Mad Men (2007–2015)
3 user 7 critic

Christmas Comes But Once a Year 

Freddy returns with a valuable new client, the firm reluctantly throws a Christmas party for its most important client, and Don prepares for his first Christmas away from his children.



(created by), | 1 more credit »

Watch Now

From $1.99 (SD) on Amazon Video






Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Ken Cosgrove (credit only)


The Christmas season is in full swing, but that only compounds the problems for Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. Feeling the company still financially insolvent, Lane will only allow a meager office Christmas party, with no spouses or partners. Roger makes a unilateral decision to change that directive from Lane to keep their one major client, Lee Garner Jr. of Lucky Strike, happy. Roger wants the company to appear cheerful and busy to those in the outside world that matter. The company's fortune may change for the better when ex-Sterling Cooper fired employee Freddy Rumsen, now clean and sober for sixteen months, walks through their doors, he who brings with him a lucrative contract with Pond's cold cream. One of his two major stipulations is that he comes with the contract. Peggy, who has been Freddy's biggest supporter in the past, may regret what she wished for as she and Freddy butt heads over the concept for Pond's. Also to assist in improving the company's fortunes, Bertram ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




TV-14 | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1 August 2010 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
See  »

Did You Know?


This episode takes place in December 1964. See more »


When Sally Draper is talking to Glenn on the phone, she walks into another room to take the call, as Glenn tells her it is 'private'. In doing this, Sally accidentally extends and disconnects the telephone wire, but continues to talk to Glenn on the phone. The extension cord is extra long. It does not disconnect, but instead drops to the floor, which gives the impression that it has been disconnected as she goes into the next room. See more »


Lane Pryce: There's been a small adjustment to the scale of our Christmas party.
Joan Harris: Lower or higher?
Lane Pryce: Lee Garner Jr. will be joining us. I trust you'll make the appropriate improvements.
Roger Sterling: Well, I don't. We need to change its rating from convalescent home to Roman orgy.
See more »


References The Wizard of Oz (1939) See more »


I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
Written by Tommie Connor
Performed by Teresa Brewer
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

26 April 2011 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

The new agency is struggling to make it in the advertising world. The biggest client is still Phillip Morris. As Christmas approaches, Lane Pryce, with an eye on the bottom line, decided to forgo the classic Christmas party the old timers knew. All that will change when Lee Garner, takes for granted there will another traditional office party that he loves.

A sober Freddie Rumsen has a meeting with Roger Sterling. He has decided to present his case to Roger, knowing he has a valuable tool to offer: the Pond's cream account. It is a shot in the arm for the new agency. After all, they can use all the new business they can get. So Freddie is forgiven and comes back as though he has not been away for such a long time. Peggy Olson, who was always supportive of Freddie is happy to learn he will be back again.

Glen Bishop, the Draper's suburban neighbor, is seen at a place that sells Christmas trees. Sally, accompanying her mother to the lot, is surprised to find him there. Later, Carla, the maid, answers a phone call asking for Sally. It is from Glen who wanted to talk to her. Sally lies to Carla when she is asked what was the call all about. During the night, Glen and another boy break into the house and proceed to empty boxes of food and other items all over the kitchen, leaving it a mess.

At the party, Peggy shows up with her new boyfriend, Mark. The office party turns out to be quite a success. Lee has a great time. A conga line sneaks out the different rooms led by Joan and Lee. Joan is in her element; she loves to party. Don has given money to his secretary for children's gifts, instructing Allison in what to get Sally and Bobby. With all the liquor around Don ends having sex with Allison, his secretary, something he will live to regret it.

Michael Uppendahl directed this chapter of the series. Matthew Weiner, the creator of "Mad Men", and Tracy McMillan wrote the screenplay. Another interesting episode in this excellent take on the America of the 1960s. All the principals and guests make this series one of the best things in television today.

1 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
New to the show and wondering how long I have to endure Peggy... sweetj-24677
The level of smoking, drinking and sex sabeeh89
MM and planned parenthood? Uri_A
the coca-cola ending? ras-15231
The series' 3 most moving moments in your opinion...? HARDDRlVER
Peggy and Don, never hooking up love_tina90
Discuss Christmas Comes But Once a Year (2010) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page