Ali threw an Ice Ball party and was plagued by nightmares of Mona as a Ghost from Christmas Past on the Pretty Little Liars Christmas special, “How the ‘A’ Stole Christmas.”

‘How The ‘A’ Stole Christmas’ Recap

With Spencer (Troian Bellisario) out on bail and getting ready to face trial for the murder of Bethany Young and Hanna (Ashley Benson), Emily (Shay Mitchell) and Aria (Lucy Hale) still grieving for Mona (Janel Parrish), the girls are ready to go after Alison/A once and for all.

While doing some Christmas shopping in Rosewood, the girls are stopped by a lawyer who tells them Mona hired him before her death. In the event of her passing, he was to wait 30 days and then deliver an envelope to Hanna. Inside is a detailed map of Alison’s house with all of Ali’s known hiding places marked. Mona is giving them a map to defeat ‘A.’ But, the girls also receive a message from A when a charity Santa gives Aria a snow globe with a special message in return for her donation. A wants them to have a good holiday.

They have all been invited to Ali’s Ice Ball, a charity event on Christmas Eve, and the girls decide it’s the perfect time to put a plan into motion. Aria, Emily, Hanna and Spencer will all attend Ali’s party, and, as soon as they see Ali arrive, Hanna and Spencer will break into Ali’s house and search the hiding places while Aria and Emily keep an eye on Ali at the party.


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Meanwhile, Ali (Sasha Pieterse) is being haunted by the ghosts of her mother (Andrea Parker) and Mona, who appear to her in her dreams. Ali’s mother warns her of dangers to come, and Mona appears as a glammed up corpse, dressed all in silver with wild makeup and even wilder hair. Mona reminds Ali of a past Christmas, when little girl Ali discovered two Christmas presents containing matching dresses. When Ali asks her mother if she and her father accidentally got her the same present, her mom says no. One of the dresses is for Ali, but the other is for someone else. Mrs. D tells Ali not to tell her father about the matching dresses – if he asks, she only found one dress, not two – or else he will leave them.

Before going to the party, Spencer and Toby (Keegan Allen) go over the plan. Toby is still recovering from his broken leg, and, so, is still wheelchair bound. He’s sitting out the party, but the cop-in-training has volunteered to be Spencer’s lookout. Using his impressive zoom lens camera, he’ll be able to see through the windows of Ali’s house from his perch in Spencer’s room (thus begins Pretty Little Liars’ tribute to Rear Window). Despite the dire circumstances – Spencer sadly mutters that this could be her last Christmas of freedom – Spencer still wants to have some fun and surprises Toby with a sexy Santa outfit “gesture.”

Meanwhile, Paige (Lindsey Shaw) and Emily are singing in a choir at a nursing home where Aria and Ezra (Ian Harding) are also volunteering. Ezra gives Aria “low key” gifts – shiny earrings and a new dress – which reminds her just how rich his Fitzgerald family is. He once asked for a pony for Christmas and got two!

Is Ali Hooking Up With Holbrook?

With Paige, Caleb (Tyler Blackburn) and Ezra all in the loop about Ali and A, the girls go to the party with their respective love interests (except Toby, who is stuck at Spencer’s). Once arrived, Spencer goes to take a picture with Santa, who is really Lucas (Brendan Robinson) in disguise. He also appears to be on their side and he tells Spencer he’ll do everything he can to ensure Ali doesn’t leave the party. When Ali makes her grand entrance, she is flanked by four girls in masks, her new minions, and barely gives the girls a second glance. Hanna and Spencer quickly make their exit, but a mysterious figure in a white cape watches them leave.

Aria follows Ali around the party and sees her tucked away in a corner making out with a man dressed as Santa. Shocked, she runs to get Emily to see it too, but when they return Ali is gone. Ezra, Paige and Caleb spot her going into the ice-themed maze. No one follows her.

Emily is lured over by two of Ali’s minions, revealed to be Sydney (Chloe Bridges) and Jenna (Tammin Sursok). They want Emily to know that they don’t trust Ali – they think she’s A and that she killed Mona – but when Ali asked them to be her friends, they couldn’t say no. Jenna has already done that before, and now she’s blind. It’s safer for them to at least appear to stand with Ali.

Across the dance floor, Aria has a run in with Detective Holbrook (Sean Faris), who is dressed up as a shirtless Santa. Holbrook gives her a menacing speech about how he’s come to like Holbrook. He asks her why she’s at the party, and she tells him she’s there for the same reason he is: to give back to the community. He looks at her and tells her he doesn’t believe her, but he lets her go. Aria returns to the group and tells them that she believes Holbrook was the Santa hooking up with Ali! Ezra is immediately curious to know how long Holbrook’s relationship with Ali has been going on, and, to everyone’s surprise, Emily reveals that Ali helped CeCe get out of the country, and she now thinks Holbrook must have helped. That would mean that Holbrook has been in cahoots with Ali since around the time they returned from New York. Could Ali and Holbrook be setting Spencer up for murder?

CeCe Returns

In the maze, Ali meets up with the hooded figure in the white cape: it’s CeCe (Vanessa Ray). CeCe has returned from Paris to lend Ali some support on the first Christmas since her mother died. CeCe warns Ali that she suspects Emily, Spencer, Hanna and Aria are up to something. They head out together. When the team spots Ali and CeCe/White Cape leaving the party through the back, Emily and Aria go after them. With some help from Paige and Lucas, they are able to cut them off, only to find that the two girls they were chasing are really the twins in disguise, complete with creepy Ali masks.

Hanna and Spencer Search Ali’s House

Meanwhile, Spencer and Hanna split up searching Ali’s house, with Spencer taking the downstairs and Hanna the upper floor and the attic. Hanna finds Ali’s fake passport, with the name ‘Holly Varjak’ – a nod to Breakfast At Tiffany’s – and Spencer finds more personal ads that she thinks Ali was using to communicate with someone just like she had with Mona in the past.

Toby gets a call from the girls alerting him that Ali has left the party, something Spencer picks up pretty quickly considering she’s in the living room downstairs. She crouches down and hides beneath the piano while A, wearing her/his signature black hoodie, walks around the house carrying a huge butcher knife. Hanna, on the other hand, is up in the attic, completely oblivious. Spencer, Toby and the others try to contact Hanna to warn her, but she left her phone downstairs. In an attempt to get Hanna’s attention, Toby starts flashing his camera, but it doesn’t work. Just as she’s descending the stairs of the attic, A attacks and knocks her out, but disappears before Spencer arrives. When Hanna wakes up and speaks to Spencer, a baby-masked figure (the Halloween mask) looks on.

Hanna is okay, and she manages to escape the DiLaurentis house with only a bump on the head and a letter from Ali to Bethany. In the letter, Ali asks Bethany to come over for Labor Day weekend – the weekend Bethany was killed and Ali disappeared.

Sexy Santas

It’s Christmas morning and a blizzard has left the entire gang snowed in at Spencer’s house – no parents in sight. It’s all four girls’ first Christmas without their parents, but they make due with a little help from their boyfriends and girlfriends, who surprise them with sexy Santa boxers.

The gang cooks a Christmas feast together and celebrates as a family. Everything is nice and sweet, except for Paige and Emily’s future. Paige reveals to Emily that her parents don’t think Rosewood is safe and they want her to move to California as soon as she’s done with all her high school credits at the end of the winter quarter.

Across the yard, Ali had a nightmare in which Mona took her the church to see her own coffin and dead body. She looks pretty good, Mona says, even without her legs. Then Ali’s mother appears, dressed as the black widow, and warns Ali, “They’ll be coming for you.” Mrs. D tells her daughter that she’s sorry, and it’s her fault before disappearing.

After she wakes, Ali spies on the girls and their Christmas joy. Later, Spencer, Emily, Hanna, Aria, Ezra, Toby, Caleb and Paige all gather outside to see a fully decorated Christmas tree. Spencer thinks it’s Emily’s doing, but she assures the group it wasn’t her. Turns out, it was A, who has also arranged a message in Christmas lights on the barn: “Merry Christmas, Bitches – A.”

Pretty Little Liars returns Tuesday, January 6 at 8 p.m. on ABC Family.

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