The ‘RHONY’ Cast’s Holiday Photo May Actually Double As A Clue About Next Season

Charles Sykes/Bravo

’Twas four days before Christmas, and all through the internet, several New York Housewives posted a photo of the Real Housewives of New York City Season 9 cast hanging out in Santa hats. And now all of the Bravoverse is stirring, even the Bravo-loving mice. Could this picture mean what it appears to mean? Did the Bravolebrities just drop a hint as to who will be on RHONY Season 10, or was it just a Season 9 reunion? Though the RHONY Season 10 cast has yet to be confirmed, this group portrait may be a clue about what's to come — assuming the reality series gets picked up for a 10th season, of course.

In the picture, Bethenny Frankel is joined by fellow RHONY Season 9 stars Sonja Morgan, Luann de Lesseps, Tinsley Mortimer, Ramona Singer, Dorinda Medley, and Carole Radziwill. Oh, and there's also an enormous nutcracker. They are on a rug that looks a lot like a rug that’s in Bethenny’s apartment. They are also standing in front of a fireplace that looks a lot like the fireplace that's in Bethenny's apartment. Bearing those last two details in mind, it doesn’t seem like too big a leap to assume they’re at Bethenny’s apartment for her annual Christmas party.

You may have noticed that Ramona and Carole's Santa hats don't match the rest of the group's caps. And you may be wondering if that means something: Do only the main Real Housewives get to wear Santa hats with red stars on the brim? Are Carole and Ramona trying to tell us that they're now Friends of Housewives? Or did the store only have five star hats in stock? Is everyone in this picture still a main Real Housewife, or what?

The moment a season of Real Housewives draws to a close, a three-part question bubbles up like a bottle of Skinnygirl Prosecco: Who will leave, who will join, and who will stick around? It's a bittersweet fact of life: Real Housewives lineups frequently change between seasons. Don't get too attached to any one cast member, because for all you know, she might be the next to hightail it on out of there. *Weeps while looking at a picture of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills alum Eileen Davidson.*

However, this forthcoming season of RHONY may not experience any such shakeup. Back in September, an insider told Radar Online that everyone on RHONY had been asked to come back for Season 10. “It was decided that the last season ratings were strong and fan reaction was positive, so they didn’t have to fix something that wasn’t broken," the source claimed. "Other franchise changing the cast has often backfired and fans don’t want to start over in a new TV relationship with a new lady.”

And this group picture sure makes it seem like that's the case. Again, this could just be a Season 9 reunion; fans know that former members of the cast still end up at RHONY events long after they parted ways from the series.

However, if all seven members of the Season 9 cast return for Season 10, it would be a gift and a treat. Though it wasn't as life-altering as, say, Season 8, Season 9 was pretty darn remarkable; the "Clip!" fight, the tumble into the bushes, the bidet that also functioned as a thong washing machine, the house guest drama, the luggage that didn't make it into the Vermont-bound car, and all of the heart-to-hearts that happened during the cast's trip to Mexico are just some of the moments that made the most recent season of RHONY so special. And it's all thanks to this fantastic roster of Real Housewives. The show might as well hold onto this bottled lightning as long as it can.