Top Five Friday: Christmas Episodes

Ohhh The CHRISTMAS episode. Will it be heartwarming? Will it remind me of how important family and friends are? Will I learn that expensive presents and lavish parties should take a back seat to helping mankind? Or for once, will I be glad I’m not a fiasco/tragedy/calamity prone TV family whose belief in the spirit of Christmas saves the day, but instead one of those people who spend Christmas in a bar?

5.  The Golden Girls “Have Yourself a Very Little Christmas” December 16, 1989

Why don’t any of the girls’ children/grandchildren visit them on Christmas? For heaven’s sake! If my grandmother frequented the Rusty Anchor, lived in a house with three other old coots in MIAMI I wouldn’t miss a Christmas with her if my life depended on it. However, if their families had come to town, then they wouldn’t have had the opportunity to spend the holiday serving homeless people Christmas dinner at a soup kitchen, because we all know, nothing strokes the Christmas spirit quite like the homeless (please see: #4 and #2). In a comic twist, though, one of the homeless men lining up for food is Dorothy’s ex-husband (“Hi. It’s me, Stan.”) who recently became homeless when his latest wife kicked him out, I think for cheating. In addition to his marital problems, he’s also gone bust on his latest business deal, which was selling some kind of useless novelty doodad. (So let me get this straight, this man has no place to sleep, not a dime to call his own and no food to speak of, yet he is storing hundreds of these piece of shit tchotchkes somewhere? I say throw them out and SLEEP there.) In the end though, it turns heartwarming, when Stan returns to the soup kitchen, dressed as Santa Claus and hands out his failed novelties as toys for the hobo children.

4. Saved by the Bell “Home for Christmas (Part I & II) December 7 & 14, 1991

Part of me would like to write nothing about this episode (special?) and let your remember it in all its glory all on your own. But I can’t do that. First of all, how does “the gang” continuously find employment in the EXACT same location? For the holiday season, they all get jobs at THE MALL. (The SAME mall where that hidden camera show followed them around the mall all night, whilst they were attempting to obtain U2 tickets). Lo and behold, a new teen enters the scene (exit Kelly as Zack’s love interest). When it appears as if she’s stolen a jacket from the men’s clothing store from whence Kelly works, she disappears. This is when shit gets interesting. So, the gang knows she’s innocent, and clear her name at the clothing store, but she’s still NOWHERE to be found. They all split up to look for her and a few hours later, Zack and his mother run into her at THE CHRISTMAS TREE LOT. This is ridiculous. This is when we find out the she and her father live in their rusty ass hoopty in the parking lot OF THE CHRISTMAS TREE LOT! Good thing this is a two-parter! Imagine what happens next. Yes. You’re right. That is what happens. Wow. I wish this episode(s) wasn’t such a crucial part of my emotional development.

Please note: This episode airs on ABC Family Saturday, December 19 @ 7:00 a.m.

3.  Full House “Our Very First Christmas Show” December 16, 1988

Do you know how hard I laughed the first time I saw this episode? When everyone is waking up after being snowed in on Christmas Eve at some low-rent airport and Danny (or was it Jesse? Joey?) had fallen asleep on the luggage conveyer belt that rotated inside to outside all night long and now he is all covered in SNOW!! I was five and it was the moment I fell in love with sitcoms. THIS IS ABSURD. I am five years old and I am fully aware that this is absolutely ludicrous. I LOVE it. When the Tanner’s head for Colorado (and not-yet-Aunt Becky to Nebraska) for the holidays, they find themselves grounded in some rinky-dink airport terminal on Christmas Eve with about a thousand other people who don’t seem amused by Tanner family antics. Of course Stephanie is all worked up about whether or not Santa will be able to find her (which I think involves a comical scene inside a phone booth) and Joey dresses up like the old jelly belly to appease her. And then I think it alludes to the REAL Santa making an appearance in the airport. I don’t remember, I was too busy refusing to accept the plot line of this program to worry about whether or not Santa Claus was real.

Please note: This episode airs on ABC Family on December 18 @ 3:00 p.m.

2.  My So-Called Life “So-Called Angels” December 22, 1994

Yes, I did Photoshop that Santa hat on Rickie Vasquez. Why? Because without a little bit of Christmas cheer and humor, this episode will RUIN your Christmas. Like I said, it wouldn’t be Christmas without the homeless, but this show takes it to A WHOLE NEW LEVEL! Dear god this episode is tragic. Remember? Rickie had been living with the Chase’s (after being abused and abandoned by his own family) and getting along just great, until he overheard Patty the Bitch questioning Graham about how long Rickie should stay with them. Next thing you know, Rickie makes up a lie and is HOMELESS! DURING CHRISTMAS BREAK! It’s snowing out, oof, and there’s a homeless girl ghost who Angela gives her boots too and she sings and carries around a guitar, and confuses the fuck out of me. Awww, and then Angela runs off, to try and find Rickie. And she gets picked up by the police because she is in the HOMELESS TEEN WAREHOUSE when it got raided. All’s well that ends well though I guess. Patty finds Rickie at church, lighting candles and then I’m not sure what happens next because I’m too busy bawling into my oversized flannel to notice.

1.  A Very Brady Christmas “A Very Brady Christmas” December 18, 1988

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! From, the Brady's and their maid (front and center).

Alright, you got me. This is less of an “episode” and more of a “reunion movie” but well, fuck off, I’m making it my number one choice because I CAN. No other television event is so uselessly etched in my memory as the the time Mike Brady got trapped in a slowly collapsing building that he designed. (Those pesky kids were probably horsing around at his drafting table again!)  Oh and on Christmas! What’s a Brady to do??? Oh how about WE SING HIM OUT OF THIS NEAR FATAL SITUATION!! Oh good. It worked.

Please note: This episode airs on ABC Family Tuesday, December 22 @ 1:00 p.m.

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