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Teresa Giudice is enjoying her time with her husband Joe Giudiceand their four daughters after serving time in federal prison, but the family's reunion is short-lived and bittersweet.

Last year, the 43-year-old Real Housewives of New Jersey star spent a shortened sentence of 11 months behind bars for fraud and was released two days before Christmas. Joe, who was indicted with her, is set to begin a 41-month prison sentence in March.

"Thank God I was able to be home for Christmas. I mean, it worked out so perfectly," Teresa told E! News exclusively. "My daughters were so happy. "It was the best Christmas ever. I think if I wasn't there, it would've been so devastating. It worked out, I have to say. God loves me and I love Him back."

Teresa and her family spent part of the holiday with Joe's brother Joe Gorga and wife and fellow cast member Melissa Gorga. Teresa said Gia Giudice, her and Joe's 15-year-old daughter and their eldest child, was "amazing" while helping to gather Christmas gifts.

"She said to me, 'Mommy, how, like, I can't believe it, how did you do it all?'" Teresa said. "The night before, I was up with Gia, we were wrapping all the gifts, so it was good to bond with her. I could tell she appreciates like everything that I've done for her."

"All the girls, they've been attached to me since I've been home," she added. "Audriana, my baby, gives me kisses every second. It's like the best feeling."

Teresa Giudice, Joe Giudice, Gia, Gabriella, Milania, Audriana


Teresa said she has been having trouble sleeping lately while thinking about Joe's upcoming incarceration.

"Thank God we have those three months together," she said. "I feel bad for my daughters just having to go through this again. That's what breaks my heart."

Joe, she said, is "being strong" about it.

"He says, 'I'm gonna do it, I have no choice...we're gonna get through this.' So we're both encouraging each other," Teresa told E! News. "Again, it's bittersweet, you know, coming home and now he has to leave. But, listen, you're dealt cards and you just gotta, you know, make the best of it."

Being locked up herself, she said, helped strengthen her marriage as he got a taste of the work she did at home to take care of their family.

"It brought us closer, just 'cause he said to me... 'Oh my God, I can't believe how much you do,' like, being a mom," she said. "I did everything. I'm very hands-on."

She said Joe sent her "beautiful emails" while she was in prison.

"Our bond, I feel, is unbreakable," Teresa said. "He really was there for me and I'm gonna do the same with him."