Best Christmas-Themed TV Episodes from “Friends” to “The Office”
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The holiday season is in full swing, which means people are looking to shows, movies, and music to get their minds on it.
Without fail, each year brings new Christmas-themed content to every home, whether it’s for the ears or the eyes, but that doesn’t mean the years past are to be ignored.
As the weather cools, a day on the sofa under a plush blanket can seem tantalizing, so here’s a look at the best vacation-themed TV episodes.
BEST CHRISTMAS MOVIES OF ALL TIME (WE THINK)
“Glee:” Extraordinary Merry Christmas
Nothing says Christmas like the Christmas carols, which were the specialty of the cast of “Glee”.
In “Extraordinary Merry Christmas,” the titular glee club has the opportunity of a lifetime to star on a Christmas TV special, but they turn down the opportunity to volunteer for the needy – until ‘they are filled with giving of the spirit and find a way to take both paths.
Better yet, the episode features a cover of Mariah Carey’s classic holiday song “All I Want for Christmas is You”, along with many other iconic numbers.
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“Schitt’s Creek:” Merry Christmas, Johnny Rose
Admiration for “Schitt’s Creek” has skyrocketed in recent years, despite its television debut in 2015. As the series grew in popularity, it seemed fitting that a Christmas episode be inserted.
In the special episode titled “Merry Christmas, Johnny Rose,” once wealthy Johnny Rose recalls the extravagant Christmas parties he and his wife Moira threw before they were left homeless and penniless.
In typical “Schitt’s Creek” fashion, Johnny’s family – and the town – come together to throw a last-minute Christmas Eve party, despite various obstacles.
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“New Girl:” Christmas Eve
After several years spent together, Jessica Day decides to spruce up Christmas with her roommates by organizing a secret exchange of gifts with Santa Claus.
When Jessica selects her ex-boyfriend Nick, she has to put on her big-girl shoes and pay to fly her current girlfriend, played by Megan Fox, for the holidays.
Outside of the freebies, however, the episode’s ending brings a treat with the appearance of Darlene Love, a music industry staple known for her Christmas tunes. She even sings her holiday hit, “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”.
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“Friends:” The one with the holiday armadillo
Not all shows focus on characters celebrating Christmas, which was partly the case with the hit sitcom “Friends”.
Ross Gellar learns that he will be welcoming his young son for the holidays and decides to tell him about their Jewish heritage. Frustrated by the lack of Hanukkah-themed icons to entertain his child, he chooses to make one himself.
Ross hilariously launches the Holiday Armadillo to teach little Ben about Jewish celebration. Ross’s friends join in to help celebrate a multicultural holiday and also show up in Santa and Superman costumes.
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“30 Rock:” Ludachristmas
For some, the holidays are known as a point of tension and stress, which “Ludachistmas” addresses when families of various characters come to visit him.
Liz Lemon’s loving family visit him, but the crew are quickly unraveled when Alec Baldwin’s Jack Donaghy’s mother hammers her teeth into the seemingly perfect family.
The family feud takes place as Lemon employees are forced to spend the day learning about Christmas while they wait for their annual holiday celebration called “Ludachristmas” to unfold.
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“Modern family:” Undeck the Halls
In the first-ever holiday episode of the long-running series, the Dunphy Clan celebrate Christmas differently than most families.
When Phil and Claire discover a cigarette burn on their sofa, they threaten to cancel Christmas until one of their children confesses to the wrongdoing, while Mitchell and Cam fire a mall Santa and Jay feel tense at the idea of celebrating the holidays with his wife and son-in-law with their Colombian traditions.
As is usually the case with “Modern Family,” each of the stories ends when the great team learns that during the holiday season, family and kindness are important above all else.
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“The Jeffersons:” 984 W. 124th St., Apt 5C
“The Jeffersons” was a landmark TV show because it was among the first to feature a successful black family, so it stands to reason that its vacation-themed episodes would be remarkable and heartwarming.
In “984 W. 124th St., Apt 5C”, George asks Leroy to deliver a package to an address in Harlem that George’s wife Louise has never heard of. Leroy forgets to take the package and George insists on taking it himself.
Louise’s suspicions are raised by the mysterious package, and her concern escalates when she finds out that George has also sent money to the address. When she follows her husband to the Harlem address, she realizes that it was his childhood home and that he brings help to the family that lives there that he never received.
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“Home improvement:” “It was the theft before Christmas
Christmas time is full of obstacles for the character of Tim Allen, a DIY TV host named Tim Taylor, who finds himself stranded in an airport with his co-host, Al, due to the snow.
While Tim and Al try to deal with the odd airport workers, Tim’s sons are back home and trying to decorate for the neighborhood Christmas lights contest.
Things are also very tense for Al, as his wife gives him an ultimatum – her or his mother. Fortunately, everyone is able to have as happy a vacation as possible.
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“The office:” “Christmas party”
When it comes time for the Dunder Mifflin staff to celebrate Christmas, the entire team embarks on a gift exchange, in which Michael Scott gives an expensive iPod to one employee and receives an oven mitt from another.
Michael tries to turn the situation around in his favor, only making things worse until he goes out shopping for some booze, which certainly lightens the mood.
After everyone seems to have made amends and ended up with the appropriate gifts, the staff continue to celebrate at a nearby bar.
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“The West Wing:” “In Excelsis Deo”
Being a drama, the Christmas episodes had a slightly different tone on “The West Wing” – this one involving death, hate crime, and collusion.
President Bartlet must balance his positive public image and the devastating news of a hate crime with last-minute Christmas shopping as his employees find a way to keep a potential public relations issue a secret.
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Meanwhile, Toby ponders morality when he learns that a veteran has died wearing a coat he once donated to a thrift store as CJ tries to fend off a reporter with romantic intentions.
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