Will rushed home and found Sonny sitting next to Arianna on the couch. When Will realized that Arianna seemed fine, he asked Sonny to tell him what was going on. Sonny explained that he was getting Arianna dressed so he and Will could take her to see Gabi. Will couldn't believe his husband had sent him an urgent text message in the middle of an interview and had deliberately made it seem like there had been some sort of emergency.
Sonny insisted that it was an emergency -- to Arianna, at least. "You said you were gonna take her to see Gabi. You said that's one of the reasons you came home, right? Or -- or was that a lie, too?" Sonny pointedly asked. Will wondered if he and Sonny were really going to get into all of that again. With finality, Sonny told Will that what they were going to do was get Arianna into her snow moose costume and take her to visit Gabi because it had been two months since mother and daughter had last seen each other. "I am your husband, Sonny. Do not talk to me like I am a child," Will snapped.
"Then stop acting like a child," Sonny countered before softening a bit and apologetically admitting that he shouldn't have scared Will into returning home right away. Recalling that he had been worried about the possibility of Arianna forgetting who he was while in Los Angeles, Sonny maintained that he and Will needed to take the girl to see her mother right away, guessing that Gabi was probably harboring the same fear -- and had no way of knowing it wasn't warranted.
Will wondered if Gabi had emailed Sonny about wanting to see Arianna. Sonny clarified that Abigail had actually questioned him about the matter after corresponding with Gabi via email and learning that it had been a while since Arianna's last visit. Will was mildly upset that Abigail had gone behind his back, but Sonny assured him it hadn't been like that at all, explaining that she had simply gone to the club after checking the apartment and finding that no one was home.
Will pointed out that Abigail could have just called him instead. "Maybe she's tired of getting your voicemail, like everyone else," Sonny replied, but he quickly apologized and acknowledged that Will had been busy working on a new article lately -- and that he knew how important that was to Will. Sonny reiterated, however, that taking Arianna to see Gabi was important, too. Conceding the point, Will admitted that he should have taken Arianna to see Gabi sooner.
Rafe went to Statesville Prison to visit Gabi, who was thrilled to see him but a bit disappointed that Arianna wasn't with him. Rafe couldn't believe Will had been back in Salem for days and still hadn't found time to take Arianna to see Gabi. Gabi begged Rafe not to be upset with Will -- or Sonny, for that matter -- because she knew the men were taking really good care of Arianna in addition to leading very busy lives.
"Oh, yeah, yeah -- God forbid a mother seeing her baby gets in the way of a new nightclub," Rafe sarcastically replied. Rafe wanted to call Will and order him to take Arianna to the prison immediately, but Gabi feared that if Rafe did that, Will and Sonny -- who had always been great about regularly taking Arianna to see her before Will had gone to Los Angeles -- might start visiting less often. Gabi told Rafe she hadn't been in prison long enough to forget that the holidays were a busy time for everyone. Gabi added that Will had full custody of their daughter, and she didn't want to give him any reason not to visit with Arianna when he was able to do so.
Rafe promised not to interfere, but he continued to complain about Will's misplaced priorities until Gabi interrupted and stressed that she didn't want to waste the limited amount of time they had together talking about Will. Gabi urged Rafe to tell her how things were going in his life, but she wasn't prepared for him to reveal that Jordan had moved on with Chad, of all people. Gabi hoped Jordan was being careful. Rafe mused that, while he had initially suspected that spending a year with Stefano had changed Chad, he was starting to wonder if the new side of Chad had always been there, just waiting to emerge.
Changing the subject, the siblings reminisced about past Christmases they had spent together, and Rafe gave Gabi a small box of chocolates as a Christmas gift. A guard soon interrupted to announce that Gabi had just received three more visitors -- and that her daughter seemed to get cuter with each visit. Elated, Gabi reminded Rafe that she had told him Will and Sonny would visit with Arianna soon enough. The guard pointed out that Gabi was only allowed a maximum of three visitors at a time, so Rafe happily left so Gabi could spend time with Will, Sonny, and Arianna.
As Gabi held and interacted with Arianna, Will apologized for not visiting with the girl sooner. Gabi assured Will that it was okay, and she observed that Arianna looked wonderfully happy. "Yeah, she's happy to be back from L.A. -- she found all the babies out there to be shallow," Sonny joked. Will informed Gabi that Arianna had done really well on both of their flights. Gabi said she was really grateful for Will and Sonny -- although she had to know which one of them had picked out the reindeer outfit.
Sonny was happy to have confirmation that it was a reindeer outfit, since he hadn't been entirely sure. Will pointed out that Sonny had actually described it as a snow moose outfit. Sonny argued that he had simply used the literal translation of the word "reindeer," but Will countered that it was an English word that required no translation. "Your daddies haven't changed one bit, right? Thank God," Gabi told Arianna as they watched the men banter with each other.
"Hey, you know what I heard? I heard that you're gonna be going to a big Christmas party with all of your daddy's family. Hmm? Where you have your very own ornament with your name on it. You know what that means? It means that you're a real part of the family. And you know who else is getting an ornament with their name on it? Your Daddy Sonny," Gabi informed Arianna as Will and Sonny smiled at each other.
Sonny observed that Arianna was clearly happy to see Gabi. "'Cause she knows how much I love her and miss her. Hey, Arianna -- you know that I think of you every minute of every day? And you're always in my heart. And I can get through this -- being here -- because I know that I'm gonna have these moments with my beautiful little girl," Gabi told Arianna. Sonny and Will confirmed that Gabi would always be able to count on that.
While Chad and Jordan were lying in bed together after having sex, she jokingly protested that he had distracted her from the purpose of her visit to the DiMera mansion, which had been to warn him about Rafe. Chad shrugged off the concern, acknowledging that Rafe was a detective and had simply been doing a job. Chad added that he had done nothing wrong and therefore had no reason to worry about Rafe -- or any other cop, for that matter.
Jordan went to take a shower so Chad could drive her to Club TBD to meet with Abigail, who had sent her a text message earlier to reveal that she had news to share about their charity project. Once Chad was alone in the bedroom, he grabbed his cell phone and placed a call to someone. "Anything new on Hernandez? Well, try harder. I want to know if that bastard's still trying to dig up dirt on me," Chad ordered the person before ending the call.
At Club TBD, Abigail was anxious to tell Jordan about the anonymous donation their charity had just received. Abigail reasoned that hiding the donor's identity from Jordan wouldn't be the same as lying, since the donor really had asked to remain anonymous. Abigail told Ben she thought Clyde had been pretty selfless, since he had made an anonymous donation instead of trying to use it as a way of fostering good will with Jordan.
Later, Ben watched from the bar as Abigail told Jordan about the anonymous donation. Chad joined Ben and, after gauging Jordan's reaction to the announcement, mused that it had apparently been good news. Meanwhile, Jordan told Abigail -- while staring directly at Chad -- that she was extremely grateful to the anonymous donor. Abigail admitted that she had been unable to resist telling Ben about the donation.
Chad exited the club after saying goodbye to Jordan. Outside, he ran into Rafe. Chad said it was good to see Rafe, and while Rafe thought Chad was being sarcastic, Chad insisted he was being sincere. "Look, I -- I owe you a debt of gratitude. See, after you told Jordan that you were coming after me, she came right over to warn me. All right, I mean, I -- you know, I told her it wasn't important, because obviously it isn't important, but she was just so upset that I had to comfort her -- twice," Chad revealed.
"I know that you'd like to goad me into doing something stupid, but I'm gonna leave that to you. And I know your daddy was there to bail you out of your last mistake, but you're so cocky that you're gonna make another one, and -- well, when you do, I'm gonna be there. I'll be right there," Rafe warned before heading inside the club. "Or maybe you won't," Chad muttered with a smirk before walking off in the opposite direction. Meanwhile, inside, Jordan gushed to Ben that the anonymous donor was an angel who had just made it her best Christmas ever.
In Daniel's apartment, Melanie awkwardly admitted that she couldn't really talk to Serena about Nicole, since Daniel and Nicole were friends, and Nicole had recently helped Melanie out with something. Serena wondered if Melanie was saying Nicole was a likable, nice person. "I wouldn't say 'nice'...um, Nicole has this way of screwing things up for herself and everyone around her," Melanie carefully replied, although she acknowledged that people could say the same thing about her.
After receiving a phone call from the pizzeria, Daniel went to pick up the pizzas he had ordered, since the delivery guy was an hour behind schedule. To pass the time, Melanie and Serena told Eric about how they had met each other in Amsterdam at a disastrous party they had coincidentally both attended. Melanie said she and Serena had soon learned they each had ties to Salem, although Serena had failed to mention that she was more than friends with her connection to the town.
Serena and Eric shared an awkward silence before changing the subject, reminiscing about the time they had spent together in Africa. Eric started to feel uncomfortable when Melanie began probing for information about how -- and why -- his relationship with Serena had ended. Serena explained that Eric hated talking about that part of their history because he felt guilty about it, although he had no reason to, since he had been a prince throughout the ordeal. Eric insisted that Serena was the one who deserved praise for how she had handled the experience.
Melanie pointedly mused that it seemed like there were no hard feelings between Eric and Serena -- and since he was no longer a priest, they could conceivably pick up right where they had left off years earlier. Meanwhile, Eric received a text message about a photograph he had recently sold, and he abruptly excused himself so he could check the status of the delivery to make sure it would arrive at the buyer's place in time for Christmas.
As Eric stepped into another room, Serena knowingly informed Melanie that he was really just happy to have an excuse to duck out of the conversation they had been having. Melanie decided to go take care of something for Serena instead of risking the possibility of saying the wrong thing again.
Nicole was trying to convince Derrick to let her into Serena's hotel room when Jennifer arrived and interrupted to greet Nicole. Meanwhile, Derrick received a text message and excused himself so he could head back to the lobby. Jennifer wondered what Nicole was doing at the Salem Inn. Nicole claimed she was visiting a friend, but when Jennifer pressed for more details, Nicole admitted that she had been lying -- she was really there to schmooze with an important network executive who was visiting from out of town, although it seemed like she had just missed him.
Nicole started to excuse herself, but Jennifer stopped her and asked if they could talk for a minute -- about Daniel. Jennifer said she was happy that Daniel and Nicole had renewed their friendship. Jennifer stressed that the dissolution of her relationship with Daniel had not had anything to do with Nicole. Nicole said she was sorry things hadn't worked out between Jennifer and Daniel -- and she was also sorry for what she had done to Jennifer in the past.
Jennifer dismissed the concern, insisting that she planned to begin the new year without any lingering resentment or anger toward things that were in the past, since she had two amazing children, a family, and a future, and she wanted to just move on and enjoy the good stuff in life. After wishing each other a merry Christmas, the women parted ways.
"So, Jennifer -- the good person -- is forgiving and moving on, and Nicole is planning on breaking and entering. Ugh, Walker, what the hell are you doing again?" Nicole muttered after Jennifer left. Meanwhile, Derrick returned and wondered if Nicole still needed help. Nicole claimed she wanted to leave an orchid and a note for a friend she had recently fought with, but she hadn't found the right words to put in the note yet, so she was hoping she could go into her friend's hotel room for a while to work on it. Derrick said he couldn't let Nicole do that, but when she bribed him with a one hundred dollar bill, he quickly changed his mind.
Once inside, Nicole started snooping around Serena's hotel room. Nicole rolled her eyes when she spotted a book titled The Curse of Colonialism in the Congo on Serena's bedside table. "Probably has Fifty Shades of Grey under her mattress. Ugh!" Nicole muttered before setting the book aside.
Nicole found a bunch of files scattered on a dresser, and while most looked boring, the one labeled "Eric Brady" intrigued her because it contained copies of many emails Serena had exchanged with Eric. Nicole decided to use her cell phone to take pictures of the emails so she could read them later -- and hopefully figure out why Serena had felt the need to print them out instead of just saving them online.
Jennifer ran into Daniel in the town square and took the opportunity to invite him to the Horton family's annual Christmas gathering, knowing that Maggie would love having him, Melanie, and Parker there -- and everyone else would undoubtedly love it, too. Jennifer added that she wanted Daniel to feel free to invite a guest along -- such as Nicole. Daniel thanked Jennifer for the offer and admitted that he couldn't wait to tell Melanie and Parker about it, since he was sure they would both be thrilled to spend the holiday with the Horton clan.
In Daniel's apartment, Eric told Serena that Melanie's honesty was refreshing -- among other adjectives. Eric mused that Melanie seemed to believe there was something going on between him and Serena, prompting Serena to wonder if Melanie was right. "Well, you know me -- I'm always the last to know. I told you...I may not be ready for whatever this is, but it could be I have no choice," Eric replied as he leaned in to kiss Serena -- just as Daniel returned with the pizzas.
Nicole had just finished putting the file of emails back where she had found it when Melanie unexpectedly entered Serena's hotel room.
Hope and Aiden were having hot chocolate at the Brady Pub when Doug and Julie arrived -- a couple of days earlier than expected. Before Hope saw her folks, Doug spotted his daughter smooching Aiden and freaked out. "You want to tell me what's going on here?" Doug demanded. Hope jumped up and greeted her dad with a hug and gave Julie a quick embrace. Julie explained that they had returned earlier because they'd thought it would be a nice surprise.
Doug noted with displeasure that he'd gotten his surprise on the plane when Julie had told him that Hope was dating a man named Aiden. Aiden quickly introduced himself, but Doug ignored Aiden's outstretched hand. Julie admitted that she had accidentally broken her promise to Hope to keep the news about Hope's new beau quiet. Hope was stunned and dismayed to learn that her dad already knew about her and Aiden spending Thanksgiving with Maggie and Victor.
Although Hope admonished her father for being rude to Aiden, Doug demanded to speak to Hope privately. To that end, Julie invited Aiden to join her for a drink in the square. After Aiden and Julie had gone, Hope assured her father that she had wanted to tell him about Aiden -- but in person, not on the phone or by email. Doug angrily pointed out her not telling him about Aiden was exactly like her not telling him about Bo years earlier.
Hope reminded her father that she wasn't a teenager anymore -- and things had turned out really well with Bo for a long time. She asked Doug how much longer he thought she should wait for Bo to return. "Filing for divorce was one of the most difficult decisions I have ever had to make in my entire life. I am done. He deserted me," Hope declared, her eyes glistening with tears. Doug admitted that he hated what Bo -- whom Doug had grown to love and respect -- had done to Hope, but Doug was very worried that his daughter didn't know enough about Aiden and that she'd end up getting hurt.
Hope implored her dad to let her tell him about Aiden, but Doug believed that Hope had kept Aiden a secret because she had doubts about him. Doug refused to listen to anything her daughter said about Aiden, asserting that it was "too little, too late."
After Aiden and Julie got to Horton Square and ordered some wine, Aiden acknowledged that it had to have been hard for Julie to keep a secret from her husband. Julie was glad that Aiden understood the difficult position Hope had put her in. "Even though you and I got off to a rocky start, I do appreciate having you on our side," Aiden admitted -- but Julie returned his genial smile with a glare. She pointed out that she did not know Aiden at all, and he a long way to go before he earned her trust.
Daniel returned to his apartment with a couple of pizzas just as Eric and Serena were about to kiss. Daniel asked why Melanie wasn't there. Serena explained that Melanie had gone to Serena's hotel room to retrieve something Serena had forgotten but would return shortly. Daniel was a little dubious, but Serena suggested that Melanie could fill her dad in on the whole story later.
In Serena's hotel room, Nicole finished snapping pictures of Serena's emails to and from Eric and was heading out the door -- just as Melanie arrived. "What the hell are you doing here?" Melanie demanded. She guessed that Nicole had broken into Serena's hotel room to snoop around, but Nicole insisted that wasn't the case at all. Melanie didn't buy it for a second -- and just then, Daniel called her. Nicole pleaded with Melanie to let her explain before saying anything to Daniel.
To Nicole's relief, Melanie didn't say a word to her dad about finding Nicole in Serena's room. Melanie promised to return to the dinner party as soon as she could get there. When she hung up, Melanie said that she was only giving Nicole a chance to explain because Nicole had helped with the people from the casino. Nicole admitted that she had been curious about Serena, but she'd realized after Eric had caught her researching Serena online that it had seemed a bit underhanded.
Nicole continued that she'd merely wanted to take the orchid to Serena to apologize, and the bellhop was the one who'd let her into Serena's room -- and Nicole could prove it. A few minutes later, Derrick the bellhop arrived at Serena's room and confirmed Nicole's story. After Derrick had gone, Nicole asked Melanie not to tell anyone about finding Nicole in the hotel room. Melanie agreed to keep Nicole's secret -- "for now." Melanie retrieved a box from a cabinet in Serena's room then made Nicole leave the room with her. "I was just starting to like you," a disappointed Melanie said to herself as she watched Nicole depart.
Daniel asked Serena about her and Melanie's time together in Europe. Serena said that she and Melanie had traveled together as much as possible, but she assured Daniel that their adventures had not been "too crazy." Daniel wanted to know if Serena had ever gone with Melanie to the casino in Monte Carlo. Before Serena could reply, Chloe called Daniel so Parker could tell his dad goodnight. Daniel took the call in the other room.
Serena wondered aloud if Daniel had been fishing for information. Eric said that he'd heard Melanie could be "unpredictable," and Daniel didn't like surprises. When Daniel returned, he showed Serena a picture of Parker. "He's adorable!" Serena exclaimed. She admitted that after spending her life without a desire to have children, in the previous couple of years, she'd started to realize that having children might not be a bad idea.
Eric and Serena were gone and Daniel was cleaning up when Melanie returned to the apartment. Melanie tried to hide the box in a chair, but Daniel immediately spotted it and asked if it were what she'd picked up at Serena's. Melanie would only say that it was "kind of a secret." That just fueled Daniel's suspicions, and he demanded to see what was in the box. Melanie somewhat reluctantly handed her dad the box. Inside, Daniel found a beautiful photo album with an engraved plate on the front that said, "The Jonas Family."
Melanie explained that it was Daniel's Christmas present -- and it was supposed to have been a surprise. Daniel reminded her that she'd already had him buy his own gift. Melanie explained that she'd found the album in Berlin, but the engraving had taken so long that she'd asked Serena to deliver it to the States for her. Moved, Daniel said, "This is touching. It really is. Thank you. And I can't tell you how good this makes me feel. I thought you were hiding something, and it was some deep, dark secret."
Melanie pointed out that Daniel wouldn't have anything to open on Christmas, and he already knew which scarf he'd bought for himself. She noticed that he was wearing a scarf and asked if it were the one he had bought. Daniel clarified, "No, this is from Nicole." Melanie casually asked her dad if things were serious with Nicole. Daniel admitted he had no idea -- but he didn't want Melanie to get her hopes up that he would reconcile with Jennifer.
Melanie assured Daniel that she knew it was over with Jennifer. Melanie added that she only wanted her dad to be happy, and Nicole didn't seem like someone who was able to make someone else happy. Daniel didn't really want to discuss it, so Melanie just asked him to be careful.
As Serena and Eric walked toward Horton Square, he admitted that hearing her talk about wanting children had thrown him a little. Serena assured him that it hadn't been a hint. "We're taking it slow, remember?" she reminded Eric. Eric noted that they hadn't discussed her life much since she'd returned, and he guessed that Serena had started to think about settling down. Serena admitted that the idea was evolving, much like her thoughts on having children.
Eric wondered about the timing, especially since Serena hadn't even mentioned having a man in her life. "I guess I never found anyone who measured up to you," Serena confessed. Serena got a text message from her mother, canceling her plans to meet Serena in Montréal for Christmas. Eric invited Serena to spend Christmas with him and his family. Serena tried to decline, but Eric gently insisted. Serena kissed him, perhaps as her way of accepting his invitation.
Nicole went to the park to read the emails that she'd taken pictures of in Serena's room. She pronounced the first several, about things such as the opening of St. Luke's school, quite boring, then she found an email from Serena to Eric that read, "'I am so sorry for what you've been going through. I can't believe someone could be so selfish, so evil, keeping that evidence from you, denying you your rightful role as a priest, lying to you day after day. You are better off without that awful woman in your life." Incredulous, Nicole exclaimed, "Bitch!"
At the hospital in California, Paige entered the office of Dr. Green, her grandfather Shane's doctor, in order to ask him some questions about Shane's illness. Recalling the deal he'd made with Eve to keep the truth from Paige, Dr. Green claimed that he had just been called into emergency surgery. Paige said that she would just wait while the doctor was gone.
At J.J.'s invitation, Kayla met her nephew at Club TBD for coffee. J.J. asked Kayla if she knew anything about Shane's condition, but Kayla said that she had heard nothing about it from Kimberly. J.J. voiced his suspicions that Eve had invented the whole thing as a way to keep him away from Paige by forcing her to move to California. He asked if Kayla would find out what was really going on, so Kayla dialed her sister.
On the phone with Kimberly, Kayla explained that she had heard from one of Paige's friends that Shane was very ill. Kimberly assured Kayla that other than having to keep Shane away from spicy food, he was going to be just fine. Kimberly noted that Eve had to have relayed the news to Paige that Shane was all right, but Kayla said that Paige had said that she and Eve had to stay in California to help out during Shane's illness. Kimberly promised to straighten things out with Eve and Paige as soon as Eve returned from Salem.
The news that Eve had lied did not surprise J.J., although learning that Eve was in Salem seemed to. He asked Kayla to please not tell his mom about their conversation, because it would only fuel Jennifer's hatred of Eve if she found out that Eve had been playing games like that. Kayla left for a pre-surgery consultation at the hospital.
After she hung up with Kayla, Kimberly reflected on her conversation with Eve when Eve had confided that Paige had been upset about a boy back in Salem. "Would Eve really lie to Paige about Shane's condition, just to make... Oh, brother -- of course she would. It's Eve!" Kimberly muttered to herself. She called Paige and asked her to return to the house right away.
When Paige got back to the Donovans', Kimberly asked if Paige had any questions about Shane's illness and admitted that she was a little worried about Paige. "Me? Why? Grandpa Shane's the one who's really sick," Paige noted. Kimberly clarified that there had been a huge misunderstanding. After a phone call from Shane, Paige observed how much her grandfather and Kimberly loved each other. Kimberly admitted that they had experienced a few "bumps on the road" in their relationship. "I've got a hunch my mom was one of those bumps in the road," Paige noted. "A big one," Kimberly acknowledged with a laugh.
Kimberly continued that Eve was trying to make up for past mistakes by staying in California -- but Kimberly assured Paige that it was all right to return to her life in Salem because Shane was going to be just fine. Paige protested that her mom and the doctor had told her that Shane was very ill. Paige guessed that her mom had been lying but wondered why. Kimberly hedged that Eve might simply have done so because she wanted Paige to stay in L.A. with her. "And away from Salem," Paige concluded as the truth dawned on her.
Eve entered her apartment in Salem to pack up her and Paige's things to send to California. Eve was determined to leave Salem behind forever. After she retrieved the settlement papers, Eve looked around and wondered why she would want to ship any of the stuff to L.A. She shoved a few things into a couple of bags, checked her flight time, and headed out the door -- and found a furious J.J. in the hallway.
When J.J. wouldn't let her leave for the airport and mentioned her leaving Paige behind in L.A., Eve emphasized that her father was "extremely sick," and Paige didn't want to leave her grandfather's side. J.J. refused to leave, so Eve promised that they could discuss it after Christmas. "All you know how to do is lie. You're not coming back, and your father's not even sick!" J.J. declared accusingly. When J.J. let it slip that he knew how she'd convinced Paige to stay in L.A., Eve demanded, "How do you know those so-called facts, huh? You and Paige broke up, right? You're not speaking to each other, right? ... Now who is the liar?"
Eve reminded J.J. that he'd promised to stay away from Paige, but then Eve had overheard him in the park, telling Paige to keep their relationship a secret from Eve. "You convinced my daughter to lie to me," Eve hissed, asserting that his actions had proved he wasn't good enough for Paige. "The hell I'm not!" J.J. spat. Eve accused J.J. of being just like his father. That backfired because J.J. argued that his father had been a good guy who'd turned his life around by the time he'd been Eve's age.
"You are the last person who should be judging anyone, because all you've done is lie to Paige, and now she's all torn up about her grandpa -- [she] thinks he's dying!" J.J. shouted. Eve insisted that J.J. had left her no choice but to lie to her daughter. J.J. warned Eve that he wasn't going anywhere because he loved Paige. He tried to order Eve to call Paige to tell her that her grandpa had made an amazing recovery so Paige could return to Salem right away -- otherwise J.J. would tell Paige everything. With a shrug, Eve threatened, "If she hates me, if you tell her the truth, then I might as well just call her and tell her the complete truth -- that we had sex."
J.J. didn't think Eve would really follow through. Eve maintained that her daughter deserved a wonderful life -- something Paige would never have with someone named Deveraux. Eve vowed to do everything in her power to protect Paige from J.J., even if she had to make Paige hate her. Eve asserted that Paige would eventually forgive her but would never forgive J.J. "I think that I've actually talked myself into telling Paige the truth. Yeah, I'm gonna call her and get you out of her life for good," Eve declared, dialing the phone.
J.J. wrestled the phone away from Eve, who snatched it back, asserting that no matter what happened, J.J. had lost Paige. "You bitch! You know what? You're pathetic, ... trying to live some secondhand life through your daughter. No wonder men don't want to be around you," J.J. proclaimed. Eve reminded J.J. that once he hadn't been able to keep his hands off her. She got in his face, taunting him, before finally turning and walking toward the door. J.J. grabbed the bag out of her hand. As Eve fought him for it, they tumbled onto the couch together -- and seconds later, they were tearing each other's clothes off.
In his office, Paige confronted Dr. Green, who had been treating Shane. Paige asked the doctor if he had been truthful with her about Shane's ill health. When the doctor said that the condition could be serious, Paige countered that she was pre-med and worked with Dr. Daniel Jonas. Paige threatened to call Daniel and Kayla for a second opinion. Dr. Green said that he could not share information about a patient. Upset, Paige charged that Shane was not sick at all.
When Paige asked Dr. Green why he had lied, the doctor said that Eve was persuasive. Dr. Green then changed his response and said that he might have looked at the wrong chart previously. The doctor reminded Paige that Shane was healthy and that she should celebrate Shane's good fortune. After the doctor left his office, Paige mumbled aloud how upsetting it was to learn how far her mother would go to keep her apart from J.J.
In Eve's apartment, a feuding Eve and J.J. tore into one another. Caught up in the heat of the moment, Eve and J.J. began to kiss and fell back on to the couch together. With Eve on top of J.J., they began to rip the clothes off of one another. After frantic, angry sex, J.J. pulled on his clothes.
"I can't believe how far you were willing to go to keep me from Paige. What, you didn't think the first time was bad enough? Now you have even more to tell Paige," J.J. said with shame. Fighting tears, Eve said that she did not want to tell Paige. Eve said that she wanted her daughter to have a better life than she did or than she would with J.J.
"What just happened here proved that you're not good enough for my daughter," Eve growled. "Yeah, but I was good enough for you," J.J. countered. "I have nothing left. Nothing left to lose," J.J. said sadly. As J.J. turned to leave, Eve asked him if he was going to tell Paige what had happened. J.J. said that he did not want to break Paige's heart by telling her what her mother had done. J.J. added that it was bad enough that he would have to break her heart by breaking off the relationship. With a scowl, J.J. said that he would never talk to Eve or Paige again.
"I'm going to take the coward's way out and break it off through text," J.J. said. Eve noticed a picture of Paige that had fallen to the floor. As Eve stared silently at the picture, J.J. warned that Paige would someday learn that Eve was not a good mother or person. J.J. added that Paige would hate Eve as much as he did. After J.J. stormed out, a teary-eyed Eve muttered to herself that no one could hate her more than she did.
In the town square, Aiden and Julie discussed Doug over a glass of wine. Julie was upset that Hope had asked her to keep Aiden a secret from Doug for months. As Julie voiced her dismay, Jennifer and Maggie walked by and overheard the conversation. Julie asked Aiden why Hope had felt the need to keep him a secret, and she posited that there was something wrong with Aiden. Maggie intervened and told Julie that she was wrong.
Maggie explained that she had rushed to judgment about Aiden at first but that Aiden had proven to be a good man. While Maggie recounted the good deeds that Aiden had done, Aiden stood nearby, silent. Maggie added that Aiden made Hope happy. When Julie asked why Doug was so upset by the news, Maggie snapped that Julie had failed to keep her mouth shut. Julie rolled her eyes, and Maggie quickly apologized. Maggie wished Julie a merry Christmas, and the two hugged.
In the Brady Pub, Doug voiced his dismay with Hope over her relationship with Aiden. Hope asked Doug to sit and talk to her over tea. While Hope fetched some tea from the bar, Ciara arrived at the pub and excitedly greeted Doug. After a hug, Ciara asked Doug why he looked "like a grinch."
"I guess I'm still trying to get into the holiday spirit," Doug said. Ciara guessed that Doug was upset about Aiden. When Doug asked Ciara about Aiden, Ciara said that she had not liked Aiden at first but that he had grown on her. Ciara said that Aiden was a nice person. When Doug asked why Ciara had not liked Aiden at first, she responded, "He's not my dad." Ciara added that Aiden had not pretended to be a surrogate dad. Doug was impressed.
"Well that's to his credit. Aside from his being nice and not trying to be your dad, anything else about him that changed your mind?" Doug said. Ciara said that Aiden was fun and made her and Hope laugh. Ciara added that Hope was happier when Aiden was around.
"Isn't that what we all want? For mom to be happy?" Ciara asked. Hope returned to the table with cups of tea. When Hope asked Ciara and Doug what they were talking about, Doug said "second chances." Hope and Doug hugged as Julie, Maggie, Jennifer, and Aiden walked into the pub. Doug beelined for Aiden and asked to speak with him outside. When Hope looked anxiously at the door, a cheerful Ciara said that she had buttered up Doug and that Hope "owed her." Ciara and Maggie went into the kitchen to work on the Christmas cookies.
Alone with Julie, Hope noted that Julie had made Doug feel like "the last to know." "He was the last to know, and how is that my fault?" Julie countered. Hope apologized. Hope reiterated that she had wanted to tell Doug in person and that she was sorry she had asked Julie to lie.
"Clearly, I'm out of practice," Julie joked. Julie told Hope that she loved her and that if Aiden made her happy, Julie would learn to live with him. Julie assured Hope that everything would be fine with Doug.
In the park, Aiden told Doug that he understood why Doug was upset. Doug warned Aiden that he did not understand what it was like to have a daughter. "Hope is always going to be my little girl," Doug said. Aiden smiled. Aiden and Doug agreed that Hope was tough but also vulnerable. Doug was pleased and terrified to hear Aiden acknowledge that Hope was vulnerable. Doug talked about his past and how he had arrived in Salem with an agenda.
"The day Hope was born, I took one look at her, and all I wanted to do was protect her. Protect her from people like me," Doug said. Doug noted that Ciara was a big fan of Aiden. Aiden was surprised. Doug said that Ciara and Hope were good judges of character and that he trusted them. Doug shook Aiden's hand and offered to start over. "I trust you will be the man they think you are," Doug added.
In Sonny and Will's apartment, Lucas stopped by to drop off a present for Arianna before he caught his flight to Los Angeles. Sonny and Adrienne greeted Lucas, and Adrienne joked that Lucas needed to get in line to fuss over their granddaughter. When Lucas asked about Will, Sonny explained that Will was working on a confidential cover story for Sonix. Sonny added that he was busy with the nightclub and was headed out.
Adrienne volunteered to co-babysit Arianna with Lucas. After Sonny left, Lucas mentioned that he was thrilled to spend Christmas with Allie in Los Angeles, but that he would miss his family in Salem. When Lucas asked about Justin, Adrienne said Justin was in Dubai for Christmas. Lucas suggested that Adrienne should fly to Dubai for the holiday, but Adrienne shrugged and said she had more to do in Salem for the holidays.
Overwhelmed, Adrienne started to cry. Adrienne insisted that everything would be fine once Justin's merger was complete. With a smile, Lucas said only a merger would keep Justin away from his wife for so long. The conversation turned to Will and Sonny, and Lucas asked Adrienne if there were any reason for her to worry about Sonny's relationship with Will. Adrienne thought about her conversation with Sonny about Paul, but she shook her head no at Lucas.
Sonny returned home with a bag of presents for Arianna. When Sonny asked about his daughter, Adrienne beamed and noted that Arianna had barely fussed. After Lucas and Adrienne left, Sonny wondered aloud where to find Will. Sonny took a call from the contractor who threatened to report additional building code violations if Sonny did not provide more money. Worried, Sonny promised to get the money by the morning.
At the Salem Inn, Will met with Paul to continue their interview. Paul said that he was doing six hours of physical therapy per day and that he expected to be ready to play in January. When Will moved on to the personal questions, he asked Paul what he would do if he could not play baseball. Paul glowered, and he growled that he would play baseball. Will apologized, and Paul also apologized and explained that he had overreacted. Paul's phone rang.
Paul excused himself and answered the phone call from Sonny. Sonny apologized to Paul for accusing him of playing games. When Sonny asked Paul about his holiday plans, Paul admitted that he would be alone for the holidays. Sonny offered to meet after the holidays. Smiling, Paul said he would like that, and he hung up the phone. When Will asked Paul if everything was all right, Paul said everything was fine.
The conversation turned to Paul's romantic life, and Paul joked about the many women he had dated. Will asked about love, and Paul admitted that he had loved someone once. When Will asked for details, Paul refused to say anything more than "it didn't work out." Will returned to baseball and asked Paul which team he wanted to play for. Paul said he would be happy to play for any team. Will asked to continue the interview after Christmas.
"Think about what you absolutely don't want in the article," Will said. Smiling, Paul promised Will he would never tell Will's editor that he had made that offer. Will laughed. Will said that he and Paul were on the same team and that he wanted to work with him. After Will left, he stared with puzzlement at the door, then left.
Sonny sat in front of his laptop and transferred money to the contractor. Sonny called the contractor and informed him of the transaction then reminded the contractor to make sure the club was ready to open at the start of the new year. After Sonny hung up the phone, Will returned home. While Sonny was turned away, Will pulled his wedding ring out of his pocket and hurriedly placed it on his finger.
In his hotel, Paul thought about when he had given Sonny a Christmas present while they had been dating. Paul had explained that the baseball in the package was the only ball that he had hit out of a major league ballpark. Shaking off the memory, Paul looked around his empty hotel room.
In the town square, Lucas and Adrienne continued to talk about Sonny and Will. When Lucas noted that everything was back to normal, Adrienne shifted uncomfortably and agreed. Lucas raised an eyebrow. Adrienne said that she was worrying too much. Adrienne wished Lucas a merry Christmas, then left for home. Lucas stared after her, concerned.
At the Horton house, J.J. stood outside the window and stared in at his mother asleep on the couch. J.J. started to go inside then collapsed on the porch and cried. After collecting himself, J.J. went into his house. J.J. covered his mother with a blanket, and she stirred awake. Jennifer took J.J.'s hand and sleepily announced that it would be the best Christmas. While Jennifer fell back asleep, J.J. stared at the note he had written for Paige's gift.
"Paige, this is the best Christmas of my life because of you. You make me want to be a better person. I love you. Now and forever," the note read. Wiping tears from his eyes, J.J. grabbed the note and the present and threw them out the window.
In her apartment, Eve wandered around in her robe and cleaned up the mess from when she had tumbled around the room with J.J. The phone rang. Wiping away tears, Eve forced some cheerfulness in her voice as she answered the phone and told Paige that she would return to California in the morning. Paige told Eve not to bother. Scared, Eve asked what she meant. Paige stated that she had booked a flight back to Salem.
"I know what you've done. I know everything," Paige exclaimed. When Paige hung up, Eve stared in terror at the phone.
Paige returned home on Christmas Eve and demanded to know how Eve could have lied to her about Shane's condition. "It's because of J.J., isn't it?" Paige guessed.
Relieved that her other secret was still safe, Eve insisted that she had simply been trying to protect Paige from J.J., who had hurt the girl once before. Paige reluctantly -- and halfheartedly -- assured her mother that it was okay, admitting that she hadn't been completely honest lately, either. Paige revealed that she and J.J. had remained in contact with each other -- and that she was hoping they would get back together soon.
In response to Eve's inquiry, Paige revealed that J.J. had no idea she was back in Salem. Paige was afraid she might have sent J.J. some mixed messages the last time she had talked to him on the phone, so she wanted their next conversation to be a face-to-face one so she could explain why she had acted that way -- and tell him what Eve had done to try to keep them apart.
Eve claimed she felt terrible about what she had done, but Paige wasn't convinced. "You'd do it all over again, because you think you're protecting me, but you're not! ... And, you know, since it's Christmas Eve, I'm not gonna go barge in on J.J.'s family celebration, but tomorrow, my Christmas present to J.J. is gonna be the truth. ... You have to understand -- J.J. and I will be together, and there's nothing that you or anyone else can do to get between us," Paige insisted before storming off to her bedroom.
Eve briefly considered contacting J.J. to warn him that her daughter was back in Salem, but she decided that she couldn't talk to him. "He knows better than to cross me again," Eve quietly reassured herself.
At the Horton house, J.J. greeted Doug and Julie and offered to take their coats. Julie was eager to meet J.J.'s girlfriend, but he sadly informed her that Paige would be staying in Los Angeles for the foreseeable future. Julie and Doug expressed concern for Shane before heading into the living room.
Jennifer and Abigail wondered why J.J. hadn't shared the news with them earlier. "'Cause it doesn't really matter. It's pretty much over between us, anyway. ... I just -- I really don't want to talk about it, okay? Not tonight, and not ever," J.J. replied before walking away.
Later, J.J. called Jennifer back into the foyer to apologize for snapping at her and Abigail earlier. Jennifer assured J.J. that she understood, and she promised to stop pushing him to talk about the matter. Jennifer encouraged J.J. to at least call Paige and wish her a merry Christmas, reasoning that the girl would need a friend during Shane's health crisis. J.J. decided to take a walk so he could give the matter some thought.
Ciara bet Chase five dollars that she could get Hope and Aiden to kiss under the mistletoe before the end of the night. Ciara took Chase into the foyer to show him where the mistletoe had been hung, and they watched as the branch worked its magic on Abigail and Ben, who had just arrived. Ciara and Chase soon returned to the living room to get Doug to read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas to them.
Jennifer told Hope it was great to see her happy with Aiden. Hope recalled that she had been extremely lonely the previous Christmas and had assumed, at that time, that she would never again get to spend the holidays with someone else. Hope admitted that, while things still weren't perfect, being with Aiden felt right, and she was confident that the new year would be amazing for them as well as everyone else she cared about.
Julie was babbling to Ben, Abigail, and Aiden about her travels and her newfound enlightenment, and it seemed like there was no end in sight, so when Chase asked for help getting a glass of punch and Jennifer asked for help in the kitchen, Aiden and Ben happily welcomed the respective distractions. Abigail tried to get away, but Julie stopped her and approvingly observed that Ben was an obvious improvement over the DiMera brothers. Julie promised she would be rooting for Abigail and Ben.
When Aiden escorted Hope into the foyer so they could have a few minutes of privacy, Ciara sprang into action, following with Doug. Aiden and Hope were trying to get hints about their respective Christmas gifts when Doug interrupted to explain that he needed to take their photograph because Julie had put him in charge of that task for the evening. Doug positioned Hope and Aiden directly under the mistletoe, and after he took their picture with his cell phone, Ciara told them to look up. As Aiden and Hope kissed, Doug and Ciara celebrated their accomplishment with a high-five, and Chase grudgingly handed over five dollars to Ciara.
Aiden questioned Chase about the transaction, so the boy admitted that he had made a dumb bet with Ciara. Once they were alone again, Hope asked Aiden if it had been awkward for him to kiss her in front of her father. Aiden confirmed that it had been, but he added that he would happily go through one thousand awkward moments just to give Hope a single kiss. Aiden posed the same question to Hope, and she replied that she had forgotten her father had even been standing in the room.
In the park, J.J. sadly stared at an image of Paige on his cell phone. "I miss you so much. But after what I've done...it's better that we never see each other again," J.J. tearfully muttered.
After ending a Skype session with Sami and the kids, Marlena and Roman shared a laugh about Allie's wish list for Santa, which had included a very specific request for items from Rodeo Drive. Roman was glad Lucas had decided to spend Christmas in Los Angeles, since Sami had gotten pretty lonely after Will and Arianna had left. Marlena agreed but asserted that Will was exactly where he belonged -- back in Salem with Sonny.
In Will and Sonny's apartment, Will was on the phone with Zoe, asking for a deadline extension so he could have more time to try to break down the walls Paul had put up. Meanwhile, outside, Sonny was on the phone with his contractor, insisting that, while he realized it was Christmas Eve, he had sunk every last dime -- and more -- into the new club, and he needed it up and running as soon as possible.
When Sonny ended the call and entered the apartment, Will was just ending his call, too. Sonny greeted Will and wondered if he had managed to get any work done. Will confirmed that he had, although he admitted that the process was taking longer than usual because the subject was a bit hard to pin down. Sonny understood that his husband couldn't say much about the project, so he promised not to ask anything else about it.
Will wondered how things were going at the club. Sonny claimed that everything was going well, and he added that he and Will would be able to spend Christmas Eve with Arianna and their family because T was handling things at the club. "That, um...might not be as simple as you think. ... We have to be at five places with a cranky toddler that has a cold. And my grandmas both expect her to be wearing the outfits that they got her. And then there's your mom and my mom, and the outfits that they got her -- they're not gonna fit next year," Will fretfully summarized.
Sonny suggested that he could spend some time with the Kiriakises while Will and Arianna spent some time with the Bradys, and they could meet up in the middle for Mass, and Arianna could spend the next week modeling her entire winter fashion line. Will wanted to be able to do everything together with Sonny, and Sonny felt the same way, but they both agreed that Sonny's strategy would be the only way they would be able to get everything accomplished without losing their minds. Will wondered when Sonny wanted to meet up to head to Mass together. "I'll text you when the eggnog runs out," Sonny jokingly replied.
Will started to head into Arianna's bedroom, but Sonny stopped him and acknowledged that things had been weird between them since Will's return from Los Angeles. "Yeah. Look, I know -- I never should have lied about getting fired. It's just...I was so ashamed. I -- I understand now that a half-truth is just as bad as a lie," Will replied. Sonny remained silent as he thought about how he had taken money out of his and Will's joint bank account the previous night. "We'll get through this, okay?" Will assured Sonny before going to get Arianna ready.
Eric arrived at Serena's hotel room with a poinsettia in hand, explaining that, while he had wanted to spruce the place up with a Christmas tree, the hotel manager had suggested getting a potted plant instead. "Not that it will compete with that," Eric admitted with a hint of disappointment as he placed the poinsettia next to Serena's orchid.
Eric was surprised to learn that Serena had received the orchid from Nicole. Serena appreciated the gesture but thought it had been an unnecessary one. Serena maintained that she didn't really care about the online search the reporter had done on her, but Eric insisted that he cared. "Your personal life is none of her business -- and neither is mine. I'm moving on, and there's nothing she can do to stop me," Eric added.
At the Brady Pub, Theresa presented her grandmother with a Christmas gift -- a needlepoint bookmark she had personally crafted for use in Caroline's Bible. After a gentle reminder, Caroline remembered that she had taught Theresa the skill years earlier. Theresa joked that her grandmother couldn't tell anyone who had made the item because doing so would ruin the tough-girl reputation she was trying to uphold.
When Theresa went to the coffee station to get some hot chocolate, Kayla followed and revealed that Caroline had taught her how to needlepoint, too. Kayla knew it took considerable effort to craft needlepoint items, and she admitted that she couldn't really understand how Theresa could sometimes do such kind and generous things while other times doing things like working with Anne to try to prevent Melanie from getting rehired at the hospital.
"Why don't you do me and yourself a favor and just try to get along with people?" Kayla gently suggested. Kayla thought Melanie could grow on Theresa if given the chance, but Theresa said she planned to just ignore Melanie, and Kayla seemed to consider that an acceptable plan, too. "As long as she stays the hell away from me...and Brady," Theresa muttered after Kayla walked away.
Meanwhile, Eric and Serena arrived, with Abe, Theo, Marlena, and Roman close behind. Eric introduced Serena to everyone she didn't already know. When Joey offered to show Theo a new set of Legos, Serena asked to accompany them, surprising the boys with her admission that, despite being a girl, she loved Legos. As the boys dragged Serena off to the kitchen, the rest of the group went to greet Caroline.
Theresa excused herself so she could take a walk and call Andrew and her parents. Caroline said she was pleased that Shane was going to be all right, and Theresa agreed. Meanwhile, Will and Arianna arrived, and he soon struck up a conversation with Serena, who raved that she was a big fan of his work. Will admitted that the compliment meant a lot to him, since Serena was a fellow writer. Will approvingly wondered where Eric had been hiding Serena. Serena gave a vague answer but said she felt lucky that she and Eric had crossed paths again.
Later, as everyone filed out of the pub to head to Mass, Kayla took the opportunity to ask Marlena how John was doing. "I don't know. I haven't talked to him since before he left for Europe. ... We've been in limbo for so long, I just -- I don't know, I thought somehow things might be different, but...you know, the longer it goes on like this, the more I think that just might not happen," Marlena sadly admitted.
Daniel and his kids were setting up a nativity scene when someone started knocking on his apartment door. Melanie volunteered to admit the visitor, but when she realized it was Nicole, she quickly stepped into the hallway to have a word with Nicole while Parker had Daniel distracted. Melanie greeted Nicole icily but admitted that she hadn't told Daniel about discovering Nicole in Serena's hotel room because Nicole's story had checked out when Melanie had talked to Serena about it. "Then why am I standing in the hallway?" Nicole asked before sidestepping Melanie and entering the apartment.
Parker greeted Nicole with a hug -- as did Daniel, to Melanie's obvious dismay. Nicole gave Melanie a fruitcake for Christmas, and Melanie gave Nicole a box of four miniature bottles of vodka. After watching the women awkwardly try to be nice to each other for a minute, Daniel announced that it was time to take Parker to see Maggie and Victor.
As Melanie helped Parker put his coat on, Daniel invited Nicole to accompany them to the Kiriakis mansion. Nicole declined, reminding Daniel that they had previously agreed to wait until after the holidays to go public -- and adding that Victor's living room wasn't the ideal place for a first date, anyway. Daniel suggested that Nicole could do him a favor while he was gone, and she happily agreed before even hearing what it was.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Victor surprised Maggie with a special Christmas gift -- a figurine that depicted Santa sitting in a chair, reading a story to a child who was perched on his lap. "Alice gave me this piece years ago to welcome me into the Horton family. Sarah -- when she was a toddler, she knocked it off a shelf, and just -- it shattered to bits. I was sick about it. It was so rare, and they said it was irreplaceable," Maggie recalled.
Victor assured Maggie that very few things in life were irreplaceable, adding that he had almost lost one of those things -- his wife -- the previous year, and he was never going to let that happen again. Maggie wanted to know how Victor had found out about the figurine, so he admitted that her daughters had told him about it.
"It's hard to compete in the gift-giving business around here," Brady jokingly complained as he entered the living room. Maggie and Victor insisted that Brady had already given them the best Christmas gift of all -- the peace of mind that stemmed from knowing Brady was clean and sober. Brady gratefully acknowledged that he couldn't have done it without Victor and Maggie's help.
Meanwhile, Adrienne arrived, and Daniel, Parker, and Melanie weren't far behind. Adrienne was surprised when Sonny showed up alone. Sonny explained that Arianna had a cough and was a bit cranky, so Will had taken the girl to see the Bradys at the pub, and they were going to meet up later to go to Mass together. Adrienne expressed her disappointment, prompting Sonny to jokingly observe that it was clear that Arianna rated higher on Adrienne's list than he did. Adrienne laughed and assured Sonny that she was thrilled to see him -- and that nothing could possibly make her happier.
Brady and Daniel grabbed everyone's attention so they could present Victor with a special Christmas gift. Referencing a gift the Kiriakis men had given Victor two Christmases earlier, Brady explained that when they had tracked down the deed to Victor's father's fishing boat, they had encountered a priest in Nafplio who had remembered that Victor's grandmother had basically been like a mother to everyone in the village, and she had never gone anywhere without her Bible.
"She used to read it to me every day when I was a little boy. I hated every minute of it. It wasn't until she was gone -- or it was gone -- that I appreciated what I really lost. That's the way it usually goes, doesn't it?" Victor wistfully mused. Brady agreed but revealed a gift box as he clarified that the Bible was no longer lost to Victor.
Speechless, Victor could barely manage to ask how Brady and Daniel had managed to find the item. Brady vaguely explained that he and Daniel had done some digging -- with a bit of help from Justin. "This was sold with the family's estate to pay my father's debts. It was impossible to track," Victor incredulously recalled. Brady pointed out that one thing his grandfather had taught him was that nothing was impossible.
Victor recognized his grandmother's handwriting as he flipped through the pages of the Bible. "'Love bears all things,'" Victor read aloud at Sonny's request. Sonny and Adrienne seemed to find the phrase particularly resonant. Meanwhile, Melanie pulled Brady aside and quietly told him that what he and Daniel had done for Victor had been pretty cool. Brady admitted that he owed his grandfather because he had been a pretty lousy grandson that year. Melanie acknowledged that she owed Brady for helping her out, not only with the casino thugs but also with Anne and Theresa.
Later that night, Brady and Melanie coincidentally ran into each other in the park. Theresa passed through the area while Brady and Melanie were huddled together on a bench, conversing and stargazing. Theresa watched with jealousy for a moment before quietly walking away.
When Daniel and Parker returned home, Nicole's miniature bottles of vodka had all been consumed, but she also had a plate of fresh cookies waiting for them. Nicole explained that the store-bought cookies Daniel had asked her to leave out for Santa weren't fit for human consumption. Daniel said he hadn't realized that Nicole could bake. Admitting that Daniel wasn't the only one who was surprised, Nicole jokingly referred to the revelation as a Christmas miracle. Later, Nicole smiled as she watched Daniel and Parker finish setting up the nativity scene, and the boy rushed off to bed to get some sleep so Santa could visit.
Kayla spotted Hope and Aiden kissing in the town square, so after he stepped aside to help his son with something, Kayla approached and asked if Hope was still dating him. Hope confirmed that she was, and before Kayla could say anything else, Hope called out to Abe and Theo and wished them each a merry Christmas. Kayla stared dubiously at Aiden but remained silent as she and most members of the Horton, Brady, and Kiriakis clans gathered to head off to Mass together.
Theresa went to Eve's apartment to deliver a Christmas gift. Theresa wasn't surprised to learn that Paige had figured out that Eve had lied about Shane's condition, since Paige was a smart girl, and Shane had probably gone right back to fighting criminals the moment he had been released from the hospital. Theresa didn't understand why Eve was such a mess, since Paige had already forgiven the deception.
Theresa gave Eve a Christmas gift -- some rare vintage vinyl records -- hoping it might cheer Eve up a bit. Eve appreciated the gesture but didn't have anything to give Theresa. Eve claimed that Theresa's gift was being shipped from Los Angeles, but Theresa wasn't convinced that Eve had bothered to get her a gift, and she assured Eve that it wasn't necessary to pretend otherwise. Theresa stressed that, while it obviously would have been nice if Eve had gotten her a gift, that wasn't why she had gone to see Eve.
Theresa said she was sorry she and Eve were both having a "sucky" Christmas, although she didn't really understand why Eve's Christmas wasn't going well, since Paige was home, and Shane was going to be okay. "Does this have something to do with that jerk, J.J.?" Theresa wondered. Eve confirmed the suspicion, adding that she had done everything she could possibly do to keep J.J. away from Paige.
"Yeah, and everything you've done has failed. ... Do you think that she's with him now, hanging those big, old, ancient ornaments on their ugly Horton tree?" Theresa wondered. Eve admitted that Paige had indeed talked about wanting to see J.J. that day. Theresa suggested that it might be time for Eve to accept that Paige and J.J. were going to be together, whether Eve liked it or not. "I'm not so sure about that," Eve muttered.
Theresa warned that Eve needed to let Paige figure out for herself that J.J. was wrong for her, since Paige would otherwise resent Eve for interfering. Eve observed that Theresa had just reminded her of Kimberly. "I'm just saying...J.J. will do the dirty work for you, okay? And in the end, you and Paige are gonna be just fine," Theresa predicted. Eve hoped Theresa was right.
Changing the subject, Eve wondered if she could do anything to make Theresa's Christmas a bit brighter. "Uh, thanks, but I think I can take care of it on my own," Theresa replied as she thought about how she had seen Brady and Melanie huddled together in the park the previous night.
After doing some grocery shopping for Jennifer, J.J. unexpectedly ran into Paige in the town square. Paige vaguely informed J.J. that her grandfather's health scare had just been a big misunderstanding, and she explained that she had been on her way to the Horton house to surprise him. J.J. recoiled when Paige tried to kiss him, prompting her to wonder what was wrong.
"I -- I'm just really surprised that -- that we're having this conversation right now, because...I -- I thought you were -- you were gone for good, Paige," J.J. admitted. Paige apologized for how her last conversation with J.J. had gone, explaining that she had been confused at that time. Paige assured J.J. that she had made it clear to her mother that nothing could be done to stop them from being together.
Paige removed a gift box from her purse and presented it to J.J. "I can't take that," J.J. insisted. Paige laughed and assured J.J. that it was nothing extravagant, but he maintained that he couldn't accept it. J.J. abruptly excused himself, explaining that his family was waiting for him at home. Paige suggested that she could visit J.J. later that day, but he said he couldn't see her again.
Confused, Paige wondered what J.J. was talking about. J.J. vaguely started to explain that he hadn't expected Paige to return to Salem -- and he didn't have anything for her. Paige assumed J.J. meant he hadn't gotten her a gift, and she once again tried to hand his gift over as she assured him that she understood. "No, Paige, I -- I mean -- we're done. All right? We are done," J.J. insisted before rushing off, ignoring Paige's attempts to stop him and get an explanation out of him.
When Paige returned home, she confirmed that she had seen J.J. for a few minutes, but she declined to provide her mother with details about the meeting, claiming that she simply wanted to go to bed because she had a splitting headache. Alone in the living room, Eve listened to one of her new vinyl records as she stared sadly at a framed photograph of Paige.
In Daniel's apartment, Daniel, Melanie, Maggie, and Victor watched Parker open Christmas gifts. Daniel noticed that Melanie seemed distracted, so he asked if everything was okay. Melanie had been thinking about spending Christmas Eve in the park with Brady, but she claimed that she had just been thinking about how nice it was to be back at home with her family.
Maggie and Victor excused themselves so they could head over to the Horton house. Melanie casually asked if Brady was going to be there. "He better be," Victor replied. After Victor and Maggie left, Daniel wondered if Melanie was trying to avoid Brady for some reason. Melanie denied the suspicion and claimed that she had simply been a bit concerned about Daniel finding out that Anne had tried to deny Melanie's request to return to work at the hospital. Melanie explained that Brady had helped her out, and she admitted that she was lucky to have him in her life. Daniel guessed that Brady probably felt the same way about Melanie.
Kayla ran into Hope at the hospital and took the opportunity to resume the conversation about Aiden they had started the previous night. Kayla started to explain that she had heard some things about Aiden from Lisa, but Hope stopped her and insisted that it was all false gossip. Hope added that, while she appreciated the concern, she was a detective who had good instincts about people, and she had done her homework.
"Are you...looking for a reason not to like Aiden? ... This isn't about Aiden, is it? It's about Bo. It -- it is about Bo, isn't it? Kay, I know this is hard, seeing me move on after Bo," Hope guessed, but Kayla said that wasn't the issue. Kayla explained that, while she was completely supportive of Hope's decision to move on, she was also concerned about Hope. Hope insisted that she was fine -- happy, even -- and she asked Kayla not to mention the subject again, since it was painful for Aiden to talk about his past.
At the DiMera mansion, Chad and Abe watched Theo play with the new electronic device Chad had gotten him for Christmas. After subtly getting Abe's permission, Chad contacted Stefano, who was pleased to be able to talk to Theo and wish him a merry Christmas. Theo excitedly wondered when Stefano would be returning home.
Abe whispered to Chad that he didn't have the heart to tell Theo that Stefano would never return to Salem. Chad wondered if Abe was saying he didn't believe Stefano could beat the tax evasion charges. "You know I never underestimate Stefano DiMera...[but] no, I don't," Abe quietly replied. Chad didn't seem particularly concerned, musing that everyone would just have to learn how to manage without Stefano in that case.
In Will and Sonny's apartment, Will, Marlena, and Kate interacted with Arianna while Sonny talked to Chad, who had called to wish them a merry Christmas -- and to find out if there was any chance they could ring in the new year at the new club. Sonny said that wouldn't be happening, and he revealed that he was aiming for a mid-January opening date. Sonny assured Chad that the development of the new club was going smoothly.
Kate reported that when she had talked to Lucas that morning, he had informed her that he and Sami were taking the kids to Big Bear so they could have a white Christmas. Marlena knew Will missed his mother and siblings, but she stressed that she was really glad he and Arianna were back in Salem. Marlena lovingly stroked Arianna's hair -- and was alarmed to discover that the child seemed to have a fever.
Will contacted the hospital, and a nurse informed him that there was a virus going around -- and that it would be best to keep Arianna home, since she could be contagious. "What?!" Kate exclaimed as she quickly backed away from Arianna. Everyone stared at Kate, who explained that she couldn't afford to get sick because she had a meeting the following week with some very important clients from Japan.
Sonny suggested calling Jennifer to let her know he and Will wouldn't be able to make it to the Horton gathering, but Marlena insisted that such an idea was absolutely out of the question. Marlena looked to Kate for backup, so Kate agreed, reasoning that someone had to make sure Julie remembered to put Lucas and Allie's ornaments on the Horton Christmas tree.
Kate volunteered Marlena to stay behind and watch Arianna, but Will protested that he couldn't ask Marlena to do that. "No, of course you can. What else does she have to do?" Kate matter-of-factly reasoned before excusing herself to answer a call from Billie and Chelsea, who were in London. Will started to apologize for Kate, but Marlena laughed off the remark, knowing that Kate was just being Kate. Marlena assured Will that there was no one she would rather spend Christmas with than Arianna.
At the Horton house, Julie informed Aiden that she had read an article online the previous night that had piqued her curiosity about him. "It revealed a very different side of you...so I'm wondering what else you're not telling us," Julie added as Doug joined her and agreed that he was wondering the same thing.
Aiden said he had no idea what Doug and Julie were talking about, so Julie elaborated that, while searching for information about resorts on the Great Lakes, she had found an article that had featured Aiden prominently -- and hadn't cast him in the most flattering light. Doug clarified that the article had depicted Aiden as a shark who was willing to do anything to win a case. Aiden said that was his job, after all, and he added that if they were talking about the Roxbury case, that particular client had been proven innocent. Doug praised Aiden for taking a difficult stand to defend the truth, and Julie added that it was sometimes good to be a shark.
As Ciara, Chase, and Abigail carried boxes of ornaments downstairs, Ciara warned that Chase would be dead meat if he happened to trip. Abigail started to admonish Ciara for the remark, but Ciara reminded Abigail that the boxes contained their entire family history.
Meanwhile, Maggie and Victor arrived and greeted Jennifer, who assured Maggie that the package Lucas had ordered had arrived on time. Maggie squealed with excitement as Jennifer wished Lucas could be present to see the item. Victor suspiciously wondered what the women were up to, but they remained coy.
Will and Sonny arrived a short time later, and Jennifer and Julie were disappointed to hear that Arianna was sick and wouldn't be able to attend the Christmas party at the hospital. As Jennifer and Abigail were hanging up some of the guests' coats, they wondered why J.J. had not yet returned from running what should have been a fairly quick errand.
Once Hope arrived, Maggie officially started the festivities. "This year, we're gonna start with the newest addition to our family. My nephew, Lucas, made sure that we ordered this the day after his son married the man of his dreams," Maggie informed the group as she warmly regarded Will and Sonny. Jennifer presented Sonny with a gift box and welcomed him to the Horton family, adding that they couldn't be happier to have him with them. Everyone clapped as Sonny removed his personalized ornament from the box, and he and Will hung their ornaments next to each other on the tree, along with Arianna's.
After the ceremony concluded, the group split up, with some going to the hospital party while others stayed behind. Jennifer saw Daniel at the hospital, and they took the opportunity to wish the best for each other in the new year. Maggie had learned earlier that the person she had asked to play Santa had consumed some bad eggnog, so Abe agreed to step in at the last minute, and Theo even dressed as Santa's helper. Abigail read the Christmas story to the hospital's youngest patients.
When Kate returned to the DiMera mansion, Chad was on the phone with Stefano, who reported that he had talked to Kristen earlier -- and that she was doing quite well. Stefano added that he had also enjoyed a lovely Christmas meal with Simone, and they had exchanged gifts. Chad grimaced but stated that he was glad Stefano wasn't alone. "God knows he can always pay for company," Kate quietly muttered.
Stefano asked if he had just heard Kate's voice. Chad ignored Kate's silent objections and handed her the phone. "Ah, my poor Katerina. How sad that you are spending Christmas alone this year, huh? Not a single one of your children in Salem. Hmm," Stefano mused with mock sadness. Kate assured Stefano that she was definitely not alone, prompting him to wonder if she was talking about Billy Bob. "Clyde -- his name is Clyde. Buon Natale, Stefano. Be sure to check your blood sugar, because you might need an extra shot of insulin after overindulging with Simone and figgy pudding," Kate irritably replied before ending the call.
Chad thought Kate had been a bit cruel, but she showed no signs of remorse. Kate started to excuse herself, and Chad incredulously asked if she was headed off to see Clyde. Without answering the question, Kate wondered if Chad was going to see Tammy Sue, and he confirmed that he would later, after Jordan finished working. Kate sarcastically mused that Jordan certainly seemed to know how to have fun.
Kate wondered what Chad's game was, finding it hard to believe he was really interested in "that timid little mouse." Chad protested that Jordan was gorgeous and funny, and he wondered why Kate was convinced he was playing some sort of game with Jordan. "Because I have known the DiMeras longer than you have been one -- far longer, my dear -- and there is always a game," Kate confidently replied before leaving.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Brady received a surprise visit from John, who had wrapped things up in Europe the previous night and booked a red-eye flight to get back to Salem in time for Christmas. Brady was thrilled to see his father. "That email I sent you -- I meant every -- every single word of it. I don't need any more space from you. I'm ready to move on with my life, and that means I want you in it -- all the time," Brady assured John.
John vowed to let Brady lead his own life and make his own decisions in the future. Brady appreciated that but knew he would continue to screw up, so he hoped John would still be there for him when needed. "Always," John promised. Brady thought there was someone else John needed to see -- and he knew just where John could find that person.
Marlena was in Will and Sonny's apartment, trying to entertain Arianna with a puppet show, when she received an unexpected visit from John. Marlena excitedly invited John in, and he explained that Brady had told him where to find her. Marlena wondered if John was just in town for the holiday.
"No, I'm -- I'm -- I'm home for good. Now, I know that we have a lot to talk about, but this time I can promise you that I'm -- I'm gonna stick around. This is -- this is where I belong," John assured Marlena, who couldn't begin to express how happy she was to hear that. John stayed to help Marlena entertain Arianna.
At the Horton house, Hope and Aiden were in the foyer, kissing under the mistletoe again. Will stood next to Julie in front of the Christmas tree, listening as she waxed nostalgic about Nick. "I know he had a lot of issues. I wish to God he'd had the time to work them all out. If only it hadn't been for -- for Gabi," Julie said with a sigh as Will remained silent.
Victor and Sonny observed Will from the other side of the room. "You know, last year, when I thought I was going to lose Maggie, it made me realize what it meant to me to be a part of all this. And I knew that I never wanted to do anything to jeopardize my place in her world again. I'm sure now that Will's back where he belongs, you know exactly what I mean," Victor mused. Sonny remained silent but offered a barely perceptible nod.
Later, the rest of the Horton clan returned from the hospital party, along with some friends. Brady started to talk to Melanie, but the kids dragged him away before he could say much, insisting that they needed him to play a monster in their Christmas game. Nearby, Jennifer told Daniel she wanted him to always feel welcome at the Horton house, since he was part of the family. Kayla eyed Aiden dubiously as he talked to Hope. Melanie went to get a closer look at the Christmas tree -- and spotted Gabi's ornament laying alone in a box, broken.
Maggie asked for everyone's attention, and as she started a speech, J.J. entered the house, plastered a smile on his face, and went to stand next to Jennifer in the living room. "Another year's gone by; another Christmas at the Hortons'. Tom and Alice would be so proud of us for carrying on their traditions of welcoming friends and family, old and new. It's been an exciting year. A lot of changes. A year of love...and loss. But the things that are the most important -- they never change. Faith, hope, family," Maggie began.
"The family tree -- it just keeps growing. It's been a year of forming new connections...and rekindling old ones. No matter the challenges that we faced, we always know there's one thing that's constant -- we're still family. Related by blood or not, near or far, you will always have this house as your safe haven, and the family that Tom and Alice loved so dearly as your own, all the days of your lives," Maggie concluded, and everyone began wishing each other a merry Christmas and mingling again.