[Party of Five]


During a surprise visit for the holidays, Grandpa Jake finds Claudia and Julia looking on as Charlie rids the house of everything belonging to Kirsten. And Bailey refuses to come home at all, preferring to join his wrestling coach to watch a football game on TV. When Bailey learns that a much-anticipated holiday visit by Coach Petrocelli's daughter has suddenly been canceled, he invites the coach to a hockey game on Christmas Eve. Meanwhile, as the girls pressure him to stay for Christmas, they find that Jake is hiding the fact that he's going blind, while Charlie tries to help a homeless man get a job, only to discover that he's a hopeless schizophrenic.

When told about Jake, Bailey decides to spend Christmas at home. However, Charlie remains apart from the celebration, unaware that his siblings have asked Jake to move in. Yet, once Christmas Eve is over and he's caught trying to slip away, Jake tells Charlie that his health problems are far more serious than he's let on. Meanwhile, when his affectionate gift places Claudia in a difficult spot, an impersonal reply fails to squelch Stuart's feelings for her. So when Stuart personally delivers a thank you note, Claudia makes it painfully clear that she's not interested.

On Christmas morning, Charlie tells Claudia that Jake is gone, but holds back on telling her why. But the gloom is broken when Bailey shows up with Coach Petrocelli. And when Stuart drops by to apologize for making her uncomfortable, Claudia invites him to stay, too. Then, as Julia encourages Bailey to forget his mistakes with Sarah, and Charlie admits he's longing for something more in his life, Grace drops by unexpectedly as Stuart delights everyone with his rendition of a classic Christmas song.


The Salinger's grandfather Jake makes a surprise appearance at Christmas to find that all is not well at home.

Directed by: Dennie Gordon
Written by: Susannah Grant

© 1998 Columbia TriStar Pictures
Party of Five, its name, logo and photos are a trademark of Columbia TriStar Pictures