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Lucky in Love

Caroline thinks she must have done something right to end up with such a wonderful husband.

By Caroline Manzo

Merry Christmas! Seems crazy to be saying that when it's 98 degrees outside!  

How to Watch

Watch The Real Housewives of New Jersey Sundays at 8/7c on Bravo and stream next day on Peacock.

I really enjoyed the kids in this episode. I don't know what made me smile more, their faces or their outfits. Too, too cute. Nothing was better than CJ calling Christopher out on the Santa bells fraud. I loved Chris and Jacqueline's reaction to him; they tried to convince CJ that it was Santa, but the kid's no dummy. Good try, Christopher, there's always next year. Plenty of time to think out a better approach.

My Uncle Lou is not a Manzo, he's actually my dad's brother, so he's a Laurita. Christmas Eve is spent with my side of the family, so the faces you saw were mostly Lauritas!  If you were in the house you would have known immediately; it's all in the eyes, we all have the same exact blue eyes! 

The kids loved the bracelets and the meaning behind them. We wear them every day and that makes me happy. Call me crazy, but I think a tangible reminder can sometimes prevent an unnecessary argument from happening. And let's face it, the majority of arguments with family members are unnecessary. 

I felt the need to invite Kathy and Rich to New Year's Eve for a few reasons. Albert asked me to; the Giudices and Gorgas were asked, and Al didn't think it was right to leave the Wakiles out. They've been clients of The Brownstone for over twenty years and now there was a social connection made through Teresa and Joe. I didn't know Kathy that well at this point, but it made sense, so I invited them. Whether or not Teresa wanted them there had no relevance; I have two eyes and two ears, I can make a rationale decision based on what I see. I'm not going to dislike someone because I was told to. Some may perceive my decision as being disloyal to Teresa. Loyalty to a friend doesn't mean do what I say, it means doing the right thing, and sometimes the right thing is telling your friend when they are wrong. I'm not going to get on the hate train; remember the object here is to mend relationships, not to help destroy them. 

I'm going to lump everyone else's Christmas into one paragraph. If I talk about them separately it will take me a month to write it all out! The kids were gorgeous, every single one of them. Between the outfits and the attitudes I was smiling the entire time. The best was Milania, "That wasn't Santa, that was Nona!" Can't pull the wool over that kid's eyes! Poor Gia! Throw up, chamomile tea, and a photo shoot within sixty seconds, now that's one tough kid. Way to go, Gia! Antonia's scream when she saw the gifts was hilarious. I remember when the kids would come barreling out of their rooms on Christmas morning hoping that Santa came; precious memories, treasure them, mom and dads, time flies. 

I didn't have a problem with Joe and Melissa leaving Teresa's house early to go to Kathy's. They did the right thing by splitting the day between the two families. Joe was uncomfortable spending the entire day with his family, and quite frankly after seeing the comments made behind their backs he has the right to go where he wants. Kathy wanted to invite Teresa to Christmas when she approached her at the Gorga Christmas party. Teresa didn't give her the opportunity to ask and turned her away instead. Was Kathy being a bad cousin then? I only wish that there was no talk of bad cousins, empty chairs, and witch wives at the Giudice home. Eat, drink, laugh, and be grateful for the moment. Baby steps…

Wherever the Gorgas got their tree, that's where I'm going next year. A tree that grows gold Rolexes? I'm there! Joe obviously likes to spoil Melissa, and I appreciate that she admits to loving every minute of it. If she wants something she asks for it, even if it's a bedazzled microphone. 

Joe built the studio for Melissa to keep her home where "she belongs." Melissa knows that and accepts it, there is no hidden agenda between these two. It's like the marriage edition of 'Let's Make a Deal.' It works for them, so let's not judge.

I felt terrible for Jacqueline when she shared the fact that Ashley hasn't given her a gift for any celebration or holiday in a while. I don't think her sadness has anything to do with the absence of a gift; it has everything to do with Ashley's attitude. Jacqueline just wants to feel like she matters to her, and if I could have jumped through that TV last night and shaken Ashley for her arrogance, I would have. Let's all hope that as Ashley watched that scene she realized that some changes need to be made. I've got my fingers crossed.

Richie and Kathy were funny. Apparently Richie always loses his wedding band. I have an idea, Kathy, take him to a tattoo parlor and ink it on, problem solved! (You're welcome Rich!) I'm obviously joking, those two have a great relationship. Wedding band or not, Kathy has no worries -- Jeff Goldblum loves her to death. 

My first impression of Joe Giudice on Christmas morning was SCROOGE! But then I began to realize that the guy was sick. His face was red, his nose was stuffed up, and he looked totally miserable. I've seen him interact with his kids and he enjoys them. I know I'm going out on a limb here, and as a viewer you're probably thinking we were watching two different shows, but I'm giving him a pass on this one. OK, OK, half a pass… Does that make you happy? Feel better, Joe!

We met Alexa Ray Joel a couple of years ago at a fundraiser. She is a ray of sunshine. This kid has a smile on her that will melt your heart and the personality to match. She is driven to succeed on her own merit and works hard at it every day. When you consider who her parents are, that's pretty impressive. I respect that in her and I respect that in my own kids. The easy way out for them would be to work at The Brownstone with plenty of job security and a fat paycheck. All three of them chose to carve out a life and career for themselves by working hard and chasing their dreams. The night of Alexa's performance her mom and I were having a conversation about this and counting our blessings. The general perception is that mommy and daddy will open doors and pave the way. Not this group, power on, kids.

Albie was definitely infatuated with Alexa, and I thought it was hysterical. He was incapable of putting a sentence together in her presence, and that was a first for him. Christopher and Lauren saw this and enjoyed torturing him whenever the opportunity presented itself. The good news is that Albie got his act together and found his voice!

Right now they all remain friends and have a very nice relationship with one and other. Who knows what the future holds with Albie and Alexa. Hey, you never know, maybe Christopher will be the one to steal her heart? But trust me, she better know how to make a good pot of gravy! All kidding aside, check Alexa out on iTunes. She is a tremendous talent, and I wish her all the success in the world. 

Last but never least, I want to talk about my Albert. We've been married for twenty-seven years, have had our fair share of ups and downs, but thank God we're still standing. The man loves me beyond reason. I'll never understand it, and I'm certainly not going to point it out to him. I'm a lot of things, stupid isn't one of them! I don't know when or where but sometime in my life I must have done something right, because God decided to send him to me. Thank you, thank you, thank you. 

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