Claire gives Ben an ornament on Days of Our Lives

Jill Johnson/JPI

Nicole opens her door expecting to see Eric, but it’s Rafe. He notes her disappointment and learns of Eric’s surprise visit. Rafe explains he stopped by to drop off cookies he baked for her. Nicole’s phone rings. It’s Eric — he’s stranded in Ethiopia due to plane trouble. He won’t be home for Christmas. After expressing her disappointment, she invites Rafe to stay and eat the dinner she made for two. After dinner, Rafe gets Henry to sleep and Nicole enjoys his cookies. She’s sorry things with Hope didn’t work out but knows there’s a woman for him out there.

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Rafe visits Nicole at home on Days of Our Lives

As Rafe walks through the Square, he calls to leave Hope a message. He knows she’s doing what she needs to do, but he wanted to wish her a Merry Christmas.

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Doug visits Eli at the precinct. He wants him to come to the house for the ornament extravaganza. Eli’s sorry, but he’s not in the mood. Doug orders him to get in the mood, besides Lani isn’t even coming to the party. After more pressure from Doug, Eli agrees to go with him.

Julie interrupts Lani’s call with her mom when she knocks on her door. Julie wants Lani to change out of her robe into something festive. It’s time for the annual Horton tradition. Lani appreciates the invitation, but she’s staying home. Julie assures her Eli won’t be there and won’t take no for an answer.

Doug visits Eli at the station on Days of Our Lives

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Ben looks at his and Ciara’s wedding photo in his new place when Claire comes to the door. She gives him a gift, which is really from Ciara. He opens the box and finds an ornament with his name on it. Hope had it made and asked her to give it to him. Ben will find a special place for it. Claire counters he can go with her to Doug and Julie’s to hang it on their tree. Ben doesn’t want to crash her family celebration. Claire reminds him they are his family too — now and always. She would be grateful if he came to hang Ciara’s ornament with her. He agrees.

At the Horton house, Allie watches as Jennifer opens Jack’s gift to her, which is an hourglass. Jack’s note says he wishes he could turn back time, but all he can do is wait for her. He’ll never give up on them. Doug and Eli arrive. Julie follows with Lani. Lani and Eli lock eyes, as Julie gives Doug a knowing wink. Eli warns his grandfather, “Don’t even think of putting us under the mistletoe.” Doug says, “Hold that thought, kiddo”. Claire and Ben arrive. Julie says they can get the party started now and then urges Eli to talk to his wife. He expresses his displeasure, but then asks Lani to talk.

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Allie, Eli, and Lani at the Horton Christmas on Days of Our Lives

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Outside, Eli apologizes for losing his temper with Lani. She isn’t thrilled with how he handled things, but she knows everything he did was for her and their babies. He asks if they can move past this. Inside, Jennifer tells Julie she was wrong about Jack still sleeping with Kate. Julie asks if Jennifer can forgive him now. Claire interrupts to ask when they will be hanging the ornaments. Julie says they have to wait for Eli and Lani to return. She goes to check on them and Doug follows. She opens the front door to find Eli and Lani kissing. Doug says, “Well, well. Look who made up.”

Back inside, Julie and Doug lead a toast before hanging the ornaments. Jennifer gives one to Allie for Henry and Julie gives Jennifer Jack’s ornament to hang. Doug asks an emotional Ben to help him hang Ciara’s ornament. Ben stands up and says, “I’m sorry. I can’t.” He leaves the room. Julie breaks the tension by giving Lani her ornament. As she and Eli hang theirs together, Lani’s water breaks.

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After everyone has left, Ben returns to find Claire cleaning up. Ben apologizes for not being able to hang the ornament. Claire understands he wants to be alone with Ciara. She gives him Ciara’s ornament and heads to the kitchen. Ben takes a few deep breaths and reaches out to hang the blub. He feels a hand on his and hears Ciara’s voice say, “It’s okay Ben.” He turns and sees her. She says, “We can do it together.” He tells Ciara he doesn’t know how to live without her. She wraps her arms around his waist from behind and says, “Yes you do, Ben. Because I’m right here. I’m always right here.” He turns and kisses her. Ben snaps out of it as Claire returns. She asks who he was talking to. He says, Ciara. He can feel her presence. Alone again, Ben tells Ciara, “I love you. Always and forever.”

Ciara holds Ben at the Horton Christmas tree on Days of Our Lives

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At the hospital, Eli asks Lani what she needs. She wants music. Julie and Doug enter her room and sing.

The Horton Christmas tree 2020 on Days of Our Lives

Next on Days of Our Lives: Allie confides in Sami and Valerie returns.

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