Ghosts: The Christmas Spirit Parts 1 and 2 recap: Ghosts delivers a witty and warm holiday special

Sam and Jay looking at the Ghosts
(Image credit: CBS)

In the Ghosts Christmas special on CBS, Sam and Jay just want to enjoy a classic Christmas in their beautiful mansion; Sam in particular is set on having a holiday that is pulled straight from a frothy Christmas movie. When Jay’s sister Bela arrives for Christmas with a friend Eric in tow, Sam sees it as her chance to do a little holiday matchmaking. 

Eric is sweet and seems to have real feelings for Bela, but Bela isn’t interested in being more than friends with Eric. Since that’s the plot of nearly every holiday romance, Sam tries to bring them closer by suggesting they make a gingerbread house together. 

Jay suggests that Sam send Eric out to chop some wood, since Bela has been sharing TikToks of lumberjacks in the family group chat. Jay shows Sam a lumberjack video Bela shared and Hetty becomes an instant fan of lumberjack TikTok.

Meanwhile, Alberta, Flower, Sas, and Pete are practicing a Christmas carol to sing for Sam as a Christmas present. As “Alberta and the Christmas Cookies” are deciding what song to sing Isaac drops by. While they’re chatting, Isaac reveals that he and Nigel have never even kissed, which leads to yet another discussion about the “face palm incident” which Pete is going to haunt Pete forever.

Trevor is upset to see Bela with Eric, even though she’s not romantically interested in Eric, because he really likes her. He is also not a fan of Sam trying to get Bela and Eric together. Sas suggests that Trevor possess Eric so that he can spend Christmas day with Bela and they’d actually get to be together. Trevor texts Bela the idea, and she likes it. She starts questioning Jay about the time when Hetty possessed him to find out more about how it works. Amazingly, when she asks Eric if he’d be willing to do it he agrees.

The ghosts look at the Christmas dinner table in shock

(Image credit: CBS)

Eric tells her that he cares about her and could see the two of them together but he knows she has to get Trevor out of her system, so he agrees to the possession as a way for her to do that.

When Jay and Sam find out about the plan on Christmas Eve they immediately put a stop to it. They discover Eric and Bela trying to recreate Jay getting electrocuted, which is what allowed Hetty to possess him. Eric and Bela give up the plan and go to bed. Sam attempts to screw in the light that the two had loosened so that Eric could touch the wires and electrocute himself but she accidentally touches the wires and electrocutes herself. She falls back into Thor, who was standing behind her, and Thor possesses her.

Thor has been a real Scrooge about Christmas, which he sees as cultural appropriation. But while he possesses Sam, he gets to eat Christmas cookies and experience some of the very human joys of the holidays which makes him understand a little better what the appeal of Christmas is. 

The other ghosts try to explain to him that what makes Christmas special is spending time with people that you love and that’s why it’s such an important holiday for Sam. Except for Hetty, who just wants Thor to use Sam’s phone to show her more lumberjack TikToks in exchange for telling him how to possess Sam’s body for a longer period of time.

Thor standing over Sam, Jay and the other ghosts

(Image credit: CBS)

Issac and Nigel find themselves under the mistletoe, and Nigel is hoping for their first kiss. Even though Isaac seems open to the kiss at the last second he face-palms Nigel, which surprises them both. Nigel, understandably feeling slighted, breaks up with Isaac. Isaac has a nightmare about his wife and realizes that he can’t move forward with Nigel because he feels guilty about trapping his wife in a sham marriage when he was alive. He feels like he doesn’t deserve to be happy in love when she didn’t get to have that when she was alive. 

After noticing a cricket embroidered on his handkerchief, the others ask about it and Isaac reveals it was his wife’s nickname for him. Sas tells Isaac that a woman he assumed was a nurse visited Isaac on his deathbed and changed him into his uniform as he was dying. She called him cricket. Isaac was touched and after realizing his wife truly did love him and didn’t hate him for their marriage he was able to let go of his guilt. He goes to find Nigel and explain and they finally have their first kiss. It’s a holiday miracle that these two are finally going to move their relationship forward.

Meanwhile, Eric has left the mansion to take a train home. Jay goes to the train station to get him while Sam is at home, possessed by Thor and enjoying Christmas food. Jay manages to talk Eric into coming back to the mansion. Even though Sam didn’t get the classic TV movie Christmas she wanted by the end of Christmas night Thor is no longer possessing her, Eric and Bela are getting close, and there is peace in the mansion.

The next morning Sam wakes up to snowflakes raining down and the lovely harmonies of Alberta and The Christmas Cookies singing Silent Night; too bad only Sam can hear them! Even though it’s a day late Sam, Jay, Eric, and Bela open presents for themselves and for the ghosts, with everyone in the mansion both living and dead enjoying the true spirit of the holidays — spending time with the people they love.

The Ghosts Christmas special managed to deliver plenty of pop culture referencing one-liners and laughs but blended them with genuine holiday spirit that avoided being too saccharine. It was the perfect kickoff to the week before Christmas.  

Ghosts season 2 US airs on CBS. New episodes are available to stream on Paramount Plus and Ghosts US is available on iPlayer in the UK.

Sonya Iryna

Sonya has been writing professionally for more than a decade and has degrees in New Media and Philosophy. Her work has appeared in a diverse array of sites including ReGen, The Washington Post, Culturess, Undead Walking and Final Girl. As a lifelong nerd she loves sci-fi, fantasy and horror TV and movies, as well as cultural documentaries. She is particularly interested in representation of marginalized groups in nerd culture and writes reviews and analysis with an intersectional POV. Some of her favorite shows include Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, The Handmaid’s Tale and The Sandman.