The Brady’s are decorating the tree and Hope asks Chelsea to hand her some of the decorations. When she picks up a bulb with Zack’s name on it she hears a voice and when she looks up it is Ford looking through the window from outside and she drops the bulb but Bo catches it. They ask her if she is OK and she says yes but they can see she is upset. Hope asks her what is wrong and Chelsea tells her she just misses Zack. She says he would still be with them if only she had been a little more careful. Hope tells her it is ok, but Chelsea apologizes and says she has to go and runs out before Hope can stop her. Bo sees her running off and he asks Hope if everything is ok. Hope tells him seeing Zack’s ornament upset Chelsea so Bo offers to go talk to her.

At the hospital everyone is getting worried that no one has heard from Marlena so they go out looking for her. They said last they heard she was heading for the cleaners but Abe and Steve are worried that maybe she is being setup. They said now that Sami has decided to divorce EJ they are watching every possible move the DiMera’s could make on any Brady. Steve and Abe leave the party to go find Marlena.

Marlena goes to the cleaners and knocks on the door asking if someone is there, then says out loud that of course they aren’t there it is Christmas. As she walks away a woman comes to the door and says she knows why Marlena is there. Marlena tells the woman that she actually got a call saying her dry cleaning was ready but obviously they aren’t open now so she will come back later. The woman says either that or fate brought her there. She asks Marlena is she believes in the spiritual world. She tells Marlena that she can sense that she is lost and she offers to bring him back to her.

Marlena is offended that she would say such a thing and starts to walk off. The woman stops her telling her she sees a man that is in a forest. A few other things makes Marlena question her especially when the woman mentions the name Black. Marlena tells her he was killed a few months ago, but the woman says he is not dead. She says he is very much so alive. Marlena tells her that she watched John die right there in her arms. The woman says something to her about not believing but is interrupted when Steve yells out for Marlena. When she explains to him about meeting up with this woman, she looks around and the woman is gone. Marlena starts to tell Steve what the woman said about John still being alive but stops herself by just telling Steve that John is always with her.

Since Steve had to leave they have no one to read to the kids as Santa Claus so they talk Max into doing it and the kids all gather around to listen to the story he reads. Max had asked Kayla about Stephanie earlier and she told him that Stephanie decided to stay home and that Cordy was coming by later at home. While he and Nick are reading to the children Stephanie walks in and stands in the crowd and listens. Later Max walks up to Stephanie and asks her if she brought Cordy with her. Stephanie tells Max she is sorry about how she has been acting lately with him. She says she knows he has been a really good friend to her. He says he really cares about her and that he would do anything for her. He touches her cheek and she pulls away. Stephanie tells him she is sorry and that it isn’t him. He tells her if she would just tell him what’s bothering her he would listen, he says he will always be there for her. Stephanie just runs away.

EJ goes to see Stefano and tells him he has some good news and some bad news for him. Stefano wants the bad news first. EJ says Samantha has decided she wants to be with Lucas instead of him. Stefano starts in saying she has betrayed them and she will pay for this. EJ stops him by asking him if he wants the good news now. Stefano says yes of course. EJ locks his wheelchair and then lifts himself out of it standing for Stefano. Stefano is so happy to see EJ standing on his own. EJ hands Stefano a Christmas present. It is a framed picture of EJ and his son Johnny. Stefano says this was a perfect present. Stefano tells EJ Merry Christmas after complaining about the house being so empty.

When EJ leaves Rolf walks in and Stefano asks if he is ready. He says if he wouldn’t mind he would like to put the finishing touches on him himself. They go into the laboratory and Rolf says everything is ready now handing Stefano a hypodermic needle
And Stefano says, new life, New Year, and then stabs the body with the needle. When it shows a heart beat he says welcome to a new life.

Sami goes to Maggie’s house to join in the celebration of Christmas and Maggie asks her where Lucas is. Sami says Lucas had some errands to do but will join them there later. Maggie just looks at her, thinking about what Billie had told her about Lucas possibly being in some sort of trouble.

Lucas is standing in his apartment with a bottle of Vodka looking at it when Kate walks up and sees him. She asks him right away what he is doing. He takes the bottle and pours it down the drain and says he just found the bottle. Kate asks him if he is still going to his AA meetings and he says of course he is. Just then Billie and Phillip walk in and ask what is going on when she sees luggage packed up. They lie and say it is just some things he packed up to store at Kate’s. He asks Billie if she would take Allie to the party with her and he will meet with her later.

Lucas writes Sami a letter and tells Kate to make sure Sami gets it. When he walks out the door Phillip tells him he is making a big mistake. He says him leaving Belle was the biggest mistake of his life and he doesn’t want him to make that same mistake. When Billie brings the baby in she tells Sami that something strange is going on and Sami says he promised her he wouldn’t leave. She asks Billie to watch after the kids and she runs home in hopes of catching him before he takes off. When she gets home he is gone already and she finds Kate and Phillip there waiting. They give her the good bye note Lucas left for her.

The day ends with Doug and Judy at the piano and Doug singing a Christmas melody with the family standing around listening. It ends with Alice looking at Tom’s picture saying Merry Christmas to him and the rest of the family saying Merry Christmas.

Jan Barrett

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