Gilmore Girls: Christmas

“The Bracebridge Dinner” Season 2, Episode 10

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So this one isn’t an outright Christmas episode, but it’s winter-y and does have some holiday decorations and some horse-drawn sleigh rides. In this episode, a party that had been planned at the Independence Inn falls through because the guests are snowed in elsewhere. So, Lorelai decides to host the dinner for all her family and friends, with beautiful holiday decor and lots of snow. In the episode, Emily finds out that Richard quit his job without consulting her, but they work through it and know that everything will be okay. Emily is happy to see Richard happy again. This episode isn’t too drama heavy and has some really beautiful scenery. It definitely makes you hope for a white Christmas!

Netflix available? Yes

Hulu available? No

Xfinity available? Yes, for a fee

Holiday rating: 6 Christmas trees

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Gilmore Girls: Christmas

“Forgiveness and Stuff” Season 1, Episode 10

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The Santa burger!! The monstrosity pictured above is a Gilmore classic, when Luke made Lorelai a burger that looks like Santa because she was sad she wasn’t invited to her parents’ Christmas dinner. This is also a really important episode because it features the classic “you may go first” scene, which is now even sadder since the passing of Edward Hermann. In this episode Rory and Lorelai are fighting, as are Emily and Lorelai. Rory goes to the Gilmore Christmas party, where Richard has a heart attack. This forces the family to come together and forgive each other, even though it is hard. This episode has some pretty holiday decor and a nice atmosphere, but really reinforces the importance of being with loved ones during the holidays. This may not be the best episode to watch if you’ve never seen the show before, since it is so plot heavy, but if you enjoy the show it’s a must see.

Netflix available? Yes

Hulu available? No

Xfinity available? Yes, for a fee

Holiday rating: 8 Christmas trees

Happy Christmas (2014): Christmas

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Okay, so I’m going to preface this by stating that I really enjoy Joe Swanburg’s films, but I know that mumblecore is not for everyone. Plus I adore Anna Kendrick so it’s a win-win. So this movie is about Jenny, an irresponsible woman in her 20’s who moves in with her brother and his wife. She’s trying to get established, but has trouble behaving like an adult, much to the dismay of her sister-in-law. Meanwhile her sister-in-law is struggling to write a second novel and looks to Jenny for help. So like most mumblecore movies, this movie doesn’t have a real script. There’s a direction that the story has to go, but the actors have to improvise the dialogue to get it there. I especially like this in this film in particular because it really does feel like a realistic visit home for the holidays. It’s kind of slow and awkward, there’s quiet and loud moments, but it’s enjoyable. So I know this isn’t one for everyone, but it’s a must-watch for me every year.

Netflix available? Yes

Hulu available? No

Xfinity available? Yes, for a fee

Holiday rating: 7 Christmas trees

Bob’s Burgers: Christmas

“Father of the Bob” Season 5, Episode 6

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Once again, Bob’s gives us a fun Christmas, although I have to say this is my least favorite of the Christmas episodes. In this one, Bob returns to his father’s restaurant for a family Christmas party. We know of some tensions in the past with his dad, but we really get to see them in this episode with some flashbacks and present issues. Bob and his dad go through a bit of a power struggle when serving the customers in the restaurant. Meanwhile the kids search through the basement for presents for their parents. This episode cute and family oriented but otherwise kind of boring in my opinion. But I can’t not recommend it since it is such a good show.

Netflix available? Yes

Hulu available? No

Xfinity available? Yes, for a fee

Holiday rating: 7 Christmas trees

Bob’s Burgers: Christmas

“Christmas in the Car” Season 4, Episode 8

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So like, I like this episode but it’s not my favorite by any means. However, I strongly relate to Linda and her need to start decorating for Christmas way too early. However, her early decorating leads to their tree dying on Christmas Eve. Desperate to find a tree lot that’s open, they drive almost an hour to find a scrawny tree. As they’re leaving they encounter a a truck driver with serious road rage. However, his road rage is kind of softened by the fact that his truck is shaped like a candy cane. The rest of the episode follows the family as they try to escape this truck that’s trying to run them off the road, ending with a confrontation between Bob and the driver. This episode has some great quotes and excitement, but it isn’t one that really stands out for me. It’s definitely worth watching to get in the spirit though. Even the least impressive Bob’s episodes are better than most other shows.

Netflix available? Yes

Hulu available? No

Xfinity available? Yes, for a fee

Holiday rating: 8 Christmas trees

Bob’s Burgers: Christmas

“God Rest Ye Merry Gentle-Mannequins” Season 3, Episode 9

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The first and best Bob’s Burgers Christmas episode. This episode features Zach Galifinakis as  Chet, a man who thinks he’s a mannequin. Bob is concerned about his mental stability, but wrestles with actually confronting him about it because his mannequin displays are seriously increasing business. Chet is in search of his long lost wife, a mannequin, so the kids work together to search for her. They find her on display at a sex shop and try to figure out a way to reunite her and Chet. This episode is Christmas-y, cute, and absolutely hilarious and weird. It’s everything I love about Bob’s Burgers with tinsel and Christmas lights on it. This is high on my list of episodes to watch for the holiday season.

Netflix available? Yes

Hulu available? No

Xfinity available? Yes, for a fee

Holiday rating: 9 Christmas trees

Friends: Christmas

“The One with Phoebe’s Dad” Season 2, Episode 9

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This is the first episode of the show, and it aired 21 years ago which is just crazy. This show is an absolute classic and their holiday episodes are always some of my favorites. In this episode, Phoebe discovers that all of her photos of her father are actually just frame filler pictures. When she confronts her grandmother, she admits that Phoebe’s mother had wanted to keep her father’s identity secret. She gives Phoebe her real father’s address, but Phoebe struggles to work up the courage to meet him. Meanwhile, Monica and Rachel’s heat breaks and their entire apartment becomes sweltering. Their Christmas party soon becomes summer theme, with everyone there sweating and suffocating in the heat. This episode is cute and takes place at Christmas, although it isn’t one of the most holiday-spirit evoking things you can watch, in my opinion. But still, if you like friends and you want to watch all the Christmas episodes, it’s definitely still enjoyable.

Netflix available? Yes

Hulu available? No

Xfinity available? No

Holiday rating: 6 Christmas trees