We pick up in the middle of Teresa’s Christmas Eve party where the dress code is slutty, but classy slutty. Family get-together slutty. The Gorgas are ready to leave. Teresa shows her brother the places at the table, and if he doesn’t stay, what then? WHAT THEN, JOE? Every time a gold charger goes unused, a Guido loses an angel tattoo.
She starts in on Kathy not being a good cousin (she needs to write a rule book on how cousins are supposed to act.) She tells the camera that “Kathy’s a little evil, riiiight? Riiiiiight?” Bro Joe continues to be diplomatic, he made a promise, he can’t go back on it, he’s enjoyed the night, but they need to shove off.
Papa Gorga takes a moment to get on to Melissa for not being home the three-ah times he come by, eh? She tells him to use the phone. “I don’t ah use-ah de phone!” Clearly she needs to never leave the house. Kisses all around (minus Juicy, who doesn’t move. At least he’s wearing a shirt, though) and the Gorgas peel out of the drive.
At the Manzos, Dream Christmas continues with everyone bustling in the kitchen (which you know smells amazing) kissing and laughing and drinking. Good times. Caroline laughs that everyone comes all dressed up, but she’s usually in a teeshirt and jeans, barefoot, because of all the cooking. If she’s happy…eh, who cares how she looks, right? (Riiiiiiiight?) It’s a huge, rambunctious family, and it looks awesome.
While Caroline and Cookie (her older sister that looks a lot like Dina) are cleaning the kitchen up, Jacqueline and Chris tell their 7 year old, CJ, that Santa’s outside, can’t he hear the jingling? CJ races to the window. Because there are cameras recording everything, Christuhphuh, who is laying on the ground shaking bells, is lit up by the light on the camera. The jig is up, guys. You just outed Santa Claus, Bravo.
The Gorgas arrive at Kathy’s, and man, her spread looks pretty fabulous, as well. It’s 110F outside my house right this minute, I want no hot foods ever again, but I would lay on that table and eat everything and make a food angel with my arms. (So I could fling more food into my mouth.)
Funny moment: Kathy in the kitchen in her evening dress, with an Ove Glove on to pull out nibbles from the oven. Mel comments on how relaxed she feels at Kathy’s house – there’s no pressure to “Be Happy,” they just are. Also, at Kathy’s you get a Brownstone Special, a massive deep fried sea bass. It’s pretty impressive as far as centerpieces go.
Kathy tells the Gorgas that she wouldn’t have minded at all if they had decided to stay at the Giudices, they’re family trying to heal. She’s good people. Also, remember that when Teresa starts slagging on her cousin later. Joe was glad with the decision to leave, though, there’s only so much, “Ahhhh, look at Gia, Joe, she’s doin’ good, right? RIIIIIIIIIIGHT?” a man can take.
Back at the Manzos, they’re talking about the New Years Eve plans, how they’re doing their usual shindig at the Brownstone, and they’re on the fence about inviting Kathy and Rich. Jacqueline says Teresa won’t like it, but Caroline isn’t the kind that worries about that shit. “Uh, it’s my party.” She’s already invited the Gorgas, because she can’t get enough of them. (They’re pretty fun, you have to admit.)
But she remembers that the Wakiles are Albert’s special friends and clients, so she better invite them to not piss off her husband. Chris tells Jacqueline to stop making things a problem, it’s fine. You can tell she’s a little upset with his abrupt behavior, but he’s right. Sit back, let things happen. Christuhphuh tells his mom to be sure and get extra security for Jeff Goldblum. He totally looks like the Lebanese Jeff Goldblum, doesn’t he?
At one point Wahshley grabs CJ into a tight embrace, squeezing his will to live out of him (that’s how succubus get their power) and as he struggles to leave she says, “He doesn’t love me!” CJ plays dead and goes limp and Wahshley mourns his former love, tosses him aside, and texts everyone she’s ever known ever that she’s at a totally boring party as she wipes her little brother’s life essence from her gaping maw.
It’s Christmas morning! Time to take a trip through the different houses to see how much better their gifts are. First up is the Lauritas who are filming on their own cameras. The boys get super fun ride-on toys, Chris and Jacqueline are having a ball watching them open everything, and Wahshley sits on the side, counting all the presents to make sure she got more.
Seems that Ashley didn’t buy either of her parents a gift this year. Or the year before. Or for Mother’s Day. Not even a macaroni necklace, Ashley? You’re such a brat. She says as much to the camera with a laughing “Whatever,” a shrug and a huge shit-eating grin. She is the worst, you guys. She is a busted open sea bass eye ball squirted on a sequin dress.
At Melissa’s, the kids are all screaming because it’s Jesus’ Birthday and they don’t have any presents, because it’s all about the baby Jesus and his Myrrh or whatever, so they spend the day in silent prayer. Ha, kidding. They’re all in leopard print jim jams screaming and ripping open paper and having a rowdy Christmas morning, as you should with little guys. I do wonder why Melissa is wearing her sleep mask as a forehead warmer the whole time.
She tells the camera that she spared no expense for The Lord and Savior, Baby 8 Pound Jesus’ Birthday and bought out the whole SkyMall catalog, even the full suit of replica armor and the dog statue with a tray in his mouth for your keys. Bro Joe went bananas on her, with some Jimmy Choos, every girl’s dream of a Louis Vuitton carry on roller bag, and a gold Rolex. She jumps on him to show her appreciation, which is probably what he “ax’d” for.
Tre and her girls are up, but Juicy, shirtless, is still sawing logs. Gia asks if they can just start opening presents without him, because he’s going to take forever. Tre says the girls need to get Daddy up, then. They kiss, whine, and shove Juicy until he gets his hungover, sorry ass out of bed for his freaking kids’ Christmas.
Teresa tells the camera that she didn’t want to spend too much this year, what with the bankruptcy, etc. And the camera cuts to the girls opening up Uggs, iPods, drum kits, new clothes (all boutique) and a toy Mercedes. Just like Mommy’s new one. Teresa bitches about Santa getting all of the credit when she’s the one doing all the work. Guess you shouldn’t have lied to your kids about a fat dude and the chimney, huh?
She gives Joe a metal cross necklace for his present, and she opens up a double pack of Isotoners. Damn. I mean, there actually being smart here, but Isotoners? I don’t even buy my Geemawmaw those. She gets banana socks with felt soles and a new picture of the kids. It’s all she wants, okay?
Teresa is gracious about it, something I wouldn’t have believed her to be capable of. She also gets an ornate navy blue velvet robe with rhinestones all over it, and she models it as the kids comment on how she’s going to probably return it tomorrow.
At the Wakiles, I have to say that their kids are giving the Manzos a run for their money in the awesome department. (Washley is solidly at the back of the pack.) They’ve pooled their money together and bought Kathy a new laptop so she can use it to start her new catering business. They each have sweet, encouraging words for her, and both parents are choked up and crying. It’s pretty damn great, I have to tell you.
There’s a lot of love in this family, and they all are so good natured and happy to be with each other. It’s nice to see that in a world of squabbling jackasses. (Kathy says that the letters alone were gift enough, by the way. They’re good people.)
Caroline and Albert have Christmas alone this year, now that the kids are on their own. Albert takes her on a drive to special places, stopping at the frontage road under an overpass where he proposed years ago. (In Texas, writing a girl’s name under an overpass is practically an engagement in and of itself.)
He hops out, comes to her door, gets on one knee and hands her a ring, and asks her to marry him. It turns out that he was too nervous back in the day to get down on one knee, and it’s always been a joke between them. Not to mention that her wedding ring hasn’t fit in years, so he’s taken it to be reset. It’s MASSIVE. She’s also moved to tears and just really loves her husband. AWW. This is the episode of love, guys.
But wait, there’s more. Joe takes Melissa to the basement to see her “real” present, the finished recording studio. It’s all done, all tricked out and filled with equipment. She loves it, except for how the microphone isn’t one of those ridiculous rhinestone covered affairs. WOMAN, you just got an embarrassment of riches, and you’re complaining about that?
Bro Joe is a good guy, and he’s sneaky, too. Now he doesn’t have to worry about his wife being away at a studio, she can be right there in the house where he can keep an eye on things. Ha! He’s joking, but he’s serious. He asks Jesus Spice, “Where’s my gift, eh?”
“Not today! It’s Jesus’ birthday!”
Shoulda figured Joe for a back door man.
Back at Tre’s house, Gia is sick. Poor kid, she’s getting teased in school for being on this show, then the cameras have to be around when she has intestinal issues? Teresa follows her around like a mother hen saying, “Joe? She’s sick, right? RIIIIIIIIGHT?” Gia comes out, Tre smooths her hair, and tells her to smile for a picture. Gia is pissed, but pastes on her best Toddlers and Tiaras, then melts into woe around a fresh cup of chamomile. Poor thing.
Teresa asks Juicy, “Last night was good, right? RIIIIIIIIIGHT?” Then because it’s like an illness with her, she bitches about her brother leaving. Juicy has it all figured out. It’s because of that witch wife of his, and her no good, unintelligent cousin. But how do you feel, Juicy? And can you PLEASE put on a shirt? Tre blinks at one point and says, “Don’t say that.” Well, he already did, hun. And on national television. Juicy goes back to bed because he is Mr. Excitement.
Caroline has the whole family (including Chris and Jacqueline) out for a night of watching dreams get bankrolled to make them come true. They’re heading to a small club in NYC to watch Alexa Ray Joel (of Billy’s loins) perform. Turns out the Manzos and the Joels met at some charity events, and they all fell in love with Alexa. Especially Albie. Aww, he’s gotta crush!
While Caroline goes on about how awesome her boys and Alexa are for being young and go-getters, Jacqueline just wishes Ashley would get her shit together enough to give her mom a break for 48 hours. Alexa comes over to say hey, and Albie is tongue tied. Well, except for when he flirts badly. Like, it’s super painful. Alexa goes off to sing “All I Can Do Is Love” – a really cheesy, faux torch song, but Albie is all heart eyes for her.
Caroline toasts to her family, to loved ones, and to a drama free new year. I think the editors showed tremendous restraint in not putting in a needle on the record scratch.
Next Week! New Years Eve shenanigans! [Right this way!]