A young Hayate asks Santa Claus why he doesn't get any presents. Santa replies that because he is poor, he will get no presents. Those who do not work do not deserve to eat.
In the present day, Hayate works as a super-fast delivery boy, dodging traffic and managing to emerge without a scratch after a horrible crash to deliver a manuscript outside someone's office. He runs into some friends from high school who invite him to a Christmas party, but Hayate can't go because he lacks the money to pay for food. His classmates accuse him of being selfish, but he responds that his parents are unemployed, causing them to slink away. Hayate further elaborates that his parents are money-wasting bums who don't seem to do any work on their own and spend whatever money they have chasing an unexplained dream.
However, when he returns to his own delivery office, Hayate's boss (who bares a slight resemblance to Gendo Ikari) announces that he is going to be fired. Hayate's parents showed up to the office and informed him that Hayate was under legal age, so the boss gave his paycheck to them instead. Hayate races home, only to find that the paycheck has been pretty much stolen by them. He also spots a note nearby that his parents left, telling him that they borrowed over 150 million Yen and decided to pass the debt on to Hayate as a Christmas present. The debt collectors suddenly burst through the door, supposedly offering Hayate a way out. However, Hayate suspects that they are going to sell his organs and dives through a nearby window.
After resting by a park bench and losing faith in honest work, Hayate hatches a quick plot to kidnap a blonde-haired girl shopping at a nearby vending machine and hold her for ransom in a monlogue where his inner devil and inner angel seem to switch sides. However, when she is accosted by a couple of young punks, Hayate quickly jumps out and punches one in the face, scaring them away. Things get even more complicated when he tries to subtly communicate that he wants the girl to become his hostage, but she interprets it as a confession of love.
Hayate goes to a pay phone to call the girl's house and place a ransom demand. However, he messes up the call and loses heart, eventually resigning himself to his fate when a brown-haired girl walks by and decides to help him out. While he is moved by the kind act, the two of them see the previous girl being kidnapped for real. Hayate decides to follow the kidnappers' car by a bike, as the narrator tells the audience that "kidnapping is not cool." Inside the car, the blonde-haired girl acts defiantly in the face of her own kidnapping, calling out Hayate's name.
Hayate's attempt to act badass at first fails when the car he leapfrogs simply runs him over. However, Hayate simply flips himself onto the car's hood and stares at them with evil red eyes, scaring the kidnappers into giving up. As Nagi offers him a gift for saving her, Hayate asks for a new job before collapsing from his injuries and blood loss (in a fourth wall-breaking moment, he jokes that the censors won't let them show the extent of his injuries). The police offer to take care of Hayate, but the blonde-haired girl, now revealed as Nagi Sanzenin, calls in a chopper and says she plans to make Hayate her new butler.