Everything I Need to Know, I Learned From Christmas Specials

Arguably the best part of the entire holiday season is the wonderful “very special” Christmas episodes we are loaded up with. Christmas episodes are awesome because they come out of nowhere in the middle of a television season, not really paying attention to previous plotlines or anything. Oh what fun it is to write about Christmas episodes! I wish it could be Christmas episodes all year long! Oh come all ye Christmas episodes! Baby, it’s a Christmas episode. All I want for Christmas is an…episode.

I’m done, let’s just learn stuff.

EINTKILF Christmas Specials

1. Christmas happens in our hearts. Full House
In the very first season of Full House–can you believe they had EIGHT SEASONS?!–the Tanner clan gets stranded in an airport and everything is a mess. The kids are stressed out enough in the first place because they do not think that Santa Claus will find them in Colorado (first lesson: Santa knows where Colorado is). When they get stuck in the airport, everyone thinks Christmas is ruined, but naturally, Uncle Hottie Jesse gives a rallying speech and basically re-instills the Christmas spirit in everyone.

Also, soon-to-be Aunt Becky and Jesse have their first kiss in this episode, under the mistletoe, nonetheless. I WANT MY NEXT FIRST KISS TO BE UNDER THE MISTLETOE, YOU GUYS, THAT IS THE CUTEST. It doesn’t even have to be with John Stamos, but I sure would not stop him!

Anyway, the point is Christmas happens in our hearts, dammit, which is what Jesse should tell Becky later when she is super upset about the lack of snow in San Francisco during Christmas.

Christmas isn’t about presents or Santa Claus or cows, it’s about a feeling. It’s about people. It’s about us forgetting about our problems and reaching out to help other people. Christmas doesn’t have to happen in one certain place, it happens in our hearts.” Uncle Jesse, perfect man

2. It is okay to have different traditions. Boy Meets World
When Topanga comes to spend Christmas with the Matthews fam for the first time, she and Cory (and everyone else) encounter a few issues with differing traditions. This is quite possibly the most exaggerated plot line of all time because the first “issue” that comes up is when Mr. Matthews pours everyone some eggnog and Topanga is like, “yum, but have you ever had hot mulled cider?” and then Eric gets all mad. “We’re an eggnog family!” Who in the world chooses between either cider or nog? That is like saying you do not drink coffee because you drink hot chocolate. Or you never drink wine because you drink beer. WTF GUYS, YOU CAN DRINK ALL OF THE THINGS. And Topanga opens all of her presents on Christmas Eve?? Who does that? Do you guys do that? We were a one present on the Eve kind of family, as all people should be.

 Wait, I lost the lesson here. It is okay to compromise and branch out into new tradi–ugh, never mind. I am never getting married ever, I do not want to do someone else’s stuff on Christmas.

For the record, Topanga is a total snot in this episode, and in fact, in most episodes. I think I hate her?

Ask her if she still wants it on the 25th, Cor!” Eric Matthews

3. Singing makes everything Christmasier. The Dick Van Dyke Show
I do not know if you guys grew up watching anything black and white, but I certainly did. The Dick Van Dyke show had an episode in its third season entitled “The Alan Brady Show Presents,” and it is the cutest, most entertaining little twenty-two minutes of anything ever. I still get one of the songs stuck in my head on the regular. If you never watched Dick Van Dyke, I recommend you start now. It is never too late to fall in love with Rob and Laura. (Mary Tyler Moore is my dreamgirl.)
 But seriously, what is Christmas without song and dance? Everyone knows the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.

4. Give gifts from the heart. Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Back in ol’ 1991, the Banks family et al stay up in a ski cabin during Christmas. When the adults are off playing in the snow, the kids let in a seemingly trustworthy man who ends up tying them up and robbing them of everything–including all of the Christmas gifts! Since the Banks are a super rich family, it is probably hard for them to realize that material goods are not what the season is about. Coming from a super poor family, I already know that the season is really about getting super drunk off overly spiked eggnog and has nothing to do with gifts at all. Let’s be real, I am just in it for the time I get to spend with Kevin McCallister, as we all clearly are here at HelloGiggles.

Unless someone is buying me an iPad this year. That can come from the heart, come on.

No, but seriously, aren’t the best gifts the ones not found in stores? For my birthday this year, my friend Doug gave me three napkins with the words “One favor voucher to be redeemed at anytime by Jessica Tholmer only” written on them. Best gift ever, for reals. And it probably cost him nothing, unless he bought the napkins, but that would be weird because you can get napkins from anywhere.

There’s a gift idea, you are welcome!

5. Be selfless. The Brady Bunch
One year, Carol loses her voice right before the Christmas program she has to sing in at church. Cindy, being the angelic blonde child that she is, asks a mall Santa Claus for her mother’s voice back on Christmas so she can still perform her gorgeous rendition of “Oh, Come All Ye Faithful.” I have never understood why Santa agrees to it, but he does and Cindy is just convinced that it will go down as she planned, because everything you ask for, you get, am I right?

Straight up, dudes: I love The Brady Bunch. All of them. Little Cindy is a vision with her curly pigtails and red bows and big ol’ heart in this episode.

And Carol Brady–she is an angel from above.

It is pretty creepy when Mike makes Carol sing in the middle of the night though, just like it is pretty creepy that she starts humming in her sleep. Who does that? (I might do that, but I probs hum beats to sick Kanye songs.)

6. Money can’t buy you love. The Simpsons
FUN FACT: “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire” was the first aired (non-Tracey Ullman episode) of The Simpsons, and isn’t it a great one? Homer finds out a little too late that he will not be receiving a Christmas bonus, so in order to make money to buy the family gifts, he takes up a job as a mall Santa. Even back in 1989, that wasn’t the sweetest paying gig, so he still does not have enough money for gifts. Proving he is a wonderful father, Homer takes Bart (his eight year old son, very approp) to the dog racing track and bets some money on a lost cause of a pup: Santa’s Little Helper. SLH finishes last and his owner aggressively disowns him. Homer and Bart take the dog in, and the rest is history.

Dogs are a way better gift than material items, anyway, am I right? I got a white German Shepherd (August Sunshine, rest in peace, my sweet!) for my twelfth birthday and he is still the best gift I have ever received, until someone buys me an iPad. I shall name it August!
 “If TV has taught me anything it’s that miracles always happen to poor kids at Christmas. It happened to Tiny Tim, it happened to Charlie Brown, it happened to the Smurfs, and it’s gonna happen to us.” Bart Simpson, ain’t that the truth?

7. “Life isn’t about endings, is it? It’s a series of moments.” The Office (UK)
And Christmas is a time for first kisses.

I know, I know, I know I’m about to sound like a seriously obnoxious hipster, but I seriously love the British Office like a trillion times more than the American one. Sorry, face facts–Ricky Gervais is hilarious, whereas Steve just…isn’t. Sorry! I’m sorry! And Tim and Dawn are like…gahhhhhhhhhhhsh so adorable.

I have a heart, though, obviously. I loved Jim and Pam before they got married like everyone else in the nation.

But what I like most about The British Office, and in general, British television, is that the “documentary” about office life was not dragged out for far too many seasons. Why would they still be making a documentary about an office? The British Office was only two seasons, with the Christmas specials
rounding out the series.

Even if you didn’t watch, you should know that Tim and Dawn are the British Jim and Pam and they are so cute and Bilbo is like SO SO cute, and when they finally kiss, it is just. So cute. I am extremely creative in my analysis, don’t you think?

 Kiss someone this Christmas, even if it scares you, even if it might be a bad idea, not if they are married. It is time. The best kisses are at Christmas.

(Remember Studio 60? Nope? Well, they had a great Christmas episode with the hottest kiss. Ever. I am not even going to link you, it is like my best kept secret.)

8. Holiday armadillos? Not a thing. Friends
Poor Ross wants to teach Ben (everyone is named Ben, everyone) about his Jewish heritage because he feels like the kid is overexposed to Christmas. For whatever Ross Geller reason, he decides to dress up like an armadillo and confuses everyone. Chandler comes in dressed as Santa Claus and Ben is
stoked, and the real lesson here is if Santa and the Holiday Armadillo stay in the same room for too long, the universe will implode.
 9. Don’t be a jerk on Christmas. Family Ties
Alex P. Keaton is a super Scrooge-y grouch during the Christmas season, even though everyone else is excited for the holiday. In a Christmas Carol parallel, Mallory and Jennifer show Alex the Christmas past and the Christmas future, hoping to help him regain his spirit and become more

of a team player. Christmas future is grim for the Keatons, and Alex is not around for the holidays with the family because he lives in a wealthy home in New York City. When he finally shows up, he is mean and balding and stuck up. SHAPE UP, ALEX.

Just like the real Christmas Carol, Alex realizes that he is being a jerk and shapes up just in time for the holiday.

Sigh. Michael J. Fox, you bring me to life.

My mother almost named me Mallory after Mallory Keaton, and I will forever be disappointed that she did not. I was almost named after a Michael J. Fox sitcom character. I ALMOST HAD THE PERFECT LIFE.

10. Christmas cards and nip slips don’t mix. Seinfeld
One year, Elaine (my spirit animal) decides to take pictures for her Christmas cards, like a truly perfect single woman should. Who says you need kids or a husband to take pictures for Christmas cards? Maybe I will follow suit this year. Kramer does the photography for her and neither of them notice that Elaine is kind of…exposed in the pictures. She sends them all out, and it is truly a Merry Christmas.

I know actual cameras are like…irrelevant in this day and age of instagram and smart phones (blah, I’m old fashioned and like real cameras), but regardless: watch for overexposure. #camerajoke

George: Hey! How come I didn’t get a Christmas card? Everybody else got one. Jerry got one, Kramer got one. I thought we were good friends. I don’t get a Christmas card. I don’t get it.
Elaine: You want a Christmas card? You want a Christmas card? All right here!
 Here’s your Christmas card!


Merry Christmas, to all the television shows!

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