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I Smell Snow! The Best ‘Gilmore Girls’ Holiday Episodes To Rewatch This Season 

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Conn chapter.

When the winter months fall on the small fictional town of Stars Hollow, Connecticut, Lorelai Gilmore can always smell it. Her famous catchphrase, “I smell snow” always signifies a winter-themed episode, as snowflakes begin falling from the sky. As the seven seasons and the mini Netflix series: A Year in the Life transition through the months of the year, the series is known for its fall and winter episodes. As the infamous gazebo in the town center is decorated for the holidays, and annual town festivities occur throughout the episodes, the Stars Hollow community comes together to celebrate. From snowy days to Santa burgers and Christmas parties, the Gilmores know how to celebrate the holidays. So cozy up with hot cocoa and a blanket and watch five of the best Gilmore Girls holiday episodes this season.

“The Bracebridge Dinner”: Season 2, Episode 10 

Nothing says Christmas more than snowman-making contests and festive horse-drawn sleigh rides. In this episode, a special event is canceled at the Independence Inn due to snow, so Lorelai and Sookie host a Bracebridge Dinner for the Stars Hollow community instead. While Christopher creates tension by asking Lorelai if Rory can spend the holidays with him and his girlfriend, Sherry, the episode still includes all the festive traditions and makes for a perfect holiday time rewatch.

“Santa’s Secret Stuff”: Season 7, Episode 11

Christmas trees, stockings hung on the banister, candy cane coffee, and hand-made popcorn garlands create a perfect Christmas setting in this episode. It took until season seven to finally see the Gilmore Girls’ house fully decorated for the holidays. As the Gilmore girls reminisce about their yearly holiday traditions, we learn how stockings belong on the banister instead of by the chimney and how cookies are actually for the reindeer. All the Gilmore festive cheer comes a bit late, however, as Lorelai waits for Rory to return from London to celebrate Christmas. Although they may have a hard time getting candy cane coffee past Christmas time, Lorelai and Rory, joined by Christopher and his daughter Gigi, create popcorn garlands and still celebrate Christmas a few days late. 

“Forgiveness and Stuff”: Season 1, Episode 10 

What’s a better way to celebrate the holidays than eating a Santa burger at Luke’s Diner? When Lorelai is uninvited to her mother, Emily’s annual holiday party, she eats dinner at Luke’s. Despite recurring conflicts with her mother, she misses the yearly holiday tradition, and Luke makes her a Santa burger to make her feel better. While Lorelai has extremely strained relationships with both her mother and father, she cares about them deeply. So when Richard (Lorelai’s father), has a heart attack at the party, she acknowledges her complex relationship with her father and they share a heartfelt moment in the hospital room. While this episode focuses on Lorelai’s relationship with her parents, it also builds on Luke and Lorelai’s storyline as Luke shows immense care for Lorelai by driving her to the hospital. While this episode may not be the most Christmas-spirited, it is a heartfelt episode that defines the importance of family with little hints of holiday cheer. 

“That’ll Do Pig”: Season 3, Episode 10 

The annual Stars Hollow Winter Carnival is the perfect winter episode to watch. With snow falling and love triangle drama boiling, this episode is a Gilmore Girls classic. While Rory’s new boyfriend, Jess, wants nothing to do with the Stars Hollow festivities, he goes with Rory once he realizes her ex, Dean, will also be there. This leads to both of Rory’s love interests competing for her affection at the carnival. The episode also features the return of Richard’s mother, Trix, who never fails to make Emily’s life miserable when she is in town. Nothing says winter more than cozy sweaters and snow falling as all of Stars Hollow bears the cold weather for the annual carnival.

“Winter”: A Year in the Life, Episode 1 

The revival, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, came onto our screens in 2016, eight years after the season finale aired in 2007. Each of the four episodes in the mini-series is titled after a season, the first episode being called “Winter.” The opening scene features Rory and Lorelai walking around Stars Hollow with their coffees in hand. Something about snow gently falling on the quaint town is such a picturesque scene that it makes you want to live in a town like Stars Hollow one day. While there are no holiday carnivals, Santa burgers, or popcorn garlands, this is still a heartfelt winter episode that is worth a watch. 

Alexis Bledel and Lauren Graham in gilmore girls
Saeed Adyani/Netflix

Gilmore Girls is my favorite show of all time — so much so that I have watched the entire series four times. The show does a great job of emulating the seasonal changes, especially the winter months. It is obvious that Lorelai’s favorite season of the year is winter, as she anticipates the first snowfall of the season each year. In my opinion, there is no better way to get into the holiday and winter season than watching these Gilmore Girls classic episodes. 

Sara is a sophomore at the University of Connecticut studying journalism. She enjoys writing articles for Her Campus that capture the lifestyle and culture of college life. She is also a staff writer and copy editor for UConn's student-run newspaper, The Daily Campus. Additionally, she writes for Nutmeg Publishing and the Undergraduate Political Review. When she is not writing, she enjoys playing the clarinet in the UConn Marching and Pep Band, reading historical fiction books, listening to country music and spending time with friends.