That got me thinking, though: How much of an impact on me did TV show Christmas episodes make? Are they lodged as firmly in my brain as the song lyrics to If I Had A Boat, by Lyle Lovett? I love that song:
So here goes: all the episodes I can remember without researching:
1. Modern Family: the episode where they hold Instant Christmas or whatever it's called because everyone's going to be away on the 25th.
2. Friends: The episode with the Holiday Armadillo. Also there was one where Rachel was giving stuff she could steal from the office and Ross said "Should everyone expect presents you can steal from your office?" and she said "You shouldn't," because they were fighting that season.
3. Growing Pains: They had a Christmas episode. I don't remember the plot.
4. Family Guy: the Christmas episode where Brian and Stewie fill in for an exhausted Santa and kill someone in their house is what got me to start watching the show again. They also had that one where Peter wanted to watch A KISS Christmas which was about a pterodactyl.
5. Seinfeld: I can count Festivus, right? Because it was about Christmas, partially?
6. Futurama did those episodes with Robot Santa terrorizing people. I think there were two.
7. The Simpsons: They got their dog, Santa's Little Helper, when Homer bet the Christmas money at the racetrack, losing it but taking the dog he bet on as a present. That episode changed the usual arc of a Christmas story by taking a family, making them worse off, then not quite putting them back exactly where they started and calling it a happy ending, because the Simpson family was a little worse off, if you ask me. I don't want to own a dog.
8. The Office which honestly I don't know why this wasn't first since I mentioned it in the header but they did a bunch of them including this years, with Dwight's weird Santa. The best one was the classic Dutch Christmas episode where Michael got Ryan an iPod and they all kept trying to trade presents. That was The Office at its greatest.
9. Spongebob Squarepants: I know he had a new special out this year but we started watching it and the first few minutes was a claymation thing that was boring (to me) and frightening (to Mr Bunches) so I'm not counting that one; I'm counting the one where Spongebob finds out about Santa and all of Bikini Bottom writes letters to Santa, who then doesn't show up and Squidward has to pretend to be Santa because Spongebob cries. It had a really good song in it.
10. Phineas and Ferb: Again, they had a Christmas episode and again I can't think of what it was. How can I remember that a thing exists without remembering a single thing about that thing? Way to be on the ball, brain.
11. Didn't Three's Company have to have a Christmas episode? I want to say they did but my mind is a blank. So the list is done and I'm going to go look that up...
...they did: It was called Three's Christmas. Wikipedia, which I am really starting to rely on despite my longstanding skepticism of it, says:
The trio decides to celebrate Christmas at home because they haven't been invited to any parties, even by their neighbors the Stevens. The Ropers invite them downstairs for a party, and they accept, but moments afterwards the Stevens call to reconfirm their invitation to the party, which must have gotten lost in the mail. Jack and Janet want to go, but Chrissy makes them go to the Ropers. The evening is spent listening to Roper sing silly songs, till finally the kids are able to excuse themselves. They go off to the Stevens' where they run into the Ropers, who also found out too late that they had been invited. Roper had spent the evening trying to bore them into leaving so he and Helen could go to the party.
That sounds awesome. It's the true spirit of Christmas: not being able to stand being around the people you are around.
Growing Pains DID have a Christmas episode:
"A depressed department store Santa consulting Jason decides to commit suicide by leaping down the Seavers' chimney."
FESTIVE! I couldn't find it online, so here's a Kirk Cameron Ice Capades video I haven't watched: