At the Abbott mansion, Jack and Traci invited Theo over to enjoy family time. After Jack said it would be just the three of them for the evening, Theo asked Jack if he'd left out a particular family member. Traci said she and Jack hadn't wanted Theo to feel overwhelmed. Traci offered Kyle a cup of cider. Kyle proudly presented Jack and Traci with a box of Dutch oliebollen, a donut-like pastry. Theo explained that the treat had been a family tradition at Christmastime during his childhood.
Traci stepped out to get spiced cider. Jack said he had something to discuss with Theo. Jack was relieved when Theo announced that he'd saved the deal with Circe Brands after inviting the CEO to a music concert. Jack thanked Theo and acknowledged that working with Kyle had been difficult. Theo said Kyle didn't think Jabot was big enough to accommodate them both. Jack urged Theo to separate the professional from the personal, just as he was doing with Summer. Theo acknowledged that he and Summer had broken up.
Traci returned with a tray of spiced cider and the oliebollen set on a plate. Jack presented Theo with a bound copy of the Abbott family history. Jack added that it was Theo's history, too. Theo recalled his family history and said his mother would wrap and hide presents every year before setting them under the tree on Christmas. Theo added that the family had always anticipated enjoying oliebollen and bishop's wine, Dutch traditions begun by his mother. Theo said it all seemed weird after learning that his dad wasn't Dutch, though the oliebollen would forever remind him of happy Christmases.
Jack admired the Abbott Christmas tree and told Theo that after Dina had left, John had worked hard to maintain all of the family traditions. Theo admired a blown-glass ornament suspended on the tree. Traci explained that it was Murano glass that they'd purchased during a family vacation to Italy. Theo said, "Growing up an Abbott was nothing like growing up a Vanderway." Traci acknowledged that Theo's father's life would have been different had he been raised by Dina. Traci added that Theo's parents had obviously known love because they'd passed it on to him.
Jack invited Theo to spend Christmas Day with the family. Theo was reluctant to commit. Jack and Traci tasted the oliebollen and liked it very much. Traci, as if offering a toast with the pastry, proclaimed that they'd celebrate old and new traditions. Jack and Traci appeared to embrace Theo's traditions, which seemed to please him and set him at ease.
At Lola and Kyle's apartment, Lola noticed pine needles in Kyle's cap and tree sap on his clothes when he returned home. Kyle had hoped to keep the tree he'd selected a secret until he could fit it in the door. Lola stepped into the hallway and laughed when she beheld a rather huge tree blocking the passageway. Kyle admitted he'd had to crawl over the tree in order to reach the door. Kyle cried that he'd measured the tree to ensure it would fit their apartment, but he'd forgotten about the narrow hallway.
Lola heard the kitchen timer and rushed to get her cookies out of the oven. Kyle retrieved the key to a tool shed from a drawer near the oven and accidentally knocked the cookie sheet from Lola's grasp. Cookies tumbled onto the floor. The couple shared a laugh over their follies. After Kyle managed to get the tree into the apartment, Lola brought out a gift that had been delivered. They opened the box and were elated to find an exquisite ornament sent by Jack and Celeste. The enclosed card wished the newlyweds well as they celebrated their first Christmas together.
Kyle and Lola also found individual boxes filled with childhood ornaments. Jack and Celeste had each packed up a selection of their respective children's ornaments. Kyle and Lola took turns displaying an ornament and recalling a memory associated with it. Kyle kissed Lola and said they could begin their own tradition by hanging their personalized "Kyle and Lola" ornament on their tree. After the couple made love on their sofa, they admired their festive tree and their special ornament.
At Society, Phyllis met up with Summer to celebrate her birthday. Phyllis and Summer talked about Summer's career and her love life. Summer said she was in a good place and had reached an understanding with Theo. Phyllis warned Summer that sometimes the one she least expected might put a dagger in her heart. Summer replied, "Are we talking about me, or are we talking about you? Who put the dagger in your heart, Mom?"
Phyllis declined to talk about herself on Summer's special day, but Summer pleaded with her mom not to shut her out. Phyllis admitted that she couldn't stop thinking about her life the previous year, when she'd been CEO of Jabot and involved in a happy relationship with Nick. Phyllis sadly recalled that soon after her life had been going well, the dam had broken and washed her down the river, leaving her stranded on what she called a less-than-idyllic island. Summer reminded her mom that she owned part of a successful hotel and was on good terms with Nick. Phyllis replied, "I'm happy about that, considering, you know, Nick was less than happy about my association with Adam." Phyllis strongly clarified that Adam was not her friend. Summer expressed relief that Adam was out of her mom's life.
Phyllis and Summer laughed about friends being overrated as they continued to consume Champagne. Phyllis praised Summer for being a strong, independent young woman and a fighter. Summer surprised Phyllis and said she'd put up a decorated tree and other Christmas décor in her mother's suite at the Grand Phoenix. Phyllis was touched and explained that she liked living at the hotel because it offered room service and housekeeping. Summer laughed when Phyllis added that staying at the Grand Phoenix drove Abby crazy. Summer opened her birthday gift and was elated to find a pair of faceted stone earrings.
Phyllis stepped away to get dessert, and Summer checked her messages. One was a birthday greeting from Jack and another was from Theo. A third message was from Kyle, which read, "Happy Birthday, partner-in-crime at work and good friend for life. Hope you have an amazing birthday and that this year brings you all the love and happiness you deserve." Summer was still grinning when Phyllis returned with birthday cake she'd had flown in from a Paris bakery. Phyllis became emotional and said, "Happy Birthday. You're still the best early Christmas present I ever got."
At the Newman ranch, Victoria, Nick, and their children joined Nikki and Victor for a pre-Christmas celebration. Nikki admitted that Victor had been eager to show off his new toy. Victor said he hoped his grandkids were enjoying it. Nick acknowledged that the kids would definitely enjoy Victor's horse-drawn sleigh. Nikki said it was a shame that Connor had caught a cold and couldn't join the others. Nick mentioned that Faith would soon be home and that he'd heard Summer had been given a generous gift for her birthday from her grandparents.
Victoria said she was thankful their family had put behind them all the things that had haunted and hurt them. Billy entered the room quietly and asked to be forgiven for his tardiness. Nikki said she was glad to see Billy before he left town. Victoria said her family would be leaving on Christmas Eve to enjoy a trip to Telluride. Nikki expressed excitement for the travelers, noting that the village would be transformed into a winter wonderland. Victoria said the kids were eager to see Reed.
Nikki said she was thankful Billy's new job hadn't interfered with their family's plans. Billy was distracted and didn't immediately respond to Nikki's comment until Victoria prompted him to. Billy explained that he could work remotely. Victor asked Billy if he was a consultant. Billy answered that he worked for a global company that engaged in teleconferencing. Billy added that his job was just the change he'd needed. Victor said everything seemed to be coming together for Billy. Victoria smiled at Billy and added, "For all of us."
Victor inquired further about Billy's job. Billy said he was with Magruder International and handled mergers and acquisitions. When Victor asked about Billy's current acquisition project, Billy explained that he couldn't discuss it. Nikki told Victor to stop grilling Billy. Billy felt a vibration from his phone, checked it, and read a text message from Amanda. Victoria asked Billy if he'd received a notice about work. Billy insisted that everything was fine before quickly excusing himself to check on the kids. Victor insisted he accompany Billy.
Nikki told Victoria that she hoped Victor would stop grilling Billy. Nikki asked Nick about Chelsea. Nick said he and Chelsea had spent an enjoyable evening together. After Nikki learned that Chelsea was still staying at Adam's with Connor, she asked Nick if Chelsea could live with Adam and still be with Nick. Nick said he felt more hopeful about their relationship than he had in a long time.
After Victor and Billy returned, Victor noted that their family had endured and overcome a turbulent year. Victor praised Victoria for continuing the Newman legacy. Victor acknowledged that Nick had regained custody of his son and had begun New Hope to provide housing for low-income families. Victor's emotions were apparent when he noted that he'd grown up impoverished. Victor took Nikki in his arms and expressed thankfulness that she'd recovered from a serious health crisis. Victor thanked Nikki for having helped him battle the disease he'd been fighting. Victor played "Silent Night" and held Nikki in his arms while they listened to her favorite song.
Nick extends surprising Christmas invitations
Summer approached Theo from behind at Society's bar and expected him to be disappointed that she wasn't Lola. Summer asked if she could join him, and she marveled at them being friends and coworkers after their breakup. He offered to buy her a friendly drink, and she pointed out that he could put it on his expense account if they talked about business. Theo noted that he had a work issue because Kyle was trying to sabotage him. Summer warned that Theo was sabotaging himself by obsessing over Kyle. Theo accused her of taking Kyle's side again, but he thought he knew why she was doing it.
Summer insisted that she wasn't taking Kyle's side, and she advised Theo to focus on his job. Theo retorted that he could say the same thing to her, since she obviously still had a major thing for Kyle. Summer defended that Kyle would never do anything to hurt Jabot. Theo wondered why smart, beautiful women kept falling for Kyle's bull, and Summer guessed that he meant Lola. Summer realized that Theo had been projecting onto her when he'd said she still wanted Kyle because Theo wanted Lola.
Theo accused Summer of trying to blame their breakup on his feelings for Lola when Summer's never-ending love for Kyle had been the issue since day one. Summer proposed that they agree to disagree, and she felt sorry for him because he'd never get Lola. Theo countered that it wasn't a problem because he didn't want Lola, but Summer shot back that Theo wanted Kyle's entire life. Summer recommended that Theo give up on women for a while and concentrate on work, since he'd been given an amazing opportunity.
Summer stressed that Theo needed to put all his energy into his work -- unless the job just wasn't that important to him. She recognized that it was a different gig than he was used to, and maybe corporate life wasn't for him. She thought it might explain the missed meeting, and she urged him to decide whether he was all in. Theo groused that Summer had turned a friendly conversation into a personal attack on him and a request for his resignation. Summer encouraged him to be honest with himself about what he wanted his future to look like. She walked away.
At their apartment, Kyle and Lola put the finishing touches on their Christmas tree decorations. Lola observed that there were no gifts under the tree yet, and she hinted that she wanted some Jabot skincare products. Kyle remarked that they might not be in stock, since holiday sales had been gangbusters. He blasted Theo for trying to take credit for their marketing plan's success, even though it had already been in place when Theo had started at the company. Kyle faced Lola's disapproving gaze and quickly broke into a Christmas carol to lighten the mood.
Kyle opined that they needed a bigger refrigerator with more features. Lola wondered if he was planning to get her a fridge for Christmas, but she thought they should figure out where they were going to live first. Kyle warned that finding a perfect home might take longer than they'd expected, and Lola gushed that she had everything she wanted for Christmas. She admitted that she missed her mom and Arturo, but she saw Christmas in Wisconsin a whole new way because Kyle was her husband and the apartment was their home. Kyle turned on the lights on the tree, and they happily embraced.
Lola wished she could freeze that moment with the tree, their home, and their life. She recalled having nice holidays while growing up, but Christmas had been hard on their family without her dad around. Kyle recounted that his mom hadn't been around most of the time, and she'd eventually been gone. Lola pointed out that he didn't talk about his mom much, and Kyle admitted that he missed his mother because she'd been the one constant in his life. Lola figured that he'd always have his memories and that they could make new ones. She hoped she could be his constant, and he replied that he could be hers. They kissed.
Kyle fawned over a cute Mrs. Claus cookie Lola had made, and he recalled a ridiculous idea Theo had pitched about giving Mrs. Claus a Jabot makeover. Lola questioned why he was talking about Theo again, and she didn't get why Kyle couldn't get Theo out of his head. Kyle hated the real estate that Theo took up in his mind when it should be space that was devoted to her and making her happy. She declared that having milk to wash down the cookies would make her happy, and he got up to get it.
Lola's phone buzzed, and Lola smiled at a photo of Theo posing with a plate of food at Society. Lola started to type a response, but she glanced over at Kyle pouring milk, and she guiltily set the phone down. Meanwhile, Theo seemed dismayed to receive no response. Summer eyed him suspiciously.
At home, Devon observed that Elena was in a good mood, and she whipped out an envelope and announced that Santa Claus had been there early. She revealed that it was her holiday schedule, and although she had to work Christmas Day and night, she also had time off, including New Year's Eve. Devon excitedly prepared to firm up their holiday plans, and he promised that he was going to blow her mind by making her wildest dreams happen.
Devon proclaimed that they were going to London, and Elena exclaimed that it was the single most amazing thing anyone had ever done for her. He remembered her telling him that going to London was on her bucket list. Devon recalled that the way her face had lit up had been one of most beautiful things he'd ever seen, and he'd never forgotten it, so he wanted to take her there. They kissed.
Devon considered the trip to be a chance to hit the reset button after going through a rough patch. He appreciated Elena siding with him about Amanda. Elena empathized that it was his first Christmas without Neil, and she knew how hard it was to navigate the holidays after losing a loved one. Devon insisted on showing how much Elena meant to him, and she asked if the trip was really happening. He promised that it was if she said yes, and they kissed.
Devon showed Elena a hotel he'd found online, and he cautioned that there was no turning back once he pressed the button. She asked if he was sure he was all in, and he vowed to give her a vacation she'd never forget. She wondered what would happen if something went down with Amanda, and Devon imagined that they'd find out about it when they got back. Elena guided his finger over the keyboard, and they pushed the button together.
Nick discovered Phyllis wrapping presents in the Grand Phoenix lobby, and he remarked that she was making herself at home. She stressed that it was her home, and she wouldn't apologize for acting like she owned the place because she did. He asked if she'd seen Chelsea, and Phyllis inquired whether he'd checked Adam's house. Nick prepared to look around the hotel himself, and Phyllis taunted that there were some old guys at the bar who might croak and leave Chelsea millions of dollars. Phyllis apologized for not being able to control herself, and she assured him that Chelsea would be there any minute.
Phyllis wanted to discuss how she and Nick would spend time with Summer over the holidays. Nick pointed out that Summer was an adult who could decide where to spend her time, but Phyllis insisted on claiming Summer for Christmas Day because Daniel and Lucy wouldn't be there, whereas Nick would be with Christian, Faith, and the rest of his family. Nick reasoned that both he and Phyllis had been able to spend time with Summer on her birthday, and he was sure they could find a way to fairly divide up Christmas. Phyllis protested that fairness would go out the window with Victor, who would want his entire family under one roof.
Nick promised to make sure Phyllis got time with Summer. He sensed that something more was going on, and Phyllis recognized that he'd been going through a hard time. Nick objected to her pitying him, but she insisted that she cared about him and had compassion. Nick appreciated Phyllis not being her normal self, and she chalked it up to knowing when to push his buttons and when not to. He teased that she didn't push his buttons as much as she thought she did. She encouraged him to go find the woman he loved.
Nick started to walk away, but he stopped and noted that there was more than one option for the holidays. He suggested that he and Phyllis spend time with Summer together on Christmas, and Phyllis assumed that he meant that they'd spend the holiday with the rest of the Newmans. Nick was adamant that all the drama be left at the door, and Phyllis declared that she was in. They joked about what they were in for, and Chelsea walked in and spied them laughing together.
Chelsea asked if Phyllis had picked up a side job wrapping presents. Phyllis snapped that they were her own personal gifts, and she enjoyed wrapping them. Phyllis offered to wrap some for Chelsea, but she imagined that Chelsea didn't have anyone on her list that year. Nick reminded Phyllis that there was to be no drama, and Phyllis excused herself and told Nick she'd see him on Christmas.
After Phyllis left, Nick said he'd hoped to see Chelsea again after the night they'd shared, but they'd kept missing one another. She wished things could be different, and he inquired about Connor's cold. Chelsea reported that Connor was doing better and that he hadn't had any nightmares for a few days, but she couldn't let herself be overly optimistic. Nick pushed to talk about Christmas, and he hoped they could spend a special day with Connor and Christian. Chelsea squirmed.
Chelsea loved the idea of spending the holidays together, but she hesitantly asked if Adam would be on the guest list. Nick flatly stated no, and she understood why, but she argued that Adam and Connor were close. Chelsea noted that Nick had invited Phyllis, and Nick huffed that Phyllis had never tried to kill his father. "Not yet," Chelsea replied. Chelsea thought it would be a good idea for Connor to see all of them being civil together, and she didn't want her son to worry about his father being alone on Christmas.
Nick was stunned that Chelsea wanted him to invite Adam to the ranch for Christmas. She pleaded that it would only be for a few hours, but he worried that a lot of bad things could happen. She pictured Christian and Connor playing together with their new toys and Christmas magic providing peace on earth for a day. Nick called it a nice fantasy, and Chelsea proposed that they turn it into a reality. Nick reluctantly agreed to invite Adam if it meant the boys could be together and Nick would get to spend Christmas with her.
At Billy and Victoria's house, Jack arrived as Billy finished a business call. Jack was impressed, and Billy commented that it was good to be back in the game. Jack wished Billy was using his powers of persuasion at Jabot, but he was happy for his brother. Billy maintained that it had been time to move on and to say goodbye to the old assumptions and expectations. He added that he felt free to figure out who he was without Jabot.
Jack swore that he wasn't there to lure Billy back to Jabot, since he respected Billy's decision. Jack continued that he was there to talk about Christmas, and he mentioned that he'd left several messages. Billy bemoaned that things had been hectic with his new job and the holiday season, and Jack voiced relief that nothing else had been getting in the way of Billy spending time with his family. Jack assumed that Victor was insisting on a mandatory family appearance on Christmas Eve or Day, and he wondered when Billy, Victoria, and the kids could make it to the Abbott house. Billy revealed that they were skipping both the Newman and Abbott festivities that year to take a trip to Telluride.
Jack was disappointed that he and Billy wouldn't spend Christmas together, but he understood that Billy could use some quiet family time. Billy questioned whether Jack was worried about him, and Jack admitted that he'd been concerned because the past year had been difficult for Billy. Billy insisted that Jack didn't need to swoop in and save or fix him, since Billy was just trying to live his life and avoid other people's opinions about how he should do it. Jack inquired whether Billy was still seeing Dr. Clay. Billy shared that she was out of town because of a family emergency, but he assured Jack that he was talking to someone.
Jack apologized for sounding like a know-it-all older brother. Jack added that he'd miss Billy at Christmas, and they hugged. Jack mused that it sounded like Billy's life was going well, but he reiterated that he was always there if Billy wanted to talk. Jack headed out, and Billy thought to himself that he couldn't tell Jack what was going on because Jack didn't want to hear what was really happening inside Billy's head. Billy knew the truth was that he was a mess.
At Crimson Lights, Chance thanked Paul for meeting him. Paul was glad it was under more pleasant circumstances than a hostage crisis. Chance asked how Christine and Heather were doing, and Paul reported that they were great. Paul was sure that Nina was excited and relieved that Chance wasn't working undercover over the holidays. Chance confirmed that it would be the first Christmas he would spend with his mother in a while, and it was why he wanted to talk to Paul about private investigating.
On the patio, Chance shared that he liked the feeling of working for the greater good, but going undercover could be hard, and it had taken a toll on him and his relationships. He explained that pretending to be someone else had meant his own life had been put on hold, and he wasn't sure the lifestyle was right for him anymore, so he was considering his options. Paul guessed that Chance was thinking about becoming a P.I., and Chance figured that he'd ask Genoa City's best P.I. ever whether he was cut out for it.
Paul cautioned that P.I. work was slower than what Chance was used to. Chance swore that he was willing to slow things down because changing his name, life, and everything about himself had been exhausting, and he just wanted to be himself. Paul questioned whether Chance was ready to put down roots, since he had a history of getting antsy and leaving Genoa City.
Phyllis approached Billy at the coffeehouse counter and asked if the area was for ex-pats of Jabot. She told him about how Abby had fired her from the Grand Phoenix, yet Phyllis had been making her presence known because she was still part owner. Billy gave Phyllis credit for standing her ground and not letting anyone mess with her. Billy admired her for living the life she wanted to live without regard to what other people thought and being in control of her own destiny. She was surprised by the compliment, but she detected a note of envy.
Phyllis joked that if Billy was between jobs, there was a position open at the Grand Phoenix as head of security. Billy informed her that he had a new consulting gig in Chicago, and she thought he could do much better than a long-distance, mid-level position after he'd been CEO of Jabot. She insisted that he was too good to be a consultant, and she urged him to take that as a compliment. He grumbled that she was another person criticizing his choices, and he thought she should understand why he hadn't wanted to continue working at his family company and living up to his family legacy.
Phyllis understood that it was hard not to get squashed under the Abbott name. She reminded Billy that she'd been his biggest supporter through his gambling until the unimaginable had happened. She recognized that they'd both made mistakes, and she didn't want to make him feel bad, because he deserved to have the life he wanted -- as long as he didn't lose any more yachts. He grabbed his coat and thought to himself that the problem was that he didn't know who the real Billy Abbott was anymore.
Meanwhile, Chance thanked Paul for the advice, and Paul assumed that Chance would work in tandem with the police if he pursued a P.I. career. Chance balked at making any commitments, and Paul departed. Phyllis sauntered up to Chance and pressed to know if his conversation with Paul had had anything to do with Las Vegas. Phyllis suggested that Chance put an end to her queries by telling her what had gone on between him and Adam. She warned that the more he shut her out, the more she'd persist.
Billy entered the dive bar, where a card-shuffling patron invited him to join a game. Billy agreed to play one hand, and he sat down at the table. After the hand was finished, the players insisted that Billy stick around, but Billy reiterated that he'd only been in for one hand, and he walked away. Billy told himself that it had been easier than he'd thought.
Chance calls Phyllis' bluff
At Crimson Lights, while Rey and Sharon attempted to hang a Christmas banner, Rey commented that Sharon looked very happy, and he kissed her. Faith arrived and asked for a cup of hot chocolate. Sharon squealed with delight as Faith ran into Sharon's arms. Sharon claimed she would never let Faith go.
Sharon asked what Faith wanted to do. Faith stated she wanted to sleep, visit with friends and family, do major laundry, and eat home-cooked meals -- and she wanted whatever Lola had on the menu at Society. She said she couldn't wait for Christmas dinner. She said she could already taste it. Summer arrived and stated that Faith was stunning. Sharon jokingly claimed that she had no idea what they put in the water at the boarding school. Summer wanted to bottle whatever it was for Jabot, and she hugged Faith.
Summer and Mariah peppered Faith with questions about boarding school and boys. Faith reluctantly mentioned a boy. Mariah and Summer wanted to hear about the boy, and they decided they wanted to be out of Sharon's hearing range. Sharon and Rey smiled as Faith, Summer, and Mariah left for some privacy on the patio.
Faith told her sisters that the boy she liked was super friendly one day, and the next, he acted like she didn't exist. Faith showed them a picture of him. Summer and Mariah agreed that she was a cute nerd, but a nerd in a good way. Faith asked what she should do to make the boy notice her. Mariah said she didn't have as much experience as other people did, and she looked directly at Summer.
Summer admitted that she'd been a little boy crazy in her younger days, but she'd learned to always be herself. She said that Faith should never settle for someone who didn't make her feel like they were incredibly lucky to be with her or that she was treasured and smart. They needed to like her for what was in her heart. Mariah told Faith to be authentic. Summer said that if Faith was ever mistreated, she and Mariah would tear him apart, limb from limb. Summer promised Faith that she and Mariah would always have her back.
Inside, Rey asked Sharon why she'd been so distracted earlier. Sharon said she'd kept checking her phone in case Chelsea or Adam had needed her to go over and help Connor through a crisis. Rey promised he wouldn't judge, but he questioned how much of Sharon's concern was for Connor, who needed her help, and how much was because it was Adam. Sharon explained that Connor being Adam's son factored into it because Adam was dark and unpredictable.
Sharon told Rey that if she could help Connor and keep him from falling into the same place as Adam by giving Connor better coping mechanisms and a better way of looking at the world, then she'd done her job. She said she would never jeopardize what she and Rey had, especially when she'd found a man who accepted her, scars and all. She said she'd heard that love was better the second time around. Rey said he loved second chances, and they kissed.
On the patio, Faith told Summer and Mariah that she had pictures of them and other family members on her wall at school and that she constantly spoke about her sisters. She told them about a boy who had claimed that the best thing was being the only child of divorced parents because he totally cleaned up at Christmas. Faith had informed him that having older siblings was the best gift of all because they were irreplaceable and lasted forever. After a group hug, Faith went inside to be with Sharon.
Faith hugged Sharon and said she'd missed her. She claimed that Sharon's hugs were the best thing around. Rey agreed. Sharon said she had enough hugs to go around, and she hugged Rey and Faith. When Sharon and Faith were alone, Faith claimed she loved boarding school, but the best part was being home again. Sharon hugged Faith again and claimed she was the luckiest mom in the world.
On the patio, Summer confronted Mariah about bringing up her history with guys. Mariah asked how things were at Jabot since Summer and Theo had broken up. Summer claimed that Mariah's overactive imagination had been running wild. It conjured up dark, twisted fantasies about her and Kyle, but there was nothing between them because she'd matured and moved on.
At the Grand Phoenix, Amanda was walking and reading a document when she bumped into a chair and dropped all her papers. While she picked them up, Phyllis arrived with a few pages in her hand. She told Amanda she would help her more, but she was certain Amanda didn't want to be around a lightning rod for fear of getting burned. Amanda stated she owed Phyllis an apology. She claimed she could have handled their meeting with more grace.
Phyllis said she was painfully self-aware, but Amanda's rejection because of her reputation hadn't been ideal. Phyllis said she appreciated Amanda's honesty. While helping Amanda gather her papers, Phyllis noticed a document about an apartment. She asked if Amanda planned on staying in Genoa City. Phyllis suggested that rather than renting an apartment, Amanda should stay at the hotel, since it had all the amenities that Amanda would ever need. Amanda said she would consider it. Phyllis smiled and walked away.
A short time later, Nate arrived and wished Amanda a merry Christmas. Amanda said she was certain she would see him before the big day, but Nate informed her that he could be held hostage at the hospital until the New Year. He'd learned to take advantage of his free time. He brought over a game of backgammon and asked if she played. Amanda hoped he was ready to get his butt kicked.
Amanda stated that she was happy Nate hadn't avoided her after he'd received warnings from Devon and Elena. Nate said they couldn't change people's minds if they refused to listen. He wanted to keep his friendship with Amanda separate from his family. Amanda asked if he was sure she was worth the effort. Nate said that time would tell.
Nate told Amanda that no one wanted to be stuck in the hospital over the holidays. He explained that during that time, the staff decorated the hospital walls and sang carols to entertain the kids, and Santa would stop by. Nate asked if Amanda had any plans for the holidays. Amanda claimed she hadn't thought about it because she wasn't big on all the Christmas party stuff. She explained that she'd found ways to fill her evenings, and she had discovered that Nate wasn't the only friendly resident in Genoa City.
Amanda told Nate that she had run into Phyllis, who was interested in a girls' night out. Nate warned Amanda to be careful because Phyllis had a reputation. Amanda said she was aware of Phyllis' reputation, but she also knew how easily a person could be misjudged. Nate asked if Amanda had met any gentlemen in Genoa City. She stated that she wasn't a hermit, but she didn't reveal that she'd met Billy.
Christine and Lauren arrived at Society. They were excited because they'd finally gotten an opportunity to catch up. Suddenly, Paul and Michael arrived, loudly arguing about their racquetball game. Together, they told the Lauren and Christine that their husbands cheated. Michael and Paul argued over a case Michael wouldn't prosecute. Meanwhile, Lauren quietly spoke to one of the waiters. Moments later, a plate of food arrived. Lauren explained that both men seemed to be "hangry."
Michael and Paul salivated and dug into the food, but suddenly, they were choking because the food was super spicy. Lauren explained that sometimes they needed to heat things up to cool them down. Still trying to catch his breath, Michael asked if that had been Lauren's idea. Lauren stated that they were supposed to spend a lovely afternoon together and to remember what was important in their lives.
Paul and Michael made up. The ladies laughed and informed their husbands that they'd had a back-up plan. Lauren explained that they would go on strike as wives to bring their husbands to their senses. Almost tripping over each other, Michael and Paul couldn't apologize fast enough to each other. They vowed they would never argue again. Talk turned to Fen and how well he'd been doing in rehab. Michael and Lauren said they found it hard to be without Fen for the holidays, but he was where he should be. Michael said Fen couldn't wait to get into the recording studio to do what Fenn believed he'd been born to do.
Christine informed everyone that with Paul's support, she'd had a few ideas about her next project. She said that when she firmed up her idea, they would be the first to know. Paul proposed a toast to their wives for saving the day and to himself and Michael for having great taste in women. Michael added even if their taste buds were permanently singed.
Adam arrived at Society at Chance's request, and he wanted to know what was so important that they had to meet face to face. Chance informed Adam that he would be staying in Genoa City, but he had no intention of making things harder for Adam. Chance was aware that he was a reminder of the things they both wanted to forget. Adam said he couldn't tell Chance what to do, but it was hard to forget what had transpired in Vegas. He said that when people shared a past such as theirs, distance helped. Chance suggested that Adam move if it bothered him that Chance had chosen to stay. Adam claimed his family was there. Chance said his friends and family were there, also.
Phyllis arrived. When she saw Adam and Chance talking, she hid behind the screen to eavesdrop on their conversation. She heard Chance tell Adam he understood that Adam had his hands full with Connor, but he assured Adam he wasn't there to make his life any harder. Chance said that Adam had helped him out of a jam in Vegas, and he would never forget that. Adam stated that they needed to forget what had happened in Vegas. Chance agreed.
Adam told Chance that it might be a good thing to have him in Genoa City because Chance would be the only person who wouldn't try to take him down. Chance asked if there was anyone in particular Adam was worried about. Before Adam could respond, Phyllis accidentally knocked over a dish of candy and stepped out from behind the screen. Chance wanted to know if there was a reason she showed up every time he and Adam had a private conversation. Phyllis claimed it was luck, but Chance said he didn't believe in coincidences.
Phyllis told Chance that at one time, she had been interested in their super-secret boy's club, but she was done with it. She said Chance and Adam appeared inseparable, and she warned Chance to make sure he was flexible enough to pull out the machete that Adam would stick in his back. She said it was only a matter of time before that happened.
Chance told Adam he hoped things turned out well for Connor. Adam said it was good seeing Chance, and he left. Chance was also about to leave, but Phyllis blocked his way. She asked where he was going and if he was going to turn back the hands of time to undo some ungodly wrong. Chance asked Phyllis what had ended the peace and goodwill between her and Adam. He bet it was a really good story.
Phyllis told Chance that Adam had a very dark side, but she was certain Chance already knew that, since he'd spent time with Adam in Vegas and in Genoa City. Chance said he was allowed to have friends. Phyllis claimed she would love to be his friend. She told Chance that he had no idea how far she would go for a friend. She offered to buy him a drink, and they could get to know each other better.
Chance stated that Phyllis was a real piece of work. He knew her well enough to know that she wanted information about Adam's past in order to get her revenge against him. Phyllis said she knew Adam had gotten Chance out of a jam in Vegas, and she wanted Chance to fill in the blanks so she could use it against Adam. Chance said he wouldn't tell her "a damned thing," but Phyllis persisted and asked what kind of jam Chance had gotten into that had required Adam's help.
Chance said he knew why Phyllis was fixated on the events in Vegas -- she was bored because she'd lost her job. She'd been hurt, she'd done some hurting of her own, and she wanted to spread some of that pain around to feel more powerful and better about herself. He reminded her that profiling had been part of his training. He said he wasn't her friend and suggested that she toy with someone else. Phyllis smiled sweetly and said she'd buy him a drink, and they could start afresh. Chance refused because he knew her kind, and he wasn't interested. Chance left. Phyllis picked up the money Chance had left on the table as payment for the drinks, and she put it into her purse.
At home, Adam called someone in Vegas and asked if "she" was still receiving payments. He said that silence was expensive, but it was essential.
Phyllis tells Nick about Adam's request
At home, Nick organized presents under the tree, and Summer observed that he seemed to be in the holiday spirit. He rattled off a list of preparations he'd already made, including inviting his brother to Christmas. A stunned Summer protested that it could ruin the entire day, but Nick countered that Adam was Connor's dad. Nick explained that he wanted Chelsea and Connor there for Christian's sake as well as his own, and he requested that Summer suck it up and get over it. He headed out to deliver presents to the residents of New Hope.
Summer called Phyllis and warned that they had a situation, since Nick was all about having an inclusive Christmas. Phyllis confirmed that she was a beneficiary of his generosity, and Summer inquired whether Phyllis was aware that Nick had also invited Adam to the following day's celebration. Phyllis quipped that it wasn't just an olive branch but the whole tree, and Summer shared that she hadn't told Nick about Phyllis' falling-out with Adam. Summer suggested that she make separate plans with each of her parents to avoid having to spend time together. Phyllis flatly replied that she knew what she had to do.
At the Grand Phoenix, Billy mused to Victoria that it was potentially their last moment alone until they got home from their trip, and he amorously stated that they had a few hours before their flight. She fretted about whether she'd forgotten anything, and she rambled about cabin decorations, presents, and ski lessons. Billy noted that she'd thought of everything, and he was sorry that he hadn't been of more help. Victoria reasoned that he had a new job and that she loved to plan and organize. She added that she wanted everything to be perfect, and he muttered that he knew.
Amanda entered the lobby, and she and Billy locked eyes. Amanda approached and introduced herself to Victoria, who recognized her as Nate's lawyer from his medical board hearing. Victoria thanked Amanda for helping to allow Nate to continue practicing in Genoa City, and Amanda thanked Victoria for not commenting on her resemblance to Hilary. Billy referred to how he'd done that, and Victoria asked if they knew one another. Billy claimed that he and Amanda had run into one another around town, and it had been hard not to notice her face.
Phyllis joined Victoria, Billy, and Amanda and invited Amanda to join her for a drink at the bar. Amanda politely hoped Billy and Victoria enjoyed the holidays, and she stepped away. Victoria remarked that Amanda seemed nice. At the bar, Amanda inquired whether Phyllis really wanted to have a drink or if Phyllis had just saved her from small talk. Phyllis groaned that no one should have to suffer through Victoria Newman, and Amanda surmised that the women weren't friends. Phyllis griped that Victoria didn't play well with others, but she preferred not to talk about Victoria.
Phyllis offered Amanda a variety of specialty holiday drinks, but Amanda ordered a scotch. Phyllis requested the same, and Amanda told the bartender to add it to her tab. Amanda mentioned that she hadn't needed to buy any of her own drinks lately, and Phyllis asked who he was. Amanda clarified that she'd meant that she'd been getting out more, and people had been very friendly. Amanda added that she wasn't interested in more than that, since life was complicated enough. Phyllis agreed, though in her case, she'd been responsible for what she'd done to herself. Phyllis suddenly declared that she had something to take care of right away, and she sauntered out.
Meanwhile, Victoria and Billy reflected back on their Christmas Eve weddings. She marveled that they'd just closed their eyes and jumped in, and he commented that they'd done that a lot back then. She clucked that it hadn't always worked out, but he countered that it had always been a thrill. She didn't regret one minute of it, since she wouldn't want to be anywhere else but there, and she loved him more than she had back then. Billy thought about how much they'd changed since they'd first gotten together, and Victoria gushed that it felt like they knew one other better than they ever had. He thought to himself that there was more going on with him than she realized. Victoria fretted about getting home to pack, and Amanda watched them leave.
At home, Billy announced that he'd packed, and the kids were ready to go. Victoria listed various things that he might have forgotten, but he insisted that everything was in the bag. She teased him for saying he hadn't been doing enough, and she informed him that the pilot was ready and waiting. She squealed about how excited she was, and he conceded that he'd realized it was exactly what they needed. His phone pinged, and his expression darkened when he read a text message.
Billy revealed that there was an issue with the deal he'd been consulting on, and the other team's side had a list of new demands. Victoria questioned whether it couldn't wait until after the holidays, and Billy lamented that he'd be out of a gig if he screwed up a multimillion-dollar deal. She suggested that she delay the flight, but he pointed out that Reed was on his way to meet them. Billy insisted that Victoria go as scheduled, and he'd be there in the morning before the kids opened their presents. Victoria whined that she didn't want to spend Christmas without him, and he promised that it wouldn't happen.
Billy expected a mutiny on his and Victoria's hands if she didn't get going with the kids, and he supplied her with gift bags to distract them. She asked who would distract her, and she cooed that she would be counting the minutes until she saw him in Telluride. He responded that he didn't deserve her, and she murmured that he was everything she wanted and needed. Billy silently wondered what would happen if he never became the man she needed. Victoria professed her love, and Billy thought to himself that he loved her and never wanted to lose her.
At Jabot, Summer stepped off the elevator and faced Theo, who was surprised to see her there. She asked what he was doing in the office when it was closed. Theo joked that Summer had caught him with office supplies and laptops in his pocket. She swore that she wasn't accusing him of anything, but she found it weird that he was there on Christmas Eve. He recalled that she'd told him that he had to make his job a priority, but she doubted he was there on everyone's day off to prove how dedicated he was.
Theo confided that Jack and Traci had invited him to spend Christmas Eve with them, but he didn't feel right being at a family celebration when he wasn't really family. Summer argued that he was family, but he admitted that he wasn't feeling much like an Abbott or a Vanderway those days. He reasoned that being productive made him feel less guilty for turning Jack and Traci down, and Summer empathized about needing to escape from family drama. Theo figured that they still had something in common, so they might as well take advantage of it.
Theo pitched an idea for a contest where members of the online community would post photos of themselves with a charitable cause Jabot believed in, and Jabot would help the winners gain more followers by posting pictures of them with the Jabot merchandise they'd won. Summer wanted to roll out the idea right away, but Theo wondered if they should run it by Kyle first. She asserted that it was her job to make marketing decisions, but Theo suspected that she was trying to minimize his contact with Kyle. Theo sourly inquired whether it was her job to ensure Kyle's ego didn't get bruised because Theo was killing it. Summer flatly stated that Theo might be good at social media, but he sucked at reading people.
Summer explained that Kyle had no reason to feel threatened by Theo, since Jack was Kyle's dad, Kyle was co-CEO and heir apparent, and Kyle had a devoted wife. Summer guessed from Theo's reaction that he didn't want to celebrate with the Abbotts because he couldn't stand the thought of watching Kyle and Lola share their first Christmas as husband and wife. Theo quipped that Summer had been hitting the eggnog too hard, but Summer taunted that Theo couldn't go because Lola didn't want him hovering around like a lovesick puppy dog. Theo huffed that Lola would tell him if she had a problem with him hanging out.
Summer found it interesting that Lola was fine with Theo hanging out, even though Lola knew Kyle wouldn't like it. Theo accused Summer of wishing that something was going on between him and Lola because it would open the door for Summer to get back together with Kyle. Summer called the idea ridiculous, and Theo retorted that it was also crazy to think of anything happening between him and Lola. Summer agreed to drop it, but she warned that the truth would get out eventually.
Nick was surprised when Phyllis stopped by his house, and she insisted on telling him something. She applauded him for the lovely idea of having everyone over, but she considered it best for her and Summer to spend time on Christmas alone together instead. Phyllis informed Nick that she hadn't known that he'd invited Adam when she'd accepted the invitation, and Nick figured that it wouldn't be a problem because she and Adam were "good buds." Phyllis admired what Nick was doing for the kids, but she'd "be damned" if she stood around a Christmas tree, singing carols with Adam.
Nick inquired about Phyllis' sudden 180 about Adam, and she complained that Adam didn't know what it meant to be a friend. Nick chalked it up to Adam's complete lack of empathy, and Phyllis spat that people were either useful to Adam or not. Nick offered to "beat the crap" out of Adam, and Phyllis admitted that she'd been stupid to believe that she'd mattered to Adam. Phyllis asked if she and Nick were good about the next day, but he argued that Adam was the one who shouldn't be there, and he hated that she didn't want to be there because of his brother.
Phyllis implored Nick to leave it alone, but he became more concerned because she was holding back. Phyllis assured him that Connor and Chelsea weren't in danger, and only her feelings and pride had been hurt. Nick refused to let her leave until she told him what Adam had done, and she blurted out that Adam had wanted her to seduce Nick to send Chelsea running back into Adam's arms. Nick seethed.
Nick snarled that the "bastard" had gone too far that time. Phyllis thought Nick shouldn't be surprised that Adam was trying to take Chelsea, given that Adam had already tried to take Nick's son. Nick surmised that Adam had asked Phyllis to take advantage of Nick when they were together at Christmas, but Phyllis disclosed that Adam had made the request before Nick had invited her. Nick wondered why she hadn't said anything earlier, and she shared that she hadn't wanted to be the one to blow things up that time.
Phyllis recalled that Nick had told her to "butt out" of his relationship with Chelsea, and she'd done what he'd asked. He called it a cop-out, but she reminded him that she'd warned him that Adam was trying to win Chelsea back. Nick had expected Adam to use Connor to take advantage, but he thought Adam had embarked on a whole new level of sickness. Phyllis contemplated whether Nick would have believed her if she'd gone to him with the information earlier. He remained silent. "Yeah, I thought so," Phyllis grumbled.
Phyllis recognized that she'd given Nick a million reasons not to trust her, but she was trying to be better. Nick acknowledged that he also wasn't perfect, and he thought they'd progressed a long way. He thanked her for telling him what Adam had asked her to do, and Phyllis apologized for not doing it sooner. Nick wondered if he could convince Chelsea to return home to him. Phyllis worried that Nick would get hurt, and he growled that he wasn't the one who would suffer. He intended to use the information as ammunition against Adam, and he swore that Adam wouldn't win that time.
At Adam's penthouse, Chelsea gazed at the mound of presents under the tree and realized that she and Adam hadn't stuck to their plan of not spoiling Connor. Adam said he couldn't help himself, since it was his first Christmas with his son in years. Chelsea understood that Adam wanted to make up for lost time, and she assured him that he'd been doing it every day he was there. She chirped that the cookies would be ready soon, and Adam reported that he had carrots for the reindeer and that Connor was working on a note for Santa.
Adam caught Chelsea staring at him, and he asked if he'd forgotten something. She was amazed that things felt so normal and real, and he replied that it was. Adam wanted to talk to her about a special gift that he wanted to give to Connor that was long overdue -- a trip to Hope's farm. Chelsea considered the idea wonderful, and she asked when they'd go. Adam informed her that he intended to leave the next day, and he wanted her to go with them.
Chelsea reminded Adam that they had plans the next day, but Adam countered that going to Nick's had been her idea. Adam contended that he didn't want to go where he wasn't wanted, and Chelsea stressed that Nick wanted them all to be together. Adam argued that Chelsea had never asked what he and Connor wanted, and he knew his son wanted a special Christmas with his family. Adam planned to give him that, but Chelsea objected to taking Connor away from his home. Adam envisioned waking up and opening their presents in Genoa City on Christmas morning, and he imagined the look on Connor's face when they told him that they would be flying to Kansas to spend a magical Christmas together.
Chelsea sensed that it was an elaborate scheme to avoid spending the holidays with Nick, and she pointed out that Adam had never once mentioned Kansas until she'd made plans with Nick. Adam recalled that they'd been heading to Kansas when everything had gone down at the Grand Phoenix, and it would mean a lot to him to share the special place with his son. Adam thought there was no better day than Christmas to show Connor where his grandmother had lived and his parents had gotten married. Adam anticipated sharing all the love they'd felt there, and he couldn't imagine anything better to share with their son. A timer rang, and Chelsea hurried off to the kitchen.
Chelsea returned from checking on the cookies and recognized how important the trip was to Adam, but she apologetically declined to go. Adam asked if she was afraid of the things she might feel when they went there, since it was the place where they'd started their life together. He guessed that standing in the spot where they'd promised one another everything would be overwhelming for her, since he felt the same way when he thought about the vows they'd exchanged. Chelsea told him to stop, but Adam swore that he'd never forget the way she'd looked at him, like everything he'd loved about her had been there in her eyes. He added that he'd give anything to have her look at him like that again because he still loved her.
Chelsea assumed that Adam was confused, but he insisted that he was seeing things more clearly than he had in a long time. She guessed that he was overwhelmed with emotion and consumed with worry for their son, and the lines had gotten blurred with her living there. He ordered her not to tell him how he felt because he knew exactly how he felt, but the question was whether she felt the same way. Adam figured that Chelsea either wasn't ready to admit it or was just afraid, but the connection between them had always been there.
Adam understood that the bond and emotions might have been buried when Chelsea had thought she'd lost him, but the feelings had never gone away, and he knew she felt it like he did. Chelsea admitted that she felt something for Adam because they shared a history and a son and that they'd always be connected because of Connor, but she loved Nick. Adam surmised that she believed that because Nick was safe and easy, and Nick couldn't break her heart because he didn't have it. Chelsea begged Adam to stop and insisted that he accept that she loved Nick.
Adam plopped down at the table and continued wrapping presents. He considered it obvious that he and Chelsea weren't going to the farm. Chelsea didn't think they should go to Nick's, either, because what Adam had said had changed things. Adam questioned whether she'd be there or at Nick's when her son woke up on Christmas morning.
Fen returns home for Christmas
At the Abbott mansion, Ashley reported that she'd found her favorite chocolates on her pillow, and Traci figured that the elves had been busy. Ashley anticipated that her visit would be great with the kids throwing the holiday parties, since she and Traci just had to show up. Traci pointed out that Ashley had needed to travel across the planet to be there, but she was happy because she'd thought Ashley might never look back after moving to Paris. Ashley swore that she loved her family in spite of the hurt feelings, and she didn't want to lose them. Ashley added that Jack felt the same way, and they knew they had to make it work.
Ashley inquired whether the plan was for Jack to pick up Dina first thing in the morning. Traci bemoaned that it was strange not to have their mother there that night, but Ashley recognized that a restaurant full of strangers would be too much for Dina to handle. Traci lamented that even time at home could be overwhelming for their mom. Ashley mentioned that she'd heard about Jack introducing Theo to Dina, and she imagined that it had meant a lot to Dina. Ashley asked if Theo and Kyle had been getting along at Jabot, and Traci reported that Kyle had been making an effort. Ashley assumed that meant things were still tense.
At home, Billy instructed someone over the phone to let him know when they were ready to sign off on his suggestions. He stressed that it was Christmas Eve, and he should be on a plane to Colorado with his family, so they needed to get the deal done. He hung up in frustration and sent a text message to Amanda to tell her that he had missed his flight and was stuck there overnight. She wrote back that she'd seen the movie, and she advised him to watch out for bad guys trying to break in. Billy jumped when Jack suddenly appeared. Jack explained that the door had been open, so he'd let himself in. Jack insisted that they go to dinner.
Billy surmised that Victoria had called Jack. Jack revealed that the whole family was getting together at Society to celebrate, but Billy thought it would be rude if he was on his phone the whole time. Jack refused to leave Billy at home alone, and he suggested that Billy take his laptop and get some food in him. Billy stated that he couldn't stay long because he had to be on the first flight to Colorado the next day. After Jack left, Billy read a message from Amanda, who invited him to grab something to eat at her favorite Thai place.
Billy left a voicemail for Victoria to let her know that he'd have his deal wrapped up by that night. He thanked her for tipping Jack off about Billy being on his own, and he informed her that he was heading to a family dinner to keep himself out of trouble. He said he missed her and loved her, and he hung up. Billy responded to Amanda to tell her that he had a family thing to attend, but he suggested that they get together to play some cards later.
At Crimson Lights, Michael looked forward to spending some quality time with the Abbotts outside of work. He suggested that after dinner, he and Lauren go home, light a fire, and open presents, but he observed that Lauren seemed down. She shared that what she really wanted was for Fen to be home. Michael pointed out that Fen was doing well in rehab, and his phone rang. He announced that their kid had ESP, and Lauren immediately brightened.
Michael put his phone on speaker and wished Fen a merry Christmas, and Lauren sadly said she missed Fen. Fen thanked his parents for the money they'd sent, since he'd put it to extremely good use. Fen explained that he'd sent them a gift, but there had been a problem with the delivery, so he'd decided to take care of it himself. There was suddenly rapping at the patio door, and Fen appeared. Lauren and Michael rushed over to hug him.
Fen recounted that he'd been released from rehab the week before, and he'd moved into a halfway house in time for Christmas. Fen continued that the holiday gift his parents had sent had more than covered his train ticket home, and Lauren exclaimed that she was so happy, she could cry. Michael confided that they'd worried that Fen's relapse had been more serious than he'd led them to believe. Fen confirmed that it had been bad and that he'd needed to be in rehab, but he was ready to face the world without drugs.
Fen explained that he'd wanted to see his parents in person to apologize and ask for forgiveness, since he knew he'd let them down. Michael insisted that they were proud of Fen for getting help and working hard, and Lauren agreed. She gushed that nothing would ever change their love for Fen, and she thought it was time to celebrate. Michael informed Fen that they were about to have Christmas Eve dinner with some friends, and he invited Fen to join them and surprise some other people. Fen declared that he was up to it, and they headed out.
A sign outside Society indicated that it was closed for a private party. Inside the restaurant, Lola worried that the Abbotts were big on tradition, and she wondered if they were okay with being there. Abby cracked that she was sure they could muddle through the hardship of celebrating at the hottest spot in town, but she fretted that her flower arrangement hadn't arrived. Lola mentioned that a cute busboy was on it, and Kyle entered with the flowers. Kyle and Lola kissed, and Abby grabbed the arrangement to allow Lola to thank him appropriately. The couple kissed again.
Abby asked if Theo would be joining them, since she'd need to add a place setting. Kyle replied that he hadn't heard anything, but he might be the last to know, like when his dad had hired Theo. Lola firmly stated that it had been working out fine, and she relayed that Theo had other plans for the evening. Kyle wondered how Lola knew that, and she informed him that she and Theo had exchanged text messages about their holiday plans. Kyle was peeved that he was just finding that out.
Lola huffed that she hadn't known that she had to show Kyle all her incoming messages. She invited him to read them, and he swore that he hadn't meant to imply that he didn't trust her. Lola urged Kyle to have a bit of sympathy, since Theo was alone on Christmas and felt uncomfortable around his new family -- especially with Kyle's attitude. Kyle conceded that not everyone was as lucky as they were.
Ashley and Traci entered Society and gasped at the gorgeous table. Abby greeted them with hugs and figured that she'd had to create a setting to do Lola's incredible menu justice. Ashley asked Abby how everything was going at the Grand Phoenix. Abby exclaimed that it was on an upswing since she'd unloaded Phyllis, thanks to Chance returning to town to help get evidence to get rid of Phyllis for good. Jack arrived, and Traci proclaimed that they could get the party started. Lola pointed out that they were waiting for Michael and Lauren, and Jack shared that there would be one more, since Billy couldn't join Victoria and the kids until the next day.
Jack added that he'd invited Theo, who had other plans. Kyle volunteered to call Theo and extend a personal invitation, but Jack didn't want to put more pressure on Theo. Lola applauded Kyle for making the effort, and he praised the phenomenal job she and Abby had done with the decorations. He looked around and discovered that there was one thing missing -- mistletoe. Lola playfully suggested that she might have left it in the kitchen, and she dragged him off to help her find it.
Ashley asked Jack whether Billy knew that she'd be there. She theorized that Billy had left Jabot because he'd been against the merger, and she'd barely seen him the last time she'd been there because he'd spent Thanksgiving with the Newmans. Jack insisted that Billy's decision to leave had been about himself and not her or the merger. Ashley inquired about Billy's consulting gig, and Jack considered it to be a stopgap job for Billy to keep busy while he figured out what he was born to do. Ashley hoped Billy found out what that was.
Later, Ashley asked when Lauren intended to check out Jabot's new European headquarters in Paris. Lauren noted that fashion week was approaching, and Fen suggested that he tag along. Michael proposed that they make it a family excursion, and Ashley invited them to stay with her. Privately, Jack told Michael that it was great news about Fen, since he knew how worried Lauren had been. Michael marveled at seeing Fen happy and healthy, and he knew Jack understood as a fellow dad that it meant the world to him.
Kyle approached Fen and joked that they let anyone in that joint. The men hugged, and Fen congratulated Kyle and Lola on getting hitched. Fen remembered how much Lola had wanted to be a head chef, and he was glad he'd get to see her in action. Ashley teased Kyle and Lola for getting lost on their way back from the kitchen, and Lola claimed that she'd needed Kyle's help with the canapes. Lauren ribbed Kyle about the shade of lipstick he was wearing, and everyone laughed.
Billy peered in from outside and paused before entering. He apologized for being late, and Traci explained that Billy was supposed to be in Telluride. Abby reasoned that the important thing was that he'd be there to see Johnny and Katie's faces on Christmas morning. Michael remarked that Billy had played it right, since Christmas Eve was crunch time with a ton of pressure, assembling and wrapping into the wee hours. Lauren fondly recalled trying to put together a bike for Fen one year, and when a pajama-clad Fen had seen the bicycle on Christmas morning, he'd asked if his parents had forgotten to give Santa his milk and cookies. Billy pointed out that with Victoria, everything had been ready days in advance.
Billy asked if Fen was visiting. Fen divulged that he'd just gotten out of rehab, since he'd lost himself out there on tour and hadn't even known it. Billy thoughtfully listened as Fen explained that quitting again had been a struggle, but he was focusing on the things he had to live for. Abby requested that Jack make a toast before they sat down. Jack thanked Abby, Lola, and Kyle for setting up the evening, and he proclaimed that the Abbotts had many reasons to be joyful that holiday. He referred to Abby's success in business, Billy's reunion with Victoria and his kids, Kyle finding an amazing wife, and Traci's mystery novel about to be released.
Jack added that his reconciliation with Ashley meant more than he could express, and he was eternally grateful to the friends and loved ones who served as their incredible support system. Jack recognized that there were a few chairs missing that year, since they'd watched Dina slip further away, and they'd lost Neil in 2019. Jack thought that joy tempered by heartache made that time together all the more precious, and he'd learned one important thing that year -- to say what was in his heart while there was still time. He thanked everyone in the room for their presence in his life, and he toasted to their continued health and happiness. The group jubilantly toasted to having a merry Christmas.
Over the phone, Billy commended a work colleague for a job well done. Meanwhile, Michael was impressed by Kyle's new co-CEO title, and Fen asked what it was like for Kyle to work with his father. Kyle proclaimed that he'd never felt more inspired, and Lauren asked what it was like working with his new cousin. Kyle stammered that Theo had a lot of drive and confidence, and Lauren recalled how she'd had to learn to work with Jill when she'd found out they were sisters.
Kyle feigned being tired, and Lola claimed that it had been a long day, cooking and being on her feet. Traci announced that she had a little surprise for everyone, and she handed out advance copies of her novel with personal inscriptions inside each one. Abby initiated a round of applause for Kyle and Lola as they headed out. Abby remarked about how adorable young love was, and Ashley wondered where Chance was that night. Abby replied that he was visiting Nina in California, and Ashley mused that Abby wanted a guy who got along with his mother. Abby questioned who'd said anything about her wanting Chance, and Ashley noted that Abby smiled every time his name was mentioned. Abby confirmed that they'd gone out and that she liked him, but they were still seeing where things went.
Billy inquired about Kevin and Chloe, and Michael reported that they were spending a quiet holiday at home with Esther and Bella. Michael had faith that they had learned their lesson and would make better choices going forward. Billy pointedly stated that one couldn't always expect a big brother to bail them out. Billy checked his phone and found a message from Amanda, asking him to tell her when he was free. Billy announced that he had to leave to get ready for his flight. The Baldwins prepared to head out, and the group exchanged hugs goodbye. Jack called it a "damn near perfect" evening, and he didn't want it to end. Traci asked what he had in mind.
Outside the restaurant, Fen informed Michael and Lauren that he really had gotten them a present, and he handed Lauren a small box. She found a compass inside. Fen explained that it was a symbol of his journey, since his parents had been there every step of the way to guide and love him without judging or saying a harsh word. He said he couldn't thank them enough for saving his life, and they shared a family hug.
At home, a shirtless Kyle appeared, and Lola exclaimed, "Merry Christmas to me!" He was glad to be alone at last, and she asked if had been rude to rush out of the party. Kyle thought everyone had understood that they were newlyweds who wanted alone time on their first Christmas. They kissed, but Lola insisted on opening gifts first. Kyle was leery after the infamous purse fiasco the year before, but she reasoned that they knew one another better then.
Lola was sure that she would love her gift, but if she didn't, Kyle could sleep on the sofa. He decided to risk it, and he handed over his present. She unwrapped a guide to the world's best restaurants, and she declared it perfect. He prompted her to look inside, and she found a paper airplane that served as a voucher for a trip for two to the destination of her choice. Kyle told her to select anywhere in the book, and they'd eventually go to them all.
Lola excitedly hugged Kyle and presented him with a gift bag. He pulled out a framed photo of the night sky, and she revealed that it had been taken at the Idaho Dark Sky Reserve, which had a great view of the stars -- including theirs. She informed him that she'd booked them a cabin to get a better look, and she realized that they'd both given gifts of romantic trips. Kyle guessed that he wasn't sleeping on the couch, and Lola replied that if he did, he wouldn't be alone. They kissed.
At home, Billy told Katie over the phone that he'd be there first thing in the morning to open presents and have pancakes with tons of whipped cream straight out of the can. He urged her to go to sleep so Santa wouldn't see her awake, and he asked her to put her mom on the phone. Billy told Victoria that dinner had been good and that everyone had sent their love. He claimed that he had to hit the hay before getting up for the flight, and he professed his love. He gazed again at Amanda's message. Later, Billy played cards at home alone as he swigged a beer.
Jack returned to the Abbott mansion with Dina, whose eyes widened at the sight of the tree. Jack explained that he'd wanted her to see it lit up that evening instead of waiting until morning. Dina gasped at the assortment of gifts under the tree, and she wondered if one was for her. Traci informed Dina that they were all for her. Ashley presented Dina with a gift she'd purchased in Paris, and Dina gushed that she loved Paris. Dina added that it was so kind of all of them, and Traci insisted that it wouldn't be Christmas without her.
Jack read from 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, and Dina clapped when he was finished. Traci considered having him narrate the audiobook for her new novel. Ashley praised Jack for the genius move of having Dina join them that night, since it had given them a beautiful memory. Jack wished he'd thought of it sooner, since he would have arranged for carolers. Traci looked thoughtful for a moment before she began crooning "O Come, All Ye Faithful." A beaming Dina stood and joined Traci in singing the song, and Abby, Ashley, and Jack followed suit. They joyously wished one another a merry Christmas.