"Santa’s Secret Stuff"
Written by Rebecca Rand Kirshner; directed by Lee Shallat-Chemel

Lorelai sees a car pull up outside her house and rushes outside to greet Rory, who’s back from a trip to London. She wonders why Rory didn’t let her pick her up at the airport, and Rory reminds her that she parked her car there. Christopher and Gigi welcome Rory home and Lorelai and Christopher banter over who was the first to joke that Rory might drive on the wrong side of the road. Rory is disappointed to see that Lorelai has already taken down her Christmas lights, but Lorelai says she actually hasn’t put them up yet - she was waiting for Rory to come back before they celebrated Christmas. She’s shocked to learn that Rory did some celebrating in London, though Rory promises that she was “devoid of the Christmas spirit.” Lorelai tells her that she took their promise to postpone Christmas so seriously that she didn’t even let it snow while Rory was gone. Rory apologizes for her celebrating and tells Lorelai that she’s ready to have a real Christmas. Christopher thinks the trees inside the house aren’t that attractive, so Rory makes up stories about them to make them more interesting. Rory gets Gigi on board with having multiple Christmas trees, an idea that Christopher thinks is crazy. Lorelai starts looking at Christmas ornaments, then has to explain to Gigi why she has a Santa outfit (she used to do his dry-cleaning).

Lorelai asks Rory how the Logan/Marty/Lucy thing turned out (see “Merry Fisticuffs”), and Rory tells her that she and Logan worked things out after he apologized and admitted that he was a little jealous. She also took some responsibility, realizing that as Lucy’s friend, she should have told Lucy the truth about her and Marty’s past friendship. She’s left Lucy some messages but still hasn’t talked to her. Christopher starts to hang some mistletoe in the doorway, but Rory and Lorelai always tape it to a ceiling fan to make kissing “more like a sport.” They tell him that traditions are very important to them, such as putting red and green M&Ms in their cereal on Christmas morning and pretending to bake cookies. Christopher wants to start some new traditions, since it’s the family’s first Christmas together; he’s gotten some new stockings, but Rory and Lorelai want to use their old ones, despite the fact that they’ve been involved in a fire. Christopher also thinks they should go caroling, despite the fact that none of them can actually sing. Luke shows up at the inn, looking for Lorelai, and tries to make conversation with Michel before realizing that it’s pointless. When Lorelai arrives, Luke tells her about Anna wanting to move to New Mexico with Anna and his decision to fight for partial custody. He asks Lorelai to write a character reference for him and she quickly agrees. Later, Lorelai tries to write a letter but has trouble with it.

Lorelai goes to the kitchen to confide her problems with the letter to Sookie, who thinks she’s having problems because she’s having to dig up all her old feelings for Luke. Lorelai just wants the letter to be powerful and important. She’s considering just plagiarizing the Gettysburg Address or Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech. She heads back to try writing again but finds herself easily distracted. A very-pregnant Lane works at the diner, telling a couple of customers that she’s not pregnant, just overweight. She also chastises someone for giving her a 50 percent tip, since she’s pregnant, not homeless. April arrives for a surprise visit, having covered herself very well to make sure Anna doesn’t find out where she is. Luke thinks he should take her home so neither of them gets in trouble. April gives him a Christmas present first, and Luke takes her upstairs for some food and his own gift for her. At the Gilmores’, Lorelai, Rory, and Gigi make garlands and talk about Lorelai’s letter. Rory thinks Lorelai is overthinking things and just needs to start writing. Lorelai tried, but her writing turned into a scary stream-of-consciousness mess. Rory says she’s just having trouble because she has to write about Luke. Lorelai suggests that Rory write the letter for her, since even her “grocery lists are like shimmering haikus.” Rory says no but decides to write her own letter to Lucy to apologize. Lorelai thinks using an old typewriter might help her. Christopher arrives with a bag full of what he calls “Santa’s secret stuff” and won’t tell anyone what’s in it.

Lane heads home in a bad mood and finds Zach cooking with Mrs. Kim. The two are trying to be very involved with the pregnancy, but they’re really just driving Lane crazy. She gets upset when she learns that they’ve moved her drum kit to a closet. Zach points out that they haven’t had a band practice for months, and Lane decides that that’s what she needs to feel better. At Weston’s, Rory and Lorelai have their traditional candy cane coffee, but since the holiday has passed, they’ve had to make their own, and it hasn’t turned out well. Lorelai wants to go Christmas shopping, but Rory guesses that she’s trying to put off writing the letter. Lorelai tries to sweet-talk a waitress into giving her some candy cane coffee mix, but the waitress insists that Christmas is over and she won’t hand any over. Rory asks Lorelai why she hasn’t told Christopher about the letter, guessing that Lorelai doesn’t intend on ever telling him. She notes that she’s learned from the Lucy situation that honesty is best, and asks how Lorelai plans to have a relationship with Christopher if she’s not honest with him. Lorelai says that she’s older and wiser and has learned that sometimes the truth is more complicated than Rory thinks. She assures Rory that things with Christopher are great, but she knows Christopher didn’t like seeing her with Luke and Doula, so she’s trying to be sensitive. Rory replies that Lorelai doesn’t have to pretend that everything’s okay when it isn’t.

Luke puts the mask April made for him in his apartment as April laments that her new school in New Mexico probably won’t have a swim team. He gives her a rock polisher, which she loves (and has been hinting at), but she admits that her grandmother already got her one. At home, Christopher nearly catches Lorelai working on her letter, but she hides it before he can see it. Lane, Zach, and Brian gather at Lane and Zach’s apartment, where Zach warns Lane against making loud noises (despite the fact that they’re about to rock out). He notes that he’s holding his mandolin the same way he learned to hold a baby. Gil arrives with his son Macon, and he’s more excited about Lane’s breast pump than about Zach’s mandolin. Lane is disappointed to hear the guys talking about breastfeeding and formula rather than music. Rory and Lorelai shop for Christmas presents at the mall, and Lorelai says she wants to get something really special for Christopher. Rory spots a telescope, noting that it’s not just part of a post-Christmas sale but also a post-Pluto sale. She next spots Luke and April, and the four meet up. Lorelai claims that she’s almost done with her letter. While Luke exchanges the rock polisher for a microscope, April learns that Rory went to London to meet Logan over the holiday; she wishes she were old enough to make her own decisions about where to go. Rory and Luke reminisce about him giving her monogrammed towels for a birthday, then years of giving her unicorn-themed gifts because he thought she liked a unicorn marionette he once gave her.

Lane and Zach leave Taylor’s market after a shopping trip, and Zach learns that Lane bought cookies he tried to return to the shelf. She complains about how much her mom is doing, but Zach likes that she’s helping them out. Lane is really just frustrated with being treated like she’s sick, not pregnant, and says she doesn’t want to hide things from him like she used to do with her mom. Lane doesn’t want things to change, but Zach reminds her that they’ll change a lot since they’re about to have twins. He assures her that they can still rock out after having kids, and even have Mrs. Kim babysit. Luke and April return to the diner and April tries to come up with an excuse that will give her time to see Luke every week. Luke doesn’t want to lie to Anna since he doesn’t want to give her more ammo for the custody case. Lorelai finishes her letter on her typewriter, then joins Christopher, Rory, and Gigi to decorate cookies. They’re next planning to start a new tradition by watching Christmas in July. Lorelai goes out to mail her letter, then walks back home as it starts snowing.

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Lorelai: “I did an anti-snow dance. It was humiliating and arduous, but I had made a promise to my daughter.”
Rory: “Humiliating?”
Lorelai: “Two words: coconut bra.”

Luke: “We should make some sort of conversation.”
Michel: “I see your sense of style has not changed.”
Luke: “Nope.”
Michel: “I’ve often wondered, does someone in your family own a flannel company?”
Luke: “Uh, no.”
Michel: “Oh. You know what? I cannot do this. Let us just stand here and let the awkwardness wash over us.”

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