Between temperatures in the 60s and 70s, being away from family, and lots of traveling this month, it just hasn’t felt like Christmas. Which is upsetting because I LOVE Christmas. Decorating, baking, cuddling with blankets, walks when it’s cold outside, a dusting of snow, getting great photos, trips to Longwood Gardens… All of it. And this year I even waiting until after Thanksgiving to start the holiday tunes! (I usually cheat a bit beforehand.)
Normally baking dozens of cookies, blasting some Straight No Chaser originals (Definitely check out “The Christmas Can-Can” and “Text Me Merry Christmas“) and
watching The Ref and Love Actually will do it for me, but this year is different for some reason. But I love Christmas, and with just a few days to go, I’m going to do what I can to save it. And if cookies, music and movies aren’t going to do it for me. It’s time to turn somewhere else. Television series.
I went through some of my favorite series and found my top Christmas-themed episodes to share with you in case you’re having a hard time with the holidays this year as well. There are many, many more, but these helped the most! *I’ll try to keep it vague, but may contain some spoilers*
What I like about this episode: We get to see just how right Jim and Pam are for each other. From Roy’s half-assed response about Pam’s Christmas present, to the time, care, and thoughtfulness Jim put into Pam’s gift. I’m still in love with that teapot after all this time and keep my eyes out for it. The closest one I’ve found only comes in white.
That ’70s Show – Season 1, Episode 12: The Best Christmas Ever
What I like about this episode: Hyde and Eric throughout the episode. Hyde is still my favorite from this series, but seeing the difference in their gifts for Donna – Hyde with the personal touch, Eric spending more for something she wants – gets me every time. Hyde’s gift still wins for me. It’s the sweet gestures that mean the most, very little or no money required to show someone how much you care.
Doctor Who – Season 6: The Doctor, the Widow & the Wardrobe
What I like about this episode: Apart from Matt Smith speaking to me on a spiritual level
during his tenure as The Doctor, this episode is moving because of the mother, Madge Arwell, featured in it. Trying to protect her children from the pain of losing their father, she tries to stay strong for them by keeping it secret until after Christmas. Needless to say, she not only saves the day, but her children’s and her own happiness in the process. She then makes The Doctor return to his friends for Christmas, where he has a sweet exchange with Amy & Rory that gets me every single time. Watch for some happy tears at the end of this one.
How I Met Your Mother – Season 7 Episode 12: Symphony of Illumination
What I like about this episode: Another one that had me in tears. Told from Robin’s point of view, this episode tackled uncertainly, loneliness and fear while still provoking laughs from the viewers about the sensitive topic of conception. Ted going out of his way to be there for Robin at the end of it was what got me. Sometimes people have their own problems that they’re trying to come to terms with, and whether they want to talk to not, it’s not about trying to solve the problem for someone; It’s about being there for them and trying to make them feel loved. This episode remains one of my favorite episodes of HIMYM.
The Big Bang Theory – Season 2, Episode 11: The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis
What I like about this episode: How do you decide how to get a gift for someone? Just whatever reminds you of them? Or does it have to do with monetary equality for giving and receiving gifts? Sheldon’s reaction to Penny’s gift. Priceless. The hug is perfect and it was nice seeing their friendship grow. Gives you the warm fuzzies.
Doctor Who – Season 7: The Snowmen
What I like about this episode: There are so many more Christmas episodes of Doctor Who, but the introduction of Clara in this one is probably part of what makes it my favorite. Going back and rewatching her episodes, I realized how much I identify with Clara and how much The Doctor really needed her at that point in his life. We won’t get into the whole “Impossible Girl” stuff at the moment, but the cleverness, adventurousness, and fire of Clara is what pulls out of his grief and helps set him on the path to healing. This was a very cleverly written and engaging episode and the calls to the Ponds are definitely heart-wrenching. Also, Snowmen are now terrifying. Nothing is safe. *sigh
The Office – Season 7 Episode 12: Classy Christmas Part 2
What I like about this episode: Another episode I love for Jim and Pam. (How could I not?) In the tradition of them giving each other very meaningful gifts, Pam creates a comic book for Jim where he’s the star. He blows her away by buying a gift instead of making it this year, getting her a gorgeous bracelet. Pam’s thrown by this as she clearly was expecting him to make the gift again this year and tries to cover up her handmade one by saying it was a placeholder. But Jim being Jim, he makes you fall even more in love with him by being his adorable, loving self and can barely speak for how much her loves the comic, and by how much he is in love with her.
Was I supposed to be able to breathe while feeling all that love, writers? Because if not, you’ve succeeded.
How I Met Your Mother – Season 8 Episode 12: The Final Page Part 2
What I like about this episode: I love Robin & Barney.
Personally, them not staying together is an affront to my heart. But that’s not what this is about (exactly…). Showing us Barney’s long game in this episode leading up to that final moment in front of Robin just … *melts* I squealed. It was beautiful, well played, and extra acting points to Neil Patrick Harris for just nailing the entire “hopelessly, irretrievably in love with her” moment. It sends my heart racing each time.
Boy Meets World – Season 5, Episode 11: A Very Topanga Christmas
What I like about this episode: Another couple that set the bar WAYYYYY too high growing up, Cory and Topanga once again show us that if you’re meant to be with someone you can work through anything. Topanga is going to spend her first Christmas with the Matthews family, but things go south when she starting imposing her family’s traditions on them. Eventually, things blow up and Cory leaves to spend some time with Shawn and figure out if he really wants to give Topanga the promise ring he bought her. But the lesson here is that compromises can work, and that when you love someone, you just want to see them happy. So you find some common ground and start again. Much like how Cory & Topanga found that while they’re different, they still share so much, including their love and the promise rings they both got each other that year.
I hope you enjoy these episodes as much as I did (and still do!)! What are your favorite Christmas episodes and movies?
Stay tuned for cookie recipes! Warm wishes to you and yours a fantastic holiday season!