'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house (said house being stately Wayne Manor, home of the Batman) not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
Our story opens with Batman coming to the aid of a beaten, robbed Santa. This is the sixth beaten Santa that Batman has attempted to help tonight, but this one explains that he helped himself a little bit by cracking the mugger with a wooden pallet:
Santa has apparently been working out. Batman pursues our injured mugger, but comes to a dead end:
Or does he?
Out of nowhere, there's:
Not only does the guy beat the hell out of Batman with a tree, but then he pulls down some Christmas lights and really gets to work:
Batman somehow gets the upper hand, eventually, and then starts working on the guy's self esteem, too:
Bush league, Batman? Really? Because it looked like he was doing a pretty good job beating you up with a Christmas tree. Batman's about to bring the guy in when, in front of a church with a fully lighted manger, the mugger pleads for mercy:
I'm surprised he didn't just start hitting Batman with the Baby Jesus, too.
Even though this guy just beat him with a tree, and mugged six Santas, Batman accompanies him home to his tenement apartment, where he finds out why Tim was stealing:
He has to take care of his niece, little Betsy. When he got laid off from his job at the toy factory, the factory owner promised the workers that he would rehire them for the holidays, so Tim didn't get another job. Then when the owner sold the factory instead, it was too late, and there was no money for Christmas. Batman agrees with him that this is a terrible story, and offhandedly suggests that really this is all that old man who owned the toy factory's fault. Tim silently agrees that this is all the old man's fault, and decides to take his revenge.
There's just one thing standing in his way.
Remember, Batman wants us to believe that this guy who beat him with a tree, with a string of lights, and now with a lamp, all on a bleeding injured leg, is strictly bush league. While Batman's knocked out, the guy ties him to a radiator, and when Batman wakes up Betsy won't untie him.
That's ok, though, because Batman doesn't need untying:
You know what's not going to help their poverty-stricken Christmas get any better, Batman?
Ripping their only source of heat out of the floor and breaking it.
Everyone in Gotham doesn't have a fireplace and a butler to tend it, Batman.
Knowing that he talked Tim into a murderous rampage, Batman gets ready to go after him, with a surprising new partner:
Meanwhile, a kindly old man who just wants some peace and quiet sits in his home alone talking to his toys, a perfectly valid lifestyle choice:
Little does he suspect that he's about to get attacked by a raging bush league unemployed uncle with a bad leg:
Batman's trying to get to the house to stop him, but there's trouble. The Batmobile has bad snow tires, apparently, and is stuck on the road up the mountain.
Deciding that the best place for a child in his care is outside in a deadly blizzard (there may be a reason why three Robins have died over the years), Batman starts to carry Betsy through the storm. Apparently he wants to be sure she sees her uncle getting beaten up and arrested or, more likely, seeing her uncle get the drop on Batman again. They're not in the storm for long, though, because they hear some bells...
They ride the sleigh up to the house, arriving just in time to find Tim carrying the old man down the front steps:
MAYBE HE WANTS TO BE ALONE AT CHRISTMAS, TIM. SOME PEOPLE FIND IT RESTFUL.
Anyway, they get to the hospital, and the doctors start working on the old guy while Batman, Betsy, and Tim wait:
And what happened, then? Well, in Gothan they say - that the Batman's small heart grew three sizes that day. And then - the true meaning of Christmas came through, and the Batman found the strength of *ten* Batmen, plus two!
And all that was left after releasing a dangerous serial mugger from his custody was dealing with the horse and sleigh.
Merry Christmas, everybody.