If traditional Christmas celebrations aren’t really for you — if you’re more of a Netflixer than a caroler — try these suggestions for celebrating the holiday your own special way:
1. “30 Rock”
Make someone else’s happy family hate each other as a way to get closer to your own.
“Ludachristmas”: To prove to Jack that Liz’s family is just as messed up as theirs, Jack’s mother, Colleen, prods the Lemons to get into a fight during a group dinner.
Image: “30 Rock” episode “Ludachristmas”
Dress up in what would traditionally be Halloween costumes and work them into the holidays narrative.
“The One With the Holiday Armadillo”: After teaching his son about Hannukah, Ross realizes that excluding Santa Claus from the holiday season might be a disappointment for the child. To remedy, Ross attempts to rent a holiday costume, but all that’s left is an armadillo suit, leading to the introduction of Santa’s friend, Holiday Armadillo. (In this same episode, Chandler and Joey wear Santa and Superman costumes, respectively, with Chandler joking that his favorite part of the Hanukkah story is “when Superman flew all the Jews out of Egypt.”)
Images: “Friends” episode “The One With the Holiday Armadillo”
3. “The Office”
Try to find a Christmas date at Benihana (but do a better job than Michael.)
“A Benihana Christmas”: After Michael gets dumped, Andy convinces his boss to go to Benihana to take his mind off things. There, Michael asks out a waitress, brings her and a friend back to Dunder-Mifflin and engages in casual and thoughtless racism (he marks the woman he asked out with a Sharpie because “all waitresses look alike”).
Image: “The Office” episode “A Benihana Christmas”
4. “South Park”
Celebrate Christmas “Canada style” while recreating “The Wizard of Oz” and capturing a former world leader.
“It’s Christmas in Canada”: This episode includes a Mountie riding a sheep, a French-Canadian mime, Ike’s real parents and plenty of jokes at Canada’s expense. The gang also finds out the new Canadian prime minister is actually controlled by a hiding Saddam Hussein (who is then captured). So, fairly standard. (Of course, if you’re a fan of “South Park” it’d probably be easier to just celebrate Christmas with Mr. Hankey.)
Images: “South Park” episode “It’s Christmas in Canada”
5. “Mad Men”
Vandalize the house of your crush’s parents.
“Christmas Comes But Once a Year”: In this episode, creepy Glen Bishop returns to woo Sally Draper in the only way he knows how: vandalizing her house.
Images: “Mad Men” episode “Christmas Comes But Once a Year”
6. “Gilmore Girls”
Attempt to build a snowwoman, but then just get coffee instead.
“The Bracebridge Dinner”: Despite “competing against the Michelangelo of snow,” Lorelai and Rory Gilmore make a fair attempt building a snowwoman in a town competition. Lorelai is convinced that the master builder near them was brought out of town to win the prize away from the locals, but Rory reminds her the prize is only a collection of quarters. The two decide the competition is hopeless after their snowwoman’s head falls off.
Image: “Gilmore Girls” episode “The Bracebridge Dinner”
7. “How I Met Your Mother”
Teach your cousin’s children a “very, very bad word.”
“How Lily Stole Christmas”: Lily finds out Ted has previously called her a bad word (substituted in the show with “grinch”), and tears down all of her Christmas decorations. Fences are mended, however, after she realizes Ted and Marshall teamed together to get her the perfect gift. The gang surprises Ted at his cousin’s house where, after a reconciliation, Lily accidentally says “grinch” herself in earshot of the children.
The kids start chanting the word over and over.
Images: “How I Met Your Mother” episode “How Lily Stole Christmas”
8. “The O.C.”
Celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah at the same time in the holiday of Chrismukkah.
“The Best Chrismukkah Ever”: Because his parents are both Catholic (Kirsten) and Jewish (Sandy), Seth created the holiday of Chrismukkah. Seth explained the greatness of the holiday to Ryan: “So what’s it gonna be huh? Your menorah or your candy cane? Hmm? Christmas or Hanukkah? Ah! Don’t worry about it buddy, because in this house, you don’t have to choose.”
Image: “The OC” episode “The Best Chrismukkah Ever”
Film your boss’ friend giving birth. Or at least try to do that, but accidentally don’t record.
“My Own Personal Jesus”: Dr. Cox convinces J.D. to film the birth of his friend’s baby. Unfortunately, J.D. uses a tape that can’t be recorded over, and so Dr. Cox has to make a fake video for his friends. When J.D. discovers his mistake, he predictably says, “Banana hammock.”
Images: “Scrubs” episode “My Own Personal Jesus
Help your friend pretend you’re all living in a stop-motion claymation winter wonderland.
“Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas”: Abed believes that the world has become stop-motion claymation, which leads to an evaluation of his mental health. Professor Duncan, wanting to write about Abed’s condition, decides to push things further and suggests to the study group that they all see this through — using “Christmas-nosis” — and attempt to find the true meaning of Christmas with their friend.
Image: “Community” episode “Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas”
11. “The Simpsons”
Lose all your Christmas money betting on a dog at the racetrack and end up making that dog your pet.
“Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire”: After getting a tip on a dog named “Santa’s Little Helper” with 99-1 odds at the racetrack, Homer and Bart bet all of Homer’s Christmas money on race. Santa’s Little Helper ends up coming in last. The Simpsons wind up keeping the dog after its disowned, however, providing the family with a perfect holiday gift.
Images: “The Simpsons” episode “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire
Not exactly a Christmas tradition, but Festivus is the best way to celebrate of all.
“The Strike”: Dec. 23 is the celebration of Festivus, an alternative to Christmas. Put your unadorned pole up in the corner, have a nice family dinner, air your grievances and challenge others to feats of strength. Maybe this year will be the best Festivus for the rest of us, yet!