It is Christmas time in Quahog, and all Peter wants to do is relax and watch his favorite Christmas television specials, but Lois repeatedly reminds him that he needs to donate a present to charity. Lois also encourages Stewie to star as baby Jesus in a nativity scene during the Quahog Christmas pageant. Although Stewie initially resists, he eventually plays along in hopes of pleasing Santa Claus, who he believes is omnipotent and thereby can supply him with plutonium.
Peter, meanwhile, mistakenly donates all of the family's Christmas gifts to a needy kids' charity. Lois seems unfazed by the mistake, but insists that the entire family shop for new presents at the mall. Peter reluctantly agrees, although he only wants to watch KISS Saves Santa on television; Brian, in the meantime, stays behind to keep an eye on the turkey cooking in the oven.
While the family is shopping, an ember shoots onto the rug from the fireplace; while Brian tries to deal with this crisis, the overcooked turkey begins to burn. Brian finds a fire extinguisher, but to his dismay it is merely a novelty item filled with plastic snakes, which, upon being released into the fire, promptly explode and make it worse. He curses Peter for this. The interior of the house is destroyed, but Brian escapes with minor burns. When the family returns, Lois amazingly maintains a cheerful attitude, saying that they just need to clean up a bit. But when Meg tells her that there are no more paper towels, Lois freaks out, in a parody of the "wire hangers" scene from Mommie Dearest. She screams at the family about how difficult it is to ensure that Christmas happens without a hitch, then runs from the ruined house on a rampage. (Meg then finds some paper towels mere seconds after Lois rampages out.)
Lois storms through town, berating happy people enjoying the season for their ridiculous optimism. When she reaches the town square, she begins to climb the huge Christmas tree there, bent on destroying the ornamental star on top. The rest of the family arrives and Stewie, eager to perform a good deed to earn Santa’s grace, performs an extemporaneous monologue about Jesus and the meaning of Christmas. Lois, watching Stewie, regains her sanity and begins to descend the tree; at that moment the police shoot her with a powerful tranquilizer dart at Peter’s urging.
The next morning at Christmas, the family has gathered in the charred living room, happily opening their presents; Stewie gets his plutonium, Peter gets his own copy of KISS Saves Santa, and Lois, as Peter would put it, is as cheerful as ever, despite still being heavily sedated, sitting limply in a rocking chair and drooling. In the closing scene, the Griffins wish everyone a merry Christmas (though Lois is still too numb to speak clearly).
- Peter having his VCR destroyed by FBI Agents as punishment for taping Monday night football without permission from the NFL is a reference to an old controversy regarding the legality of recording copyrighted TV broadcasts. The FBI agents quote almost verbatim the disclaimer given during nearly all sporting event broadcasts.
- Bonnie mentions that Joe had his accident at Christmas time; this is a nod to Joe's introduction in the episode "A Hero Sits Next Door", where he says that he broke his legs while fighting the Grinch (however, a later episode, "Joe's Revenge", reveals that Joe was actually lying about battling the Grinch).
- The fictional special KISS Saves Santa is a reference to the 1978 movie KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park (and more generally, the tradition of Christmas specials involving the starring characters "saving Christmas").
- The Age of Aquariums (the fish store where Peter chases the old woman) is named after "The Age of Aquarius", a song from the rock musical Hair.
- During Lois' rampage through town, she pushes George Bailey from It's a Wonderful Life off a bridge and melts Frosty.
The episode was made commercially available on the Family Guy: Volume 2 DVD set, released in 2002.
In the United Kingdom, a DVD featuring the episode, titled Family Guy: Happy Freakin' Christmas, was released on November 27, 2006. The DVD also contained the episode "Da Boom!"
In 2008, a single-disc DVD release featuring the episode was sold exclusively at f.y.e. stores in the United States. This DVD also included the American Dad! episode "The Most Adequate Christmas Ever" (which had not yet been made available on DVD prior to this release).
- Family Guy Wiki: A Very Special Family Guy Freakin' Christmas
- "A Very Special Family Guy Freakin' Christmas" at TV.com
- "A Very Special Family Guy Freakin' Christmas" at the Big Cartoon DataBase