Previously: Kathy entertained the idea of opening a restaurant. Theresa dealt with financial and family struggles, neither of which is going to be solved any time soon. Jacqueline invited Melissa and Joe Gorga to her holiday party.
Christmas is upon Franklin Lakes as Jacqueline and her father pull out the decorations. She interviews that her decision to invite Melissa, Theresa, and the two Joes to her party could be lovely — or it could backfire and turn into a Carrie-like bloodbath-slash-conflagration. She tells her family about her interjection in the Gorga-Giudices’ affairs, and even Bratshley is all, “Girlfriend, that is a bad idea.” And if weave-pulling Bratshley is asking, “Why would you put yourself in the middle of a potentially bad situation,” then Jacqueline, you in danger, girl. Instead of listening to her daughter’s hard-learned, one-time-only piece of wisdom, Jacqueline just calls Bratshley a hypocrite and carries on her merry way. She notes that Teresa also has problems with her cousin Kathy, then trails off. I’m sure that will eventually blow up in everybody’s faces, too.
Meanwhile, Albie, Christopher, and their roommate Greg return home to help Caroline rearrange furniture. It devolves into petty sniping, which Caroline attributes to Lauren having separation anxiety now that her brothers have left the nest. Lauren admits she feels left out of Albie and Christopher’s lives now that they’re living together. Albie insists that Lauren’s more protective of them than they are of her, and adds that he, too, had to adjust when she started dating his best friend and former roommate Vito. He says that one of the bonuses of living with Greg — who’s gay — is that he’ll never end up dating Lauren. Somewhere along the way, Albie finds a Santa Claus with a busted face and jokes that they should leave it on someone’s doorstep as a message. In the course of discussing what new decorations they should get, Caroline floats the idea of a feather Christmas tree. Albie takes issue with this idea, as does he complain about Greg’s fondness for Mariah Carey’s Christmas album. Three words, Albie: Greatest. Song. Ever. He claims he’s going to boycott Christmas that year.
That night, Melissa primps for a meeting with music producers Soul Diggaz in which she’ll have to prove that she has the vocal chops to pursue a recording career. Joe pours the guys some wine to lubricate their ears a little. After Melissa sings her song, the guys compliment her voice but tell her she has work to do to prepare for the long days recording sometimes entails. When Joe hears about the 15-hour days, he suddenly realizes he might have to actually take care of his children for a little while and gets antsy. He offers to build a recording studio in the house so she can wipe their noses and asses in between takes. Melissa thanks Joe and Jesus for their wonderful gifts.