"But Muscle Man wrapped them around my horns," the goat protested lamely. Benson silenced him with an upraised palm.
"The only words I want to hear from your mouth, Thomas, are, 'OK, I'll put up the lights.' Or, 'Hey, Benson, some more egg nog?'"
The goat sighed. "Hey, Benson. Some more egg nog?"
"Not now, Thomas! OK, Rigby, that's perfect!"
Rigby beamed with a look of genuine pride. He'd set the star on top of the tree with peerless accuracy. He leapt down from the top and landed in Benson's arms, laughing.
"Well, look what the star guided us this Christmas," said Skips. "It's a dirty raccoon."
"Yeah, yeah," said Rigby, rolling his eyes. "I don't see any wise men around here. Except you, Skips. You always got my back."
Muscle Man made a noise like a dying car engine. "Enough of the lovey-dovey stuff, dudes. That's not what Christmas is about."
Mordecai chuckled. "Really, Muscle Man? What's it about in your family?"
"Well, we didn't celebrate Christmas. We just pounded egg nog and exchanged gifts. Woooooo!"
"Aw, yeah! Sounds good to me, dude!" said Rigby, leaping down from Benson's arms and joining Muscle Man in an ear-splitting 'woo.'
"Alright, alright, calm down, everyone," said Benson. "We still need to get those lights up, we need to wrap the gifts for the orphan drive, and where is Pops with that damn turkey?"
A clatter and fall at the front door answered the latter question well enough. Pops popped his head around the living room door. "Oh dear! I seem to have dropped the giant chicken!" Skips heaved the old man up with one arm and grabbed the festive bird with the other.
"OK, good - Skips, go and put that filthy pig in the oven. The turkey, not Rigby. Muscle Man, Fives, I need you to take point on wrapping those gifts. And Thomas…"
The goat managed a meek noise of curiosity.
"I'd love a glass of egg nog. But I want it out of my special glass. Go to the cabinet nearest the fridge. It's on the top shelf."
The goat obediently trekked into the kitchen, ready to execute yet another pointless chore. When he opened the cabinet, a note fell out.
"We're so happy that you found us here at the park. We know we give you a hard time, but that's just because you're new. Trust us that you've found a good set of friends here. If you ever need anything, just let me know. From —Benson.
"p.s. don't tell anyone I wrote you this note. Merry Christmas."
Thomas fetched the glass, filled it from the bowl, and came back into the living room. Before he could even hand the drink off to Benson, Mordecai and Rigby had unwrapped the lights from his horns.
"Thanks, guys!" said Thomas. "I was starting to think I was stuck like that forever."
"No way, dude," said Mordecai. "Benson would pitch a fit if we didn't get those up."
The gumball machine shrugged and smiled. "Hey, what can I say? I take Christmas very seriously."
Rigby scoffed. "Yeah, I can tell. There's no other explanation for that sweater."
Everyone laughed at Benson's choice of clothing - a red-and-white knitted effort with the gaudiest, most oddly-proportioned reindeer ever to have lived. Everyone, that is, except Thomas.
"Don't listen to these guys, Benson. I think your sweater's awesome. It's exactly what Christmas is all about."
Benson smiled, took his glass of egg nog from Thomas, and raised a toast.
"Merry Christmas, everyone. Let's do this again next year."