For diehard Simpsons fans, the next 12 days are going to be some of the best that time on Earth has to offer, as FXX begins its massive marathon, during which every episode of the classic series will air. No one is stopping you from watching everything from end to end, but we wouldn’t advise it, as things might start to get pretty off the wall by Day 3 and you start eating dry coffee on toast.

To help you figure out the best times of the day to escape your own city and head to Springfield – or at least when to set your DVRs – we’re picking five can’t-miss episodes from each day of the marathon. Why only five, you ask? Because I’m liable to put all 550 episodes on this list otherwise, thus drawing endless waves of ridicule and ire for still getting value out of episodes like “Wedding for Disaster” and “The Principal and the Pauper.” (Call me Armin Tamzarian.)

Thankfully, The Simpsons’ early days were absolutely stuffed with amazing episodes, thus making this a list of diamonds in the slightly less perfect diamonds. Later seasons are far less carat-filled, but we’ll cross that haggard bridge when we come to it. Kick your feet back, grab your favorite beer with Duff scrawled on it in black marker, and enjoy.

Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire – 10:00 a.m. ET
There’s no better way to first experience TV’s longest-lasting family than with their very first full-length episode. (I guess nobody at FXX wanted to pony up that Tracey Ullman Show money.) Season 1 is quite unlike any Simpsons season to follow, telling fewer jokes and landing bigger emotional punches, but you get it all and more in their network debut. Not only is it a Christmas episode that works all year round, but the family is shown doing things that they would still be doing today. Homer screws up and backends his way into family appreciation, Bart disobeys common sense in an effort to make someone like him, and Marge gets just mad enough for it to count before allowing everyone back into her good graces. I guess Lisa is the least developed at this point, but she matures the fastest of anyone in the years to come.

Highlight: Santa’s Little Helper joins the family!

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