What is better than seeing Gregory House verbally mock stupid people? Why, watching him try to be nice to them first! This year's Christmas episode of "House," titled 'Joy to the World,' involves House trying to be genuinely nice to his patients in order to win a bet with Wilson. There is something very surreal about House smiling and wishing people a happy holiday. Last year on Christmas, House decided to mess with his new team by having them compete with one another to give him the best gift. They were very new at that point and scrambled around to impress him. This year is a distinct change, and it is great to see the Numbers more self-assured after a season has passed.

The patient of the week is a young teenager named Natalie who is tricked into making a fool of herself at a Christmas show. She is overweight and treated horribly by everyone at school. Her schoolmates admit to giving her shrooms, but this does not lead them to figuring out what happened to her. Natalie's liver is failing and her heart is weak. Cuddy becomes the Cameron of this episode and gets far too attached to the patient. She is involved enough to keep showing up at House's differentials despite their awkwardness around one another. There is no new Huddy this week, but the tension is ever-present. During one of their meetings, they find a present wrapped in green paper for House. The note seems intimate and House violently reacts by tossing it in the trash. This gets the Numbers talking about who it could possibly be from, because last week's prank did not teach them enough about House to be suspicious.

After a discussion with Wilson, they realize the present was actually from him and House was just messing around. This does lead to a bet between House and Wilson where House has to be nice enough to his patients that they willingly give him a Christmas gift. Get ready for some of the funniest moments of this show, because House goes voluntarily to the clinic in a white doctor's coat and practices his sweet, earnest smiles. The term 'a wolf in sheep's clothing' comes to mind. His patients seem the absolute worst kind, and House is not capable of holding his tongue. He does meet one in particular, a woman who is pregnant but swears she is a virgin. She drags her fiancé in to take a paternity test, and House displays his own brand of niceness when he pretends she is having a virgin birth rather than out her as a cheater. He gets a lovely little gift for it and throws it at Wilson.

In Thirteen world, she notices that the very sick patient from last week is no longer coming to the Huntington trials. The woman quit because of Foreman's attitude. After Thirteen says the magic words "you're just like House" to Foreman, he changes his tune and gets the patient back. Then they make out. This feels like a storyline just to create more drama on the show. There is very little chemistry between these two characters and there was even less build-up to this romance. Chase and Cameron flirted or made comments for seasons before getting together, and this relationship really feels tacked on and forced. It is a shame too, because it would be nice to see Foreman happy. Except for the fact his new gal pal is heading toward the grave. He and Wilson can make a club.

Natalie keeps getting worse and Cuddy gets more and more insane. What is it that draws her to this girl? Perhaps it is fate, because Natalie turns out to be suffering from eclampsia. She had a baby which she thought died, and now she has no hope of surviving. Now that is not a happy Christmas tale! Except that Cuddy goes to find the dead baby and finds one very much alive; a homeless couple saved her. Natalie gets to hold her baby before dying, and her parents put the little girl up for adoption. And we all know what this means: Cuddy has finally found her Joy! Yay! What this means for her relationship with House or her career at all remains to be seen, but Lisa Edelstein again acts fabulously in this episode and her happiness is infectious.

When "House" returns in January it will be on Monday nights at 8 PM EST leading into the new season of "24." Change your DVR's now!

House cast: Hugh Laurie / Lisa Edelstein / Omar Epps / Robert Sean Leonard / Jennifer Morrison / Jesse Spencer / Peter Jacobson / Kal Penn / Anne Dudek / Olivia Wilde / Edi Gathegi

Story by Chelsea 'Dee' Doyle
Starpulse contributing writer