Christmases are always intense in Mystic Falls, and this year's is no different. But it also happens to be the fall finale of the final season of The Vampire Diaries, which means everything that happens in the action-packed episode will set up the storyline that will lead not just to the season eight finale, but the series finale.

So while the episode will be crazy (as always), star Candice King recommends you focus less on the immediate issues—i.e. the sure-to-be-insane cliffhanger—and more on where they'll take us in the New Year.

E! News spoke to the star about beginning to wrap up the series after eight years, plus what is actually going to happen between Caroline and her fiancé, Stefan (Paul Wesley), now that he has to go serve the devil (don't you hate when that happens?).

Christmas episodes are always pretty intense on The Vampire Diaries. Tell us about this one!
It's not necessarily an easy, bright Christmas that they have planned for the day. Basically, it's Stefan and Caroline's last 24 hours together so we're going to see her struggling with that. There's obviously a plan for the day and nothing stays perfectly planned for very long in Mystic Falls so it's going to go a little haywire, to say the least. It's actually a really fun episode for Caroline because where she would usually be uptight and controlling and stressed out that it's not going perfectly, instead I think she's just at rock bottom and decides to pour herself a stiff drink and enjoy the view of the chaos.

The Vampire Diaries, TVD, Steroline

The CW

It's a really fun episode for her. I also love that there's this great dinner table scene where we get to learn a little bit more about Matt's dad. We start to understand Sybil, and she has a much bigger agenda than we anticipated. It's a very informative episode with some big action as well, but I think it's a great way to get us ready for the final half of the series.

What episode are you filming now?
We're on 13, which is crazy.

Have you started to think about the end yet?
It has been a big season to film just logistically. I think after the holidays it'll start feeling much more real and much more sentimental. Because right now it just feels like oh another season, we're in it! Long days and long nights. So I think after the holidays it'll hit everyone like, "Wow, we're usually filming until April and we've finished at the top of February!" It's a shorter season and I think it's going to feel much more real at that point.

 Will Caroline still try to plan her wedding with Stefan, or is she more concerned with the fact that her fiancé will now be doing the devil's bidding?
Don't you hate wedding planning when that happens? No, at this point she's dealing with the fact that he has sacrificed himself and their relationship for a while to save her kids, and she's having to sacrifice being around her children so I think she's just more mourning the loss and the change of it all as opposed to really worrying about the wedding.

The Vampire Diaries, TVD

The CW

What do you think made Caroline decide she needed to separate herself from her children?
I think Caroline finally realized that it's not safe and she doesn't want her kids put in danger. And if that means sacrificing her being around them, then that's the ultimate self-sacrifice she can make as a parent. I thought it was a very big moment for her and just wanting them to be safe because there's no way they can continue to be in Mystic Falls. She is wrapped up in everything, especially Cade lurking about, and she just didn't want to take the risk especially because her daughters are supernatural too and she doesn't want them being used as pawns anymore.

Will she still get to see them, though? Will they FaceTime or something?
I'm sure there are opportunities for FaceTime but in the series it'll be more about Caroline needing to focus on Mystic Falls and finding and helping Stefan throughout this deal that he's made and Alaric is also trying to figure out how to protect the girls, so everyone's busy. But I'm sure there are FaceTimes in the interim!

The Vampire Diaries, TVD

The CW

How are we going to feel after watching the Christmas episode?
I think this episode is much more about just setting up the remainder of the series. We're going to get a lot of answers which is going to lead to a lot more questions. But I feel like as action-packed as it is—because of course it's the big Christmas episode and those usually aren't too tame and quiet—I feel like it's not necessarily about the cliffhanger. It's more about what you learned about all of these characters and you do see a glimpse of all of their lives and what's going on and how all of this information is going to affect them moving forward.

What can you say about the last few episodes of the series?
It's all still coming together, so I don't want to jump into it too much because it's all building up to the series finale. The fact that it doesn't seem real yet because our schedule has been so crazy and the episodes have been so big should definitely say that there's a lot that's about to happen and a lot that's coming. But I don't want to spoil anything quite yet!

It's one thing when you're in the middle of the book to be like, "Oh, what's in the next couple of chapters?" But when it's the final chapter of the book, you're like, "Oh, you know what, I just don't want to say anything," because I know the writers are writing from a place with an ultimate purpose. So I'm a little wary.

The Vampire Diaries fall finale airs Friday, Dec. 8 at 8 p.m. on The CW. TVD will return Friday, Jan. 13 with new episodes.

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