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22nd of January 2018

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These are the best Christmas episodes to watch this weekend

extreme sameextreme sameImage: nbc2017%2f04%2f25%2f1f%2fpkheadshotsmallcopy.7f1bcBy Proma Khosla2017-12-24 14:21:00 UTC

No holiday this century would be complete without a carefully curated list of television episodes. Because there is literally more TV than is humanly survivable, we limited our list to eight personal fave picks and a relative mix of old and new that complement each other. Just don't overthink it – it's Christmas!

Also – not an episode so it doesn't count – do yourself a favor and start out with this jam from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season 1:

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1. The O.C. Season 1, episode 13: "The Best Chrismukkah Ever"

How many TV shows can lay claim to creating a holiday word? (Yes, we see you, Festivus. That’s good too.) But The OC’s Chrismukkah episode was such a perfect blend of all that made the teen dramedy better than it had any right to be: a clever idea, a lot of heart, a little romance and, duh, great tunes. Take a break from your family and hang out with the Cohens.

Where to watch: Hulu

2. The Office Season 2, episode 10: "Christmas Party"

The Office has plenty of classic Christmas episodes (maybe spend the day just watching those? I don’t know your life!) but for our money, you can’t beat your first. Two words: Oven mitt. The  second season episode is the Dunder-Mifflin crew at their early-years best, with Michael’s total obliviousness at odds with his burning desire to be loved. You get early romance moments from Angela and Dwight not to mention an ultra-cute Pam and Jim scene. Yes, please.

Where to watch: Netflix

3. This Is Us Season 1, episode 10: "Last Christmas"

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In a truly sadistic holiday episode, This Is Us catches up with the Pearsons in 1989, when Kate goes to the hospital with appendicitis and the family runs into a dying Dr. K. That entire sentence should be illegal! In the present, the family catches up at Randall's house, for his first (and last, though he doesn't know it) Christmas with his biological father. William reconnects with Jessie and has the unique honor of being outed to his son by his granddaughters, which is adorable. And if you're wondering if this is the episode that ends with Toby near-fatally falling through a table, it sure is!

Where to watch: Hulu

4. Black Mirror, "White Christmas"

The new season of Black Mirror doesn't release until Dec. 29, so if you need to scratch that existential itch on Christmas Day you can revisit Jon Hamm in "White Christmas." The episode premiered to a world with no guarantee of more Black Mirror beyond Season 2, and it proved that the series hadn't suffered since skyrocketing in popularity. We get to know Matt (Hamm) through flashbacks and through his behavior toward a strange piece of technology called the "cookie." He seems like a good guy, but are they ever, on this show?

Where to watch: Netflix

5. black-ish Season 2, episode 10 "Stuff"

Dre worries that his children are too materialistic, especially around the holidays. His parents agree on a minimalistic holiday for the family, which the children don't take well. Because this is a TV episode, characters learn the true meaning of Christmas and value their families. But because it's black-ish, that message is delivered with more charm and brilliance than we deserve.

Where to watch: Hulu

6. Boy Meets World Season 5, episode 11: "A Very Topanga Christmas"

Image: abc/hulu

Cory gets overwhelmed by Topanga's presence and conflicting Christmas traditions when she spends the holiday with his family. They fight on Christmas Eve Day, which Shawn informs us is very bad indeed. Confused and guilty, Cory finds himself visited by the ghost of Christmas Future (Feeny, of course), who shows him how spectacularly his life will nosedive without Topanga. Their differences make the relationship strong, and Cory learns to embrace that.

Where to watch: Hulu

7. Community Season 2, episode 11: “Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas”

Image: NBC

Greendale's most gloriously dysfunctional study group gets transformed into claymation misfit toys in this Christmas special, guest starring John Oliver in his role as Professor Duncan. Abed searches for the meaning of Christmas, but instead of payoff, he gets a Lost DVD, which...sounds about right.

Where to watch: Hulu

8. How I Met Your Mother Season 7, episode 12: "Symphony of Illumination"

Image: cbs

Fair warning: This is one of the saddest episodes of How I Met Your Mother – but it’s also great. When Robin discovers she can’t have children, she takes over narration duties from Ted and the result is a heartbreaking exploration of what you do when your life takes a turn you didn’t expect. And that ending with Ted? He’s sometimes TOO MUCH, but here, his thoughtfulness and love are just right. Sniffle.

Where to watch: Hulu

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