As if summoned by the aura of chaos, it is in that moment that Matilde Costa made her entrance. Carrying a ridiculous amount of presents, wearing a bright red Christmas hat she had 'borrowed' from the pediatric ward, Matilde entered the living room with her own flavor of the holiday cheer.

"Smells like your turkey's burning, Emerson," the healer commented while she dropped her many bags of presents on a nearby table. "Where's my giggle-troll?" The mother asked while opening her arms and preparing for her youngest to jump in them. "Merry Christmas," she chanted as she lifted the young girl into a twirl.

Played By: Kay
"Alright," Katharine agreed, beginning to open the packet of chicken, just as she heard the very voice she wasn't expecting to hear at all. Kat froze, her hand on the half open packet of chicken, and looked towards Alessio with a look that sat somewhere between a suppressed feeling of excitement and wild panic. Throwing the chicken onto the side, Kat pushed open the kitchen door and stepped into the living room, to see her mother swinging Mariya around.

Kat stood there looking in, the doorway framing her lanky figure. "Mother," was the only response she could seem to conjure up in reply to her mother's excited holiday greeting. She glanced towards Emerson, wondering if her aunt was also wondering whether Matilde was high. It had been a long time since Kat had seen her mother this excitable when sober.

Ignoring her mother, Katharine addressed the room as a whole. "I've burned the turkey," she told them, miserably. "I'm so sorry, Emily."

Played By: Cat
As the door swung open and the smell of the burnt turkey hit her, Andrea's stomach lurched. "I--" She couldn't even get the words out before she was forced to cover her mouth and bolt towards the stairs.
Emily didn't know which way to look first. Towards Emerson's sister, who was swinging around a giggling Mariya; towards Katharine, who was looking at her so apologetically that Emily was sure her heart would burst; or towards her daughter, who had made a run from the stairs. She settled on Katharine first. "Don't stress - I'll help you in two minutes. Let me just..." She pointed in the direction Andrea had just run, shook her head and then followed her daughter.

Played By: Cat
Leo glanced around the room with a bewildered expression. The frenzy of his aunt's arrival and his little cousin's excitement made his head whirl. Mariya had jumped up, knocking the small bottle of nail polish over in her excitement. Leo bent over to pick this up and glanced towards his mother worriedly. Emily seemed a little bit like a neat-freak, and the young boy felt embarrassed about his cousin's mistake.

Leo had always been a little bit wary of Matilde. She was fun, but he'd always had a mature head on his shoulders, and he had noticed that his Aunt's presence always appeared to be inconsistent, especially in his cousins' lives. He felt most awful for Mariya, who was still young enough to be blinded by her own ignorance.

Treading lightly due to his wet toes, Leo moved in the direction of his own mother, needing her comfort as a result of this strange turn of events.
Conditioned to repair everything that had been damaged by the passage of hurricane Matilde, Emerson used her wand to clean up the mess left by the fallen bottle of nail polish. She ran a hand through Leo's hair, her youngest had always been the most sensitive of her two boys.

Unlike her niece, Emerson only needed to give her sister a glimpse to know she was under the influence of something or other. Almost glad that Emily had chosen to leave the room, she gave her sister a cautious look. "Nice of you to join us, Matilde." If she truly wanted to assess her sister she would need to interact with her a bit more.

Played By: Kay
Alessio followed his cousin out of the kitchen. His shoulders slumping as she admitted to burning the turkey. "But it's fine. There's chicken in there." He suggested hoping his mother, his aunt or worst Emily wouldn't get on their case.
"Good job, turkey is always too dry." Matilde brushed off her daughter's mistake and did not even notice having made a mess of the nail polish. "Come here, love. Come see what I got you." She gestured for Katherine to approach.

"Merry Christmas to you too, Emerson." The youngest Costa responded, demonstrating that she was not here to tolerate her sister's berating tone. "Come, Katharine." She insisted determined to ignore Emerson as much as possible.

Played By: Kay
Still stood in the doorway, Kat glanced between her cousin and her mother. She wanted to join Al in the kitchen to fix her mistake, but her mother was here and oh, how it was rare that she was. As if pulled by the force of something beyond her control, Katharine moved towards her mother. "I thought you were working," she said hesitantly.

Played By: Cat
She had been working, but Sadler had sent her home after an overzealous streak had sent her straight to the Chief of Staff's office claiming she had found a way to efficiently reorganize the Disease and Maladies ward. The Chief had not taken kindly to Matilde's insistence that the ward was inefficiently run. But it was all so clear to Matilde, how could the Chief not see it?

Well aware that her family would misinterpret the situation and blame it on things they did not understand the healer was quick to respond. "You also thought you were cooking a turkey." The acerbic remark had barely left her lips when she had started digging into the bags of presents.

"Less catching up, more presents." Matilde took one of the bags and gave it to Katharine. She had not wrapped the overpriced cloak, hat and mittens she had bought for her daughter, but she looked at her eldest with the excitement of a parent ready to witness their child's enthusiasm as they unwrapped their first present.

Played By: Kay
Emerson shook her head as her sister addressed her daughter with her usual sarcastic tone only to slide right into a more typical parenting approach. Treading with Matilde in these situations was always a struggle. Seeing her niece addressed this way because her mother needed to deflect made Emerson want to escort her sister to the door and tell her to go sober up somewhere, yet she abstained. She merely approached Kat and gave her elbow a gentle squeeze. "I've always preferred chicken," she reassured her niece.

Her sister's state was deplorable. Emerson would be on edge as long as the woman would be in Emily's house, but she would fight the urge to ask her to leave for she felt the heartbreak would be greater for her nieces if they did not get to see their mother at all.

Played By: Kay