If you're like me and have already blown through every Christmas movie that Netflix has to offer (and then some) (a couple of times) but are still looking to get into the Christmas spirit, then I have the answer for you! That answer is TV Christmas specials! They're the best. It's like spending Christmas with all the people you know and love.
Did I just type that out loud?
Here are my favorite Christmas episodes for your pleasure:
"Arrested Development" - "In God We Trust" - Season One. Maybe my favorite Christmas episode of all time, definitely one of my favorite AD episodes. Barry Zuckerkorn, the family's terrible lawyer, has arranged to have George Sr. released from jail for a day to take part in the "Living Classics" Pageant where annually he plays the role of God to Buster's Adam in Michelangelo's "The Creation of Adam." But Barry asks for a lot of money and he's awful, so they arrange to get a new lawyer who doesn't put up with bullshit. Michael and Lindsay are getting along and drink an entire bottle of vodka together and Michael decides to give the money to her so she can figure out her Tobias problems. Lucille hates the two of them getting along so she breaks them up and Michael ends up giving the money to George Sr.'s day off. Buster doesn't want to be Adam this year because he's afraid of the "front's piece" and George Michael takes on the role, which comes with a manly suit (and of course, a front's piece). George Michael wears the suit around all the time to impress Maeby. She knows the whole time. But he is so freaked out about the front's piece, and Tobias explains that he is a never-nude to him, so George Michael ends up wearing cut-off jeans over his Adam suit in the pageant. Michael is in love with Gob's girlfriend, Marta, and is learning Spanish to impress her - which obviously makes Gob think he's trying to escape to Portugal. (One of my favorite bits.) George Sr. tries to escape. Gob chases Michael down and they fight. George Sr. goes back to prison. The whole family spends Christmas Eve together at the prison! It's the best... because we get a lot of cute George Michael/Maeby action (nothing cuter than kissing cousins) and I like when Michael and Lindsay get along and Gob acts crazy. Also, Buster and Lucille 2 are the best couple!
"30 Rock" - "Ludachristmas" - Season Two. "30 Rock" has a few good ones (like the time Jack nearly killed his mother and waited a couple of minutes to call 911 or when Jack found out that his mother slept with the owner of FAO Shwartz every year to give them Christmas presents) but this one takes the cake. It makes me laugh from the start when all of GE receives a gift that is slash Photo Scanner and half Photo Shredder. Both sides of the device say, "PS". Hilarious. It's the episode where Liz's family comes to visit ("Lemon party! Permission to land!") and they're all happy and great and she has a brother, Andy Richter, who thinks he is still in the 80's because of a skiing accident (and who apparently slept with Jenna.) Jack's mother, Elaine Stritch, also shows up and is as tumultuous with Jack as ever. Jack decides to do cheesy, happy things with the Lemon family to spite his mother... but as always, Elaine Stritch proves that the Lemon's aren't as happy as they seem and the Lemon's end up fighting at the restaurant (where there are pictures of food on the menu) because Liz's parents never went to her football game. Jack and his mom end up loving each other for who they are. Oh, also, Tracy has an ankle bracelet on so he can't drink, but does, and the staff celebrates "Ludachristmas" together while Kenneth tries to get them to remember the true meaning of Christmas.
"New Girl" - "Santa" - Season Two. This one's cute because Nick is adorable and is dating a stripper, played by the awesome haired Olivia Munn. Winston still believes in Santa. Schmidt decides this group of friends are his "last Christian friends" and CeeCee tries to become friends with him again but his heart is too broken. Jess is pretty, as always, and ends up getting back together with her ex-boyfriend, Sam, who is very handsome and is a doctor. They go to a bunch of holiday parties. Nick does an awkward striptease for Olivia Munn. The gang all sings in the hallway of the hospital. There's a black Santa cop. It's all adorable. The most adorable part is Jess' retro coat.
"Mad Men" - "Christmas Waltz" - Season Five. This could be considered a "sad" Christmas episode, but not the sad Christmas episode. You know, when Don is depressed and hooks up with his secretary and she cries and immediately quits when he gives her money in a card the next day. Worst. This is one of my favorite episodes of all time because we get a whole lot of DON AND JOAN! Joan gets served divorce papers in the office and flips out on the secretary who let him in and Don takes her out of the office to go test drive a Jaguar and then takes her out for a drink to talk about her divorce problems. I love when they bond. It's also the return of Paul Kinsey, from seasons 1-3, and he invites Harry Krane to a Harikrishna chant/meeting, which is pretty damn weird because he's got a weird ponytail and Harry bothers me every time he's on screen and the girl Paul is dating looks like a knock-off Juliette Lewis. The episode takes a sad turn when Lane convinces the senior partners to give out Christmas bonuses - which he needs to pay his taxes - and then they lose Mohawk Airlines and they're unable to give the bonuses anymore... but he unfortunately already gave himself an advance and forged Don's signature. And well, we all know where that story ends. And if not, oh boy. Merry Christmas to you!
"Saved by the Bell" - "Home For Christmas - Parts 1&2" - The homeless episode! Ah, one of my favorites. Re-watching this show while not living in the 90's is a mind fuck. Television was fucking weird back then. This takes place in Season 5, according to Netflix, but according to the internet, it was like the 64th episode of Season 3. Regardless, the season is all over the place and starts out with the whole gang working at a Malibu beach club over the summer. And then we have the "Zack Attack" episode where they're famous singers, but Jessie isn't there and they never mention her. And then we go right into the next couple of episodes which takes place at Jessie's father's wedding. I hate the lack of continuity!
But whatever, in this episode, they all naturally work in the mall. Slater wraps presents horribly, Kelly works in a boutique (because this is the TV version of Mall Madness), Jessie takes pictures of kids with Santa, Zack and Screech are in the holiday show and oddly enough, Lisa (the fashionable one) doesn't even work at the mall but instead is a candy striper at the hospital. Fucking weird. Zack (literally) bumps into a pretty girl who looks like Blake Lively but couldn't be her because she may not have been born yet. And if she was, she was definitely a baby. This girl is not baby Blake Lively. She gets mad and tells him to watch where he's going! Zack, obviously, falls in love. Probably because he's not used to being talked to like he's ugly. He goes into the bathroom and there's a man shaving his face in there and he's obviously homeless. Zack is nice and leaves some money in the PAY PHONE LOCATED IN THE BATHROOM (ridiculous) and Screech tries to take it, because Screech is the only actually funny part of this show... that is actually meant to be funny. Zack makes it up to the girl, they share lunch... she eats all of his chips, he doesn't realize she's homeless. The original homeless guy passes out from malnourishment and they go to visit him in the hospital and BAM, Blake Lively is there! She's his daughter! Zack convinces the girl's boss (at the boutique!) to let her do the Christmas show, and then Kelly ends up telling the boss she's homeless and to give her a break, and the boss then blames her for stealing a men's blazer and calls the cops on her. But really, Kelly put the jacket on layaway for later so she could buy the blazer for the girl. They find the family, Zack's family helps them out and the mall provides them with jobs and help and everything works out in the end... except for the fact that we never, ever see them again. Zack is a big ol' Christmas slut.