While the holidays are great, the ways holidays are portrayed in sitcoms is even better. TV shows, especially sitcoms, have this magical ability to take the stress of the holiday season – from obligatory, awkward family get-togethers to gift-buying gaffs – and make it funny. In addition to a good laugh, sitcom holiday specials often remind us of what”s truly important during this time of appreciation and celebration – caring for each other.
“How I Met Your Mother” – “How Lily Stole Christmas”
The first holiday episode of “How I Met Your Mother” plays off all the different family disputes people have over Christmas. When Lily and Marshall get back together and have their first Christmas as a reunited couple, Lily finds out that Ted called her a “Grinch.” She becomes upset and steals all the holiday decorations. Ted goes home to his family for Christmas. This causes Lily to realize what”s important in the holiday season is not decorations or gift giving, but the friendship they all share.
“That “70s Show” – “The Best Christmas Ever”
Instead of the gang going to the parents” annual holiday party they decide to have their own party in the basement. Throughout the episode, Hyde and Kelso stress about what to get Donna and Jackie. Also, the guys decide to steal a Christmas tree that”s on federal property so they can use the money Red gave them to buy a tree to buy beer instead. It”s all fun and games until a state trooper shows up to Eric”s house, and Eric and Hyde realize they both like Donna. The episode is a pretty accurate representation of what it feels like to be a teenager at their parents” Christmas.
“New Girl” – “Santa”
When everyone in the group receives separate Christmas party invitations, instead of spending the holiday apart, they pool the invites and attempt to attend every party together. The result is everyone facing relationships past, present and future. The episode ends with everyone being able to find a happy place in their relationships, and shows that by spending time together, instead of all of them going to their own separate parties, they were able to help each other solve one other”s problems.
“Friends” – “The One with the Holiday Armadillo”
Ross will be spending Christmas with his son, Ben, this year, so he wants to take the opportunity to teach him about Hanukkah. The episode entails Ross showing up to the apartment as an armadillo because they were out of Santa costumes. He uses the costume to try and teach Ben about Hanukkah and gets help from Santa Claus (Chandler) and Superman (Joey) as well. This episode is a good reminder that it”s not so much which holiday you”re choosing to celebrate and more about the importance of spending time with loved ones.
“The Office” – “Christmas Party”
In this episode, Secret Santa turns into a white elephant exchange. This is bad news for Jim, who personally tailored a cute present for Pam, who ends up losing the gift. At the end of the episode, Pam receives the teapot full of treasured items Jim made for her, and gives up the iPod she originally got. This episode shows that sometimes it”s not about the price of the gifts but about how important and meaningful they are.
Alex Brizee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @alex_brizee