Gabriel Byrne

Michael Scott (Steve Carrell) and Holly Flax (Amy Ryan).

Is it just us, or do you also look forward to the thought of Angela’s (Angela Kinsey) Christmas themed cat cards, Andrew Bernard (Ed Helms) a-caroling, and the dubious Todd Packer (David Koechner) and his drunken escapades?  If so, tonight’s our night with The Office’s special Christmas episode, “Classy Christmas”, on tap. 

While we may not have loved the acting performance Amy Ryan just turned in as Dr. Paul Weston’s (Gabriel Byrne) therapist on HBO’s superb 3rd season of In Treatment, just concluded, it’s hard to argue against Ryan reprising the role of quirky HR person Holly Flax, who, in 7 seasons of The Office, may have been the only cast member truly on the same wavelength of wacky Michael Scott.  We’ve read that Holly returns to the Scranton branch of Dunder Mifflin tonight to fill in for Toby Flenderson (Paul Lieberstein), who is called away.

Michael is sure to go nuts over Holly’s return to Scranton from Nashua, as he’s only been pining for her from the second she left.  But how will Holly react to Michael, in light of her ongoing serious relationship with a Nashua branch salesman (last we knew), and in light of Michael’s rambling voice mail to Holly that we heard him record earlier in the season on which he insisted that he and Holly had been good together, that she was the only ex whom he had any good will toward and vice versa, and oh yeah–how she’d better head to a doctor and get checked for herpes?

Amy Ryan, who first came to us as port police on season 2 (“Nicky from the docks”) of our favorite all-time show, The Wire, who had, let’s call it an uncomfortable run on In Treatment, is sure to be back in her element once again in a large ensemble cast.  And we always love Dwight in elf ears.  Since The Office won’t be back after tonight until January 20th, we’re hoping tonight’s “Classy Christmas” is extra good.

Tonight @ 9 PM EST on NBC.  Happy holidays.

Crack (,

9 PM EST & 9:30 PM EST, HBO…