The Office - Ranking the Best Christmas Episodes

The Office - Ranking the Best Christmas Episodes

The Office has a lot of great episodes with a lot of beautiful moments. Not to forget times when we could witness how Michael (see all our Michael Scott merch) was a decent employer, or times when we could see some of the series' most heart-warming moments.

Holidays are a time to spread joy, laughter, and togetherness. The Office always puts on a fantastic show throughout the holidays, whether for Christmas, Diwali, or a simple Secretary Day Celebration. The majority of the holiday episodes featured Dunder Mifflin's employees participating in some form of dysfunctional holiday party to celebrate the true spirit of the festival.

Christmas for the majority, entails trimming the tree, preparing holiday cookies, and singing carols with their best friends. Fans of The Office can expect an unending supply of great food as well as a mandatory viewing of all The Office Christmas episodes.

Stanley Christmas sweatshirt

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During its tenure on NBC, the sitcom produced nine Christmas episodes (It’s surprising that not all the seasons have Christmas episodes but there are a few seasons with two episodes solely dedicated to Christmas). They range from being amusing to emotional to insulting.

Everything from drunken blunders (there’s a lot of them) to unwelcome trips to rehab to absolute sadness is mined for comedy gold in the hands of this group. Not every episode can be a hit, some have aged better than the others, but if you and your family are looking for something to watch this holiday season, your pals at Dunder Mifflin are always ready to engage you in their own ways.

There are seven great Office Christmas episodes. Season one, which premiered in March and only contained six episodes, and season four, halted because of the Writers strike in 2007–2008, missed having Christmas episodes in them.


Michael Scott at Christmas


Christmas with Dunder Mifflin- Lamest to Naughtiest

Christmas Wishes (Season 8, Episode 10)

Season 8 of The Office was, on the whole, a disappointment. Michael had left Dunder Mifflin the previous season, and the show didn't feel the same, and so did the episode "Christmas Wishes." Excited to show off his new cross-country girlfriend as the new boss of the office, Nard Dog(Andy) is the man in the red hat this year.

On the other hand, Robert California, who’s the new CEO of Dunder Mifflin/Sabre after David Wallace and a newly divorced man, has also become a member of the party (He’s wearing a tracksuit and blazer combo that screams for help). Andy swears to honour his employees' wishes while also introducing them to his new girlfriend. Even Jim and Dwight are punished for their frequent pranks on one another, which is one of the series' most vital recurring elements.

However, this episode suffers from Pam's absence (she's on maternity leave), as well as Robert's awkward attempt to hit on drunken and jealous Erin and to ply her with the drink. (Although nothing occurs in the end, the innuendo is enough to make you uncomfortable). The first holiday without a consistently offensive-yet-lovable employer is always the most difficult, making the holiday episode more gloomy than joyous.

Dwight Christmas (Season 9, Episode 9)

Throughout Season 9 of The Office, there were many ups and downs. Again, Michael was absent from this episode, as were Ryan and Kelly, two long-running characters. Phyllis cheekily "forgets" to plan a Christmas party, which was her way of further blackmailing Angela, whom she knows is having an affair with her husband. With his concept for a Pennsylvania Dutch Christmas celebration, Dwight, the episode's titular character, gets to work. Pennsylvania Dutch Christmas includes repulsive beverages, unappealing food alternatives, German poem readings, and Belsnickel, a switch-carrying fur-covered gift-bringer.

While depending on standard plotlines to carry it through, "Dwight Christmas" has to be one of the most innovative episodes of the series. When Jim has to leave in the middle, Dwight and Jim's relationship comes to a head. It's a satisfying episode with a lot of emotional reward as the series' last Christmas episode. Dwight is visibly distressed by Jim's departure, and it's one of the first occasions the viewers witness how much he feels for him. Dwight is pleased to see Jim when he chooses to postpone his trip until the next day. Of course, Jim returns mostly to be with Pam, which neatly rounds out the episode.

Andy (now dating Erin) looks to be taking a break from their relationship, spending more time away from her sailing the Caribbean, causing her to gravitate toward Pete. Darryl is in excruciating pain as a result of Jim's imagined betrayal. Jimmy boy, thankfully, pulls through at the end and saves himself from Darryl's anger. Toby, too, has reason to be pleased this holiday season. It's a fine episode with some moving moments, but it falls short of being the best.

A Benihana Christmas (Season 3, Episodes 10 - 11)

"It's a bold move to photoshop yourself into a picture with your girlfriend and her kids on a ski trip with their real father. But then again, Michael is a bold guy." - Jim.

Michael, in a lot of sorrow, plans on cancelling the corporate Christmas party which was scheduled for later that day after doing a superb job of torpedoing his relationship with Carol. Meanwhile, the party gets out of hand when Pam and Karen form a party planning committee to compete with Angela's, which she governs over with an iron fist.

Andy takes Michael to Benihana to cheer him up, seeing this as an opportunity to sweeten his way up to Michael's good books. The humour is brilliant, but it also poses a dilemma. Andy distracts Michael from his breakup with Carol by getting Michael drunk on Nog-a-sakes (one-part eggnog, three parts sake) and promoting flirtation with the waitress.

While funny at times, this episode has a storyline that is racist. Particularly for a comedy, and even for a show that aired in 2006, the ramifications are unavoidable. The episode ends with the entire staff singing along to a karaoke machine and Michael inviting a special someone to Sandals Jamaica.

Moroccan Christmas (Season 5, Episode 11)

Phyllis takes command of the festivities after blackmailing Angela with details about her affair with Dwight. She goes to great lengths to establish herself as the Party Planning Committee's legitimate chairperson. To spice things up, Phyllis, who is now the head of the party planning committee, throws a Moroccan-themed Christmas party. Meredith's binge drinking, however, pulls the party to a halt when her hair catches fire.

Michael tries to stage an intervention for Meredith, but as we know him, he ends up insulting poor Meredith and making her feel terrible about herself instead of helping. Finally, he brings Meredith to a rehabilitation centre, only to discover that patients must willingly admit themselves.

With Dwight falling into his gift-wrapped (by Jim) "desk" (which isn't there), this episode wins the title for best Christmas cold open and greatest Christmas prank. Dwight buys and resells the season's favourite toys, Princess Unicorn dolls, to anxious parents at an outrageous markup in one of the funniest Christmas B-plots ever.

The episode ends with Phyllis disclosing to the whole office about Angela having an affair with Dwight. 

Well, isn't it true that the holidays bring out the best in everyone?


a very Dunder Mifflin Christmas book

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Christmas Party (Season 2, Episode 10.)

The first in a long line of consistently amusing holiday stories that begin with a Secret Santa gift exchange, the Christmas party isn't flawless.

"Presents are the best way to show someone how much you care. It's like this tangible thing that you can point to and say, "Hey, man, I love you this many dollars' worths." - Michael Scott.

Unfortunately, The first two seasons of The Office were pale compared to the show's remarkable middle period. The characters are still coming out of their shells; Ryan portrays them as sensible, and Kelly is abnormally silent.

Michael converts their pre-planned Secret Santa exchange into an intense white elephant game (Yankee-swap) in this episode, leaving everyone fighting over the most costly gift: an iPod, which Michael purchased particularly for Ryan by going over the budget of $20.

Michael and Dwight sitting at Christmas

Image Credits: IMDB. Steve Carell and Rainn Wilson in The Office (2005)

This episode is a complete shambles. From everyone wanting to get the video iPod and on the other hand, Jim wishing to get the teapot he bought filled with souvenirs and give it to Pam. In the end, Michael buys many bottles of vodka to make up for the mess he made - but somehow, all of this craziness comes together to form a hilarious Christmas episode.

We never learn what was in the message Jim wrote Pam to accompany the teapot (He finally gives it to her in the final season). In a recent interview, Jenna Fischer (Pam) did provide some insight on the subject.

Secret Santa (Season 6, Episode 13)

In season 6, bad news from Dunder Mifflin headquarters threatens to dampen the festive spirit. Even so, this episode will kill you with laughter.

Because Jim was recently promoted to Assistant Manager, Phyllis can play Santa this year without informing Michael, who arrives in his own Santa outfit to cause mayhem. Once again, Michael refuses to renounce his self-appointed status as Santa Claus, resulting in a feud between the two Santas (which eventually turned to a battle between Santa and Jesus Christ, which as we know is an age-old rivalry).

 The Office Christmas party

Image Credits: Peacock. Peacock is spreading its wings worldwide.

With memorable sequences like Kevin sitting on Michael's lap, Pam playing matchmaker for Oscar and Matt from the warehouse, and Dwight eventually piecing together Michael's Secret Santa gift with childlike joy, "Secret Santa" is one of The Office's funniest episodes. After Michael's selfish and immature behaviour about the Santa incident, the episode does excellent at humanising him. It's an intense episode with no dull moments, and it still holds up years after it first aired, with the drama of Dunder Mifflin being bought.

Classy Christmas (Season 7, Episodes 11 & 12)

"The name is Bond. Santa Bond." - Michael

If "Secret Santa" in Season 6 was Michael at his worst, "Classy Christmas" in Season 7 was Michael at his best. In this final Christmas episode with Michael, he learns that Holly will be returning to Dunder Mifflin. As a result, Michael freaks out, cancels the entire Christmas party that Pam planned, and opts to arrange a 'Classy Christmas' party to impress her, ditching the Santa suit entirely in favour of a red-velvet jacket only to learn that Holly is still with A.J.

He manages to irritate her by destroying a gift from her partner and then bringing up their potential children in the conversation, which, of course, the entire Scranton branch witnesses. Fortunately, when Holly lies to her boyfriend about what happened to protect Michael, all hope is not lost.

Image Credits: BAMFC STYLE. Jenna Fischer, Ed Helms, John Krasinski, Leslie David Baker, and Steve Carell in “Classy Christmas”, the seventh season holiday episode of The Office.

Daryll connects with his kid, Pam gives Jim a homemade comic book, and Dwight (see all our Dwight merch) and Jim have a brutal snowball fight that culminates in bloody noses and damaged windows. It condenses a season's worth of pranks into an hour, making Dwight the prankster rather than the prankee. As said by Dwight, "In the end, the greatest snowball isn't a snowball at all. It's fear. Merry Christmas."

While amusing, this episode also has some heartfelt family moments, reminding viewers of the true meaning of Christmas.

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Wrap Up

You could always count on the Party Planning Committee to go all out with particular themes, décor, and snacks to guarantee a memorable evening. To the boss dressing up as Santa Claus every year, and someone getting a little too tipsy- it wasn’t always Meredith, these Christmas escapades produced some of the show's funniest and most-loved episodes, each of which is special in its own way.

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