We’ve all seen the shows that have stuck around for years making people happy, like The Charlie Brown Christmas Special, or our favorite holiday episode of a classic episode of I Love Lucy or Cheers. Many of these shows become holiday traditions in and of themselves. But what about the classics that are being made today? While we can probably all agree that there’s no better way to get in the holiday mood than snuggling up and watching a holiday movie, here are some episodes of more recent TV shows that really bring out the holiday spirit.
If you like classic holiday Claymation-style shows, this episode of the irreverent Community might be for you. This show uses different genres – like the fun holiday Christmas special – to show how different characters are dealing with their lives, and this episode is a great one about finding that Christmas spirit in the friends who help you through your biggest problems. It’s short, sweet, and has some great musical numbers, sung by the cast.
There’s probably no show on TV more family-oriented than Bob’s Burgers, and this recent two-part episode is all about family. When the restaurant’s decorations go missing, the kids go looking for them to make their mom, Linda, happy. When they see the kids are missing, the parents go and find them. When they find the decorations, they were just being used to make a group of displaced friends happy for the holidays. It’s about love and forgiveness – and great original holiday songs, like the fabulous “Twinkly Lights.”
In this 90s sitcom set in a New York AM station, the billionaire boss, Jimmy James, gives out terrible gifts. When he tries to fix it, he overcompensates, giving out cars to most of the staff, except one, to whom he gives a box of tapes of old radio shows. In the end, it turns out he has bought the character of Matthew the rights to this show, so he now owns it. The episode is a satirical reminder that you should appreciate any thought, no matter how small it seems.
In this satire of local politics, the main character, Leslie Knope, is dealing with a temporary suspension from her job by trying to affect local politics as a private citizen. In the end, her friends – her chosen family – present her with a gingerbread version of her office, and the best present – they’re announce that they will volunteer for her next campaign.
In this comedy about a US kids soccer coach being sent to the UK to coach adults in European football, there’s an element of love, family, and sincerity in every episode. This episode is all about acceptance and helping out those less fortunate, featuring a friends-and-family Christmas dinner with nearly the entire team, Ted and his millionaire boss Rebecca giving presents to poorer folks, and a side adventure about getting a little girl the apology she deserves from a school bully.