My favorite Christmas episodes, second edition
Here is an updated list of my favorite Christmas themed television episodes (and one very favorite New Year’s Eve episode), organized by show, but not ranked. I didn’t limit myself, so it’s a long list (featuring 23 episodes, to be exact). This gives you a large selection to choose from, and allows me to avoid the pain of choosing between my favorites. Break out your DVDs, or click on the links provided below (a handful of the episodes are available for free online, temporarily), and enjoy some holiday entertainment.
WARNING: POSSIBLE SPOILERS, IF YOU HAVE YET TO VIEW THESE EPISODES.
1.GILMORE GIRLS: “Forgiveness and Stuff” (episode 1×10, originally aired 12/21/2000)
Not only is this one of my favorite Christmas episodes, it is one of my all time favorite episodes of television ever. A refresher: in the previous episode, Dean and Rory stayed out all night after her dance, sparking a fight between Emily and Lorelai. Emily un-invites Lorelai to Christmas dinner, but when Richard collapses at said dinner, Lorelai rushes to the hospital (driven by Luke), and the Gilmores are reunited. The episode also features Lorelai giving Luke THE BLUE BASEBALL HAT. It’s a definite classic. Enjoy.
2.GILMORE GIRLS: “Santa’s Secret Stuff” (episode 7×11, originally aired 1/23/2007)
This is the episode in which Rory returns from spending Christmas in London. Since Rory was gone for Christmas, Lorelai, obviously, saves Christmas for her. A month late, the Gilmores don Christmas sweaters and attempt to celebrate the holiday.
*Honorable mention: All the snow episodes. In every season, Lorelai continues her love affair with snow. I’m not a big fan of when white stuff hurdles from the sky on my head, but it IS entertaining to watch on TV, especially when I’m cozy inside with coffee.
3. SMALLVILLE: “Lexmas” (episode 5×09, originally aired 12/08/2005)
This is one of my favorite Smallville episodes. I am a big Lex fan, and usually sympathize with him over the Kents (you can read all about that here). In this particular episode, Lex is shot, and while he hovers between life and death, he is visited by the ghost of his mother. In a sort of inversion of “A Christmas Carol,” Lex is shown what his life could be if he chooses to forfeit the senate race. He sees a vision of happily ever after with Lana, in which Chloe and Clark are married, and they are all best friends. The Kents love Lex like a son, and he wins an award for his good deeds. Lana’s pregnancy goes sideways however, and she dies in childbirth. Thus, Lex ultimately chooses power and money, in order to ensure that he will have the means to save Lana’s life. A great Christmas story!
4. THE O.C.: “The Best Chrismukkah Ever” (episode 1×13, originally aired 12/03/2003)
This is the first of the Chrismukkah episodes, and the beginning of a beautiful tradition. Seth Cohen took it upon himself to combine the best of Hanukkah and Christmas, to create a new and better holiday, and I’m so glad that he did. Also, this episode features Summer dressed as Wonder Woman, which is pretty frakkin’ awesome.
5. THE O.C.: “The Chrismukkah That Almost Wasn’t” (episode 2×06, originally aired 12/16/2004)
Another great Chrismukkah episode! This one was drama filled, with the reveal that Caleb is Lindsay’s dad! Thankfully, Summer is able to save Chrismukkah, despite all this. Also, this one marks the advent of the Yamaclaus (featured in the photo above), and Lindsay’s Freudian slip-pers (pretty much my favorite thing ever).
6. THE O.C.: “Chrismukkah Bar Mitzva-kkah” (episode 3×10, originally aired 12/15/2005)
Yet another in the great Chrismukkah tradition. Despite the awfullness of the Johnny-Marissa story-line, it’s still the holiday we love. But boo to Johnny.
7. THE O.C.: “Chrismukk-huh?” (episode 4×07, originally aired 12/14/2006)
This is the last of the Chrismukkah episodes, and is definitely one of my favorites. Ryan and Taylor fall off the roof and are both in coma. Somehow they have the same dream, in which they must learn/ fix something in order to come back to reality. It’s very sweet, and is reminiscent of It’s a Wonderful Life. Goodbye, my favorite made-up holiday!
8. VERONICA MARS: “An Echolls Family Christmas” (episode 1×10, originally aired 12/14/2004)
This episode is a television masterpiece. It features the infamous poker game, and Duncan and Logan’s matching holiday boxers. Veronica is awesome, per usual, and does some great detective work. Weevil also proves himself to be pretty clever, and wins the day. The old Ethan from Passions guest stars as a sleazy movie star, which is hilarious. In the A-plot, Mr. Echolls is stabbed by an angered admirer. It doesn’t get better than that. Watch it again and again.
9. VERONICA MARS: “One Angry Veronica” (episode 2×10, originally aired 12/07/2005)
12 Angry Men gets a makeover in this fun episode. Veronica is saddled with jury duty, and is able to stop a miscarriage of justice. At the end of the episode, she gets the ultimate Christmas present–Wallace returns! Also, Veronica wears an adorable elf hat.
10. ROSWELL: “A Roswell Christmas Carol” (episode 2×10, originally aired 12/18/2000)
Isabelle is revealed to be the Christmas Nazi, which is hI-larious. She helps Michael get Maria the perfect Christmas gift, even though I think that the bumper was a perfect gift as it was. Liz (and a ghost) inspires Max to heal the entire cancer wing of the Children’s hospital. It’s magical. I’m possibly getting a little teary-eyed just thinking about it.
11. ROSWELL: “Samuel Rising” (episode 3×09, originally aired 12/18/2001)
The Christmas Nazi continues her reign of terror/ holiday cheer. Max’s god complex is directed towards an autistic child and his parents. Another great episode.
12. GREY’S ANATOMY: “Grandma Got Run over by a Reindeer” (episode 2×12, originally aired 12/10/2005)
The second season was the top for Grey’s, and this is no exception. Katherine Heigl reprises her role as the Christmas Nazi, though this time she is more the Christmas Spirit of Joy personified. She’s annoying, but funny.
13. HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER: “The Limo” (episode 1×11, originally aired 12/19/2005)
It’s New Year’s Eve, and Ted rents a limo for all his friends, and plans the perfect night. Needless to say, things do not go as planned. It is worth a view for Barney’s “Get Psyched” mix alone. “Shot through the heart, and you’re to blame, you give love a bad name.”
14. HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER: “How Lilly Stole Christmas” (episode 2×11, originally aired 12/11/2006)
Lilly finds out that Ted called her a “grinch” while she and Marshall were broken up. Ted refuses to apologize, so in retaliation, Lilly steals Christmas. Shenanigans ensue, but then she brings Ted a beer, and all is forgiven. Classic.
15. BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER: “Amends” (episode 3×10, originally aired 12/15/1998)
This is the only Christmas episode of Buffy, and it is not exactly chock full of holiday cheer. Still, it features the miracle of snow in southern California, so it deserves to be included on the list. Joyce convinces Buffy to reach out to Faith, and invite her over for Christmas. Buffy, however, is distracted by dealing with a post-Angelus Angel, recently released from a Hell dimension. Angel is haunted by the memories of those who he killed, and it is revealed to be the work of the First Evil. The First almost convinces Angel to kill himself, and he refuses to listen to Buffy’s pleading. He plans to sit outside until sunrise, but due to a Christmas miracle, the sun doesn’t come out, and instead it snows. Meanwhile, Willow is still in the process of making up with Oz after cheating on him with Xander (blech), but they decide not to sleep together, yet.
16. THE BIG BANG THEORY: “The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis” (episode 2×11, originally aired 12/15/2008)
This episode is hilarious, and features some great chemistry between Sheldon and Penny. When Penny buys him a Christmas gift, Sheldon is forced by the social convention to find her an appropriate gift in return. He devises a clever/ ridiculous plan to buy multiple gift selections at various price points (all different sizes of gift baskets), and then to open her gift first, thus allowing himself the opportunity to select the best gift. She gets him Leonard Nimoy’s DNA, so Penny gets ALL the gift baskets.
17. BEVERLY HILLS 90210: “It’s a Totally Happening Life” (season 3, episode 67 of the series)
This is a fun homage to It’s a Wonderful Life. It takes place during the gang’s senior year of high-school, and the Kelly-Brenda-Dylan love triangle is in full force. It’s super cheesy, but I really enjoyed it anyways. This show always makes me feel nostalgic. Aahh, the early 90s.
18. CHUCK: “Chuck versus Santa Claus” (episode 2×11, originally aired 12/15/2008)
All the main characters are taken hostage at the Buy More, and Chuck tries to protect everyone, while also maintaining his secret. Awesome proves himself to be awesome, as expected, but even Morgan proves himself to be pretty brave. It’s a great episode, with a lot of little character moments, as well as a crucial turning point in Chuck and Sarah’s relationship.
19. BONES: “The Man in the Fallout Shelter” (episode 1×09, originally aired 12/13/2005)
This is the first Bones Christmas episode, and the gang are forced to spend Christmas together, quarantined in the lab. Our (now) old favorites all get to know each other a lot better, and it is a joy to watch. They also solve a really cool case, that changes a woman’s life for the better. We learn a bit more about Brennan, and at the end of the episode I cried when she finally opened her Christmas gifts from her parents, saved since her parents went missing years and years ago.
20. BONES: “The Santa in the Slush” (episode 3×09, originally aired 11/27/2007)
My very favorite episode of Bones, this one makes me smile, laugh, and cry. Brennan and Booth investigate the death of a Santa Claus, but the real story revolves around Bones’ attempt to give her father Christmas, which results in the long-awaited first kiss between Brennan and Booth, and a touching final scene.
21. BONES: ”The Goop on the Girl” (episode 5×10, originally aired 12/09/2009)
The most recent on the list, this episode features Zooey Deschanel (Emily Deschanel’s sister) as Brennan’s Benjamin-Franklin-adoring cousin. Once again, Brennan had made plans to spend Christmas outside of the country, but her father convinces her to spend the holidays with him. In fact, she invites all the Squints and Booth to her home, for a very merry Christmas. It’s a definite keeper.
22. GOSSIP GIRL: “Roman Holiday” (episode 1×11, originally aired 12/19/2007)
Blair’s father (played by Lois & Clark’s Lex Luthor) visits for the holidays, and introduces his new lover Roman, an ex-model. Blair schemes and manipulates, as usual, but at the end of the episode she proves herself to have a heart by feeling really bad about her behavior. But Blair has an unwelcome distraction from her family troubles, with Chuck’s possible disclosure of their hookup to Nate.
23. SUPERNATURAL: “A Very Supernatural Christmas” (episode 3×08, originally aired 12/13/2007)
One of my favorite episodes of television ever, and probably when I fell irrevocably in love with the show. Oh, who am I kidding, Supernatural had me at Jensen Ackles. In a flashback to Christmas 1991, we learn how truly terrible Papa Winchester was as a father, how much the brothers needed each other, and the origin of Dean’s amulet. The episodes also features a pagan god couple (one of whom is Amy Abbott’s mother) and a porn-watching Santa. It is amazing.
This is an edited and much expanded version of last year’s list, which you can find here: My Favorite Christmas Episodes …