Alas, still no Hetty.
But the usual elements of an OSP holiday episode were present on NCIS: Los Angeles Season 10 Episode 11.
There was a fairly easily solved case of the week, leaving time for the personal interactions that make this series so much fun.
This year's festivities got moved offsite because Special Prosecutor Rogers was being a stick in the mud about people drinking around firearms.
Since the episode started with a Marine reservist shooting up a Christmas-tree lot, maybe, just maybe, he had a point.
Let's talk about Rogers. He's not adding much to the dynamic, other than making Eric even more tightly wound than usual.
Yes, he's less annoying than he was when first introduced on NCIS: Los Angeles Season 10 Episode 4. But just marginally so.
Still, this revolving adult supervision (it can't be called leadership) among Kilbride, Ochoa, and Rogers gives me hope that Linda Hunt will soon be able to come back as Hetty, maybe as soon as after the holiday hiatus.
If that wasn't the case, wouldn't the powers that be have settled on a new unit chief by now, halfway through the season?
At least the substitutes haven't been outright obstacles for the team, unlike, say, Mosley. So that's a plus.
They also haven't interfered with the pairings upon which the series was built: the bromance between Sam and Callen, the cutesy couple Deeks and Kensi and the brainy couple Eric and Nell.
Mosley broke up these couplings far too often, implementing change for change sake. But that doesn't mean that shaking up things occasionally is a horrible idea.
One example would DeChamps filling in again for Callen, just like she did on NCIS: Los Angeles Season 10 Episode 2.
I once thought that she might be Sam's next great romance. I've since decided that Sam is one of those widowers who doesn't look to date again after the great love of their lives dies.
Sam and DeChamp have decent chemistry. They shot the breeze about their holiday plans and seemed genuinely interested in each other's lives.
Sam welcomes her like the cousin from out of town with whom he enjoys spending time. Only instead of drinking beers at a barbecue, they're tracking down criminals.
Or, in this case, hunting down the victim of criminals. Bad enough that Garza was already dealing with PTSD. Now he got drugged for his knowledge of waste-management procedures as well? Talk about adding insult to injury.
The whole scheme seemed pretty convoluted: Stalk an employee to find out when expired drugs were to be destroyed then steal the truckload of drugs especially for the geniuses who parked the loot right near the drug dealer's home, while he's having a party.
Little wonder the whole takedown took about five minutes, including the time for punchlines.
But hey, this was yet another occasion where the case was incidental. The two Marines fixed the damage they caused while drugged, no harm no foul as far as their military careers, and Garza's girlfriend was there to support him. Peace on Earth, goodwill to men, etc., etc.
Eric and Nell did what they've been doing most of this season, working around restrictions imposed by the chief pro tem while helping out the teams in the field. It seemed odd that they weren't making their usual elaborate holiday plans until Eric sprung that complete Old English dinner at Yosemite on Nell. That felt right.
The running joke was Deeks poaching food for the OSP holiday party at his bar. I don't know why he was so freaked out. As long as the booze was flowing, any decorating or culinary deficits would be overlooked.
Deeks' impromptu toast to those who couldn't be there was touching. It was especially telling that Mosley wasn't on his list.
One who wasn't there was Callen, sitting watch at Anna's bedside.
I'd always wondered how Callen and Anna had seemed to unravel. Granted, relationships aren't his strong suit, but their drifting apart just didn't seem organic.
Also, like Arkady, I didn't understand why he didn't cover for her in her shooting of Sokolov. If he had backed her up, that ATF investigation would have gone nowhere.
Is there some professional reason she wants to be in prison? There must be. Otherwise, why subject herself to the abuse that she will continue to receive as a former member of law enforcement and Arkady's daughter?
At least Arkady seemed to have come around on how Callen feels about his daughter so that he and his tovarish are on good terms again.
Now, after the hiatus, let's hope that Hetty comes back and the series gets out of the holding pattern in which it seems to be.
To catch up during the hiatus, watch NCIS: Los Angeles online.
What's Anna up to? Do you want to see more of DeChamp? Did this episode have enough holiday for you?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.