This is the first Christmas themed episode of the series. The episode "Bring on the Night", set in the 7th season (in which The First is the "Big Bad"), is the only other episode to acknowledge Christmas time, but that episode is not about the holiday.
This episode scored a 5.4/9 in the ratings.
This episode ranked 3rd out of 15 WB shows for the week.
In the advertisements, the WB promoted this episode as "A Buffy Christmas".
This episode scored a 4.3 in the national ratings.
Ranked 88 out of 133 prime time shows.
Robia Lamorte makes a return appearance as The First Evil in the form of Jenny Calendar. This is her final appearance on the series. This is also the first appearance of the First Evil, who would be a prominent part of the series final season.
According to interviews, Robia Lamorte was initially excited about reprising her role as Jenny Calendar, but was later disappointed to learn that she would only be appearing as an evil incantation of her former character, instead of her character in a good light.
Joss Whedon has cited many times Buffy and Angel's fight on the hilltop as one of the best things he has ever written, especially the line, "It's not the demon in me that needs killing, Buffy. It's the man."
The Mutant Enemy monster in the end credits wears a Santa hat and chimes are heard when he says "Grrr Arrgh".
Angel: I'm sorry to bother you.
Giles: (laughs) Sorry. Sorry. Coming from you that phrase strikes me as rather funny. "Sorry to bother me."
Angel: I need your help.
Giles: (straight-faced) And the funny keeps on coming.
Angel: I'm sorry.
Jenny Calendar: You're sorry? Sorry for me? Don't bother. I'm dead. I'm over it.
The First: You think you can fight me? I'm not a demon, little girl. I am something that you can't even conceive. The First Evil. Beyond sin. Beyond death. I am the thing that darkness fears. You'll never see me, but I am everywhere. Every being, every thought, every drop of hate.
Buffy: All right, I get it. You're evil. Do we have to chat about it all day?
The First: You have no idea what you're dealing with.
Buffy: Let me guess. Is it... evil?
Angel: I can't do it again, Buffy. I can't become a killer.
Buffy: Then fight it.
Angel: It's too hard.
Buffy: Angel, please, you have to get inside.
Angel: It told me to kill you. You were in the dream. You know. It told me to lose my soul in you and become a monster again.
Buffy: I know what it told you. What does it matter?
Angel: Because I wanted to! Because I want you so badly. I want to take comfort in you, and I know it'll cost me my soul, and a part of me doesn't care. Look, I'm weak. I've never been anything else. It's not the demon in me that needs killing, Buffy. It's the man.
In season seven, we learn that the First Evil is incapable of tangible touch when parodying the dead, however, this rule must not have yet been established as Jenny Calendar successfully touches both Angel and Giles.