All My Children Recaps: The week of December 23, 1996 on AMC

Red gave the gift of Christmas miracles to Pine Valley. Brooke wanted to adopt Laura. Trevor allowed Janet to visit with Amanda. Mateo's friend agreed to fly Hayley and Matt back to Pine Valley, but they encountered some harsh weather conditions mid-flight.
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All My Children Recaps: The week of December 23, 1996 on AMC
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the week of December 23, 1996
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December 16, 1996
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December 30, 1996

Monday, December 23, 1996

Mateo and Hayley woke up in their hotel room in Texas and briefly discussed missing out on Liza and Adam's wedding. The conversation then drifted to Mateo's best friend and wacky cohort, Tanner. Matt told Hayley that he and Tanner once took a car apart and then reassembled it in their high school science classroom. Matt also told how his Aussie friend turns on the charm when he meets a girl he finds attractive by using his Australian accent. Apparently Tanner has been in the States long enough to lose his accent. Tanner didn't arrive at the hotel room as planned and Mateo became slightly concerned. A call came through a few minutes later and Tanner gave Mateo and address to meet him at. The address turned out to be the local jail. Tanner was arrested from flying a plane over the town' Christmas celebration and cropping the star off of the Christmas tree with one of the plane's wings. Matt agreed to bail his friend out of jail, but when the sheriff announced a $1000 fine, Hayley had to come to the rescue with the bail money. Hayley said she would pay the money because she'd "do anything for Mateo and since [Tanner is] Mateo's friend, [she] would do anything for [him], too." As Tanner talked to Hayley and told her that Mateo had picked a beautiful fiancée, Tanner's Australian accent returned.

Myrtle looked at Red's wife in astonishment. She said that she felt she was looking into a mirror--and very well she should have felt that way! Red's wife was a dead ringer for Myrt! Red's wife apologized to Myrtle for calling her a "hussy" and blamed Red for her ill temper. She said that she's never seen the world and now that she's left Red, she plans on living life to the fullest. Red stood up and face his wife head on. He told her that she should turn around and walk away. She left him before and he said that the second time should be even easier than the first. Myrt told Red to bite his tongue and told him that she knows he wants his wife back. Red would not budge. Red's wife and Myrt had a few minutes alone. Myrt asked why Red's wife deserted her husband. She asked if it was because he was a "few figs short of a fruitcake." Red's wife shook her head. She said that Red never let her "ride shotgun" in the sleigh, that she has to sort all of his many letters, and that she doesn't even have a first name! She leaned over and told Myrt that of all of Red's helpers, none of the elves are female. Myrt was stunned. She could not believe that this woman bought into Red's delusions. Myrt told Red's wife that Red needs her back. Red finally swallowed his pride and told his wife that he was sorry for taking her for granted. From now on he vowed a fifty-fifty partnership. Red thanked Myrt for getting him back together with his wife, but Myrt said that she was the one who should thank him. She told Red that he made her realize that her life was not as empty as she thought. She has many dear friends who rushed to her side when they thought that Red was trying to swindler her. Red and his wife made their final farewells and walked off into the distance.

Adam leaned over to Liza and asked her how she could possibly go through with the wedding. Liza smiled and told her new husband to put on a happy face before he scares the guests away. Joey told Tad that he had a chance to stop the wedding, but that he was too stubborn to do so. Tad took this as a slap in the face and asked his brother why he suddenly has an interest in Liza's affairs. Jake decided that he did not want to stick around and left the wedding celebration early. Brooke also decided that it was time to leave. She would not answer any of Adam's questions as to why she did not stop the wedding. When Stuart arrived and learned that the wedding had actually taken place, he raced off to find Brooke.
Upstairs, Liza told Adam that she was looking out for his best interests when she decided to go through with the wedding. She said that Adam would have looked like a fool if she turned him down at the altar. She added that WRCW stock has been stagnant since she and Adam announced their plans to get married. She said that backing out on the wedding could make the stock price plummet. Adam demanded that Liza go back downstairs and tell the guests that the wedding was a mistake. Liza refused.

Adam returned downstairs and told the partygoers that the party was over. Skye refused to end the celebration before the bouquet was tossed. When Liza tossed the flowers, Gloria ended up as the lucky catcher. She smiled as she waved the bouquet around and asked Liza "This isn't binding is it?," referring, of course, to the old wives' tale that the woman who catches the bride's bouquet will be the next to wed.

All of the guests filed out leaving Liza a few moments to recall Jake's warning about marrying a man she did not love. Liza's belongings were moved from her condo to the Chandler mansion. She ordered the bags the bags to be taken upstairs to the master bedroom. Adam corrected her instructions and told the delivery men to put them in a guest room. Liza laughed and said that she would be sleeping with Adam in his bedroom because they were now happily married. Adam refused and said that he would sleep in a guest room and to work on plans to dissolved their marriage. To herself Liza asked what would happen when Adam's lawyers took a look at their prenuptial agreement.

Brooke was not surprised to see Stuart show up on her doorstep. Brooke told Stuart that Adam looked stunned when Liza said "I do." Stuart suggested that his brother's shock was due in part to the idea he had that Brooke would stop the wedding. Brooke nodded. She agreed that she led Adam to that conclusion when he showed up at her house and pretended to be Stuart. Stuart was surprised that Brooke knew about Adam's charade. Brooke said that she had to let Adam hang himself and was not going to give him the easy way out by declaring her affection for him. When asked by Stuart if she loved Adam, Brooke gave a definitive "yes." Stuart said he felt sorry for Adam because he has thrown away another chance to finally be happy.

Tuesday, December 24, 1996

Opal, Laura, Myrtle, and Erica gathered at the boarding house to share some Christmas joy. Everyone voiced their unhappiness that Myrt chased after Red and reunited him with his wife. While they were happy that Red was back with his wife and out of Myrtle's life, they still felt that Red was a few presents short of a Merry Christmas. Just as they spoke of Red, the door to the boarding house swung open and Red, donned in his gay Santa apparel, ho-ho-ho-ed in merriment. Erica asked Red why he wasn't back at the North Pole with the pointy eared elves. Red looked Erica in the eye and told her that the elves think her ears are kind of funny looking as well. Red next took on Laura and told her that he was working on giving her her wish for Christmas. Opal, Erica, and Laura went into the kitchen to finish up a batch of cookies. Red gave Myrt a peck on the cheek as she walked under the mistletoe and told her that he still had one surprise in store for her.. As he left, Red told Myrt that he would see her again, "Until we meet again, dear heart." A loud thump on the roof sent the house shaking as bells jingled off into the distance. Erica, Opal, and Laura rushed into the livingroom to see what had happened. They found the pictures had been knocked off center and that Red has disappeared.

Kevin and Janet were the only townspeople in the Insomniac Cafe. Janet had no family to spend the holiday with and Kevin was forced to work. As the two chatted and Kevin poured a free cup of java for Janet, Red entered the coffeehouse. He pulled up a chair and sat with Janet at her table. Janet asked Red if he wasn't going to get in trouble for disappearing from the mall. Red commented that someone apparently had given Janet a special gift. Janet smiled and said that her daughter gave her the present. Red assured Janet that she would be with her daughter soon. Janet shook her head. She said that the sentiment is sweet but that there is no way she will be allowed to be with her daughter. Red said that Janet should believe him, but noted that the last time Janet sat on Santa's lap it was 1967. She wore a blue plaid suit and sat on one of his helper's laps at the mall. Janet looked stunned. Red insisted that he always gave out gifts on an equal basis, but that Janet's mother must have purposely changed the labels to hurt Janet's feelings. Red reached into his bag and presented Janet with an angel. Janet declined the gift, She said that she did not have a tree and could therefore not use the angel. She pushed the angel back towards Red and told him to give it to someone else. Red refused. He told Janet that she should give the angel to someone who needs watching over. Before leaving, Red told Janet that he always has known she has had good intentions. He then wished her a Merry Christmas by calling her by her full name: Janet Green. On the way out the door, Red told Kevin to take the night. Kevin said that he wishes he could, but that his boss had other plans for him. Just as Kevin finished his sentence, the phone rang. His boss told Kevin to close the coffeeshop and go home for the holiday.

Kelsey asked if her father had called, but Ruth said that the phone had been quiet all day. There was, however, a present "as big as the state of Texas" in the livingroom. Kelsey was overjoyed until she learned that the present was from her mother and not her father. Joe commented that he was surprised that Jake did not have his nose buried in medical textbooks. Ruth chimed in that she didn't even see any textbooks laying around. Kelsey came to Jake's aid by telling her grandparents that she had taken Jake's textbooks to do a biology term paper. Ruth gave Kelsey a hug from behind and asked her if she was another Martin with an interest in medicine. Kelsey laughed and said that her interest could more closely be defined as wanting to pass her biology class. When Joe and Ruth left the room, Jake told Kelsey that he owed her one for helping him keep his cover.

At Wildwind, Grace, Belinda, Rosa, Anita, Isabella, Maria, Edmund, Bobby, Sammy, and Dimitri gathered for their holiday. Isabella said she wishes that Mateo and Hayley could have joined them for the celebration, but understood that they had business to take care of. Rosa swooned over Mateo's friend Tanner and wondered if he was still has "gorgeous" as he was when they lived in Texas. When Erica arrived, she found a package on the doorstep. It was addressed to each of the Santos and Keefer family members by name and was marked as being from Santa Claus. Erica opened the package and found a videotape. When they popped the tape in the VCR, they received a wonderful holiday surprise: a taped message from Noah and Julia. The couple told them that they are doing fine and that they miss their family. They wished them all the best and said that they will someday be back in Pine Valley. Noah motioned for Rose to join them onscreen and Rose sang what was Hector's favorite Christmas carol: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

Adam left a rather nasty message on his attorney's answering machine ordering him to call him as soon as possible. Adam was furious that his lawyer was apparently enjoying his Christmas Eve with his family rather than taking care of important business matters. Skye begged her father for a Christmas and was upset when Adam passed her his charge card. Skye said that she did not want presents, she wanted Christmas. As they talked, Liza raced down the stairs and announced that a truck was dumping something in the driveway. They all raced outside and Red's familiar "ho ho ho" echoed through the mansion. Adam returned inside covered in soot. He said that would get even with whoever dumped two tons of coal in his driveway. Skye laughed and told her father that he must have been a very bad boy this year or the truck, from a "Blitzen Industries" would not have left the coal for him. Adam went upstairs to wash up and Skye wandered over to the Christmas tree. She found a mysterious package addressed to Liza. Liza was afraid to open the package, but when she did her fear turned to anger. The gift was a small potted evergreen tree. A note attached to the present told Liza that she should think of Priscilla whenever things get bleak. The note was signed by Jake. Liza erupted. She hollered for Winifred and order the housekeeper to return the present immediately.

Jamie left a note for Santa Claus by the fireplace. Tad then took Jamie for some last minute Christmas surprises. Laura told Brooke that Red had been back at the boarding house making like miserable for Myrtle. Brooke told Laura that she has a present for her, but that it is not the kind she can open. Laura said that Brooke has already given her a place to live and that she needs no more---but if the present is the convertible type with a sunroof she can accept the present. Brooke sat Laura down on the sofa and told her that she would like her to be her real daughter and that she wants to adopt Laura. Laura's jaw dropped as she asked Brooke why. Brooke told Laura that she cannot handle the fact that Laura would be walking out the door on her eighteenth birthday and that she wants to be in things "for the long haul." She told Laura that she wants to be around for Laura's graduation and that she gets knots in her stomach when she knows that Laura is having a math test at school. "I already feel you're my daughter," Brooke said as her eyes welled with tears. She assured Laura that she is not trying to take her biological mother's place. Laura began to sob. She told Brooke that she had wanted to ask Brooke if she'd adopt her, but that she didn't know how to ask and that the news made this the best Christmas ever. She then asked Brooke if she had told Myrtle or Red the news of the adoption. Brooke said that she had only told Phoebe, Tad, and the social worker. Laura said that Red somehow knew that she was going to get her wish to be adopted and felt bad for being so mean to him. She then asked Brooke if it was possible that he could really be Santa Claus. Brooke shrugged her shoulders and said that anything is possible if you believe in it.

Tim and Amanda were upset that they could not find their Christmas angel for the top of the tree. Trevor realized that he threw it away when he came home from the hospital. He said that he was so upset that he was unable to walk that he mistakenly tossed the angel with other belongings. Trevor suggested that they make their own angel for the tree, but Tim said that their angel was a magical angel and that it could not be replaced. Trevor asked his kids to sit down because he had something for them. As they watched on in astonishment, Trevor rose from his wheelchair. Tim and Amanda rushed to their dad's side, jubilant that he could walk again. Trevor sat back down and wheeled himself to his desk where he told a picture of Laurel that he was trying his best to be a good parent. Trevor caught sight of something moving outside the house opened the front door. There stood Janet with the angel that Santa had given her. Trevor nearly passed out and demanded to know how Janet got ahold of their angel. Amanda scampered into the room and begged her daddy to let Janet stay and have some cookies. Janet gave Trevor the angel and he nodded his head, signaling that Janet could stick around for a bit. Amanda offered Janet a few cookies. Trevor looked on as Janet gave her daughter a hug and gently stroked her hair. Outside, Red looked in on the Dillon family and gave a "thumbs up" sign.

When the doorbell rang at the boarding house, Opal teased Myrt that it could be Frosty the Snowman showing up, The visitors turned out to be carnie friends of good ole Myrt's. Their train had broken down and they were going to be put up in a "flea bag motel." But when one of the women realized that they were only a short distance from Pine Valley she said that they could stay at Myrt's boarding house. The group said that a man dressed as Santa Claus picked them up and dropped them off. As everyone celebrated, Myrtle excused herself and walked over to the window. She looked out into the night sky as a few flurries started to fall.

"Anything is possible if you believe in it."

Wednesday, December 25, 1996

Due to the Christmas holiday, All My Children will not be shown today. On behalf of the entire AMC Pages staff, I would like to wish you and your family a safe, happy, and healthy holiday. May your holiday be filled with the love of all of those you hold dear and may 1997 bring you even more joy and happiness than 1996.

Dan Kroll
AMC Pages Administrator

Thursday, December 26, 1996

Mateo and Hayley were on the verge of sharing a romantic moment when room service knocked at the door. Mateo interrupted his pleasure to answer the door even though he knew that neither he nor Hayley had ordered anything from room service. Tanner was at the door with a cart full of gastronomic delights,. He said that he could not decide what to order for his friends so he just ordered everything. As he pushed the food cart into the room, Tanner begged Hayley to give him a second chance to make a goof first impression. Tanner and Matt told Hayley a story of how they stole a rival high school's mascot (an armadillo) when they were younger. Tanner left the room to retrieve some additional food items. When he did, he bumped into someone from the hotel's room service staff who was looking frantically for a food cart he had left in the hallway. Tanner said that he hadn't seen anything and continued on his way.

When Tanner returned, Mateo received a phone call with some distressing news, It seems that while Matt and Hayley were away from Holidays no work had been done. Now they were but a few days from their supposed grand opening and they did not have neon lights for the windows, refrigerators for the alcohol, or a license that would allow them to serve liquor. Mateo raced to the hotel lobby where he was expecting a fax from a business associate. While he was gone, Tanner stared longingly at Hayley. Halo became nervous and asked Tanner if he was trying to use telepathic powers to bend the spoon she was using. An out of breath Mateo returned to the hotel room and announced that he and Hayley would have to fly back to Pine Valley to try to salvage Holidays. Mateo called the airline to make travel arrangements, but the taped message at the airport begged to differ with Matt's plans. Due to inclement weather all flights to the East Coast were postponed. No need to worry, though, Tanner offered to use his plane to fly the couple back home. Hayley refused. She said that they would be crazy to fly in weather that the major airlines deemed dangerous enough to cancel flights. After some prodding by Mateo, Hayley agreed to let Tanner fly them home---as long as he doesn't try any funny business.

Laura tried to carry on a conversation with Brooke, but Brooke had taken a flight on the daydream express. Brooke managed to derail her thoughts long enough to hear Laura tell her that she was heading over to Myrtle's house to help bake some brownies.

At Myrt's, Laura told Myrtle that Brooke had decided to adopt her, but that they might need Myrtle as a "character witness" to help sway the judge's decision to grant custody to Brooke. Myrtle vowed to do whatever it might take. Scott showed up at the boarding house with some earth-shattering news: He was no longer going to go to school. Laura was stunned (so was I!) After the commercial break, Scott clarified that he won a science scholarship and was going to be allowed to skip the remainder of his high school years and enter directly into Pine Valley University. Dontcha just hate when they tweak you like that? Laura assumed that Scott's elevation to the next plateau of education would mean that he no longer wanted to date a high school kid. Au Contraire, Mademoiselle Kirk. Laura told Scott that Brooke had decided to adopt her. Scott was happy for Laura and suggested that they celebrate. Laura offered to treat for some mocha lates, but Scott had bigger plans in mind. He told Laura that he wanted to spend New Year's Eve with Laura.

Laura saw an artifact of Pierce's artwork that had been given to Myrt and Laura go to thinking about Pierce. She asked Myrtle if she could call her friend. I couldn't help but notice a look of annoyance on Scott's face as Laura rambled on and on about Pierce.

Pierce (this time being played by Maxwell Caufield) chatted with Laura for a short time and seemed particularly fascinated with the news that Brooke was going to adopt Laura.

Brooke had her recurring "wedding dream" again, but this time she was awake. As she floated through her mind's secret messages, her doorbell rang. When Brooke opened the door and saw Adam standing outside, she tried her best to muscle the door shut. Adam was a little bit stronger and when Brooke ended her push-and-pull battle, Adam stumbled into the house and nearly landed on his face. Brooke wondered why Liza was not tagging along on the visit. Adam told Brooke that she knew why Liza was not along with him and demanded to know how she could let him down by not stopping his wedding. Adam said that he embarrassed himself in front of the entire town by marrying Liza. Brooke replied that by having her interrupt the wedding ceremony, they both would have looked like fools and that she was teaching Adam a lesson by letting him marry Liza. More than that, Brooke asked why she should even care for Adam. She informed Adam that she is out of his life---permanently! Adam explained his wedding charade to Brooke. He said that Brooke was sucked into the game quite by accident because the trap was originally set for Liza to catch Tad. Brooke told Adam that Stuart wanted the wedding halted but that Adam betrayed his brother by masquerading as him during a visit to Brooke's house. Adam looked Brooke in the eye and told her that he "should be able to love [her] without losing [his] mind." He told Brooke that he loved her and that she loves him. Brooke disagreed. Adam ordered his former wife to look him in the eyes and repeat what she had just said. Brooke did exactly that. She turned and faced Adam and said "I cannot love you. I will not love you." Brooke said that she feels as though Adam treats companies that he plans to liquidate with more respect than he shows for her. One final word of warning. Brooke told Adam that he had better watch his back because Liza sold him out. She said that Liza told her that Adam impersonated Stuart and that she would not have known otherwise. "You've finally met your match," she said with tears in her eyes.

Adam ran home and Brooke tried to take an afternoon nap. Again Brooke's sleep was haunted by her mysterious dream. This time, however, the mystery was finally revealed. The man in her dream was Pierce, not Adam and Brooke did manage to stop the wedding. When she did, she and Pierce shared a passionate kiss.

Winifred called Liza "Mrs. Chandler," but Liza did not respond. Liza said that her new name would take a few days to get used to. Liza wanted to give all of her wedding gifts away, but Winnie said that Lucretia might want some of the items for the kitchen. Stuart arrived and asked Liza if she had seen Adam. When Liza said that she had not seen Adam and that he was not around, Stuart announced that he wanted a few moments alone with her. Stuart told Liza that he knows that she and Adam only got married to make Tad and Brooke jealous. He said that Adam confessed the whole scheme to him. Liza insinuated that Stuart misunderstood what was said. Stuart was offended by Liza's implications that Stuart was "slow" and demanded that Liza not talk down to him. Stuart said that Adam was in the process of changing his ways but that "he'll never reform with [Liza] in the house." Liza tried to lie her way out of things by telling Stuart that she did plan on carrying out her plan with Adam but that she fell in love with him. Stuart wasn't fooled. He told Liza that she was not very nice for trying to con him. When Liza suggested that Adam made her laugh, Stuart said that Liza is only laughing because she has access to Adam's millions. Belinda showed up to discuss some legal wrangling and Stuart hit the road. Liza told Belinda that she feels threatened by Adam's power and wants to know what would happen to her if Adam decided to get rid of her. Belinda asked to see the prenuptial agreement that Liza and Adam signed, but Liza said that she and Adam never made any type of contractual agreement. Actually, she said that she and Adam had a verbal contract where she would be given half of WRCW. That verbal agreement doesn't hold up in court according to what Belinda had said. She called the agreement "compelling" evidence, but said that a judge might not hold the agreement as legally binding even if Adam did announce his plans on national television. Liza was stunned that she could end up with nothing from the marriage. Belinda advised Liza to honor her wedding vows to avoid any trouble and asked why she was not on her honeymoon. Liza assured the lawyer that she and Adam would eventually go on a honeymoon to an island. Belinda smiled and suggested the couple head to Alcatraz.

When Adam returned to Chandler Mansion, his eyes pierced through Liza as he threatened to wrap the proverbial "ball and chain" around her neck!



The Young and the Restless star Marla Adams dies at 85
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