Devon and Amanda paused to greet Abby and Chance at Society. Abby told their friends they were having a drink to celebrate the apprehension of those responsible for the explosion that had injured Chance. Amanda said that Chance likely felt more comfortable appearing in public. Chance agreed and expressed relief that the mission had been completed. Abby enticed Devon and Amanda to join them by holding up her phone and promising to show off new photos of Dominic. Devon smiled when he viewed the pictures and requested the images be sent to him. Abby recalled Devon's role in facilitating the livestreamed video during which Chance had first met Dominic. Chance agreed that seeing his son for the first time had been like nothing he'd ever experienced.
Recalling the video diary Abby had recorded during the time Mariah had been pregnant, Devon remembered having mentioned all the things he'd planned to do with the baby after his birth. Chance said he was grateful for the opportunity to enjoy glimpses of what he'd missed. Abby gleefully reminded Chance that he'd be present the first time his son uttered "da-da." Abby's statement appeared to affect Devon, and he averted eye contact with Chance, refraining from adding to the discourse.
After Devon regained his composure, he assured Chance it wouldn't take long to catch up with Dominic. Amanda praised Devon's innate skills as a "baby whisperer." Devon revealed that Dominic usually relaxed when he listened to music, especially jazz songs with prominent drumbeats. While Abby and Devon exchanged tips they'd learned, Amanda noticed that Chance seemed disconnected and distracted. After Chance and Abby left, Amanda noticed that Devon was avoiding discussing his feelings about Dominic.
At Crimson Lights, Nate was eager to hear Elena's decision about whether or not she'd decided to accept his offer to move in together. Partly in jest, Elena warned Nate that she disliked the smell of food cooking in the morning, so instead, she opted to take morning runs. Nate dismissed the concerns, even agreeing to clean out a closet so Elena could organize her clothes as she preferred. Nate confessed that he had a large collection of baseball cards. Elena chuckled, revealing that she already knew about his hobby because she'd peeked inside his disorganized closets. Elena made Nate happy when she accepted his offer to for them to live together.
Nate and Elena greeted Devon and Amanda at Society. Nate announced that he and Elena had decided to move in together. Amanda insisted the couple join them to celebrate with Champagne. Devon said he was happy for Elena and Nate. Elena told Devon that his words meant a lot. The subject changed to Dominic. Devon boasted that Dominic had recently learned how to sit up on his own. Nate asked about Chance's struggle with redefining his career. Devon admitted that Chance was struggling but would eventually figure it out.
At home, Abby told Chance that she hoped he hadn't minded dining with Devon and Amanda, noting that he'd seemed a little quiet. Chance admitted that he'd realized he hadn't spent as much time with Dominic as they all had. Victor interrupted the conversation when he stopped by to express relief that those responsible for the explosion had been captured, so they all could breathe easier. Abby was summoned upstairs when Dominic began crying.
Victor visited with Chance and asked him how he was doing. Chance said he had no complaints because Abby had been taking great care of him. Victor asked Chance about his future plans. Chance said he planned to rejoin the police department. Victor expressed concern that Abby might not be able to handle the risks involved with police work after the ordeal she'd endured. Victor insisted it would be unfair to Abby and to Chance's extended family to put himself in danger.
At the Grand Phoenix, Phyllis chatted over the phone with Summer about the bounty of Christmas gifts she would be shipping to her daughter, son-in-law, and Harrison. Phyllis told Summer that Harrison would be too excited to patiently open all his gifts before becoming distracted. After Phyllis hung up, Nick arrived carrying a wrapped gift. Phyllis asked Nick if he wanted to add the gift to those she was sending to Italy. Nick explained that he'd chosen the gift for Phyllis while they'd still been together.
Phyllis invited Nick to follow her to her suite so he could receive a gift she had for him. Phyllis explained that she'd considered sending the gift to Summer so Summer could give it to her dad. Phyllis became emotional and noted that Nick would know her gift had been chosen by someone who knew him really well. Nick gave Phyllis a gold locket inscribed with "Love always, Nick." Inside the locket were photos of Summer and Nick. Phyllis clutched the locket to her chest and said, "This is something that is only for me, isn't it? This is beautiful. Thank you."
Phyllis gave Nick a bottle of cologne with a label that read "Essence of Nicholas." Phyllis explained that she'd worked with a company to create a customized fragrance made only for him. Nick acknowledged that Phyllis had invested a lot of time and effort in creating the gift and was the only person in his life who would have done something so special. Phyllis became emotional and said, "I hope we never lose this. Our connection. I hope we never lose it. It's hard to find someone who gets you. It's hard to find that special bond with somebody." Nick agreed that the real gifts were friendships made along the way.
Victor entered Adam's office and asked how Adam's meeting with Chelsea had gone. Adam admitted it had been strange being at the penthouse with her, adding that he was thankful Connor hadn't been present to witness the discord. Adam said Connor knew his father had no intention of reconciling with Chelsea, though she seemed more focused on starting the next chapter of her life. Adam seemed relieved that Chelsea had met Sally and accepted a position at Newman Fashion.
Victor asked Adam about the secretly taped videos sent anonymously. Adam replied, "I'm fairly confident I know who it is." Adam said he'd questioned the person he believed was responsible, though the probable suspect had used the terms "plausible deniability." Adam admitted that he believed the sender's interests were in line with Newman Media's. Victor asked if he was expected to trust Adam's judgment simply because he trusted the person supposedly involved.
Adam explained that the most important point was that Billy was unraveling right before their eyes. Victor seemed torn, acknowledging that Billy had been sufficiently punished after being ousted from ChancComm and publicly humiliated. Recalling that Billy constantly ran his mouth off to anyone who would listen that Ashland Locke had committed fraud, despite ChancComm having issued a retraction, Adam said he saw no reason to show Billy mercy. Victor adamantly insisted on being kept in the loop. Adam readily agreed that he would keep Victor apprised.
At Billy and Lily's penthouse, Billy packed up the practice studio, telling Lily she needed no more rehearsals. Lily suggestively replied, "Well, I really loved the wrap party." Billy also suggestively promised that they would have plenty of time to achieve perfection. Sensing Billy was troubled, Lily asked what was wrong. Billy said he planned to discuss "the plan" with Jack, and he requested that Lily stay.
Jack arrived at Billy and Lily's. Jack immediately made it clear that he wouldn't support submitting a bid for ChancComm. Billy explained that he had a different plan that required no investment. Billy added that though Lily supported the plan, she was adamant that he give Jack a heads-up. Billy prefaced his explanation by recalling that Victor and Adam had quite successfully made it appear that he'd intentionally published a made-up, phony article about Ashland Locke. Jack noted that the printed retraction Billy had published seemed to have reinforced Victor and Adam's lie. Lily told Jack that ChancComm had been forced to print a retraction because of Ashland's impending lawsuit. Billy added, "The irony of that is that we are now being sued for reckless disregard for the truth, which is the exact opposite of the actual truth."
Billy told Jack he couldn't let the perception stand if he wished to reclaim his credibility and his dignity. Billy said the goal of the plan was to expose Newman Media as a double-dealing backstabber by tricking Victor and Adam into exposing themselves. Jack said he wasn't clear about what Billy and Lily were proposing. Billy replied, "They don't care what lies or garbage they spew out into the world or the damage that it causes, as long as they get what they want." Jack expressed doubt that Adam and Victor would run a fake story. Billy explained that he planned to orchestrate his own tragic demise by appearing to be swallowed up by despair and addiction.
Billy assured Jack that when the time was right, he would turn the tables and sue Victor and Adam. Jack replied, "What the hell? You're not serious. Please tell me I misunderstood just now. It sounded like you said you're going to fall apart just to mess with the Newmans?" Billy acknowledged he'd be hanging out at some of his old haunts with his old, unsavory friends. Billy confirmed Jack's fear that the plan would make Victor and Adam believe he'd once again taken up with bookies, gamblers, and loan sharks. Lily assured Jack that the plan would prove that Victor and Adam had sought to destroy Billy's reputation. Jack expressed disappointment in Lily, explaining that he thought she was the last best hope in preventing Billy from carrying out such dangerous endeavors.
Jack became agitated after hearing Billy's proposed scheme and said, "Why would you stay in this obsessive need to hurt Victor and Adam? You have other options! We would welcome you back at Jabot with open arms." Jack suggested Billy vindicate himself by starting over, even by joining Lily at Chancellor Industries. Billy disagreed, insisting that the reputation Victor and Adam had saddled him with would stay with him for the rest of his life unless he proved they were the ones devoid of moral standards and driven by greed and vengeance. Jack expressed doubt that Billy could pull it off. Billy said he'd hadn't consulted Jack to seek approval and noted that the plan was already in motion.
Billy told Jack that Lily feared Jack might believe the rumors, so they'd decided to reveal their plans. Jack asked about Jill, Johnny, and Katie. Lily explained that the children would be away at boarding school after the holidays and that Jill would be visiting the Chancellor offices as part of the CEO transfer. Billy said he didn't expect Jack to lie to Ashley and Traci. Jack abruptly stood and said, "I want no part of this." Lily and Billy pleaded for Jack to keep quiet. Billy said that if Jack didn't comply, Billy would never trust his brother with anything ever again. Jack warned Billy that his overconfident tone sounded like a repeat of the roots of his previous downfalls.
After Jack left, Lily asked Billy if he regretted telling his brother about the plan. Billy admitted he was having second thoughts, fearing he might appear to be a completely selfish jerk, adding that it would affect both of their families and Lily's colleagues, as well. Billy assured Lily that nothing was more important than their relationship, not even his reputation or his career. Billy offered to drop the plan if Lily had misgivings. Lily explained that she wouldn't be lying if she insisted to Jill and others that she didn't believe the rumors, adding that she could easily clear things up after everything was resolved. Lily assured Billy that she was behind him, though she would prefer if he dropped his plan and instead joined her at Chancellor. Billy thanked Lily for her love and support. After Lily changed into a sparkling cocktail dress, Billy said it was time to set their plan in motion.
Later, in the hotel lobby, Phyllis told Nick about Summer's plans to set up a video call so they could appreciate everyone's reactions while opening gifts. Nick promised to make time for it. Jack entered and greeted Phyllis and Nick. Nick mentioned the video call and invited Jack to participate. Jack said he'd be delighted. Nick said Phyllis would schedule it. Before Nick walked toward the exit, he thanked Phyllis for his cool gift. Jack later told Phyllis he was glad to see that things were better between her and Nick. Phyllis asked Jack how he was doing. Jack's facial expressions hinted that he was troubled. Nick briefly watched Phyllis and Jack interact before he exited.
Jack told Phyllis that Billy was headed down the wrong road again. Adam entered just as Phyllis mentioned drinking and gambling. Jack cried that Billy was about to make the same series of mistakes. Adam interrupted and claimed it hadn't been his intention to push Billy over the edge. Jack defended Billy and angrily rebuffed Adam's excuses. Phyllis became visibly uncomfortable by the confrontation as Jack accused Adam and Victor of knowing exactly how the trap set for Billy would play out, even knowing it would affect Billy's children.
Phyllis asked Adam why he and Victor had remained loyal to Ashland. Adam explained that they'd put family business first. Jack insisted it was revenge, plain and simple, for the exposť Billy had published about Adam. Adam insisted he didn't owe Jack an explanation for anything. After Adam walked away, Phyllis asked Jack what was going on between Billy and Adam. Jack replied, "Warfare. What else? Constant, endless warfare."
After Amanda and Devon returned home, Amanda said Abby and Chance likely felt relieved knowing that the targets of the investigation had been apprehended. Devon agreed it was one less thing to worry about. Amanda expressed hope that Chance might ease his mind and lessen his guilt about having left his family alone. Amanda asked Devon how she could ease his mind. Devon insisted he was doing well, especially after having seen Dominic. Amanda suggested Devon ask Dominic's parents about spending time alone with their baby. Devon feared he might be putting additional burdens on Chance by overstepping. Amanda replied, "You'll never know unless you ask."
At the penthouse, Chelsea and Connor reminisced as they looked at pictures of times they'd spent together. Chelsea was surprised when Adam stopped by, and Connor excitedly greeted his dad. Adam asked if they'd been having fun, and Connor chirped that they'd been playing games, drinking hot chocolate, and looking at pictures. Adam dropped off some comic books that Connor had left in the car, since the boy needed them to fall asleep. With hope in his voice, Connor asked if his dad could stay for a while, but Adam firmly stated that there were things he had to do. Chelsea added that Connor needed to get to bed.
Connor inquired whether Adam would be there for Christmas, since they always spent Christmas Eve and Day together. Chelsea explained that she and Adam hadn't had a chance to talk about the holidays because she'd just gotten home. Chelsea sent Connor upstairs to get ready for bed, and Adam observed that Connor was happy Chelsea was home. She replied that she was happy to be home with her son, and she thought they should discuss holiday plans. Chelsea assumed that Adam was spending Christmas at the ranch.
Chelsea offered to join Adam for Connor's sake, since all that mattered to the boy was that the three of them be together for Christmas. Adam conceded that spending the holidays with Victor was an acquired taste, and he suggested that he spend Christmas Eve with Chelsea and Connor, leave after Connor went to bed, and return in the morning to open presents before they headed to the ranch. Adam welcomed Chelsea to join them. She appreciated him being so considerate when he didn't have to be. He stressed that while they weren't together, they were still a family and always would be.
Once alone, Chelsea gazed out the window and flashed back to Adam promising that they'd build a life he'd never thought was possible. She sipped a glass of wine and remembered him holding her in his arms and telling her that he'd done something right to deserve a woman as special as her. She forlornly sat down on the couch as she recalled him saying they needed to go their separate ways after she'd tried to send him to prison. A pajama-clad Connor called to her from the stairs, and she asked if he was okay. "Not really," he replied.
Connor whined that he couldn't fall asleep. He explained that he'd thought he'd like being back in his old room and own bed, but it felt different. Chelsea reasoned that he'd been at boarding school and then at the ranch, and it had been awhile since he'd been in his own bed. She figured that he'd gotten bigger, so it made sense that things felt smaller.
Chelsea empathized because it felt strange for her, too, even though she was thrilled to be home. She reiterated that all the changes were just an adjustment. Connor proposed that she stay at the ranch, since there were rooms that weren't even being used. She insisted on staying at the penthouse because it was where she belonged, but she swore that it would soon start to feel like home again for both of them.
At the Newman ranch, Victor thanked Sally for being there. She pointed out that his call had been more of a summons than an invitation, but she was happy to oblige. He informed her that he was aware of the videos of Billy that she'd sent to Adam. Sally feigned ignorance, but Victor warned her not to waste his time by denying it. She admitted that she'd sent the videos, but she didn't see it as a problem. Victor indicated that his son felt the same way, but he demanded to know what her intentions were.
Sally assured Victor that she only wanted to help Adam and Newman Media. She cited what had gone down between Adam and Billy, and she expected Billy to try to retaliate. She reasoned that if the company suffered, her fashion platform suffered, and she was being proactive to keep that from happening. Sally crowed that she'd gathered ammunition against Billy by catching incriminating moments on camera, and she guaranteed there would be more. She added that Billy didn't suspect anything, since he was too interested in where to get his next drink to pay any close attention. She asked if Victor found her answers to be satisfactory.
Victor was impressed that Sally was fighting for the interest of the company, but he warned that matters involving Billy had to be handled carefully. Victor recognized that Billy might be reckless and foolish at times, but he cautioned against underestimating Billy, especially when his back was against the wall. Sally asked if Victor wanted her to stop her surveillance, and he insisted that there was no longer a need for her disguises. She protested that she was really good at it and didn't want to let Adam down. Victor suspected that there was another angle to her actions because she wanted to impress his son.
Sally refused to deny that she was attracted to Adam, but she swore that she wasn't pursuing it because they'd agreed to be nothing more than friends and colleagues. Victor clucked that Adam didn't need any more complications in his life, and Sally pledged not to be one. Victor noted that Sally would be working with Chelsea, but Sally voiced her determination not to get involved in any romantic entanglements because she had other priorities. She continued that Adam had made it clear that he had no time for a relationship, and she didn't intend to do anything that would jeopardize her career.
Victor was relieved to hear it, especially considering what Sally had done to Summer. Sally recognized that she'd justified her actions by telling herself that Summer had a great job in Italy, but she'd realized that what she'd done had been wrong. She figured that she couldn't change the past, but she could do her best to prove she wasn't that person anymore if Victor gave her the opportunity. Victor credited her for designing a wedding dress that had made Victoria very happy and aroused interest in Newman Fashion, and he recommended that Sally concentrate on work and not get distracted by other things. He hoped she would continue to impress him as time went on.
At Society, Billy and Lily sipped drinks and covertly surveyed the room to see if anyone was watching them. Billy anticipated that either Adam or a disguised Sally would show up, but Lily wondered how long they should wait before calling it a night. Billy suggested that they enjoy themselves and have a bite to eat. Lily groaned that they needed someone to be in the right place at the right time to see what they were doing, or they were out of luck. Billy urged her to be patient and hoped that Lady Luck smiled upon them.
Lily teased that Adam and Sally would never get there if Billy kept looking at the door. Billy accepted that the night might have been a bust, but Lily countered that they could have a good time over dinner without an elaborate scheme involved. He suggested they order dessert because he refused to believe luck wasn't on their side after everything Victor and Adam had put them through. Adam walked in, and Lily reported that the eagle had landed. "You ready for showtime?" Billy asked, and Lily confirmed she was. Billy slammed his drink down on the table, and the couple staged an argument as Adam looked on.
Billy ranted that he was tired of Lily complaining, so he was out of there. She objected to him driving, and she pleaded with him to go home with her. He angrily questioned why he should go home and listen to her complain about how it had been his fault that they'd lost ChancComm. Lily recounted that she'd told him he wasn't to blame, but Billy chided her for not being content that she'd ended up the queen of Chancellor. Billy pretended to notice Adam for the first time and confronted him.
Lily intervened, but Billy ordered her to show some compassion instead of telling him to grow up. Billy vowed to make Adam pay, and Adam smugly replied, "You do that." Billy turned to leave and drunkenly tumbled to the floor. Lily raced over to Billy and worriedly asked if he was okay, but he barked not to make a big deal of it. He staggered to his feet and growled that he didn't need her help or pity.
Lily appealed to Billy to talk things out at home, but he refused to leave with her. He opted to go someplace he felt welcome to let off some steam without feeling judged. He walked out over her protests. Adam handed Lily her purse and said he was sorry. She snapped that she didn't want to hear it, but he considered her a saint for putting up with Billy. Lily spat that it was Adam and Victor's fault for deliberately attacking Billy when he'd finally been in a good place. She added that it made her sick, and she stormed out.
Sally joined Adam at Society's bar. He told her about Billy going off on Lily before literally falling on his face. Adam indicated that Billy had seemed fine physically, but there had been major damage to his relationship with Lily. Sally imagined it would make Billy fall deeper into a downward spiral, but she also recognized that some women were attracted to bad boys. Adam implied that it would be a good night to gather evidence of the train wreck Billy's life had become, since Billy had left there alone and on a collision course for trouble.
Sally informed Adam that she'd had an interesting meeting with Victor, who she'd seemingly won over. She mentioned that Victor had asked about her relationship with Adam, and she'd stressed that they were keeping things strictly professional. Sally continued that Victor also knew she'd been the one spying on Billy, and he'd asked her to stop. Adam recalled that he hadn't told Victor anything about Sally being the anonymous source who'd been sending the video footage.
Adam wondered if his father didn't trust his judgment, but Sally considered it more likely that Victor didn't trust her not to screw things up. Adam instructed her to carry on and not to worry about Victor. Sally prompted Adam to tell her more about the collision course Billy was on. Adam explained that Billy was following the same pattern as when things had gotten rough with Victoria a few years earlier, and he had a good idea where Billy was headed next.
Lily returned home and found Billy icing his ankle. He bemoaned that his fall had been a little too real, and they complicated one another's performances. She remarked that it had been fun, although she'd gotten a glimpse into an alternate universe that she didn't want to be part of. He thanked her for her support, and they pledged their love.
Billy gushed that it felt like anything was possible with Lily by his side. Lily plopped down on his lap and tended to a cut on his face. She kissed the injury, but he stopped things from going any further because he had a second performance to make. He imagined he'd have an audience for the rest of the evening after their little show.
Billy entered a dive bar and teased some old card-playing buddies for never going home. A guy named Frankie offered to deal Billy in, but Billy claimed that he just wanted to watch for a while. Billy inquired how his credit was there, and he requested a favor.
Sally, wearing her blonde wig and sunglasses, slipped into the bar as Billy played poker with his old pals. Billy raucously protested when he lost the hand and proclaimed that he was done for the night. Frankie promised to save him a seat, and Billy said it was good to see them again. Billy headed out, pausing to smirk with satisfaction as he glanced back at Sally.
Adam arrived at the ranch, and Victor handed him a drink. Adam announced that there had been a change in his Christmas plans, but he and Connor would be at the ranch the latter part of the day, and Chelsea might join them. Adam revealed that the three of them would spend Christmas Eve and the morning of Christmas at the penthouse, although he intended to sleep in his own bed. Victor was happy that Adam would be spending time with Connor.
Victor shared that a tech company in Atlanta had called him earlier to offer their support services. Adam imagined that it would be more cost-effective to buy the company rather than just use its services, and Victor was pleased that Adam had read his mind. Adam received a text message declaring the mission accomplished and attaching the latest footage of Billy. "You're the best," Adam typed in response. Victor asked if everything was all right, and Adam insisted it was nothing to worry about.
Billy returned home and told Lily that everything had gone great. Lily guessed that Sally had shown up, and Billy ridiculed Sally's obvious disguise. He bragged that he'd given Sally an earful and eyeful to report back to Adam, and he declared that it was time to celebrate. Lily seemed unenthused, and Billy asked if she was mad because he'd left. He apologized and offered to make it up to her. He began kissing her neck and asked where they'd been before he'd left. They kissed passionately.
At Crimson Lights, Sharon remarked that it was a slow night for that time of year, but Noah remained fixated on his laptop screen and barely responded. She made up a story about selling muffins to a portly gentleman in a red coat who was buying them for his reindeer, but Noah still didn't look up. Sharon joked that she was glad Noah was home because she'd been tired of him ignoring her from London instead of just ignoring her in Genoa City. Nick entered, and Sharon hoped he would talk to her because their son couldn't be bothered. Noah apologized and asked when Nick had gotten there.
Sharon voiced surprise that Noah could pull himself away from his computer for a moment to talk to his family. Noah wondered if they had any important information to share, and he referred to the muffins Sharon had been talking about before Nick had walked in. Nick reported that he'd had a good talk with Victor about why they hadn't been getting along, and Victor had called Nick the greatest father he'd ever known. Nick asked if Noah felt the same way, and Noah questioned whether he had a choice. Nick flatly replied no, and Noah responded that Nick was the greatest father, Sharon was the best mom, and they were the best family.
Sharon recognized that they were joking, but it warmed her heart that they were together, especially at that time of year. Noah revealed that he'd taken Sharon's advice and accepted Adam's offer to do some work for Newman Media, since he believed Adam might have changed. Sharon considered the news wonderful, and Nick dryly figured that the best father in the world had to be supportive of his grown son's career decision. Noah wanted to get back to work on Tessa's album cover. Sharon offered to make peppermint mochas and talk to Nick on the patio to avoid disturbing the "artist formerly known as Noah."
On the patio, Nick told Sharon about how he and Phyllis had ended up exchanging Christmas gifts. He shared that it had kind of felt like closure, but Sharon imagined there had been some wistfulness or regret. Nick admitted that it had been impossible not to feel that way when he'd seen Phyllis talking to Jack yet again afterward. Sharon wondered if it would bother him if Jack and Phyllis got back together. Nick pointed out that it shouldn't, since Phyllis could do whatever she wanted.
Sharon clarified that she hadn't asked how Nick should feel, and she urged him to be honest. He confided that it would bug him if Phyllis was ready to jump back into the dating world before he was. Sharon equated it with Phyllis winning the breakup, but Nick recognized that it wasn't a contest. Sharon suggested that Phyllis and Jack just shared a comforting friendship, but Nick preferred not to ruin the mood by thinking about it. Sharon indicated that she had something that might lift his spirits.
Sharon invited Nick and Christian to Christmas dinner, and Nick happily accepted. Sharon anticipated that Christian could spend some time with Faith and Noah -- if Noah could peel himself away from his computer. Noah overheard and invited them to see what he was working on. Sharon and Nick fawned over Noah's work on Tessa's album cover as Rey entered the coffeehouse and spotted the threesome in a close family moment. Sharon summoned Rey over to take a look, and Rey admired Noah's efforts.
Later, Rey inquired whether Sharon had asked Nick about Christmas dinner, and Nick confirmed he would be there. Rey encouraged Nick to get there early before Noah ate all the food. Meanwhile, Sharon remarked that Noah's work reminded her of a drawing he'd made when he'd been eight. Sharon called Nick over to ask if he remembered the drawing, and Nick recounted that it had been on the fridge for years after a trip they'd taken to Chicago. Noah thought they were missing the subtlety of the album cover, but Nick joked that Noah was forgetting his early influences. Rey stood alone from a distance, watching them.
At home, Devon told Amanda that it would be nice if Dominic was old enough to recognize him. Devon was happy to spend any part of the holiday with Dominic. Amanda said it was clear that Devon still missed Dominic, and a short visit wouldn't make up for the one-on-one time that Devon really wanted. He agreed.
Amanda asked if Devon was going to ask Abby and Chance for more than occasional visits and possibly overnight stays. Devon didn't know how Abby would feel about that. Amanda claimed there was no harm in asking. Devon wasn't so sure. He said since Chance had recently returned home, it was Chance's opportunity to be a father to Dominic. He appreciated Amanda's concern, but he felt he needed to give Chance time to bond with Dominic. Amanda accepted Devon's decision, and she said she loved Devon even more because of his selflessness and big heart.
Tessa and Mariah arrived at Crimson Lights at the same time but through different doors. They were both loaded with bags of Christmas presents. Neither one wanted the other to see what they'd bought.
Tessa and Mariah went through their list of people they needed to buy for, and they realized their shopping was done. Tessa and Mariah both confessed that they might have gone overboard with gifts for Dominic. Tessa claimed that baby gifts were "so adorable." Mariah commented that it sounded like Tessa was ready to have a discussion about babies. When Mariah saw the expression on Tessa's face, she apologized and said she hadn't meant to push.
At home, Abby told Chance she wanted to go to the midnight Christmas service because they had so much to be grateful for. She'd had a lot of dreams, and they had all come true. Abby told Chance that it was their first Christmas together as a married couple. She said it had taken a lot more than Christmas magic to make their dreams come true; it had taken a lot of love and hope to bring Dominic to them. Chance told Abby it was difficult to forget that there had also been a lot of pain for everyone. Abby said the worst was behind them, and they were finally a family. Abby claimed she was overwhelmed with gratitude because they'd made it through.
Traci arrived with bags full of gifts. She was delighted to see Chance. Traci explained that the gifts were from all the Abbotts. Abby told Traci they weren't doing gifts but making a donation in Dominic's name to charity. Chance said he felt Dominic was too young to appreciate all the gifts. When they saw Traci's expression, Abby and Chance laughed and admitted they were only kidding. Dominic began to cry, and Chance left to see to him.
Traci asked Abby how Chance was holding up. Abby claimed things were going well, and Chance was determined to make up for the time he'd lost with his family. She said Chance was eager to connect with Dominic, and she knew it would happen, the way it should have been from the beginning. Abby wanted to make sure everything was perfect.
Traci told Abby not to put so much pressure on herself. Things didn't have to be perfect because Chance was home, and he was safe. She told Abby to sit back and enjoy her lovely family. Abby claimed that Christmas was a gift, and she wanted to do whatever she could to make sure that Chance didn't want to leave again. Traci asked if Chance had mentioned going back into the field again. Abby said he hadn't; however, he'd talked about returning to the police department, and he wanted to ease into that because he wanted to spend as much time as he could with his family.
Chance entered the room with Dominic as Abby and Traci left for the kitchen to lock down the Christmas menu. Chance told Dominic he was happy he hadn't missed Dominic's first Christmas. He said Dominic would learn to love the holidays and eventually look forward to them. Chance picked up a Christmas card from Kim Dunaway. He told Dominic that Kim had been responsible for keeping him safe so he could return home to his family.
Chance read Kim's note to Dominic. She'd written that Chance should look to his future, not the past, because there were brighter days ahead. Chance told Dominic that he'd wanted to be home when Dominic had been born. He promised Dominic they would have a lot of time together. He said the rest of his team hadn't been so lucky, and they wouldn't have another holiday to look forward to. Abby and Traci returned, just as Tessa and Mariah arrived with their bags of gifts.
At Society, Jack asked Phyllis how she was doing. Phyllis said she was upset that Daniel's gifts weren't going to arrive until the new year. Jack said that Traci had brought over a mountain of gifts to the Chancellor house, and he was bringing over a few more. Phyllis claimed it was going to be a house filled with holiday cheer. Jack said he'd known Phyllis a long time; he knew when she was hurting.
Phyllis told Jack she missed her kids. She was proud that Summer was doing so great and was successful at her job; however, the video chats weren't enough because she wanted to hug her daughter. Jack understood how Phyllis felt. She said she also missed Harrison, and she wanted to be there with Summer, Kyle, and Harrison. Jack admitted he also missed them. Jack asked if she missed Nick. Phyllis said "yes and no." She was sad about the breakup, but it hadn't broken her. However, she admitted she missed Nick and Christian, but the breakup had needed to happen.
Jack invited Phyllis to have some holiday cheer with him at Abby and Chance's. Phyllis declined because she didn't think Abby would want her there. Jack claimed their hotel war was ancient history, and time with Dominic made things jollier.
Mariah and Tessa left after a short visit with Abby, Chance, and Dominic. Jack and Phyllis arrived a short time later.
Alone with Phyllis, Traci asked how Phyllis had wound up going on Christmas Eve visits with Jack. Phyllis claimed it had been an innocent run-in. Phyllis was aware of how protective Traci and Ashley were of Jack, and she assured Traci there wasn't anything going on between her and Jack; they were simply really good friends. Traci said she wouldn't want to get in the way of Jack's happiness, but she was curious why Phyllis and Jack weren't together. Traci asked if it was because Jack didn't want to go there or because Phyllis didn't want to. Phyllis told Traci to imagine all the fun Phyllis would have with everyone thinking it might be a possibility. Traci smiled.
Later, Abby approached Phyllis. Abby said she assumed Traci had been finishing for information about Phyllis and Jack. Phyllis told Abby not to freak out, but she and Jack were just friends. Abby claimed she had higher priorities. Abby commented on the time and energy she'd spent fighting over the hotel. Phyllis agreed it hadn't been their finest hour. Abby couldn't get over how petty she'd gotten over a building. Annoyed, Phyllis stated it wasn't just a building; it was her hotel, the Grand Phoenix.
Abby told Phyllis that she had to set a good example for Dominic. Phyllis said Abby needed to do better for her son. Abby asked if Phyllis was giving her advice on parenting. Phyllis admitted she was because her kids were amazing. Phyllis stated she had an amazing relationship with Summer because she'd always been herself. She'd never tried to file down her edges. She told Abby to be her authentic self with Dominic.
Elsewhere, Jack told Chance he had the sense that Chance was struggling because of his absence during the early part of Dominic's life. Chance admitted he was trying to play catch-up, but he knew how lucky he was to have Dominic in his life. Jack suggested that Chance focus on that and the fact that Dominic had been loved by everyone from the beginning. Chance said he should have been there for Abby and Dominic. Jack told Chance to let go of the guilt; he was home, and that was something to celebrate and to cherish.
After everyone left, and Abby told Chance she thought they could sit back and relax, Devon and Amanda arrived. Devon wanted to open one of Dominic's gifts. He produced a beautiful music box. Devon explained that Neil had bought it for the baby that he and Hilary were supposed to have had. It played Neil's favorite jazz tune, and Dominic had seemed to really like that tune when he'd stayed with Devon. Abby and Chance were taken aback by the gift. Dominic started fussing, but when Devon wound up the music box and it began to play, Dominic stopped fussing.
As Devon and Amanda departed, Abby and Chance thanked them for all the gifts. Chance received a phone call from Nina. She wanted to be the first to wish them a merry Christmas, because being in Australia, she was in a different time zone and a day ahead of them. She wished she could be there. Chance showed Nina the angel Katherine had given Nina, and the same one Nina had given him to watch over them. Abby told Chance he'd made Nina's day when he'd told her about the angel that she'd given him to watch over them. Abby said everyone was happy he was back home. When Chance went upstairs to wrap Abby's gifts, Abby told Dominic that she'd prayed very hard to have him, and every time Dominic smiled or laughed, she knew there was a guardian angel watching over them.
At Society, Tessa commented to Mariah how happy Chance and Abby looked. Mariah felt that Bowie seemed to be flourishing. Tessa asked if Mariah was set on having a biological baby or if she would consider adoption. Surprised, Mariah didn't have an answer because she was too amazed that they were even having that conversation.
Tessa stated that because Mariah couldn't carry a child for a while, she wanted to know if Mariah wanted to wait. Tessa asked about a donor and where they would get one, or if Mariah was open to adoption. Stunned, Mariah asked Tessa to slow down. She said those would be things they needed to discuss together when they were absolutely certain they wanted to start a family, before they moved forward. Tessa felt they should discuss it immediately and make plans. Mariah was concerned because Tessa had been so hesitant. Tessa admitted she hadn't wanted them to have a baby just to replace Bowie. She only wanted a baby if that was what they truly wanted in their hearts.
Mariah asked Tessa what had changed her mind. Tessa said she'd seen that Mariah had made peace with Bowie and his mom and dad. She was proud that Mariah had put Bowie first. Tessa said perhaps they could put their own child first. Tessa admitted she wanted to start a family with Mariah. Mariah wanted to make sure Tessa wasn't just doing it for her but really meant that she wanted to start a family.
Tessa told Mariah one of the reasons she'd been hesitant had been because of her own childhood; growing up with her family had been a mess, and it had been difficult to imagine bringing a child into the world without giving them a better life than her parents had given her. Mariah admitted it was scary for her, as well. Tessa wanted to adopt, take a child out of a bad situation, and give the child a stable home. Mariah laughed and asked who would have thought that she and Tessa could provide a child with stability. Tessa said they could. They would give a child the most important thing of all: love.
Mariah told Tessa that even though they would try to be perfect parents, they would still mess up. Tessa claimed that a baby of their own would be very cool. Mariah was elated. Tessa and Mariah kissed.
At the Grand Phoenix, Phyllis thanked Jack for including her in the festivities and admitted that she'd had a really good time. Jack hoped Traci hadn't been too pushy. Phyllis said that Traci had been protecting her brother. Jack invited Phyllis to have Christmas Eve dinner with the Abbotts. Phyllis declined. Jack asked for one good reason why. Phyllis gave him two reasons: his sisters. Phyllis said while Traci was polite, Ashley would immediately draw blood, and it would turn into a holiday disaster.
Phyllis told Jack she didn't want to blow up their friendship. She asked Jack what they should do to keep their friendship on track. Jack said it was simple. She needed to spend a festive holiday meal, with all the trimmings, at his place.
Back at home, Devon and Amanda opened Abby and Chance's gift. It was a framed photo of Dominic's foot imprints. Devon beamed as he placed the photo in a prominent place.
Lily arrived home with bags of Christmas gifts. She told Billy that Charlie and Mattie were spending Christmas in Hawaii with Cain. She suggested that she and Billy open one of their Christmas gifts immediately. Billy agreed. Lily was excited when she saw that Billy had given her two tickets to a Broadway show, and Billy couldn't believe he'd received VIP passes to Springsteen in New York. Lily admitted she'd asked Devon to pull a few strings for the tickets. Billy commented that the Springsteen concert and the Broadway show were on the same weekend. Lily said Madison Square Garden one night, and Broadway the next night.
After lovemaking, Billy told Lily it had been a year since he'd been accused of attempting to murder Adam, and in all that time, Lily had been incredibly supportive and had never stopped believing in him. Lily reminded Billy that it had been the previous Christmas that they had decided things were right between them, and a year later, they had their own place and were building a future together. Lily asked Billy if he'd changed his mind about working with her. Billy stated he liked the path he was on. Lily said she had every faith in him.
At home, Nikki told Victor she loved the holiday season. She asked Victor not to talk about business. Noah arrived. Victor claimed he could use a helping hand with all the gifts he'd bought for Connor, and he asked Noah to wrap them for him before Connor arrived. Victor told Noah that Connor had wanted hockey gear. Nikki said that Victor had bought every possible piece of hockey gear known to man. Noah claimed Connor would be stoked, and he was happy to help.
When Noah and Victor heard Connor arrive, they tried to hide Connor's unwrapped gifts. Victor suggested that Connor go to the stables, but Connor spotted the unwrapped gifts under the coffee table and figured out that they were for him. He asked if he could try them on. Chelsea wasn't thrilled because hockey was a contact sport, but Noah and Victor convinced Chelsea that they would keep him safe. She told Connor to have fun, and she left.
At Crimson Lights, Nick told Sharon how things were going to happen Christmas morning with Christian. Sharon said time went by "so fast." Nick agreed, but he claimed he was going to make wonderful memories with Christian. Sharon said everyone was excited about being together for Christmas. Nick asked about Mariah. Sharon told him that Mariah sounded great.
Nick told Sharon he was happy to hear that, considering what Mariah and Tessa had been through in the previous months. Sharon said Mariah seemed truly happy rather than trying to sound happy. Nick felt Mariah was going to have a great Christmas. Sharon could see something was bothering Nick, and she knew immediately that it was because part of Nick's family was in Milan.
Nick told Sharon he missed Summer, but she was happy in Milan with Harrison and Kyle. Nick knew he could hop on a plane and see Summer whenever he wanted. He admitted he also had some bittersweet memories about the previous Christmas with Phyllis, but he'd been working through them. Sharon wanted to know what else was bringing Nick down.
Nick told Sharon it wasn't anything specific, but he'd been through a lot including his breakup with Phyllis and fighting with Victor and Victoria. It had him questioning his place and his purpose. Sharon knew Nick needed to talk, but Nick didn't think there was anything Sharon could do to make him feel better. Sharon said that Nick might not be sure of who he was, but she knew exactly who he was.
Sharon said Nick was a really good man, a thoughtful friend, a wonderful father to four fantastic children, and a respected member of the community, in part because of his involvement with New Hope. Nick jokingly said the way Sharon had described him, he was a real catch. Sharon claimed he was. Sharon said that, sometimes, people couldn't see that the simple things they did were important and valuable. She told Nick to follow his heart about where he fit in with his family.
At Newman-Locke, Ashland told Victoria it was time to clock out and celebrate, but Victoria claimed she couldn't leave because she had some details she needed to handle. Ashland told Victoria that he'd missed out on many special occasions because of work, but recently, he'd been looking at life much differently. Victoria claimed she had, too. She claimed her life was "so much better" with him in it. However, she had a few loose ends she needed to deal with.
Ashland asked if Victoria was toiling over the Locke side of Newman-Locke affairs. Victoria admitted she was. Ashland pulled up a chair and said he was well versed in those issues, and he suggested they put their heads together to finish up so that they could leave sooner. They kissed.
With Ashland's help, Victoria finished the work that had needed immediate attention, and Ashland suggested they go for a walk, take in all the holiday decorations, listen to carolers, and then head home to enjoy dinner by the fire. Victoria said that would be perfect. Ashland said he was grateful to share his life with her, and Victoria said she felt the same way.
At Newman Media, Sally told Adam it was Christmas Eve, and he shouldn't be there. Adam claimed Sally shouldn't be, either. Sally said Adam had family to go home to; she didn't. She claimed she had time to kill until the holidays were over. Adam asked if that was Sally's way of trying to snag an invitation to deck the halls. He said he hated to disappoint Sally, but he had a full night planned with Connor and Chelsea. He added that he would also be spending Christmas Day with his family.
Sally told Adam she hadn't been angling to be his plus one. She claimed she was a lone wolf, completely independent and more than capable of spending Christmas on her own. Adam said he had some time for a holiday drink before meeting Chelsea and Connor. He asked if Sally wanted to join him.
At the penthouse, Chelsea and Connor were wrapping gifts. Connor asked Chelsea what she'd bought for Adam. Chelsea said she had two gifts for Adam; one was a jacket, and the other was a painting of a cottage in the woods. Connor said the painting didn't seem like a good match for Adam. Chelsea said that if she chose to give it to Adam, once he saw it, he would understand.
When Connor left to get ready, Chelsea stared at the painting and said, "It used to match us both perfectly." Chelsea remembered the time she'd entered the cabin and how amazing the place had been. When she asked where they were, Adam replied that they were home. He told her that he'd bought the cabin for them, and he'd wanted to surprise her with it. He said he hoped she liked it. Chelsea replied that she'd never imagined anything like it in her wildest dreams.
At Society, Adam asked Sally what a lone wolf did on Christmas. Sally claimed she would sleep in as late as she wanted Christmas morning, then she would unwrap her gifts. Adam asked if the gifts were what Sally had bought for herself. Sally said the gifts were from her sister and Grams. Sometime during the day, she would video chat with them. The conversation always started off sweet, but it always turned into a gossip session. After the call, she would probably watch It's a Wonderful Life. Sally claimed she would rather live in Pottersville than Bedford Falls. Adam claimed he would, as well.
Chelsea arrived and was surprised to see Adam and Sally. Adam asked about Connor. Chelsea said she'd dropped him off at the ranch, and he'd spotted the unwrapped hockey gear from Victor. Victor had asked Noah to give Connor hockey lessons. Chelsea hadn't wanted to disrupt their fun and she'd decided to have a bite to eat and return to the penthouse. Adam asked her to join them. Adam said that he and Sally had been talking about what was next for the fashion platform. Chelsea accepted the invitation. Sally didn't seem pleased.
Chelsea told Adam and Sally about her ideas for the fashion platform. Sally agreed with Chelsea's ideas and added her own. Chelsea told Sally she had a very long and strong track record with her connections in the industry. Sally wanted to ride on the success of Victoria's wedding dress, but Chelsea wanted to focus on the new and exciting trends. Chelsea asked what Adam thought. Adam claimed they needed to put work on hold and enjoy some holiday cheer.
Chelsea told Adam that Connor was very excited about hanging with her and Adam. She said she'd gotten all Connor's favorite foods for brunch. Adam said Chelsea was welcome to go to the ranch later, but Chelsea declined. She wanted to focus on what was important to Connor, and that was the three of them spending the day together. Chelsea asked about Sally's plans. Sally claimed she was staying in town and that it had turned out better than she'd ever dreamed. Sally looked directly at Adam.
After Chelsea left, Adam commented on Sally's attempt at one-upmanship with Chelsea and the way Sally had been trying to get the competitive edge. Sally denied Adam's observation, and she claimed they had been feeding off each other's energy. Sally claimed she needed to be challenged to reach her full potential, and so did Chelsea. She claimed it would be an exciting partnership. Adam claimed Sally and Chelsea weren't a partnership because Chelsea was used to being the boss, and having Sally in any other role hadn't been part of the deal. He said there was Chelsea and Chloe, and then there was Sally.
Sally told Adam that it had been the original idea, but it was because of Sally's ideas on the platform that she was becoming a household name. If Adam wanted Sally to be the face of Newman Fashion, then that face needed a voice. Sally claimed Chelsea was smart and experienced, and if she wanted the platform to succeed, she would come around. Adam wished Sally luck with that. Sally thanked Adam for hanging out with her. Adam wished her a merry Christmas, kissed her on the cheek, and left.
When Nick saw Victoria and Ashland arrive at the coffeehouse, he immediately recalled a previous conversation he'd had with Ashland. Ashland said he knew how much family meant to Victoria, and he wanted the tension between him and Nick gone. Nick said he couldn't understand how Victoria could be okay with everything Ashland had done. Nick said that Ashland had allowed his best friend to die, stolen his identity, and robbed his mentor of her fortune in order to begin his career.
Nick said he knew the article ChancComm had published about Ashland was true and that Ashland wouldn't have told Victoria about his background if Nick hadn't discovered the truth. Nick said Ashland was an opportunist with no moral standards.
Nick decided to approach Victoria and Ashland. He asked for a moment with Ashland. Victoria said the last time Nick had spoken to Ashland, he'd made it very clear how he felt about Ashland, and she didn't believe they needed to rehash that on Christmas Eve. Nick said he needed to get something off his chest -- if Ashland was willing to listen.
Nick told Ashland he wasn't going to apologize for being protective of his sister; however, when he'd found out about Ashland's past, Nick had been worried that Ashland would hurt Victoria. Ashland said he understood. Victoria claimed Ashland had been far more forgiving of Nick's hatred than she had.
Nick told Ashland and Victoria he'd done some thinking, and if he was going to move forward, he needed to let go of some things. Nick didn't want his resentment toward Ashland to ruin his relationship with Victoria. He wanted to put that chapter behind him and start fresh. Ashland agreed, especially for Victoria's sake. Ashland and Nick shook hands. Sharon had been standing behind the counter, and she smiled.
Chelsea returned to the ranch and asked Connor about hockey. Connor had covered his mouth. Concerned, Chelsea demanded that Noah tell her what had happened. Connor removed his hand. He and Noah laughed and admitted they had been teasing her. Victor entered. Connor thanked Victor and Nikki for his gift, and he thanked Noah for the hockey lesson. Chelsea and Connor left.
Noah told Victor that Connor was smart, funny, kind, and a lot of fun, and he didn't remind Noah of Adam at all. Noah knew the trauma Adam had gone through as a kid, and it explained a lot. Victor said Adam had been raised by Hope on a farm in Kansas. He'd grown up the hard way. Victor was happy that Noah had begun to understand what Adam was all about.
Later, Victor told Nikki that Connor had had a great time on the ice, and Noah had enjoyed teaching him. Nikki said she wanted to enjoy the quiet before the normal and happy chaos of Christmas Day. Victor told Nikki she was the most cherished gift he'd ever received. They danced and wished each other a merry Christmas.
At home, Chelsea decided to wrap the painting as Adam's Christmas gift.
At Crimson Lights, Faith brought Nick a cup of coffee and told him he had a long way to go to get ready for the next day. Nick claimed he had all his Christmas shopping done, and everything would be done before Christian woke up. He thanked Faith for helping him at the orphanage earlier. Faith loved that Nick had organized a surprise party for the kids. She said it had been really special. She was happy to be part of it. It had felt good bringing a little joy into those kids' lives.
Faith told Nick she couldn't imagine being rootless and not knowing where she fit in, or who she was. She knew Victor had been brought up in an orphanage. Nick said Victor's mother and father had abandoned him when he'd been a little boy, and Victor had never gotten over it. He said he had deep compassion for all those kids. Faith stated she was lucky to have such an incredible family. Nick's phone rang. Nick said it was Summer, but when he looked up, Faith was gone. He answered the phone, and all he heard was Christmas music. Nick thought Summer was crank calling him on Christmas, or else she had maybe butt dialed or drunk dialed.
Suddenly Nikki was there, and Nick looked very confused. Nikki said he'd done a great thing, taking gifts to the kids at the orphanage. She said it was gestures like that and small kindnesses that made a deep and lasting impact. Nikki said there was a gift waiting for him. Nick took Nikki's hand, and they were suddenly at the ranch with Adam and Victoria.
Nick asked Nikki if it was another ambush like the one with Victor when she'd wanted them to talk things out. Victoria hoped the conversation with Victor had been productive. Victor arrived and claimed that Nick was a far better father than he'd ever been. Nick was far more connected with his children than Victor. Victoria said that, as a family, they'd decided to pool their emotional resources and give Nick a gift. Nikki said there was no ambush, only affection.
Victoria told Nick it was their way of showing him how much they loved him, closing the gap between them, and healing their relationship. Nick wanted that, too. He said he'd apologized several times to Victoria about digging into Ashland's past, but it couldn't be undone. It would always be there between them. Nick said he still believed Victoria had married an opportunist, a man with no scruples, and that he'd told Ashland that to his face. That also couldn't be undone.
Nick told Victoria he missed what they'd had before. They'd been best friends who'd told each other everything. He hoped that one day, they could get that back. Victoria said that Nick playing detective had had a big impact on their relationship. Nick said he'd honestly believed Victoria would have appreciated hearing the truth from him. Victoria claimed that Nick wanted the family to acknowledge that he wasn't like the rest of them; he was the moral one, someone so pure that he wouldn't work for a company with the name Newman. She said Victor had said everything Nick had wanted to hear, yet Nick still wasn't satisfied.
Nick told Victor that when he'd said Nick was a great father, it had meant the world to Nick. Victor claimed he'd never been more sincere in his admiration for Nick. Nick admired everything Victor had accomplished. Nick said he'd been reminded of that after being at the orphanage and imagining everything Victor had had to overcome, to achieve his success. Nick said if Victor saw him as a better father, it was because he had a different definition of success than Victor did. Victor told Nick he understood that.
Victor said that when Nick had been a young man, Victor hadn't understood why Nick hadn't wanted to follow in his footsteps. He hadn't understood why Nick hadn't wanted to take advantage of the many opportunities Victor had provided. Victor had grown to respect Nick's decision. Nick said he'd stepped away from the family business because he couldn't handle the infighting. Victor said Nick had found peace, but Nick claimed he hadn't because he kept being drawn back into Victor's game, being pitted against his siblings -- in Victor's favor one minute and out the next. He didn't want to live his life that way, and he didn't think it would change.
Adam told Nick no one would have predicted that he and Nick would collaborate to help humanity in a nonprofit organization to build affordable housing. Adam said people in the community had affordable housing because of Nick. Adam was grateful, and he said he'd learned a lot from Nick. Adam stated that Nick had been able to give him a chance to prove he'd changed.
Nick opened his gift. It was the book that Victor had read to them as kids. Nick began to read an excerpt from the book. Faith arrived and told Nick that she'd often held her breath when he'd read that book to her because Nick had made it come alive. It had been magical every time, and she'd loved it. Nick wondered why he'd been presented with that book, since Adam hadn't been part of the family. He said Adam had grown up in Kansas and never had that book or the same traditions. Adam said if he'd been able to get past that, Nick should be able to get past the troubles within the family. Nick claimed he was trying.
Nikki stated that Nick was wondering about his place in life and in his family, what his purpose was, and how and where he fit in. Nick's phone rang again, and once again, it was from Summer, but there was nothing but music. He asked if Summer was in trouble. Sharon rushed in. She said it wasn't Summer; it was Noah. Suddenly, Nick and Sharon were at Society. Noah was at the bar, drinking. Nick asked how long Noah had been that way. Sharon said since he'd moved back home.
Sharon said Nick needed to handle Noah by himself because it was about Noah's love life, and no one knew more about romantic hopes being dashed than Nick. Nick asked Noah why he was so sad at Christmas. Noah said the woman he'd been involved with and thought he would spend the rest of his life with had gotten married. She'd reconnected with her childhood love. She'd sent Noah a letter stating she'd finally found true happiness. She'd regretted hurting him, and she'd admitted she'd been with Noah only for the wild ride. Noah said he loved her enough to be happy for her and to be happy that she'd found what she needed to feel fulfilled.
Noah told Nick he didn't know how he could have been so wrong. Nick knew what it was like to think one thing about a relationship and later discover it wasn't what he'd hoped. Nick said there was no such thing as a perfect relationship because eventually, he would see things for what they really were. Nick said that for a relationship to last a lifetime, Noah had to dig deep and talk about everything with his partner.
Noah said Nick was the best dad he knew, and Nick was his hero. He called Nick that dad that people wished they'd had. He said that when it came to emotional intelligence, Nick was second to none. Noah wanted to know why Nick kept screwing up his own life. Nick said he didn't know.
Phyllis appeared and said it was because of her. Nick turned, and Noah was gone. Nick said he thought he and Phyllis would have made it "this time." Phyllis claimed they had been hot together and had laughed a lot, but it hadn't been enough. She said the funk he was in was more than their relationship hitting the skids again. She said Nick was confused about his place in the world, and she felt she'd been partly to blame because she'd made him look at what he'd been willing to take from his family. He thought he would have more answers at that point in his life. Phyllis suggested that Nick was asking the wrong questions.
Nick told Phyllis he didn't know who he was, what he wanted, or what he thought he needed to make his life have some meaning. Phyllis said Nick needed to pull himself out of his funk. She felt she'd stirred things up for him; however, nothing could get stirred up if there wasn't something going on already. Phyllis disappeared, and Cassie appeared.
Cassie hoped Nick would listen to her. She said he was the greatest dad in the world. She and all his other kids felt the same way. Nick said he really missed Cassie. She claimed she was alive in his heart, but Nick said it wasn't the same. Cassie said life was about change; it was how they grew and moved forward. She knew he wasn't sure about what he wanted.
Nick claimed there was too much soul-searching. Cassie said the unexamined life wasn't worth living. Nick said that Cassie had always known how to make things better, and he'd never known anyone like her. Cassie reminded him that when anyone had been mean to her, Nick had always been there. comforting her like no one else could.
Cassie knew Nick was trying to fill an empty space inside of him, but he was looking in the wrong direction. Nick realized he had to figure it out on his own. Cassie stated it was all around him. Nick asked why, if he was such a good father, he hadn't done more to protect her. Sharon entered and said that because he was a good father, it didn't mean he could protect his kids from being hurt or making bad choices. Nick turned; Cassie was gone.
Nick told Sharon that Cassie had been grounded. Sharon said it had been up to both of them to enforce it, not just Nick. Nick claimed he should have been a better parent. He said he should have known where she'd been and who she'd been with. He felt he should have known she'd lied about being at a movie when she'd been at a party.
Sharon said Nick was still second-guessing himself. It hadn't been his fault. It bothered Nick because Faith had been going down the same path; she had been drinking and gotten behind the wheel of a truck. He said when they'd received the call that she'd been in an accident, he'd been scared they would lose her, and he couldn't go through that again. Sharon said Faith was fine. Nick said it was thanks to Adam.
Sharon told Nick that Adam could have kept on going, he could have called 9-1-1 and left, or he could have ignored it and saved himself. Nick acknowledged that Adam had done a selfless thing. He'd taken Faith to the hospital. Sharon said that Nick had given Adam a chance to prove he'd changed. It showed the kind of person Nick was at the core.
Sharon said Nick was a caring and compassionate man, and a loving and devoted father, and Cassie had known that. She said no kid could ever ask for a better dad. Sharon said that Nick had loved Cassie very much, and that was the reason he'd felt that loss so immensely. It had also been the reason he hadn't been able to be there for Sharon and Noah. It had changed the trajectory of Nick's life. The overwhelming emotions Nick had gone through had caught him in a current that had carried him in a direction Nick couldn't have envisioned. Sharon disappeared, and Faith appeared. She asked if that was what they were going with -- "caught in a current."
Faith told Nick he needed to figure out where he wanted to go, start swimming, and not let himself get swept up in the riptide of life. He needed to take decisive action. She told Nick to find his way back to where he wanted to be and take charge of his own future. Faith said that sometimes people couldn't see that the simplest things mattered, and small acts of kindness made the biggest difference. She said Nick had made an impact on many people's lives.
Faith told Nick she had a very long list of things Nick had done to change people's lives. With Nikki, he'd founded New Hope to bring affordable housing to Genoa City; he and Sharon had bought Crimson Lights to keep it from shutting down; he'd been there for Sharon and the family when Sharon had had cancer; and when Sharon had been well, Nick had been best man at her wedding to Rey.
Faith reminded Nick about everything he'd gone through when Summer had needed him the most, helping her navigate through the ups and downs of her life with Kyle, even though it had driven him crazy. She said he'd been there for Noah, allowing him to manage the Underground. It had meant a lot to Noah to work alongside Nick, and then Nick had encouraged Noah to follow his dream to London. Nick had adopted Cassie and loved her as his own. He had fought for Christian, was raising him, and was ridiculously proud of Christian, which he showed Christian every day.
Faith also reminded Nick how he'd tracked down Adam in Kansas to get Adam to donate his kidney to her. She mentioned all the other things Nick had done for her, getting her the help she'd needed, and his endless supply of corny dad jokes. She said he was the reason she was alive, and she commended him for how he showed up for them every day, no matter what. She said he needed to do that for himself, since everything he'd gone through recently had him questioning his purpose in life. Faith said he needed to listen to his heart. She placed her hand on his chest, and Nick was back at Crimson Lights, where he woke up, still wearing his Santa suit.
Faith returned, still in her elf suit, with coffee for Nick. She commented that Santa was worn out. She asked if Nick had dreamed about her. He admitted he had. Faith asked if it had been a fun dream or a sad one. He couldn't recall the details, but he remembered feeling weird. He said it was about everything going on in his life. Everyone had been there and saying the same thing. Sharon called Faith to help her.
After Faith left, Nick received a call from Summer. This time, she spoke to him. Summer described city life in Milan and said that Harrison had been determined to see Santa put the gifts under the tree. Thankfully, he'd fallen asleep. Nick suggested that he fly to Milan and spend a few days with them. Summer was thrilled he would be there. She promised to get a birthday cake to celebrate his birthday.
Nick ended the call, and when he turned, he saw Noah, Sharon, and Faith standing there. Sharon said going to Milan was exactly what Nick needed. Noah said it was great to see Nick so happy. Sharon said she was going to cook up a storm for the family. Everyone was looking forward to being together.