presents, and she even brings him a present of his own. Inside is a pair of clippers so he can give himself a better hair cut. It turns out that Sue had a little help from the Glee club. They all join Will and Sue in the room and start decorating his tree and his house. While they decorate the tree, Finn and Rachel exchanged a look of tenderness towards each other, meaning that despite everything they've been through they still care about each other, and there's a possibility for reconciliation. Rachel looks away first, knowing they had broken up, but Finn stares for moments longer, meaning he still wants to be with her. The episode ends with a sight of Will and Sue as they watch the glee club decorating the tree.
|Song Title||Original Artist||Performer(s)|
|The Most Wonderful Day of the Year||Cast of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer||New Directions|
|We Need a Little Christmas||Cast of Mame|
|Merry Christmas Darling||The Carpenters||Rachel Berry|
|Baby, It's Cold Outside||Cast of Neptune's Daughter||Blaine Anderson and Kurt Hummel|
|You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch||Cast of How the Grinch Stole Christmas!||k.d. lang and Will Schuester|
|Last Christmas||Wham!||Finn Hudson and Rachel Berry|
|Welcome Christmas||Cast of How the Grinch Stole Christmas!||New Directions|
- Silent Night by Traditional played when Finn officially breaks up with Rachel.
- Iqbal Theba as Principal Figgins
- Dot-Marie Jones as Shannon Beiste
- Harry Shum Jr. as Mike Chang
- Chord Overstreet as Sam Evans
- Darren Criss as Blaine Anderson
- Jernard Burks as Mall Santa
- Max Adler as Dave Karofsky
- James Earl as Azimio Adams
- Ashley Fink as Lauren Zizes
- Scott Henson as Bassist
- Lauren Potter as Becky Jackson
- Corina Boettger as Student #1
- Damian Haas as Student #2
- Malerie Grady as Student #3
- Luke Youngblood as Student #4
Absent Cast Member
- This episode was watched by 11.09 million viewers.
- The background of the title-card is green instead of black.
- Mike and Tina get slushied onscreen for the first time.
- For Christmas, Lauren asked for Puck to fall in love with her. Later on, Puck eventually falls for her, but she continually played hard-to-get and was unimpressed with him.
- In Showmance, when talking with Mr. Schuester, Coach Sylvester says, "I'm not sure that anyone wants to swim over to your island of misfits." The glee club sings "The Most Wonderful Day of the Year," which has the line, "We're on the Island of Misfit Toys....." This has later been given reference again by Tina in the next Christmas episode, Extraordinary Merry Christmas during the third season.
- One of the few episodes where Brittany and Shannon are prominent characters in the storyline.
- This is the first Christmas episode of the series, followed by Extraordinary Merry Christmas, Glee, Actually and Previously Unaired Christmas.
- This is the second episode that contains a wordplay with the word "Glee" in its title, the others being The Rocky Horror Glee Show, Saturday Night Glee-ver, Glease, and Glee, Actually.
- In the episode Extraordinary Merry Christmas, it is told that the Re-Walk that Artie got in this episode broke down the day after he got it.
- The machine Artie uses is a real invention. The ReWalk was invented in Israel.
- This episode was released as a DVD, and the second episode to do so thus far, next to Pilot.
- The episode makes the first time that Kurt and Blaine sing a duet together starting the tradition of a Christmas duet (Baby, It's Cold Outside), followed by Let It Snow (Season Three) and White Christmas (Season Four).
- This episode contains several references to the movie The Grinch.
- When Sue destroys the choir room she is dressed as The Grinch with Becky dressed as the dog. This is almost an exact replica of when The Grinch destroyed Whoville in the actual movie.
- When Brittany walks in and sees Sue destroying the choir room, it is again a replica of the actual movie. Her hair is in the style of that of Cindy-Lou's from the movie. In the movie Cindy-Lou sees the Grinch destroying Christmas but falls for his lie the same way Brittany did.
- The final song is Welcome Christmas.
- Sue's present to Will was a shaver, the same gift the Mayor gave the Grinch in the movie.
- In the episode, Mike wishes for "Channing Tatum to stop being in stuff". Harry Shum Jr. was featured in the 2008 film Step Up 2: The Streets, which Tatum was also featured in. Also, the film 21 Jump Street actually makes a reference to Glee in which Tatum's character says: "F*ck you, Glee".
- In the scene where the Glee Club are classroom-caroling, Rachel's hair is wavy, but in the next scene, still the same day, her hair is suddenly straight.
- As the Glee kids perform and Sue first looks into the teachers' lounge, Emma appears to be walking back to her place after putting money in the jar. In the next shot we see a close-up of the jar and Emma's hand putting a bill in it, then walk back again and high-five Will on the way.
- In the scene where Artie is talking to Brittany at her locker, the snowflake Christmas lights go from being on to off and then to on again.