Erin checks the calendar and realizes that the office's annual Christmas party is today, but no one has made any plans for it! It's an immediate crisis, and staffers quickly spurt out ideas for this year's theme: tropical, topless, etc. Angela calls an emergency meeting of the Party Planning Committee. After careful consideration, they agree to proceed with Dwight's concept: a traditional Pennsylvania Dutch celebration.
Pete is pumped at the thought of attending his first office Christmas party. Sharing his excitement with Erin, he makes a reference to John McClane of Die Hard fame. But it's lost on Erin - she's never seen the movie. Pete's astonished and vows to repeat the movie line for line for Erin. Meanwhile, Toby's got his own captive audience. Nellie asks him about the Scranton Strangler. Little does she know, she's about to lose the next two hours of her life listening to Toby.
In keeping with tradition, Dwight serves gluhwein, or "glow wine," and hog maw, stuffed pig stomach. The staff's reaction ranges from amused to nauseated. Dwight leaves, only to return a few minutes later, transformed into Belsnickel, a Pennsylvania Dutch version of Saint Nicholas. He's a frightening countenance, bearded and wearing shabby clothes.
Dwight presents gift bowls to everyone in the office. He explains that they are not gifts but are empty bowls that are to be presented to him and filled with gifts. Belsnickel will then judge each partygoer as either amiable or impish. Those found impish, like Jim, are beaten with twigs.
Jim has to duck out early. He's catching a bus to Philadelphia to spend the night in a hotel before getting an early start at his new venture. Pam is sad to see him leave. Dwight is also upset about Jim's departure and shuts down his party.
Elsewhere, Erin is interrupted in the middle of Pete's "Die Hard" recitation by an email from Andy. He tells Erin that he sold the boat, saw "Life of Pi" and is going to be staying away longer to reevaluate his life. Erin's crushed. She suggests to Pete that instead of recreating the movie, they simply should go to Andy's office and watch it instead. They settle in on the couch, and Erin tears up a little. Pete puts his arm around her and offers a little comfort. It's not unwelcome.
The Party Planning Committee steps in to salvage this year's event. Pam and Dwight continue to be depressed once the official office party committee pulls together a more traditional office party. To everyone's surprise, Jim comes back, explaining he misses his wife and couldn't leave without breaking the pig rib with Dwight. Dwight embraces him.
In the break room, Nellie is exhausted with Toby's ramblings and attempts to silence him. But she ends up being kissed by him. The simple smooch gives way to a full on make-out session. It's a warm Christmas after all.