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Recap of Mad Men Episode Christmas Comes But Once a Year 2010-08-02 06:00:00

Mad Men's 5 Maddest Moments: Episode "Christmas Comes But Once a Year"

It's a Mad Men Christmas! On this week's episode, Betty, Henry, and the kids go tree shopping, and the office celebrates with an impromptu party — but of course, all is not as cheery. Don is suffering from holiday loneliness, Peggy has boyfriend troubles, and Lee Garner Jr. wants nothing more than to make Roger look like a fool (seriously, how much longer can they put up with that guy before they just let go of the Lucky Strike account?). In an especially sad moment, Sally sends a letter to Don — addressed to Santa — admitting that all she really wants is a visit from her father on Christmas morning. But on the upside, there's a conga line!

I'm ready to break down some of the maddest moments of the evening, so let's get down to it when you


  • Dipping your quill in the company ink: Don is back to breaking hearts. Though he didn't get far with last week's blind date (a friend of Jane's), this time around, he had nearly three new love interests making eyes at him. There's his next-door neighbor Phoebe, a focus group guru named Dr. Faye Miller, and, finally, his own loyal secretary Allison. After Don leaves his keys at the office, Allison goes to deliver them at his apartment, where he persuades her to join him on the couch despite her (very weak) protests. Afterward, Allison is beaming as if she's in love, but the following day, Don hands her a holiday bonus as if nothing ever happened. Yet another crushed soul at the hands of Don Draper. On a side note, Dr. Miller tells Don that he'll be married in a year — do you agree, or do you think he'll stay a bachelor?

  • Little criminal-in-the-making: Sally bumps into Glenn — the same boy who once asked Betty for a lock of her hair — at the Christmas tree lot, and soon he's calling her at night to talk. It seems like an innocent crush at first, but after Sally confesses to Glenn that she wants to move out of the old house, he breaks in with a friend and the two trash the place. The only room left untouched: surprise, surprise, it's Sally's. Glenn does, however, leave her a little braided plastic gift on her pillow, which she gives a knowing smile. If these two children put their heads together to torture Betty, she's in for a real treat. Speaking of Betty, she had minimal screen time. Perhaps you're right and the show could do without her.
  • Freddy's back!: Yep, the man who peed his pants after drinking too much returns to the fold by promising a new client: Pond's. Freddy says the Pond's head honcho is a frat brother of his, but in truth, they're in AA together. Freddy boasts that he's been sober for over a year, but that doesn't mean all of his old problems are solved. Peggy complains that he's still old-fashioned, especially concerning his notions of what women want (he suggests an ad idea that if women don't use Pond's they'll "never get married"). I was cringing at Freddy's comments throughout the episode; however, he did win me over a little as he tried to help Peggy with some love advice. It was still archaic, but hey, at least it was coming from a well-meaning place. I was surprised to see him return, weren't you?
  • Peggy's not that kind of girl: Peggy is dating Mark — the same guy who she introduced as her "fiance" in last week's episode — but she has her reservations about their relationship. Mainly, she's convinced him that she's a virgin, and he's pressuring her to have sex. Peggy's reasons for holding out? She confides in Freddy that she doesn't want to be alone on New Year's (can you blame the girl when most of her past flings have flung after sleeping with her?). Despite Freddy's advice to wait if she wants to get married, she decides to go to bed with Mark anyway. But is it just me, or does Peggy seem not that into him?
  • Holiday humiliation: Lucky Strike guy Lee Garner Jr. is still acting smarmy, as he guilts Roger into inviting him to the office holiday party — a party that Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce was never supposed to have. Joan rounds up the troops to turn the event into a full-blown shindig to impress their biggest client; however, when Garner shows, he manages to humiliate everyone at the company, especially Roger, who Garner insists should dress like Santa. Merry Christmas, indeed.

What did you think of this week's episode? Let me know in comments, or join the group It's a Mad, Mad, Mad Men World in the BuzzSugar Community, where you can talk about anything and everything related to the show!

Photos courtesy of AMC

Join The Conversation
lullavonn lullavonn 6 years
Ugh, Don with the secretary, that's pretty low even for him. I was settled to the idea that he was going to end up the episode with his neighbor Phoebe. Looooved having Joanie back. Killer conga line!
dreamalittledream dreamalittledream 6 years
I meant, *I also miss* sorry!
dreamalittledream dreamalittledream 6 years
I miss Sal too! I also Sal's crush, Ken!!! I am a little worried about Don, for me, he's venturing into creepy-man territory (don't know why he didn't seem creepy as a married adulterer...)
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 6 years
Oh, and I hope Alison doesn't resign. The promos for next week seemed to hint at a NYE connection between her and Don...
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 6 years
I miss Sal too! He was wonderful. :heart: Glenn is uber creepy. I have a feeling he's going to be around for a while though. Although I hope he doesn't hurt Sally, I'm also afraid that's inevitable. Did anyone find it odd that Don was actually doing his own typing at the beginning of the episode?
snarkypants snarkypants 6 years
i thought it was a resignation letter too! not much to say that hasn't already been covered. i miss sal.
jelibeann jelibeann 6 years
I also thought Allison was writing a resignation letter - not sure if she'll actually go through with it, but I assumed that's what it was - I do like her, though, so I hope she stays. I love having Joan back at the office - she was fantastic this week. Glenn has got to go - that kid is so creepy and I just find his scenes to fit very awkwardly with the rest of the show - not in an intriguing way. My problem with Glenn may be enhanced by the fact that I love Sally this season, so far - she is so much more grown up and so much less annoying - the last thing she needs is Glenn. Peggy needs to ditch her boyfriend - she is clearly not into him and, with her new-found confidence, I think she can do much better - he is almost as creepy as Glenn. Lastly, I could not stop cringing during the scene when Roger was pressured into putting on that Santa suit - and then having each staff member sit on his lap for a photo. Don's face was priceless. Sorry this is so long!
amybdk amybdk 6 years
Favorite quote of the night: "I feel like with my hair, you can't even see me in here"
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 6 years
I do not think it was a resignation letter. I think she was just getting back to work and will be there next week. What a depressing episode. Lee remains such a bully! ugh!
amybdk amybdk 6 years
I concur: Resignation Letter - and good for her!
jadenirvana jadenirvana 6 years
Studio16: I thought it was a resignation letter too!
theCatsPajamas theCatsPajamas 6 years
Such a great episode! The office drama was in full force--Don turning into Roger, Roger getting reduced to Pete Campbell. The changing dynamic of SCDP is creating great tension.
Studio16 Studio16 6 years
I didn't pay so much attention to the office drama last night as I did the social drama. First of all, I think that they are just setting Peggy's life up so that her baby will come back to "haunt her" so to speak. Second, Sally is a beautiful little girl, but that doesn't give Glenn an excuse to be creepy! I hope that was the last we see of him for awhile, because I'll be honest, I was getting nervous he was going to hurt Sally. Third, Trudy Campbell, your dress at the Christmas party was beautiful, please send it to me. Lastly, my friend and I had a debate: Was Allison typing her letter of resignation at the end, or just very bitterly going about her work? Anyone care to toss out opinions? I thought this was a much better episode than last week's.
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