In last week’s season 6 premiere of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, we met the three new wives — Nicole, Teresa and Amber — and got re-acquainted with Dina Manzo. Now let’s see if it gets any easier to tell the twins apart.

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Christmas Time in Jersey

All of the ladies are getting their homes and their families ready for Christmas. Melissa and Joe are living in a rental house while their new home is being built in Franklin Lakes. It isn’t to Antonia’s liking, who says the house is small and disgusting. 

Teresa and Nicole are helping their parents put their tree up. Teresa is very proud of her 17-year-old son, Giovanni, who says he doesn’t want to go to college, but go into business with his father at their family restaurants. Teresa’s father, Sal, talks about how important it is that Giovanni respect their Italian traditions.

Amber admits that she never thought she’d be a mother of four because she used to think kids were disgusting. But now she takes being a mom very seriously.

For Christmas, Dina is getting herself divorce therapy. She puts a tree outside with ornaments for squirrels and birds to snack on. Her sister, Fran, and mother, Nettie, are over to help make ornaments. Lexi tells them about her plans to go to college. Dina is very proud of her daughter, but at the same time she’ll miss her when she goes away.

The Giudice girls help Joe put up the Christmas tree. Milania doesn’t want to help (shock) because she’s a girl. Joe and Teresa toast to a merry Christmas and to their haters. He says he’s proud of the four girls they’ve raised, so people can say whatever they’d like to say about them. But what do your girls have to be proud of, Joe? Certainly not their criminal parents.

New and Old Relationships

Nicole and Dina discovered they have a lot in common when they met at Amber’s party, both being divorcees. Nicole says it will be nice for her to have another single friend. Nicole says it was four years ago that she left her husband and she felt very empowered. Dina admits that the reason she’s getting divorced is that she wants a companion now that Lexi is leaving, and her husband just isn’t there for her. The ladies talk about Amber for a bit. Nicole didn’t appreciate how Amber acted toward her guests at her cocktail party, but she’s not about to end a friendship over one disagreement.

Speaking of Amber, she and her husband, Jim, run a fire drill for their four kids. Amber says she survived cancer and September 11 (I’m not sure what she means … maybe she was there?), so she’s not about to die in a fire. She says she tends to think about the worst case scenario and how to prepare for it.

Joe brings Melissa and the kids to the empty lot where their new “LA Chic” (in Melissa’s words) home is being built. Melissa says the reason they moved wasn’t because she didn’t want her kids going to school with Teresa’s kids, which is exactly what she said at the reunion, but because they wanted to return to their roots in Franklin Lakes.

Dina and Teresa come to meet them at the lot. Dina doesn’t know Melissa that well, and she doesn’t like the trouble she’s caused Teresa in the last few years, but she’s keeping an open mind.

Joe asks Teresa how shes’s doing. She’s closed off, so he tells her if there’s anything they can do to help to let them know. Teresa admits there’s nothing Joe can really do or say to help, but it’s nice that he asked.

Twin Teresa meets with their restaurant designer Antonio about plans for their new restaurant. She says the best thing about having money is the freedom. They want to open a new restaurant with the hopes that Giovanni will run it one day. Rino takes him to his restaurant in Little Italy to show him a few things. He teaches Giovanni how the restaurant works from the ground up.

Melissa and Joe are meeting Kathy and Rich, Rosie, and Teresa and Joe for a cousins dinner. Joe isn’t thrilled about going, but Teresa says they have bigger things to be stressed out about than family now.

At the dinner, everyone’s getting along. Teresa is even pretending to like Kathy. Rosie admits that she’s worried about the Giudice girls more than anything in her confessional. Kathy gives Teresa a dictionary as a white elephant gift, but Teresa doesn’t think she needs it even though she probably does.

Teresa and Rino are making lobster and steak for a family Christmas dinner. Nicole admits that it’s hard to live at home and have a new boyfriend. She says her parents are very nosy, but her mom says she’ll cry if Nicole ever leaves. Nicole says it’s not likely to happen soon; moving in with Bobby is not an option as long as they’re not married.

Merry Christmas

Joe wakes up and wishes all of his little princesses a Merry Christmas. Hard times have not put a damper on the Giudice family Christmas. There’s plenty of pink colored presents to go around. The girls are not amused, though, when they get plush dogs that bark when you squeeze them instead of the real thing. Then they hear a real bark coming from the other room and they find a small white puppy and they’re thrilled.

Dina says Christmas is her least favorite holiday because she’s never had a good one. She and Lexi go to a bridge where Lexi writes “NYU” on a rock to throw into the water. Dina doesn’t want her to put everything into going to NYU so she’s not crushed if she doesn’t get in. She just wants her to be open about her future.

Nicole celebrates Christmas with her parents, which is hard for her because her boys are with their father on Christmas. Her boyfriend, Bobby, stops by with her present, which is a wine holder in the shape of a high heel shoe. Her mother is not impressed with the gift. Poor Bobby. It’s their first Christmas together. At least he’s trying.

Joe and Teresa tell their girls before they put them to bed to be good to each other, because the people in that room are the most important people in all of their lives.

They light a fire in their huge fireplace and exchange gifts. Joe gives Teresa a sweet card that says he can’t imagine his life, his home or Christmas without her. He says to her that he wishes they didn’t have to worry about their “little issues” and could just be happy. He’s glad to have a wife who is a fighter, though. Teresa admits that while she may seem strong on the outside, she worries and cries on the inside. She assures him that this won’t be their last Christmas together, but even Teresa doesn’t seem to believe it. 


The Real Housewives of New Jersey airs Sundays at 8pm on Bravo.

(Image courtesy of Bravo)

Gina Pusateri

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV