1. “Christmas Party” (Season 2, Episode 10)
It’s the first official holiday episode that kicks off the show’s tradition, and boy, does it start off strong. In “Christmas Party,” the Dunder Mifflin staff has a Secret Santa gift exchange during their holiday party, and right off the bat, we learn that Jim is giving Pam her iconic teapot, AKA the most meaningful gift ever. Michael, however, is giddy with anticipation because he spent $400 on his gift for Ryan—and expects to get something expensive in return. When he gets Phyllis’s handmade mitten, he insists on doing a “Yankee Swap” instead. As a result, almost everyone ends up with gifts that they don’t really want, and Pam ends up with the expensive iPod, rather than Jim’s gift.
In an attempt to make up for dampening the party mood, Michael goes out and buys enough vodka to “get 20 people plastered.” And surely enough, the alcohol manages to do the trick.
This episode simultaneously gives us all the feels and has us laughing (while also reminding us that Yankee Swaps aren’t always the best idea). We see Jim *almost* work up the courage to tell Pam how he feels. We see Michael try to fix his mistake with 15 bottles of vodka—a decision that will set off a long-standing tradition of at least one employee getting way too drunk. And of course, we can’t forget all the quotable lines, like when Dwight claims that “Yankee Swap” is like “Machiavelli meets Christmas.” These things set the foundation for a lot of what we see in the following holiday episodes, and no matter how many times we watch, it still feels like we’re experiencing it all for the first time.
For that, it definitely deserves a Dundie.
Watch The Office now
RELATED: I’ve Watched Every Episode of ‘The Office’ Over 20 Times. I Finally Asked an Expert ‘Why?!’