In a cable knit sweater, Victor sits on the couch raising his brow and giving a sideways glance off screen.
Credit: Peacock screenshot

After Stephanie hangs up with Kayla, Alex comes to her door with a Christmas tree. As they decorate, they discuss Tripp going back to Seattle with the rest of the family, and Stephanie staying behind to deal with the fallout of Paulina stepping down as governor.

Once they finish the tree, Stephanie makes them hot chocolate, and Alex gifts her a video game system. Since she can’t play the planned tournament with her brothers, he thought they could play together instead. She calls it one of the most thoughtful and romantic gifts anyone has given her.

Stephanie gloats when she beats Alex at a racing and dancing game. He taps out from playing since she’s good at everything. She’s sure he’s good at something. He assures her he is and kisses her. She suggests they move it to the bedroom.

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Bonnie wears a solemn expression as she stands with Sarah at the hospital coffee cart.

Bonnie runs into Sarah at the hospital after having her first session with Marlena. Bonnie sees a circus clown across the lobby and rants at him until Sarah calms her down. She’s so tired of being scared that the clown is still out there. However, she’s grateful Xander was there for her. She feels so bad that she accused him of being the kidnapper. Sarah wonders why she thought that. As Bonnie fills her in, Sarah tenses and twitches.

At the police station, an impatient Justin questions Rafe and Jada about the person who kidnapped Bonnie. Rafe tells him they’re waiting on a forensics report on the warehouse where Bonnie and Xander were held. He assures him they’ll let him know if anything turns up.

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Jada hands Rafe a file at the police station.

Later, Rafe and Jada go over the report, which lists a flesh piece of polyester fiber that doesn’t match Bonnie’s or Xander’s clothing. The report also lists batting, like the stuffing found in pillows. Rafe gets a call from Gabi about their Christmas lunch. He invites Jada to come along. She accepts, but she’d like him to accompany her someplace first.

Xander beckons Gwen to his motel room and shows her the lingerie he bought for Sarah. It’s the gift she told Thomas she helped him pick out as part of her cover. So, if Sarah asks, she knows how to further the lie. Xander opens the door for her to leave and they find Justin in the hall.

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At the motel, Justin uses his hands to make a point with Xander ,who pulls a paper from a manila envelope. Gwen stands with Xander.

As a thank you for rescuing Bonnie, Justin declares he’s going to help Xander sue the pants off Red Nax. Justin just needs the name of his boss in order to file the suit. When Xander tries to decline, Gwen intervenes and says his boss’ name is Maeve Wilson. She has her contact info from when she started a story on Red Nax. Justin will come by later to get it from her. After Justin leaves, Gwen tells Xander that Maeve Wilson is a “proper bitch” she went to school with. They’ll send Justin on a wild goose chase and Xander will never be found out.

Jada brings Rafe to the hospital because the holiday party was one of her dad’s favorite traditions. Dressed as Santa, Xander gathers the kids for Sarah, dressed as Mrs. Claus, to read to them. When Jada remarks she’s surprised Xander would cover his muscles with so much padding, Rafe realizes the flesh-colored material and padding was a body suit worn under the clown’s clothes. But why?

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At the hospital, Gwen and Xander dress up as Mr and Mrs claus. Xander holds Santa's sack as Gwen's arm reaches inside it.

At the Horton House, Gwen brings Justin Maeve’s info, and Bonnie points out Red Nax is Xander spelled backward.

Wearing Christmas pajamas, Leo joins Victor in the Kiriakis living room. A disgruntled Victor learns Leo is staying there and yells for Henderson to throw him out. Leo points out he’s an invited guest. Sonny enters and confirms. Victor wonders why he’d invite a Kallikantzaroi (a Greek goblin who murders from the ground each Christmas) into their home. Sonny explains he needed a place to stay. Uncle Vic retorts it’s time for Leo to scamper back to Whoville.

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In Christmas pajamas, Leo sits next to a disgruntled Victor on the Kiriakis couch.

Victor can’t understand why Sonny would forgive Leo. Sonny points out he forgave Leo just like many people have forgiven Victor over the years — because he’s genuinely sorry and wants to be a better human being. Sonny would go so far as to call them friends. “That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard,” Victor retorts. “Get rid of him now or you’re fired.” Sonny would rather help a friend in need than bow to his ridiculous demands.

Victor relents and allows Sonny to keep his job. Leo can stay as long as he’s in a room far away from him and Maggie. Victor asks Sonny what Will thinks of this, but Sonny relays Will doesn’t know. Victor assumed as much and warns he’ll have a lot of explaining to do.

Alone with Sonny, Leo marvels over what just happened and gifts Sonny a tank top that reads, “Gay as Christmas morning.” Sonny loves it. Leo tells him to try it on and ogles him as Sonny takes off his shirt. Will enters. “What the hell is going on here,” he demands to know.

In tribute to John Aniston, a montage plays of Victor making threats, dancing in Greece, kissing Caroline, marrying Carly, trading insults with Vivian and Nicole, and snarking at many, many characters, including Stefano. After touching scenes between Victor and his family play, the final shot is of a younger Victor at sea on his yacht. Words read, “In loving memory of John Anthony Aniston. 1933 – 2022. Good night, Sweet Prince; and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest…”

Next on Days of Our Lives: Eli lifts Paulina’s spirits and Chad derails Stephanie and Alex’s plans.

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Look through John Aniston’s most memorable moments as Victor Kiriakis in the photo gallery below and read his peers’ touching tributes to him here.