Monday, December 14, 2009

The Office - Secret Santa, or How Michael Stole Christmas

It's Christmas time at Dunder Mifflin, and, despite looming bankruptcy, the gang decides to take an afternoon off and have a Christmas party! Fulfilling a lifelong dream, Phyllis steps into the role of Santa Claus, showing that anything a man can do, Phyllis can do better. Michael, however, decides to spoil Phyllis's feminist joy by insisting that he's the real Santa Claus. Jim eventually persuades him to put the choice to a vote, and the office overwhelmingly goes for Progressive Santa Phyllis.

In retaliation, Michael dresses up as Sulky Jesus, who ruins all the Secret Santa gifts, including revealing Andy as Erin's mysterious gift-giver. That would be fine, except Andy went characteristically over the top and gave Erin all the items described in the 12 Days of Christmas. Needless to say, having 30 birds in your house is not as nice as the song, and Erin was really upset. After being banished by Jim, Michael calls David Wallace to whine. Instead of the comforting news that he could be Santa again - "She uslurped my position!" he cries - Michael finds out that Dunder Mifflin has a buyer, and that they're going to clean house after the takeover. The entire board will be out on the streets, and no one knows what's in store for the other employees.

Michael spills the beans, of course, and everyone is aghast. They manage to get David back on the phone, who reveals that it's only executives getting the can, and the new company bought Dunder Mifflin only for the distribution. Everyone at Scranton is safe! It's a Christmas miracle! Hooray! The enjoy the rest of the party, and Andy redeems himself with a private drum line serenade for Erin (12 drummers drumming, get it?).

Michael was obnoxious, but it was a nice Christmas episode. It managed to be uplifting and advance the plot, which is a nice combo. But who's the new company? Will this be another merger situation, where Michael systematically runs out new employees? Most importantly, what will the new office name be? Let's hope The Office kicks off the new year with more hilarity, less Michael ruining things, and of course, the Halpert baby!

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