jessica tholmer
December 14, 2015 6:37 am

During the holidays, office dynamics ramp up and sometimes things can get a little awkward. Since no one does an awkward Christmas quite like The Office, let’s take a closer look at Dunder-Mifflin’s best holiday lessons.

EINTKILF The Office Christmas 

1. Teapots can be romantic.
In the season two episode, “The Christmas Party,” Jim gets Pam in Secret Santa and buys her this teapot that she really wants, but since he’s freakin’ Jim Halpert, he fills it with a bunch of inside jokes (like hot sauce packets). Long story short, Michael turns Secret Santa into Yankee Swap and Pam almost doesn’t keep the teapot until she realizes how much it means to Jim and gives up a Video iPod for it because she loves him too, obviously.

2. Christmas is the time to tell people how you feel.
Christmas is the time of year to admit your feelings, right? At Christmas you tell the truth? Jim’s present to Pam was his version of a “ridiculously expensive crystal duck.” How would she not know that he loved her after that gift?

3. You can’t keep yourself for Secret Santa.
Remember in that same episode, when Kevin drew his own name as a Secret Santa—and got himself a footbath? Sorry Kev, that’s against the rules.

4. Stay within the price limit.
Don’t buy a Video iPod for someone you are trying to impress. Look, I might buy BJ Novak a Video iPod if I could find one these days, so I get it, but it can also be really awkward. Gifts aren’t about the money, y’know?

5. Don’t Photoshop yourself into family pictures.
Let’s now move to season three episode, “A Benihana Christmas.” Michael Scott is insane, obviously, but he is at his most insane (debatably) when Carol finds his “Christmas card” of himself alongside her and her children on a ski trip. Of course, Michael never went on this ski trip with them and in reality, Photoshopped himself onto her ex-husband’s body. I feel like this shouldn’t even be a lesson because I really just really hope none of you would do this, OK?

6. You can’t cancel Christmas.
…even because your girlfriend dumped you. “Amicably.”

Look, I’ve been dumped before Christmas (twice) and right after Christmas and here’s what I know: you just cannot cancel the holidays. The holidays are a lot of things and if you know people who hate the holidays, that might be one of the reasons why. You never know what a person is going through. The holidays are hard for people because if you are alone (or even if you feel alone), it is hard to see everyone else’s seemingly perfect trees, presents, relationships, families, etc. I know I got deep, but it felt like the right time to let you know that the holidays are hard and we all just have to suck it up and deal with it, even if someone that loved you leaves you right beforehand. Poor Michael.

7. Themed Christmas parties aren’t a great idea.
In season five, Phyllis throws a Moroccan Christmas Party, which basically allows for everyone to be even more insensitive than they usually are. Michael says something dumb to Kelly, Phyllis is blackmailing Angela, Angela is having an affair, Meredith may or may not be an alcoholic—it’s just a mess.

But anyway, also be careful of fire because your hair might burst into flames if you’ve had one million alcoholic beverages made by your people-pleasing boss.

8. The 12 Days of Christmas is a terrible gift.
In season six’s “Secret Santa” episode, Andy is super into Erin, so he has been sending her gifts from the 12 Days of Christmas every day. Poor Erin comes to work with bandaids over the scratches across her face and tells everyone that her cat has killed a turtledove and that the french hens have started pulling out her hair to make a nest. As we know, Andy always has good intentions, but his Secret Santa gift falls flat.

…though there is endearing redemption all over The Office. All is well when 12 drummers drumming show up at the end to surprise everyone.

9. Group holiday pictures are hard.
The opening scene in season 7’s Christmas episode is one of the most Office things ever. Michael suggests everyone jumps in the air, but does that ever really work? Everyone starts arguing, Dwight starts accusing everyone of not jumping well enough, and everyone is freezing. Look, office politics are weird, and group pictures are weird, and coordinating pictures is nearly impossible with a bunch of goons. Good thing outtakes are more fun to look at anyway. 

Images via NBC. GIFs via here, here, and here.

Related:

What Jim and Pam from The Office taught me about love

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