Christmas in ‘The Office’ — Ranking the show’s seven Christmas specials

A quick distraction from all that studying you still need to do.


(Screenshot by Trevor Wilson/Amherst Wire)

We are in the heart of the holiday season, and with finals here and winter break tempting your focus, the perfect study break is binge-watching the Christmas episodes of your favorite show. I took this recommendation very seriously and spent some time catching up with my favorite office workers. Here is a list of “The Office” Christmas specials ranked from best to worst!

 1. “Dwight Christmas” (S9E9)

Any true “The Office” fan knows Belsnickel’s signature lines like the back of their hand. From the pig rib to “impish” or “admirable” and everything in between, this episode is iconic for more than one reason.

Despite the fact that the party was forgotten about and no one really trusted Dwight’s idea besides Jim and Pam, it all turned out as jolly as ever for the last Christmas episode the show released. Speaking of Jim, his last-minute decision to put off his bus to Philadelphia only brightened the hearts of both his co-workers and the loyal fans watching. This last Christmas special went out with a bang.

2. “Classy Christmas” part 1 and 2 (S7E11)

Finding its home in second place is the two-part Christmas special from Season 7 consisting of both Episode 11, “Classy Christmas: Part 1,” and Episode 12, “Classy Christmas: Part 2.” These two episodes not only birth Toby’s obsession with the Scranton Strangler, but also leave us with the traumatic memory of a day-long snowball fight between Dwight and Jim.

Along with these hilarious anecdotes, comes the heartwarming bonding between Daryl and his daughter in a time when Daryl is losing hope in their relationship. Another sappy moment comes from the gift exchange between Jim and Pam. Their gifts — bracelet and comic book — prevail despite the workplace critique, inspiring the young workplace couples watching to trust their gut. 

3. “Secret Santa” (S6E13)

This episode follows Michael through a truly transformational process. Michael made this episode quite a wild ride, starting with his feud with Phyllis over who deserved to be Santa, followed by his depressed Jesus impression and finishing strong with a return to his true self.

Top all that off with arguably the craziest gift in “The Office” history — the real-life 12 Days of Christmas from Andy to Erin — and this episode became a must watch.

4. “Christmas Party” (S2E10)

This was the first ever “The Office” Christmas special and holds a special place in many hearts. Some of these hearts belong to Jim and Pam, who were far from a couple at the time, but could not stop their budding romance from peeking through.

This romance was quickly compromised by the fast one Michael pulled when he declared the Secret Santa to be a Yankee Swap instead. The heartfelt teapot full of memories Jim put together for Pam ended up in the arms of Dwight, but all was right in the end. Oh, and let us not forget that Meredith flashed Michael.

5. “Moroccan Christmas: (S5E11)

This episode is riddled with secrets that the audience knows but the staff is oblivious to. Phyllis quickly clears one secret up for everybody when she reveals Angela and Dwight’s secret rendezvous, however.

Michael’s secret is not brought to light so easily. While everyone thinks he is making progress in helping Meredith with her alcohol problem, he is actually tricking her into going to rehabilitation by saying its a bar. None of this would’ve ever happened if drunken Meredith hadn’t set her hair on fire in the first place.

6. “A Benihana Christmas” (S3E10)

 This episode is overwhelmingly sad with far too few happy endings. For a 40-minute show, twice as long as the average episode, the content was disappointing.

One highlight of the episode, however, is the beginning of a karaoke tradition that continues season after season. A personal favorite karaoke performance of mine is always Dwight’s rendition of “Lady” by Styx. Another highlight is the birth of two new committees. On top of the pre-existent party planning committee, there are now the rival committee for party planning and the validity committee. This episode should’ve been called “Committee Christmas” instead.

7. “Christmas Wishes” (S8E10)

 This is the first Christmas episode since Michael left his job as regional manager, and it’s just not the same without him. Despite his tendency to annoy so many, the show is really missing something when he’s not there.

On top of that disappointment, not much else happens. The most iconic part of this episode is easily Dwight changing the music and rocking out with his pals in the conference room. Compared to the highlights of other episodes, that’s pretty sad, but still iconic nonetheless.

8. The non-exsistant Christmas specials (S1 and S4)

“The Office” Christmas specials were something I and many others looked forward to season after season. Fans were left dry twice. Despite these missing episodes, a good three hours of “The Office” Christmas episodes awaits you. Better get to it!

Email Tiffany at [email protected].

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