Just when it looks like the Taylor clan are about to get a break from their financial woes, their Christmas is about to take a dramatic turn for the worst.
Only weeks after Linda and Shirley Carter took pity on their neighbours and helped them get the bailiffs off their backs, the money-lending bullies are back and demanding yet more cash.
After splashing the little bit of cash she had on her kids for Christmas, Karen is mistaken in thinking that they might actually have a drama-free festive break.
But her spending spree comes back to haunt her a few days later when the loan sharks return and take all the family's Christmas presents.
Hitting rock bottom once again, Karen is desperate for cash and is given food for thought when Bernadette suggests that they go and visit Karen's well-off sister, Kandice.
Kandice, played by actress and S Club 7 singer Hannah Spearritt, is a richer, younger, more glamorous version of her sister - and it soon becomes clear the pair don't quite see eye-to-eye.
I'm over the moon to be joining the show, it's such a huge part of British telly.
Bernadette is so desperate to help her reluctant mum, she's the one who takes the lead and tells Kandice about her family's predicament.
But when the pair arrive at Kandice's once house, it's clear she's not that happy to see her sister and niece.
With Karen's attempts to get some cash from her sibling falling flat, it looks like it's up to Bernadette to hold some crisis talks.
She later meets Kandice without her big-mouthed mum by her side and appeals to her aunty's softer side. Will the more subtle approach work and get the family out of trouble at last?
Before she started filming with the EastEnders, Hannah told Digital Spy: "I'm over the moon to be joining the show, it's such a huge part of British telly.
"I'm really looking forward to getting started and I can't wait to see the Square in the flesh. Walford here I come!"