As this week is arguably seeing a number of Christmas parties ramping up at offices around the world, let’s dust off last year’s concept of exploring the famous workplace celebrations at the Scranton branch of the fictional—and highly inept—paper company Dunder Mifflin on NBC’s The Office.
“The holidays have been kind to The Office,” wrote Nathan Rabin for The AV Club in his contemporary review of this episode—which he bestowed with an impressive A- grade—in December 2009. “Some of my favorite episodes take place on Halloween and Christmas, holidays that afford the show an opportunity to break up the visual monotony of business attire and workaday drudgery and indulge in killer sight gags involving Dwight dressed as a malevolent, mean-eyed elf, Michael as a half-assed God figure and geese running amok in unlikely places.”
One of The Office‘s better of its seven Christmas-themed episodes was “Secret Santa”, midway through the show’s sixth season. Perpetual prankster Jim Halpert (John Krasinski) has been promoted to co-regional manager alongside Michael Scott (Steve Carell) and also finds himself co-leading the party planning committee with Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson). Jim and Dwight seemingly put aside their differences to take on the Sisyphean task of motivating their uninspired office for the company’s time-honored holiday party tradition…
Jim: It is office camaraderie.
Dwight: It is warm feelings.
Ho ho ho and happy holidays!
Dressing for the holiday office party can be a mixed bag. Do you embrace the festive aspects of the holiday with a snowman-themed tie, Santa Claus socks, and a nutcracker pin… do you treat it like any other day of work and not worry about your grays and blues discouraging Christmas revelry… or do you meet somewhere in the middle, maybe wearing a tie with some holiday color but not looking much different than you would any other Monday?
As a satirical look at American work life, NBC’s The Office fully leaned into some of the most absurd aspects of corporate culture from ridiculous jargon and petty office politics to the time-honored tradition of the office holiday party. Over its nine seasons, The Office dedicated seven episodes to corporate Christmas celebrations (seasons one and four were the exception), all showcasing the unadvisable drinking, flirtations, and holiday outfits that cogs of the real-life corporate machine can identify with all too well.
This week is probably kicking off a bulk of your workplace holiday parties, so – in the spirit of Christmas – enjoy this ranking of the male characters’ outfits during the third season’s “A Benihana Christmas”, one of my favorite Christmas episodes and something that gets just as much airplay for me during the holiday season as classic films like Christmas Vacation, Elf, and White Christmas do.