The 12 Best Christmas Episodes to Watch Right Now
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The 12 Best Christmas Episodes to Watch Right Now

From Black Mirror to Bob's Burgers; the best Christmas episodes to get you into the holiday spirit.

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The 12 Best Christmas Episodes to Watch Right Now
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I've had the decency to wait until after Thanksgiving is over, but I can no longer contain my excitement for the holiday season. I'm lighting my pine-scented candles, getting out my flannel PJs, and baking gingerbread men. I guess you could say I love Christmas.

And as someone who also loves TV, I've decided to create a list of the best Christmas-themed television episodes to get you in the holiday spirit. Sure, there are classic Christmas movies and specials, but these special TV episodes mean there's a perfect way for you to get into the holiday spirit, no matter what genre you like.

If you love light-hearted comedy:

1. The Office, "Christmas Party" (Season 2, Episode 10)

Michael buys Ryan the temp a $400 video iPod for Secret Santa but the gift-giving quickly devolves into a Yankee swap as Michael is disappointed by the handmade oven mitt he got from Phyllis. Also, Michael buys a LOT of vodka.

2. Parks and Recreation, "Citizen Knope" (Season 4, Episode 10)

This is Parks and Recreation at its best. All of the heart-warming camaraderie, teamwork, and Leslie Knope in hyperactive top form. You have to love Marshmallow Ron Swanson, the invention of "salgar," and Ben's constant mentions of "resigning in disgrace." It's a cute episode with all of the best elements of Parks and Rec, plus some extra holiday cheer.

3. The Office, "Moroccan Christmas" (Season 5, Episode 11)

Meredith's hair catches on fire, Michael thinks he invented the Screwdriver (or as he calls it, Orange Vod-juice-ka) and Phyllis is making power plays as the new head of the Party Planning Committee. This episode is amazing and it's the first thing I think of when I hear "office Christmas party."

4. Parks and Recreation, "Ron and Diane" (Season 5, Episode 9)

I love Parks and Rec so much I'm adding this episode to the list as well. The amazing Megan Mullally is perfectly insane as Tammy 2, but this episode is also great for its look into Jerry's inexplicably perfect home life. For a character who takes as much flack at work as Jerry does, it's always nice to see that he has an amazing life out of the office, and his Christmas party with wife Gayle (played by the ageless Christie Brinkley) and his three gorgeous daughters is really heartwarming. It may also make you crave full-fat eggnog.

5. Bob's Burgers, "Christmas in the Car" (Season 4, Episode 8)

Bob's Burgers is amazing and I strongly identify with Linda's tendency to buy a Christmas tree way too early. Teddy is hilarious in this episode and it's the characteristic mix of the family's closeness, goofy and gross humor, and some Christmas cheer that make this episode amazing.

If you enjoy sitcoms that are just a little edgier:

6. 30 Rock, "Secret Santa" (Season 4, Episode 8)

I legitimately have some of the songs from this episode saved on a Christmas playlist. Danny and Jenna's duet is truly heartwarming and Jack and Liz compete to give each other the best gift. I really love this episode and Kenneth's insane Secret Santa rules are amazing.

7. Seinfeld, "The Strike" (Season 9, Episode 10)

This episode gave us a Festivus for the rest of us. If you prefer an aluminum pole to a Christmas tree, this one is for you. For the traditionalists, this episode has the classic Seinfeld hallmarks: George "gives" to the Human Fund, a fake charity he made up, to avoid spending money on his coworkers, and Jerry dates Gwen, the "two-face" woman whose appearance changes completely depending on the lightning. If you're looking for another amazing episode that's only somewhat Christmas themed, try The Pick—that's the one with Elaine's infamous Christmas card.

8. 30 Rock, "Ludachristmas" (Season 2, Episode 9)

"Ain't no party like a Liz Lemon party cause a Liz Lemon party is mandatory." That is, until Kenneth cancels Ludachristmas because no one understands the true meaning of the holiday. I love this storyline because we get to see Jack's soft side and understand his family dynamics with his mother, ice queen Colleen (the inimitable Elaine Stritch.)

If you want something nostalgic:

9. Arthur, "Arthur's Perfect Christmas" (Christmas Special)

This is the only episode in its category because it's just that amazing. I love this Christmas special and I watch it almost every year. If you loved Arthur at all, this Christmas special is perfect for you. It even has original songs, which are extremely catchy and really heartwarming. This is amazing for the whole family, especially because this episode teaches lessons about friendship, religious tolerance, different cultures and customs, and dealing with divorced parents at Christmastime. Pretty amazing for a show about a talking aardvark.

If you like more thought-provoking and dark shows:

10. Mad Men, "Christmas Waltz" (Season 5, Episode 10)

This episode gave us one of the best lines of the entire series: "Surprise, there's an airplane here to see you!" from the one and only Joan Holloway Harris and offered up a truly touching scene between Joan and Don. It will always be a mystery why these two intelligent, beautiful people never got together, but their bar talk, platonic flirting dancing are lovely to watch in an episode packed with plotlines.

11. Black Mirror, "White Christmas" (Christmas Special)

This is not exactly a cheery Christmas episode, and it's certainly not family-friendly. Black Mirror is a famously twisted and dystopian view of our future as it relates to technology. But this Christmas episode is really like three stories wrapped into one, and Jon Hamm's incredible acting ties the complicated plot together. You might want to chase this one with a genuinely festive episode from a different show but if you want to watch something truly mind-bending, this is perfect for you. It stands on its own and you don't need to have seen the show to watch the episode.

12. Sherlock, "A Scandal in Belgravia" (Series 2, Episode 1)

Again, this is not your typical Christmas episode. Much of the episode is not particularly holiday-themed, but it's worth watching for that one painful Christmas party scene. John in an ugly sweater, Sherlock picking up on all details but the most important ones, and terribly cringe-worthy moments—it's a very Sherlock Christmas. The episode as a whole is very good but not one for the whole family.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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