Holiday episodes, when written properly, can be some of the best parts of a season. They make you love your favorite characters even more. Some holiday episodes even make you appreciate your family isn’t as messy as the one depicted onscreen. Whatever the reason, here are some of the best and most memorable holiday episodes to get you prepared for the Christmas/Hanukkah season.
1. New Girl —“The 23rd”
New Girl has had a few rocky seasons over the years, but the first cemented the show’s longevity. One of the initial episodes that proved a weird family dynamic with one teacher and three male roommates would work was “The 23rd.” The gang are all supposed to go home for Christmas but end up being trapped at home. The highlight: Schmidt dressed as “sexy” Santa.
2. The Office —“Secret Santa”
Unlike some shows that only give viewers Halloween, Thanksgiving or Christmas episodes every few seasons, The Office became known for its hilarious holiday episodes every season. It’s hard to choose, but one of the best Christmas episodes is season six’s “Secret Santa.” Jim tells Phyllis that she can be Santa at the office party, and of course Michael is not happy. Plus, there is a moment when Michael sits on Phyllis’s lap.
3. My So-Called Life —“So-Called Angels”
Not all holiday episodes can be uplifting, and this one certainly isn’t. Since this short-lived, beloved series was all about tackling teen issues in a more authentic way, the Xmas episode coincides with this theme. The episode addresses teen homelessness and shows how thankful people should be to have a home for the holidays
4. Lizzie McGuire —“Aaron Carter’s Coming To Town”
I WANT CANDY! Who doesn’t remember this Lizzie McGuire episode? Arguably one of the best, Lizzie and co. sneak onto a studio lot to catch a glimpse of their favorite singer. The plot is ridiculous which is expected from this series, but that is why people still love it. Aaron Carter’s appearance at the end makes all fangirls swoon.
5. That’s So Raven —“Episode Claus”
I am declaring this episode the best Disney Channel Christmas ever because of the important lesson Raven realizes. While most of us wish we had a time machine to fix our mistakes, Raven actually gets that chance. The episode addresses how superficial some people treat the holiday season instead of using it to bond with family. There is also a fun supernatural moment.
6. Gilmore Girls —“Forgiveness and Stuff”
Oddly, Gilmore Girls did not have many Christmas episodes. In fact “Forgiveness and Stuff” is the only time the family is actually celebrating the holiday. It’s not a joyful moment in the first season considering Lorelai and Rory are not getting along. Plus, Richard’s heart attack at the conclusion will pull on your heartstrings.
7. Veronica Mars —“An Echolls Family Christmas”
Another Christmas episode that isn’t too jolly. This episode serves more as a way to move the plot along while it just so happens to be Christmas. Still, Logan and Duncan’s matching underwear and a vengeful ex stabbing her former lover at a holiday party make it a Veronica Mars episode you can’t forget.
8. The O.C. – “The Best Chrismukkah Ever”
How could I make this list and not include The O.C.? I could write an entire article about the genius relationship between Seth Cohen and Chrismukkah. He celebrates his cherished, unique holiday every season. But, I had to choose the first time we learned about his dedication to Chrismukkah to conclude this list. Also, a great moment comes when Anna and Summer stop disliking each other for a moment to redirect their anger toward Seth.