The special starts out with a doctor visiting the family of a sick boy named Tommy. He admits that the chance of Tommy recovering before Christmas is bleak.
Meanwhile, the Chipmunks have a recording session. Alvin is not very happy about having to work on Christmas, but after Dave tells him that he can play his prized Golden Echo harmonica, he suggests that Dave can get everything set up in the studio while he and his brothers go window shopping. Dave agrees to this, and tells them not to be late.
At the music store, Alvin sees another Golden Echo harmonica, and tells his own harmonica that it's the best harmonica in the world. At that moment, Tommy's mother and sister arrive at the store, and he overhears Tommy's sister tell her mother that if Tommy had the Golden Echo harmonica, it would make him feel better. Alvin feels bad about Tommy's illness, so much that during the recording session, he can't sing in tune with the others. Dave gives the Chipmunks a break, so Alvin goes to Tommy's house and presents him with his (Alvin's) own harmonica, returning in time to finish the session.
Unfortunately, later, while the Chipmunks are decorating the tree, Dave gets a phone call from Carnegie Hall that they want Alvin to play his harmonica on Christmas Eve. Alvin reveals what he did to Simon and Theodore, and makes a plan to get enough money for a new harmonica.
The Chipmunks gather up all the dogs in the neighborhood, and set up a photo booth, where children can have their photo taken with Santa Claus (Alvin). Unfortunately, the presence of a cat ruins the whole thing, and draws Dave's attention. Although he wants to know what happened, Alvin tells Simon and Theodore that they can't tell Dave about the harmonica, as Dave gave it to Alvin long ago, and Alvin is worried that Dave's feelings would be hurt if he learned what happened. As a result, Dave mistakes Alvin's actions for greed, and sends him to his room. This leads to a dream sequence involving Clyde Crashcup, who says that he has invented Christmas (which is now February 12) and Santa (Abraham Lincoln in a sleigh consisting of a hollowed-out pumpkin pulled by four elephants). Alvin tells him he needs money, and when Dave comes to check up on him, he is saying "money" in his sleep, causing Dave to give up.
On Christmas Eve, two hours before the concert, Simon and Theodore give Alvin the money they have saved up, and wish him luck on buying the harmonica. When asked where Alvin went, they lie and say they don't know. Luckily, just as Dave is complaining, he gets a phone call from Tommy's mother, who tells him about Alvin's harmonica and the wonders it worked for Tommy.
At the music store, Alvin is depressed, as he still doesn't have enough money for a new harmonica. Just then, a strange old woman appears, and buys it for him, only asking for a song in return, but disappearing by the end.
Dave, Simon, and Theodore arrive, and Dave apologizes to Alvin and tells him they have a surprise for him. At the concert, Alvin learns that Tommy has fully recovered, and he joins the Chipmunks on stage.
At the end, Santa Claus returns to the North Pole, where he is greeted by his wife (the same old woman who bought Alvin the harmonica). As Santa flies over the city before returning home, we hear the Chipmunks singing "We Wish You A Merry Christmas".
- Larry the Cucumber as Alvin Seville
- Pa Grape as Simon Seville
- Mr. Lunt as Theodore Seville
- Bob the Tomato as David Seville
- Archibald Asparagus as Clyde Crashcup
- Scooter as Santa Claus
- Miss Achmetha as Mrs. Claus
- Mom Asparagus as Tommy Waterford's Mom
- Laura Carrot as Angela Waterford
- Junior Asparagus as Tommy Waterford
- VeggieTales Theme Song
- A Little Bit of This
- I Love Fellowship
- The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything
- Endangered Love (from King George and the Ducky)
- The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late) (sung under the credits)
- This episode was supposed to come out on a Christmas before Toy Story but it was delayed because they needed to work on Toy Story before Fall Break, so they delayed this episode's release date to a Spring because of it. (But don't worry though, A Chipmunk Christmas was released before Toy Story.)
- This episode felt like it was animated after Big Idea switched over to Maya.
- One of the modelers who did the concept work for this was none other than Peter Jackson, the director of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
- The Silly Song is reused from "King George and the Ducky".
- This episode uses a portion of the footage from King George.
- This episode is focused upon Larry, Pa Grape and Mr. Lunt. It's not a fault that the three chipmunks are played by that same lovable lazy trio - The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything.
- Archibald originally played the role of Dave Seville instead of Bob.
- This was filmed after the filming of "Esther: The Girl Who Became Queen".
- This marks a lot of new things in this episode, including:
- A behind-the-scenes look at Toy Story.
- On several Smile of a Child broadcasts, the Silly Song was removed. "Kilts and Stilts" (from MacLarry and the Stinky Cheese Battle) served as a replacement.
Directed by MIKE NAWROCKI
Produced by JENNIFER COMBS
Story by SEAN GAFFNEY
Based on the original Christmas special by ROSS BAGDARASIAN, JR. and JANICE KARMAN
Production Assistants JOSHUA LINDSAY ALEX SCHEILDER
Concept Artists STEPHEN UNTERFRANZ JOSEPH SAPULICH JEREMY VICKERY AARON HARTLINE HYUN HUH
Dialog Breakdown ARM THEINPENG CHARLES RAMSEY
Written by MIKE NAWROCKI PHIL VISCHER
Storyboarding by TOD CARTER LUIS CONTRERAS
Character Voices MIKE NAWROCKI PHIL VISCHER JACKIE RITZ LISA VISCHER TIM HODGE JOHN WAHBA
Edited by JOHN WAHBA
Online Editor DAVID N. WATSON
Post-Production Visual Effects DAVID N. WATSON
Supervising Sound Editor ADAM FRICK
Modeling Supervisor IAN HUBBARD
Modeling Artists IAN HUBBARD HYUN HUH JEREMY VICKERY PETER JACKSON STEPHEN UNTERFRANZ
Layout Supervisor STEVE LEEPER
Layout Artists STEVE LEEPER ALEX LI RYAN WILLIAMS CHARLES RAMSEY
Animation Supervisor MARC VULCANO
Character Animators ANDY ARNETT TOM DANEN ROBERT ELLIS JOE McFADDEN RON SMITH NATHAN TUNGSETH ROB DUCEY
Animation Production Assistant HEATHER FINCH
Lighting Supervisors DANIEL PATRICK O'BRIEN
Lighting Artists RICHARD GOUGE NICOLE ALLEN CHARLES RAMSEY DANIEL PATRICK O'BRIEN
Directors of Technical Development HENRY VERA
Music and Score by KURT HEINECKE
IT WAYNE GEILS
Special Thanks To CHARLOTTE JACKSON BILL HALJUN PATTY O'KELLEY JON GADSBY DARREN RAICHART HOLLY VICKERING and The Big Idea Family
Content Advisor SCOTTIE MAY
Executive Producer PHIL VISCHER
Executive In Charge Of Production CHRIS MEIDL