Brian attempts to help a lonely and distraught Courtney. They go to Jake's to play pool in order to cheer each other up, and the pool leads to dancing. Their closeness unnerves Courtney, who can't stop thinking about Jason, and she pushes him away. Brian leaves, and Courtney follows him to a church, where she finds him thinking about his dead family. She offers him her friendship, and he tells her about the last Christmas with his wife and son. In doing so, he reminds her that life is short, and that she should not let the holiday pass her by without working things out with Jason. She gets up to leave, but first lights a candle for her husband.
Skye discovers a drunken Luke at Jake's, and she attempts to help him leave and sober up. Luke will have nothing to do with that, and he drags her into a chair where the two reminisce on disastrous Christmases past. They manage to amuse and keep each other company until Luke pressures Skye to drink with him. She yells at him for tempting an alcoholic, and storms out. Cameron wanders up to Luke and attempts to help him with analysis, but he only makes him angry.
Emily and Tracy discuss the discovered Quartermaine treasure, and Tracy offers to split it with the Cassadines, 50/50. When Emily asks why Tracy is willing to be so generous with Nikolas, Tracy claims to be far kinder than the family gives her credit for. Emily sees through her, and calls her out for being a con and a liar.
A defiant Sam declares the treasure that she's found to be hers and hers alone. Nikolas disagrees with her, and tells her that it doesn't belong to her, and she ought to check out the state property laws. Sam tries to get Jax on her side, and he is, but only in front of Nikolas. Nikolas warns Sam that he'll press charges against her if she takes the treasure. Alone, Jax tries to reason with Sam and get her to cut her losses and leave the treasure alone. She agrees, but Tracy walks up after Jax leaves, and offers to help Sam if she splits the profits with her. Reluctant, Sam nevertheless agrees. Jax returns later and gives Sam a Christmas gift. She opens the box to find a compass on a chain, and Jax tells her that its symbolic of her the courage she has to give up on the treasure.
Skye runs home to the Quartermaines, looking for family harmony. What she finds instead is a room of people, bickering over treasure and no longer willing to accept her into the fold. As the Quartermaines attack her for her wrongdoings, Luke swoops in to rescue her. Afterward on the docks, he spoils Skye's happiness by telling her that they need to walk away and not depend on one another.
Cameron stops by Wyndemere to see Alexis and drop off a gift for Kristina. They briefly spar, and he turns to go. As he walks out of the house, Alexis confronts the butler on his spying. Cody apologizes, but continues to listen in when Emily arrives later and Nikolas tells her that Sam refuses to share the treasure profits. Cody interrupts them and offers to dive for them in order to get to the treasure first. Nikolas tells him that he'll consider the offer, but he and Emily both remain suspicious.
A stunned Liz grabs the note that Ric finds and tears it up. Ric confronts her about whether he is the father of her baby, and despite his words of understanding, Liz denies that the baby is someone else's. Liz calls Emily to confront her for telling Ric the truth. Emily arrives to meet her at Kelly's, and Liz blasts her for writing the note. Emily denies any wrongdoing and Liz realizes that she's telling the truth, but not before Ric overhears the conversation and learns that Zander is the father of Liz's baby. He later interrupts in order to speak to Liz alone, and admits that he wrote the note to get Liz to tell the truth. She's shocked at first that he attempted to trick her, but she finally admits that the baby is Zander's. Ric is understanding and tells Liz that he loves her and will love the baby as his own, but they must tell Zander the truth.
Nikolas presents Emily with a gorgeous engagement ring for Christmas. He's sold Wyndemere early in order to afford to buy it for her, but unbeknownst to Nikolas, Emily (with a little help from Alexis) was the buyer. She returns the deed for Wyndemere to Nikolas for his Christmas present.
Michael arrives at Kelly's to beg Courtney to join the Corinthos family for Christmas eve. She hesitates, but he wins her over and is able to bring her home as a surprise for Sonny. While the family prepares for dinner, a gift for Michael from Jason arrives, ensuring that Jason will not show up at the last minute. Michael opens it and calls him to thank him for the present, and Jason speaks to everyone but Courtney, devastating her. She later returns to Kelly's to sit in the dark, alone, and think about her husband.
At General Hospital, minutes before the pediatrics children arrive for the Christmas celebration, and in front of Dillon and Tracy, Sage and Georgie get into a fight. The girls attack each other, shrieking insults, until Brian and Dillon are able to pry them apart and they are told to behave. Things eventually settle, and the children arrive to see Santa (played by Cameron), and hear Alan give the traditional Christmas reading.
Luke is overwhelmed with anguish over Laura, and can't get into the holiday spirit. He yells at Skye, and insults her until she flees the casino. Things only get worse for him from there as Lucky shows up with Leslie and Lulu. Unable to do anything more than briefly put on a happy face, Luke crushes his daughter when he tells her he can't join the family for Christmas eve dinner. Lucky blows up at him for being a lousy father, and tells him that he can no longer hide behind Laura as an excuse for his behavior. Later, Luke goes to his old house to peer in the window at his children's celebration. Nikolas comes up behind him and challenges Luke to stop wallowing in his misery long enough to give his daughter a happy Christmas. When Luke refuses, Nikolas walks away in disgust. As he wanders alone to Kelly's and the casino, Luke is overcome by strange noises. In the casino, he sits at his bar to drink, and the lights begin to flicker. He gets up to look around, and suddenly before him stands the ghost of Stavros Cassadine. Luke stares as Stavros presents him with his last chance to escape his fate.
Due to the Christmas holiday, "General Hospital" will not air on Thursday, December 25.
As a morose Luke sits alone aboard the Haunted Star on Christmas Eve, he is visited by the ghost of Stavros, who is shackled in chains. Stavros shows Luke the chains he is forced to carry and informs Luke that the chains were forged by the hatred Stavros practiced during his life. Stavros further warns Luke that LUKE is destined for the same fate unless Luke changes his life. Stavros predicts that Luke will be visited by three more spirits. The next spirit to appear is Helena, who informs Luke that she is the spirit of Christmas Past. Helena takes Luke to a street corner in Port Charles, where Luke sees himself as a youngster, along with Bobbie, conning a rich woman out of some money. While Luke and Bobbie tell their benefactress that they need the money for groceries, they really plan to buy a bus ticket to go live with their Aunt Ruby in Florida. Luke is amazed to learn that the benefactress was Lila Quartermaine, who had planned to adopt Luke and Bobbie. Luke argues that he and Bobbie were better off with Aunt Ruby in a brothel in Florida than with the dysfunctional Quartermaines. However, Helena next whisks Luke to a scene from his past, when Luke successfully convinced Bobbie to turn tricks for a couple of more years until they had enough money ahead to quit "the life."
The next spirit to arrive is Nikolas, who declares that he is the Spirit of Christmas Present. Nikolas whisks Luke off to the Docks, where they find Scott making off with cash that has just been donated to a children's charity. Although Luke insists that Scott's moral failures have nothing to do with Luke, Nikolas explains that that Luke once was a man of honor with good intentions, but Scott began to head down the wrong road when Luke's affair with Scott's wife, Laura, broke Scott's heart. Then Nikolas and Luke visit the Quartermaine Mansion and listen to Edward telling Skye about the children that Edward and Lila almost adopted once. Luke feels compassion for Skye and becomes alarmed when a melancholy Skye prepares to take a drink. Next, Nikolas takes Luke to Luke's own home and they listen in as Lucky explains to a devastated Lulu that her father was NOT really the one who bought her bicycle for her. Lucky explains that her father really DOES love Lulu, but he just does NOT know how to show it! Luke insists to Nikolas that none of this is Luke's fault, but Nikolas points out that Luke was never able to accept any kind of responsibility for the way he changed the lives of those around him. As Luke argues that his love for Laura was genuine and her illness has devastated him, Nikolas whisks Luke away to the Hospital where Laura is staying. Although Laura does not speak, Luke confides to his wife how much the happy times they once enjoyed meant to him. Luke begs Laura to reach out to him but is disappointed when Laura makes no response.
Back aboard the haunted Star, Luke moans that he failed Laura. Then the third spirit arrives. Silently, the black-shrouded figure points a bony finger toward the future. Luke sees a teen-aged Lulu, along with Emily, Nikolas, Lesley and Bobbie, gathering around a grave. Luke learns that Lucky has just been killed in the line of duty as a police officer. Lulu mourns that Lucky wasted his life trying to make up for his father's mistakes. Later, the Spirit and Luke look on as Cameron and a police officer discuss the homeless bum who has just been found dead on the street. As Luke grouses that he has no interest in the death of another homeless derelict, the Spirit whisks Luke off to the morgue. There, Luke realizes that the old homeless derelict is Luke!
When Luke awakens, alone, he finds he is once again aboard the Haunted Star. Luke is elated when he discovers that he is alive after all and that it is still Christmas Day. Luke rushes out to buy Christmas gifts and runs into Michael and a bodyguard, as they are walking Rosie. Michael is mystified as Luke cheerfully wishes him a Merry Christmas. Luke rushes to find Lucky and surprises his son by announcing that Luke is coming to Bobbie's later for dinner. Luke next visits the Quartermaine Mansion and, knocking a cup of coffee out of her hand, Luke implores Skye to resist the desire to drink and, instead, accompany Luke to Bobbie's to celebrate Christmas. Next, Luke visits Wyndemere. Finding Cameron, Alexis, Kristina, Emily and Nikolas assembled there, Luke invites them all to dinner ~ then suggests that Cameron should use the opportunity to give Alexis a kiss! Later, Luke arrives at Bobbie's house and presents Lulu with a special necklace which Luke tells his daughter is to remind her of her mother. As Luke dispenses gifts, the others begin to sing Silent Night. Later, Luke goes outside and tells Laura that he did it all for her.
Due to the Christmas holiday, today's episode was preempted for special programming. There will be no lost episodes as a result of this schedule change; Friday's show will pick up where Wednesday's show concluded.
On behalf of everyone at Soap Opera Central, have a safe and Merry Christmas.
Sam secretly meets with Tracy to discuss their deal on diving for treasure and what cut they will each get. They agree to a 70/30 deal. Jax shows up on the pier and they pretend to fight with each other so Jax won't get suspicious of them. Jax tells her to go home and change since they are going to the "Haunted Star" for the opening of the casino. Sam tells him she doesn't want to go and socialize with the rich. He tells her he promised Skye he would show up at least. Sam isn't interested but Tracy is and asks him if she can be his date instead. He takes her up on her offer. Meanwhile, Nikolas takes Cody up on his offer to dive under his freighter and create an explosion to knock the freiter away from the Courage to get to the treasure more easily. Later, and explosion underneath the water shakes up the "The Haunted Star." literally but then everything gets calm again. Tracy suggests that the boat is haunted after all. Jax worries about Sam and tells Tracy they have to go. They head to the pier where Jax finds Sam floating unconscious in the water. He dives in to get her. Sam isn't breathing very well and he orders Tracy to call 911.
Skye gets a surprise when she finds a note from Luke telling her he went out fishing and wouldn't be there for his own opening. Skye worries about his safety but Faith approaches her as she is reading his note and plans to open the casino anyway. Skye tells her she can't have the casino opening without Luke and plans to call and cancel the opening. Faith refuses to let her do that since she owns half of the profits it is suppose to make since her money was what helped get it opened to begin with. Skye and Faith argue about it and Skye ends up going along with Faith. Skye plays hostess as planned but Faith can't help but interfere when she sees Jason show up. Skye tries to get Zander to stop working for Faith but he refuses to listen to anyone. Skye greets the Quartermaines. Only Alan approaches her to apologize for how she was treated the other night. Edward accuses her of trying to rob Luke of his fortune but she makes a quick comeback about how he is practically broke himself and will need to win at the tables tonight to start to even get part of his fortune back. Faith sees Edward and starts to flirt with him. He tells her to go away and leave him alone. She makes an insinuation about them having a secret between them. Monica and Alan question him about it. Alan warns him that if Lila learns about that secret she will divorce him for sure. Edward ignores them when he sees Justus talking to Scott. He asks him to come work for them and help them regain their fortune. Justus tells him he has no interest in helping him. Bobbie, and Lucky try to reassure Skye that Luke will be o.k. and always has a plan and will come back soon.
Liz and Ric return from their honeymoon. Liz finds excuses to keep her from telling Zander about the baby. Ric tells her to stop stalling and get it over and that he will come with her and help her. Liz worries about Zander's reaction to the news and that he will try to take this thing to court. Ric assures her that it won't happen and that he will go and help her. They get dressed up and go to the casino opening. They see Zander standing on the deck after he saw Nikolas and Emily together and found out they are engaged. Liz approaches him and tells him that she and Ric got married and just got back from their honeymoon. He congratulates them but in a very uninterested manner. Liz comes right out and tells him she is pregnant and he is the father. Ric steps in before Zander has time to react and offers to pay him a nice stipend if he agrees to give up his rights as the biological father and allow Liz to put his name on the birth certificate instead. Zander watches them for a minute and then tells them "no sale." and walks away. Liz runs into Emily inside the casino and tells her what happened. Emily tells Nikolas she has something to take care of and that she is sorry to cut the evening short and leaves abruptly. She goes to Kelly's. She finds Zander sitting at a table having coffee. She approaches his table and sits down. She tells him she knows about what happened with Liz at the casino and wants to talk to him. He tells her she must have known for weeks about Liz's pregnancy and didn't say anything. He tells her that he told Liz that he wouldn't just hand the baby over to her just like that because he wanted her to tell Emily so she would come over to talk to him.
Sonny surprises Carly with a beautiful necklace for her to wear to the casino opening. She doesn't look too thrilled with the necklace but hides her reaction and acts happy to have it and he puts it on her. Meanwhile, Jason returns to town and goes to see Courtney. She asks him why he didn't want to talk to her on the phone on Christmas when he called Carly and Sonny. He tells her he didn't think she wanted to talk to him and he wanted her to have a nice Christmas. She asks him where he went and tried not to sound hurt that he didn't want to talk to her then. He tells her he went to Puerto Rico to oversee some of the casinos Sonny owned and make sure everyone working there got a bonus. Jason tells her that it would have been harder to be in Port Charles at Christmas than in Puerto Rico. When Jason seems more interested in knowing whether Courtney called Justus about the divorce, Courtney tries to hide how much pain she is in and tells him she will call Justus on Monday morning. Jason leaves. Courtney goes back inside Kelly's and finds Brian there dressed in a tuxedo. She asks him what he is all dressed up for and he tells her about the casino opening. She remembers it but has no interest in going to it. He asks her to go. Courtney turns him down at first but then decides on impulse to go with him to get her mind off things for awhile. She doesn't think Jason would go to the opening anyway. She dresses up and they go together. When they walk into the casino Jason sees them and isn't too pleased. Sonny and Carly also see them together. Carly sees Courtney and waves to her. Courtney waves back and smiles but then asks Brian to go to another table so they can avoid the stares of her family, who will want to know why she is there with him. Carly manages to find them later and dismisses Brian after making a snide remark about how he was the cop who shot her husband. He apologizes for what happened and tells her it was an accident. She tells Courtney that Jason is here with them and she should go play the tables with him instead since Jason is always so lucky at cards and gambling because he doesn't care if he wins or loses. Courtney looks over and sees Jason and is upset. She tells Brian that she didn't think he would come tonight and that she can't be here right now. She runs out of the casino and Brian chases after her. They reach Kelly's. Brian asks her if she is o.k. She tells him that she didn't expect Jason to be there and realized she shouldn't have gone to the casino and that she isn't ready. Brian hugs her to comfort her and leans in to kiss her. Courtney backs away and tells him she is far from ready to kiss any other man right now. Jason comes over and tells Brian to stay away from Courtney right now. Brian apologizes and leaves. Jason asks her why she went to the casino with Brian when he is a cop. She tells him she went on impulse to get her mind off things. Jason reminds her that Brian is a cop who may be using her to get information about him. Courtney gets upset that Jason is acting all business with her and tells him that when he came over just now she was hoping that he came because he was jealous. Courtney looks over at Jason and asks him what they are doing to each other right now and for what reason. Meanwhile, back at the casino, Skye gives a toast to the casino and to the guests for coming to the opening. Alcazar shows up and sees Carly and Sonny together. He goes onto the pier and assembles his men to go and raid the casino. He instructs Capelli, the dirty cop, not to make any mistakes this time. They show up with guns and fire them to get everyone's attention and rob the place. Sonny goes over to conceal himself near the bar and Carly motions to him that she is going to go on deck to get help while no one is looking. She gets onto the deck and pulls out her cell-phone to call for help. A man in a ski mask grabs her from behind and shuts off her phone. He spins her around and kisses her. She asks him who he is and why he kissed her.