The Absolute Best Holiday TV Episodes

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The idea of a holiday episode is as old as TV itself, but it’s not always easy for a series to pull off. For every awesome “Treehouse of Horror” we get a sappy, contrived holiday storyline that offers nothing but a few cheap attempts at pulling on our heartstrings. There’s a fine line between touching and trite, but when writers get it right, they really get it right.

These holiday episodes span the gamut from Christmas to Halloween and everything in-between (hello, Festivus). They propel our favorite characters forward and offer us real insight into our own lives, be it reexamining the adolescent feeling of outgrowing trick or treating or trying our best to make a new home feel more familiar. Time to binge-watch these great episodes!

The Office, “Christmas Party”

The Office certainly had a number of iconic episodes, but the sixth season Christmas episode marked a pivotal point in the series. This episode was the beginning of Jim and Pam. Though the couple had been flirting for seasons, Pam finally realizes that Jim loves her after his Secret Santa gift. In the episode, Jim pulls Pam’s name in their office Secret Santa. He nervously tries to find her the perfect gift – a teapot with a heartfelt letter. Pam ends up trading the gift for an iPod, and Jim ends up sneaking the letter into her pocket instead. “Christmas Party” was nominated for two Primetime Emmy Awards and was the highest-rated episode of Season 2.