Story – The first thing I noticed was Chris saying that we’d be hearing a “way-out tale.” I thought that was funny, since in Playing Favorites Wyatt using it is played off as a joke. The real episode starts (after several Chris intros, in the original Odyssey style) with Tom, Whit, Connie, and Officer Harley bringing in and setting up Whit’s Ends “best tree yet.” Interesting that Officer Harley was kept in this episode. Whit tells all the kids they can start decorating the Christmas tree. Lisa and Phil come up arguing about Christmas presents for one of their friends. Whatever they can afford Phil doesn’t like, and whatever Phil likes they can’t afford, Lisa says. Officer Harley says that last year he really wanted a platinum-plated whistle. He felt really “ripped” when he got a “chrome job instead.”
“It may be more blessed to give, but it’s more fun to receive.”Connie Kendall (Gifts for Madge and Guy)
Whit then decides to tell them all the story of Madge and Guy. It starts out with Madge counting her money. She has $1.87. She is crying when her friend Ethel comes in. She asks about Madge’s crying and Madge says,
“It’s when your face gets all red and tears run down your cheeks.”Madge (Gifts for Madge and Guy)
Ethel suggests she sell some things to get the money to buy Guy a present. Madge then lists some things that they’ve already sold: the stove, car, furniture, books, and porch. Ethel has a very theological moment, stating that
“Anytime God closes a door He opens a window.”Ethel (Gifts for Madge and Guy)
Ethel has another suggestion: check the “want-ads.” She finds one advertising to pay $20 for Madge’s hair. Madge says she couldn’t because Guy loves her hair. Ethel leaves, but forgets that they sold the porch and falls to the ground. Madge is unhappy and undecided, so she goes to look in shop windows. She bumps into Morty Fishbine who is going into Fishbine’s Jewlers. That’s when she notices the gold watch chain in the window. She ask how much it costs, and Morty says he doesn’t think it’s for sale, but goes in to check. He comes back out in a flash and says that it is for sale – for twenty dollars.
Madge decides she has to go to Pop’s Top-Notch Tops to sell her hair so that she can buy Guy the gold watch chain in the window. When she comes back, she is “about five pounds lighter.” She arrives at Fishbine’s Jewlers but the shop is closed. Mr. Fishbine is inside, and lets her in. She asks for the watch chain and starts crying when she hears it is packed for a New Year’s sale. Mr. Fishbine hates to see a woman cry so he sells it to her.
They get into a confusing (for Mr. Fishbine, at least) conversation about her guy Guy who is one lucky guy, and also her husband. Mr. Fishbine lets the narrator know that they’ll probably be there for a while, so he should move on. Whit does. About an hour later Madge leaves the store and goes home. She wraps the watch chain in wall paper. Guy comes home soon after Madge is done. He doesn’t recognize Madge without her hair. Madge tells him that she cut her hair, and Guy is shocked. Madge asks, “Your face! What is it?” Guy responds,
“Oh, it’s just this thing I keep on the front of my head. You know, a couple of eyes, and a nose, and a mouth.”Guy (Gifts for Madge and Guy)
He gives her her gift saying that the gift was the reason he was shocked at her haircut. She loves her gift, a set of combs she’s been wanting for years. She gives Guy his gift. He opens it up and when he sees it he takes his big, heavy, clunky old chain out of his pocket. There is no watch on it. Madge asks why and Guy tells her he had to sell it to buy the combs.
Then they go out to split a child’s portion mini diet burger. It cuts back to Whit and the others. Officer Harley concludes that they need to cut Lisa’s hair. Phil says it wouldn’t be valuable enough to sell. Whit tells him to stop, and the kids who finished decorating the tree say it is time to put the star on top. The episode then ends with everyone singing, O Come All Ye Faithful.
Characters – It was interesting that they had Officer Harley in this episode still. They could have replaced him with Harlow Doyle, but I liked it.