"Christmas Party"
Written by Michael Schur; directed by Charles McDouglas

As Pam puts Christmas cards together at the reception desk, Michael and Dwight arrive with a tree and struggle to get it set up. It’s too tall and pushes through ceiling tiles, but Michael doesn’t care. Later, Kevin cuts off the top with a paper cutter and Michael tells him he wanted a big tree to celebrate a big holiday. He plans to sell the cut-off top of the tree to charity, since “that’s what Christmas is all about.” Jim interviews that this year he got Pam for Secret Santa and bought her a teapot, which he filled with things that refer to inside jokes. It contains his yearbook photo (see “Email Surveillance”), hot sauce, a little pencil, and a card, “because Christmas is the time to tell people how you feel.” In the conference room, Angela, Pam, and Phyllis get organized for the office Christmas party as Ryan interviews that Angela drafted him to join the planning committee. Michael arrives wearing a Santa hat and beard and tells them to double everything, giving them some extra money. He interviews that this year was tough, since he had to fire someone (see “Halloween”), so he wants the party to go well. He also wants everyone to get drunk and crazy, which will be tough since they’re not allowed to serve alcohol.

As everyone sets up for the party, Darryl asks to borrow Michael’s Santa hat, which Michael, of course, thinks is ridiculous. Dwight asks to be an elf, which Michael thinks makes sense, since he has “elfish features.” Later, Dwight tells all of his coworkers to get their presents wrapped and under the tree in five minutes or they’re disqualified from Secret Santa. Toby interviews that he got Angela a poster of babies dressed as musicians, which he felt weird buying. Oscar got Creed a shamrock key chain because he doesn’t know him well but thinks he’s Irish. Kevin got himself for Secret Santa and didn’t tell anyone. Michael tells Jim that he spent a lot of money on the person he got (who he gleefully announces is Ryan), going way over his $20 limit. Dwight plugs the tree in, making a big deal out of it, but the lights are pretty dim and no one is very impressed. Angela is ticked and Dwight suggests spicing things up by getting some flares from his car. Michael interviews that buying presents is a great way to show love through dollar amounts.

Secret Santa begins and Oscar gets a shower radio from Kelly. Jim gets one of Creed’s old shirts, which he suspects Creed pulled out of his closet because he forgot to buy something. (Creed confirms this in his own interview.) Pam gets her teapot from Jim, but before she can open it, Dwight moves things along and gives Ryan his present from Michael. It’s a video iPod, and Ryan knows exactly how much it cost because Michael left the price tag on. Michael is disappointed in his own present, an oven mitt Phyllis knitted for him. He storms out, upset that Phyllis only likes him “a homemade oven mitt’s worth.” After the others wait a few minutes to figure out what to do next, Michael returns and announces that they’re turning Secret Santa into Yankee Swap, where people can take gifts from each other. In an interview, Angela cries and says that Michael should have asked the planning committee first. As the game begins, Meredith takes Pam’s teapot, despite Jim’s protests. Pam takes Ryan’s iPod, so Ryan takes a new gift, a personalized nameplate Stanley bought for Kelly. Kelly winds up with Angela’s poster and is happy when Angela takes it from her. Kelly winds up taking the iPod.

Oscar takes the teapot from Meredith, who wants the iPod, which has already been taken during the round. Michael talks up the oven mitt until Meredith takes it to shut him up. Michael interviews about the joys of reverse psychology, then opens his new present from Dwight, paintball pellets and a note that entitles him to a lesson from Dwight. Michael thinks the iPod is a much better gift, but Dwight interviews that his lessons are worth $2,000. Kevin gets the last gift, the footbath he bought himself. In an interview, he realizes that he should’ve stolen the iPod. Pam winds up taking the iPod back, even though Jim tries to talk her into getting the teapot. Kelly steals a book and Dwight winds up with the teapot, frustrating Jim even more. Michael notices that Phyllis is upset and Pam tells him that it’s probably because he insulted her present. Some of the others blast Michael for spending more than the $20 limit, leading him to brag that he got a bonus for firing Devon. The others are upset about this revelation, so Michael heads to a liquor store and buys a bunch of vodka.

Jim tries to convince Dwight to trade the shamrock key chain for the teapot so he can give it to Pam, but Dwight wants the pot so he can pour tea into his nose when he gets sinus infections. Jim is disgusted to think that Pam’s teapot could be used for something like that. Roy admires Pam’s new iPod, mostly because he was going to buy her one for Christmas and now he doesn’t have to. Michael arrives with the booze, telling off Toby for protesting, and spikes the eggnog. Meredith enjoys a drink and interviews that her New Year’s resolution is not to drink anymore…during the week. Phyllis introduces everyone to her boyfriend, Bob Vance of Vance Refrigeration, who likes to remind people of his company name. Roy and Darryl bore Pam by talking about fantasy football as she slowly realizes how important the teapot really is. Michael takes photos around the office, disappointed that no one is drunk and crazy yet. Ryan and Angela tell him that they’re running out of cups, but Michael panics at the thought of anyone leaving, even to run an errand, so he brings out shot glasses.

Jim joins Pam at the reception desk and she shows him that she got her teapot after all. She tells him that she traded with Dwight because she realized that Jim went to a lot of trouble, and that means a lot to her. She finally opens up the teapot and sees the extent of Jim’s gift. “Yeah, I think I made the right choice,” she interviews. She doesn’t notice when Jim removes the card before she can see it. As everyone enjoys the music from Dwight’s new iPod, Michael tells him he’s glad he could get it if Ryan couldn’t. Todd arrives to ruin everything with some strategically placed mistletoe, but all of the employees seem to enjoy themselves anyway. Michael gives Darryl his Santa hat and Kevin takes some photocopies of his butt and tapes them up. Later, Jim sprays silly string on a passed-out Todd and a drunken Kelly kisses Dwight, making Angela angry enough to destroy Christmas ornaments. After the party, everyone heads to a bar and Michael interviews about the joys of Christmas before finally getting to take a crazy photo when Meredith flashes him.

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Kevin: (re: the Christmas tree) “Why did you get it so big?”
Michael: “A, that’s what she said.”

“Reverse psychology is an awesome tool. I don’t know if you guys know about it. But basically, you make someone think the opposite of what you believe. And that tricks them into doing something stupid.” - Michael

“Yankee Swap is like Machiavelli meets…Christmas.” - Dwight

“Well, happy birthday, Jesus. Sorry your party’s so lame.” - Michael

Phyllis: “Uh, does everyone know my boyfriend, Bob Vance?”
Kevin: “Kevin Malone.”
Bob: “Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration.”
Stanley: “Stanley Hudson.”
Bob: “Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration.”
Ryan: “Ryan Howard.”
Bob: “Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration.”
Ryan: “What line of work you in, Bob?”


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