• Episode Followup: Best Gift Ever

    Hearth Warming Is Right Around The Corner! No pony has finished their shopping, decorations still aren't up, and Twilight is only at the beginning stages of her holiday meltdown. How can this group of friends ever hope to find the perfect gift while maintaining their sanity? They probably can't!

    Just like all the last minute shopping in this episode, I've finally gotten the better of my procrastination and finished the follow-up to Best Gift Ever! I hope you can forgive me my endless, shameless, lateness with this follow-up and join me after the break for holiday fun!

    "Twas a single day left before Hearth Warming Eve..."

    No holiday special would be complete without a disembodied voice introducing us to the story. 

    And is it just me or is there a lot of greenery around Ponyville? I don't have much experience with snow, but it looks wrong to have all that greenery. Regardless, Ponyville is teeming with Hearth Warming Cheer!

    File:Young Six board the Friendship Epxress MLPBGE.png

    And it looks like the young six are able to go home on time to celebrate with their families. Yay!

    And Starlight will be spending her time with the great and powerful . . .

    . . . Wagon! I'm so glad Wagon is back. It was long thought that the road trip to Saddle Arabia would be Wagon's last appearance this year, but we were all proven delightfully wrong!

    Other honorable mentions for amazing background characters go to: Ralphie the foal lying helplessly on the ground while almost being trampled,

    These pie stand vendors respecting the firm apple only dessert laws,

    And these random citizens knowing better than to block the middle of the screen so Jim Miller, Denny Lu, and Mike Myhre could be easily seen.

    So we start off with Rainbow Dash's musical freak out while last minute shopping. I'm not too surprised that she put off her gift getting. I love how different her reaction to everything is from Fluttershy's.

    Nice, pretty and cute apples!
     It's almost like Flutters is comfortable with the time constraint at first; browsing with a smile. And she's obeying the strick apple laws. Flutters wouldn't be caught dead gifting oranges!

    The Element of Generosity has decided to overdo it by hand sewing gifts for every one of her friends. 8 bits says she doesn't learn her lesson and tries to make custom presents again next Hearth Warming. But of course, she's got to rush out for more fabric. (She should just glue googly eyes to clothespins and call them ornaments). 

    Can you find what's wrong with this picture?
    As a Floridian, I completely understand eating ice-cream in winter. I understand Sugar Bell is out here because she hasn't gotten over to Sweet Apple Acres yet. I even understand how that gravity-defying snow is clinging to the side of that tent.

    But Rarity would Never own such a tasteless money sack. I don't care what kind of hurry she's in; at least tie a ribbon on it!

    File:Amethyst receiving her payment MLPBGE.png

    But do you know who's doing shopping right? Amethyst. That pony got that beautiful chapeau for only 2 bits!

    RD looks too serene in this shot . . . she also needs to raise her hoof to line up with Rarity's.
    For whatever reason, we are finding out the mane 6 somehow made it all the way to the day before Hearth Warming Eve without so much as buying the wrapping paper for their friends' presents.
    Tsk Tsk.
    "One more chancee to bring that holiday cheer!"

    Isn't it good to see the whole town singing again? Like, everyone in this town is so comfortable with each other that coordinated musical routines come naturally for them.

    Either that or they rehearsed this along with the new Winter Wrap-up number they'll be performing during spring cleaning. 

    Okay, enough of those background ponies, back to the mane characters!

    It looks like it's the Pie family's turn to visit and boy do they look excited about the experience. 

    So much cheer and joy to ring in the holiday season! No really, Pinkie bring enough enthusiasm for all of them; it's the perfect amount. 

    "Pies and Apples and a Pear!"
    And look who's also joining this year. Grandpa Pear is connecting with everypony he's missed out on. If I think about it too much I'm gonna start crying. It's too heartwarming, but just know this is a super special Hearth Warming for Pear. Aww, like this could be the first time he's been with family on the holidays since he left his daughter. Okay, I gotta stop thinking about it.

    Obligatory, "What's in here, rocks?" joke. 

    Really, look at how this family is growing. There's such much love to share here and nothing but Hearth Warming Joy . . .

    . . . Yes, well. 

    Even though this is hard to watch, this is very much a part of a lot of people's holidays. Poor Marble was probably waiting all year long to see Big Mac and now he's in a relationship with somepony else. 

    Back to background pony before I cry!

    "One more day and I can sleep at night."
    And there's my spirit background pony at work. Quick My Relatable Pony: Wensley- This pony it working retail during the holidays. Even though this is supposed to be the happiest time of year, those working in serves positions tend to be really over worked. They also have to put up with a lot from customers. If you work retail, this moment is entirely for you. 

    Back to the follow-up!

    If you've never gone sledding, don't fear. You can still relate to their joy by playing with one of these:

    I honestly thought that's what they were playing with at first. I kid thee not when I say I know little about snow.

    Good Grief. At least they’re not letting commercialism ruin their holiday.

     Y'all way too happy to just be playing Roll the Barrel. So, what are you hiding in 'em?

    File:Elf pony appears being chased by raccoon MLPBGE.png

    I'm glad they didn't make this a running gag the whole episode, ha!

    It can't be stressed enough. Ponyville residences are the best! And they'll all on key! Everywhere you look in this episode the residents are so engaging to watch!

    File:Avalanche of mail packages MLPBGE.png

    All the shopping, cooking, decorations; it's driving some ponies postal, ha!

    Now for the greatest mystery of the episode, who waits until the day before Hearth Warming Eve to decorate?

    Twilight, that's who. And I bet a least 12 items on her to-do list involve making more to-do lists. If she would simplify things she'd get more done. 

    "I'll have to wait and celebrate next year!"
    Her perfectionism looks very stressful. I've heard it said that perfectionist always wait to the last minute to do anything. Maybe that's Twi's problem this year. Honestly, I feared her on-coming freak out this episode because I knew it was going to ruin her enjoyment of the holiday. 

    I wish Twi would have at least one nice, relaxing evening with her family. But maybe this will be the year!

    Nope. Twilight's panic claimed its first victim. Fluttershy bites the dust.

    File:Rarity gets caught in Twilight's list MLPBGE.png

    And another one falls;

    File:Rainbow gets caught in Twilight's list MLPBGE.png

    And another one falls!

    Hey! Parcel Post has finally made it back to Ponyville in time for the holiday package rush. I do hope he gets a vacation soon. He’s more than earned it.

    You know who's not a perfectionist?

    Seasonal help! You know Dr. Hooves is only there for some quick cash. Sigh.

    It begins, Twilight is moving higher on the freak-out scale. 2 cakes would have been crazy, but 8 cakes . . . EIGHT! 

    The season doesn't truly begin until Twilight reaches max levels of hysteria yet Twilight has some pretty solid friends. Even though they see Twi go through this every year, they still take the time to speak with her and try to get her to calm down. 

    Friendship goals right here.

    AJ: Hey Twilight, do you remember your coping techniques? Validate your feelin's, take a breath, now try to think clearly.

    To help ease Twi, AJ suggests they all essentially do secret Santa.

    I rather like that the show staff used the name 'Helper' instead of inventing some legendary creature just to insert some pony-Santa pun like Jingle Hooves or Santa Cloves or something wittier and more horse related.

    And, as is tradition, you have that one pony who can't stand the idea of secret helper. Wait, Pinkie's the Debbie Downer? Well, I can't really blame her.

    Remember, one of these ponies didn't wait to do her shopping to the last minute. 

    Pinkie: Fine. Conspire against me. I'll use the gifts I was going to give you for kindling and I'll roast marshmallows over them and then make yummy s'more that I'll top with whipped cream and then invite my friends over to have some; it will be so much fun!

    There's no way she's gonna stay mad at this.

    Twilight: I see nothing wrong with ripping up my to-do list and writing on the back of it like scrap paper. Wasn't in the mental state to finish this anyway.

    Twilight: But I can't spell your names so I'mma just use a picture of your cutie marks. Spike, you're a wing now.

    I knew Pinks couldn't stay mad! 

    So everypony will draw another pony's name to shop for and luckily none of them draws themselves.

    I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that Spike's unhappy because he didn't get Rarity. This really is the problem with these gift exchanges. I also get stuck with the one person in the group I know the least.

    File:Main ponies going their separate ways MLPBGE.png

    So everypony will meet back at Twilight's castle in 24 hours. Everypony know the plan, good; Break.

    File:Spike asking "is it against the rules" MLPBGE.png

    Look at Spike tryin' to be slick. He immediately gonna find the loophole. I know this isn't a game or anything, but it feels like cheating.

    Spike: Can I please just pick the pony I want?

    File:Applejack "I guess it's fine" MLPBGE.png

    AJ: Ya get who you get, and ya don't pitch a fit.

    Spike: What if I'm able to figure out which pony has the pony I want and they're willing to trade? Would that be okay with you?

    File:Applejack "if you can figure out" MLPBGE.png

    AJ: Listen, Spike. I ain't got time to be arguin' with ya; I ain't the Secret Helper Police. If you get Rarity somehow, good for you. Just, whatever you do don't upset Twilight.

    File:Spike trying to cover for himself MLPBGE.png

    Spike: I have no idea why you would mention Rarity at this moment, but fine, I agree with your terms.

    Smooth Spike, real smooth. You were almost caught. Next time you might not be so lucky.

    I am very disappointed that Spike didn't want to shop for Rainbow (or anypony else for that matter). But it made so much sense that he wouldn't so I won't fault him. Moving on.

    File:Twilight Sparkle hanging wreaths as she flies MLPBGE.png

    Twilight looks so self-assured here. She's comfortable because she knows she's gonna get everything done and now she's starting to enjoy the holiday. I'm so happy for her.

    Being a princess has added so much stress on top of her already high strung disposition. To see Twilight finally relax for the holiday fills my heart with rapture.

    Spike: So, which beautiful, fabulous pony do you have?

    Twilight: Even if I had Rarity, I wouldn't give her to you. That's not in the spirit of the holiday. We should be happy to gift whichever friend we get. All of them mean so much to us and we should be honored to be giving them anything at all.

    Spike: That's fine. Don't give me Rarity, I'll just crush yourself-confidence and tell you your lack of foresight is going to ruin Pinkie's Hearth Warming. Have fun with your stress. Bye!

    I yelled at the screen when Spike did this. Twilight Was So Close! SHE WAS GOING TO BE HAPPY!

    Pinkie's not doing any better than Twilight, but at least she has great sisters to help her think. Also, it looks like the Pie sisters will be spending the night in Pinkie's "apartment." Maybe there aren't as many guest room in the Apple house as on the rock farm.

    Regardless, I like this moment of them all going to Pinkie's room to chat. 

    File:Pinkie Pie "I can't give one pony" MLPBGE.png

    Matching hats for all her friends is a cute idea too. I hope she bought them from the same place Amethyst did. But that doesn't really matter seeing as now Pinkie needs to get an original gift only for Twilight.

    "Don't rock it till you try it"
    Truth is, Maud's the funniest member of the Pie family.

    File:Pinkie Pie crushes another gift box MLPBGE.png

    What is up with this pony and breaking things? These are gifts Pinkie has got, mind you, for her family and friends. It's like she doesn't even care. Break all the things, Pinkie!

    File:Pinkie Pie bursts out of pile of presents MLPBGE.png

    Gummy! No! I was kidding, Don't break Gummy!

    Pinkie just threw her flightless pet alligator into the air. Why!?

    File:Limestone "who would say they're the best" MLPBGE.png
    "Who would say they're the best at gift giving?"

    File:Pinkie Pie "Marble, you're a genius!" MLPBGE.png
    Pinkie: YAKS!
    I just want a whole episode with the Pie sisters. They don't need to go on an adventure or anything. Just them all on screen more often. These ponies have such a complex relationship with each other but it plays out on screen in such beautiful subtle undertones. More Pies Please!

    And might I add how teeth rottingly sweet this is. No, not that Pinkie kissed all her sisters . . .

    . . . That Marble actually likes the affection from her crazy 'older' sister. She genuinely smiled knowing Pinkie does appreciate her even when she doesn't feel like she contributed much.

    Oh, silly me. Gummy's used to living with Pinkie. He probably wears that parachute year round.

    "I don't have Rarity!"
    Pinkie screams as Rarity is mere hoof steps behind her. Spike really is lucky he hasn't been caught yet.

    I also wonder if there is a Pinkie Sense for "Spike wants to trade ponies with you" or if Pinkie just figured out what Spike was going to ask on her own. Both seem plausible, but so does everything with Pinkie Pie.

    Rarity: Turns out I don't have Rarity either.

    File:Rarity "new take on western chic" MLPBGE.png

    Rarity: I have Applejack and I'm getting her a fedora not because I know she likes hats, but because hats are the highly sought after gift this year. Hats are in, darling! 

    File:Spike catching himself again MLPBGE.png
    Okay, I've picked on Spike enough. He really wants to do something nice for Rarity but his crush on her is clouding his thinking. This whole episode he ends up freaking-out as much as Twilight and it's kind of sad to watch.  

    File:Rarity shrugging over Spike's antics MLPBGE.png

    But Rarity is either oblivious to Spike's Freudian slip or she's choosing to ignore it. 

    As for Rarity, she was able to quickly place an order for a great hat for Applejack. All she has to do is pick it up from the post office on Hearth Warming Eve. Super easy. 

    It also appears I owe everyone 8 bits. Rarity did learn her lesson and instead of stressing herself out and making a hat, she ordered one. Then again, I did say next year, so I'm off the hook.

    RD: "What about your favorite food?"

    File:Fluttershy "I couldn't pick just one" MLPBGE.png
    Flutters: I'm the Element of Kindness, I don't practice favoritism.
    M'Kay, I completely understand not wanting to hurt the other foods feelings. I bet Flutters was the kind of foal who slept in a bed flooded with stuffed animals because she was scared they would feel hurt if they weren't all in the bed. Her parents found her in tears one morning because one of her stuffties had fallen on the floor during the night. That was the same morning Fluttershy went to flight camp. Rough week.

    Fluttershy: I really, really, really-really-really like absolutely nothing!
    Never tell someone you like everything. We know that's not true, Fluttershy, otherwise you wouldn't be scared of so much. RD is not a mind reader. Just tell her something, anything!

    RD: "Is there anything you don't like?"
    FS: "Not Liking things."

    At this point, I had to wonder if Flutters was just trolling RD, but then I remember she's too kind for that. Could Flutters really not tell RD was her secret helper? Was she just saying she liked everything so RD wouldn't stress about getting her a gift? Is Fluttershy afraid of the Helper Police?

    "Hope that helped!"
    NO YOU DON'T! How could she not know Rainbow was her Secret Hearth Warming Helper(SHWH)!

    Looks like Spike has caught up to the right pony. More importantly, don't you love the sound Spikes hands make when they hit the glass. 

    We need to praise the foley artists more. Yay Adam McGhie! You deserve a hand! (Get it, ha ha . . . moving on)

    I bet Spike feels real smug after tricking Fluttershy, But He Shouldn't! Flutters couldn't figure out Rainbow was her SHWH! You're not smart if you snatch cards from people!

    Spike: Look! I have Rainbow Dash, everyone knows you like Rainbow Dash, let's trade!

    Spike: Rarity! What a completely unforeseen surprise. 

    File:Spike thanks Fluttershy and leaves MLPBGE.png

    Flutters: You don't seem very surprised.

    Fluttershy is so sweet, Spike didn't need to do all this underhanded stuff. He could have just asked her to trade and she would have done it. 

    Flutters: If you're wondering I have Rainbow Dash. Take her for your SHWH, just please don't snatch it from me.

    AJ: Nah, I'm not trying to get caught, thank you very much. I need help shoppin' for Spike.

    File:Fluttershy looking very relieved MLPBGE.png

    Flutters: That's a relief because I don't feel like getting that punk anything after he tricked me like that.

    Anyone else got super excited Fluttershy and Applejack were teaming up again! YAY! Speaking of great team-ups:

    RD: Am I hearing things?
    We come back to RD, ready to fall back on the default candle present, teaming up with the unexpected.

    RD: Not Today, Satan!

    Props to Discord for actually spooking me here; wasn't expecting him to pop in like this. However, RD's response is priceless and the only reasonable thing to do with suddenly sentient inanimate objects.

    "What do you want, Discord?"
    So, of course, Discord has to worm his way into 'looking' for Fluttershy's gift.

    Discord: I was bitter, broody and bored so I thought I'd come mess with this holiday nopony invited me to.
    I can't possibly foresee his involvement leading to anything but finding a perfectly quaint gift for Fluttershy.

    Which was a good thing actually because no pony would want that candle. I'm not saying ponies don't like candles, I'm saying that particular candle wasn't very aesthetically pleasing, or very functional for that matter.

    What's sad is that Rainbow won't be able to get a refund.

    RD: "I tried asking her what she likes, but she likes everything!"
    Discord: "Well, she says that but her real friends know what she actually likes."
    You have to appreciate that Discord decided he wanted to insult RD's knowledge on Flutters. Like, Rainbow really has known Fluttershy longer than he has.

    "I've known her a lot longer than you have."
    Can we have at least one more episode of these two fighting over Fluttershy? They have a great dynamic on screen and I loved every minute of it.

    Gotta love how Discord has a lit candle around adorably flammable animals. I laughed waaaaaay too long at this. 

    I'm still laughing about flammable animals at this point and I can't stop long enough to hear the dialogue. Here's a picture. They go somewhere.

    WAIT! . . . I understand why Twilight didn't have enough time to decorate inside. I totally forgot she'd have had to decorate both her castle and the school. Like, Twi probably did everything for the school first and then the outside of the castle since the rest of Ponyville could see it.

    Grant it she has magic so I'm not sure how hard it was to put up a few lights, but I'll blame the midterm grading as well.

    Aww, Spiky's all caught up in his delusion. Isn't it cute?! He just wanted so much to get a gift for Rarity and now that he has her he's going to . . . to . . .

    The face of realization.
    You mean to tell me Spike didn't know what he was going to get Rarity this whole time. Does every creature in Equestria suffer from Last Minute Shopping Syndrom? 

    "I Have No Idea What To Get Her!"
    You Could Get Her Flammable Animals! Ha!

    Rainbow Falls: not only the host of the Traders' Exchange but also the Hearth's Warming Craft Fair! This place is like the Equestrian equivalent to a flea market. I wonder how much a vendor's table costs?

    So AJ and Flutters are off! And might I add I've grown to greatly value their friendship together. It always felt like they didn't quite click with each other in the earlier seasons, but now it just feels so natural. 

    This is a perfect gift, but is Flutters getting this book because it's Daring Do or because RD's on the cover?

    "Oh No! There's only a few left!"
    Just so you know, this technique totally works in sales. You've got to give it to Flim and Flam, they haven't forgotten the true meaning of Hearth Warming Ever:

    General Corporate Greed!

    And our dearest Fluttershy falls for it. She wants to get Rainbow the best, most talked about item of the year. I guess she didn't know about the hat craze. Still, can you blame her for being fooled? 

    Yes, yes I can.
    No pony would like that grody thing.

    Anyway, on to something every yak likes: Piles Of Wood! 

    I'm personally lovin' that stool and I lament its inevitable destruction.

    YOJAN! Why'd you do that!? That stool was perfect. Did you not see its landing? A perfect 10/10 and you done knocked it off its perch. 

    Yeah, you should feel bad.

    Hey, look! Pinkie's arrived. Which is good because she hasn't been on screen for like 6 whole scenes now. Who knows what kind of trouble she could have gotten into without our supervision.

    And while Pinkie explains her quest for the best gift ever, I'd like to point out that Yojan is now single hoofedly trying to save Snilldar Fest. 

    The amount of development the background characters are having in this episode is almost as enjoyable as what the mane characters are doing. Seriously, go rewatch the episode just for the characters in the background.

    Yaks best at posing.

    But pink pony best at impersonating.

    No wait, yaks best at impersonating too.

    Zip! He's surprisingly fast for a yak. 

    The more pink pony visits yaks the most I grow to like being with yaks. 

    Okay, time for top-secret story news. Pinkie needs to know how to get the best gift ever and she asked Prince Rutherford for help, but he's about to share information with her that hasn't be told to any other creature. 

    This kind of news requires the presence of a stool, don't you think?  

    Pinkie really does immerse herself in yak society and it seems the yaks really appreciate her doing so. The fact that their prince is willing to share info with Pinkie that even other yaks don't know is quite telling. 

    And look around that room. So much detail. It really says a lot about the culture of the yaks. 

    It's so distracting you almost miss the part about yaks not being the best at gift giving.

    But fear not, yaks are the best at problem-solving and Pinkie's given a map to the Gift Givers Grove. 

    Isn't it cool the yaks hang out with other creature besides ponies? Well, at least Prince Rutherford does.

    Now if I could just find this grove on the map...

    ...and forget this nightmare face. 

    File:Pinkie Pie loudly proclaims her mission MLPBGE.png

    Remind me if I ever tell Pinkie a secrete to make sure she pinkie promises not to share it.

    Back in Ponyville, we have more BG ponies showing us what real Ponyville life is like. Waiting In Line At The Post Office!

    Look at Pokey! So unhappy! I have to wonder how long that guy's been waiting in line. 

    Ooo! I wonder who's working today!

    Der.. Ditz...Muff... That Pony We All Like! She's always going to be Derpy to me.

    Has this ever happened to you? You order a package, clearly put your address on it and-

    -the delivery pony deliberately mails it to somepony else! This has to be the worst post office ever. But I get it. The holiday rush is nuts and the postal service feels it the worst behind retail. By this point, Rarity should be happy Derpy's still able to smile. 

    And Rarity is taking the news of her item being delivery to her SHWH very well.

    So did Pokey and Berry Punch. This is actually Berry's second trip to the post office today, so she's already used to the insanity. 

    File:Derpy panics; Rarity looks annoyed MLPBGE.png

    As Derpy comes to fully understand the mistake that's been made, Rarity is done. The gift is discovered to not be at Applejack's and the whole situation tests Rarity's ladylike resolve when Derpy offers to correct the mistake by still misdelivering the package.

    File:Rarity angrily shouting "no!" MLPBGE.png


    File:Rarity looks at customers behind her MLPBGE.png

    File:Rarity "you have helped so much already" MLPBGE.png

    But because of Rarity's level-headed approach, she was able to acquire the address of the ponies she'll rough up if they messed up her gift for Applejack. 

    File:Derpy "break time!" MLPBGE.png

    And finally Pokey gets to . . . oh wait,

    Break Time!

    Let's check on Spike shopping for Rarity. How about a comedic holiday classic with plenty of rewatch value? Nah, Rarity wouldn't buddy up to that. 

    File:Bird-keeping pony selling necklaces MLPBGE.png

    Authentic 1950's winter fashion? No, that color scheme's too dull even for black and white photos.

    A Rarity Fan to craft custom art of her? No, she already has the brony community for that.

    There really is nothing special enough in Ponyville! Even these passers-by aren't impressed that Spike just collapsed in the street and a Wonderbolt is making an appearance with the Spirit of Chaos.

    "Oh, goodness, no."
    I wish we had seen what they were looking at.

    Based on the door this is the store they were looking in, but the storefront are the sign aren't very clear.

    File:Discord in the Ponyville Day Spa sign MLPBGE.png

     Here's a clear sign, but I doubt I'd want what they're selling.

    Okay, I know I'm supposed to review what they're saying, but what their not saying is so much more fun.

    It's an all-out Fluttbutter war! 

    For Discord, it's a chance to one-up Flutters' oldest friend which proves (in his mind maybe) that he's Fluttershy's real best friend. Rainbow Dash is the only friend who could get Fluttershy what she really wants, some super fast animal, thus putting Discord back in his place despite the fact he 'knows' better what Flutters wants. 

    A potential love triangle of friendship.

    We'll let them get to it for now because,

    It's Venn Diagram Time! You'd think after the events of Feeling Pinkie Keen, Twilight would know that Pinkie just can't be understood through these methods.

    This Twilight has come to the second to last phases of her freak out. 1) desperate facial expressions and 2) breaking the apple dessert law.

    The pudding recipe is unobtainable.

    And this book is illegible.

    Twilight's panic will only increase!

    Considering Chancellor Puddinghead was an earth pony, does this confirm that earth ponies are all better cooks/bakers because they can make magic food? 

    "I've narrowed down my choices to fire dancing sticks or a power ponies comic."
    Does Spike do fire dancing or is this a new hobby AJ thinks he'd like to pick up?

    Sweet Celestia what is that!?

    "It only cost all my bits!"
    Holiday shopping is all fun and games until the credit card bills come in. Spend responsibly. 

    Fluttershy and Applejack are forced to face the reality of holiday marketing. I hate seeing all these ponies got tricked, but I'll console myself by saying, "Maybe their friends will like the dolls."

    It's time to confront the commercialism that has plagued Equestria for far too many Hearth Warmings! AJ looks like she means business, And She Does. 

    AJ takes traditions seriously and nothing would set her off more than these two jerks robbing ponies from the opportunity to celebrate Hearth Warming to the fullest. Go get 'em!

    As for Rarity, she's got her list and she's checking it twice. She's gonna find out who's got her hat.

    File:Oak Nut and Butternut puzzled by Rarity's appearance MLPBGE.png
    The judgment on their faces.

    Oh, Rarity can totally take these two if they refuse to surrender the hat. Don't let the pleasantries fool you, Rarity has to explain the situation only to give these two a chance to resolve this peacefully. 

    Wait. Tears?

    My heart melted when I saw this. Rarity doesn't even know what her accidental gift has done for this family and though the package probably had AJ's name on it, it's understandable how these two might have missed that and assumed their fashion-forward son got a present.

    For them, its the gift they know their son always wanted, but they just didn't know how to get. All you parents understand how great it is when your kid gets something that inspires them. Aww!

    Rarity is a celebrity and yet she's comfortable enjoying the company of this farming family.

    And They Have The Cutest Tea Set!

    "Filly, Please."
    This whole family. I Love them! (I stumbling trying to form words)

    Pistachio's family is happy for him getting a gift in his area of talent and they aren't bitter at all that he doesn't want to do acorn farming and they just want their son to be happy and he just loves his parents and totally respects that they don't understand fashion and AHHH!

    AHHH! Lunch!

    AHHH! Best Family! Best Tea Set!

    File:Rarity "I would be delighted" MLPBGE.png

    AHHH! Delighted!

    AHH! 4 Hour Search For Magical Pudding!

    Anyone else feel like this when family shows up around the holidays? No, just me and Twilight over here?

    Twilight is so stressed she doesn't even know what day it is. We are approaching the final stage of meltdown. 

    So this scene established that this moment is now Hearth Warming Eve. A day, or rather a night, has passed since the mane 6 and Spike split to find their gifts. Twilight has no idea how much time has passed since her choice to make pudding.

    Look, Flurry Heart is a star now and she's sad that her auntie hasn't had any downtime this entire episode. 

    Twilight's obsessing is keeping her from her family now. Poor Twilight.

    Pinkie's also going to some extremes here. Who purposefully heads north in winter? Pinkie loves her friends and Twilight is absolutely worth it . . . to Pinkie Pie because I wouldn't have done it. 

    Look at the polar pony riding a polar bear, ha!

    This all happened off-screen of course, but the bear gave Pinkie a soda for the ride. They exchanged addresses and still write each other a few times a year. Nothing new for Pinkie, but that polar bear hasn't had a penpal before so this is pretty exciting for him. 

    File:Aurora opens the door for Pinkie Pie MLPBGE.png
    "By Blitzen's Bread, it took you long enough!"
    First off, this reindeer did not evoke the name of Celestia.

    Second, Pinkie's only had one day to get here, so I think she did a pretty good time wise.

    File:Aurora "I know everything" MLPBGE.png

    Aurora: "I know everything."

    File:Alice "what she's about to ask" MLPBGE.png

    Alice: "You only know what's already happened but you don't know what she's about to ask."

    File:Pinkie and Alice "what am I about to ask?" MLPBGE.png

    Both: What are the winning lotto numbers!?

    File:Bori joins Pinkie, Aurora, and Alice MLPBGE.png

    Bori: Don't you dare answer that; that's a misuse of our power.

    File:Pinkie clapping her hooves MLPBGE.png

    Pinkie: Ooh, that last bit rhymed. 

    File:Pinkie Pie "well, that was" MLPBGE.png

    Pinkie: Well, if I can't win the lotto can I at least get the perfect gift for Twilight?

    File:Bori "we have a request for a gift" MLPBGE.png

    Bori: Seeing as you're an Element of Harmony, we're disheartened by the fact you don't already know what the perfect gift is. But since we are obligated to give the perfect gifts, and you seem so fond of wordplay, we'll give you a gift along with some roundabout riddle.

    File:Aurora, Bori, and Alice combine their talents MLPBGE.png

    The reindeer have a fairly simple design similar to some ponies, but the little details make them cool. Both their antlers light up when they use magic and their ears have swirls in them. And, I had to look this up, female reindeer do have antlers that they keep through the winter so they're correct!

    Their magic is worth a pause too. They, as a group, can see through time kind of like the Fates in mythology. Their magic is so different from the rest in Equestria it just begs for theorizing!

    File:Pinkie Pie "the perfect gift!" MLPBGE.png

    Pinkie: Wow! It's like a BOGO in here! I not only got a physical present, but a cryptic life lesson too!

    Alice: Yeah, that's about right.

    File:Flim and Flam displeased to see Applejack MLPBGE.png
    "Oh, you."
    Back at the fair everypony's getting real tired of each other real fast.

    File:Flam holding a stack of bits MLPBGE.png
    "And expansion cost bits."
    I'm happy to see Flam remembers how economics works. You got to make money to spend money, right?

    File:Flim and Flam "Fro-Yo Flume Ride!" MLPBGE.png

    Sigh, so they aren't doing anything illegal and they're going to build a Fro-Yo flume ride. . . . I'm slightly losing my ire toward them.

    File:Flam "the hottest gift in Rainbow Falls" MLPBGE.png

    No, wait, they're still trying to upsell Flutterbutter. Boo!

    File:Fluttershy holding a hoofful of bits MLPBGE.png

    Good thing AJ isn't fooled, that and she ain't giving any more bits toward Flutters' train ride home.

    Those dolls were cheap, not even the box could handle a less than 1-foot drop to the floor.

    File:Flam ruffling Applejack's mane MLPBGE.png

    But Flim and Flam are within their rights. Guess Fluttershy and Applejack will just have to leave them alone and go back to finding the right gifts for their HWH.

    No! This assemblage of random shoppers will inspire our heroines to save the fiscal day! Background Ponies Rock!

    File:Applejack "maybe we can show 'em!" MLPBGE.png

    AJ: To the Apple Cave! We have planning to do!

    File:Rainbow Dash following winterchilla tracks MLPBGE.png

    Who knew Rainbow was so good at tracking animals? She probably learned this during those many years being friends with Fluttershy.

    File:Discord follows behind Rainbow Dash MLPBGE.png

    Discord looks happy like he might actually be enjoying his trek with Rainbow Dash. Ah, memories.

    File:Discord falls face-first in the snow MLPBGE.png

    What is wrong with him? He's like the chaos bringer and he's trippin' in the snow?

    Looks like that klutzy draconequus lost his street cred this day. Oh well.

    File:Rainbow Dash "try to make less noise" MLPBGE.png
    "Could you try to make less noise."

    File:Discord snaps his fingers MLPBGE.png

    Discord is inspired by Rainbow's comment and now he knows a better tactic to get the gift, and knowing is half the battle.

    File:Discord dressed as Snake Eyes MLPBGE.png

    Too bad Discord's references go over the heads of the ponies around him. Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow, were one of the hottest toy items of the 80's.

    Unfortunately for Discord, hats remain the must-have item of Ponyville currently. Guess he was in stone for a few years, so we'll forgive it.

    File:Discord pointing at a winterchilla MLPBGE.png

    And then the perfect gift was spotted!

    Wait, what is that!?

    Small, Adorable, Fuzzy and Fast!

    File:Discord "if you're going to get it" MLPBGE.png

    Discord: You know I'm not a trustworthy character, right?
    RD: Yeah, so what?
    Discord: Oh nothing. For a second there I thought you might see through my obvious setup and refused to deliver my chaotic surprise, that's all.
    RD: Did you just say I wasn't fast enough, watch this!

    File:Rainbow speeds away from Discord MLPBGE.png

    I want to say this about Rainbow Dash, she actually took Discord at his word. Let no one say the rest of the mane 6 aren't warming up to him, because they are.

    File:Discord shrugging his shoulders MLPBGE.png

    Now of course Rainbow Dash thinks she's just doing something Discord couldn't thus making her a great Fluttershy gift giver, but she listened to Discord because in some small way she views him as a friend.

    File:Spike sleeping and covered in glitter MLPBGE.png

    Let's check up on Spike's progress . . . okay. Moving on then.

    File:Ponies still crowded around Flim and Flam's stand MLPBGE.png
    "Have a wonderful holiday and remember, no refunds."
    Plenty of ponies still getting caught up in the Flim Flam scam.

    File:Flam "what are you doing here?" MLPBGE.png

    AJ: Time to put this non-apple related plan into action.

    File:Applejack puts bits on the stand counter MLPBGE.png

    Step 1: Spend all my bits on some crapshoot of a toy that nopony will love.

    File:Applejack listing her family members MLPBGE.png

    Step 2: Gush about how the lives of my loved ones have been made exponentially better for my having spent all my money on useless stuff.

    File:Fluttershy "must-have for everypony" MLPBGE.png

    Step 3: Allow Fluttershy to question my methods in front of a crowd as to why I'd clutter my family's home with things they won't use.

    File:Minty Bubblegum reconsidering MLPBGE.png

    Step 4: Grant some other pony the pleasure of taking out my garbage.

    File:Applejack and Fluttershy look satisfied MLPBGE.png

    And finally, Step 5: Get stuck with useless junk and no bits to buy gifts for the SHWH I came out here for.

    I'm glad AJ and Flutters were able to show others the positive side to gift giving. Gifts can be very special when gotten with the right heart and with the other pony/person in mind. Don't Let Commercialism ruin your day!

    Don't spend money you don't have either. That's the real lesson here.

    File:Rarity leaving the acorn farm MLPBGE.png

    Rarity has shared an important lesson too.

    File:Rarity boops Pistachio on the nose MLPBGE.png

    Rarity: You, are special. Let nothing and no pony tell you otherwise.

    Rarity has probably just inspired Equestrian's next great designer. If not that, she's made a special memory for a family that might not have had a great Hearth Warming otherwise.

    File:Pistachio looking up at his hat MLPBGE.png

    And Pistachio. He knew this was too good to be true. There was no way this kind of thing could be happening to him.

    File:Pistachio giving the hat back to Rarity MLPBGE.png
    "I love my parents, but they don't understand that we just had lunch with one of the most famous ponies in Equestria. I know you didn't send a Fedora Felt original to some nopony you never met in nowhere Equestria. I'm sure this is actually for somepony special so if you want it back, I get it."
    File:Rarity lets Pistachio keep the hat MLPBGE.png
    "The hat is indeed for somepony very special, and I couldn't bear to see him part with it."
    I'm not gonna start ramble about how amazing Rarity is; how she truly is the best pony and the purest example of charity that has ever walked under Celestia's sun. I'm just going to say I'm proud of Pistachio being willing to give up something that made him so happy.

    File:Rarity hugging Pistachio MLPBGE.png
    Rarity is amazing!
    File:Flim and Flam miss the Friendship Express MLPBGE.png
    "Puttin' those two in their places...
    Step 6: Bask in the warmth of my enemies going down in flames. (hee hee, I'm thinking about those flammable animals again)

    File:Applejack warm and fuzzy inside MLPBGE.png
    "...makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside."
    File:Fluttershy "gifts for Spike or Rainbow Dash" MLPBGE.png

    So Fluttershy and Applejack weren't able to find the perfect gifts for their SHWH but that won't stop them from going back to see their friends. Be it by plane, train or automobile, nothing is going to make them miss Hearth Warming Eve with loved ones.

    File:Applejack "yay" MLPBGE.png
    At least they're not going back empty hoofed.

    File:Fluttershy "don't do that" MLPBGE.png
    "Don't do that."
    File:Shining Armor "too bad her aunt wasn't there" MLPBGE.png
    Shining: "Too bad her aunt wasn't there."
    So Cadence and Shining Armor try to walk up in Twilight's kitchen and talk smack because she was too busy to watch Flurry Heart sledding or whatever.

    File:Twilight Sparkle shushing Shining Armor MLPBGE.png
    But Twilight ain't gonna have any of that 'cause it's puddin' time! She's been slaving over this stove for 5 hours, and she doesn't need these haters.

    Perfectionism is all she (and this pudding) needs. The Final Stage is upon us!

    File:Cadance and Shining Armor look unamused MLPBGE.png

    Shining: You think she's had enough Twilynanas time?
    Cadence: Yes, dear, it's time to calm her down.
    Flurry Face: Aw nah! Let's Turn it up!

    File:Flurry Heart teleports across the kitchen MLPBGE.png

    Twilight has been so stressed out about getting the right gift, she's missed valuable time with her family. Truth is, Pinkie would be happy with anything just so long as it came from Twilight. And Friendship Pony could have even asked for her family's help had she been level-headed enough.

    File:Flurry switches herself with bag of flour MLPBGE.png

    This just goes to show you, holiday stress can get the best of all of us and cause us to miss the little, crucial things in life.

    File:Flurry drops a cupcake in pudding mix MLPBGE.png

    And it's the thought behind a gift that matters most, not the gift itself. At this moment we can see how Twilight is now able to connect with her family and spend time with all of them. Give attention to the little moments.

    File:Flurry in the kitchen with Twilight MLPBGE.png

    Twilight seemed shocked to learn this lesson, but it was something she's always known in her heart. . . Did that baby throw a package in the pudding? Like, how much of that pudding is actually edible?

    File:Cadance smiling with understanding MLPBGE.png

    Anyway, it's important to just be with family on the holidays too. Just to see each other, look at each other, and acknowledge everyone's presence as not a sack of flour.

    File:Twilight Sparkle "just friends and family" MLPBGE.png

    Aww, memories!

    File:Pudding mix bubbles out of cooking pot MLPBGE.png

     And this is just a reminder, don't forget to turn the stove off. Plenty of holiday disasters could have been avoided had someone remained in the kitchen when the stove was on!

    File:Rainbow down the road from the castle MLPBGE.png

    Look who made it to the castle, Winterchilla! It fits in the palm of her hoof? Sole of her hoof? Whatever.

    File:Discord saying goodbye to Rainbow Dash MLPBGE.png

    Well, now that RD's got her gift she can break off this partnership with the master of annoyance and go to the Hearth Warming Eve gift exchange.

    Don't stop Rainbow, just keep going.

    File:Discord "enjoy your exclusive pony-only holiday" MLPBGE.png

    No, don't look back, then you're gonna feel sorry for him.

    File:Two Discords leaving hand-in-hand MLPBGE.png

    See, Discord can spend time with himself. Maybe do some self-reflection, it'll be good for him.

    File:Rainbow Dash looking at winterchilla MLPBGE.png

    The winterchilla is all you need!

    File:Rainbow Dash "I wouldn't totally hate it" MLPBGE.png
    "Fluttershy would love having you, and I wouldn't totally hate it."
    File:Discord returns in winter hat and bathrobe MLPBGE.png

    Well, there goes the entire Hearth Warming Vacation thanks to Rainbow inviting cousin Discord. Seriously, not being invited wouldn't have stopped Dizzy from coming, but he just had to guilt trip RD into inviting him.

    Oh well, it was good for their friendship.

    File:Sun sets over Castle and School of Friendship MLPBGE.png

    Ooh, pretty sunset. I bet nothing time sensitive of horrifying will happen!

    File:Rainbow Dash and Discord happy MLPBGE.png

    Awwwwwwwwwww, they're sharing a moment!

    File:Winterchilla wriggling in Dash's hooves MLPBGE.png

    Aaaaaand, moment over.

    File:Dash and Discord look up at winterzilla MLPBGE.png

    Let this be a lesson to you Rainbow Dash: No good deed goes without a Winterzilla.

    File:Fluttershy "how did everypony's shopping go?" MLPBGE.png

    Meanwhile, a few feet away from the rampaging winterzilla, it's Fluttershy's turn to tell a sad story in as few words as possible.

    Flutters: "How did everypony's shopping go?"

    File:Applejack prolonged awkward "yeah..." MLPBGE.png

    AJ: Congratulations Fluttershy! You win!

    File:Fluttershy knocks on the castle door MLPBGE.png

    Knock, Knock.

    File:Spike opening the castle door MLPBGE.png

    Spike: Who's there?

    File:Pinkie "did you get attacked by a party?" MLPBGE.png

    Pinkie: Pudding.

    File:Spike flicking away some glitter MLPBGE.png

    Spike: Pudding who?

    File:Ponies and Spike curious about commotion MLPBGE.png

    AJ: Putting ourselves in harm's way.

    Seriously, did Twilight not just tell them to run and they just waltz on in. At this point in their friendship, they should know that when one of them yells RUN! they should do it.

    File:Twilight Sparkle "the pudding is coming!" MLPBGE.png
    "The Pudding Is Coming!"

    File:Cadance and Shining Armor run from pudding MLPBGE.png

    Even at her tender age, Flurry Heart knew she done goofed.

    File:Rainbow Dash "the winterzilla is coming!" MLPBGE.png
    "Run! The winterzilla is coming!"

    File:Winterzilla crashes into castle entrance MLPBGE.png

    Well, at least it's not on fire! (I'm sorry, but I was really tickled by that.)

    File:Twilight protects her friends with a barrier MLPBGE.png

    Nice Save Twilight! Oh wait . . .

    File:Tidal wave of magic pudding MLPBGE.png

    . . . you're part of the reason everypony is being chased by magical pudding.

    File:Twilight "turn into winterzillas after dark!" MLPBGE.png

    Twilight: At Least I Didn't Bring A Winterchilla Here. They turn into winterzillas after dark!

    File:Rainbow "does everypony know this except me?!" MLPBGE.png

    RD: "Does everypony know this except me?!"

    Apparently, because even Flurry Heart is glaring at you . . . and maybe Pinkie sympathizes, she doesn't seem very angry so maybe she didn't know either.

    But seeing as Discord's in the room, I would automatically assume it was his fault. And guess what, the winterchilla is!

    File:Winterzilla roars through Twilight's barrier MLPBGE.png

    Giant winter monster or magical pudding, who's worse? That pudding could smother a pony, but that chilla breath could too.

    File:Winterzilla entranced by Spike's body MLPBGE.png

    Luckily, this gremlin likes shiny things.

    File:Twilight notices Spike's glittering MLPBGE.png

    With her quick thinking, the Princess of Friendship springs into action by . . .

    File:Spike floating in the winterzilla's face MLPBGE.png

     . . .Sacrificing Spike!

    File:Spike "is this honestly the best plan" MLPBGE.png

    Spike: "Is this honestly the best plan we can come up with?"

    Considering the room is full of creatures who have all, save for Flurry Heart, helped save Equestria numerous times. . . no, this is the Best. Plan. Ever!

    File:Rainbow "can't you do something?!" MLPBGE.png
    "Can't you do something."
    I have to wonder why the other ponies in the room didn't think to encourage Discord to do something. Maybe because Rainbow asked him first and since she doesn't know about the winterzilla it's safe to assume any ideas she comes up with are ill-informed.

    File:Discord on the winterzilla's ear bow MLPBGE.png

    Not to mention this is a gift would be rude to ask Discord to take it back. Sheesh Rainbow Dash, it's like you have no manners.

     File:Rarity with her leg caught by pudding MLPBGE.png

    Unlike Spike, Pudding doesn't care about which pony is written on it SHWH card, Pudding just takes what it wants.

    File:Shining Armor "I've got this!" MLPBGE.png

    Look! Shining Armor is about to be useful!

    File:Cadance swoops to Rarity's rescue MLPBGE.png

    Just kidding! Candence saves Rarity.

    File:Shining Armor jumping into action MLPBGE.png

    But to not be outdone for the entire series, Shining decides to perform dangerous acrobatics over evil magical pudding while carrying his baby.

    File:Shining Armor flips and blasts pudding MLPBGE.png


    File:Cadance blushing at Shining Armor MLPBGE.png

    I'm not gonna lie, Cadence is an adrenaline junkie if she thought that was attractive. She could have flown back and safely taken the baby to the balcony. Or Shining Armor could have just levitated himself and Flurry to safety . . . but it wouldn't have looked as cool so I'll shut my mouth.

    File:Twilight lures winterzilla through castle doors MLPBGE.png

    Twilight was almost successful in getting this thing outside.

    File:Winterzilla looks back at decorations MLPBGE.png


    File:Winterzilla approaches the decorations MLPBGE.png

    By the only little decorating Twilight was able to manage before her pudding obsession took over. It's probably for the best. Wouldn't want to risk getting this animal wet in the snow.

    File:Applejack "get rid of this thing" MLPBGE.png

    AJ: If only those of us just standing here had something to contribute. Like animal corralling skills to tie up this animal, or decorating skills to move the shiny ornaments outside, or fantastic magic that could snap the pudding away.

    File:Discord tossing his popcorn away MLPBGE.png
    "Oh, for Scorpan's sake!"
    Just like the reindeer, Discord doesn't grumble in Celestia expression.

    Considering the Fiendship is Magic #2 in the comic books, Discord at one time lived near/ was in the kingdom of Scorpan's family. So maybe that's why he's saying it. I wonder if dragons say things like, "Sweet Dragon Lord Ember!"

    File:Discord "hello?!" MLPBGE.png

    I guess it's up to Discord to point out the only obvious solution to giant chillas, send unprepared and tired after a long day of disappointment Fluttershy to save the day.

    What if Fluttershy had decided not to come to the gift exchange? Well, she wouldn't never miss a chance to be with her friends and Discord knew that because he's such a great friend. He knows her so well.

    File:Discord pointing arrows at Fluttershy MLPBGE.png

    Fluttershy's talent with animals is going to be put to the test.

    File:Fluttershy covers her face with her scarf MLPBGE.png

    Even though Flutters is nervous,

    File:Fluttershy tries talking to winterzilla MLPBGE.png

    Fluttershy steps up to calm deescalate the situation.

    File:Winterzilla roars at Fluttershy MLPBGE.png

    And the WInterzilla is having none of it. Well, Chilla may have started it,

    File:Fluttershy with an angrily serious Stare MLPBGE.png

    Fluttershy is going to finish it.

    It's easy to look at moments like this and joke about how no pony better cross Flutters. But her anger isn't a scary slap in the face.

    "This is supposed to be the happiest time of the year!"
    Fluttershy always coherently explains why the unruly creature is in the wrong, tells them what choices they need to be taking,

    File:Winterzilla breaks down in tears MLPBGE.png

    . . . and then listens to theirexplanationss for their actions.

    File:Winterzilla smiling at Fluttershy MLPBGE.png

    Now Fluttershy doesn't always get this right, but she strives to not force her anger to change behavior but to kindly lead others to better behavior so that they too can reach their goals.

    Now Chilla can be with everypony while at the same time not hurting them. Either that or it came up with that sob story so it could stay for pudding.

    File:Twilight and friends proud of Fluttershy MLPBGE.png

    YAY! The Day is Saved-

    File:Pinkie Pie shrieks at living pudding MLPBGE.png

    How does everypony keep forgetting about this pudding?

    File:Rainbow carries Applejack away from pudding MLPBGE.png

    Kill it, kill it, kill it!

    Rainbow was such a loyal friend to make sure AJ could get away. She looks like she realizes every other pony just left her.

    File:Pinkie Pie in a Celestia-shaped swan boat MLPBGE.png

    Pinkie: And this is why we have those strick apple only dessert laws, Twilight.

    It's a Celestia raft! Is this the first time we're seeing Celestia theme merchandise in Equestria? Also, I looked up the buoyancy of pudding. Turns out you can float on it with the obvious caveat that you can displace your weight across the surface evenly enough.

    So, Pinkie's in no danger of suddenly sinking to the bottom of this pudding so long as she stays in the raft.

    File:Pinkie Pie sampling the pudding MLPBGE.png

    No, Pinkie! Don't Eat It!

    File:Pinkie Pie "that's an impressive dessert!" MLPBGE.png

    Remember how I said Pinkie would like anything Twilight got her, this is proof. Pinkie isn't happy about the pudding almost drowning everypony, but she's super excited that Twilight would have gone to all this trouble to make sure a special present for her. Aww, more friendship goals.

    File:Shining Armor blasts pudding behind Twilight MLPBGE.png

    Sadly the two don't get to stay in the friendship moment for long.

    File:Winterzilla backs away from the pudding MLPBGE.png

    There a Fluttershy and a Winterczilla that have no means of escape! Just ignore that gaping hole in the wall.

    File:Pinkie Pie remembering ingredients MLPBGE.png

    And then Pinkie's genius kicks in as Twilight recounts what must have gone wrong with the pudding.

    File:Pinkie Pie looking at Twilight's gift MLPBGE.png

    Pinkie remembers the gift she got from the reindeer: extra ginger break and 4 candy canes. It would be perfect to fix the pudding. But Pinkie's not going to explain that!

    File:Pinkie "I'm your Hearthswarming Helper!" MLPBGE.png

    No! Pinkie's just gonna be dramatic!

    File:Pinkie Pie dives into the pudding MLPBGE.png

    She's just gonna jumps in the semisolid!

    File:Rest of main cast gasping in shock MLPBGE.png

    Nopony knows what the heck she's doing! They think she's offed herself. And if you thought

    File:Twilight Sparkle gasping in shock MLPBGE.png

    Twilight's stress level was high before, she's going to reach maximum freak-out in 3, 2 . . . wait!

    As it turns out!

    File:Sea of magic pudding glowing bright MLPBGE.png

    File:Pinkie Pie pops out of the pudding MLPBGE.png

    The Consistency Of Pudding Allows For Swimming! At least chocolate pudding does, and I figure chocolate is magical so this pudding should retain the same properties. (Please don't try swimming through custard though.)

    File:Twilight Sparkle hugging Pinkie Pie MLPBGE.png

    Twily Pinkie Hug Time Is Best Time! 

    File:Rest of main cast cheering MLPBGE.png

    The day is now fully saved!

    File:Discord "a bit reindeer ex machina" MLPBGE.png

    End even though Discord is upset Fluttershy will have to share her success with the reindeer and Pinkie thanks to the pudding . . .

    File:Discord giving two thumbs up MLPBGE.png

    Even he gives is his seal of approval.

    File:Ponies eating pudding around the fireplace MLPBGE.png

    And now that the danger is over, everypony gets to treat themselves to pudding off the floor. Good thing Spike mops like every other day or this would be really disgusting.

    File:Twilight Sparkle apologizes to Pinkie MLPBGE.png

    Twilight starts off the evening festivities by admitting her failures.

    File:Pinkie "wouldn't have made any sense" MLPBGE.png

    But Pinkie thought the pudding disaster was great (she would have thought anything was great) but it was even better because her gift was then useful and thus better than what everypony else managed to get.

    File:Rarity "I ordered you" MLPBGE.png

    Rarity is then moved to confess faults too. But not her own. Rarity blames the hat for chosing somepony other than Applejack to belong to.

    File:Applejack "the hat chooses the pony" MLPBGE.png

    But AJ's cool with that because she understands how powerful the right gift to the right pony can be.

    On Hearth Warming Eve AJ apparently wears a hat her father gave her. AJ isn't being facetious when she tells Rarity its okay, she really means it. She completely understands.

    File:Spike tears Holly doll's arm off MLPBGE.png

    Spike decides to try and enjoy his gift. Flurry Heart does not approve.

    File:Ponies look at Holly doll's head MLPBGE.png

    Nopony approves.

    RD apologizes for her gift quickly moving past the horror of that doll. She didn't know it was such a bad idea.

    File:Fluttershy "he ended up being" MLPBGE.png

    But it turned out Fluttershy loved it and the opportunity to save the day.

    File:Discord bragging to Rainbow Dash MLPBGE.png

    Just like some draconequus knew she would. .  . RD is getting tired of your trickery Discord. You're pushin' it.

    File:Fluttershy nuzzling the winterzilla MLPBGE.png

    But the one thing Discord and RD share is a care for Fluttershy, so Rainbow can't stay mad at Discord.

    File:Rainbow Dash and Discord truce MLPBGE.png
    "Let's just say it was from both of us."
    It may have been a dangerous idea, these two can agree that Flutters is totally worth the near eating of all their other friends. I'm so happy for them?

    File:Applejack "kind of a disaster" MLPBGE.png

    It's in this quiet moment that AJ expresses her feeling about the night. Having SHWH didn't help reduce anypony's stress and, in fact, it made the shopping more frantic.

    File:Cadance "Ponyville always seems to have" MLPBGE.png
    Shining: Can I have a bite too?

    But Cadence reminds everypony of the true meaning of the holiday,

    File:Cadance "than the Crystal Empire" MLPBGE.png

    Cadence:  Life-Threatening Danger Is Fun! I can't wait to bring Flurry Heart back here next year!

    File:Spike holding a homemade guitar MLPBGE.png

    No! Spike gets to give us a little hint to the real moral of the story here by being the only one to bring an honest heartfelt gift. A song about how much Rarity's friendship means to him.

    File:Spike blushes as he plays guitar MLPBGE.png

    It's so precious that Spike gave something so personal. It really is a beautiful little ditty that captures his feeling perfectly I think. Rarity could tell he meant a lot with it. Too cute.

    File:Ponies all listening to Spike's song MLPBGE.png

    And I think everypony present felt the same about their SHWH.

    File:Rarity kisses Spike on the cheek MLPBGE.png

     I think Spike ended up getting the best gift ever, ha!

    File:Twilight "the answer is friendship!" MLPBGE.png

    We all learned that Friendship is the true Best Gift of all!

    This montage spears me from having to look at those creepy dolls.
    Holiday episodes are designed to remind us to appreciate the stuff that's really important. traditions, gifts, events, we all like that stuff, but at the end of the day, it is the relationships in our lives that make any day worth living.

    Gift giving should be about celebrating those relationships that last long after the festivities are over.

    File:Winterzilla hugging everypony MLPBGE.png
    They're the best at giving friendship!
    And I don't think there's any group in Equestria more up to the challenge of appreciating each other more than this group right here. (Yes I'm including Chilla, it better join the animal sanctuary after this.)

    File:Alice delivering the friendship lesson MLPBGE.png

    And we end with a shot of the not so disembodied voices creepily watching our favorite group of friends. It also appears they use their levitation magic to fly since their antlers are glowing. I guess they just like prancing through the air for fun.

    File:Reindeer creating an aurora borealis MLPBGE.png

    Well, that brings us to the end of the Best Gift Ever. I have a bucket of pudding to keep testing and y'all have comments to discuss. This was such a delight to watch and it's got me excited for season 9. We're off to a great start!