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Jack's on his way to Rio for his real Christmas vacay, but begrudgingly stops at his mom's place for the unappreciated present exchange.
It goes surprisingly well. Until he accidentally backs over her with his car. Colleen flies back to New York with Jack for family support.
And by support, we mean torture, obviously.
Liz tries to do the most good by getting everyone to participate in the Letters to Santa program. She kind of goes overboard at Target, getting everything her kids asked for and more.
She's also a little bit bitter that her mom has decided to abandon her for a "Sexy at 70" retreat. Liz, Tracy, Grizz and Dot Com head uptown for the dangerous mission of delivering toys to the needy.
Well, two adults answer the door, take the toys without a word exchanged and shut it in Liz's face. Feeling like she's been had, Liz heads to the post office to try and track down some census information.
It seems Jack hasn't exactly been honest about his situation. The reason he's putting up with Colleen's bell-ringing shenanigans is out of guilt. Jack apparently waited 8 whole minutes before calling 911.
In an effort to avoid his mother and not get caught in the lie, he's decided to put on a live Christmas special which everyone must be a part of.
It doesn't help matters that he keeps having flashbacks of his mom bringing strange older men home every Christmas Eve.
He's now trying to avoid home by working everyone quadruple overtime, but is forced to face his mother when she wheels up and presents the evidence of his 8-minute pause in dialing for help.
Kenneth enters the picture to encourage Liz to stop being such a scrooge. His heart is telling him that children got those toys.
Off to uptown they go again. This time, two little boys answer the door and Liz doesn't hesitate to tell them the good news: Santa didn't bring them those toys, she did! Thanks for ruining the magic, Lemon.
The live Christmas Eve special managed to come together quite nicely, but Jack can't shake his bad holiday memories.
He always thinks about his mom's screwing around with some creepy guy.
As it turns out, that guy happened to be named FAO Schwartz and brought a room full of toys for the dirt-poor family every year.
Perhaps his mom wasn't so bad after all. Or maybe she just liked hanging out with old German dudes around the holidays.