TV Series Holiday Specials: The Best of Fake Beards and Itchy Sweaters!

THE OC (Image Credit: Warner Bros.)

THE OC (Image Credit: Warner Bros.)

I’m a sucker for Christmas and the Holiday spirit. Each year, this time of year, I’m the happiest girl alive. Christmas fairs, hot cocoa, sledding, Christmas presents, tree decorations, fireworks, snow ball fights, making snow puppets, resolutions, Christmas music, good food, happy people, and basically everything else associated with the holidays season can count on my enthusiasm. Therefore, I absolutely love Christmas and New Year’s TV specials. I think they bring out the best in TV series. Sure, they’re often over the top cliché and kitschy, but who doesn’t secretly love drama, merry Christmas songs, and kissing in the snow. Who doesn’t want to see some of our TV families living up to good old Christmas and New Year’s values such as forgiveness, resolutions, and peace? Who doesn’t love the coziness of the Christmas tree standing tall and proud next to the fireplace? Who doesn’t love wearing woolly Christmas sweaters and being thrilled because you can finally unwrap your Christmas gifts. I admit I do. And to convince you, I’ll share my list of marvelous Christmas and New Year’s specials with you. I’m not saying that these are my all-time favorite TV shows, but they do have great Christmas/Holidays episodes and these days, that counts for something! For those who’re not to be convinced: haters gonna hate…

The O.C.

Season 1, Episode 13: “The Best Chrismukkah Ever”

Why? Because Seth Cohen is still the cutest TV character ever. Him wearing Christmas sweaters is like a dream come true.

What is Chrismukkah? As Seth describes it, it’s “eight days of presents, followed by one day of many presents”. He invented it when he was six because his father is Jewish and his mother Protestant so he decided to merge Hannukah & Christmas into one big festivity.

COMMUNITY (Image Credit: NBC)

COMMUNITY (Image Credit: NBC)


Season 3, Episode 10: “Regional Holiday Music”

Why? It’s the Christmas-themed musical episode which is sort of a parody on Glee. Our friends from Community College have to replace the Glee club because they are all suffering from a nervous breakdown. One by one they get brainwashed and start loving the Glee club. I was going to say that this was one of the craziest episodes of Community, but that would probably be a lie. They’re all crazy. Genius, but crazy. Remember that little dance Annie did for Jeff? Ho ho ho….

Parks and Recreation

Season 5, Episode 9: “Ron and Diane”

Why? Jerry’s throwing a Christmas party and we finally get to meet his wife Gayle and his other beautiful daughters (we’ve already met Millicent since she dated Chris). Our P&R bullies learn a valuable lesson about friendship and eventually do the right thing. I love it when that happens (and since they’ve been nice now, they can totally go on bullying again since their conscience has been cleared. Come on April, get your sarcastic face ready!). The subplot with Ron, Diane and Leslie at the woodworking award show was also awesome. Especially the surprise visit from Tammie II and Leslie’s way of handling the situation (one word: dumpster) are memorable.


Season 2, Episode 6: “The Perfect Christmas”

Why? Miranda Hart is one of the funniest women alive (plus she’s British and thus has the whole British accent thing going on, I love it). Therefore, a Christmas special with her is like unwrapping the gift you really wanted and then find out there’s more! Miranda wearing a reindeer hat with bells in it. Right. And this is only the intro of this episode. All I can say is SUCH FUN. This is probably my favorite Christmas special so if you feel as if you will never ever finish my list, just watch this one.

Ugly Betty

Season 4, Episode 9: “Be-shure”

Why? Ignacio is having a multi-culti holiday dinner since his new girlfriend is Jewish, but a lot is happening against the backdrop. It’s actually a super dramatic episode (someone is expecting! Is it Betty? Is it Hilda? Relationships evolve. Wilhelmina is scheming again. Claire meets her long lost son, and Marc is suffering from the Stockholm syndrome). It includes Bobby (Adam Rodriguez), hot damn and lots of Christmas spirit. Great episode.

GLEE (Image Credit: FOX)

GLEE (Image Credit: FOX)


Season 2, Episode 10: “A Very Glee Christmas”

Why? The new directions going caroling (I want to go caroling! But I wouldn’t want to be booed or have things thrown at me), Kurt and Blaine singing “Baby it’s cold outside” (so cute), Brittany wishing for Arty to be able to walk, the New Directions singing “welcome Christmas” which makes Sue regret all her evilness and gives back the presents and buys them a new Christmas tree (after she destroyed the one they had), Sue being the Grinch.

Season 3, Episode 9: “Extraordinary Merry Christmas”

Why? Glee is asked to do a Christmas special for the local PBS station and they give them a beautiful black-and-white musical show. Loved it. It was both an homage to the Star Wars Holiday special and the Judy Garland Christmas special. Yes, weird combination, but whatever, they did an awesome job.

Gilmore Girls

Season 1, episode 10: “Forgiveness and Stuff”

Why? Lorelai is not invited to the Christmas party Emily is throwing, but then Richard has a heart attack during the party. This causes Loralai and Emily to forgive each other and brings Lorelai and Luke closer to each other romantically. Luke and Lorelai forever is what I have to say! Also, I really want to try a Santa burger.

Season 7, episode 11: “Santa’s secret stuff”

Why?  Lorelai and Rory celebrate Christmas a month late. Quirky you said? Yes, but Christmas isn’t about the date, it’s about spending time with loved ones, wearing ugly sweaters, making your own tree decoration, and buying each other gifts. Made me love the Gilmores even more. I also really need one of those over the top Christmas sweaters. Where can I find them?

New Girl

NEW GIRL (Image Credit: FOX)

NEW GIRL (Image Credit: FOX)

Season 1, Episode 9: “The 23d”

The roommates all attend Schmidt’s office Christmas party where he’s playing

Sexy Santa (o Schmidtie… douche jar….). The Paul (“I love you”), Jess and Nick plotline was awkward, but since I’m rooting for Jess and Nick I really wanted to get rid of Paul anyway. What I liked most about this episode was the ending (not because I wanted it to be over though). CHRISTMAS LIGHTS OVERLOAD HELL YEAH.


“A Charlie Brown Christmas”

Why?  The classic Christmas special. Cannot be missed. Moralistic, but brought with a lot of irony. Look up the songs, they’re probably engraved in your memory as “typical Christmas music”.

I feel like quoting some lines from this Christmas special to get you in the right mood

Linus Van Pelt: “I never thought it was such a bad little tree. It’s not bad at all, really. Maybe it just needs a little love”

That’s right Linus, all it takes is a little love! (for once, I’m not being sarcastic)

Charlie Brown: Thanks for the Christmas card you sent me, Violet.
Violet: I didn’t send you a Christmas card, Charlie Brown.
Charlie Brown: Don’t you know sarcasm when you hear it?

Start sending out your Christmas cards. Don’t hurt little boys like Charlie!

So there you go. These are some of my favorite Holiday specials. If there are Holiday specials that I didn’t mention, but definitely embrace the whole holiday spirit, please inform me! I will watch them asap.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!


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