Synopsis by Mark Deming
It's Christmas Eve in Springfield, and Bart Simpson (voice of Nancy Cartwright) can barely contain his excitement at the prospect of a big stack of presents. Waking up before the rest on the family on the big day, Bart starts opening gifts without them, but after getting a toy fire truck, he ironically sets fire to the Simpsons' artificial Christmas tree, destroying all the gifts under it in the process. Bart is able to hide the evidence before anyone can see him, but when Homer (voice of Dan Castellaneta), Marge (voice of Julie Kavner) and Lisa (voice of Yeardley Smith) ask what happened to their presents, Bart lies and says a burglar made off with them. Homer and Marge report the robbery to the police, and when newsman Kent Brockman (voice of Harry Shearer) puts the story of the Yuletide theft on television, the city opens up its collective heart (and wallet) and the family receive a windfall of fifteen thousand dollars. Homer impulsively spends the money on a new car, but he wrecks it while driving home, and Bart finally tells the truth about what happened to the tree and the presents. When the people of Springfield learn the truth, they turn on the Simpson family until Marge pledges to find a way to pay them back for their generosity. Featuring a voice cameo from Alex Trebek as himself, "Miracle on Evergreen Terrace" was first aired on December 21, 1997.