A Very Office Christmas
Rachel O'Grady | Monday, December 7, 2015
It’s Christmastime, and that means decking the halls, getting the tree and most importantly, binge watching the Christmas episodes of all the shows on television. There is no show that single handedly absolutely crushes the Christmas episode category quite like “The Office,” so of course, that calls for a definitive ranking of the best ones. Note that this is only the top five, as the others really just don’t stack up to these. Beyond that, I want to make it perfectly clear that none of these are the true best episode of “The Office” (for what it’s worth, that’s “Stress Relief,” no questions asked).
- “Dwight Christmas,” Season Nine
Cheer or fear? Belsnickel is here! When the Dunder Mifflin party planning committee fails to come up with a theme for the Christmas party, Dwight Schrute saves the day with a traditional Schrute Family Christmas. While Dwight’s terrifying game of “Impish or Admirable,” dressed as the Belsnickel “the dirty, and well, worse version of Santa,” provided the laughs for the episode, Erin Hannon’s tender moments with Pete Miller while watching “Die Hard” provided the necessary sentimentality for the final Christmas episode of the series.
- “Classy Christmas,” Season Seven
The two-part season seven Christmas feature showcased what is perhaps the best snowball fight in the history of all snowball fights. Jim Halpert, in retrospect rather foolishly, agrees to a snowball fight with Dwight, which turns into an all-out, no rules massacre and ends in a black eye for Jim. All the while, Michael Scott is desperately trying to impress Holly Flax, who’s in town replacing Toby Flenderson while he’s on jury duty for the Scranton Strangler case. Michael’s attempts are arguably fruitless, but nevertheless, watching him fall head over heels for Holly all over again is a little bit heartwarming. Plus, “The Office” is so far from classy that it’s adorable watching them attempt some degree of high society.
- “Benihana Christmas,” Season Three
I’m already getting major push-back for putting “Benihana Christmas” at the No. three spot. Let’s be very clear: it’s an excellent episode, perhaps one of the best in the series, but it doesn’t stack up to my number one or two. Still, Michael’s Sharpie-marked “date” to the office Christmas party, a waitress he picked up at the preceding Benihana outing is worth a top three spot in and of itself. Meanwhile, Pam Beesly and Karen Filippelli plan a rival Christmas party after Angela Kinsey kicks them off the official party-planning committee, forcing the rest of the office to chose sides before eventually merging parties in the spirit of compromise at Christmastime. Dwight is also briefly convinced he has been recruited for the CIA, as part of an elaborate prank Pam is executing as a present for Jim. The episode is nothing short of fantastic, and sets the bar high for later Christmas episodes.
- “Moroccan Christmas,” Season Five
Meredith Palmer catches on fire, Angela is outed for her affair with Dwight and, after buying them out of all the toy stores in town, Dwight makes a profit selling “Princess Unicorn” dolls at more than market value. This episode covers every base and features perhaps the best intervention in television history after Meredith gets too drunk at the party. Michael learns shortly after this intervention that “you actually can’t check someone into rehab against their will.”
- “The Christmas Party,” Season Two
The inaugural Christmas episode (there was no Christmas episode in the first season) is by far the best. Though the office engages in a Secret Santa, Michael introduces the idea of a “Yankee Swap” (also known as a “white elephant gas exchange”) when he receives a handmade oven mitt from Phyllis Vance. The office fights over the video iPod Michael bought for Ryan Howard, while Jim does his best to secure the teapot he got for Pam filled with personal items, as well as a handwritten letter. He ends up pocketing the letter confessing his feelings for Pam, but it appears again in the season nine when he finally gives it to her with a video of their relationship. The episode is both adorable and hilarious, but the recurring teapot reaffirms that Pam and Jim are in fact relationship goals.