It's Christmas Eve and Vanessa (Jessica Szohr, who we thought we got rid of) crashes Dan's lunch with Serena to give him a present - she submitted one of his stories to The New Yorker. Called "10/8/05," Dan's story will get published soon! Dan tells Vanessa that this is the best present ever and Serena feels down.
Rufus and Alison run into Lily (Kelly Rutherford) and Bart Bass, and it is quite awkward. Bart is pissed that Lily doesn't want them to go public. Blair finds out from Bart that Chuck is in Monaco, and spends the whole day texting him to make sure he doesn't tell anyone about their hookups.
Blair is happy because her father is coming back to New York for Christmas. He gives his Blair Bear a hug, but unfortunately, he's also brought Roman along, which doesn't please either Blair or Eleanor. Disappointed to find out that Harold and Roman have bought a chateau in France, their skating outing to Central Park is less than fun for Blair Bear. She retaliates by "accidentally" tripping Roman, who falls flat on the ice.
Eleanor gets flirted with by an older man, Jack, at the park, which Roman takes notice of. Later, Blair gets some an inside scoop on Roman's past love life from Eleanor - there's a certain man name Freddy, who remains something of mystery, and a sore spot between Roman and Harold. Hmm.
The Humphreys are celebrating Dan's news and opening Christmas cards when Rufus (Matthew Settle) accidentally opens a letter from Alex, Alison's lover. He asks her to meet him soon. Rufus is displeased.
He keeps Alison's "date" and goes to meet Alex to tell him to leave Alison alone. But Alex insists Alison has been talking to him lately. Rufus comes back to tell Alison about what he did, and they both realize that instead of Alex or Lily being to blame, the real problem is the two of them.
Serena (Blake Lively) finds Dan at the coffee shop where Vanessa works to give him his Christmas present. It's a really nice watch, which he won't accept because even when S underdoes it, she overdoes it. They set some rules: they have until tomorrow to get each other gifts, $50 tops.
Serena helps Blair (Leighton Meester) log into a model agency's website to contact Freddy. She is up to no good. Serena swallows her pride and asks Vanessa for help with Dan's present. All Dan wants is a white Christmas, he's said. The wheels begin turning in Vanessa's mind.
They start working on it during the Waldorf holiday party, where Blair is none too pleased to see Vanessa. Getting a moment alone with her, Blair says she thinks Vanessa likes Dan a little too much. Vanessa heads out pretty quick, and Serena is unaware why. Lily then tells Serena and Eric that she's seeing Bart Bass. They are far from pleased.
At the party, Lily gets a call from Rufus, who is obviously calling because he wants her, but can't quite bring himself to say it. Lily lies that she's flying to Anguilla with Bart. Roman invited man who flirted with Eleanor at the skating rink to the party - and after Googling him and finding out that his name is Jack and he owns a hedge fund. Now she's interested... and realizing maybe Roman isn't so terrible all the time.
Jack flirts with Eleanor something fierce, but is interrupted by Freddy's arrival. Freddy thinks that Roman invited him. Things are getting really tense when Eleanor realizes Blair orchestrated the whole thing and kicks Freddy out. Eleanor tells Harold how Blair did all of this because she's hurt that she didn't get her father all to herself. She actually knows her daughter pretty well after all.
Later, Harold asks Blair to forgive him and asks her to spend the summer with them at the chateau, and patches things up a bit. She even tries her best to be nice to Roman from then on, which is very sweet.
Dan has decided to get a Christmas tree for Serena, to make her hotel room a little more homey. Jenny helps him haul it down the street, and has a mini-breakdown about her parents' failing marriage. Lily walks by and decides to help them, suggesting that they evade the strict doorman who doesn't allow trees by using the service elevator.
Vanessa helps Serena set up her present at the Humphrey art gallery. Serena is very gracious and wants to give Vanessa credit, but Vanessa books it out of there before Dan arrives, clearing reeling from Blair's threat.
Dan arrives to find Serena sitting on blankets in the middle of the gallery. Images of snow in the forest are projected o the walls, as pieces of white confetti fall from the ceiling. Dan is blown away, and he hands her a crumpled up copy of the story he wrote, which is about the first time he met Serena - 10/8/05. Serena is touched and they are swept away in the moment. They wake up the next day covered in confetti.
Eleanor had a fun night too, apparently, walking downstairs with Jack. At the same time Harold and Roman walk in from the elevator - all the flights back to Paris have been canceled so they came back. Eleanor invites them both to stay. Blair scampers downstairs and is happy to see her father.
A little later, Blair gets a strange text message from Chuck, implying but not saying overtly that he might have already told Nate about their secret hookups.
The Humphreys try to put on a pleasant Christmas morning, but it's hard to do when Rufus decides to leave to go call Lily, having found out from Dan that she's not really in Anguilla. The kids realize that Rufus and Alison are splitting up again, probably for real this time.
The van der Woodsens and Bart are opening presents under the tree. Just as Lily's cell phone starts to ring, Bart gets down on one knee and proposes to Lily. Noooo! She's definitely caught off-guard, and also doesn't know that it's Rufus calling to tell her that he wants her back...
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