Christmas Challenge: Mad Men

Christmas Comes But Once a Year

Much like every other episode of Mad Men, who knows where to start with this one. I’ll focus in on the Christmas parts, because I can dwell on only so much regarding Creepy Glen and how wrong Don’s sleeping with his secretary was (I still cringe at that).

But the holiday Christmas party was entertaining. Starting off as something that was supposed to be modest and small, Roger discovers that one of his most powerful clients — Lucky Strike — was going to be attending. Stop the presses, it’s time to make this a real party. Suddenly, drinks are flowing, dances are starting, and everyone’s on their best and most merry behavior.

Of course, the guy from Lucky Strike realized what power he wielded. The funniest part of all was his forcing Roger to play Santa, then taking a picture of him with every employee on his lap with the new Polaroid the company gifted him. Nice job.

But all the festivities must come to an end, and the next day the team returned to an office littered with empty cups and hangovers. And with Don’s indiscretions (paying off the secretary afterward…uggh) on every viewer’s mind, we’re left to think about how the holidays are in real life, not just what people pretend in Manhattan. Don walks home alone with arms full of presents for his kids he won’t see on Christmas morning, with the usual ’60s tune chasing him down the hall.

Recommendation: Like most Mad Men episodes, it’s a very well-done episode. The party scenes will make you laugh, but it’s not one that will get you in the Christmas spirit.


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