In the park at night, Gwen and Xander wear guilty expressions as they face someone off screen.
Credit: Peacock screenshot

After Paulina and Abe exchange gifts at home, Paulina can’t help but worry about Sloan. The doorbell rings. Paulina panics that it’s her, but Abe opens the door to Eli and the twins. As the adults visit, Eli reports Lani is strong, but it’s killing her not to be there for Christmas. Abe is hopeful, she’ll be there next year.

When Eli learns Sloan is still making threats, he suggests he pay her a visit and let her know whose family she’s messing with. They appreciate that, but they just need him to be a husband to Lani and a father to the babies on their second birthday. Paulina rubs her hands together and says, “Let’s make it a party.” They sing Happy Birthday to the twins, and Eli blows out the candles. He knows their wish is that their mother was home. Paulina says that’s what they all wish and pray for.

Jules and Carver sit in booster seats looking very unimpressed.

At Steve and Kayla’s, Alex and Stephanie passionately kiss on the couch. He takes off her top, but stops to ask if she’s sure she’s ready to take the next step. She confirms. He tells her how new this is for him. He’s used to being the guy who sweeps women off their feet, but from the moment he met her, she knocked him off his. She asks if that means he’s ready. He confirms, and she asks if they’re ready, ready. He rushes out to the store.

While he’s gone, Chad stops by with a present for Stephanie from Thomas and Charlotte. It’s an Olivia Rodrigo CD, which Charlotte made Stephanie listen to over and over when the little girl was having nightmares. Stephanie is touched and asks how they’re all doing. Chad reports the kids are doing better than he is. Abby was so great at making the day perfect for them. Stephanie is sure he did that in her place. Chad grows emotional, and she hugs him, as Alex returns.

Chad heads to the bathroom to splash water on his face before he has to pick up the kids. Stephanie explains to Alex, who knows they can’t throw Chad out if he’s hurting that badly. When Chad returns, Alex invites him to stay and help him figure out how to beat Stephanie at the racing game. Chad warns he’ll beat him even worse than Stephanie did. Later, Stephanie grins as the guys battle with their controllers.

At the Kiriakis mansion, Sonny wears a guilty expression and a tank top that reads, Gay as Christmas morning, as he faces will.

Sonny is stunned to see Will at the Kiriakis mansion. Will is horrified to find his shirtless husband with Leo. He rearranged work so he could be home with Sonny for Christmas. As he rants, Leo chimes in, but both husbands yell that he’s not helping. Will quips it’s also not helping that Sonny doesn’t have a shirt on. Sonny pulls on his “Gay as Christmas morning” tank top that Leo gave him.

Sonny asks Leo to leave them alone and, once alone, explains to Will that Leo had no place to go. Will has no sympathy for Leo, who is always trying to come between them. He doesn’t understand why Sonny can’t see that. Sonny knows he should have told him sooner, but becoming friends with Leo just kind of happened. He understands him better now. Will isn’t swayed. An upset Sonny accuses him of always seeing the worst in people — like assuming he’d cheat with Leo. Will points out Sonny assumed that of him when he found them together in Phoenix. Sonny shouts that he had reason to, considering Will cheated on him before.

Will thought they got past that. Sonny apologizes and says he’s just trying to be a friend to a lonely guy on Christmas. Will believes him. After he’s changed, Leo watches from the doorway as a tearful Sonny tells Will he doesn’t want to fight with him, especially on Christmas. Will’s eyes well as he says Leo has to go. Leo’s eyes narrow. He joins them and says he’ll go to a soup kitchen and thanks Sonny for his kindness. Sonny stops him from leaving. He won’t kick him out. Will can’t believe he’s falling for Leo’s Tiny Tim act, but Sonny remains firm. Will leaves instead.

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.

Still dressed as Santa and Mrs. Claus, Xander pulls a gift out of his red sack for Sarah. She opens two tickets to Greece so they can enjoy the honeymoon they never had. Sarah wonders how he’ll pay for it. He says he always finds a way. A distant Sarah wonders why he didn’t tell her that Bonnie accused him of kidnapping her. He calls it just a crazy theory, but he thought they moved past this. Sarah apologizes, but Bonnie got in her head. She knows he wouldn’t lie to her.

At the Horton House, Bonnie chuckles at discovering Red Nax is Xander spelled backward. Justin, however, deduces that Xander made up the company and accuses Gwen of protecting him. Gwen admits Xander lied about the job because he was ashamed to let Sarah know he was unemployed.

At the Horton House, a skeptical Bonnie and Justin question Gwen.

After Justin and Bonnie have left, Gwen calls Xander to warn him, and they make plans to meet in the park. In street clothes, Xander hoists Santa’s sack over his shoulder and leaves the room. After she’s changed, Sarah walks up to the door and eyes him as he leaves.

At a table in the Square, Justin tells Bonnie he doesn’t believe Gwen’s story. Bonnie doesn’t either. She assumes Gwen helped Xander fake a job to cover the fact that they’re having an affair. Justin doesn’t believe Xander would betray Sarah that way. He worries whatever they are keeping from them is even worse than an affair.

In the park, Gwen tells Xander that Bonnie and Justin figured out that Red Nax was a fake. He says, “If Sarah finds out what I did to Susan and Bonnie…” A grave-faced Sarah walks up and says, “I already know.” She demands Xander tell her the truth. Xander confesses everything. Sarah’s face contorts as she tells Xander that Susan’s blood is on his hands. Gutted, Xander tries to defend himself, but Sarah’s done. Susan is dead, Bonnie is traumatized, and everything she thought they had between them is a lie. She never wants to see him again. She shoves the plane tickets at him and tells him to take Gwen to Greece. “You two deserve each other.”

With bulging eyes and tense features, Sarah faces Xander in the park. Gwen stands behind her, averting her eyes.

Next, on Days of Our Lives: Gabi and Li’s wedding day arrives, and Brady and Eric set their plan in motion.

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