Christmas at ‘The Office’

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Published December 6, 2021
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The Montclarion
Dwight (center) and Jim's (right) feud goes a step too far, so Andy (left) vows that whoever messes with the other will forfeit their Christmas bonus in Christmas Wishes. Photo courtesy of Everett Collection

Looking to binge something funny and comforting during winter break? From white elephants to Christmas wishes, “The Office” provides seven top-tier, iconic and hilarious Christmas episodes for viewers to enjoy.

The NBC hit sitcom that ran from 2005 to 2013 gives us the best holiday gift of all — comedic genius. These episodes will fill even the coldest of Grinch hearts with its Christmas spirit.

Here are the holiday episodes of “The Office” ranked:

7. “Dwight Christmas” (Season 9, Episode 9)

Dwight (played by Rainn Wilson) shares his German and Pennsylvania Dutch childhood traditions with the rest of the office in "Dwight Christmas."

Dwight, played by Rainn Wilson, shares his German and Pennsylvania Dutch childhood traditions with the rest of the office in “Dwight Christmas.”
Photo courtesy of Everett Collection

The office feels unmotivated to have an elaborate Christmas party this year as the coworkers begin to go their separate ways. To keep the Christmas spirit alive, Jim, played by John Krasinski, begs Dwight, played by Rainn Wilson, to share his German and Pennsylvania Dutch childhood traditions with the rest of the office.

It is undeniable that Dwight carries seasons eight and nine of “The Office,” but even he is not enough to move this episode up in the rankings. While I do love the writers for trying to be creative, their take on “Belsnickel” and Dwight’s weird childhood traditions seem out of place. Dwight going around the conference room and smacking people with branches yelling “impish” or “admirable” is certainly hilarious but also very random, making this episode last on my list.

6. “A Benihana Christmas” (Season 3, Episode 10 and 11)

After sending Carol (Nancy Carell) a Christmas card of her and her children photoshopped with him on a ski mountain, she breaks up with Michael (Steve Carell) in "A Benihana Christmas."

After sending Carol (Nancy Carell) a Christmas card of her and her children photoshopped with him on a ski mountain, she breaks up with Michael (Steve Carell) in “A Benihana Christmas.”
Photo courtesy of Everett Collection

After sending Carol (Nancy Carell) a Christmas card of her and her children photoshopped with him on a ski mountain, she breaks up with Michael (Steve Carell), leaving him heartbroken for the holidays. In an effort to cheer him up, Andy (Ed Helms) plans a Benihana lunch for Michael and invites Jim and Dwight to come along. Meanwhile, back at the office, a war between two parties is going on.

I originally wanted to rank this episode a lot higher. I love the opening with Michael riding his used bike to the toy drive while Pam (Jenna Fischer) and Karen (Rashida Jones) stand up to Angela (Angela Kinsey) and all of her snootiness.

However, it’s hard to overlook the absolutely uncomfortable moments of Michael calling a high-school-aged girl his girlfriend and not being able to keep track of which Benihana waitress he is “dating” because they look so similar. It just seems like lazy jokes from the writers. Looking past those moments, this is still a fun episode.

5. “Christmas Wishes” (Season 8, Episode 10)

A drunk Robert California (right) finds Meredith (left) to fill his void for companionship at the office Christmas party.

A drunk Robert California (right) finds Meredith (left) to fill his void for companionship at the office Christmas party in “Christmas Wishes.”
Photo courtesy of Everett Collection

As the new regional manager, Andy decides to grant Christmas wishes for everyone in the office. Robert California (James Spader) comes to the Christmas party and puts a damper on things after finalizing his divorce from his wife. Dwight and Jim’s feud goes a step too far, so Andy vows that whoever messes with the other will forfeit their Christmas bonus.

There are few moments in TV that have stuck with me as much as the final montage of this episode. While “Christmas Eve” by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra blasts through the boombox, Dwight, Creed (played by himself), Gabe (Zach Woods) and Nate (Mark Proksch) play imaginary instruments and rock out while the rest of the office exchanges Christmas gifts. Some might overlook this part of the episode, but I truly think it encapsulates the random hilarity that is “The Office.”

4. “Moroccan Christmas” (Season 5, Episode 11)

THE OFFICE, John Krasinski, Rainn Wilson, 'Moroccan Christmas', (Season 5, Episode 510, December 11, 2008), 2005-,. Photo: Chris Haston / � NBC / courtesy everett collection

Jim (left) plays one of his most famous pranks on Dwight (right) by covering a fake desk in wrapping paper while hiding the real one in “Moroccan Christmas.”
Photo courtesy of Everett Collection

In an effort to bring some more culture to the office, Phyllis, played by Phyllis Smith, decides to throw a Moroccan Christmas party. As the party goes on, the office workers decide whether Meredith’s, played by Kate Flannery, drinking has gone too far.

While all episodes of “The Office” are typically hard to watch, this episode was one of the hardest. The storyline with Michael trying to check Meredith into rehab unwillingly is hilarious but also super uncomfortable. Ending this episode with Phyllis outing Angela and Dwight’s affair to her coworkers left me sitting with my teeth clenched as Angela’s fiancé, Andy, walked in the room unknowingly.

3. “Classy Christmas Part 1 & 2” (Season 7, Episode 11 and 12)

Michael decides to throw the most lavish Christmas party the office has ever seen in "Classy Christmas."

Michael decides to throw the most lavish Christmas party the office has ever seen in “Classy Christmas.”
Photo courtesy of Everett Collection

When Michael finds out his former love Holly Flax (Amy Ryan) is returning to the Scranton branch, he decides to throw the most lavish and “classy” Christmas party the office has ever seen. From hiring a bassist to play at the party to Oscar (Oscar Martinez) meeting Angela’s boyfriend and starting their affair or Jim and Dwight’s vendetta snowball fight against each other, this episode is full of unforgettable and important moments that help shape the rest of the show.

When I was going through the episodes originally, I didn’t remember this one being so funny. Upon my rewatch, I realized just how important this episode is for the trajectory of the rest of season seven. It sets up so many storylines while effortlessly being as hilarious and ridiculous as “The Office” episodes of the past.

2. “Secret Santa” (Season 6, Episode 13)

Michael (played by Steve Carell) dresses up like Jesus to heckle the rest of the office&squot;s presents in "Secret Santa".

Michael, played by Steve Carell, dresses up like Jesus to heckle the rest of the office’s presents in “Secret Santa.”
Photo courtesy of NBC

This episode is peak “Office” comedy and cringe. The current heads of the party planning committee, Jim and Dwight, set up a Secret Santa for the office. As the new co-regional manager at the branch, Jim also lets Phyllis dress up as Santa this year for the office without telling Michael. When Michael shows up dressed as Santa, he flips his costume inside out and turns into Jesus, sabotaging the rest of the party.

The reason I love this episode so much is it actually feels like a Christmas episode. Michael is up to his usual politically incorrect and cringe-worthy antics as he hilariously sits dressed like Jesus heckling the Secret Santa gifts.

Then he invades David Wallace’s (Andy Buckley) privacy trying to get information about the branch closing, even though he was told not to tell anyone. This episode is centered around the best part of each office episode, Steve Carell. He truly shows his comedic timing, and it just works brilliantly.

1. “Christmas Party” (Season 2, Episode 10)

Pam (left) and Jim (right) discuss the gag gifts hidden inside her secret Santa teapot in "Christmas Party".

Pam (left) and Jim (right) discuss the gag gifts hidden inside her Secret Santa teapot in “Christmas Party.”
Photo courtesy of NBC

Michael convinces the whole office to do a Secret Santa with a $20 limit. To show off his “impressive” manager salary, Michael disregards the budget and purchases an iPod as his gift for his Secret Santa, Ryan, played by B.J. Novak. When Michael realizes everyone else followed instructions with the spending limit and he is disappointed by his gift, he turns Secret Santa into a white elephant or “Yankee Swap,” creating chaos in the office.

This iconic episode is ranked No. 1 for one reason only: the teapot. This is the first episode of “The Office” where we see Jim almost admit how he feels for Pam. How can you look at the teapot he got her and not think he’s in love with her?

Watching Pam continuously choose the iPod as her “Yankee Swap” gift is crushing for us as the audience. Then, seeing her redeem herself in the end by choosing the teapot is so gratifying. Pam’s laugh while looking through her teapot and smiling as she tells us, “I think I made the right choice,” is the beginning of the most beautiful relationship in the show.

No matter if you’re looking for a laugh or just trying to reminisce on holidays of the past, there is a holiday episode of “The Office” for everyone. You can stream all seasons of “The Office” on Peacock.

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