In years past, Santa visited us on Christmas Eve and gave out our presents, and we played through the night. Lately, though, the eve has been for preparation, so I try to sneak in some favorite episodes of TV to put myself in the mood.
Already today I've watched "The Miracle Job", a first-season episode of Leverage written by my friend Christine Boylan. Though the episode itself wasn't set at Christmas time, it originally aired on December 23, 2008, and involved lapsed Catholic Nate and the team trying to save the parish of St. Nicholas, patron saint of reformed thieves. The episode also starred Long Island's own D.B. Sweeney as Nate's priest friend Fr. Paul.
Next up is the Season 2 episode of The Big Bang Theory "The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis". Sheldon buys several gift baskets for Penny, planning to give her the one closest to the value of her gift to him. The plan hits a snag when Penny gives him a napkin signed and used by Leonard Nimoy.
JAG always had momentous Christmas episodes because Harm's father was shot down over Vietnam on Christmas Eve 1969. My personal favorite is Season 4's "Jaggle Bells". Harm and the rest of the JAG staff are snowed in at headquarters, and Harm befriends Navy psychiatrist Jordan Parker (Susan Haskell), who goes on to play a vital role helping lure Mac's Little Sister, Chloe (Mae Whitman), out of an elevator shaft.