The pre-Christmas Day season of Advent is upon us. Here at SeedSing we love the chocolaty goodness of getting a piece of candy once a day until we get to open our presents. As our gift to you we will present a new awesome holiday television program for every day of Advent. This is the greatest tv of the season. Enjoy.
Day 19: "The Office - Christmas Party"
Original air date - December 6th, 2005
For SeedSing's Advent Calendar of great holiday TV shows, today I'm going to write about one of my all-time favorite episodes of the American version of "The Office". The episode is simply titled, "Christmas Party", and it takes place in what most everybody believes is their best season, the second.
The episode starts like most, with one on one interviews, and we can see that Dunder Mifflin is decorated for the season. They have a big tree, lots of wreaths, holly, all the things you'd expect when walking into any office during the holiday's. We get an early interview with Jim(John Krasinski), talking about how he finally got Pam(Jenna Fischer) for secret Santa. They have always done a secret Santa at Dunder Mifflin, and Jim, apparently, has never gotten his true love, Pam before. This was well before they were married and had kids and everything, so I think it was great for the writers to have this as one of the main stories in this episode. Later, while speaking with Jim, Michael Scott(Steve Carrell) reveals to him that he got his favorite person in the office, Ryan(BJ Novak), for secret Santa. He proclaims that he spent a lot of dough and went all out because he wanted this party to be extra special. Jim says he thought there was a 20 dollar limit, but we all know Michael to be a bit of a spender and a pest.
When all the workers gather around the tree to do secret Santa, that is when this episode goes from good to great. At first, all is well. Oscar(Oscar Nunez) gets the shower radio he wanted from his secret Santa, Kelly(Mindy Kaling). Jim gets his gift from Creed(Creed Bratton), which is just one of his old shirts, because Creed is never prepared for anything. Oscar has a gift for Creed, but he doesn't know anything about him, assumes he is Irish, and gets him a four-leaved clover keychain. Then, it is Pam's turn, and she opens her gift, which is a teapot that she has pointed out to Jim many, many times. He not only remembers to get her this teapot, but he also stuffs it with some inside jokes and a note telling her how he truly feels about her. She is very happy, and Jim is pleased with the great job he has done. Then we get to Ryan. He opens his present, and it is a video iPod. For those of you that are even younger than me, back then, in the early to mid-2000's, a video iPod was a big deal, and pretty expensive. It is so expensive in fact, they say that it cost 400 dollars for Michael to buy it, because of course he left the price tag on. After all the initial shock, it is now Michael's turn to open his present from Phyllis(Phyllis Smith). He opens the paper to reveal a homemade oven mitt. It is a very thoughtful and very nice gift, and just what secret Santa should be all about, but Michael is unhappy. He is so upset that Phyllis did not spend a single penny on his gift. He throws his Santa hat off and madly storms into the hallway to let the camera crew knows how he feels about Phyllis' gift. After a minute or so, the other workers ask if they should just continue to open gifts, and Dwight(Rainn Wilson), says no one does anything until Michael says so.
Michael comes back after about 5 minutes and declares that they are going to play a game called "Yankee Swap". The game consists of people deciding if they want to steal a present, open a new present or just keep what they have. We all know this game. Others call it "White Elephant" or "Nasty Christmas". The game is brutal, and shows people's true feelings. This is exactly what Michael wants, because it means everyone will want the iPod he bought. The game starts, and of course the iPod is the hot item. Everyone is trading for it, even Pam. When Pam takes it the first time, Jim is noticeably upset, but Pam says to him, "I mean, it's an iPod". Brutal and to the point. After awhile, Phyllis leaves the room after Michael bad mouths her gift and convinces Meredith(Kate Flannery) to take it. Michel tries to "explain" reverse psychology to the audience before this happens, and it is hilarious. Go watch it now. After Phyllis leaves, Michael asks what is wrong with her, and the rest of the workers tell him it is because he bought a very expensive gift, then bad mouthed all the other gifts.
Michael feels bad, and tries to make up for his mistake, but he makes it worse by telling everyone that he got a big bonus for firing someone, and this just makes everyone even madder. They all leave the circle around the tree, and Michael is despondent. Michael leaves to go get alcohol for the party because he thinks this will make everything better.
While he is at the liquor store, we get shots of everyone trying to get the gifts they truly want. Everyone wants the iPod, but Pam has it, and she loves it. She is smitten. Jim is trying everything he can to get the teapot back, Dwight has it now, but he just cannot convince him. Dwight claims he will use it for sinus infections, and that makes Jim even more upset. At one point, we see Dwight looking through the teapot, and he fins all the inside jokes. Pam sees this from a distance, and she starts to realize that Jim went through a whole lot to get this gift specifically for her.
Michael returns, with 15 bottles of vodka, and now the Christmas party truly begins. They aren't supposed to have alcohol, but no one truly cares, as I expect most real life offices would do the same. The vodka does help. People start to have fun, no one is mad at Michael anymore. At one point, Michael proclaims that Ryan is the "king of the party planning committee", because he found some shot glasses. Even Todd Packer(David Koechner) shows up, with mistletoe on his groin. During the party, Jim walks over to Pam, who looks like she is working, to tell her she doesn't have to answer phones at a party, but we come to realize that she has traded gifts with Dwight. Jim is thrilled and tells her that there is more to the gift than just the tea pot. He and Pam talk about all the inside jokes in the tea pot, but Jim slyly takes the note away and puts it in his pocket before Pam can get to it. We even get to meet Phyllis' boyfriend for the first time, Bob Vance, and his interaction with 3 of the workers is great. After the party they all decide that they are going to go to a bar for an after party, and they even invite Michael, who never gets invited to anything. Before they leave though, Meredith approaches Michael and takes off her shirt. Michael does not reciprocate the feelings, but it is pretty funny. I put this part in because it is the first true time we see how drunk Meredith acts. This becomes a running gag throughout the show.
This particular episode of "The Office" is great. They always brought their A game to the holiday episodes, but this was the first, and, in my opinion, the best. It is a classic.
Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He did not have any drinks at the SeedSing holiday party, but he did clean his sinuses with a teapot. Follow Ty on instagram and twitter.
SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.