Somehow, Angela seems to have forgotten all about the annual Christmas party. Must have other things on her mind. The staff is left scrambling for ideas for something to throw together and even Dwight gets in on it, suggesting a traditional Pennsylvania Dutch celebration. Jim backs Dwight's idea -- primarily so he can laugh at it -- and Pam strong-arms the party planning committee into letting it happen. Dwight rises to the occasion, providing disgusting traditional food and wine and dressing up as "Belschnickel," a character from German folklore who apparently shows up a couple of weeks before Christmas to scare the kids straight by whacking them with sticks. Your basic Schrute family tradition, in other words. As the party proceeds, he hands out gift-giving bowls and some presents that appear to have been scrounged from his garage. But Jim has to duck out early to spend the night in Philadelphia before his first day at the new job and Dwight takes it pretty hard. Even harder than Pam does.
Pete apparently doesn't have anything better to do than to recite to Erin the entire script of Die Hard, which he apparently has memorized verbatim. While that's going on, Erin gets an email from Andy, who has apparently reached Bermuda. He's also reached an existential crisis and appears in no hurry to get back. So Erin decides to actually watch Die Hard with Pete, and doesn't protest too much when he puts a comforting arm around her after she cries. No reason I can think of that she should.
Elsewhere in the office, Darryl thinks Jim has forgotten his offer to help him get a job at the new company, and gets pretty deeply into Dwight's wine. Jim returns after realizing he can take an early morning bus instead and spend the rest of the day and evening in Scranton. Darryl confronts him, only to be told by Jim that he's setting up an interview moments before Darryl passes out. Good thing the interview's not today.
Also, Nellie gets herself buttonholed into a long, dull conversation with Toby about his jury gig on the Scranton Strangler case and eventually becomes desperate enough to kiss him so he'll shut up. But when he kisses back, it looks pretty sincere. Better than all the talking, anyway.
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Jim sits at his desk, acting overstressed about a shirt he packed. Apparently he's leaving early today to get to Philly for his first day at his new job, after what he THs will be "a real good night of restless sleep and nervous puking." So he's not even acting. Dwight mocks Jim's fears (though in a way that still lets Jim get the upper hand) and adds, "Don't wear the blue striped shirt. It makes your neck look like an old mop handle." Jim looks over at Pam, who nods gently.
Erin suddenly remembers that the Christmas party is today. Everyone's pretty surprised, as the camera pans over at a leftover paper turkey decoration as shorthand for how the Party Planning Committee has clearly dropped the ball. Kevin realizes they're not going to have a Christmas party this year, and Angela defensively says they shouldn't blame her for something they all forgot, just because she's the head of the Committee. Oscar loudly backs her up, and THs that he didn't realize how many of Angela's opinions he agreed with, "until she tried to have my kneecaps shattered for sleeping with her husband." After some more fretting from the employees, Dwight suggests an "authentic Pennsylvania Dutch Christmas," which apparently involves a lot of depressing-sounding stuff with German names. Jim excitedly goes along with that, even though others try to shoot it down. Angela blows her whistle and calls an emergency meeting. "I'm on it," Pam whispers to Jim on her way in.
The impending Christmas party prompts Pete to make a Die Hard reference in front of Erin, who has never seen it. Pete's shocked, never mind the fact that the movie probably came out before either of them was born. Kevin joins Pete for a quote-off, which Pete mistakenly humiliates Kevin at. After he leaves, Erin accuses, "Nerd!" because apparently Pete memorized every line. Erin dares him to prove it, and Pete says, "You don't like flying, do you?" Erin thinks he's changing the subject, but he's already begun.
Jim is talking to some of the other employees in the kitchen about the new company when Darryl comes in asking pointedly, "Sure you remembered everything for your trip?" In a TH from his office, Darryl reminds us that Jim mentioned this to him two months ago, but hasn't said a word since. Back in the kitchen, Darryl is still trying to jog Jim's memory when Toby drags the subject back around to the alleged Scranton Strangler, who he still thinks is in jail for crimes he may not have committed. As Jim and Darryl clear out, Nellie asks what he's talking about, and soon finds herself stuck in a conversation about it as Stanley is the last other person to leave the room, telling her, "See you next Christmas." Toby says he could start at the beginning, "but I think I need to go farther back."