Christmas Party: Episode 2.10

210christmas-bigger“Christmas Party”
Season 2 Episode 10
Air Date: December 6, 2005
Writer: Michael Schur
In the middle of yet another underwhelming office Christmas party and gift exchange, Michael spices thing up with “Yankee Swap,” vodka, and a way too expensive gift. Jim is discouraged when Pam tries to “trade up” his sentimental gift.

1. Supplemental Materials
Pam Pong Scorecard, transcript at

2. Quick Recap
“Why did you get it so big?”: It’s the annual Christmas party and Michael really wants it to rock in order to boost moral. First he gets a too-big tree, then orders the party planning committee to spare no expense in decorating. He also goes way over the $20 Secret Santa budget by buying Ryan a video iPod.
“I thought that was called Nasty Christmas”: After an underwhelming tree lighting, the staff begins Secret Santa. When Michael receives a homemade oven mitt, he gets upset and decides to make the staff exchange presents White Elephant style, or “Yankee Swap” as he calls it. Everyone is after the iPod, and almost no one is interested in Michael’s oven mitt.
Head of the Party Planning Committee: With Michael undermining all her plans, Angela is having a hard time with this years Christmas party. The last straw is when Angela catches a drunken Kelly kissing her new boyfriend Dwight, and she takes her frustrations out on some Christmas ornaments.
“Lampshade!”: When Michael accidentally reveals he got a bonus, the staff is pretty much finished with Yankee Swap and his party. But thanks to many bottle of vodka the mood lifts and people start having a good time. Michael is very please when the staff invites him to drink with them at a local bar.
“It’s filled with bonus gifts”: Jim has drawn Pam in Secret Santa and puts together a box with a teapot, some items representing inside jokes, and a card containing his true feelings. Thanks to Yankee Swap, Dwight ends up with the teapot and Pam with the iPod. But Pam trades to get the teapot back and she and Jim have a good laugh as they go through the “bonus gifts”. While Pam’s distracted, Jim grabs the unopened Christmas card.
Michael’s Words of Wisdom: “Christmas is awesome. First of all, you get to spend time with people you love. Secondly, you can get drunk and no one can say anything. Third, you give presents. What’s better than giving presents? And fourth, getting presents. So, four things. Not bad for one day. It’s really the greatest day of all time.”

2A. Flonkerton Medal Ceremony
The “Spirit of Christmas” Medal: Despite all the problems, this shaped up to be a pretty nice Christmas for everyone (except maybe Angela)

Previous Episode: Email Surveillance | Next Episode: Booze Cruise

3. Flonkerton’s Favorite Quotes
Michael: Did it work?
Kevin: [holds up the piece of tree he just cut off with a paper cutter] Well, sort of. Why did you get it so big?
Michael: A, that’s what she said, and B, I wanted it to be impressive. The biggest day of the year deserves the biggest tree of the year.
Kevin: But what are we going to do with this hacked off part?
Michael: Well, that is a perfectly good mini-tree, Kevin. And we are going to sell that to charity. That’s what Christmas is all about.

Ryan TH: Angela drafted me into the party planning committee. Her memo said that we need to prepare for every possible disaster. Which to me seems excessive.

Pam: You do realize that we can’t serve liquor at the party.
Michael: Yeah, I know. Damn it. Stupid corporate wet blankets. Like booze ever killed anybody.

Michael TH: Presents are the best way to show someone how much you care. It’s like this tangible thing that you can point to and say, “Hey, man, I love you this many dollars worth.”

Jim: Oh, cool. [open Secret Santa gift]
Creed: That’s from me.
Jim: Great. Where did you get it?
Creed: I don’t know. It was so long ago.
Jim TH: He obviously forgot to get me something, and then he went in his closet and dug out this little number [holds up way-too-short sleeves] and then threw it in a bag.
Creed TH: Yep. That’s exactly what happened.

Michael: I got it! We are going to turn Secret Santa into Yankee Swap.
Jim: What is Yankee Swap?
Michael: One person chooses a gift. The next person can either choose a gift or steal that person’s gift. If your gift gets stolen, then you can steal somebody else’s gift or choose a new gift.
Jim: I thought that was called Nasty Christmas.

Kelly: [unwrapping the poster] Yikes.
Toby: Well, it’s for Angela, so ..
Kelly: That’s like, the creepiest thing that I’ve ever seen.
Dwight: Angela, you’re up.
Angela: I’ll take the poster. Some people like these.

Michael TH: 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. Works like a charm.

Dwight TH: Yankee Swap is like Machiavelli meets … Christmas.

Michael TH: Unbelievable. I do the nicest thing that anyone has ever done for these people and they freak out. Well, happy birthday, Jesus. Sorry your party’s so lame.

Michael: All right, now, you’re the expert. Is this enough to get 20 people plastered?
Liquor Store Clerk: Fifteen bottles of vodka? Yeah, that should do it.

Jim: You know, you don’t have to answer calls during a party. Just thought you should know.
Pam: No, I was just checking out my present. [holds up teapot]
Jim: But ..
Pam: I traded with Dwight. Just, I figured, you know, you went to a lot of trouble and it means a lot. And also, Roy got me an iPod or was going to get me an iPod, so ..
Jim: Well, either way. This is an amazing gift because it comes with bonus gifts. Look inside.
Pam: [opens teapot] Oh my god! The yearbook picture!
Pam TH: [hold up teapot, smiles] Yeah, I think I made the right choice.

4. Trivia

  • This marks the first appearance of Bob Vance Vance Refrigeration, Phyllis’ boyfriend.
  • In regards to Jim’s gift for Pam, John Krasinski says the pencil was something Pam playfully threw at Jim after loosing a mini golf match to him.
  • While he won’t say what was exactly written in Jim’s card to Pam, John says that when Jim said “Christmas is the time to tell people how you feel,” Jim meant it, indicating the card really did contained a proclamation of love.
  • Angela stomping on the Christmas ornaments was improvised.
  • foreshadowing to future episodes: in the very last season, when Pam is having doubts that she’s enough for Jim, he finally gives her the Christmas card to assure her she means everything to him. We never do see what was in the card!

5. Grade This Episode


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