Whether you’re home for the holidays or alone for the holidays, the television is there to serve up good cheer. So say “bah humbug” to socializing, and watch our list of holiday episodes to revisit this December:
Ludachristmas – 30 Rock
Liz’s overly-nurturing family come to town, and Jack Donaghy has never seen such support. To avoid the harsh stylings of his own mother, Colleen, Jack becomes an honorary Lemon. She insists to push the lemon family to their breaking point, Jenna is trying to flirt with Liz’s brother, Mitch, who is mentally stuck in 1985, and Kenneth tries to teach the TGS staff what Christmas is all about. It’s a great Christmas episode that gets aways with a “Lemon Party” joke. (Don’t look it up.) Bonus: The ending credits feature a Tracy Jordan original Christmas carol not to be missed.
A Rugrats Chanukah – The Rugrats
“A Maccababy’s gotta do, what a Maccababy’s gotta do!” Grandma and Grandpa Boris visit the Pickles house for the holiday giving Rugrats this critically acclaimed episode. Boris tells the babies the story of Chanukah while at the same time trying to beat out his rival, Shlomo to get the lead in the Synagouge’s play. The kids believe Shlomo is the “Meanie of Chanukah,” and together, try to bring him down. (While learning about Hanukkah, of course)
The Strike – Seinfeld
Tinsel is distracting — Festivus is back! For all of the Scrooges, here’s an episode responsible for our favorite non-commercial holiday: Festivus. Originally invented by George’s father to avoid Christmas commercialism, George’s childhood nightmare returns when Frank and Kramer lead the way to bring the festivities back. Gather your pole and list of disappointments because you’re all invited to celebrate.
Minstrel Krampus – American Dad
Steve has turned into a spoiled brat and gets kidnapped by The Christmas demon himself, Stan and Roger team up with Santa to kill Krampus, and Hayley gets a job to pay for Christmas gifts. This musical episode is delightfully catchy, surprisingly violent, and in the same vein as Beauty and the Beast, has a love story with talking toiletries. Steve’s boy band attitude and Krampus’ soulful sounds (Voiced by Danny Glover and Singing by Charles Bradley) make for one spectacular holiday episode … I’m still waiting for the mixtape to drop.
The One with the Holiday Armadillo –Friends
Feeling like his son is only learning Christmas traditions, Ross attempts to teach Ben about Hanukah. However, instead of an education, Ben believes he’s been put on the naughty list, and won’t be getting a visit from Santa. To turn things around, Ross rushes to find a Santa costume and lands the next best thing: Santa’s part-Jewish friend, the Holiday Armadillo. Thankfully, Santa eventually shows up (along with Superman) and Ross is given the chance to share the story of Hanukah or give a funeral for the Easter Bunny –depends on how you look at it.
White Christmas – Black Mirror
If a “mind-f*ck” was on your wishlist this year, Black Mirror is delivering! What begins with two men sharing secrets of murder and deceit inside of a cabin, turns into a three-part special featuring Jon Hamm and … Well, I don’t want to reveal too much. Because as we know, every episode of Black Mirror has a twist or two. Let’s just say you won’t “wish it were Christmas every day.”
The Best Chrismukkah Ever – The O.C.
The festive Seth Cohen combines his parent’s celebrations into one giant party! Our introduction to this holiday(s), lets us visit a simpler time: A time where Marissa Cooper is still alive and not-so-well, where Ryan is adjusting to his Orange County lifestyle, and when Seth’s biggest problem was choosing between Summer and Anna. The annual Cohen bash gets a little crazy when teens sneak booze and Summer surprises in a Wonder Woman costume. It’s the beginning of an O.C. tradition, and easily one of the best.
Marge Not Be Proud – The Simpsons
After stealing the bloody new video game “Bonestorm” from the Try-N-Save, Bart gets banned and hides his punishment from the family. The secret gets out during a family portrait session, and Marge stops overly-mothering him. Bart struggles with the fear of personal loss and attempts to do anything to win back his mother’s affection. Unlike Bart selling his soul, Marge Not be Proud is a sweet, tear-jerker that deals with Bart finding his conscience.
Christmas Party — The Office
Office parties are never that fun, and secret Santa gift exchanges are often a disaster, which is why Michael has to break the rules for everyone have a good time. The booze starts flowing, Kelly kisses Dwight, and Meredith takes off her top..again. Not to mention, Jim gets Pam a teapot filled with inside jokes and we realized THEY ARE MEANT TO BE TOGETHER FOREVER. It’s good Christmas fun and to quote Michael Scott, “First of all you get to spend time with people you love. Secondly, you can get drunk and no one can say anything. Third, you give presents. What’s better than giving presents? And fourth, getting presents. So four things. Not bad for one day. It’s really the greatest day of all time
Arnold’s Christmas – Hey Arnold
After discovering that Mr. Hyunh was separated from his daughter during the Vietnam War, Arnold sets out on a mission to bring them back together. Arnold & Gerald do a series of tasks to try to make it happen. Meanwhile, Helga searches for the perfect gift for her secret love, Arnold, and ends up saving the day by sacrificing her brand-new & impossible to find Nancy Spumoni snow boots to find Hyunh’s daughter. The reunion brings a tear to the eye and its message of giving captures the true meaning of Christmas. Seriously, re-watch it.
Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas – Community
Abed is seeing the world stop motion. Everyone is adorable and in true Rankin/Bass style like so many of our favorite holiday specials. The group, worried about his behavior, goes along with it and the college misfits become a group of misfit toys determined to help him find the true meaning of Christmas. It’s touching, sad, funny, and in claymation. What more could you ask for?
Have a favorite episode you watch every holiday season? Share you traditions with us!