Dec. 7th: "Express Christmas" - Modern Family
The Dunphy/Pritchett/Tucker/Delgado clan realizes they won't be together on Christmas and decides to celebrate on the last day they're all available, December 16th. Since that day is today they spring into action. Everyone pairs up and is assigned a job – Phil and Manny get the food; Jay and Cam wrap the presents; Gloria and Luke retrieve the Christmas ornaments; Mitchell, Alex and Lily go tree-shopping; and Claire and Haley head to Target. Schenanigans ensue and nothing goes as planned but at least they end up with a nice Christ- er, December 16th surprise. You can watch the full episode on Amazon Video.
Dec. 8th: "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas" - Community
Disappointed with life, Abed uses claymation and a group therapy session to find the meaning of Christmas. His friends reluctantly tag along but get ejected, one by one, along the way as they bring down the Christmas spirit. Abed's determined to get to the North Pole because he's sure that's where he'll find the meaning of Christmas. Unfortunately, all he finds is the first season of Lost. Luckily, his friends return and remind him what Christmas is for through the magic of song. You can watch the full episode on Hulu.
Dec. 9th: "O Come All Ye Faithful" - The Vampire Diaries
This episode is not merry, bright or filled with Christmas spirit, but I like a little variety to my TV shows. On this episode, a beautiful version of "O Come All Ye Faithful" plays in the background as Klaus murders 12 hybrids that Tyler was trying to save and then drowns his mom as punishment. I have thought about this episode many times since I first saw it; the scene definitely stays with you. Elsewhere, Stefan and Caroline discuss the intricacies of their immoral lifestyle and Damon tries to do the right thing by sending Elena back to Mystic Falls while she was still sired to him. You can watch the full episode on Netflix.
Dec. 10th: "The One With Phoebe's Dad" - Friends
I'm sure this isn't the most popular Friends Christmas episode but it's my favorite. Monica and Rachel are hosting a party when their heater breaks making the apartment unbearably hot. Ice cube appetizers, anyone? Phoebe finds out her dad lives nearby and Chandler and Joey go with her to confront him. Unfortunately they run out of time to go Christmas shopping and end up buying presents for the group at a gas station. The two of them passing out their gifts is one of my favorite parts in an already hilarious show. You can watch the full episode on Netflix.
Dec. 11th: "A Benihana Christmas" - The Office
After Carol breaks up with him, Michael mopes around the office threatening to take Christmas away from everyone. Andy tries to cheer him up by taking him to Benihana which he calls "Asian Hooters." Back at the office, Pam and Karen are ruining Angela’s Christmas party by throwing one of their own complete with karaoke and margaritas. I’ve seen this episode 20 times and I still laugh out loud when Michael marks his new girlfriend because he can’t tell her apart from the other Benihana waitress. This episode has so much of what makes The Office great – crazy, dramatic Michael; the love triangle between Pam/Jim/Karen; the secrecy surrounding Dwight and Angela; Michael's irrational hatred of Toby; and the overall chaos of what should be a boring paper supply company. You can watch the full episode on Netflix.
Dec. 12th: "Mr. Hankey, Christmas Poo" - South Park
This is easily one of the most memorable South Park episodes of all time. It's the annual Christmas pageant and similiar to 2016, everyone is offended by something in it. It's decided that anything offensive to anyone will be removed, including Santa Claus, wreaths, trees, stars, lights, and candy canes. Elsewhere on the episode, Kyle is feeling left out because he's Jewish and confides in Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo. Gross, yes. Hilarious, also yes. Trust me, you will never forget Mr. Hankey. Especially after he shows up on the night of the pageant to restore everyone's Christmas spirit. A very important side note: this was the first episode where Kenny didn't die! It's a Christmas miracle! You can watch the full episode on Hulu.