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The scene opens in 1917. The Ripper of Monterey destroys a camp on Christmas Eve. In the present day, Stefan writes Elena and prepares for his final day with Caroline. He's gone all out for Christmas and insists they keep Caroline's plans for a Christmas Eve dinner with their family and friends.

Alaric arrives with the girls and tells Caroline he has some news. Before he can spill it, Damon and Sybil walk through the front door. Across town, Bonnie and Enzo spend the morning together instead of joining the dinner party. Caroline calls and tells them not to come since Sybil is in attendance and they begin to formulate a plan to recover the tuning fork.

In his death, Damon got to spend time getting to know Cade. Cade's request was time with Stefan, so the elder brother stakes the younger, sending Stefan to spend time in Hell on his last day of freedom. Cade's plan is to show Stefan exactly why he's the perfect person to collect souls bound for Hell.

Caroline learns that Sybil has been staying in a nearby neighborhood and sends Bonnie and Enzo to check it out. Mid phone call, she gets an idea and rushes off to find a gift box, but instead of a present she finds a dead-looking Stefan. She tries to attack Damon but he overpowers her and goes in search of Ric.

Ric reads the girls a naptime story and tells them not to open their bedroom door for anyone once he leaves. Downstairs, Matt and his dad arrive, also shocked to see Damon still among the living. 

Cade walks Stefan through his carnage from Monterey. While Stefan does not deny the damage he caused and the lives he took, he doesn't believe he would've done anything that horrible on Christmas. Cade disagrees.

Caroline decides to skip to presents since Stefan is still dead. She hands one to Sybile and one to Damon, a gift for the future him whom she knows will one day ask for her forgiveness. Damon announces a gift of his own: someone in the house will die that night. 

Bonnie and Enzo find a house with the lights on and Seline is inside. She prepares to hand over the tuning fork but wants to make a phone call first. Dinner gets dangerous as Damon's anger grows. Alaric agrees to talk to Seline who tells him she left a psychic imprint on the girls and needs to sever it before things get worse.

After the call, Seline and Stefan's path begin to merge as she reveals a habit she picked up on her soul-collecting spree. She writes down the names of those she's taken, a lesson learned from Stefan when she happened upon him after his bender in Monterey. Seline was there to witness the slaying but spared his life when he showed remorse for his actions.

In 1917, Stefan begged Seline to take him after she saw inside his mind. Where he saw a monster, she saw anguish and pain. He had been made into a monster but that wasn't who he was. Before she left, she erased the memory of his murder spree. Stefan tells Cade he'll never become that Ripper again and Cade continues their journey through Stefan's memories.

While reliving the moments right before he first met Elena, Stefan learns the true nature of Cade's intentions with him. Cade doesn't want Stefan merely to steal souls. He wants Stefan to sway good souls to darkness. 

After Damon susses out Peter's worst deeds, which happen to be abandoning his family with no reason, Sybil tries to go inside his mind to find an artifact she's looking for. Damon senses Enzo and Bonnie's arrival just as Enzo taps the tuning fork and breaks Sybil's psychic connection to Peter. Bonnie is also injured by the sounds of the tuning fork, an unexpected turn for sure.

Before returning to the party, Stefan makes another deal with Cade. He'll turn his humanity off for one year in exchange for his and Damon's freedom. 

As they walk home from the party, Damon and Sybil share a moment in the street. He gives her the present Caroline gave him and when she opens it, he sees Elena's necklace. Memories of their love and moments involving the necklace return and Damon rips Sybil's heart out.

Bonnie and Enzo discuss why the tuning fork affected her and they realize that she's psychically connected to the Sirens and to Cade since witchcraft is rooted in psychic energy. Stefan wakes up and Caroline is waiting by his side. 

Alaric agrees to let the girls meet with Seline. She severs their connection. Matt drives his father home, still hurt over the reasons Peter left. Caroline and Alaric spend the evening with the girls and Caroline watches as they open their presents. 

As Stefan walks away from Mystic Falls, Damon finds him and the two drive off to begin their spree.

The Vampire Diaries
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The Vampire Diaries Season 8 Episode 7 Quotes

Damon: Merry Christmas, Ric.
Alaric: I killed you.
Caroline: WHAT?
Alaric: He deserved it.

Damon: They buried me, Stefan, in a shallow grave. Not even in the family plot.
Stefan: Well, it's hard to be sympathetic about your death when you're standing right in front of me.