At the hospital, Bo tried to figure out how a dead body ended up in the bed of one of Carly's patients. Daniel said he had discovered who put the body there and why. He said that a new orderly took the blame for the incident and then quit. He said the hospital tried to follow up with the orderly with more questions, but he was nowhere to be found. Bo asked Daniel how he and Carly knew each other. Daniel said that they had worked together for a couple years, and at the time, Daniel did not know that Carly had been married to Victor. Daniel was glad that Bo didn't hate Carly like Victor did. Bo said he considered Carly a "good friend."
Bo told Carly that they needed to pay Vivian a visit, but Carly didn't see the point. Carly wanted to leave her alone, because it might cause the situation to escalate. Bo ordered Carly to go home with him so that they could discuss the matter in private. At Bo's house, Carly and Bo argued about whether to back off of Vivian. Bo forgot what he was saying, and they had a good laugh about it. Bo said that Carly was still impossible. Carly started to leave, and then she noticed that a picture of Bo, Hope, and Ciara was missing. Carly asked what happened to it, and Bo said that Hope took it. Bo confided in Carly that he thought that his marriage was over.
Bo regretted telling Carly about the state of his marriage. He said that Hope would be upset that he confided in Carly, and Bo would feel the same way if the roles were reversed. Carly said she understood. Bo couldn't understand how he and Hope got to where they were. He said he and Hope used to be able to talk about things and resolve their issues, but there was too much resentment and anger.
Carly started crying. Bo asked what was wrong, and she said she regretted how his admission made her feel. He asked how it made her feel. Carly said that she had reacted badly to Justin's accusations because she realized that Justin was right. She said she had been "stuffing" her feelings for too long and she couldn't deny any longer that she was falling in love with Bo again. Carly tried to leave, but Bo stopped her and said she didn't need to leave.
Will stopped by Mia's house to find out what time she wanted him to pick her up for the school dance. He suggested 7:00, which was fine with her, but Chad's phone call interrupted their conversation. Chad also wanted to know what time to pick up Mia. He suggested the same time that Will suggested - 7:00 p.m. Mia hung up with Chad.
Brady playfully kissed Arianna, but she wanted him to let her get out of bed so that she wouldn't be late for work. Brady went to take a shower, and after he left the room, there was a knock at the door. It was E.J., who started interrogating Arianna about why she went to Cleveland. E.J. accused Arianna of working with Brady to kidnap Sydney. Arianna got angry and tried to kick E.J. out, but he wouldn't leave.
Brady returned and asked why E.J. was blaming Arianna. Arianna explained that she was at the Java Café with Melanie when Sami got the phone call from Nicole. E.J. slowly realized that he had made a mistake. He apologized and said he couldn't sleep or eat because he was desperate to find his daughter. Arianna said she understood. Arianna tried to make E.J. feel better, but E.J. interrupted her and told her not to apologize. E.J. felt that it was his fault for rejecting his daughter.
Chloe visited Nicole in jail and gave her a book to read. The only gift that Nicole wanted was for Sydney to be safe. Nicole told Chloe that she remembered the boots that the kidnapper wore when she took Sydney. Nicole believed that Stefano was behind the kidnapping. She said that Roman didn't believe her about the boots, but Rafe did. Chloe said she would try to visit Nicole on Christmas Day, but Nicole discouraged it, saying that Chloe needed to spend time with Daniel.
Chloe planned to convince Brady to visit Nicole, but Nicole said that Brady had made it clear to Nicole that he wouldn't see her again, and Nicole knew she had to accept it. Brady visited Nicole in jail. He said they hadn't found Sydney and that, according to E.J., Stefano wasn't involved. Nicole was going crazy thinking that Sydney was kidnapped by a stranger. Nicole asked Brady to promise that he wouldn't stop searching for Sydney, even if everyone else gave up hope. He promised Nicole he would continue the search.
Rafe told Sami that after he gave Stefano a truth serum, Stefano admitted that he did not have Sydney and did not know anything about the woman that Nicole said took her. Sami was worried that the news meant that Sydney was with a complete stranger. Sami believed that Nicole was behind the kidnapping, but Rafe said he didn't believe Nicole was behind it either. Rafe told Sami about how Nicole saw the kidnapper's boots. Sami got upset at hearing that the only lead they had was about the kidnapper's boots. Rafe tried to calm Sami down and told Sami to imagine Sydney sitting under the Christmas tree opening her presents. He said that they would find Sydney.
E.J. called Sami and asked her and Rafe to go to the mansion, because he had a plan. Once they arrived at the DiMera mansion, E.J. told Rafe that he made "inappropriate accusations" against Arianna, but she forgave him. Rafe said that if his sister forgave E.J., Rafe was okay about it. E.J. suggested that they offer a cash reward. Rafe received a phone call, and it seemed to be good news. He told Sami and E.J. that the description Nicole gave of the kidnapper's boots matched up with one specific kind of boot, and only one pair was ever sold in Salem -- to a woman that E.J. and Sami knew very well.
Anna told Sydney that she believed she did the right thing, because Sydney belonged with her. She said that Tony would be crazy about her. Anna showed Sydney a picture of Tony and said he was "the best man" she ever knew. She said that being a DiMera destroyed him, and she was thankful that Sydney would never have to suffer that way. Anna thought that everyone might be suffering "a great deal right now, but soon they'll be suffering much, much more." Anna made a ransom note that said, "I have your daughter." Anna put the paper down and told Sydney that they were going to spend their first Christmas together, and "Auntie Anna" would make it very special for her.
Will ran into Gabi at the pier. She asked how the search for Sydney was going. Will said there was nothing so far, but he was looking forward to going to the school dance with Mia. Later, Chad saw Gabi at the pier, and he encouraged her to go to the dance. He said he was planning to take Mia. She asked if Chad was going with Mia and Will. Chad was confused at first. Gabi covered by saying that English was her second language and that boys mumbled.
"T" stopped by Maggie's house to retrieve his phone from Mia. He apologized for Kinsey's behavior. Mia confided in him that she had accepted a date to the dance with both Will and with Chad. T advised Mia to call Chad and tell him that she was going to the dance with Will. Chad would be offended and throw a temper tantrum, T said. Mia asked T not to tell Kinsey about it. He agreed to keep the situation to himself, but he felt that she would hear about it from someone.
Will stopped by to see Mia after T left. Before Mia could tell Will about accepting Chad's offer to be his date to the dance, Chad showed up asking Mia to tell them who she was going to the dance with -- him or Will.
At the Brady Pub, Gabi noticed what a good mood Arianna was in and suspected that it was because of Brady. Arianna said she wanted to do something for Brady, and she needed Gabi's help. She wanted to make some homemade tamales.
At the Java Café, Hope told Lexie that she was jealous of Carly. "It's like she staked a claim on him and her claim trumps everything," Hope muttered. When Lexie noted that Bo was a protective man, Hope countered that Carly looked like she "could take care of herself." Sighing, Lexie told Hope about the corpse that Vivian had left for Carly. Hope seemed amused by Vivian's message, but then she became upset when she realized that Carly called Bo after the incident.
At Bo's house, Carly admitted that she was falling back in love with Bo. Embarrassed, Carly started to leave, but Bo stopped her. Bo explained that he was surprised by Carly's admission, and then he changed the subject to the corpse that Vivian had left at the hospital. Noting Bo's discomfort, Carly asked Bo to forget that she had said anything about her feelings for him.
Bo blamed himself for their awkward situation, and Carly told Bo that he was not responsible for her feelings. "I'm not talking about how you feel," Bo said gruffly. After explaining that he was in a strange place in his life, Bo noted that he felt good to be able to help someone that he had so many good memories of in his life. As Bo stepped closer to Carly, Hope stormed through the front door of the house.
As Carly and Bo stood in an awkward silence, Hope asked Carly how she was doing after the incident with the corpse. Carly said she was fine then turned to Bo and said, "I'll think about what you said." After Carly was gone, Hope noted that Carly "sure didn't need Vivian in her life." Changing the subject, Bo asked Hope why she was stopping by the house. Hope told Bo that Alice was not up to having Christmas at her house and that she had requested they have Christmas at Bo and Hope's house. Bo reminded Hope that Hope and Ciara were not living at the house, but Hope countered that she thought the family was hoping it would get Bo and Hope back together.
"Is that what you want?" Bo asked tentatively. "I want us to get back together if we can solve the problems that we seem to have," Hope answered. Hope and Bo reminisced about past Christmases and how much they would like to see Ciara unwrap her presents. Bo suggested that they have Christmas at their house in the hopes that things would get better. "I think that we should do this. If only for Ciara," Bo said. Hope agreed that there was no commitment, and they agreed to spend Christmas Eve together as a family.
While working at the hospital, Carly received a call from Bo. Noting the caller ID, Carly sent the call to voicemail. "Call me. We're not finished," Bo said.
In Maggie's kitchen, Chad confronted Mia about who she was taking to the dance. When Chad said that Mia had agreed to go with him, a disbelieving Will asked Mia to set Chad straight. "It's complicated," Mia said. When Will pushed Mia to answer, she admitted that Chad was right. Mia explained that Chad misunderstood and that she was afraid to hurt his feelings and tell him that she was going to the dance with Will. Angry, Chad told Mia that she no longer had two dates for the dance and then walked out.
"So last night when you were upset, you went and talked to him?" Will asked bitterly. Mia explained that she had gone to thank Chad for covering her shift at work. Unsure, Will asked Mia to tell him who she preferred to go to the dance with. Mia assured Will that she wanted to attend the dance with him. Mia explained that when she was talking to Chad, they were having a civil and heartfelt discussion, and when he asked her to the dance, she did not know how to react without hurting his feelings. After listening to Mia's explanation, Will told her he would pick her up at 7:00 p.m. for the dance.
As Maggie entered the kitchen, Will headed out the door. Maggie apologized for interrupting and asked Mia if she wanted to talk. Mia brought Maggie up to speed on her dilemma with Will and Chad, prompting Maggie to sarcastically joke about what a wonderful evening Mia was going to have. Mia said that she felt guilty that she liked that Chad wanted to take her to the dance. Maggie counseled Mia to relax and not over think how she was feeling. Smiling, Maggie told Mia that she and Will should act like "a couple of kids going to a dance."
At the Brady Pub, Gabi helped Arianna wrap tamales to give away for Christmas. Arianna worried about how Sami and Rafe were going to spend Christmas with Sydney still missing. Noting that she was headed home on the bus in the morning, Gabi told Arianna that she would miss spending the holidays with her. Gabi added that she was relieved to head home, since she did not have any friends in Salem. When Gabi mentioned the dance that night, Arianna encouraged her to go to the dance and make friends. Gabi declined the suggestion, then headed off to the store to get more supplies for another batch of tamales.
Down on the pier, Gabi ran into Chad and asked him why he was not ready for the dance. Chad admitted that Mia was going to the dance with Will, and he told Gabi that she was right about Mia. With a tired smile, Gabi apologized for being right and told Chad that she had to go to the store to buy cornhusks. With a wide smile on his face, Chad stopped Gabi and asked her to go to the dance with him. "Like I have nothing better to do?" Gabi said with a grin.
In Maggie's kitchen, Will arrived to pick up Mia. When Mia walked into the room, Will was stunned. With a nervous smile on his face, Will placed a corsage on Mia's wrist and posed for a picture with her. As Mia grabbed her purse, Will told Mia that they were going to meet "T" and Kinsey at the pub before they went to the dance. Mia admitted that she felt bad that Chad was going to the dance alone, but Will countered that Chad would be fine.
Gabi rushed back to the pub to get ready for the dance. Arianna offered to let Gabi wear one of her dresses, but Gabi could not find anything that she liked. Meanwhile, Chad arrived downstairs looking for Gabi.
Kate visited Stefano in his jail cell. Stefano asked her to contact his employee about the search for Sydney and tell him that they were looking for a female kidnapper.
As Sami and E.J. stood nervously in the DiMera living room, Rafe informed them that he had some information on the boots that Nicole described from her memory of the kidnapping. Rafe explained that only one pair of those boots were sold in Salem and that the person that purchased those boots was Kate. Noting that Stefano was under the truth serum, E.J. wondered aloud whether Kate was acting on her own.
"If my father finds out, she's a dead woman," E.J. said. Visibly shaken, Sami sat down and marveled at how much Kate hated her after so many years. When Rafe announced that Kate did not seem to have a motive, E.J. theorized that Kate was getting revenge on Stefano for blackmailing her into marrying him. As E.J. and Sami argued over Kate's motive, Kate arrived home. Rafe warned Sami to "play it close to the vest," but overcome with years of rage, Sami marched up to Kate and began to strangle her.
Rafe pulled Sami off of Kate, but Sami continued to yell out accusations at Kate. Calling Sami delusional, Kate denied that she had kidnapped Sydney. As Sami struggled to attack Kate again, Stefano arrived home and warned Sami, Rafe, and E.J. to stay away from his wife. E.J. demanded answers from Kate, and she appealed to Stefano for help. Turning toward his father, E.J. told Stefano that he had proof that Kate was involved in the kidnapping. noting that she was with him when Sydney was kidnapped, Stefano took Kate's side.
E.J. informed Stefano that they learned that the boots that the kidnapper wore were rare and that Kate was the only one in Salem to purchase a pair. With a smirk, Kate told E.J. that she had returned those boots to the store because she did not like how they looked on her feet. As proof, Kate produced an email on her Blackberry showing that she had returned them to the store. E.J. examined the email on the phone, and noted that the boots had been returned two weeks before.
With her name cleared, Kate demanded, "Can I politely ask for someone to remove that piece of trash from my living room?" Rafe guided a weeping Sami to the front door and promised her that they would find the owner of the boots. Rafe took Sami back to their apartment, and he apologized for telling her about Kate before he had concrete evidence against her. Smiling, Sami assured Rafe that he did the right thing by telling her, and that she felt better since she attempted to choke Kate. Rafe encouraged Sami to stay strong, and he pulled her into a warm embrace.
In the DiMera living room, Stefano apologized for E.J.'s behavior, but Kate joked that she had heard worse from her own sons. Kate told Stefano that she did not need him to defend her, but Stefano insisted that he wanted to defend the ones he loved. As Stefano pulled Kate closer, his phone rang. When Stefano realized that Lexie was calling, he excitedly answered and asked Lexie to tell Theo that he would help him set up the toy train set. With a cold, firm voice, Lexie announced that she would not take Theo over to the DiMera mansion for Christmas.
Stefano blamed Abe for Lexie declining to spend Christmas with her father. "We are gonna spend Christmas together, and you know something? I can not think of anyone that I'd rather be with, my dear, dear partner in crime," Stefano said. "You say the sweetest things to me," Kate purred before kissing Stefano.
At the Brady Pub, Arianna saw E.J. sitting at a table looking morose. Arianna cautiously approached E.J. and sat down next to him at his table. E.J. apologized to Arianna and urged her to believe that he did not think she had anything to do with Sydney's kidnapping. Arianna told E.J. that she understood that he was grieving over his daughter. E.J. informed Arianna about the lead on Sydney, but lamented that it was a dead end. "If the person who took Sydney saw the look in your eyes right now, they would give her back. They would have to," Arianna said. "You've just given me an idea," E.J. said. E.J. kissed Arianna softly on the cheek and wished her a "Merry Christmas" as he left.
E.J. interrupted Sami and Rafe's evening at home to ask Sami if she would help him with his plan. E.J. explained that he wanted to have a Christmas Eve vigil. "I was hoping that you and I might pray together," E.J. said. "I think that's a wonderful idea," Sami replied. "I can't think of anything that I would rather do this Christmas," Sami added.
In her hideaway, Anna fussed over Sydney. "I will do whatever it takes to make sure that she doesn't have to grow up in the hell that you did, my darling," said Anna softly as she stared at a photo of Tony. Anna continued to work on her ransom note for Sydney's family. Propping the day's newspaper next to Sydney, Anna snapped a photo of her. "This is going to be the best Christmas card ever," Anna said with a smile. While Anna was deciding on a photo to send to Sydney's family, she received a call on her cell phone. "Oh, my God. It's you," Anna said as she answered the phone.
Melanie was on the phone with her brother when Philip arrived to pick her up. After she hung up, Melanie told Philip that Max had just wanted to let her know that Caroline had invited her to the Bradys' traditional Christmas party. Philip assured her that he wouldn't mind if she accepted the invitation, but she said she would rather spend the holiday on a tropical island with him. Philip's cell phone rang, so Melanie offered to meet him at the Java Café so he could answer the call privately.
Nathan and Stephanie stopped to have coffee at the Java Café after Christmas shopping. They arranged a time to meet for midnight mass on Christmas Eve, and agreed that they could call it a "date" without things becoming awkward or uncomfortable between them. Stephanie dropped her scarf, and as Nathan bent to pick it up, he noticed they were right under some mistletoe.
Stephanie assured Nathan that a kiss under the mistletoe didn't have to be binding, so he brushed her hair back and kissed her on the cheek - just as Melanie walked in and witnessed it. When Nathan went to the counter, Melanie said hello to Stephanie and remarked that Stephanie and Nathan seemed to be having a romantic Christmas. She insisted it didn't bother her, though, because she was on her way to a tropical vacation with Philip. Stephanie replied that she preferred a more traditional kind of Christmas, but Melanie stated that she couldn't miss what she'd never had.
When Philip met Justin in front of the Brady Pub, Justin held up two tickets for a big football game. Philip apologetically replied that he couldn't go, because he was on his way to the airport. Justin cheerfully told him to enjoy his trip, but Philip could tell that something was bothering his cousin. Justin admitted with feigned nonchalance, "It's not a big deal: Adrienne doesn't want me home for Christmas."
They shared a wry laugh about Justin's having to participate in the Kiriakis family Christmas, and Justin asked if Philip were going on a solo trip out of town. Philip replied that he was taking Melanie, and added that he felt bad for what Justin was going through. Justin urged Philip to hurry and get out of town with his beautiful girlfriend, but promised that he would be all right. Justin then left with a hearty "Merry Christmas!"
Soon, Philip was leading a blindfolded Melanie into a hotel room. As he removed her blindfold, he explained that they were not actually on a tropical island, but instead at an inn just outside of Salem. Melanie looked around with awe at the room, which Philip had decked out with traditional Christmas wreaths, twinkling lights, garlands, and candles, and a fire burned in the fireplace. "Are we in Santa's workshop?" she asked with a giggle, thrilled that he had made such a touching effort for her.
Melanie guessed that Philip's phone call had been from a lonely friend, whom Philip hadn't wanted to be too far from at the holidays. Philip acknowledged that it had been, and then asked, "So, do you think we can have a nice time here?" Melanie replied, "That depends if we decide to be naughty or nice." She kissed him.
Later, Melanie surprised Philip by playing Christmas music on her digital music player. He confessed, "Maybe this Christmas stuff isn't all too bad when you're with someone you love - like you, Melanie." He presented her with a beautifully wrapped gift, which she began opening eagerly. As she pulled on the bow, she was startled to find a sparkling diamond solitaire tied to it. "It's a ring," Philip offered helpfully. "I don't want to just spend Christmas with you. I want to spend the rest of my life with you." Melanie stammered that she must have been hallucinating, so Philip got down on one knee, and slipped the ring on her finger. "It's me - I'm Philip, asking you, Melanie, to marry me."
Will and Mia arrived at the Brady Pub to meet Tad and Kinsey before the school dance. Kinsey made a sarcastic remark about Mia's wrist corsage, and quickly informed the others that she and Tad were not officially on a date. Just as Mia was expressing her concern for Chad, he walked in, holding a corsage box. Mia was worried that he'd bought it for her before he found out that she was going to the dance with Will, but he informed the group that it was for his date, Gabi.
In Arianna's room upstairs, Gabi decided that the fancy dress Adrianna was letting her borrow looked too dowdy. "Tell Chad I'm not going to the dance," she demanded petulantly. "Tell him I got the plague. Looks like I did." Arianna pretended to agree, suggesting that the two of them get back to wrapping tamales - and after that, Gabi could help Caroline wash dishes. When Gabi snapped at her, Arianna smiled and offered to help her sister find something else to wear.
While Chad and Mia talked privately, Tad needled Will, and wondered why he wasn't mad at Mia for accepting dates from both Will and Chad. Will defended Mia for the misunderstanding, pointing out that she had been through a lot, and asked crossly what Tad's problem was. "I'm trying to make you as miserable as I am," Tad replied with a sly grin.
Chad lightheartedly explained to Mia that he'd asked Gabi to the dance after Mia had "dumped" him - although he still wished Mia were going with him. Mia was glad that he had a date. Chad teased her about "humiliating" him, and insisted that she save one dance for him.
Just then, Gabi entered, wearing the same dress of Arianna's, which they had quickly altered. Kinsey gushed that Gabi looked amazing, as Chad did a double take, and Mia tried not to appear jealous. Gabi introduced Chad to Arianna, who pulled Chad aside and warned him with a smile, "You lay a hand on my little sister, and my big brother's gonna deal with you - ex-Agent Hernandez." Kinsey then took a picture of Gabi and Chad in front of the Christmas tree.
After the others left for the dance, Will accused Mia of lying to him about the situation with him and Chad. She apologized, explaining that she'd been trying to fix things before Will found out, because she'd been afraid he wouldn't want to take her. An understanding Will admitted that he still wanted them to go to the dance together - but after he called his mom to find out if there were any news about Sydney. Mia agreed to meet him at the dance so he could make his call in private.
Later, Chad and Gabi left the dance to walk along the pier, because she wanted some fresh air. He noticed that she was shivering, and thoughtfully wrapped his scarf around her neck. Gabi confessed that she hadn't wanted to slow dance with him because she didn't know how. Chad informed her that his parents had made him take dance lessons when he was a kid, so he could teach her. He turned on his digital music player, and took Gabi in his arms. As they swayed together, Mia arrived on the pier on her way to the dance and spotted them.
Brady went to the jail to visit Nicole, who was surprised and thrilled to see him. She confided that she had forgotten for a while that Sydney wasn't her baby, and asked Brady if she could have a picture of Sydney. Brady didn't think it was a good idea. Nicole expressed her frustration at not being able to help with the search for Sydney, and asked if there were any news. Brady filled her in that the lead on the boots had turned out to be a dead end, since Kate had bought but then returned them.
Nicole could tell that Brady was holding something back, and pressed him for more details. Brady reluctantly told her about the candlelight vigil E.J. and Sami were planning for Christmas Eve. Nicole knew that if the vigil had been E.J.'s idea, he must have been desperate, since he was normally very private.
Nicole's public defender, Joanna Leone, arrived just then, announcing that she was almost certain she could get Nicole out of there. Joanna began questioning Nicole about the shoplifting charges against her. A confused Nicole irritably pointed out that she'd been charged with switching babies, not shoplifting. Once she realized who Nicole was, and that she had the wrong client, Joanna declared with a chortle, "Dude, after what you did, you'll probably be locked up for a couple decades!"
Brady was furious that Joanna was so incompetent that she mixed up her clients. He fired her and promised to hire and pay for a "real lawyer" for Nicole. Although touched, Nicole tried to decline, but Brady insisted. A grateful Nicole stated that she hoped the vigil would help them find Sydney, and added, "I would stay in here forever if it meant that Sydney could come home." Brady held Nicole's hand comfortingly through the bars as she worried about Sydney's first Christmas - when they didn't even know if she was all right.
Brady was barking orders at a criminal attorney on his cell phone as he arrived at the Brady Pub later. A grinning Arianna skipped out from the kitchen right after Brady hung up, and threw her arms around him happily. Brady glumly announced that he had something to tell her, but before he could, Arianna told him excitedly about what a nice time she'd had helping Gabi get ready for the dance. She giddily chattered on about what a great Christmas they would all have, but then stopped herself and asked what Brady had wanted to tell her. "You know what? It's nothing," he replied, too pleased at how happy Arianna was to spoil her good mood. "Nothing at all."
While Anna was deciding on a photo of Sydney to send with the ransom note, she was surprised to receive a phone call from Roman. Roman reminded her that he always called her around Christmas. He noted that neither of them were having great years, and asked if Anna would like to accompany him to the Horton family Christmas. Anna seemed delighted that he asked, but declined, claiming she wouldn't be good company. Roman tried to insist on at least taking her out for Christmas dinner, but she maintained that she would be spending Christmas with Tony "in spirit."
After she hung up, Anna spoke to Tony's photo. "You probably wouldn't approve of what I'm doing, darling," she said. "But I'm taking good care of the baby - and Stefano needs to pay for what he did. Treating his eldest son like dirt, and forcing you to do dangerous and desperate things? He took the person I love most in the world away from me, so I took Sydney away from him - from all of them. And now they'll understand what grief feels like," she concluded, gazing determinedly down at Sydney in her playpen. Later, Anna held Sydney in her lap in the rocking chair, and promised that the three of them - Anna, Sydney, and Tony - would have a wonderful Christmas.
In her cell, Nicole closed her eyes, rocking back and forth as if she were cradling Sydney in her arms. "When I get out of here," Nicole whispered, "I promise I'll find you." She remembered the voice of the woman who had taken Sydney, and her eyes suddenly flew open with recognition. "I know that voice!" she declared, her brow furrowing as she tried to remember to whom it belonged.
Stefano asked about Sydney's vigil, but E.J. said he would rather have Stefano stay away from it. Kate overheard E.J.'s remark. Stefano told her "Aw, children. They're either selfish or geniuses, and they do not understand how much they need us." Kate said, "Or how much we need them."
Melanie thought about the prospect of being Mrs. Philip Kiriakis. Philip wanted to know what her answer was. She wasn't prepared to answer Philip just yet. Melanie told him that she couldn't be won over like some prize. Philip said that she wasn't that type of person -- he understood that she wanted to wait, and he said that he was a patient man. Melanie tried to give him back the ring, but it was stuck on her finger. Philip considered it fate and said that Melanie needed to marry him. "Face it. We're bonded. We're meant to be together forever," he said.
"Forever is a really long time," she said. "Not long enough," Philip replied. Melanie and Philip made love, and he urged her to say yes to his proposal. She accepted his marriage proposal.
Rafe literally ran into Carly down at the pier, and they recognized each other from when Carly saved Rafe's life on board Omar's boat. Rafe expressed his gratitude for Carly saving his life. He said he had tried to thank her earlier when he went back to the boat, but Carly was gone. Rafe asked what Carly was doing in town, and she said that she had lived in Salem years before and was in town permanently. Rafe mentioned that he'd meant to tell Sami how Carly saved his life. Carly remembered when Rafe had been delirious and said his name was "Sam." She realized he'd been referring to Sami. . Carly also realized that Rafe was involved in Sami's search for Sydney. Rafe asked Carly to attend the candlelight vigil at the pier for Sami's baby, and Carly was eager to join them.
At Bo's house, Doug and Julie arrived bearing gifts. Julie thought that Alice's idea to invite the family to hang ornaments on Bo and Hope's tree would mean that Bo, Hope, and Ciara would be back together for Christmas. Bo warned Julie that things wouldn't be perfect between him and Hope. Julie made it clear that she didn't plan on hanging even one ornament until the whole family helped Bo and Hope work things out. Doug took Julie aside and urged her not to push Bo and Hope. She said she "wouldn't dream of it."
Hope saw Sami outside the Brady Pub, and Hope offered Sami some advice regarding how to deal with Sydney's kidnapping. She encouraged Sami to act on her instincts immediately and do whatever Sami thought might locate Sydney. Hope said that she'd almost lost Ciara, and she didn't know if Ciara would ever recover. Hope said that if she had followed her gut instead of police procedure, Ciara might have been home the first day, but instead, Ciara's life might not ever be the same. After Hope left, Rafe called to see where Sami was because people had already gathered for the vigil. She said she would join him as soon as she followed her "gut."
Arianna stopped by the Kiriakis mansion to visit Brady. He received a phone call from Nicole's lawyer, saying that he wouldn't be able to see Nicole until next week, which was unacceptable to Brady. He ordered the attorney to see her right away or he would stop payment on the check he had written. Arianna overheard Brady's call and asked if he had arranged for Nicole's lawyer. He admitted to it and apologized for not telling her sooner.
He said Arianna had seemed so happy that she and Gabi were getting along that he didn't want to ruin it. Arianna got upset, saying that he was still protecting Nicole. Brady tried to explain that he refused to let someone take advantage of Nicole, but she didn't want to hear it. She said she was in no position to judge. Brady opened the gift that Arianna had given him and saw cufflinks that had belonged to her grandfather.
Rafe went to the Brady Pub to see Arianna, and she told him that Brady had hired a lawyer for Nicole. Rafe suggested that Brady might be doing Nicole "one last favor" so that he could move on with Arianna. Arianna told Rafe that she gave their grandfather's cufflinks to Brady as a present and their mother would understand why when she met him.
Nicole tried to remember why the voice of the woman who had kidnapped Sydney sounded so familiar. Sami heard Nicole talk to herself about trying to remember the woman's voice. "So it's true. You are remembering something," Sami said to her. Nicole said the woman's voice sounded familiar, but she couldn't figure out who it was. Nicole didn't tell the police, because they wouldn't believe her. Sami pushed Nicole to do whatever she could to remember the voice and then tell Sami who it was. Nicole said that she was trying, and if she knew who the woman was, she would tell Nicole. Sami believed Nicole, but urged her to focus and try to remember everything she could about the voice, and to call Sami as soon as she did.
Anna looked at a picture of Tony and told him that she wouldn't be alone on Christmas anymore. Stefano called Anna, saying he was thinking about Tony and wanted to wish her a Merry Christmas. He invited her to join them for Christmas. He wanted to know where she was so he could send the jet for her. He wanted her to be part of the holidays so it would help him feel closer to Tony. She said that if he wanted to feel closer to Tony, he could "drop dead." Anna took Sydney for a drive into Salem to "do what has to be done."
Stephanie and Nathan stopped by Maggie's house so they could all go to Bo's house for their Horton Christmas tradition. When Maggie was out of the room, Stephanie told Nathan that she was excited to experience the Horton-Brady Christmas Eve and she wasn't upset that Melanie decided to stay away. Nathan agreed, because he would have otherwise missed out on other opportunities like kissing Stephanie, and he pulled her into a kiss.
Julie lectured Bo about sticking together through difficult times in a marriage. Bo said that he understood and he wasn't an idiot. "You could have fooled me," Julie said. Bo said that just because he and Hope were hosting the Christmas party didn't mean that their problems would disappear. Hope arrived and overheard Bo and agreed with him. She said that spending Christmas together wouldn't solve all their problems. Bo asked that Julie give them space to work things out. "Of course," Maggie said when she walked in the room. Julie didn't see why the people who loved Bo and Hope couldn't help them.
Doug lectured Julie about how Bo and Hope's marriage was their business. Julie apologized for interfering. Bo accepted her apology and said they knew she did it because she cared. Will, Lucas, and Allie walked in, and they all began hanging the ornaments on the tree. First were Alice and Tom, then Addie, followed by Julie and Doug. After that, Maggie hung Mickey's ornament next to hers. Will hung his next to Lucas' ornament, and Lucas helped Allie hang hers below that. Nathan hung his ornament below Melissa's. Ciara hung her ornament below Shawn Douglas and Belle, and next to Claire and Chelsea's. Hope hung her ornament and handed Bo's to him. Their hands touched. Hope picked up Zack's ornament, and she remembered how their marriage had fallen apart after his death. She hung the ornament, and when she turned around, Bo was gone.
Hope found Bo outside, and he said that he was having a difficult time watching her family hurt for them. Hope wished that there were a way for them to work things out, and he wished for the same. She said that if it were a movie, Bo would take her into his arms and whisper that everything would be okay. Bo said that things were not that simple. "Too much" had happened, he said. Bo decided to leave to check on his mother and Sami, but he said he would return.
Sami told Rafe that Nicole was close to remembering whose voice she'd heard when Sydney was kidnapped. Sami wondered what their lives would have been like if Nicole hadn't switched the babies. E.J. saw Sami talking to Rafe and started to approach, but then he stopped. "But E.J. is in the picture now. Everything is so complicated. You know, it just could have been so perfect for us. We could have had Sydney, and we could have raised her -- just you and me." Rafe told Sami that he loved Sydney and would raise her like she was his own.
E.J. interrupted them and apologized for being late. Sami told E.J. that Nicole thought that she knew the voice of the woman who had Sydney. E.J. thought that Nicole had been stringing them along. Sami believed that Nicole was going to help them get Sydney back. Rafe said that it didn't matter what Nicole remembered, because they would get Sydney back, anyway, as Rafe's gift to Sami.
Abe began the candlelight vigil by calling for everyone to help return Sydney to her parents. E.J. and Sami issued a televised plea for assistance in locating Sydney. Sami explained to the crowd how she found out that Sydney, not Grace, was her daughter. Sami begged for the kidnapper not to let Sami lose her daughter again. Bo, Caroline, Nathan, Stephanie, Arianna, and Will joined Sami, E.J., Rafe, and the rest of the town in a prayer for Sydney's safe return. Hope showed up, also, as well as Brady. Rafe promised Sami that they would get Sydney back.
Nicole prayed that God would bring E.J. and Sami's baby home safely.
At the inn outside Salem, as Melanie and Philip lay in bed together, she held up her hand to admire her engagement ring. Philip declared that her accepting his proposal had been the best Christmas present ever. Melanie then gave Philip his Christmas gift, a box of things she'd gotten for him to enjoy if they had gone on their tropical-island getaway. Philip promised that they would still go on the trip - for their honeymoon.
Melanie worried that she wouldn't be able to get time off from nursing school for a honeymoon, but Philip asserted that as a hospital board member, he could pull some strings. "Besides, you're going to be Mrs. Philip Kiriakis," he reminded her. "You don't need to get a license to empty bedpans." Melanie defensively pointed out that nurses did much more than that - plus, becoming a nurse made her feel like she was doing something good, and like she would finally be worthy of him. "Hey, you always were," Philip assured her softly. "And you always will be."
Melanie then got a call asking her to go in to work at the hospital, since several aides were out sick. Philip was disappointed, but Melanie promised they would celebrate later, declaring, "It's funny; we were so anti-Christmas, but this kind of turned out to be the best Christmas ever."
As Stephanie and Nathan finished decorating the hospital Christmas tree, Abe and Lexie arrived with Theo. Theo darted under the tree, pulled out a gift, and proudly read Stephanie's name from the tag as he handed it to her. He then ran over to Nathan, who thanked Theo with a high five. "Merry Christmas," Nathan wished a beaming Stephanie.
Stephanie was confused when she unwrapped a 2009 calendar. Nathan directed her to an "X" on New Year's Eve, explaining that he had made a reservation for the two of them at Chez Rouge. Stephanie kissed him to show that she accepted his offer of a date.
As all the sick children gathered around the tree in their pajamas, Theo donned a Santa cap and passed out gifts. Maggie arrived and reminded Nathan that his great-grandfather, Dr. Tom Horton, had begun the tradition of reading the Christmas story to the kids, and asked if Nathan would read the story in Tom's honor. Nathan tried to refuse, insisting that he could never fill Tom's shoes. Stephanie believed that Nathan's great-granddad would be proud, and, with a sly smile, urged him to think about the children. Nathan finally consented.
Melanie arrived and wished Maxine a merry Christmas. Maxine was pleased that Melanie had been willing to work, noting dryly, "You certainly are a different girl than the one I first met."
After Abe spoke to the kids, Stephanie called them to sit on the floor next to the tree, and then Maggie introduced her grandson to everyone. The adults gathered around to listen as well. Nathan took a seat and opened the Bible, and as he read the cherished Christmas tale, Maggie fondly remembered all the times Tom had done the same thing. When Nathan finished, Maggie led the group in singing "Silent Night," her arm around Melanie. Melanie noted the closeness between Nathan and Stephanie, and tried not to let it upset her as she gazed down at her new ring.
At the DiMera mansion, a cheerful Stefano was looking forward to spending Christmas with E.J. and little "Giovanni." When E.J. informed him that Johnny was with his mother, Stefano was furious, maintaining that the mansion was Johnny's home. "No, this is not his home," E.J. replied. "This won't be his home until you are gone."
An indignant Stefano called E.J. insolent and heartless, and pointed out that Samantha would have kept Sydney from them forever had it not been for Nicole. "Samantha lied to her ex-husband because she was afraid of his father," E.J. asserted. "A father who lied to his son." Stefano conceded that he just wanted to celebrate the holy day, but E.J. coldly refused to open Stefano's gift, and then left.
Kate entered with Stefano's overcoat, and helped him on with it, while explaining that she had a very special Christmas present for him: hope.
Daniel and Chloe arrived for Christmas at the Kiriakis mansion, where Vivian, Victor, and Brady were already celebrating. Daniel introduced Chloe to Vivian, who gushed over Chloe and her engagement ring. Vivian then noted that the name Chloe had bad connotations for her, because Brady's ex-wife - a "uniquely untalented young opera singer who gave my nephew an addiction!" - had the same name. She prattled on about how the girl was trash and a slut, until she saw Chloe's expression and realized that she was the same girl.
Vivian's backpedaling and profuse apology for her gaffe went on far too long, until Brady finally told her to drop it. Vivian cheerfully offered her expertise in helping to plan Chloe and Daniel's wedding, and Victor made a snide remark about Chloe's annulment from Lucas. "I love Christmas at the Kiriakis mansion," Brady declared sarcastically, as Daniel rose to pour a couple of strong drinks for him and Chloe.
Victor pulled Brady aside and asked if Arianna would be joining them. Brady said that she would not, but that didn't mean they had broken up. Gesturing toward Vivian, Brady noted, "Remember, whatever you feel about Arianna, at least she didn't bury someone alive."
Vivian approached Daniel at the bar and remarked that they had a mutual acquaintance in Carly Manning, whom Daniel had hired at the hospital. Daniel replied that Carly was an excellent doctor. Vivian's demeanor changed from warm to icy as she declared, "I wanted to thank you for helping her from the bottom of my heart."
Brady then wished everyone a merry Christmas, and left rather hastily. While Chloe helped Vivian with her head wrap in the other room, Daniel asked Victor what was going on with Brady. Victor replied scathingly that Brady, the recovering addict, had fallen in love with a drug dealer. Daniel didn't buy that pronouncement about Arianna.
Philip arrived just then with an announcement: "Melanie Layton and I are engaged." Victor mockingly asked, "Is the church you booked to marry the Johnson girl still available? Maybe you can use the same day." Disheartened, Philip turned to leave, but Vivian congratulated him effusively. Chloe added her best wishes, and warmly noted that she knew Philip would never have asked Melanie to marry him unless he truly loved her. Daniel gave Philip a hearty embrace.
As Kate and Stefano arrived in the foyer, she informed him that Philip had asked her to meet him there. "I'm hoping that he's going to invite me back into his life," she stated. "Which should give you a sense of hope about E.J." Stefano just groaned.
Kate then flung open the doors to the parlor and announced their arrival. A disgusted Daniel immediately escorted Chloe out. Stefano greeted Vivian, and they shared a chuckle, while alluding to their hatred of one another. When Kate expressed her gratitude that Philip had reached out to her, he informed her that he and Melanie were engaged. Kate was practically speechless, but Vivian enthusiastically voiced her approval of Philip's delightful fiancée.
After an uncomfortable silence, Stefano encouraged Kate to "say a few words" as mother of the groom-to-be. Kate agreed, and although her congratulatory speech sounded forced, her wishes for his happiness did not. Victor chimed in, "To Philip, and yet another phase of his life." When Vivian chirped with glee about "her" son's great news, Stefano noted that Kate should never forget such a memorable night.
At the townhouse, Sami was hopeful because the candlelight vigil the night before had prompted numerous calls to the Salem Police Department. Rafe cautioned her against getting her hopes up, but then he got a call from his contact at the FBI. After he hung up, Rafe told Sami that they were following a new, promising lead. An ecstatic Sami hugged him.
Sami had to stop Johnny from opening one of Sydney's presents under the tree, but promised that they would open it with Sydney when she returned home. Johnny happily returned to building a castle with his blocks. Arianna then stopped by the townhouse and was excited to hear about the lead.
E.J. arrived with bags full of gifts for the kids, just as Arianna was about to leave. Rafe was on the phone, so Arianna whispered to E.J. that Rafe was following up on a lead about Sydney. Sami added that there might be a break in the case, and then Rafe hung up. E.J. was livid that no one had called him yet about the lead. Rafe, Sami, and Arianna urged E.J. to calm down. Sami told him that she had planned to tell him the minute he walked in, and Rafe pointed out that the lead might not amount to anything. E.J. apologized for overreacting.
Johnny ran out of the bedroom and into his daddy's arms. He giggled when a grinning E.J. told him that there were even more Christmas presents for the little boy to open. After another phone call from his contact, Rafe sadly informed Sami and E.J., "The lead didn't pan out. Turns out the FBI was following a woman who was visiting her three kids for Christmas." As the two of them sat in front of the fire, Rafe promised Sami that they would find Sydney - even if Nicole never remembered whose voice she had heard in the bus station.
Arianna returned to her room over the Brady Pub and flopped down on her bed, then noticed a gift on her dresser. As she picked it up, Brady entered to wish her a merry Christmas. Arianna thanked him with a hug and a passionate kiss. After indulging in some of Arianna's homemade tamales, Brady confessed that his family Christmas had been full of bitterness and anger - and that had made him realize how much he missed her.
At the hideout, Anna fretfully spoke to Tony's picture. "You know the last thing I ever wanted to do was to cause little Sydney any pain, or to hurt her," she declared. "Please tell me I did the right thing last night." There was a knock at the door, and Anna peeked through the curtains apprehensively. When there was no answer to her query of, "Who's there?" she opened the door, but found only a package on the doorstep. Anna carried it inside and began opening it; she was happy that the gift for Sydney that she'd been waiting for had arrived.
Anna placed a doll next to Sydney in her playpen, while merrily singing "Away in a Manger." Sydney merely stuck her fingers in her mouth and grinned. Later, Anna sat by the fire and promised, "Any minute now, Sydney, and our little errand from last night will work its magic."
E.J. returned home to the mansion and found a manila envelope on the table in the foyer. He opened it, and his eyes widened with shock as he read Anna's anonymous ransom note, the letters cut from newspapers and pasted to the paper: "I have your daughter. Instructions to follow. Tell no one. I am watching you."