NBC’s American version of The Office wasn’t always a hit–it was actually almost canceled numerous times before a Christmas miracle came along in the form of, yes, a holiday episode.

Not long after NBC started putting The Office on iTunes, the show started to pick up viewers, hitting its high for the time with the season two episode “Christmas Party”. This proved a crucial moment. As Brian Baumgartner (M&M-loving Kevin Malone) put it, “We had declined rapidly and then came back and [that episode] really served as a significant event for us…And from there we really took off.”

Angela Kinsey (cat-loving Angela Martin) agreed. “After that episode aired, we were the number one streaming show on iTunes and all of a sudden we were like, ‘Hold up. We found our audience…It turned a corner from there and we were set.”

The first Office Christmas episode features the Dunder Mifflin gang hosting a Secret Santa, which quickly turns into a White Elephant/Yankee Swap/Fun after Michael receives an oven mitt. The spirit of Christmas shredded, Michael throws a spirit-soaked party. It would be a fun one to recreate in Lego’s highly detailed set they released in the fall–OK, maybe not Meredith’s topless scene…

Through its nine-season run, The Office had some of the most memorable Christmas episodes in sitcom history. The episodes: season three’s two-part “A Benihana Christmas”, season five’s “Moroccan Christmas”, season six’s “Secret Santa”, season seven’s two-part “Classy Christmas”, season eight’s “Christmas Wishes”, and the final one, “Dwight Christmas.”

However, many may think that some of these episodes haven’t aged well. Earlier this month, Mindy Kaling (Twilight-loving Kelly Kapoor) said, “Most of the characters on that show would be canceled by now.” One could point to a number of Christmas episodes, as when Michael marked the arm of one Asian girl so he could tell her apart from another or when Toby was disappointed he didn’t get the white Princess Unicorn doll.

Which is your favorite Office Christmas episode? What’s your favorite moment in that episode? Let us know below!

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