Winston rolls around the apartment on the roller skates Jess got him. Schmidt hates Christmas because everybody goes home. They're all planning on going to his office party tonight, which involves him dressing up like Santa Claus and getting dirt on all his coworkers when they tell him what they want and he uses that information to undermine and manipulate them the rest of the year. Schmidt gets up and we see he's in skates, too. He tries to tackle Winston at a slow roll. Nick, also in skates, tries to intervene, but they end up in a pile. Naturally, they are all gifts from Jess, who enters the lobby of their apartment seeking advice on getting a present for Paul. After only a month, she's not sure what's appropriate. She shows Nick the card she made for "Nerdy weird sex that works for both of us", which he instantly mocks.
On the way from the mall, Jess drives them through a neighborhood that she nicknames "Candy Cane Lane," because the houses are decked out with elaborate Christmas decorations. She wants to come back at night on the way from the office party to the airport, but Nick is resolved not to miss his flight for the fifth year in a row.
CeCe is at work on a set in a bra and panties, when Schmidt drops by with a gift. It's a shoot for a before and after for a Bolivian diet pill. They're interrupted by her boss/boyfriend, Kyle, who french kisses CeCe hello. Schmidt explains he bought a bottle of designer perfume for her as a gift. The presence of him, and his efforts to explain the perfume puts him in an awkward situation.
Paul and Jess also exchange gifts. He got her tickets to Vienna and passes to a show. She got him an anatomically correct fuzzy heart of a 50-year-old non-smoker, which suddenly beats. She tries to apologize for the tacky gift, but he tells her it's fuzzy and quirky and sweet, just like her. He says he loves it several times, then hugs her and says he loves her. Unable to reciprocate those feelings, she pauses, then goes with "Thank you."
The gang arrives for Schmidt's office party. They find him wearing only red boxers and dressed as "sexy Santa". Jess tells Nick what Paul says and he advises her to tell Paul if she doesn't feel the same way. She tells him she'll do it but instead, hides in the bathroom. Nick sees Paul standing alone outside and goes to talk to him. He asks if Jess talked to him and Paul says yes, so Nick reassures him that just because Jess doesn't love him now doesn't mean she won't one day. Paul says she told him they might have to leave for the airport early. Nick tries to pretend he's drunk, or joking or anything to rescue the situation, but it's too late.
Jess and CeCe hide in the bathroom. Kyle wants to go to another party. Jess thinks he's the "living worst" and asks if he even got her anything. He didn't. CeCe tries her Schmidt perfume, but inhales and hacks ferociously.
Winston complains to someone about the rigors of having a job and office life. We see it's a boy named Elvin. Schmidt's boss, Gina, comes over, and reveals that the boy is her son. She's impressed that Winston is able to get Elvin to talk to people, since he's normally not as sociable.
Schmidt sees Kyle mock CeCe for wearing the mustache Jess gave her. CeCe hears Schmidt's mean co-worker harassing him and tries to tell him to stand up for himself. He notices the bad smell and she tells him it's the perfume he gave her, but he's just glad she wore it.
Outside on a nearby balcony, Paul begs Nick to tell him what Jess says. Nick tells him that Jess said the sex was incredible but she doesn't want to rush into anything. Jess sees them hugging and goes outside. Paul tries to cover for what they were talking about but only comes up with they both like jazz music. Nick confesses he told Paul she doesn't love him, but when he tries to avoid a reprimand from her, he finds out the balcony door is locked. Jess tries to explain why she didn't say "I love you" back to Paul, saying she feels overwhelmed. She says she got really badly hurt and is trying to not get hurt again. Nick's cell phone rings and he answers, explaining that he can't talk because he's in a weird situation. Jess asks if they can keep going, just slow things down. Paul says he's not sure he can. Nick pipes up, but Jess shushes him.
Schmidt finds Kim in the supply room with a bunch of women and tells Kim he's done being Santa. "Santa's dead, I killed him!" Schmidt says. Gina's son hears this and runs screaming. Schmidt tells him she needs to start taking him seriously, and vovs not to dress in sexy variations of holiday-themed characters, real or imagined during office parties. Kim says she can't believe it took him five years to say so.
Winston fields a call from Nick's mom and assures her he'll make his flight. Gina comes over, panicked that she can't find her son. Winston helps look, sure somehow it's Schmidt's fault. Back outside in "awkward town," Paul tells Jess he can't slow down and if she needs to then he can no longer stay in a relationship with her, and Jess sadly agrees. Nick tries to convince the two of them to stay together, citing the Christmas holiday as one of the reasons, when Winston interrupts looking for the kid, freeing Nick from his awkward prison by opening the patio door. Winston wanders out front and finds Alvin in an igloo. He assures him Santa isn't dead. Elvin asks if Schmidt was just being a "d-bag", because that's what his mom said. Winston assures him he'll get extra presents this year. Elvin thanks Winston, but calls him "LeBron." Gina finds them and gives Winston her business card. She says if he ever wants to hang out with Elvin again she'll pay him a lot of money, like whatever he's thinking, plus a lot more.
The guys, Jess and CeCe drive to the airport. Nick, the driver, sees that Jess is depressed and makes a detour. They pull into Candy Cane Lane, but it's late and the lights are all off. Realizing his attempt to cheer her up has failed, Nick leaves the car and demands that the residents turn them back on in order to make her feel better. Everyone joins in, shouting at all the houses to turn on the lights. One by one they all come on, in an explosion of wonderful tacky lights. Back in the car, Nick gets a call from his mom and tells her he's going to miss his flight. He hands the call off to Winston as the lights go off.
NOTE: All music is background music, most of which are clips from Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward's album A Very She & Him Christmas.
- "Jingle Bells"
- "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree"
- "Run Rudolph Run"
- "O Come All Ye Faithful"
- "I'll Be Home for Christmas"
The episode was included on the New Girl: The Complete First Season DVD set, released by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment on October 2, 2012.
|Jake M. Johnson||Nick Miller|
|Lamome Morris||Winston Bishop|
|Hannah Simone||CeCe Parekh|
|Aline Elmsmar||Before Girl|