An excited Katie arrived at Henry's hotel room, and she asked if Brad was there with them. Henry said that he was, so Katie spoke directly to her husband and asked him to please leave so that she could get on with her life. Then she made a dash for the door and got it open, but Brad grabbed the door and slammed it shut. Katie realized that Brad wanted her to stay, and Henry confirmed that. She said she could almost see him standing there "with that goofy grin."
Katie said that she couldn't love a ghost for the rest of her life, and Brad told Henry that he, himself, had to speak to her. Henry agreed to "translate" what Brad said, but he refused to let Brad use his body. Brad began by telling his wife how much he loved her and pleading with her to hear him out before he left. Brad talked about how Katie had believed in him since the beginning of their relationship. He begged her to believe in them again and to let him stay.
Henry refused to translate the last part of Brad's speech in which Brad claimed that he and Katie could still be together. Katie began to cry, and she said she just couldn't say a final goodbye. Brad said that he would stay by her side and also get to know Jacob, but Katie sobbed that she couldn't love "a vapor." Then Katie raised her hand and asked Brad to touch it. Brad laid his hand on her, and Katie felt an electric jolt. She grabbed her coat and ran out, asking Brad to go to their house.
Simon wheeled baby Jacob into the Lakeview lounge to meet an old acquaintance named Pat. Pat was wearing a beautiful diamond necklace, and Simon complimented her on it. Simon wanted to work for Pat's company, but the woman was put off by the baby in the stroller. Simon explained that the baby was not his, and Pat remarked that Simon was as charming as ever. Then she asked what would happen if she followed through on their flirtation, and that question rendered Simon speechless.
Pat said that she had no intention of going into business with "the new, safe Simon" because he held no interest for her since he was "no longer edgy." Simon stood and said that, in that case, he was looking forward to competing against her, and he handed her back her necklace, which he had snitched from around her neck.
Katie went back home and found Simon caring for the baby, who was dressed in an elf suit. Simon began talking about staying in Oakdale, but a nervous Katie told him that he had to move out immediately because she wanted to be alone with her husband. She thanked Simon for all he had done for her and Jacob, but she said she still wanted to be with Brad. Simon argued that Brad had no right to make Katie live the rest of her life "chained to a corpse." He felt that Katie would suffer as long as Brad's ghost was hanging around.
Katie said bluntly that she had no future with Simon because she was married, so he gathered his belongings and urged Katie to take good care of herself. He walked out the door, and a nervous Katie walked around and asked Brad to give her a sign that he was present. Nothing happened, so she sat on the couch and waited hopefully.
Back at the Lakeview, Henry lectured Brad on taking advantage of Katie's loneliness. He also said that he would no longer "translate" Brad's words and help him steal his wife's life. Brad was stubborn and claimed that he would find a way to be with Katie.
At Deerbrook, Meg asked a nurse if she could see her baby because it was Eliza's first birthday. Meanwhile, Eliza was already celebrating at Fairwinds with Paul and Emily. Paul wanted to take his daughter to see Meg, but he knew that was not allowed. He conceived a plan, drove to Deerbrook, and obtained a visitor's pass. He carried a large laundry basket into Meg's room where his ex-wife was still arguing with her nurse. Paul claimed that the basket contained a birthday cake and lots of digital photos of their baby.
The nurse left them alone, and Paul lifted Eliza out of the basket, much to Meg's delight. Meg held her baby and wished her a happy birthday. Paul said that they needed to discuss a hearing on Meg's competency that was taking place that afternoon before a judge. He suggested that Meg be agreeable, smile a lot, and hide her anger. Paul also said she could best get back at Damian by forgetting all about him.
Lily walked in on Damian and heard his side of a phone conversation in which Damian claimed that Meg was threatening both him and Lily. Lily was afraid that Holden would not believe her if she tried again to convince him that his sister posed a real threat to Lily and her family. She drove to the farm, where she found Holden in the kitchen with Molly, who was doing research on her laptop. Lily said that an angry and hostile Meg had called and threatened them, so Holden told her that a judge would evaluate Meg that afternoon and determine whether his sister could return home.
Lily was not satisfied with that solution; she told Holden that she and Damian would also attend the hearing, and she walked out. Back home, Lily told Damian that a judge and the doctors were holding a hearing for Meg. Damian had prepared tea, and he said that he was exhausted since he was still recovering from his bout in the hospital. Lily offered to go alone to the hearing, but Damian said he would rest and then he'd feel up to going with her. He said he had forgotten napkins for their tea, so Lily went into the kitchen while Damian put a drug into Lily's cup. Damian toasted to the two of them, and they drank.
Damian convinced Lily to lie down with him and keep him company, and she reluctantly agreed. He was disturbed that she had not drunk all her tea, but she soon fell asleep. Damian grabbed his clothes and sneaked out of the house. He drove immediately to Deerbrook where he bribed an attendant to make sure that the surveillance cameras were turned off. Damian entered Meg's room and began to sweet-talk her by claiming that he had not meant the awful things he had said about her.
Damian reminded Meg of their time in bed together and the promises they had made to one another. Meg was confused by his words, and then Damian attempted to kiss her. Meg screamed for help, but as the nurse ran in, Damian slipped out, and no one saw him. He drove back home and slipped back into bed beside Lily. He woke her by saying that they had slept like logs. Lily realized that it was time to go to Meg's hearing.
Paul showed up at the farm and reported that he had just seen Meg. Eliza was tired, so Molly volunteered to take the baby back to Fairwinds to Emily, while Paul spoke with Holden. Paul said that Holden really needed to get his sister out of Deerbrook because she would only get worse if she had to stay in lockup. Holden could not imagine that Meg could physically harm anyone, but he had seen the cut on Lily's back that his sister had inflicted. Paul suggested that someone could have pushed Meg into a psychotic breakdown, and Holden said he would wait and see how the hearing went.
Paul went home and found out that Molly had filled Emily in on what was happening with Meg when she had returned the baby. Emily was distracted because she was waiting to hear from the fertility clinic with an update since her last treatment with Mick. Paul asked if Emily would watch Eliza while he went to Meg's hearing, and Emily agreed, but she asked why Paul felt he wanted to be there.
Holden went to see Meg, and he found her freaked out because no one would believe that Damian had visited her. Holden watched while an orderly sedated her, and the attendant claimed that the surveillance tapes showed nothing.
At the courthouse, Damian and Lily were the first to arrive, and Lily was very nervous that Meg might be a free woman before the day was over.
Simon sat on a bench in Old Town, as it began to snow. He thought back to his wedding to Katie when it snowed through the roof of the church.
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Casey found a sleepy Alison loading up on caffeine in Java. He said that he was on his way to chop down a Christmas tree in the woods for the Hughes annual holiday party. Alison had a hard time imagining Casey as a lumberjack in the woods, so he said that he would feel better if he had a qualified professional medical person like her on site when he did the deed. Alison said she would like to go with him, but she had to keep an appointment with Emily.
Casey said he was willing to wait until Alison could join him, and he ordered a coffee. Alison promised to call him as soon as she was free, and Casey said he would be in the woods scouting out the perfect tree. Mick walked in as Alison was putting on her coat to leave, and he asked if he could accompany her to Emily's appointment with the fertility doctor, and she agreed.
At Fairwinds, Paul told Emily that Eliza and her sitter were going to the park with the baby's play group, but Emily was excited that there was a chance that they could see Dr. Prentiss, the fertility specialist, that afternoon. Paul wanted her to wait until after the holiday in case the news was not good, but just then, Emily took a call from Alison who said they could see Dr. Prentiss if they showed up immediately. Emily agreed to meet her sister at the office, but Paul said he could not go because he wanted to be at Meg's competency hearing. That upset Emily, but Paul was determined to help Eliza's mother.
At Memorial, Alison and Mick met Emily, and a nurse took Emily in for her exam and consult. While the other two waited, Alison mentioned her recent dream in which she and Mick went together into a white-steepled church. Mick thought about the dream, as Alison went to thank her nurse friend who had arranged the appointment for Emily, but when she returned, Mick was gone. When Emily walked back, she said that the doctor had said that everything had looked fine, and he had taken some blood. Emily was confident that there was nothing that would prevent her getting pregnant. She left to tell Paul.
Casey walked into the hospital to tell Alison that he had found the perfect tree. He grabbed her hand and led her away. They located the tree, and Casey got out his axe. He claimed that he knew all about chopping down trees because he had looked it up on the Internet. He knelt down and took the first chop, and then he screamed and blood gushed from his clasped hands. A horrified Alison rushed to Casey, and in a panic she pried his hands apart to find that he was squeezing a bottle of red food coloring and laughing himself silly.
Alison called Casey a "jerk," and Casey continued to chop. He felled the tree, but Alison was not looking forward to helping him tote it all the way back to the road and then to the Hughes house. Casey pulled Alison down on top of him after bribing her with a promise of a cheap dinner. It was an intense moment for both of them, and then Alison scrambled back to her feet. They got the tree to Casey's house and managed to put it up in the living room. Casey took out the lights and ornaments, and he went directly for the spray of plastic mistletoe and waggled it in front of Alison.
Alison scoffed at the mistletoe and said it didn't count if it was plastic. To warrant a kiss, the mistletoe had to be real. She took out an ornament and was shocked to see that it was almost an exact replica of the white church that Mick had led her to in her dream.
At the courthouse, Lily and Damian waited for Meg's competency hearing to begin. Damian was worried that Meg would be let go, and he desperately needed her to be confined again at Deerbrook. Meg and Holden entered the courtroom, and Meg asked Damian if he had told Lily that he had visited her at Deerbrook that very day, but Damian denied it. Holden hustled Meg away, and Damian remarked to Lily about Meg's delusions. Paul ran into Molly outside the courtroom, and they had words about Meg, although they both sat behind her and Holden in the courtroom to support them.
Lily asked to speak with Holden privately, so they stepped outside into the anteroom. Lily said that Meg was getting more delusional and that she needed to be "off the streets."
Meg asked Molly if she had spoken to Officer Grady in Kentucky, and Molly had to tell her that Grady had given them nothing they could use. Meg was frustrated, but Paul told her that he would not allow anyone to lock her up again.
The judge called for order and offered to hear from anyone who had "insight" on the case. Holden rose and spoke first, and he said that Meg had been a model citizen until just a few months before, and he took some of the blame for that. He said that his sister was expecting to marry Damian Grimaldi when Holden had an accident that left the family with the presumption that he was dead. At that time, Damian had broken off his relationship with Meg and married Holden's ex-wife, Lily. Holden pleaded for the judge to allow Meg to return home and undergo counseling rather than return to Deerbrook.
Meg stood up and asked to speak. She said that Damian's lies were at issue, not her sanity. She agreed with Holden that Damian had dumped her and gone straight to Lily. She detailed how Damian had set about making her appear unstable, and she called him "a lying bastard" who kept sleeping with her even after he married Lily. Meg said he still was promising to leave his wife and be with her. She apologized to the judge for getting upset, but Meg said that Damian had no right to lie and deny that he had harassed her even that afternoon.
Damian rose and denied that he had been anywhere near Deerbrook but had instead been taking a nap with his wife as part of his recovery from a recent hospitalization. Lily vouched for Damian, and then Meg lost it and went after Lily physically. Holden had to struggle to restrain her, and she fought him until her brother subdued her. Lily continued to speak, and she mentioned that Meg had made a threatening call that morning to their home. Meg cried out, denying that, as Lily asked the judge to extend Meg's confinement in Deerbrook.
The judge ordered that Meg remain for further observation at Deerbrook. Meg turned to Molly and begged her to prove that Damian had lied, and Molly promised to try. Meg broke into tears as her regular attendant led her away. In the parking garage for the courthouse, the two women walked to the car as Paul shadowed them. Meg realized that someone was following them, and she mentioned it to her attendant, who paid no notice. As the woman was backing out the car, Paul rushed behind the vehicle, and it hit him.
Meg announced that she was a nurse, so she jumped out along with the attendant. Meg examined Paul and said that he was breathing, but she told her companion to call the paramedics. The woman went back to the car to grab her phone, as Paul opened his eyes and whispered to Meg to take the car key he was pressing on her and to meet him in his car. He told her the location where he had parked, so Meg took off at a run.
After the paramedics excused Paul, he found Meg in his car. She said that she had nowhere to go, so Paul offered to take her to Fairwinds and hide her in the infamous wine cellar. No way, he said, was Eliza not going to see her mother on Christmas. Meg hunkered down in her seat so that no one would see her, and Paul drove home. Paul took her into Fairwinds and made sure the coast was clear. Then he sent her to the wine cellar and began trimming the tree, as Emily walked in and asked whom he had been speaking to.
Holden and Molly went home to the farm, and Holden was extremely disturbed. Molly said the first thing they had to do was check out Meg's story that Damian had visited her at Deerbrook. She suggested that they have a look at what the security cameras had captured, and Holden liked that idea. The two of them drove to Deerbrook and spoke with Mr. Sharkey, the orderly whom Damian had bribed. His story was that no one had visited Meg that day, but just then, Meg's companion ran in announcing that she had lost her patient. Sharkey ran for the office of the director, and Holden realized that he needed to call Lily and warn her that Meg was on the loose.
Back at Lily's, Lily questioned Damian's almost gleeful attitude that Meg was still confined. She rebuffed his kiss and told him sharply, "Not now." Lily was depressed, and she said that she had known and liked Meg all her life, and she felt bad for her.
Damian then was successful in kissing his wife, but his phone rang. Lily urged him to answer, and the caller was Meg. She threatened Damian that she would bring down his shaky house of cards.
Barbara paid a visit to the funeral home that had handled the arrangements following the death of James Stenbeck. She requested all the paperwork that the director had pertaining to the death, including the death certificate and the coroner's report. The director was embarrassed to tell Barbara that they had lost the Stenbeck file entirely, and he had no explanation for it. That frightened Barbara, and she told him not to bother looking for the file and to forget that she had ever been there.
While Mick was waiting for Emily to finish her appointment, and when Alison went to visit her nurse friend, Barbara spotted Mick and ran up to him, grabbing him by the arm. She demanded that they have a talk. When Mick balked, Barbara said that if he ever wanted so much as another dime out of Paul, then he had better go with her. Mick gave in, and the two of them went to the Lakeview. They went up to Mick's room, and Barbara lit into him. She said there had been a water glass in that room with James Stenbeck's fingerprints on it, and she wanted to know why.
Mick feigned ignorance, so Barbara declared that she had arranged for the glass to be tested twice, with the same result each time. Then she mentioned the missing funeral records, but Mick swore that he knew nothing about it. Barbara asked where James was, and a cocky Mick said he was wherever they had buried him. She asked if James was alive, but Mick again said he didn't know. Barbara had enough non-answers, so she took out her phone and began to dial the police. Mick grabbed her phone away, and she asked if he was threatening her.
Mick said he would never hurt Barbara because she meant so much to him. Barbara questioned that, but Mick said that she was the first person who believed in him and his magic serum. Barbara still wanted to contact the authorities, but Mick said he didn't want her to get in trouble for breaking into his room twice and taking items that did not belong to her. Next Barbara wanted to know why Mick had a signet ring with the initials "JS" on it, a glass with Stenbeck's fingerprints on it, and a shoebox filled with old letters she, herself, had written to James years before.
Mick denied any knowledge of the letters, but when Barbara pushed him on it, he finally said that he couldn't tell her about them. Barbara accused Mick of helping James fake his death again and of working for him. Mick said he could not tell her anything, but if she wanted answers, then she had better start asking the right questions. He asked her to leave, and he began unbuttoning his shirt to change his clothes for an impending meeting. Barbara was confused and furious, and as Mick opened his shirt, she saw an old scar on his chest that was identical to one that James had after a young Paul had shot him.
Barbara asked how Mick's scar could look so much like James's, and Mick said that she had finally asked a right question. Barbara said that she knew that scar because she had seen it so many times. Mick asked what would happen if his "treatments" actually could make someone biologically and medically younger. He said that she and Emily were not his first subjects because someone else had gone first, and Barbara realized that he was talking about himself. She told him that was impossible, and he retorted, "Nothing is impossible," one of James's favorite sayings.
The big shocker was when Mick reminded Barbara of their "dear friend" Dr. Wesson, the madman whose European spa had biologically and medically aged Rose D'Angelo and Carly Tenney well into their 70s. Barbara said that was impossible, but Mick claimed that if you became younger, then you could go back and be a better person than you were the first time around. He said he could be a better father to Paul and a better husband to her.
An incredulous Barbara could not fathom that the young man standing in front of her was the notorious James Stenbeck, and she denied it loudly and pushed Mick away. She dashed for the door, but Mick was quicker. He stopped her and claimed he was there to be that better man, but Barbara said that proved he was not James; James never cared what kind of a man he was. Mick swore that he was James, and he hoped that Barbara would believe him if he proved that his treatments worked.
Barbara asked about Emily, but Mick said that no one, not even Emily, could know his identity. "Our little secret," said Barbara with sarcasm. "For now," answered Mick. He said it was not yet time to tell Paul, either, but he had to share it with someone, and he moved closer to Barbara. "You're crazy!" she cried, as Mick took her hand and, with a grin, kissed it. He told her that she had been the love of his first life, and she would also be the one of his new life.
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Emily arrived home and was sure that she had heard Paul in a conversation with someone, but he denied it. When Emily went upstairs, Paul walked down to the wine cellar where Meg was going stir-crazy. He told her that he thought Emily did not need to know that Meg was hiding out downstairs in their cellar. Paul handed Meg one of his bottles of wine and took another bottle for him and Emily upstairs. Muttering what a way it was to spend Christmas Eve, Meg opened the wine and poured herself a glass.
Upstairs, Paul and Emily shared their wine, and Paul toasted Eliza, their future, and the hope of bringing another child into their family. Emily suddenly remembered Meg's court appearance and asked if she had been released from Deerbrook. Paul hesitated but said no. Down in the cellar, Meg heard Eliza begin to cry, as she poured herself more wine. When the baby did not quiet down, Meg opened the door to the cellar and listened more carefully.
Emily picked up Eliza and held the baby on her lap. She told Paul that they would have to face the possibility that Meg might be in Deerbrook for a very long time, and the two of them could end up raising Eliza by themselves. Emily said how much she loved the little girl and remarked that she would be a mother to her as long as Eliza needed her. Meg walked up silently behind them and said, "Like hell you will." Meg took her baby from an astonished Emily, as Paul tried to explain how he had taken his ex-wife to Fairwinds.
Emily could not believe that Paul thought that it would be all right to hide a fugitive in their house. He said it was a temporary situation, but Emily demanded that Meg leave immediately. Meg argued that she was not crazy, and she blamed everything on Damian and his lies. Emily, however, was on a roll, and she accused Paul of "dragging" Meg back into their lives without even consulting his wife. Emily turned to Meg and said, "Get the hell out of my house."
In Mick's room in the Lakeview, Barbara told him that she could not decide if he was a liar or completely insane for trying to convince her that he was a younger version of James Stenbeck. Mick swore that he had discovered the secret to youth, if not eternal youth, and he offered it to Barbara. He reminded her that it was Christmas Eve, a night of miracles, but Barbara said Mick had two choices: either he went with her to talk to Paul, or she would go to the police. Mick asked what emotion Barbara had felt when she had learned of James's recent death, and she answered, "Sadness and relief."
Mick reminded Barbara that they had experienced more good times than she cared to remember, but she wanted proof positive that Mick was James. Mick said he was more interested in having her feel that he was James. Barbara tried to make another break for the door, but Mick grabbed her and shook her, telling Barbara to admit that she believed him. He wanted to "make amends" to her and to Paul, and he offered Barbara a chance to "reinvent" herself and to be someone new and better. Barbara demanded that Mick let her leave or she would scream loud enough to "raise the dead."
As Emily and Paul continued their argument about Meg at Fairwinds, Mick and Barbara suddenly walked in. Both Emily and Paul said that it was "not a good time" for a visit, but Barbara demanded that her son "make time." Meg interrupted and asked the adults to stop shouting, because it was upsetting the baby, but Mick stepped forward and said that he had "a way with babies." Eliza took to Mick right away, and she was content to have him hold her. Mick urged Paul to cherish his time with his daughter because she would be grown before he knew it. Mick walked out after wishing everyone a merry Christmas.
Meg said that she needed to change Eliza , and she asked to use the nursery upstairs. Emily agreed, as Paul turned to his mother and asked her not to mention to anyone that she had seen Meg at Fairwinds. He also asked why Barbara was with Mick on Christmas Eve, but her answer was that they would discuss that some time when Mick was present. Barbara said a hasty "Merry Christmas," and she dashed out.
Paul apologized to Emily for not keeping her in the loop about Meg. Emily said she had changed her mind because of Eliza and Mick. Meg returned with the baby, and Emily apologized to her and said that Meg did not have to leave. Meg thanked her and asked if Eliza, as the youngest Snyder, could put an ornament on the tree, as was their custom. Emily agreed, but she looked uneasy as Paul joined Meg at the tree and helped their daughter hang an ornament.
At Memorial, Kim found Bob still working long past the time he was on the schedule. They were late for dinner at Margo and Tom's, and Kim hustled Bob out as soon as she could. At their house, Margo sat out on the patio looking at old ornaments that Adam had made as a child. Tom returned home and told his wife that it was all right to miss their son; he missed him, too. Casey and Alison were inside trimming the tree, and Casey watched his parents through the window. He told Alison that he felt guilty because he was the reason that Adam was no longer at home.
Alison was blunt with Casey, and she agreed with him. She also said that it was up to Casey to fix it. She looked again at the ornament of the white church with the steeple and flashed back to her recent dream in which she and Mick Dante went to a similar church. Bob and Kim arrived, and during a lull in the conversation, Alison, over Casey's objections, said that he had mentioned that he was aware how much his parents missed Adam. Everyone apologized for mistakes made in the Adam situation, until Bob broke the serious mood by apologizing for Kim's string bean salad because she had used real string.
Bob spoke privately with his grandson about Alison, but Casey protested that the two of them were "just friends." He said they were "taking things slowly," but Bob warned that he had wasted a lot of time before he realized that he was in love with Kim. He regretted that his head took so long to catch up to his heart, and he advised Casey to "dive into the deep end" if he knew what he wanted.
The Hughes family sat down for dinner, and Bob proposed a toast to their absent children, Frannie, Sabrina, Christopher, and Andy, and those who were only with them in spirit. Bob also complimented Casey on "turning his life around," and he welcomed Alison to their table. Casey stood up and apologized to his parents for being "a handful," and to Alison for messing up with her several times. He said he wanted her to be with him all the time, and then he turned to Alison and said, "Will you marry me?"
Casey's proposal stunned everyone, and Alison got up and excused herself. She walked outside, and the family urged Casey to follow her. The two of them talked on the patio, and Alison told Casey that he was out of his mind. Casey said that he had never stopped loving everything about her, but Alison said she could not deal with it, and she walked out.
Casey went back inside and insisted that Margo open his present to her. His mother did so, and inside the box she found a cell phone. Margo was confused because she already had a new phone, but Casey explained that this was a "special phone." It had been preset, so all Margo had to do was push "send." She did that, and her son Adam answered, and they had a lovely conversation.
Kim told Bob that she wished that he would quit pushing himself so hard at the hospital and would learn to slow down. She reminded him that he no longer had anything to prove, and surprisingly, Bob agreed with her. He handed her a box that contained a pair of sunglasses, and Kim quipped, "Are we moving to Palm Beach?" Then Bob showed her tickets for a two-week cruise through the Greek Isles for just the two of them, and Kim was delighted. She gave Bob a big kiss.
Alison wandered around and finally stumbled upon a church that looked very similar to the ornament she had put on Casey's tree. As she stood in the sanctuary, a door closed behind her, and drew her into the bell tower. She had a strong feeling of déjŕ vu but could not remember actually having been there before. Crouched in a corner of the tower was Mick Dante, who asked what Alison was doing there. Alison said that the church was the same as the one in her dream, and Mick said that he went there "to get away from things."
Alison said she was trying go figure Mick out, and then she said that she had been enjoying Christmas dinner with "the first family of Oakdale," and she was beginning to think that she could fit in. Mick said he was different; he didn't get to choose what he had in his life. He took Alison's arm and said it was time for her to go back.
Margo thanked Casey for the chance to talk to Adam, and they all shared egg nog, as Alison peeked through the window. Casey spotted her, and he ran outside. Alison asked him not to say anything, but she smiled and said that her answer to his proposal was "Yes!"
Barbara was lying in wait for Mick in the Lakeview lobby, and when he walked in, he wanted to know if she had revealed his secret to Paul. Barbara said no, and Mick said that he could offer her a "world without limitations." She answered that she preferred to think of it as "one of the greatest cons in history." Mick moved closer and urged Barbara to start the new decade together with him.
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Katie and Jacob did some last-minute shopping in Old Town, as a bell-ringing Santa wished Katie a Merry Christmas and, surprisingly, called her by name. Brad followed his little family through the town and enjoyed seeing Katie and the baby. Brad also spotted Dusty and Janet as they walked by, and he overheard Janet complain that Liberty was avoiding her and that Jack was at Carly's with his kids.
Liberty and Parker walked out of Fashions, and she told Parker that her mom had been all over her since she had announced that she was quitting school and not going to college. That was news to Parker, and he was shocked; that irritated Liberty, so she told him to go home. Brad listened to his daughter's conversation, too, and then Jack and Carly approached. Carly went into Fashions, while Jack looked in the windows of the bookstore.
One particular book caught Jack's eye, and it caused him to flash back to when he and Brad were young boys and had been sledding on Emma's farm. Jack had been upset with his brother and threatened to kill him. Brad pantomimed being shot, but Carly's return snapped Jack from his reverie. He turned to her and said that he could not pretend that everything was all right when it wasn't. Jack promised to call later, and he left.
Brad watched his brother walk away, just as Henry and Simon approached. Henry, of course, spotted Brad, and he remarked to Simon that all he wanted for Christmas was "a spook-free evening." Simon split when he realized Brad was lurking, and he headed back to the Lakeview, where he was bunking with Henry. Henry turned to Brad and said that the best gift Brad could give him was to "walk towards the white light." Henry took off, as well, and Brad was stunned when Santa turned to him and said that Henry couldn't help him any more.
Santa introduced himself as "Nicholas," and Brad asked Nicholasto please take him out of limbo. Santa said that Brad needed to help his loved ones let go, and then he would be at peace. When Brad asked how to accomplish that, Santa put his arm around Brad's shoulder and said, "Watch and learn."
The next thing Brad knew, he and Santa were in the WOAK studio on the "Oakdale Now" set. Liberty and Parker walked in, and Liberty said that she had first seen her dad on his and Katie's television show. Then she had moved to Oakdale and grown to love him. She admitted that if she left Oakdale to attend college, she was afraid that all her wonderful memories of her dad would disappear. Parker said he didn't think it worked that way, but Liberty was short with him and asked him to leave her alone.
Parker walked out, and Liberty turned on an old tape of Brad and Katie on the show. Brad remarked that he liked his newer hair style better, and Liberty heard him speak. She turned around and cried, "Dad!" Liberty touched her father, and neither one could believe the miracle. Santa counseled Brad to speak to his daughter and do what he had to do. Liberty begged Brad not to leave again, but he told her that she was both smart and beautiful, and she needed to go to college. Liberty cried as her dad promised always to watch over her, and he took her hand and led her outside. He pointed out a particular star and said he would always be "up there, looking down." When Liberty turned back, her dad was gone.
Next Brad went to Metro, where Janet was opening the bar. When she looked up and saw Brad, she got ecstatic/ She hugged him and yelled how much she loved Christmas. Brad tried to explain what had happened, and he said he was there to say goodbye. Janet told him that Jack had left her, and Brad called his brother an idiot. Then he told Janet how much he had loved her at the time they had created Liberty, but he admitted that he had been young and stupid. They danced to "their song," and suddenly Brad was gone. Dusty entered Metro and saw Janet dancing by herself.
Jack was spending Christmas Eve drinking in Yo's, and Brad appeared and sat down next to him. Jack was sure he was drunk and seeing things; he told Brad that he had wondered when his brother would begin haunting him. Brad scolded Jack for not doing Christmas things at home with his children. Brad said that he and Jack needed to take a detour.
Brad took Jack back to the warehouse where the accident occurred. He pointed out how dark it was inside, and he insisted that the shooting was in no way Brad's fault. Next, they went to the Snyder farm, and Brad reminisced how, when they were boys, Emma used to pay them to go out in the woods and cut evergreens for her wreaths. Jack asked why Brad had named his son Jacob, and his brother answered that he wanted the baby to grow up just like Jack. He also asked Jack to be his brother and look after the boy. The two of them hugged, and Brad disappeared. Jack took out a small box from his pocket and placed it under Emma's tree. The tag read "To Janet, from Jack."
Carly spoke with J.J. on the phone and made excuses for Jack's absence. Parker and Sage asked why she had lied to their brother, because they knew that Jack was not spending Christmas Eve with them. Just then, Jack walked in, and everyone was overjoyed to see him. They did a group hug, as, outside, Santa and Brad watched through the window. Santa complimented Brad on how he was handling everything, but then Santa said they had one more stop to make. Brad said if that stop was Katie, he couldn't do it.
Santa was not sympathetic, so Brad vanished and reappeared at his old house. He found Katie sobbing on the floor, as baby Jacob howled. Brad went and picked up the baby and began singing to him, and Katie heard his voice from the other room. She walked in and threw her arms around her husband. Brad put the baby down, and they hugged and kissed for a long while. Then Brad explained that he could not stay, and that threw Katie into a tailspin. She said that she couldn't bear to say goodbye again, so Brad picked her up and suggested that they decorate the tree.
After the tree was finished, Katie and Brad cuddled on the couch and talked about Jacob. The clock chimed, but Brad assured her that he was still there. He picked Katie up again and took her to the bed. They lay together on the bed, but the baby began protesting, so Brad took Jacob into the bed, between them. He told the infant all the things that he wanted to teach him. Then Brad got serious and told Katie that when someone special appeared in her life, she should take a chance on love again. Brad put the baby back in his bassinet, and he went with Katie to put the final star on the top of their tree.
Santa appeared then and told Brad that is was time to go. Brad began to cry, and he and Katie told each other how much they loved one another. Suddenly Brad's image faded away, and Katie promised to see him in her dreams.
Liberty showed up at Carly's with presents for Sage and Parker. She was in a much better frame of mind, and she told Parker that she had reconsidered and would not be dropping out of high school. As she was leaving, Liberty turned and said, "Merry Christmas, Uncle Jack," and gave him a smile. Jack later told Carly that he had seen Brad's ghost, and it had told Jack to snap out of his funk. Jack also thanked Carly for her efforts in finding him and making sure he got back home safely.
At Metro, Janet told Dusty that the Christmas spirit had finally caught her. She asked him to help her hang the mistletoe over the bar's door, and he did. They looked at one another and kissed.
Henry arrived back at his hotel room with a huge pizza. Simon was watching A Christmas Carol on television as his phone rang. The caller was Katie who thanked him for a stuffed kangaroo Simon gave to Jacob. Katie also asked Simon to tell Henry a merry Christmas from her.
Henry opened the pizza and found that all the pepperonis spelled out "SEE YA." Henry laughed and raised his eyes toward heaven, and said, "See ya, pal."
Katie held Jacob and admired her tree. Suddenly the star on the top lit up, all by itself, and they both said goodbye to "Daddy."
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Bob Hughes narrated the holiday episode. He explained that the Snyder family was divided and scattered on Christmas.
At Lily's house, Faith and Ethan missed Holden, and they rejected Lily's suggestion that Damian help them assemble their toys. A sad Luke missed Noah. When Lucinda arrived, she made her way past Damian's security team on the front porch. Lily explained that the men were guarding the house while Damian dealt with the "Meg situation."
Lucinda claimed that she'd left a gift in the car, and she exited. She went to the farm, where Emma prepared Christmas dinner. Lucinda told Emma to drop the baster, because it was up to them to save Christmas. Lucinda wanted to fix the Lily and Holden situation, but Emma reluctantly said that Lily and Holden had hurt each other too much. Emma thought it might be time for the couple to let go. Lucinda reasoned that Holden and Lily's children deserved to have a few good Christmas memories. Emma agreed to help Lucinda give them some.
On the porch, Holden called Molly. She said she didn't think she'd miss him as much as she did, and he replied that he missed her, too. Holden entered the house, and Lucinda left. Suddenly, Emma shouted that she'd burned her Christmas goose. Holden tried to look in the oven, but Emma wouldn't let him. She fretted about giving the children a happy holiday, and she picked up the phone to order take-out from Al's. Holden looked perplexed.
Lucinda called Lily from outside Lily's house. Lily wondered where Lucinda had gone. Lucinda concocted an elaborate story about having to get more gifts from the Lakeview. She said the car had broken down, and she needed Lily to pick her up at Al's Diner.
After Lily left, Lucinda and Luke took the kids to Emma's house. Luke realized that his grandmothers had been plotting to get Lily and Holden together for Christmas. Lucinda hoped that the two could put aside their problems for one day. Luke wondered if the plan would work.
Later, Lily encountered Holden picking up food at Al's Diner. When they explained why they were there, Holden sensed that they'd been set up. "Emma Snyder doesn't burn Christmas dinner," Holden asserted. He said that Emma had blamed the ruined dinner on Lucinda's impromptu visit. Lily wondered if their mothers thought the trick would make her and Holden fall into each other's arms.
Holden asked how Christmas morning had been for the kids, and Lily admitted that it hadn't gone well. She worried about the kids' lack of enthusiasm, but Holden said that everyone needed time to get used to things. Lily and Holden discussed how hard the divorce had been on their children. Lily decided that their mothers were right: Lily and Holden needed to "get over themselves" and give their kids a wonderful Christmas.
Later, Lily and Holden arrived at the farmhouse. The kids hugged them and left the room with Luke. Emma said that she'd managed to salvage the goose. Holden sarcastically replied that he was shocked. Emma said she was sorry for lying, but Lucinda stated that Lucinda wasn't. Lily agreed to stay for dinner, and the adults discussed how to give the kids a good Christmas.
Holden and Luke went outside to get firewood. Holden assured Luke that Noah would figure things out and return home. Luke conveyed that he worried about Natalie, who seemed disappointed that they hadn't taken their family photo yet.
Inside, Natalie told Emma that Ethan was upset because someone at school had claimed that Santa Claus didn't exist. Nearby, Lucinda stopped Ethan from rifling through Faith's purse. Lucinda put the items back into the bag and discovered a letter inside it.
In the kitchen, Lily asked Faith to have lunch the next day, but Faith didn't think it'd be fair to ask a depressed Luke to babysit. Faith said that Natalie would get jealous and Ethan would get scared that Lily wouldn't return home. Faith walked out, and Lily joined Holden and Emma's conversation about the newly discovered problems with the kids.
Lucinda showed them the acceptance letter from East Lake Boarding School. Lucinda suspected that Faith had applied without permission. Lucinda couldn't blame Faith for running away from the family. Bob narrated that Christmases just weren't the same anymore.
Lily and Holden confronted Faith about the admission letter. Faith explained that their family had changed too much for her to stick around. Faith had visited the school when Jack had gone to see his son, and she praised the institute's writing program. Holden thought Faith was too young to go away. Faith said that her parents wouldn't stop her, and she walked out. Lily wondered what Holden and she would do. Holden decided to start with an easier problem.
Lily found Faith in the living room. Lily asked if Faith wanted to leave home because of Damian. Faith said that Damian had been a consideration, but Faith really wanted to go to the school to pursue her writing.
Holden entered the room dressed in a Santa suit. He claimed that he was the real Santa Claus. Just then, Luke entered. Luke was also dressed as Santa. When Ethan looked confused, Luke claimed that Luke was Santa's brother. Ethan pulled off Luke's beard, and Holden discretely slipped out of the room.
Lily announced that it was time to take their Christmas photo. As Luke set up the camera, Lucinda said that they had to make room for one more person. Luke looked up to see Lucinda guiding Noah into the room.
Emma hugged Noah, and he said that Lucinda had sent her jet for him. Lucinda stated that she couldn't allow Noah and Luke to be separated on Christmas. Luke approached Noah, but Noah shied away. Emma, Lucinda, and the kids led Noah and Luke to the kitchen. Alone with Lily, Holden wondered if Luke and Noah would make it. Lily didn't know how they wouldn't. She said a love like that never went away.
Emma returned with a copy of the essay that Faith had submitted to the boarding school. Emma handed it to Lily and left. Lily read the essay aloud. In it, Faith described her parents as star-crossed lovers who'd broken up more times than anyone could count. Faith was sure that her parents would reunite because they were soul mates. Faith said that if she got into the school, she'd miss her family; however, she knew they'd always be there. She said that her family was imperfect in a perfect way.
Holden and Lily called Faith into the room to tell her that she could go to the school. Faith ran off to tell Luke and Noah. Holden asked if Lily were sure about it. Lily said that she wasn't, but she wouldn't hold her daughter back.
As Noah ate in the kitchen, Luke said that Luke still wanted a life with Noah. Noah replied that Noah still had too many things to sort out on his own. Luke asked why Noah had visited. Noah said that Noah couldn't stop thinking about Christmas with Luke and the family. Noah warned Luke not to read too much into it, because that was all that Noah knew for the time being. Luke hugged Noah.
Luke gave Noah a box of items that Luke hoped would remind Noah of home. Each item represented Noah's senses. Noah remarked that he was supposed to have five senses. Noah said that he couldn't live the rest of his life that way.
Everyone gathered for the family photo. Lucinda said she wasn't a Snyder, but Emma said that Lucinda was a Snyder, whether Lucinda liked it or not. After the photo, each person made a wish and hung an ornament on the tree. When they couldn't find Lily's ornament, Holden offered to hang his ornament with Lily. Just as they hung it together, Molly pranced in with Christmas gifts from California.
Lucinda murmured that she wanted to change her wish. Lily decided to leave, because Damian might be at her house. Lucinda told Emma that there was still much work to be done. "Not today," Emma sadly replied. Holden walked Lucinda and Lily out. He watched them through the window as they strode away.
Lucinda and Lily returned to Lily's house. They looked at the family photo on a laptop. In the photo, Holden and Lily smiled at each other.
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