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Here are the best Christmas episodes from ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

Over the course of its 18 seasons, 'Grey's Anatomy' has released a number of memorable Christmas episodes for fans to enjoy.

Over the years, Grey’s Anatomy has undoubtedly become a monumental cultural phenomenon and one of the most popular series to ever grace the scope of television. But while the majority of its super-sized seasons focus on episodes with a variety of separate storylines, its holiday episodes certainly attract plenty of attention.

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As it stands, the hit medical drama is currently set to embark on its 20th season. Despite its ever-present longevity, the show continues its reign as a ratings juggernaut, with each episode still garnering millions of viewers on a weekly basis. And while the series is about to continue forward without leading star Ellen Pompeo, there’s absolutely no denying the magnitude and impact that the show has had on the realm of television through the decades.

To celebrate the drama extravaganza’s continued success, we’ve collected the best Christmas-centric episodes for your viewing pleasure, rewinding all the way back to the second season of the record-breaking show. Honestly, is there even a better way to celebrate the holiday season than with some medical madness?

“Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” (season 2, episode 12)

Prior to any of the original stars being killed off, this episode centers around a heart transplant while Christina and Burke discover their philosophical differences. At the same time, Alex is re-taking his exams and Meredith helps Izzie to see the real meaning of Christmas in order to help their friend. Meanwhile, Meredith has to remind Derek to celebrate the holidays after his recent reconciliation with his ex-wife.

“Holidaze” (season 6, episode 10)

This episode features three holidays, with Thanksgiving and the New Year also making appearances. At Seattle Grace, Christina suspects that Owen and Teddy are having an affair, while Meredith notices that Webber has a drinking issue when he takes her under his wing. Mark is visited by a woman claiming to be his teenage daughter and Meredith decides to throw a Christmas dinner where all the bubbling drama explodes in a showdown between Bailey and her father.

“Adrift and at Peace” (season 7, episode 10)

In this happy holiday episode, Christina and Derek bond on a fishing trip while back at Seattle Grace, Teddy meets Henry, a patient without insurance, and offers him a shocking opportunity. Lexie and Mark reunite, but one previous couple ends on a bad note when Arizona returns to Callie, who shuts the door in her face.

“Run, Baby, Run” (season 9, episode 9)

The episode with the most holiday cheer finds Bailey allowing the hospital to be decorated and, having caved to Ben’s wishes, also organizes a Christmas wedding. Derek undergoes a hand operation so that he can operate again, while Meredith confides in his sister that she is pregnant.

“She’s Leaving Home” (season 11, episodes 22-23)

This double episode isn’t technically a Christmas episode, but as it progresses over a year in their lives, Christmas is featured. It’s the first episode after Derek’s death, with Meredith returning home to inform everyone before disappearing, and as the year goes on she reveals that she is pregnant with Derek’s child. Alex convinces her that she needs to return home in order to deal with her loss.

“Girlfriend in a Coma” (season 15, episode 12)

This is another episode in which multiple holidays are shown, and while only the first 10 minutes are dedicated to Christmas, it’s enough to warrant a Grey’s Christmas special. Embroiled in yet another love triangle, Meredith must choose between Link and Andrew. Link dresses up as Santa Clause to cheer the sick kids up, which scores him points with Meredith. Meanwhile, many other doctors get their first kisses, including Teddy and Koracick, and Levi comes out as gay, which deepens his relationship with Nico.

“It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” (season 18, episode 8)

In the case of Grey’s Anatomy episodes, it’s typical for a mid-season finale to pack such a large amount of drama and heart-stopping moments, with this particular holiday episode proving to be no different. From car accidents to medical breakthroughs, this Christmas version of the iconic song is an episode worth watching this year. I mean, not every episode can be sunshine and rainbows, especially not in a medical drama as jam-packed with intensity as this.

Before the 20th season officially premieres next March, fans can happily stream these holiday episodes of Grey’s Anatomy right now on Netflix.


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Taylor Mansfield
Fascinated by the art of journalism, Taylor Mansfield has been writing for over 10 years. In the present day, she lends her expertise as a Staff Writer / Editor for WGTC, tackling a broad range of topics such as movies, television, celebrity news, and of course… *anything* horror! Because wherever there is horror — Taylor isn't far behind. She has previously contributed to entertainment sites such as GamersDecide, MovieWeb, and The Nerd Stash.