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Christmas on Full House

Merry Christmas!  With this year's look at Full House, we've made it through another holiday season of classic sitcoms here at YesterYear!  As always, it's been a real treat for me to re-watch each holiday episode for this series of articles, and I hope you've followed along and watched these classic episodes with me!

As I mentioned in last month's Thanksgiving on Full House article, there were only two Halloween episodes and a lone Thanksgiving one.  I was a bit worried that I may have selected the wrong series to cover this year, but I think it's worked out just fine.  Despite being what some criticize as the typical, somewhat predictable, family-friendly sitcom we're accustomed to on Full House, each episode was thoroughly enjoyable.

I briefly mentioned something in the Full House Halloween article, but as they say in the corporate world, I'd like to "add a little color."  For most of its run on television, Full House had the power to pull in new viewers every week.  It also had the power to pull in viewers for the shows that followed in the listings, too!  Full House had become such a ratings juggernaut by its second and third seasons that ABC would frequently use the series to be what is known in the industry as a "lead-in" for struggling shows.  

A "lead-in" show is a popular show that is placed before a new series (or an old one stagnating in the ratings) that needs fresh viewers.  The hope from the television network is that the viewers of the popular show don't immediately change the channel and get sucked into the show that follows.  Then, just maybe, they'll tune in again next week, assuming they liked what they saw.  

It's much harder to be a "lead-in" during the streaming era when so few watch traditional "scheduled" television.

When Full House debuted in the Fall of 1987, it was placed in what was considered a "death slot" on Friday evenings at 8PM.  As a brand new show, it often wouldn't be considered a lead-in, but in this case, it provided what viewers it could to other sitcoms, I Married Dora and Mr. Belvedere.

I Married Dora was a brand new show that starred Daniel Hugh Kelly and Elizabeth Pena.  Kelly was a man dependent upon his housekeeper and was forced to marry her to prevent her from being deported.  This show lasted 13 episodes before being canceled and was replaced in the mid-season lineup with Mr. BelvedereBelvedere had been on television for two years at that point and was doing just fine on its own.  

The ratings for Full House in 1987 weren't great.  In fact, it barely made the Top 75 Shows on network television and faced cancellation.  ABC moved the show to 8:30PM for the Spring 1988 lineup and moved Perfect Strangers into the 8pm slot.  Perfect Strangers had been on Wednesday nights for a few years at this point and had already gained its own following.  When it moved to TGIF on Friday nights, they brought most of those viewers with them.  

Thanks in part to the new Perfect Strangers lead-in (and it being a great show), Full House's ratings began to climb rapidly.   The show's popularity rose so quickly it moved in this second half of the season from its spot in the 70s to become a Top 20 Show.  It would remain in the Top 20 until coming to an end in 1995. 

Full House continued to gain momentum behind Balki and Cousin Larry until the Fall of 1989.   At the start of Full House's third season, the now white-hot show was moved back to 8:00PM, where it continued to be a ratings boon for the network until 1991.  Back in the 8PM Friday slot, Full House provided lead-in audiences to a debuting Family Matters from 1989 until the Spring Season of 1991.  

By the way, for you kids who only know streaming and modern television, up until recently, television was scheduled by season.  There was the Fall, the Mid-Season, and Spring Seasons.  Most shows took the summer off and would produce over 30 episodes a year.  We're lucky to get 8 episodes every few years these days.  But I digress.  

During the Spring of 1991, Urkel and Family Matters were moved to anchor the 9PM hour, while the debuting Dinosaurs sought out a little of the Full House rub at 8:30PM.  

When creating the Fall schedule in 1991, ABC made the bold decision to move Full House to Tuesday nights to join the classic series Roseanne and the debuting Home Improvement in a new prime-time sitcom lineup.  In 1991, Full House provided the lead-in at 8:00PM to the final season of "Who's the Boss?"  Boss had been on air since 1984.  

In 1992, with Who's the Boss in the retirement home, the debuting Hanging with Mr. Cooper was placed behind Full House before ABC moved Mr. Cooper to Fridays at the start of the Fall 1993 season.  In its place, ABC chose Phenom to air between ratings strongholds Full House and Roseanne.

Phenom starred Angela Goethals, Judith Light, and William Devane.  It was about a 15-year-old (Goethals) who was on the verge of becoming a professional tennis player.  The series only lasted a handful of episodes and, in 1994, was replaced by Me and the Boys.

Me and the Boys was canceled at the end of the year, despite launching the career of Steve Harvey.

Full House was canceled at the same time.

It's been rumored over the years that the WB Network wished to pick up Full House for another season, but both John Stamos and Candace Cameron were tired of the Tanner house and wanted to move on.  

Hopefully, that brief look back at television history was interesting.  I always like looking at the old listings to see the names of shows that have come and gone.  Some I remember fondly, and others I have absolutely no recollection of.  I don't remember Phenom or I Married Dora at all, but I remember Dinosaurs VERY fondly

Do you remember these shows?  Let me know in the comments below!  

Here's some final full House trivia for you all before we get to the Christmas episodes!  The original Tanner family name was "The Crawfords!"  I don't think it would have worked as well as the Tanner name did.  

That wasn't the only name change.  During Season One, Jesse's last name was Cochran, as many of you know.  It was changed to Katsopolis at the start of Season Two specifically to honor John Stamos' Greek heritage.

Now, don those Santa hats, get your "party tie" ready, and get ready for family-friendly laughs as we watch the three Full House Christmas episodes to round out "The Holidays On Full House."

Season Two:  "Our Very First Christmas Show" (S2E9) Originally Aired December 16, 1988 

Our first Christmas episode opens with the Tanner family all dressed up for the annual Christmas card photo.  Just as everyone smiles for the photo, the phone rings, and the girls run to answer it.  Jesse, Joey, and Danny grab the girls and pull them back into view, leaving a messy but very cute family photo.

We return from the iconic opening to find Danny Tanner and a giant VHS camcorder like my Grandpa used to have.  As he swings the camera around quickly at the various Christmas decorations, he narrates the video for the "Wake Up, San Francisco" audience.  We learn he'll be filming his holiday for the show's audience when he announces that the Tanner family is about to head to Colorado for the "First Annual Tanner Family Christmas Reunion."  Just as he says this, Jesse and Joey enter from the kitchen carrying duffel bags and ski equipment, happily singing "Sleigh Ride."

Jesse points out the duffel bag containing the Christmas presents for the girls, and Joey mentions he has his Santa outfit ready to go.  He practices his "HO-HO-HO's," but as Stephanie enters from upstairs, the guys all break into "Ho-Ho-Home On the Range..." It was a pretty funny moment that made me chuckle.

Stephanie worries that Santa won't find her in Colorado and doesn't want to go "on this dumb trip."  Danny reminds her he's filming for his TV show and "needs more cuteness," so Stephanie kicks it up a few octaves in a sickeningly sweet voice but again says she doesn't "want to go on this dumb trip."  

Back from commercial, D.J. is itching to tell someone a secret and tells Michelle that she "just happened" to be wandering in the crawl space in the attic and found everyone's Christmas presents... including her own new CD player!  

I found it funny that she mentions that her father bought everyone Christmas presents and not that Santa will bring them.  Even if D.J. is old enough, what about her baby sister Michelle and the young viewers at home?  Think of the children! 

We now find ourselves on the plane, and the girls are excited.  Stephanie has said she's made several maps and left them at home so Santa can find her tomorrow.  I guess that means it's Christmas Eve.  Joey introduces Michelle to the other passengers while Jesse's parents, Irene and Nick Katsopolis (who we also saw in the Halloween episode), are on the plane headed to the Tanner family reunion.  It seemed odd to me for a moment that they were there until I remembered that Danny had married Jesse's sister.

The Katsopolis's are pestering their son Jesse about giving them grandchildren.  Danny is still filming everything, just as Rebecca Donaldson, his cohost from "Wake Up, San Francisco," walks into steerage from First Class.  Jesse leaps from his seat to talk to her, even though a few episodes back, they both decided they're better off as "just friends."  She says she's only on the plane to Denver so she can change to another plane to take her home to Kansas for Christmas.  She disappears into First Class while Joey announces that Jesse has struck out yet again.  

An older, grumpy man yells at D.J. for being in his seat.  Unfortunately, D.J.'s boarding pass (and Danny's!) is also assigned to Seat "1B."  The man whines to the flight attendant that he made that reservation for 1B months ago and demands to sit there.  The flight attendant solves the problem by moving Stephanie and D.J. to First Class so that the angry gentleman can sit between Danny and Joey.  I understand this is a sitcom, but who in their right mind purposely books the middle seat?  

Moments before Michelle removes his wig

During the flight, the girls return to Coach to brag to their Dad about ice cream and lobster in First Class while Danny chokes down his "liver-flavored chicken."  When Becky comes to get them so they don't miss "the pilot's birthday cake," Jesse's Dad again pushes him into chasing after her.  Before Jesse can follow, he goes to hand off Michelle, who pulls off the grumpy businessman's toupee!  He's really mad, and his yelling makes Michelle cry.  The Tanner family breaks out into song, singing "The Girl from Ipanema" to soothe her.  Interesting choice, but then again, my child would fall asleep to The Bonanza theme song...

The flight attendant suddenly announces that due to snow in "the Rocky Mountain area," they are making an unscheduled landing.  They never name where they wind up, and the wall inside the terminal only says, "Welcome to the Greater Rocky Mountains."  In any event, it's a tiny airport baggage claim area with a few chairs, vending machines, and nothing else.  Stephanie is beside herself, begging Danny to do something because Santa will never find her now.  Danny is too busy being upset that he spent months planning this reunion, and now he'll miss it.  

Jesse's father, Nick, pushes him to comfort a miserable-looking Becky while Stephanie desperately begs the telephone operators to connect her to Santa Claus.  The angry businessman demands the Tanners stay far away from him when Danny and Joey realize that the airline has lost their luggage, especially the one with the presents.  When Danny tells D.J. that the presents are missing, she lets it slip that she knows a CD Player was headed her way.  Oops!

Stephanie reveals Joey as Santa

Both D.J. and Stephanie are very upset, and this is turning out to be the worst Christmas ever!  Joey has an idea, however, and ducks out to the bathroom to put on his Santa Claus outfit.  Everyone in the terminal is happy to see him, especially Stephanie!  She sits on his lap and is overjoyed... until Michelle recognizes Joey and pulls off his fake beard.  Totally heartbroken, Stephanie runs off down a dark hallway of the airport terminal.  

Jesse gets annoyed at everyone's sour mood and gives a fiery speech: "What is the matter with you people?  The first Christmas was in a manger, and they did okay!  So what if we're stuck in this crummy dump?  Christmas isn't about presents, Santa Claus, or cows; it's about a feeling!  It's about people, about us forgetting our problems and reaching out to help others.  Christmas doesn't have to happen in one certain place. It's in our hearts.  If you think about it, we can have Christmas anywhere... even a baggage claim!"  

Jesse then leads the entire terminal into a round of "Sleigh Ride" to lift everyone's spirits.  

We cut back in much later that night, as everyone is fast asleep in the terminal.  Michelle is alone, awake, and walking around the terminal by herself.  She activates the conveyor belt her father was lying on, sending him outside into the snow.  

The moving conveyor belt wakes up Jesse, who finds toddler Michelle alone.  He rises quickly, waking up everyone up very early, shouting Merry Christmas!  Surprisingly, no one who slept sitting up in the terminal on Christmas Eve is that upset that Jesse wakes them at dawn.  

Nick rushes over and points out that Becky is standing under the mistletoe by the coffee machine and insists Jesse go over and kiss her.  Jesse decides to give it a shot and saunters over.  He says he knows she just wants to stay friends, but it is Christmas after all, and it's tradition to kiss under the mistletoe.  He calls it "Christmas Law," and she says she's a "law-abiding citizen," before happily stepping forward to kiss him.  The friendly peck quickly turns passionate, and after several moments, the two separate.  

Jesse stumbles backward with a trademark "HAVE MERCY!" as Becky stumbles away, saying she'd like to do that again... next Christmas.  A random old lady runs over and plants one on Jesse while he's still standing under the mistletoe.  

As Jesse recovers, Santa Claus walks through the front door.  Stephanie glumly says, "Hi Joey..." except Joey was sitting right behind her!  When Santa calls Stephanie by name and then lets her tug on his beard, she recognizes that it's REALLY SANTA!  He says he wants her to have the "Merriest Christmas Ever" and points at the conveyor belt just as the bag containing their gifts arrives!  When they turn around, Santa is gone!  

Jesse notices that the grumpy old businessman has gone missing, but he has left his laptop behind.  The screen reads "Merry Christmas!  Ho, Ho, Ho!" in great 1980's graphics glory.  The guys all look at each other, consider it for a second, and then go "Nahhhhh" in unison.  

When the family runs off to rip into the gifts, Stephanie lingers behind.  The screen changes to " Thanks for the maps, Stephanie!"  Grinning ear to ear, she rejoins her family.  They all begin to sing "Deck the Halls" until Michelle begins to cry, and the entire terminal switches to "The Girl from Ipanema" as the credits roll.

Season Six:  "A Very Tanner Christmas" (S6E12) Originally Aired December 15, 1992

Uncle Jesse is decorating for Christmas as he hangs the stockings in front of a very decorated fireplace.  Michelle looks on, and when Jesse asks how it looks, she unfolds a giant stocking that's as big as the chair she's sitting in.  Jesse asks if the Christmas stocking belongs to Big Foot, but Michelle grins and says she's been "VERY good" this year.

After the opening, there's a shot of San Francisco I've never seen before on Full House.  It's a different angle of Alamo Square Park that shows the palm trees overlooking the city.  As we take in the new view of San Fran, a jazzy version of Jingle Bells plays to get us into the Christmas spirit.

We move into the kitchen as Jesse is spraying the windows with "snow in a can."  Becky enters and is homesick for a snow-covered, freezing-cold Christmas at home in Nebraska.  Jesse says he knows this, and that's why he's spraying the windows with snow, but she scoffs at his "gunk in a can." 

Steve enters and has a surprise for DJ.  He finally got into college!  The only problem is it's in Florida at Daytona Beach University.  DJ feigns happiness but is clearly upset by the news, but Steve is too excited to notice and runs off to tell his parents.  Steph and Michelle run in to get DJ to help with the tree, but DJ's upset and says she'll see it later and leaves to go "shopping."  

In the living room, Danny instructs Joey to not get any pine needles or pine sap on his floors, to which Jesse points out that perhaps a pine tree wasn't a good choice.  Aunt Becky, still homesick for Nebraska, reminisces about hiking off into the woods, chopping down a tree, and hauling it home over a blanket of freshly fallen snow while having a bunch of laughs with family over hot homemade cider.  

Joey tries to help by telling her they picked up the tree at the corner by the 7-11 and chugged a few Big Gulps on the way home.  Jesse again tries to assuage his wife's homesickness and suggests that Jack Frost may take a wrong turn this winter and dump a ton of snow in the backyard.  Becky sullenly responds, "Yeah, and maybe Santa will go surfing!" 

Stephanie hands the adults a multi-page shopping list, including a color-coded index and a shopping mall map.  Jesse returns the list to her and says he just thought of the perfect Christmas present for the two youngest girls.  

We see the outside of the house with the "Christmas Day" written over it.  Everyone inside is seated around the tree, having opened their gifts.  Jesse has given Rebecca beautiful earrings, but she's confused by the pair of mittens he gave her.  He says she might need them; you never know when you might have a bad nail day.

Danny sets aside his gift for his girlfriend Vicky, who couldn't be there.  Danny, mostly talking to himself, mentions that a news reporter's job is more important than Christmas, and the news doesn't stop for his feelings.  She's in Europe covering a local election in Sweden.  Whoa, major news for Wake Up, San Francisco!  

Michelle is upset that she's already opened up all of her presents, and Stephanie begs Jesse to give them the "perfect" Christmas present he promised.  Jesse says he'd love to, but it's not here because it's too big.  The girls get even more excited when their father tells them that Jesse has something special planned to show them the real meaning of Christmas!   Stephanie asks if they are going to Toys R Us, and Jesse responds, "Wrong R You!"  Michelle worries that this present might cause them to miss the Christmas party later that night, but Jesse assures them they'll be home in plenty of time.

Joey is concerned he's losing his edge as Santa Claus and practices his "Ho-ho-hos" in different cartoon character voices.  Steve appears in the middle of Joey's Jerry Lewis/Santa impersonation.  In front of the entire family, DJ gives Steve his present.  

It's a really expensive leather jacket that he saw at the mall but couldn't afford himself.  He's shocked and said he couldn't afford to spend that much on her, but DJ says that's okay.  She loves him and just wants him to be happy and doesn't expect expensive things in return.  You can enter the Star Wars "It's a trap!" meme here, right?

She opens her gift, and it's a sweatshirt that says Daytona Beach University on it.  She throws it to the floor and runs upstairs crying, leaving Steve wondering if he should have spent the money on the matching sweatpants.  Following her upstairs, DJ cuts him off and asks what he was thinking, giving that as a gift.  He apologizes but says it's all he can afford since he's saving up for college.  

It's not about the gift, she says, but it's about the college.  It's 3,000 miles away, and she's worried whats going to happen to them.  He laughs it off, saying he's worked everything out in his head.  He plans to call her every night and to fly home on holidays to spend time with her.  Not good enough, claims DJ, and says he's selling himself short going to a party school in Daytona.  He gets upset and asks if the expensive jacket was a bribe to get him to stay.  

She doesn't know how to answer and flips the blame on him.  He storms out when she says she's glad he'll be in Florida.  The young lovers' Christmas is ruined.  

Back from the commercial break, we're now in the midst of the Tanner Christmas party.  Joey tries a Tasmanian Devil version of Santa on Danny, but Danny is preoccupied with thoughts of Vicky.  

Kimmy Gibbler arrives at the party and immediately brings up the breakup with Steve.  DJ says she's trying to not think about it, but he keeps calling.  Gibbler wants to get her friend back into circulation quickly and brings in the entire wrestling team from the high school.  They immediately surround her in an uncomfortably close circle as she tells them she hasn't thought about "old what's his name" all day.  She then offers them "Steve-balls.  I mean, Cheese balls."  

Meanwhile, Danny is in the kitchen making a new batch of eggnog.  I think Bob Saget is playing Danny as a little tipsy here as he stumbles and sings about Vicky, but this is a family show, so they can't say that outright.  He instead is "losing his mind."  

The two youngest girls come home with Jesse, and Stephanie says his big surprise was taking them to a homeless shelter.  Danny already knew and asked what they thought.  Stephanie was surprised by how many people were there, and Michelle said it made her sad.  Jesse tells the girls it's okay to feel sad because those people are in a bad way.  Stephanie said it was hard at first, but then they put up decorations and got to help serve food.  Jesse is proud of them, and Steph says she felt like she made a difference today and wants to return soon.  

Steph apologizes for being so focused on the presents and gifts she wanted when they are less fortunate people.  Jesse tells her that when he was a kid, he begged for an Evil Knievel jumpsuit, and his father took him down to the Salvation Army, just like he did for them.  He's happy to see the looks on their faces because that's how he felt back then.  He's never forgotten that feeling and wants them to always remember.  Michelle cutely thanks him for such a great Christmas present before Jesse slips out the back door, telling the family that he has one more very important Christmas present to take care of.

In the living room, DJ is still Steve obsessed and is boring the wrestlers.  In the background, Kimmie tries to kiss the boys on the team but winds up getting licked by Comet instead.  Danny reminds her how upset she was that Steve couldn't even get into college and that Daytona Beach may be a great opportunity for him.  She agrees but says she's still worried about the distance's toll on their relationship.  Danny reminds her that he and Vicky make it work, and so can they.  He knows the phone bill is going to be a monster, but with Steve not there eating all of the groceries, the bills will even out, and he's okay with that.  

She wonders if Steve will ever talk to her again, and Danny hands her the phone.  Steve doesn't answer.

Michelle comes into the kitchen and says Santa is here and that she knows it's really Joey, but don't tell anyone!  They return to the living room, and Santa bends down to greet Michelle with a "Ho-ho-ho!"  She looks up at him and says, "Joey, that's not your best work..."

Just then, the doorbell rings, and Danny opens it.  It's another Santa!  Michelle says that the two Santas mean she was really good this year!  Santa grabs Danny and plants a huge kiss right on the lips!  Danny is red-faced, flustered, and upset, but Santa pulls off the beard and reveals that it's Vicky!  She flew all through the night from the other side of the world just to be with him on Christmas!  Danny is overjoyed to see her.  

DJ is talking to Santa/Joey and wishes that Joey really was Santa so he could bring Steve over so that she could apologize to him for being so selfish.  Just then, in the background, another Santa walks into the room.  Three Santas!  This one starts doing a Daffy Duck impression, and it's clearly Joey!  

Joey approaches the other Santa and calls him an imposter.  DJ demands to know who she has been talking to and pulls down the beard, revealing... STEVE!  It's a Christmas miracle!

He apologizes for sneaking in as Santa, but it's the only way he could think of getting her to talk to him since she wouldn't answer the phone earlier.  She apologizes.  He apologizes.  They hug and kiss.  Steve then says he's decided to stay in San Francisco and go to junior college to improve his grades and get into a school much closer to home.  

Jesse comes in and announces a special delivery in the backyard for Rebecca Donaldson Katsopolis.  It didn't fit in her stocking, so he delivered it to the backyard.  She heads out alone, and Jesse waits with Danny inside.  She screams, and then he finally heads out back, smiling wide.  

The backyard is covered in snow!  There's even a snowman!  He hands her the mittens he gave her in the beginning of the episode and says, "I told you you'd need these."  The family all comes outside to play in the snow as the credits roll to "Winter Wonderland."

Season Eight:  "Arrest Ye Merry Gentlemen" (S8,E11) Originally Aired December 13, 1994

All three Tanner girls and Kimmy Gibbler are in the bedroom.  Watching these shows in order, but jumping straight from Season 2 to 6 to 8, it's shocking to see how much older all four of the girls look in this final season.

Michelle is extremely proud of her first store-bought gift for her father.  She digs into a bag to reveal a gaudy-looking board with a drink holder attached to it that she calls a "party tie."  It's a tie that holds your drink so you can be hands-free.  The girls are horrified, but they all try to find nice words to say about the gift that Michelle is so clearly proud of.

We return from "Everywhere You Look" to a still shot of the San Francisco skyline lit up with Christmas lights.  Aunt Becky comes into the kitchen and says the house smells great.  She can smell roast turkey, hot apple cider, and pumpkin pie.  Unfortunately, it's just Danny's new air freshener, "Can Of Christmas."  She says she loves shopping on Christmas Eve and has bought some stocking stuffers.  She loves this time of year when everyone is so happy, and it's a magical time with love and happiness in the air.  

Just then, Jesse and Joey stumble through the door, arguing.  Jesse is angry that Joey dragged him to the dry cleaners on the one night a year 20 fat guys are picking up their Santa suits all at once!  He asks what happened to "peace on earth and goodwill to men" after reminding Joey about the two women who got into a slap-fight over a LEGO nativity scene.  

Michelle walks in as Becky pulls out the same "party tie" from her bag and says she got it for Joey.  Danny calls it ugly and pretends to gag himself.  Michelle is horrified that her father thinks the gift she thought he'd love was ugly.  Jesse calls it the dumbest thing he's ever seen, and Michelle runs out of the kitchen.  

Frustrated, Jesse walks out of the kitchen just in time to see Michelle trying to shove a wrapped present into the fireplace.  He grabs the box from her, saying that playing with fire is dangerous.  She says she wants to burn it because she saved all of her money to buy her Dad something nice, and it's the dumbest thing Jesse has ever seen.  Jesse says he'd never say that, and she unwraps the tie, proving he did indeed say that just minutes ago.  She begs him to take her to the novelty store to exchange it for something different, but he refuses to go back out shopping on Christmas Eve.  She begs and pleads, puts on the cute act, and eventually guilts him into taking her.  

Upstairs, DJ and Stephanie are trying to squeeze Joey into his Santa Claus suit.  He thinks he's gained too much weight, but the sleeves and legs are too short, and they deduce he's been given the wrong suit at the dry cleaners.  As the girls struggle to get Joey into costume, the twins come upstairs and think that Santa is hurting DJ and Stephanie.  They call him a scary monster and run away.

It's nighttime on a snow-covered street as Jesse and Michelle peak into a store window.  Suddenly, Mickey Rooney (playing Mr. Dreghorn, the novelty shop owner) runs over, attempting to lock the door.  Jesse barges in and asks him to exchange the gift for Michelle.  Mr. Dreghorn refuses because it's past closing time, but Jesse picks up another item that costs $5 (the same as the tie) and leaves the tie on the counter.  

Mickey Rooney isn't having it.  He locks the door, pulls the security gate closed, and informs them that he tripped the secret alarm and the police are on the way to make sure Jesse and Michelle spend Christmas in jail.  For what, I'm not exactly sure.   Dreghorn calls Jesse "sideburns," in the first of many hair-based insults throughout the episode.

Mr. Dreghorn calls Jesse "Brylcreem" (Jesse informs him it's, in fact, mouse and not Brylcreem) before pranking Jesse with a trick drinking glass.  Michelle hands him a towel to dry off, but it's another gag gift, and now Jesse's face is covered in black shoe polish.  

Back at home, Danny asks the twins if they are excited that Santa Claus will come to the house tonight.  The boys ask if they should lock the doors, and Danny says it doesn't matter because Santa sees you when you're sleeping and knows when you're awake.  The boys run away screaming about Monster Santa.  Oops.

Back at Dreghorn's Novelty Shop, Jesse is upset at being stuck there.  Dreghorn and Michelle again prank Jesse, this time with the old dropped dollar bill on a string gag.  Jesse is upset and says he will blow his way out of the store with an exploding cigar if he has to.  

Calling him "Fonzie," Dreghorn says he doesn't want his hair to start a "grease fire," so Jesse should calm down.  He told the cops it was a false alarm a half hour ago, and he was free to leave.  Jesse blows his top when he finds out he wasted a half hour of Christmas Eve with a grumpy old man like Dreghorn.  

As they leave, Michelle wonders if Dreghorn locked them in the store so that he wouldn't have to be alone on Christmas Eve.  Jesse laughs it off, but before leaving, Michelle asks Dreghorn what he's going to be doing tonight.  

Dreghorn yells that he has big plans.  Jesse tells him to go annoy his own family, and Dreghorn responds by asking which family?  The ones that never call?  Or the ones that never write?  "Forget family!  They forgot about me years ago when they moved up to Oregon and took my Grandkids with them," he says.  

He walks away sadly, and Jesse realizes that Mr. Dreghorn has been acting like a Scrooge because he doesn't have a family to spend the holiday with.  Jesse asks him why didn't he go to Oregon with them to be close to his Grandkids.  Dreghorn hems and haws before finally admitting that it was because they didn't ask him.    

A genuine laugh from John Stamos at a likely improvised line from Mickey Rooney

Swallow your pride, Jesse says, because family is everything.  Dreghorn says he knows exactly what he's missing, and he doesn't need to be preached to by an oil slick.  Michelle asks if Mr. Dreghorn can eat with the Tanner family, and Jesse quickly invites him.  

Dreghorn apologizes for the oil slick crack, even if he's about "a quart low."  He says this as he tussles Jesse's hair.  This looks like an improvised moment from Mickey Rooney, complete with a genuine smile and chuckle by John Stamos.  

Mr. Dreghorn finally agrees to come because Michelle is about his granddaughter's age.  Jesse thanks Michelle for reminding him that he had lost his Christmas spirit, just like everyone else he's been complaining about all day.   

Jesse shows up with Michelle and Mr. Dreghorn, who has donned a Santa costume minus the beard.  It appears to me to be momentary shock when Mickey Rooney walks in.  I can't imagine that they didn't know a legendary actor was there for the episode, but I suppose that could be the case.  Maybe in ten years, when "How Rude, Tanneritos!" finally gets to this episode and we'll find out.  

Danny asks where they had been this whole time, and Michelle says that she bought him a dumb present and she went to find him the best present she could afford so that he knows she really loves him.  He sits her down and says he doesn't need a present to know that she loves him.  She hands him a paper bag.  Inside is a candy cane-shaped electric toothbrush.  

Jesse pulls Mr. Dreghorn aside and says he has a gift for him:  the telephone.  He urges him to call his family.  As Danny begins playing music from his new toothbrush, Dreghorn talks to his granddaughter for the first time in a long time.  The family all gathers together, with Mr. Dreghorn at the center, singing and laughing.

We close with a photo "postcard" that reads, "We Wish You a Joyous Holiday Season!"