Season 1, episode 10, 'In Excelsius Deo'
There's the usual walk and talk and lightness of speech (Mandy and the matching costumes, the President geeking out in a rare book shop) but Toby is at the heart of this episode, arranging a funeral for a homeless veteran who was found dead in front of the War Memorial wearing a coat Toby had donated to the Goodwill. The revelation of Mrs Landingham and her sons has me weeping every time; so does 'The Little Drummer Boy' montage.
Season 2, episode 10, 'Noel'
Josh is in a therapy session with trauma specialist Dr Stanley Keyworth, still dealing with the emotional and mental aftermath of being shot. This episode is where I fell in love with 'Carol of the Bells' and Leo McGarry's 'Guy in a Hole' speech, which really applies to so many situations, parenting included. But the moment that wins this episode belongs to Donna Moss and Yo Yo Ma.
Season 3, episode 9, 'Bartlet for America'
It's Christmas Eve and someone's threatening to firebomb black churches in the South. Leo's testifying about the MS, with flashbacks to the original campaign. The napkin, oh, man, the napkin: 'that was awfully nice of you'.
Season 4, episode 11, 'Holy Night'
Toby's estranged father returns while he's testifying about Andy's pregnancy, and is pissed at Josh that he se tup the meeting; the Church of the Nativity is closed at Christmas because of a faulty roof - can Josh fix it, please; and one of my favourite fellows is back, cheering up CJ immensely before dropping a tonne of bricks on her.
Season 5, episode 9, 'Abu El Banat'
Christian missionaries are arrested in the Sudan for proseltysing and the DEA and the Attorney General are having trouble with the assisted suicide laws in Oregon. The President's dealing with his three daughters who are home for the holidays and to light the White House Christmas tree. There's not a lot of happy families here, but some sweet moments.
Do you have a favourite Christmas episode from one of your favourite shows?