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Best of Holiday TV

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  • Two young women dressed in festive clothes sitting on a couch together.

Jessica, Preston | December 1, 2020

This time of year, many people make a tradition of watching their favourite holiday movies. It’s a great way to get in the holiday spirit and take a break during a busy season. A few years ago I started my own tradition: Every December, I re-watch all seven Christmas episodes of “The Office.” Unfortunately, 2020 is the last year Netflix will offer “The Office,” so I’ve decided to branch out and try some new TV.

Read on for some great holiday-themed television episodes, all available from Idea Exchange:

Cover of Murdoch mysteries. Once upon a Murdoch Christmas DVDCover of Downton Abbey Season 2 DVDCover of This is us Season 1 DVDCover of Doctor Who Season 1 DVDCover of Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 3 DVD

Murdoch Mysteries: Once Upon a Murdoch Christmas: Murdoch and Brackenreid investigate a series of robberies in Toronto just before Christmas. This two-hour standalone special episode is not connected to the broader storyline, so it is a great watch for “Murdoch Mysteries” fans and newcomers alike.

Christmas at Downton Abbey (Season 2, Episode 9): Downton Abbey’s best Christmas episode aired at the end of its second season. It’s 1919 and, with the war behind them, the Crawley family decides to host a lavish Christmas dinner. Things are complicated by Bates’ arrest, Mary’s horrible fiancé, and Aunt Rosamund’s shady new beau.

This Is Us: Last Christmas (Season 1, Episode 10): If you like a good tearjerker around the holidays, you can’t go wrong with the first Christmas episode of “This Is Us.” The Pearson clan all deal with their own personal dramas before coming together for a dramatic family dinner at Randall’s house.

Doctor Who: The Christmas Invasion (Season 1, Episode 1): If you’ve never had the pleasure of watching British staple “Doctor Who,” this is a great place to start because the very first episode is set at Christmas! In this episode, aimless twenty-something Londoner Rose Tyler helps The Doctor stop an alien invasion at Christmas.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Yippee Kayak (Season 3, Episode 10): You don’t need to be a die-hard “Nine-Nine” fan to enjoy this hilarious episode. When Jake, Charles, and Gina do some last-minute Christmas shopping, they find themselves in a hostage situation and must rely on the rest of the precinct to save the day.

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Call the Midwife: Christmas Special (Season 2, Episode 1): The midwives at Nonnatus house are having a very busy Christmas, between preparing for the nativity play and tracking down the mother of a newborn dropped at the convent’s front door. Like all the other episodes of “Call the Midwife,” the series’ first Christmas episode is both sad and heartwarming.

Orange is the New Black: Can’t Fix Crazy (Season 1, Episode 13): The first season finale of “Orange” just happens to take place during the holidays! Aside from wrapping up (most of) the season’s drama, the episode also features the inmates preparing for their annual Christmas pageant and participating in a Secret Santa gift swap (nothing says “the holidays” like a screwdriver, am I right?).

Jane the Virgin: Chapter Thirty (Season 2, Episode 8): For a show about a pregnant virgin, it’s a wonder that its first Christmas-themed episode didn’t air until season two! It’s baby Mateo’s first Christmas but with all the insanity surrounding her, Jane can’t quite enjoy it. This episode is worth watching just for baby Mateo’s adorable little elf costume.

Merry Christmas, Mr. Bean (Season 1, Episode 7): This classic TV episode is still just as much fun to watch as when it first aired in 1992. Mr. Bean’s hijinks include Christmas shopping (and short-circuiting Harrods’ electrical system), creating an explosive Christmas cracker, and – of course – opening his stocking with Teddy.

The Golden Girls: ‘Twas the Nightmare Before Christmas (Season 2, Episode 11): The girls are planning to fly home to spend time with their families over the holidays, but their plans are thwarted when a lonely guy dressed as Santa Claus holds them hostage.

What is your favourite holiday-themed TV episode? Tell us in the comments below!

Comments

Submitted by Lauren (not verified) on

I have quite a few that I love! Sadly they are not in our catalogue but they are on various streaming services.
First, the Festivus episode of Seinfeld is a classic! (season 9 ep 10) "A Festivus for the rest of us!"
I also love all of the holiday episodes of Friends, but The One with the Holiday Armadillo (season 7, ep 10) is probably my favourite.
Next, the Schitts Creek holiday episode Merry Christmas, Johnny Rose (season 4, ep 13) is great! We do have the first three seasons of Schitts Creek available to borrow, so I would highly recommend it if you have yet to see the show. A great Canadian gem!
Finally, I love all the Great British Bake Off holiday specials. That show just makes you feel good, it's so wholesome!