Christmas has come and gone; I hope it was a good one. While most of our nostalgic seasonal viewing is in the run up to Christmas Day, I think we’re still safe being as the New Year hasn’t come. Technically, Christmas runs for 12 days after until Epiphany, so I feel safe in offering the second half of my look at classic TV Christmas episodes. Last week I looked at sitcoms, this week it’s dramas. Below are five options, limited to one per series. Get in a last bit of Christmas Cheer before the New Year is Here!
“A Very Glee Christmas,” Glee Episode 2.10, first aired December 7, 2010
About: Glee was a series that started incredibly strong in the first season and waned. Season 2 was uneven but did offer us a Christmas episode that hits all the right notes. Most importantly, it features kicking musical numbers that became part of my holiday soundtrack for more than a decade.
“Blizzard,” ER Episode 1.10, first aired December 8, 1994
About: There’s a lot of classic ER episodes, but this is up there. Technically this wasn’t the last episode before Christmas but I’m still counting it. It’s a quiet day in the ER full of practical jokes, talks about Christmas and even some decorating. A blizzard is raging in the city and there are no patients. Suddenly, a pileup occurs and the ER is slammed. This was one of the big event episodes that made the show famous and has a lot of fun Christmas-season cheer.
“Christmas at Downton Abbey,” Downton Abbey Episode 2.09, First Aired December 25, 2011
About: This Christmas special closed season two of the show. It aired on Christmas Day in the United Kingdom and for those with connections but came later for American audiences. Still, it’s Christmas time and the whole season has been building to the romance between Matthew (Dan Stevens) and Mary (Michelle Dockery). In a beautiful snow-capped scene, Matthew finally proposes. This is one of the most iconic and joyous of episodes. It wouldn’t last, but it was great when it was going.
“Best Christmukkah Ever,” The OC Episode 1.13, First Aired December 3, 2003
About: The first season of The OC is by far the best and a big part of that is this holiday episode where Seth (Adam Brody) introduces Ryan (Ben McKenzie) to his unique holiday mashup Christmukkah! This one is fun, funny and a real blast. It’s become an iconic part of the holidays and is one of the funniest episodes in the franchise history.
“In Excelsis Deo,” The West Wing Episode 1.10, First Aired December 15, 1999
About: This might be the 1.01 of Christmas TV episodes. The first season of The West Wing delivered a beauty. There is a lot going on at the White House, but Toby (Richard Schiff) gets caught up in the death of a homeless veteran and arranging a military funeral to honor him. It’s also a great showcase for Kathryn Joosten’s Mrs. Landingham. It is one that gets me right in the feels.
Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.