"Hey, Dwight, cute hat."
Jim crossed his arms and watched the other man scoff loudly.
"It's a Santa hat, Jim."
"I know. It looks cute on you." Dwight ignored him and began to make a sales call.
"Hello, I'd like to speak to Mr. Levasseur… Yes. I can hold."
Jim was bored. He began to whistle Jingle Bells. Andy, Phyllis and Stanley glanced over at him, but he didn't stop staring at Dwight who continued to glance determinedly at his computer screen. Dwight moved to hold the phone with one hand while the other plugged his free ear in the hopes of drowning Jim out.
"Yes, Mr. Levasseur? This is Dwight Schrute from Dunder Mifflin, calling to inform you about our latest deal on manila folders…"
Jim motioned to Andy encouragingly and began to whistle louder. It wasn't long before Andy began to sing along with Jim's music. Stanley rolled his eyes and Phyllis began to tap to the beat with her pen.
"Mr. Levasseur, could you please excuse me for one second?" Dwight moved to cover the receiver with his palm as he swiveled his chair around to stare sternly at Jim and the others. He opened his mouth to speak, but his thought was left hanging as Jim abruptly stopped whistling and cut him off. Andy continued on quietly despite the lack of music. He was, after all, apart of an acapella group.
"Dwight where is your Christmas Spirit?" Jim asked him seriously as Dwight stared at him. "Right now even Phyllis is beating you out on the spirit, man."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Phyllis asked, turning around. Jim pretended not to hear and looked at Dwight expectantly.
"I am more infused with the holiday spirit than you are or ever will be, Jim," Dwight declared stiffly, readjusting the hat on his head for a moment before moving to cover up the receiver once again. "Now leave me to my sales calls."
"Oh I doubt it… because I… am the king of Christmas." Jim glanced over at Pam who was smiling largely at him. She sensed a prank coming on. Jim gave her a proud, but perfectly innocent glance and she nodded seriously. But Dwight ignored them and went on with his sales call, silently fuming as he failed to sell to his client any of the coveted Dunder Mifflin manila folders. A shame.
Minutes later as Jim was examining a sales spreadsheet on his computer, Dwight cleared his throat loudly. With one rough, confident movement he shoved his computer monitor toward Jim so that the other sales representative could see it clearly. Jim raised his eyebrows and acted impressed.
"Wow, Dwight, you…" The wallpaper on the desktop was filled with a horrible Photoshop of Christmas lights, Santa, reindeer, elves, and evergreen trees. Red and green covered the empty spaces. Jim wasn't sure quite what to say. He didn't need to act impressed anymore—he was genuinely impressed. "Very Christmas-y, Dwight. That is really something."
"Yeah, let me see your desktop now… 'King of Christmas'!" Dwight reached to grab at Jim's computer monitor, but Jim pulled it out of his reach and Dwight was forced to shrink back. "That's what I thought! You don't even have a Santa hat on…"
Jim nodded, quietly conceding. He wasn't really worried though—it was just amusing to see Dwight get all defensive and riled up about such a petty thing.
"You're right, I don't need one. I wear an invisible crown now to show my victory."
"And by the end of tonight I will have overthrown you," Dwight promised through a hard stare.
"Yeah, we'll see." Jim's coolness about the whole matter had Dwight rather irritated. He rose with a huff, his coffee mug in his hands, and headed for the kitchen.
Dwight soon returned with a different mug—one with a snowman on it. He figured it was worth giving up his Lackawanna County Police Department mug for… at least for a day.
The Moroccan Christmas Party was scheduled to begin at exactly 4:45, and would take place in the conference room. There was going to be just one party this year, and it was to be directed by Phyllis while Angela quietly steamed in a corner and tried to get her way with little last-minute details.
Jim had to sit through the entire day listening to Dwight count off the reasons as to why his spirit was far superior. I cut down that Christmas tree from off of my own property. I killed the goose we're eating for our Christmas meal. I contributed ideas through Michael for the Christmas party. I wore a green… ish shirt today. You're just wearing white. Pfft. And you call yourself the King of Christmas!
Jim finished working early and offered to help the women of the party planning committee set up the party. He couldn't really take any more of Dwight's reasoning anyway. There wasn't much to do to really prepare, however his height proved useful for getting those banners and Christmas lights up into hard to reach places (especially for Angela).
There were plenty of drinks and food and music… it was nice. The CD player was on random to keep things fair for all partygoers. Andy sat in a corner of the conference room with Angela, trying to explain explicitly how the members of Here Comes Treble would sing their first song at their wedding. But Angela wasn't really listening—she was too busy glowing warmly as her favorite song came on. Everyone else decided to gather into the break room for Secret Santa. Only Dwight stayed around, waiting. But Jim didn't really care.
He sat down next to Pam in the circle of chairs as Michael began to try to get everyone excited for the gift exchange.
"Pam… Jim… Kelly… Creed… Meredith… Oscar… good, let's start! Wait, Ryan—where's Ryan?" Michael craned his neck and tried hard to search about the room. He was disappointed when he couldn't find the temp anywhere in sight and looked pointedly at Kelly for some answers.
"Ryan left a while ago to go to Thailand," Oscar explained impatiently when Kelly lowered her head slightly and wouldn't respond. "I'm surprised you didn't know."
"He… he never told me," Michael admitted with a sigh, scratching the back of his head and pretending not to be disappointed. Angela and Andy then walked in and joined the group, closely followed by Dwight who took the empty seat closest to Michael. Jim pretended not to notice Dwight's blatant stares as everyone exchanged gifts. Occasionally Dwight would break out in carols, just to try to beat out Jim's earlier Jingle Bells tune.
Jim turned to Pam and smiled. She didn't quite understand and misinterpreted his glance as a sign of him wanting to steal her present in the exchange so she playfully retreated the item closer to her. Jim shook his head and nodded toward Dwight who had completely taken over in the distribution of gifts.
"Oh my god, what have you done to him?" Pam asked with a grin, her eyes watching as Dwight hurled a decently sized gift at Oscar. There was a slight shattering sound as the package missed and hit the ground, followed by Michael scolding Dwight loudly for his klutziness. Jim winced, and turned to her innocently.
"Nothing. I swear."
"Sorry Oscar…" Dwight apologized mutedly when Michael had told him to. He grabbed for another present. "Jim!"
He barely caught the present.
"Thank you, Dwight," he said in reply. And then, before Dwight could reach for another present and completely skip his turn, Jim stood up in front of them all, present in hand, and cleared his throat. "And I'd just like to wish you all, right here and now, the merriest of Christmases. And a Happy New Year, too, when it comes." The office workers stared at him blankly. Dwight looked suspicious, his mouth hanging half open. "Yup, you heard it here first. Merry Christmas everyone, and thanks for the gift, Santa."
Jim sat down and began to unwrap his gift. Out of the corner of his eye, Dwight looked completely torn between continuing his current duty as present distributor ("What are you waiting for Dwight?!" Michael asked impatiently. "Mine's next, I can feel it.") and trying to top Jim's moment. Dwight halfheartedly handed out the last two gifts in the exchange to Toby and Phyllis and then left the room, ignoring an exasperated Michael who was complaining about his lack of presents. Jim wasn't sure whether or not to feel triumphant or to be worried. So he chose to be triumphant, of course, as he began to fiddle around with his new digital clock. Meanwhile, Phyllis and Pam were trying to explain to Michael that they had forgotten to leave Ryan's name out of the Secret Santa drawing… and that Ryan would have drawn his name if he had been in Scranton.
"Then he owes me," Michael said with a frown. "Big time."
The Christmas party was soon over. Guests slowly began exiting out the door. Stanley was the first to leave, followed closely by Kelly and Meredith. Michael begged the others to stay so that the party could go on, however Angela wouldn't allow it and was already beginning to take down red and green streamers outside of the conference room. Disappointed, Michael retreated into his office with the documentary crew while some of the remaining members of the party planning committee began to help tear down. Jim Halpert decided to hang around and wait for Pam who was obliged to help. He sat in his desk as he waited. Pam rolled her eyes at him and teased him about not doing his part.
"I'm sorry, I'm all done for the day. My shift ended four hours ago." He shrugged exaggeratedly and teased her as though his emotions were genuine. "Sorry."
Pam's lips curled up into a small smile but she didn't say anything back and disappeared with Phyllis to help clean up the break room. Jim reclined in his chair and carefully observed Dwight and Angela who were with one another inside of the conference room. Angela was standing on a chair, reaching upwards for a decoration when Dwight tried to reach up to assist her. Her head then snapped over to stare at him sternly, and Jim could just hear her insisting to Dwight that she could handle it, although the door to the conference room was most certainly closed.
Among other things he saw, Jim watched as Kevin smuggled out the rest of Angela's brownies and Oscar enter, and then, in a peculiar sort of anger, leave Michael's office. Oscar left the building shortly after without saying another word to anyone.
Minutes later, Andy was searching for his fiancé, and Jim was about to help him when he swiveled around to see the blinds drawn on the conference room windows. Andy headed for the door, which was locked, and then began knocking frantically.
"Angela?!" He called. Jim fidgeted awkwardly, his fingers twisting nervously around a pen from his desk. Andy was persistent; Jim figured this couldn't end well.
"Oh, you know, actually, I just saw her leave," Jim lied loudly, trying to get the other man's attention. "I'm sorry, it's my mistake."
"Oh? Then who's in there, then?" Andy asked suspiciously. Jim felt bad for him, but shrugged. "Why is the door closed? And why would she leave without telling me?!"
"She said she had things to do. She told Phyllis that so that way they could work on without her. She said she had urgent wedding matters to take care of and plan out."
Jim watched as Andy relaxed and let slowly go of the door handle. He crossed over to his desk, his eyes watching Jim carefully.
"Well why are you still here?"
"I'm… just waiting for Pam."
"Uh-huh… well… Merry Christmas, Big Tuna." Andy grabbed his coat off the back of his chair and also his workbag. Then, he began to head for the exit.
"Yup. See ya."
Moments after he left, Jim could hear the door handle jiggle and a lock turn. Angela peeked out of the small opening.
"What? What do you want? I'm finishing up in here!" Her voice was urgent and disappointed, but also slightly scared. Jim glanced at the door.
"You know what? He left already. Sorry."
"Oh." She emerged fully from the conference room now and straightened out her clothes. "I… didn't know that anyone was still here."
"Just me, Michael, and… Creed, I believe. The rest of the party planning committee is in the break room."
"Thank you," she replied curtly, never once turning to look at him as she walked over to her desk. She packed up her things with haste and then left, which surprised Jim, but it was fine, too. The blinds on the conference room remained closed and the door stayed shut. Pam and Phyllis emerged from the break room after another ten minutes or so. Pam beamed at Jim as she came up to him and he rose to embrace her. Phyllis smiled kindly at them.
"All done?" Jim asked. "Already?" Pam nodded and smiled largely.
"Yeah, let's just… get out of here."
"Okay." Jim watched as Pam walked over to the receptionist's desk and began to put all of her things together. He took one last sweeping glance at the place before yawning; realizing suddenly that Dwight still hadn't emerged from the conference room. Weird… And the blinds to Michael's office were closed now as well, although Jim had never seen Michael leave. Shrugging it off, he met up with Pam in front of the exit and they were about to leave when Pam hesitated and turned suddenly to Jim.
"Oh, wait… I left my purse in the break room…" She bit her lip and shrugged innocently.
"I can get it," Jim offered, already beginning to move in that direction, "you can go ahead and start the car. Get it warm, Beesley."
Pam smiled and gave him a small kiss on the cheek before tightening her coat around herself and heading for the elevator. Upon reentering the office, Jim found Dwight at his desk, his hair slightly disheveled.
"Hey Dwight—you're still here?"
Dwight scoffed. "Like you care."
"I do. I was beginning to worry about you. I almost called the police."
Jim headed for the break room but could not find Pam's purse. So he decided to check the kitchen. Glancing out into the office, he saw that Dwight had disappeared. His things were still gathered around his desk, but their owner was nowhere to be found.
Jim searched quickly through the kitchen until he got over beside the bathrooms and something caught his eye. Reaching upward, he pulled down the piece of mistletoe that had been taped between the thresholds of the two bathrooms. Two more bits of mistletoe had been taped above the doors separately as well, but he left those alone.
"This way all of our bases are covered," Jim had overheard Michael explaining to Dwight earlier, "If I walk out of the bathroom at the same time as Kelly, then we have to kiss. If Pam and Angela both run into each other as they're trying to get in or out of the bathroom, they have to kiss. And… in order to not discriminate against Oscar, if two men happen to want to go to the bathroom and they run into each other underneath the mistletoe, well… they have to kiss, too. But only if Oscar is around. Because otherwise that would be weird. With a few exceptions, of course, but unfortunately the only exceptions in this office… well, one is engaged and the other is in Thailand, so there technically are no exceptions."
Jim carried the piece of mistletoe in his palm back out to the threshold to enter the office. Using some tape from reception, he reestablished it there and took a step back, admiring his handiwork. He lingered there, waiting, until Dwight came back from the bathroom and grabbed his things. He moved in such a rush for the door, that he almost didn't notice Jim, or the mistletoe. Jim had to grab at his arm and glance at him urgently in order to get him to stop.
"Whoa, hey, Dwight, where are you going?!" The other man looked confused at his serious tone, but after a moment ripped his arm out of Jim's hold and gave him a defensive stare.
"That is absolutely none of your business, Jim!" Beady eyes glanced at him up and down, searching for some sign of trickery. "What is it to you?" He tried to push his way past Jim and out the door, but Jim blocked his way casually and without much trouble.
"Well, I just mean that…" Jim started, beginning to glance pointedly above them, "I'm surprised that you didn't notice yourself, actually. Any person who is truly filled with the spirit of Christmas would never, ever miss out on such an obligation."
"What obligation?" Dwight's tone was severe. He didn't really appreciate his spirit of Christmas being challenged. It didn't help that it was still being challenged by Jim.
Jim pointed upwards at the threshold. "Mistletoe."
For a moment Dwight stared at it and said nothing. He seemed shocked, as though he couldn't understand how that had gotten there, and how he could've missed it before. Then his eyes narrowed at it and he shifted his bag up higher onto his shoulder.
"No," he replied flatly. Jim gave him a mock-apologetic glance.
"You have to, though. You and I both stepped under this mistletoe at the exact same time, Dwight."
"Impossible. There's no way that this mistletoe was here just a second ago. You put it there, and you waited for me."
"No, seriously, Dwight, people were exiting out underneath this—you should have seen it. They were making out with each other all over the place."
"Michael said that a guy only had to kiss another guy under the mistletoe when a gay guy is around," Dwight said matter-of-factly, still trying to elbow past Jim, "and I don't see Oscar anywhere."
"A person with true Christmas Spirit would never make up excuses to the rules," Jim insisted, wondering what he was getting himself into. He should've thought this through before. It was just a prank to see how far Dwight would go to prove something to Jim. But it felt odd… perhaps because Pam wasn't there? Though it was a good kind of odd… almost exhilarating, though so, so wrong. "Dwight, it's tradition."
Dwight looked pained, as though he couldn't make up his mind. His eyes darted between the mistletoe, Jim's eyes, and Jim's lips, his mouth gaping uncertainly as he checked his glasses for smudges to stall for time.
"No," Dwight said finally, his voice firm. But he didn't fight to get past Jim this time. Jim became even more urgent with him, and grabbed at his arms.
"Come on, even Michael would do it! And if you don't, I'll tell everyone and your secret will be out that you most certainly are not the king of Christmas."
"You wouldn't dare."
Jim was surprised. Dwight kissed him so hard on the lips, his arms swinging everywhere that he slammed Jim lightly into the wall and held him there as he kissed. Then, abruptly, he pulled away and wiped his lips with his arm.
"Aww, Dwight, you're flushing," Jim said, although it wasn't true. The idea of this made Dwight's cheeks begin to turn red anyway. Jim smiled triumphantly, and searched for the camera crew, although even they had gone home already.
"Am not!" Dwight retorted defiantly, frantically groping for the door handle without taking his eyes off of Jim. "I win, Jim! I win! You can't out-Christmas me!"
"Nope, I can't," Jim conceded, still smiling as Dwight hurried out the door. As soon as he saw the elevator close with Dwight in it, Jim reached up and pulled down the mistletoe, stuck it in his pocket. What a magical, silly plant. He still couldn't believe that Dwight had actually done it. He wasn't quite sure whether or not to tell Pam.
Jim decided to take the stairs so that he would be less likely to meet up again with Dwight. When he walked out to the parking lot, Pam was there waiting in front of the entryway, her car in park after waiting for awhile.
"Hey, what took you so long?" Pam asked as Jim climbed into the passenger seat. "Where's my purse?"
"Oh, right, I… couldn't find it. I searched everywhere I could, but it just wasn't there."
Pam looked suspicious.
"It was in the break room," she insisted, and then, after a moment: "You aren't going to tell me what really went on in there, are you?"
"Nope. I'm not going to tell a soul. But... Dwight really has a lot of Christmas Spirit."