Ranking ‘The Office’ Christmas Specials
We are about to get the first post-Carell Christmas special on The Office. Based on how Season 8 has been up to this point I’m not too confident if the show will be able to spread the holiday cheer as well as it has in the past. So I thought it would be fun to look at what might be a ghost of Christmas past and rank the five brilliant Christmas episodes The Office has given us so far.
This episode of course starts with one of the best pranks Jim plays on Dwight. He seemingly wraps his co-worker’s desk, chair, and supplies in wrapping paper Then Dwight tries to sit and falls on the ground because Jim wrapped cardboard to look like his stuff. Anyway, Phyllis decides it would be fun to do a more cultural Christmas party and decorates the office like Morocco. But it wouldn’t be Christmas (or any holiday for that matter) is Meredith didn’t get too drunk. This year she lights her hair on fire and Michael decided to host an intervention for her. This episode is the least great Christmas special just because the Morrocan decorations don’t exactly feel all that Christmas-y.
The battle of the Santas! Jim, who was manager for the first half of this season, told Phyllis that she could be Santa. But of course Michael wants to be Santa. They compete for peoples’ laps with Michael shouting at Ryan “I need this! I need this!”. Eventually, Michael dresses as the man who heals leopards and can fly, Jesus Christ. Angela was the only one who approved. However, this episode also resolves the long-running Dunder Mifflin struggling in the economy subplot. The entire office learns that the company has been sold and then they find out that they aren’t getting fired. This leads to some genuine Christmas cheer as everyone sings and gives presents. Oh, and who can forget Andy’s gift to Erin.
For Michael Scott’s last season the writers decided to bring back Holly, and it made for the perfect Christmas present for our favorite manager. Too bad she’s dating someone else, who later shows up at the office. But Michael handles it surprisingly well and is left with a glimmer of hope to ring in the New Year. Another highlight is Jim and Dwight’s snow ball war. What Jim thought would be an innocent, playful act turned in to one of the most terrifying moments a man could ever have at work. Dwight attacks Jim by hiding in a snowman. Then he dresses as Pam and gets him with another. It’s brilliant and Dwight finally wins.
The first Christmas special we got is certainly one of the best. The office decides to have a secret Santa with all their co-workers with a twenty dollar limit. But Michael buys Ryan a video iPod, and when Phyllis gives him a pair of oven mitts he feels cheated. So he makes everyone play Yankee Swap, a terrible game where everyone gets to pick which presents they get. It left everyone feeling sour, especially Jim who bought Pam a very special and personal gift. So Michael goes and buys a bunch of booze and everyone gets trashed. That’s a fine way to celebrate the holidays right? Oh, and Pam got her present from Jim, and it was adorable. Like Michael we’ll just forget that Meredith took her clothes off once she got drunk…
There is no better Christmas episode than this. It also happens to be one of my favorite episodes of the show. Michael gets depressed after Carol breaks up with him and tries to cancel Christmas. This leads to some of the guys taking him to a Hibachi style restaurant. Another great thing about this episode is the rival Christmas parties; Angela vs. Pam and Karen. Watching the two parties unfold is wonderful. However the best humor comes when Michael brings two waitresses back to the office for the party. Because they are Asian and he is drunk he has trouble telling them apart. His solution? Mark one of them with a sharpie. But the best Christmas gift of all in this stellar episode is watching Michael and Jim talk about rebounding. Michael realizing he rebounded Carol with the waitress and Jim subtly acknowledging that he is rebounding Pam with Karen. Fantastic writing.
Merry Christmas Office fans! Look for my review tonight of season 8’s Christmas episode!