Ranking the Christmas episodes of ‘Gilmore Girls’

GILMORE GIRLS (Image Credit: Warner Bros.)
GILMORE GIRLS (Image Credit: Warner Bros.)

As far as I’m concerned, a Gilmore Girls marathon is welcome at any time of the year. However, anyone who’s a tried and true fan of the show knows that one of Lorelai’s most favorite things is snow, so what better time to catch up on a few episodes than during the holiday season? Check out this ranked list of the Gilmore Girls Christmas episodes and be sure to get snowed in with Netflix this winter!

7. “In the Clamor and the Clangor” Season 4, Episode 11

Although there are some festive holiday sweaters and serious discussions of what number snowfall Stars Hollow is currently experiencing, this episode is seriously lacking in Christmas spirit. It is Rory’s first semester away at Yale, though, so it’s probably safe to assume that she was a bit busy with her studies. At least Lorelai and Luke share a romantic moment of vandalizing the town’s newly installed church bells.

6. “Just Like Gwen and Gavin” Season 6, Episode 12

It’s time for the annual Stars Hollow winter carnival! With Taylor stuck out of town due to snow, the town takes it into their own hands to run the carnival correctly. Rory and Lorelai bring out the adorable Doggy Swami to read fortunes, Kirk tries to compete with them as a fortune teller and Lorelai learns to accept the fact that Luke has an estranged daughter in his life for the first time. It also doesn’t hurt that Taylor finds his way to the carnival as an undercover Russian man to make sure plans are being executed to his liking. Needless to say, they are not.

5. “The Bracebridge Dinner” Season 2, Episode 10

The episode opens with a snowman-building contest, so there’s no doubt from the start that this will be a jolly one. To get into the holiday spirit, Lorelai and Sookie hold the first-ever Bracebridge dinner at the inn. Since the intended guests from Chicago got snowed in, all of Stars Hollow’s favorites are the attendees instead. There are reenactments, harp playing and charming horse drawn carriage rides in the snow, where we get to watch Jess steal Rory away while Dean is stuck with his younger sister. And so the budding love begins!

4. “That’ll Do, Pig” Season 3, Episode 10

The Stars Hollow winter carnival is in town once again, but this year Lorelai isn’t able to make it due to an unforeseen visit from her unpleasant grandmother. To fill her shoes, Rory tries to convince Jess to escort her instead. He of course refuses in typical Jess fashion, but then takes on a whole new interest when he realizes that Dean will be there as well. Although Rory is blind to their hatred for each other, we get the first taste of a Dean and Jess fight! Who do you have your bets on?

3. ”Santa’s Secret Stuff” Season 7, Episode 11

Rory is all grown up. After she returns from visiting London to see Logan, Rory and Lorelai celebrate Christmas their own way a month after the holiday has passed. There are plenty of gaudy Christmas ornaments and accessories, even if it is just a celebration for the two of them. Christopher’s daughter makes an appearance helping the ladies decorate, and we get to watch a very pregnant Lane eat candy bars and have several meltdowns across the street.

2. “Women of Questionable Morals” Season 5, Episode 11

Emily and Richard aren’t in the best place here relationship-wise, but an adorable stray dog that appears on their porch in the snow brings the two together for some time. Meanwhile, Christopher tries to get Rory to accept him back into her life after some time apart, and Lorelai (gasp) decides that she hates the snow. Because Luke is the perfect man and sees the error in Lorelai’s ways, he builds her an ice rink in the front yard to help change her mind and learn to love the winter again. How romantic.

1. “Forgiveness and Stuff” Season 1, Episode 10

As the Gilmore Girls first ever Christmas episode, this is also probably the best. Emily disinvites Lorelai to the annual Christmas dinner, which Lorelai is of course offended by. When the dinner begins, Richard collapses and is rushed to the hospital. Lorelai hurries over with Luke and worries that she hasn’t had the relationship with her father that she should have. Emily shows her first ever signs of vulnerability when she tells Richard that he is not allowed to die first, and Lorelai and her father share a brief but meaningful moment together. An unconventional Christmas to say the least, but the most important one to the Gilmore family.

Settle down with some hot chocolate (or coffee if you’re really in the Gilmore spirit) and enjoy spending some quality time with everyone’s favorite mother-daughter duo!

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I was born and raised in New Jersey, but after attending the University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, has become my home away from home. I’ll take Netflix and my couch over a night out every time, and I’m very happy to spend my (increasingly rarer) spare moments reading and writing.

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