‘Tis the season for church nativity scenes, over-priced black market toys, and time for looking back on holidays past. In this episode of Raising Hope, you got all that and some much more. This week we learn that Virginia (played by Martha Plimpton) is a bit of an actress and likes to get in character whenever she can. She hatches a plan to make baby Hope the infant Jesus in the church’s living nativity scene, but her plot is foiled.
The church ladies in charge tell Virginia Hope wasn’t chose because of her reputation as a “murderer’s daughter”. Like any passionate grandmother, Virginia immediately decides to stage her own nativity scene across the street. She is dead set on “winning” — the nativity was raising funds for a new organ, and Virginia is convinced she’ll raise more money.
Burt, in the meantime, has gotten a shipment of the season’s hottest toy, and selling it out of his house. Jimmy is insistent that Hope gets a doll, unlike all the Christmases he watched every last toy go out the front door. As the episode goes on, one thing leads to another, and it comes down to using the very last doll to attract attention to the living nativity Virginia has organized.
In the end, the message goes back to giving the best to Hope, like it always does. The family raises enough money to fix the church’s organ, and it is donated in Hope’s name. Jimmy learns a lesson about seeing the big picture, and the whole family grows closer. It’s one of the most unique special holiday episodes I’ve seen this season.