"It has been a pretty challenging year for her and her family," a source tells PEOPLE

By K.C. Baker
Updated December 22, 2015 09:35 AM
Advertisement
Image
Credit: Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

Teresa Giudice is happy to be heading home for Christmas.

The Real Housewives of New Jersey star will be released from prison Wednesday after serving nearly a year behind bars for fraud.

“Teresa is beyond excited to finally see her family. She can’t wait to see them,” a source tells PEOPLE. “It has been a pretty challenging year for her and her family, to say the least.”

Giudice, 43, will be reunited with her four daughters – Gia, Gabriella, Milania and Audriana – and her husband Joe, who will begin serving his own prison sentence a few months after she returns home.

“She can’t believe this day has finally come. She has waited for this day since the moment she set foot in there. She is so happy,” says the source. “The first thing she is going to do when she gets home is hug Joe and her girls so tight. She has missed them all so much while she was in prison. She is going to spend as much time with them as she can.”

Beyond seeing Joe and the girls, “she can’t wait to see her parents and her family, Joe’s family and her close friends,” adds the source.

RELATED VIDEO: Melissa Gorga on Teresa Giudice’s Return from Prison Just in Time for Christmas

Even though the mother of four wasn’t able to go Christmas shopping, she still made plans from inside prison to ensure her family has a special day.

“She is so organized, even from prison,” says the source. “She has had Joe and Gia and some others buy Christmas gifts for her.”