This episode was about the difference between Thanksgiving and Passover. Or, well, about how different ponies celebrate Hearth's Warming Eve, which is not Christmas despite using lots of superficial Christmas symbolism. It's more like a combination of Thanksgiving, Passover, and the 4th of July.
Also, Pinkie Pie and her family are really dragons.
The 2-minute summary of the previous 22-minute Hearth's Warming episode was cute.
Twilight and Spike changed their tradition to open their presents immediately instead of waiting until the next morning -- yes, that's exactly what two kids living on their own would do.
Twilight still gets Spike books as presents, because otherwise he will DESTROY THE WORLD. Or at least the town.
"Stay off Holder's Boulder!" This was not Limestone's only line, but she sure said it a lot.
Marble, it turns out, is not Octavia. She's Fluttershy. "Mmhm!" is actually her only line.
"The choosing stone decreed that we would love one another, and lo, it was so." How sweet!
The main conflict was Applejack not liking the Pies' traditions. Someone said it was because the Apples were wealthy and didn't realize it until they had to see how the other half lived? Which makes sense. It might also just be a straight-up difference in the focus of the holiday.
Apples: Have a big dinner to celebrate the bounty that came from working together, put heirloom dolls over the fireplace to represent the shared warmth of friendship, give each other gifts.
Pies: Eat rock soup to commemorate the times of starvation, chip dolls of each other out of rocks to remember chipping each other out of the windigo ice, hide presents for each other to find.
Applejack's big mistake was maybe a little offensive? But it would have been a reasonable start to showing each other their traditions if she hadn't somehow cracked the earth and damaged the farm planting her flagpole -- yeah, that was kind of a stretch. Having her realize what she has to do to make up for it by dropping an
And then you find out that the 'rock farm' is really an old dragon's nest that got buried in rock somehow (lava flow?) and they're mining the dragon's hoard. And minding one of her eggs. The question is... are they a secret dragon cult? When the dragon returns, will the whole town bow down and serve her?
Anyway, it was a really fun episode with the 'new' characters actually being interesting and likable, and little hints of worldbuilding that felt natural. 3/3.