Ghosts of Christmas Past

Another year, another Christmas Eve at the Horton house, another embarrassing display of tears on my part when they pan to Tom and Alice’s ornaments.

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Doug’s speech got me going, too. Bill Hayes delivered it with such passion and feeling that he somehow brought alive 50 years of history in relatively few words. I thought it was really lovely and fitting that, at the Christmas following such a milestone anniversary, Days of Our Lives pay tribute to both its past and its future.

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They hit a lot of the right notes, with giving proper focus to the loss of Will and to Lucas’s grief in particular. Maggie’s bond with Lucas has sort of been overshadowed by her (similar, addiction-driven) bond with Brady, so I was glad to see it get some attention. (It did seem a little weird that Gabi wasn’t there with Arianna — although she did kill Nick, another Horton, so maybe she wanted to avoid that awkwardness, but Lucas could’ve brought his granddaughter.) Giving Lucas that private moment outside the house, when he received Sami’s text with Allie’s drawing, was wise and touching. I’m still dying to get Lucas’s POV on this whole thing, though. Sami went on the run with his daughter? Does he just not get to see Allie anymore? Maybe he’ll run into Belle at the Town Square next month and get three lines about it.

The editing during the ornament-hanging was all over the place, because Jennifer and her family’s ornaments were hanging on the part of the tree that faced the camera several scenes before we actually saw them hang them. A little sloppy, but not the biggest sin in the world. It did strike me as weird that they chose to linger on two ornaments in particular.

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Janice Barnes was a foster child whom Mickey and Maggie adopted in the 70s, but then her biological mother came back to reclaim her, and it was a whole mess that culminated in Maggie becoming an alcoholic and them losing custody of Janice. She reappeared in the late 80s as an adult and, grossly, dated both Bill Horton (her former adoptive uncle) and Mike Horton (her former adoptive brother/cousin) before being murdered by the Riverfront Knifer, a.k.a. Harper Deveraux. Given that rundown, I suppose it is appropriate that we think about her in a year in which just about everyone else has been brutally murdered or otherwise dropped dead, but I have a theory about why the show wanted to make us think about her… but it pertains to some spoilers. Also:

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I’m on record as being a fan of both Melanie and Molly Burnett, but I can understand why she — and the prominence the show has awarded her — irks people, and I burst out laughing at how the camera lingered on her ornament for what felt like 90 seconds. It just struck me as such a hilarious F-U to everyone who dislikes her, and I can only imagine how I’d have felt if they had given that sort of attention to, I don’t know, Serena or Jordan or someone else that pointless and annoying.

In other festive news, how bad of a person am I if I’m totally into this illicit sexual tension between Joey and Ava?

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I wouldn’t normally be cheering on this kind of thing, both because they’ve said Joey is only 16 and because she already banged his dad, but it’s apparent that we are supposed to see Ava as a deranged villain, and James Lastovic is doing a really good job of playing a lust that he might not even be acknowledging to himself.

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I know, Julie. It is scandalous.

I actually buy this a lot more than I ever did JJ/Eve, because Ava is manipulating him, and Joey isn’t professing to be in love with someone else, let alone someone who’d be devastated by a tryst between him and Ava. I’m not convinced it will happen, but it does go a long way toward explaining how she’s kept him under her thrall. I’m not sure what to make of Ava looking at that photo of a baby at the end of Friday’s episode, though the clear implication is that she had Steve’s baby at some point, which either means that child died and she’s out for revenge, or that child is someone we know (Chase?), or that child is going to force us to bend our very concept of time and space in ways at which our nightmares have only hinted thus far. Hope you have some spiked eggnog left over!

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26 Comments on “Ghosts of Christmas Past”

  1. Shea Says:

    Ok…I know I am nitpicking. Doug’s speech was great and giving Abby and JJ the responsibility to holding down the Horton tradition was a lovely sentiment but it should have been Julie that did all of that instead. SHE is the Horton, not Doug.

  2. Robbiemac420 Says:

    I got a little teary at Doug’s speech, and Tom and Alice’s ornaments too. Could you tell me how Mike and Bill Horton are related to Maggie? Also, how is Harper Deveraux related to Jack?

    • mykleraus Says:

      Bill is Mickey Horton’s brother, so he was Maggie’s brother-in-law. Mike was originally thought to be Mickey’s son, but he turned out to be Bill’s, so he was Maggie’s stepson for a while and then became her nephew by marriage. Basically, neither of them should’ve ever been involved with anyone they knew as a child raised by Maggie and Mickey!

      Harper Deveraux raised Jack and was, I think, thought to be his biological father until Jack discovered that he’d been adopted as a baby. So they weren’t technically blood-related.

    • Shea Says:

      I’ll give it a go….Maggie is Mickey Horton’s widow. Mickey was Bill’s brother. At one point long ago Mickey was married to Laura when she and Bill had an *affair so when Mike was born there was a period of time when he believed Mickey was his father. (*This was long before I watched the show but I believe that initially it was written that Bill had raped Laura and she became pregnant with Mike but eventually Bill and Laura would fall in love and go on to marry and have Jennifer.)

      Jack Deveraux came to town as the son of Senator Harper Deveraux…it was later revealed that he was adopted and his true identity was Billy Johnson. Billy Johnson was Steve Johnson’s baby brother. When Steve was 5 and Billy was maybe a year old they had been left an orphanage after Steve had tried to kill their father who was abusive to their mother.

      • mykleraus Says:

        There we go. Much better detail! I’m reading the novels that cover the early years, so it’s clarified the Bill/Laura thing a bit. They were engaged, but Bill skipped town in shame after an illness prevented him from being a surgeon. Laura was heartbroken and found solace with Mickey. When Bill returned, he was devastated to see them married. Things intensified until, one night, he raped Laura. But then there’s a weird switcheroo in the writing, and Mickey is insanely jealous of them and even cheats on Laura because he’s convinced she’s been cheating (even though she technically hasn’t), and he has a heart attack and stroke and winds up with amnesia, which leads him to Maggie and paves the way for Laura and Bill to be together.

      • Shea Says:

        It has been so long since I researched the history that I have forgotten a lot of details. I wasn’t sure if Bill and Laura were involved before she married Mickey or not. Maybe they were in love but not “lovers”? It seems like Mike used to call Mickey “dad” and just called Bill “Bill” and I think Jennifer was more or less raised by Tom and Alice…and boarding school. Laura and Bill always fascinated me because when I started watching around 81 they were off the canvas but so much of their history was referenced for years before they were brought back on in the late 80s.

      • Robbiemac Says:

        I am soooooo glad I asked my question. You all are always a wealth of knowledge!! Thanks for filling me in!

      • mykleraus Says:

        You’re welcome! Now if only I could free up some of this space in my head for something USEFUL… 🙂

      • mykleraus Says:

        Mike definitely thought of Mickey as his dad for years and years. He was aged to a teen only a few years after his birth, so Mickey was his dad until he was 16-17, at least. I’d be curious to see the 1987-88 material with Bill to see what their relationship was like by then.

      • Shea Says:

        I was watching in the late 80s when Bill returned. The relationships with Mike and Jennifer were strained when he arrived but I really don’t remember a lot about it after that. I can’t remember what kind of relationship Bill and Mickey had and I have no recollection of the involvements with Janice. It was the late 80s and I was obsessed with Steve and Kayla so a lot of the other stories have faded from my memory.

      • mykleraus Says:

        I think the Janice stuff was really minor, in terms of big picture — like, the equivalent of the Lucas/Adrienne relationship we have right now. I would LOVE to see any Bill/Mickey stuff from that period. They also had Bill around in 1993-94, when Lucas’s paternity came out, but I have no idea if he and Mickey interacted then, either.

      • Robbiemac420 Says:

        Whoa! So Lucas’ father is Bill? Is his mother really Kate? These back stories are blowing my mind! You mentioned a book that told the storylines of DOOL. What is it called? I’d love to go back to the beginning and try to figure this stuff out. Or would I?

      • mykleraus Says:

        Lucas is the product of an affair Bill had with Kate back when he was married to Laura, which was revealed in the early-mid 90s, when Kate arrived in Salem and was hiding some (pretty obvious) secrets.

        There were two books I read years and years ago that helped fill me in on the early years. The first is this one, a coffee table book:

        And the second is more of a book, but the recap of the story gets very detailed during the 80s especially:

        I bought all but one of the novels that were released in the 80s to cover the first decade or so of the show, and I’m going to post a recap of all of them after New Year’s, so that might help, too.

      • Shea Says:

        There are also several websites where you can look up characters and it gives you a brief history,,, and are two that come to mind but I will tell you that they are not always accurate with details like the order of events or the motivations for why characters did certain things…but they can give you a general idea of history and connections between characters. It’s impossible to give 50 years of history in a few paragraphs but just it can generally help you connect the dots.

      • mykleraus Says:

        Those sites are both pretty good for character bios, especially for more major characters. One thing I’ve found is that they tend to have been edited to incorporate fan rumor types of things that never actually happened onscreen — like Kate Roberts being Kate Winograd, etc.

  3. Dan Says:

    I don’t think the Janice thing is the big conspiracy theory that some people are making it out to be. Maggie and Lucas talked about losing children to serial killers: Will and Janice. Because they didn’t mention Janice or her death at the hands of a serial killer specifically, I felt that was why we lingered on Janice’s ornament.

    Knowing this lame show, you are probably right. It’s probably something more over the top and painful.

    • mykleraus Says:

      That’s a good point. I hadn’t really made the Will/Janice connection, but it’s valid and smart. I was wondering if it might be a hint of things to come re: Maggie’s sobriety, considering that she seems stressed about Caroline and that the initial Janice story was what spurred her alcoholism in the first place.

      • Dan Says:

        I’ve considered this.

        Years ago, the rumor was Maggie was suppose to fall off the wagon when Mickey died and she was going to plow down one of Lucas’ children in a drunken state. I always thought Will was a good candidate at the time so that he could use his paralysis to keep one of the girls (Mia, at that point) by his side.

        Honestly, that period, 2009-2010, was the last time the show was amazing. I miss so much that made that period special.

      • mykleraus Says:

        I remember that being a major theory after Mickey died. I was sort of pleased they had Maggie be strong, and it was such an interesting surprise when they moved her into Victor’s orbit.

        I miss that period, too. The show felt so small and fascinating. There was just something magical about it, even when some of the stories were stupid. It was as if we got to rediscover Salem along with TPTB.

  4. Robbiemac420 Says:

    Something tells me that Thomas’ paternity is about to come out and will be the next big storyline of the New Year! Also, I haven’t finished watching the Basic Black fashion show yet, but what the hell was Kayla thinking? She reminds my of a giant lime! God-awful!!

    • mykleraus Says:

      Just watch Wednesday’s episode… 🙂

      And yeah, Kayla’s dress is horrible. They always have her in that awkward mid-calf length, and she winds up looking so dowdy.

      • Robbiemac Says:

        So any guesses about how Chad is going to outsmart the brainwash and reunite with Abby? DiMera or not, they belong together!

      • mykleraus Says:

        One thing I’m actually enjoying about this is how Abigail is fighting for Chad. She doesn’t really believe that he’s just decided not to be with her (though she’s jumping to some conclusions far too easily), and she’s having faith in their connection even in spite of his behavior. That’s pretty classic supercouple writing, which I like, even if the way they’re getting there is pretty goofy.

      • Robbiemac420 Says:

        Yeah, I like Abigail fighting for Chad, too. I just really hope the writers don’t drag this storyline on so long that I lose interest or get frustrated like the Aiden/DiMera blackmail/murder plot. I knew Hope wouldn’t actually die and I was surprised that Bo got home just in time to save her (I actually thought Rafe would be the knight in shining armor here), but, damn, that story seemed to last for-freakin’-ever!

      • mykleraus Says:

        I think where they really get into trouble with these stories is when the seemingly main character is standing around doing nothing. Aiden was having covert meetings with the DiMeras and scheming, Bo was (unbeknownst to Hope) fighting to get out of captivity, and Hope spent several weeks standing around planning a wedding. So at leas they have Abigail being active in this whole thing.

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