Happy Holidays! Now Let’s Watch TV.

happy holidaysThree long years ago, when I was a brand new blogger, I wrote a post that was intended to be my top ten favorite Christmas movies. Small measures aren’t in my DNA though, so I ended up listing thirty movies.

This year, I thought I’d focus on individual holiday-themed TV episodes that make me happy. It’s no small task, so I decided to focus on a handful of shows that I enjoy returning to this time of year. I encourage you to head to the comments and add your own favorites.

Originally, this list was going to include a shot summary of each episode. But I didn’t have enough time to make that happen AND keep watching loads of television, so instead it’s simply a list of recommendations. Please head to the comments and add your own suggestions!


  • Season 1 Episode 12 “Comparative Religion”
  • Season 2 Episode 11 “Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas”
  • Season 3 Episode 10 “Regional Holiday Music”

community abed's uncontrollable christmasOf the three fantastic Community Christmas specials, “Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas” is probably the most beloved. But watch them all.

Happy Endings: Season 2 Episode 9 “Grinches Be Crazy”

New Girl: Season 1 Episode 9 “The 23rd

Parks and Recreation: Season 2 Episode 12 “Christmas Scandal”

I recommend watching these three comedy Christmas episodes together. Your quirky heart will be warmed.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show: Season 1 Episode 14 “Christmas and the Hard-Luck Kid II”

I have a lot of love for The Mary TylerMoore Show and am working on a post that talks about the show right now. I honestly don’t remember a whole lot about this particular episode, but Mary has to work on Christmas. If that’s your deal, watch it to commiserate.


  • Season 1 Episode 11 “The Limo”
  • Season 2 Episode 11 “How Lily Stole Christmas”
  • Season 4 Episode 11 “Little Minnesota”
  • Season 6 Episode 12 “False Positive”
  • Season 7 Episode 12 “Symphony of Illumination”

There are a lot of great HIMYM holiday episodes, even from the weak later seasons. “The Limo” is highly recommended New Year’s Eve viewing.

The Big Bang Theory: Season 2 Episode 11 “The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis”

I caught this one on TV the other day – still adorable.

The Office:

  • Season 2 Episode 10 “Christmas Party”
  • Season 3 Episodes 10/11 “A Benihana Christmas”
  • Season 5 Episode 11 “Moroccan Christmas”
  • Season 6 Episode 13 “Secret Santa”
  • Season 7 Episodes 11/12 “Classy Christmas”

If you were only going to watch Christmas episodes from one show, it should be this one. They especially nailed it in the early seasons.


  • Season 1 Episode 11 “Chuck vs. The Crown Vic”
  • Season 2 Episode 11 “Chuck vs. Santa Claus”

I love Chuck. Chuck is heartwarming. Perfect for the holidays. Kids love it, too!

Friday Night Lights: Season 5 Episode 13 “Always” (Series Finale)

There is no such thing as watching the series finale of FNL too often. The finale isn’t exclusively Christmas, but since FNL seasons usually ended before the holidays, it’s the only episode we have that features Christmas.

Gilmore Girls:

gilmore santa

  • Season 1 Episode 8 “Love and War and Snow”
  • Season 2 Episode 10 “The Bracebridge Dinner”
  • Season 3, Episode 10 “That’ll Do, Pig”
  • Season 7 Episode 11 “Santa’s Secret Stuff”

Most of these aren’t Christmas episodes, but “first snowfall” episodes that always, always put me in the Christmas spirit. In fact, there’s a Gilmore Girls marathon on right now that has been preventing me from checking some things off my to-do list.

Downton Abbey Christmas Specials. I am so excited for the new one to air! The Downton Abbey Christmas Special from last year is almost more like a movie, at an hour and a half long, which is just fine with me. It is so good.

About Jill

Pop culture junkie and TV aficionado. I write sharp and snarky TV recaps at www.couchtimewithjill.com
This entry was posted in Chuck, Community, Downton Abbey, Friday Night Lights, Gilmore Girls, Happy Endings, HIMYM, Holiday Season, Mary Tyler Moore, New Girl, Parks and Recreation, The Big Bang Theory, The Office. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Happy Holidays! Now Let’s Watch TV.

  1. Dana says:

    It will sound like I am a lame ass tv watcher for mentioning this, but I love all the Friends Thanksgiving episodes. They are rare in that usually all 6 of them are in the same place, the same time, following more or less a single plot. They are some of the best Friends’ episodes and still funny.

    Best one: season 6, The One Where Ross Got High, This really is the best of the Gellers and highlights many of their family dynamic. Ross and Monica, petrified of what their parents think, the parents blatant favoring of Ross, Hilarious.

    Close 2nd,: season 8, the one with the Rumor. This is the episode that Brad Pitt guest starred in, Considering what happened to their marriage after Friends wrapped, this one is kind of special. It’s Jennifer Aniston at her best as a tv actress and highlights the extent to which Ross was a total nerd. Plus it’s the one where Joey eats a whole turkey which is also super funny, especially the last scene.

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