- Haz discovering that it was Holly who wrecked his scarf.
- Holly ranting off about the scarf.
- Holly confronting Mackenzie.
- Haz annoyed at Byron.
- Byron contemplating clearing out of #32.
- Paul buying a family zoo membership and persuading Aaron to lie to David about its origins.
- The council approving the new plan by Jane and Terese.
- Melanie revealing how they got council approval.
- Terese confronting Paul about what he did... and telling him some home truths before wishing him a Merry Christmas!
It's Christmas Day and there is no opening titles today, just the Neighbours logo with some Christmas baubles instead.
And we begin today with a tour of the street seeing how some of the houses have been decorated.
Much to the embarrassment of his kids, Toadie comes downstairs half dressed as Santa! He checks in with Terese who is putting her "anger on hold" for the day!
Over at #24, Isla is opening her pressies as the adults look on. Jane admits that she was on the phone for ages talking to Mike (and Sam) although most of the conversation was her ranting off about Paul! Like Terese, she isn't going to dwell upon him today but before she can put the turkey on, Nicolette spots a final pressie for Isla - it's the zoo membership and Aaron lies to say it was him who purchased it.
Susan finishes setting the table and we hear lunch is going to be over quick as she and Elly are heading to Sydney after it has finished. She is very much looking forward to seeing her sister and Elly puts the kyboshes on Chloe coming too, she's to spend the day with her family.
A grumpy Holly comes out of her room to confirm she will be back for lunch, but not to wait for her to commence open the pressies.
While the rest decamp to the living room, Susan checks how Melanie is holding up and is told "totally fine" although when Susan then joins the rest, Melanie's face tells a different story.
It's like a wet weekend in Blackpool at #32 where Byron is sulking on the sofa and Haz sulking sitting at the table. Mackenzie is metaphorically pulling her hair out at the kitchen bench trying to gee them up for their Christmas party and even the infamous pizza box tower collapsing has neither guy coming out of their slump!
MACKENZIE: Merry Christmas!
Mackenzie has had enough of the pair and heads outside to get ready for the party. That forces the guys to finally talk to each other, although barely with Byron confirming that no, he hasn't gone to Tahiti!
Byron sulks off to his room as Holly enters the house which is a surprise to Haz as he thought she'd be with her family. Holly explains that she managed to sneak away so that they can talk (said simultaneously by them both). She begins by admitting that she's not proud of herself but wants it known that Mackenzie gave her blessing before they started dating. That's news to Haz but he thinks that given what has happened, it's a sign that they need to "take a break for a little while". Despite nodding, Holly looks shocked at what he's said to her... especially after she's just handed over his Christmas pressie too (a coffee tamper).
Paul is very grateful that Leo is still talking to him and that he can spend some time with Abby before the pair leave to head to #24. In hindsight, Paul admits he shouldn't have intervened with the councillor "but my motives were honourable" he pleads.
LEO: Well they always are in your mind aren't they?!
While adding he doesn't want to fight with Paul, he had to know how Jane and Terese are feeling. Paul does and then watches on as Leo and Abby depart leaving him all alone on Christmas Day.
PAUL: Merry Christmas!
Number 32 (back yard)
Mackenzie is surprised to see Sadie arrive this early for the party, but she's just checking in to see how the preparations are going. She takes the chance too, to have a dig at Mackenzie for not being honest with Holly and for giving Haz the scarf too but she's have been as well to have saved her tongue as Mackenzie totally ignores what's been said!
Haz comes outside to join the ladies and confirms that Holly was briefly over before going home for lunch. After Sadie asks how things are, his reply is that he suggested "we take a break". Both ladies seem unsure what to say and Sadie manages to excuse herself on the pretence of having to go home to get limes for the tequila.
Now they are alone, Mackenzie asks how Holly took the news and Haz's reply is "she seemed okay" before then asking her why she gave her blessing [for them] knowing full well she'd feelings for him?
HAZ: You said you wouldn't go there. She feels like you played her.
MACKENZIE: I would never do that to her. I didn't want you to know either.
Given the fact they are hosting a party later and she wants to avoid any awkwardness, Mackenzie asks if they "are we gonna be okay?"
HAZ: I'm cool. Holly's cool. You're cool.
MACKENZIE: I'm cool.
Looks like everyone is cool then!
Music montage time
With the Christmas music playing, Jane finally gets the turkey in the oven. Over at #22 its bad joke time as the family sit down to their Christmas meal. Back at #24, its time for more pressies now Leo and Abby have arrived and Jane gets a warm hug from the newly arrived Byron.
The #28 crowd have left pulling their crackers until after they've eaten their meal. Melanie's cracker contained a message which Susan reads out to everyone.
SUSAN: Come the new year, you're in for new cheer.
HOLLY: Oh, you're getting a new boyfriend.
ELLY: Or a new job... or a new anything!
Given what happened in the last year, Melanie's mantra is "things can only get better." However saying that has upset Melanie and she ups herself from the table in tears and heads into the kitchen. The K's immediately follow her to console her and she apologies for bringing everyone down.
MELANIE: You're all so happy and look at me. Its not gonna be new year, new cheer for me. All of these charges that I've got to face all alone.
Susan reassures Melanie that she isn't alone, she has them and to try and cheer everyone back up, Karl decides a song on his guitar is needed!
ELLY: I think it's time that we left!
HOLLY: I think I should go help with the party preparation!
CHLOE: I think I'll go to Jane's!
KARL: NOBODY MOVE!!! We've all got time for one Christmas sing- along!
Susan shakes her head and the others sit back down at the table before grimacing (and Melanie starts crying) as Karl starts strumming on his guitar and singing another of his personally written songs, this one all about Christmas!
Having made peace with one another, Nicolette has a solution for the necklace that Byron got from Reece - she knows how important Reece was in his life, so she will look after it until some point in the future when he is ready to wear it "for old times' sake."
Jane comes over to give Byron her blessing to go to the party, and albeit reluctantly, he heads back home.
Nicolette joins the others as David brings up the zoo membership, commenting that its "a pretty cool gift." Guilt gets to Aaron and he comes clean explaining Paul handed it over when he took Isla on a visit to see him as he was feeling sorry for Paul.
Thankfully David doesn't go off on one, instead commenting on how much a "softie" Aaron is. He asks if Leo is going to spend time with him today but he'd rather hang out at #24 then go to the party rather than return home.
LEO: Dad can't be my problem today.
Paul does though get a visitor - Nicolette and brings with her some turkey.
NICOLETTE: My Great Nan's recipe.
PAUL: Oh, just what I need, a reminder of Mrs Mangel!
NICOLETTE: Well someone needed to make sure you weren't crying into your eggnog!
She asks what the damage is regarding the council vote and the reply is none... if she can persuade Jane and Terese to keep quiet. While Nicolette can try and do that, she warns if it does get out, he will need to fix it!
NICOLETTE: I'm serious Paul. This school means everything to mum.
PAUL: Yeah, and you too according to this little redemption tour you're on.
PAUL: Oh that's right, Jane doesn't know the other reason why you left Erinsborough, does she?
NICOLETTE: Just fix it!
Terese, Jane and Toadie are trying to come up with a plan over what Paul did. She is wondering, if they come clean, will the council believe they'd nothing to do with it? Jane thinks the fact Paul isn't connected to the project will count for something but Toadie points out the personal connection.
TERESE: Yes, ex- wife! Not great optics!
Jane isn't sure she can reopen the school, in case Paul's corruption comes out, she owes her students "better than that." Toadie stops Terese from blaming herself for what has happened.
TERESE: Paul is fixated on me. If I wasn't a part of this, he would not be involved.
Melanie is chuffed to receive an unplanned visit from Nell and Hugo on Christmas Day especially so the pressie Hugo has for her - a toy version of a picker although he seems very reluctant to hand it over to her!
Number 32 (back yard)
"Be nice," Sadie warns Mackenzie when they spot Holly arriving for the party... but being nice means avoiding Holly, she walks off and goes to talk to Haz instead!
When Holly gets to her, Sadie mentions she's heard about the split but Holly would rather not talk about it. Thankfully Sadie is distracted by a text from Bianca wanting to bring Richie to the party but that is a big no- no for her given its Mackenzie's ex... so what does Holly do, yip finds Richie on social media and invites him to the party as 'the best surprise for my friend Mackenzie'!
Commercial break later and David is hating the music playing as there are no words! "Words are overrated," Nicolette replies back as she drags him (and Aaron) somewhere offscreen.
Meanwhile, Chloe wants to know if anyone at the party is catching Leo's eye? He isn't on the prowl for someone and Chloe comments on how long its been since he's had a girlfriend.
LEO: just because you and Elly are obnoxiously happy, it doesn't mean we all have to be, okay!
Joining Byron where he is sitting drinking by himself, Haz gets why he was trying to protect Holly but wishes that he'd come and talked.
HAZ: It felt like a knife in the back.
Byron apologises and explains that his head is "messed up" thanks to the whole Reece thing. "I'm here for you," Haz reassures him with and wants them to hug it out. As the pair man hug each other, the Christmas tree accidentally goes for a burton into the pool!
LANDLORD LEO: That blocks the filter, its coming out of your bond!
The pair decide to leave the tree in the water and deal with it later. Someone volunteers to rescue it - the newly arrived Richie! Thankfully he's too busy with looking at Mackenzie (and likewise she at him) to actually do anything!
To try and distract Terese from her woes (and the fact you can hear the party music inside the house), Nell and Hugo suggest playing a board game.
HUGO: I vote Monopoly... and I might even let you win!
TERESE: Hugo, that is unexpectedly ruthless!
NELL: We learnt it from you!
Terese laughs at the kids antics and tells them to go set the board up and she'll sort the snacks out. She spots Toadie pick up the car keys and asks where he is off to - going to get some ice- cream as they are out and promises to call by #32 to tell them to keep the music down too!
The real reason for Toadie leaving the house was to go and see Paul - so much for him being worried about not having anyone visit him on Christmas Day!!!
"I'm not interested in your righteous diatribe," Paul greets Toadie with as soon as the lift doors ping open. Toadie gets straight to the point - Terese believes he wants leverage over her while he thinks that isn't true.
PAUL: Well it's not.
TOADIE: I think that in your twisted mind, you actually believe that you're gonna find your way back to each other... but in the whole time that you've known her, I've only seen you demonstrate real love for her once.
And that time was letting Terese go at their vow renewal after the trouble caused by Krista and Eden. Paul agrees that yes, he did put "Terese first."
TOADIE: But you see, now you're back to your scheming and your manipulating thinking that that is the way to win her back.
PAUL: You just don't get it. Terese and I are cut from the same cloth. You on the other hand? Nothing in common.
Toadie doesn't think Paul gets it, and asks "why was she miserable with you but she's happy with me?"
TOADIE: It really is time to just let go once and for all.
Toadie also suggests that Paul should get rid of the phones Paul has on display too - the ones of him and Terese together - "'cause they're not gonna help." Having said his piece, Toadie puts back on his Santa hat and walks towards the lift.
TOADIE: Merry Christmas!
After Toadie gets into the lift, Paul turns round and looks at one of the photos Toadie was talking about.
Number 32 (back yard)
Sadie can't believe that Mackenzie invited Richie to the party although Holly points out that she "doesn't look upset about it." After Sadie leaves to party on, Holly's very scowly face comes back on when she spots Mackenzie and Richie talking to each other.
The pair are catching up with each other including the fact Mackenzie seems impressed over the scene he made at the school protest. We hear that Richie is single and likewise Mackenzie admits to him she hasn't been with anyone since Hendrix. "I still can't believe he's gone," Richie laments before adding that he's sure Hendrix would want her "to get back out there" although she isn't so sure.
Ramsay Street (next day)
The last of the party goers are heading home including Richie. Mackenzie is knackered so wants him to wait alone for his ride so she can crash. The pair give each other a farewell hug and after separating, Richie confesses that he's never stopped caring about her especially since she was his first love. He then takes that admission (along with her silent response) as approval to kiss her. However, as soon as he leans forward, she quickly backs off with a resounding "no!"
Richie is confused - he thought she wanted to see him. While Mackenzie's reply is it's great to see him, what they had was "a long time ago" and it is her turn to then be confused when Richie explains about his invitation and who it came from!
Number 32 (back yard)
Holly is trying to get the sunken tree out of the pool when an irate Mackenzie comes looking for her. "You were out of line inviting Richie," Mackenzie tells her and in retaliation, Holly says she was "out line flirting with Haz!" "I didn't," Mackenzie pleads then goes onto mention Richie trying to kiss her.
HOLLY: Well I didn't tell him to do that!
MACKENZIE: Well he did and it made me feel extremely uncomfortable.
HOLLY: Okay. Well what about my feelings? You know that Haz put us on a break all because of your big reveal?
MACKENZIE: Right that had nothing to do with you destroying the scarf?
HOLLY: We were going great. And then you decided to tell him that you had feelings for him.
MACKENZIE: Past tense!
HOLLY: (angry) You threw a spanner in the works and then I saw you cozying up to him again last night.
"This is getting ridiculous," Mackenzie declares as Holly then warns her to "back off" to allow them to work things out. Mackenzie doesn't want an argument with Holly right now, and walks away towards the house. That gets right up Holly's goat and she accidentally takes a step back... but her heel is over the pool and thus she loses her balance and topples into the pool.
Mackenzie stops and turns around to see Holly in the water but doesn't go to help her out, instead continuing to walk into the house. What Mackenzie doesn't realise is that Holly's sash has got caught up in the tree and she is struggling to get it free so she can out (or it off around her neck) so she can get out of the water and breathe!
Coming up on Neighbours
- David wanting to accompany Krista as she goes to see Paul.
- David unimpressed at his dad.
- Susan curious about something Aster has drawn.