I'll Be Next Door for Christmas (2018) Script

♪ Tonight let's hang The colors ♪

♪ String some white lights All around me ♪

♪ Merry fill the season With cheer ♪

♪ Do some Secret Santa shopping ♪

♪ Then we'll run out Party hopping ♪

♪ See friends That we missed all year ♪

♪ I can't recall a Christmas ♪

♪ That was anything but magic ♪

♪ But I just have a feeling ♪

♪ It's gonna be The best Christmas ♪

♪ The best Christmas, yeah ♪

♪ It's gonna be The best Christmas ♪

♪ The best Christmas, yeah ♪

♪ Let's watch them Light the trees ♪

♪ Sing carols Move in next to me ♪

♪ While our candles glow Like the stars ♪

♪ Snow still falling All around ♪

♪ Let's make angels On the ground ♪

♪ Go sledding In our neighbors backyard ♪

♪ It's gonna fly by quickly ♪

♪ So let's enjoy each moment ♪

♪ 'Cause I just have a feeling ♪

♪ It's gonna be The best Christmas ♪

♪ The best Christmas, yeah ♪

♪ It's gonna be The best Christmas ♪

♪ The best Christmas, yeah ♪

♪ Having you here with me ♪

♪ There's no way That it won't be ♪

♪ The best Christmas ♪

♪ The best Christmas, yeah ♪

♪ It's gonna be The best Christmas ♪

♪ The best Christmas, yeah ♪


♪ It's gonna be The best Christmas ♪

♪ The best Christmas, yeah ♪


Nicky's gone crazy!

Oh.

This is the best Christmas ever.

Mommy, why is Nicky killing Christmas?

It's just something teenage girls do.

Nicky, you stop this behavior, right now!

Before you decide that I'm the bad guy here.

Let me explain to you about my childhood.

Be a little elf for us, honey. Be a baby elf.

Please, princess, just be an elf.

Nicky. Oh!

Yeah... Oh! Get... Nicky...

Get on with it.

It'll be just one moment.

Even then, my tiny baby brain knew I had to do something.

No elf.

Her first words. She said her first words!

Christmas words.

No elf.

Sorry, kid, I can't help you.

You're stuck with the family you're born into.

Your daddy has a very special Christmas surprise for you, Nicky.

A penguin?

No, Nicky.

It is a real live reindeer!

Ah!

Oh, no.

Why is she wearing her polar bear costume?

Polar bears are the natural enemies of reindeer.

Everyone knows that.

No one knows that. It's common knowledge for him.

Ah!

Bad, Blitzen! Stop that reindeer!

Even my first romance was ruined by my dad's OCD.

Obsessive Christmas disorder.

Thanks for taking me to the movie.

What's with all this Christmas stuff?

It's only September.

Oh, this stuff?

I didn't really notice.

You just ignore it.

You're so pretty.

Wanna kiss?

Okay.

Never kissed a boy before.

Ho, ho, ho!

Whoa!

Ho, ho, ho! Oh, watch out, his hands, uh...

Ho, ho, ho! Um, I mean, you can still kiss me.

Not in front of Santa.

Ho, ho, ho! How do you turn this thing off?

Ho, ho, ho!

Ho, ho, ho!

♪ Christmas things Christmas things ♪

♪ Christmas ring, ding, dong ♪ Ho, ho, ho!

I gotta go.

Oh, curfew?

No. Oh, well, uh, text me!

This was fun!

Ho, ho, ho!

Ho, ho, ho!

Merry Christmas, everybody.

Ho, ho, ho!

Yes, some kids with difficult childhoods turn to drugs and crime.

Instead, I found my refuge in the traditional instrument of rebellion.

The tuba.

You know you're playing the trumpet part, not the tenor tuba part, right?

Hm. I'm a musical maverick.

Playing the tuba gives you those great looking upper arms, Nicky.

And well-defined cheeks, but, uh, playing flute means I get to tilt my head like this, which, uh, Josh, that hot keyboard player, finds very attractive.

Especially, when I go like this.

Or he thinks you're having a seizure.

Performing arts camp is the best, right?

Hmm. All right, I've put in my five minutes of practice for the day, so let's go before the cello girls get all the guys. Ugh!

God, those cello girls are the worst.

Look, I'm gonna have to catch up with you.

I gotta get this passage down.

The double tonguing is super tricky.

Mm. You know what?

I'd like to double tongue Josh.

Oh...

God.

That was a good one, right?

You should give me more setups like that.

Look, you can do this whole focused-on-your-work thing all you want, but, uh, we are sharing a closet here, and I've seen some of the bras you brought.

And some of them are super lacy.

What's up with that?

Well, surely you're not suggesting something scandalous?

Silly.

Staying inside on a summer day is so sad.

Oi!

Suit yourself.

Okay.


Who was playing the trumpet song?


Oh!

Thank for walking me to class again.

Walking you? I thought you were walking me.

This is a pretty tough neighborhood.

I'll do my best to protect you.

I need a tough Santa Clarita girl who would keep me safe.

Santa Clarita? How'd you know that?

Someone's a clever boy.

Actually, it was written on your tuba case.

Oh!

But I was clever enough to learn to read when I was six, 'cause I knew this day would come.

You wanna go on a date some time, Nicky?

Well, where would you take me?

You know, I'm, uh, kind of a fancy girl.

Well, since there's only a mess hall, I was thinking we could go down there for a PowerBar?

OG juice?

Fancy enough.

Okay, class, for this next improv let me have two volunteers.

Oh, oh. Okay, Stephanie and...

Josh.

Oh, Josh. Me. Pick me.

And Josh.

Oh!

Slick move.

I respect a good wingwoman. Hi.

That goes for both friends and superheroes.

Now we need a relationship for these two. Married.

And a location. Desert island.

And begin.

Oh, honey, I can't believe were stuck on a desert island for our tenth wedding anniversary.

It's not our anniversary.

Oh. Stop, stop, stop.

People, the first rule of improv is, yes, and.

Any time a scene partner says something you must agree and add on to it.

Yes, and, is the most important rule in the theater.

And in life.

Try it again. Okay.

All right.

Honey, help me!

I'm... I'm downing, I can't breathe.

I need mouth to mouth resuscitation. Save me, please.

She's drowning. No, I'm gonna die.

You gotta kiss me and give me mouth to mouth.

Yeah, you just need to...

Let's start our own improv.

Yes, and.

Can't believe we gotta go home.

Summer really flies by, especially when you're hanging with girl who's beautiful, and plays the tuba.

I am a rare combination.

Yes, you are.

I hate that you live in California.

I hate that you live in Connecticut.

Maybe I can convince my dad we should move to Cali.

Okay.

No one calls it Cali, but it's cute when you do it.

You know, I like this plan.

I'll start making brownies for your mom and dad as soon as I land.

Well, my mom's actually...

She's not around, you know.

Oh, I... Oh, no. It's totally fine.

Not like she died or anything.

Really, it's no big deal.

Are your parents divorced?

Yeah.

My mom sorta left one day.

Wow. Yeah.

It really hit my dad hard.

I'm sorry.

It's okay.

Things don't seem so bad when you're around.

Aww.

You guys are criminally adorable but we're gonna miss our flight.

Stephanie, how long have you been standing there?

No need to feel embarrassed, your love gives me life.

I don't get it.

I hope this isn't just a summer fling, because I really wanna come visit you.

It isn't. And you better.

Jesus. Mom?

Dad, I'm home. My baby!

Oh!

Mm. Missed you too, Dad.

Oh, it is so difficult being away from my daughter during the pre-Christmas season.

It's August. That's pre.

Come on. Everybody, Nicky's home!

You must be so excited.

Don't hit the displays, I worked really hard on those.

Fam, fam, family.

Time for our pre-Christmas meeting.

Noelle? Daddy, I'm here.

Of course you are, sugar plum. Good job.

Ho, ho, hold a minute there, Nicky.

It's meeting time, you're not going anywhere.

Hey, Dad. I am present, and ready to do whatever is necessary to ensure the best Christmas ever.

Well, that's my boy.

Are you sure it's your boy?

Mom!

Really, we're going to... We're gonna do this?

And cut your hair, you damn hippie.

Okay. Really?

She's not in her right mind.

Anyways, as you all know, our family is known in this neighborhood for its Christmas spirit, Christmas cheer, and having more boughs of holly than any other house in the state.

And we are also known for having the most valuable collectible item in all of Christmas land.

I speak of course, of the very same hat worn by Santa in the greatest film of all time, Miracle on 34th Street.

Not the remake, but the original, way back in 1947.

Chills. Mm-hmm. Yeah.

I actually wore that hat the day I proposed to your mother.

What girl could say no to that?

I was also wearing it on the day when each of you kids were born.

And conceived.

And I think you kids turned out pretty darn good.

Which makes that one lucky hat. Hmm.

And every year, I feel like we have to earn the right to own this hat.

Oh, honey.

Stay inside, tears.

Stay inside.

Okay, who wants muffins?


Hello.

Hey!

I have a super important question for you.

Do you guys do like, uh, you know, a big Christmas?

What? No.

It's totally low-key. Very chill.

In fact, it's a low-key version of chill.

Why, what have you heard?

I was thinking, maybe me and my dad could come out to Cali to see you.

Really?

That's...

That's amazing.

I'm so excited, I'm gonna let the fact that you called it "Cali" slide.

I didn't really get into it, but, um, when my mom left us, she actually left on Christmas day.

It'd be good for my dad to get outta here.

Being around the snow, the decorations, the trees in this town... it's not good for him.

I mean, that Christmas morning she left all those stockings just empty.

You know, big Christmas tree, no presents underneath.

I think every ornament he sees is like a stab to the heart.

Stab.

The main thing is, I get to see you.

Did you miss me?

Uh, mostly the tuba. Mm.

But I guess I missed you too.

This is gonna be great.

I'm really looking forward to a low-key Christmas.

Okay, okay. Everyone set?

Christmas family photo, in three, two, one.

Thanks. Thanks.

This is a disaster.

Well, matzoh ball soup fixes everything.

See? Isn't that better?

Nope.

Tanner's still flying 2,000 miles to get away from Christmas.

And instead, he and his dad are gonna wind up in the eye of the Christmas tornado.

My house is ground zero for holiday horrors.

It's a Christmas crap storm.

I can't put the poor guy through a Christmas version of A Clockwork Orange Don't...

Maybe I can ask my dad to tone it down this year, just this one time.

Maybe, I dunno.

Hey, Nicky.

I thought I saw your dad on the line at the mall to sit in Santa's lap.

Is that a holiday thing or a lifestyle change?

At least I know who my father is, Danny.

Ooh.

I'm sorry.

Oh, look at me, the stress of this is turning me evil.

I wish I could just be Jewish like you, and then I wouldn't have to deal with any of this.

Yes, because to be Jewish is to live a problem-free life.

I mean, historically, when have the Jews ever had any troubles?

Maybe I could ask Tanner to come over spring break instead.

I think that's much safer.

But his love might die by then.

Better to chance the slow death of his love, than he meets your family and it just dies instantly.

You're right.

I have to tell him now to come. Mm-hmm.

Ow!

No father, now this.

I can do it.

Let me hear you say it I can do it. Okay.

Then let me hear you say it.

Tanner, I'm sorry.

But I can't see you at Christmas.

Good. Now just stay strong.

Let him know spring break will be here before he knows it, and then, bam! Lovers reunite, music swells, fade to black. Ha!

Okay.

Hey!

Hey! Uh, so...

Uh, I was thinking about what you said about coming, And... I know, I can't stop thinking about it either, I'm so excited.

You know, my dad is looking forward to it too.

Well... Hold on.

Something's wrong.

You don't want me to come?

Um...

No, if you don't feel the same way I do, I don't wanna pressure you.

No, no. No, it's not about that.

I... I don't feel pressure at all.

So...

We both still really like each other after all these months, huh?

I guess this is pretty serious.

To be honest, I'm just using you because I need a tuba player for my death metal band.

You shred a mean tuba.

You probably say that tuba stuff to all the girls.

I got you something.

It's a surprise.

You wanna know what it is?

I... It's a present I had made for you.

Gold bass clef symbol.

Because you know, you rock the bottom.

I mean, bottom musically. Musically speaking.

Hmm. It's a bass clef and a treble clef upside down, and it makes a heart.

You sure it's okay if we come out there?

Uh, you made her a musical heart, yes, yes, of course you should come. Duh.

Okay. What about you, Nicky?

Oh.

I would love to see you at Christmas.

And in conclusion, with the addition of the extra power generator providing us with 500 more amps.

The power output of our display comes to a total, one million watts.

Whoa!

Oh!

This may be the year that our display will be seen from space.

You got jingle balls, Dad.

Rudy!

Noelle, why are you laughing?

I don't know.

And the best part of all is, this.

Ha? Ah! See?

You control exactly how it moves.

Now, uh...

Nicky, obviously, you're the only one in the family with the dance moves who could do Santa's big number at the end of the tour.

So you're gonna have to operate it all night.

Can I talk to you and mom for a smidge?

Privately.

Oh. Good.

Because we actually wanted to talk to you too.

Hmm.

We're gonna need the room a minute, Noelle.

You too.

So that's how it's gonna be?

Bye.

What I wanted to say was... Thank you.

What? Thank you.

Thank you?

For all the great Christmases.

You're welcome.

But we really wanna keep this on you.

We want you to know that as much fun as Christmas is, we also know it's a lot of work.

A lot of fun work. A lot of work that you didn't sign up for, but you do it anyway.

And we just wanted to say thank you so much for being an amazing daughter.

And allowing our family to be who we are.

Especially, this year.

Yeah, about that. Look, I was thinking...

Wait. Why this year?

Uh, because of Noelle. She's seven.

Seven is the perfect age to experience Christmas.

You're young enough to see the magic.

Uh, some of us never grow out of it.

But old enough to understand the deeper meaning.

Christmas as a seven-year-old is a once in a lifetime experience.

You and Rudy had yours.

This year belongs to Noelle. Hmm.

Is there research to back that up?

Oh.

Oh.

So what did you want to talk to us about, sweetie?

Just about how much I love our Christmases.

Aww!

Get in here. Hey, come over.

♪ And a Happy New Year ♪ Steph, there's gotta be another way.

Noelle can still have a magical Christmas without this massive lighting display.

And why didn't you tell them that?

Uh, you should've seen the looks on their faces.

You're stuck between a Christmas tree and a hard place.

If your dad makes a bigger lighting display than before.

Tanner and his dad will see it before the plane even lands.

No, I know. It's a hazard.

That's it!

You're a genius.

Aw!

I'm a genius.

No, no, no!

Thank you so much, for meeting with me, Councilman.

This family must be stopped.

This is the car crash that happened three years ago because motorist were watching the family's Christmas display in the front of the house, instead of the road.

And then, 12,000 homes lost power because this family's display overloaded the grid.

Well, that's not a very good picture because all the lights were out.

What about all this wasted energy?

What kind of a planet are we leaving for Christmases in the future?

So, Councilman Hecht, as a concerned citizen who is in no way connected to this family, I urge you to order the police to enforce these existing laws that prohibit massive Christmas displays like this.

But polls show people like Christmas.

There's an obscure but valid law against this many lights at one house.

But also, people don't like it when obscure laws are enforced.

But it's the right thing to do.

Polls show that the right thing to do is not the popular thing to do.

Why do you care so much about polls?

There's an election coming up.

I'll give you a hundred bucks... for your campaign.

Oh, no. Why?

Is everything okay, Dad?

No. This is a court order prohibiting us from doing our normal Christmas display.

It... It limits our wattage, and the height of our tree. But why?

Apparently, there some obscure city ordinance about, "ostentatious Christmas displays."

I hate it when obscure laws are enforced.

And right when we're about to have Noelle's most special Christmas ever.

What kind of monster would do this to us?

Oh, my...

What kinda world are we living in?

You know what, maybe we'll cut down on the inflatables. Hey, Dad!

Look.

Oh! It's your hat.

Oh, thank you, sweetie.

Oh, if ever I needed a magical Santa hat now would be the time.

Hey, buddy, what have you got for me?

Chris, it's gonna be okay.

Shh! I'm talking to the hat.

Tell me what to do.

I hope this isn't hereditary.

Chris, are you all right?

Actually, I'm better than all right.

Chris, what are you doing?

Uh, you remember that thing I built in college?

What thing? The Christmas thing.

You've built a million Christmas things.

Oh, that Christmas thing.

Can you believe I almost threw this away?

Okay.

Behold.

The Christmas cave.

Cool, Dad! Mm-hmm.

Pretty.

Christmas cave?

That's not a thing. Yet. Not a thing yet.

How do you think a thing becomes a thing.

If nobody ever did a thing that wasn't a thing there would be no things.

So we're gonna dig a hole in the backyard?

No. No, Nicky.

We are going to build this.

A huge outdoor ice cave.

And we're gonna put our family Christmas display inside with the hologram Santa at the end.

Absolutely zero wattage will be seen from the outside, but when people enter the cave...

Oh, they will get the full effect of our family's Christmas spirit.

Uh, is there gonna be trolls in the cave?

No, Noelle. No trolls.

But trolls live in caves.

Trolls live under bridges.

You guys really need to get more involved with her education.

I was kicked out of dental school.

This city ordinance is the best thing that ever happened to us.

We start construction tomorrow.

Okay, I'm gonna have you work on the west wing first, okay?

'Cause you're working with hammers and nails.

I'm going to eat this soup and then I'm going to die.

That's quite the to-do list.

When Tanner and his dad see the Christmas cave, his dad will get PTSD, Tanner will relive the horror of his mom leaving at Christmas, and then I will murder my family.

So I should die first to avoid all that.

I can't argue with that logic.

Why can't I just have a normal family?

Oh!

Dad? Yes, my son.

When I grow up will I be responsible for Christmas, like you?

Well, if that's what you want.

And if you're lucky enough to find a young lady that loves Christmas like your mother.

Well, then I should know some stuff.

Well, all right.

Ask me anything.

Hm, you seem to spend a lot of time on Christmas.

Oh, you bet I do.

But what about your job?

Well, that has come up.

But I tell them the season is a priority to me.

And they respect that.

Cool! Oh, sure, Stu gets a promotion even though I've been with the company longer than him.

I got it... And Laura leapfrogged right over me.

Okay. I'm not even sure anyone there knows my name.

But that's not important because Christmas comes first.

And exactly how much do we spend on Christmas a year?

Well, uh...

I don't... I don't think you need to know the exact...

'Cause all this Christmas stuff seems pretty expensive.

Okay, you know what, I don't think I really wanna talk about this anymore.

Are you saving money for college?

You've got three kids.

And if you keep asking me questions it's going to be two kids.

I gotcha!

Yeah, look at your face!

You were like, "Ah!"

Good one, Dad. Oh, I know.

Oh, hey.

Why are you putting antlers on a bat?

Uh. Well, we're making a Christmas cave, right?

Right.

And what animals live in a cave?

Bears.

Yes. And?

Other bears.

No. Not... not bears.

Bats! Yes.

Come on, Rudy. You're in the fifth grade.

And which animal is most associated with Christmas?

Reindeer. Yeah!

Uh, side question.

What do you call more than one reindeer.

Reindeer. The plural is the same as the singular.

That's my boy. Hmm.

So, this is going to be a reindeer bat?

Exactly.

The first one in the world.

It's gonna make our cave even that much more Christmassy.

Good thinking. Yeah.

How about throw in a Christmas bear, too?

Okay. See, here's the problem, Rudy.

Bears hibernate during the winter.

Now we would look pretty stupid if we had an awake bear in our Christmas cave.

Right. Sorry, Dad. Of course.

No worries.

A Christmas wolf.

Okay, Rudy, we're doing reindeer bats this year.

That's it. Okay?

Makes total sense. Yes, it does.

Dad? Hmm?

Is this reindeer bat like the Christmas cave, where it's not a thing yet but if we do it, it does become a thing?

Because if no one ever did a thing that wasn't a thing, then there'd be no things.

Yes, son.

Yes, it is.

Cool.

Do you see how quickly they built this?

Hey, Dad. Hey.

Now where did I put that tensile.

Well, it's almost finished.

As is my life.

Tanner is gonna be here in three days.

What the hell am I gonna do?

You could always tell them your parents are out of town and meet them at Denny's for your Christmas Eve dinner. Oh!

That sounds depressing.

Not as depressing as this.

You want me to lie to the boy that I love?

Yeah.

Well, I would, but he already knows my parents are in town.

Hi, Mrs. Franklin.

Hello, Nicky.

Stephanie, you remember our neighbor, Mrs. Franklin.

Oh, yeah. Hi.

Nicky, since thousands of people will descend on our street to see your Christmas cave, which by the way is not a thing.

That's what I said.

I'll be checking in to a hotel 'till after Christmas to preserve my sanity.

That means I need you to catsit little Parsley here.

Please check on Parsley twice a day.

He has feline solitude incontinence syndrome, so if you don't pay attention to him he, you know...

Urinates everywhere. Right. I know.

You always do a good job, young lady.

How are you the offspring of that crazy father of yours I'll never know. Hmm.

I guess insanity skips a generation.

Let's hope.

See you in a week.

Oh, my god.

That's the cat you were telling me about, the one that pees on everything.

Yup. That's Parsley.

He should be called Pissy.

Well, the good news is, he only pees when he's lonely, which is all the time.

And then, I have to clean it all up.

You could always sneak him into the neighbor's house.

The Crenshaws seem pretty gross and they might not notice.

Steph...

Do you know what I could do with these keys?

Let yourself into a urine soaked house?

I haven't given Tanner my address yet.

I could give him the address of the next door.

And we could have dinner there instead of here with my crazy family.

That is some seriously evil genius stuff, Nicky.

And I love it, but, um... What?

Isn't Tanner expecting to meet your parents?

Well, maybe it's time we put all those improv classes to use.

We hire actors to play my parents.

We hire actors?

Oh, that's brilliant.

And we could use our pro-improv skills to direct them.

Yes! This is gonna be so much fun.

And we'll never see my crazy, stupid Christmas family.

Stephanie and Nicky save the day.

All thanks to Pissy the cat.

You're sure your parents don't care if we use your house, Steph?

They might care if they knew.

Mm!

Quite an impressive turnout.

I know right? I guess we're the only thing casting in Santa Clarita for Christmas Eve.

Go figure, right?

Um, did you ever figure out how to work the hologram thing without being there?

Archie from computer club says he can make a program that puts it on auto Santa.

Great!

Steph, this is crazy, we're not gonna have enough time.

Hey, we totally got this.

We'll plow through the auditions, whip the actors into shape while you spend Christmas Eve with your fam in the Christmas cave.

No one will be the wiser when Tanner and his dad show up tonight.

Honestly, I wish we had rash medicine commercial to cast on the side because this just seems too easy.

All right.

Let's do this. Good.

"Hello, Tanner.

It is so nice to finally meet the boy that my daughter met last summer."

That was great. Yeah.

There's not going to be a script for the actual performance just a lot of improv.

Improv?

Yeah, so why don't you go ahead and improv with Stephanie right now, she'll pretend to be Tanner's dad.

So, Mrs. Winters, I hear your daughter plays the tuba.

Hello?

I'm gonna go with no on her. Mm.

Yeah, okay.

So I know the ad said that it's a paid gig, but I can only afford to pay 50 dollars.

Pay us?

Could maybe pay little bit more if there was fight scene, I can even fight myself. Here just... just watch.

Just...

Oh, my...

Uh, it's a little something I invented called a stop monologue.

It's copyrighted. Ah.

No.

So, I think I can dance.

Oh, no! He's too hip-hop.

No, um, there's no dancing involved in this role.

And then I was in Fiddler on the Roof.

The original production.

And I play the fiddler before he got out of the roof.

Thank you so much for coming in.

I wore the mat that had played the roof.

That makes no sense. I know, I'm Jewish. It doesn't.

Would you like to hear my English accent?

My father's not English.

Uh, hello, guv'nor.

What-o!

Chim, chim, cher-ee!

Can you believe, I've never even been to England.

Yes. Mm.

I also sing the greatest music of all.

Campfire songs.

♪ Oh, Susanna Oh, don't you cry for me ♪ How the hell did a Broadway actor end up in Santa Clarita, you may ask.

I really don't... Go ahead, ask.

How did a Broadway actor end...

Timing! You think timing.

I interrupted you in the middle of you asking me a question.

Ask me again, it's always funny.

Please, please, I need this. All right.

Look, let me be the understudy.

Look, I... I'll be a great understudy.

Does the part require nudity?

Because I prefer it.

Full frontal if possible.

And in conclusion, I just want to tell you how pleased I am to meet Nicky's boyfriend.

And that, I too am not keen on Christmas.

You nailed it.

Thank you, you are too kind.

Are you available to be my dad full-time?

Just kidding. Mostly.

Anyway, you're hired.

And you're all right that this gig is for tonight?

I know it's Christmas Eve.

Are you kidding? Christmas is here.

Acting... is here.

Mm. Commitment to the craft.

I like that.

I humbly accept this position.

Quick question though, will I have to be drinking alcohol in this gig?

No. Oh, good.

Wouldn't want to set off the old alcohol monitoring bracelet.

It's fine.

I'm hired, right?

I also need a ride home.

No.

Ms. James, it is so great to see you.

Well, it's great to see you...

Do I... do I know you, were you in one of my classes?

Uh.

That's so funny. Isn't it funny?

She's not joking, is she?

Mm-mm Okay, yes. Yes!

Yes, I'm in all of your classes.

They're my favorite. Took them last year, too.

Yes, you showed great promise.

I wanna say...

Saaar...

Stephanie Stephanie. Stephanie.

Of course, your name is Stephanie.

Yeah. Yeah, I swept up after every rehearsal.

I actually, knitted that sweater you're currently wearing, I started that Facebook fan club for you.

Now it's coming back to me.

I remember. You're the one who always wanted to do the kissing scenes with all the handsome boys. Uh, shame on you.

That's our Steph. That's me.

I want you to know that I've read the material, I have absorbed the character, I am... very good at improv...

The imagination is limitless.

If you let it be ladies.

Great! Then let's improv.

I'll be Nicky's boyfriend's dad. Okay, got it?

Let's all do a breath.

I have a deviated septum so it's harder to get it in.

Don't breathe out. Don't breathe out.

No breathe out.

Breathe out.

Let's get ready to improv!

Okay. Yeah. Here we go.

Well, hello, gentlemen, it's so nice to...

Nicky.

I can see where your boyfriend gets all of his charms from.

Mrs. Winters, I heard your daughter plays the tuba.

Uh, plays it? Mm, I dunno.

I think she rocks the hizouse with it.

Nice touch.

That actually gave me legit embarrassing mom cringe.

Well...

I think you're perfect for the role.

Yeah. You're sure you're all right with doing this even though it's tonight and it's Christmas Eve?

Christmas, uh, god. I can't stand Christmas.

Perfect!

What are the odds we find an actress who hates Christmas as much as I do. Right?

I'm kidding! I love Christmas!

I'm just a really talented actress.

Told ya.

Uh-huh.

Please, I need this for my resume.

I'm a great understudy and you won't even know I'm around.

Mm-mm. Because I'm stealthy.

See?

Did I mention I can juggle?

Oh, my god. No...

Actors.

♪ Kitty cat, kitty cat I love you ♪

♪ Kitty cat, kitty cat Yes, I do ♪

♪ Kitty cat, kitty cat You're adorable ♪

♪ Life without you Would be horrible ♪

♪ No one makes me work ♪

♪ Like my little bundle of fur ♪

♪ Kitty cat, kitty cat I love you ♪

♪ Kitty cat, kitty cat I love you ♪ Wow. It really is a Christmas cave.

Okay. We need to keep these closed.

That's the guy you're pretending to be, he can't see you.

Uh, Bradley, this is Ms. James.

And Ms. James this... We've met.

We did West Side Story together.

You played Maria to my Tony.

You're Tony? You're Tony?

So you guys have already played a couple.

For one night.

Until he was unmercifully replaced by the understudy.

Was there a problem?

You're not supposed to use a real switchblade.

I was acquitted of all charges, okay?

And replacing me with the understudy, not cool.

Not cool.

Still have nightmares.

Okay! So, um, moving on.

Uh, Bradley, you'll be playing Nicky's dad, Chris.

And Ms. James, you'll be playing Nicky's mom, Fran.

Fran. Got it.

Uh, we only have about seven hours until they arrive.

So, uh, let's rehearse.

Uh, Nicky, you be Tanner's dad, Lance, and I'll be Tanner.

And action!

Lance, it is so nice to meet you.

Yes, it's so nice to meet you.

And, Tanner, what a lovely name.

What a lovely name. Wait, cut. Um...

Bradley, you're just repeating whatever Ms. James says.

I was being a husband in tune with his wife.

Okay, uh, well...

Let's maybe dial that back just a little bit, okay?

And action.

Lance, Tanner, how was your flight? Oh.

That's a stupid question, honey.

And dial back on the harsh, too, please.

Actors.

I know.

The flight was swell.

Great, great. Now, what part of Connecticut are you from?

The nice part.

No, no, I cannot laugh at that.

Why not? I don't think that my character would find it funny.

Can you stop whining and just be professional?

Oh, professional? Uh, yeah.

You're a drama teacher, okay?

You're a babysitter with a scenery budget.

All right. I'll have you know, I was on Law & Order.

Oh, I know.

Because you brought the DVD to rehearsal and made everybody watch it.

Your part was a member of the jury.

Your whole part consisted of nodding during the testimony. This is it.

Look, I can nod. Guys...

I'll have you know, I nodded to S. Epatha Merkerson.

Who have you ever nodded to, sir?

To whom have you nodded?

I rest my case, you alcoholic.

That's supposed to be anonymous.

Everyone can see your ankle monitor.

Hope you guys hired an understudy for this hack.

You take that back. Okay, settle down...

We only have a few hours until my boyfriend and his dad get...

I refuse to go on until this lumping lummox apologizes to me for mocking my resume.

Listen to me!

For the first time in my life I might be able to have the Christmas I want.

A Christmas where I can relax and be normal.

Normal! I need to be normal!

I need to go help my mother now.

Hope she doesn't talk to her mom that way.

Look at the way you manipulate those cheeseballs.

How many other girls can do that?

Mighty few I'd say.

I'm the envy of all my friends.

Oh, you sarcastic young woman.

There's gonna be a lot of hungry visitors to the Christmas cave expecting their Christmas treats in a few hours, and those balls will not disappoint.

You don't hear it, do you, Mom?

There's no food like Christmas food.

Christmas food.

Christmas food.

What the Blitzen are you going on about?

Mom, I gotta go check on Stephanie, because she's Jewish and it's Christmas, so, you know, it's a difficult time for her people.

Why do you have to go this minute?

Because reasons. Jewish reasons.

Gosh, it sounds like so much work to be Jewish.

Why are you coming in through the window?

Rudy almost saw me coming here, the little twerp.

But that's the least of our problems.

Chill, woman. Your Hollywood parents are doing great.

I am merely a vessel for the spirit of the theater.

If by spirit, you mean vodka.

We're screwed.

Why, Captain Bummer of the SS Bring Me Down?

Because it will be kind of obvious if Tanner and his dad show up for dinner and there's no dinner.

Uh, yeah. We forgot about that.

Just so you know, I don't cook.

But my character doesn't either.

Okay. Okay.

Can you save my life?

And go buy dinner for six people? Done.

And remember, nothing too Christmassy.

Double done. No red or green foods.

Ugh. Wish I was adopted.

Well, what are we supposed to do now?

Consider this intermission.

Anybody have a screwdriver?

What would happen if I poured alcohol on that thing?

I would go to jail.

And worse, you'd be wasting peppermint schnapps

Oh, this?

Why, thank you.

You think the color brings out my eyes?

Oh, Tanner, stop.

Hmm.

Those cranberries cool yet, hon? We should put them in the...

Oh!

Oh, no. Honey. Oh, my god.

Your pretty dress.

Oh, oh. I'm so sorry.

Oh, no.

Ugh, the one year I don't have backup cranberries.

Seriously?

I'm sorry, go change.

You know what, you're gonna have to go change.

You gotta work that hologram Santa.

I'm so sorry, honey.

Go get yourself cleaned up.

No backup cranberries.

Oh!

I can't believe this.

Why the drama? You look great.

That was the dress, Steph.

Hey, no, no, no.

You look amazing.

And Tanner's gonna love you even more than he already does.

Because I cannot live in a world where Nicky Winters is not with the man of her dreams.

That's kind of codependent.

I love it.

You look great.

This is gonna be great. Yeah?

And we got this, you know we do.

Okay? Okay.

Hm. You look good in yellow.

Hi, are you ready to go inside the cave?

Yeah. You're excited? Yeah.

Yeah. Exactly. Excited.

George Bailey to Clarence?

George Bailey to Clarence?

Come in, Clarence.

This is Clarence.

Roger that.

How's the crowd?

Do we need additional security or are they well behaved?

I've got them under control.

But if there's any trouble, I'll let the hot cider do the talking.

Roger that, Clarence. Ho, ho, ho, hooraybell.

That's pretty good.

Well, that's your everyday Santa dance.

I kinda jailbroke this machine and I put it on a loop, so it should keep on running for the rest of the night.

All right.

You know, my psychic just told me that my spirit animal is a wolf.

You like wolves?

Sure.

Steph said something about a tip?

Oh, right.

Um, here is 15 dollars.

You're sure this'll work?

I'm 15 dollars sure.

Huh. Okay.

Whoops.

Rudy finally took a bathroom break, so I could get over here.

Okay, so...

The Christmas trees are good to go, and the dancing Santa loop should hold them 'till Easter.

Oh, shoot I forgot about the cat.

Calm down.

Hello, Parsley.

We're gonna put you in here, okay?

Okay, let's go.

You are the weirdest cat in the whole wide world.

Here's your little bed.

And your food, and your toys, and your litter box.

Remember how to use that, okay?

Okay.

You're not gonna believe this, but Tanner texted me, his flight landed early. So, he's on his way here, now.

As in, not later, now.

Uh. Well, dinner is served.

Or, as my people would say, bon appétit.

What is this?

They're latkes.

No, what is... What is all this?

Uh, where did you expect me to find a full meal on Christmas Eve? It was either Jewish Deli or China, China, China on 14th Street.

And honey, that food is bad, bad, bad.

Oh, crap, crap, crap. He's here!

Get up. Get up, they're here!

Already?

I didn't get to take my power nap.

All right, listen up, cast.

You know what they say, bad dress rehearsal, great show.

And I know that in my heart, you guys can...

Stop! Steph.

Enough with the pep talk. Sorry.

This is it.

Okay.

Are you sure we can actually pull this off?

It's not too late to back out?

You can tell them the truth, and take the chances with your real family.

Because once you open that door, there's no turning back, okay?

You will fall down the rabbit hole of deception and trickery, like nothing you've ever known.

Sounds good.

Nicky! Tanner!

I missed you. I missed you too!

Who's this boy manhandling my daughter?

Oh.

Hah! I'm just kidding. I'm the dad of this family.

I'm Tanner.

This is my, uh, dad, Lance. Hi. Hey.

Uh, hello. Uh, nice to me you, Mr....

Uh, call me Lance.

This is my friend Stephanie.

Very nice to meet you.

Uh, what's going on next door?

Oh! it's, um...

Uh, Dad?

Dad?

That's me! Hm.

Well, hello gentlemen!

So good to see you!

Let's not keep our guests waiting.

Come on in, boys!

Okay.

That's how a professional does it.

Guys, welcome!

Great bread!

Mm-hmm.

Yes. So...

...dry.

Oh, um.

I'll go get you some water.

Okay.

Are you Jewish?

No.

We just love matzo.

So dry. Goes down scratchy.

It's, it's kind of a Cali thing.

So, Tanner!

How do you like Santa Clarita?

It's a little warmer than Boston, huh?

Connecticut.

What? Drunk, say "what?"

What?

Remember, Dad? I...

I swear his memory is going.

Tanner and his dad live in Connecticut.

This is George Bailey, to Clarence.

George Bailey to Clarence.

Have you seen Nicky?

I'm about to open the cave, and I can't do it without her. Over.

That's a negative, George.

She disappoints yet again. Over.

You know, how come you never pronounce the second C in Connecticut?

"Connect-ticut."

That would sound weird, right?

Makes you think, though, doesn't it?

Oh, no. It does not.

It's great here, Mr. Winters.

It's nice to be in the sun during Christmas time.

Christmas time!

Christmas time is here.

Right here!

And also next door.

Next door is having a special time.

Right, in the nick of time, you might say.

Oh.

Oh!

I'm sorry, I have to go work on the main course.

That matzoh can't ball itself.

Oh, right?

Excuse me...

I'll be right back. Yeah.

We're having this stuff for dinner, too?

Hm.

"Connect-ticut."

Yeah. Oh!

Again!

Yeah.

I should take all those genealogy tests.

Oh, god.

Hey. Oh!

What the hell are you doing here, Doug?

Being an understudy.

I'm ready to go on, at a moment's notice, and play your dad.

A great artist never gives up.

J.K. Rowling was rejected 12 times before they published Harry Potter.

Right.

Um.

Expelliarmus, weirdo.

That's not a real spell.

Excuse me.

Hey, look at you.

I'm a candy cane!

Yeah, and a real sweet one, I'll bet.

That's cute.

Excuse me. Can I see your access pass?

Leave her alone, Rudy.

If you like unsecure areas, then that's on you.

Your father's just about to open the Christmas cave.

Okay, we are just about ready for a...

What? It's just...

You're not wearing your costume.

Dad, no. No costume, okay?

I'm... I'm the dancing hologram.

That's it.

Now, let's... open the Christmas cave!

Okay...

She didn't put on her costume.

Why is this lady stopping Christmas?

Where's her Christmas spirit?

Why do you hate America?

Nicky, it's not really the same if you're not in a costume.

Doe she even care about this holiday?

Okay.

Come on, sweetie.

I'll you put it on. You can't put it on by yourself.

Here we go. Okay.

Slight delay, but not to panic!

The gate's opening is moments away!

It take... It takes a team.

It was mostly me.

And then the Sherpa said, "I've never seen a white guy with calves like yours."

Hm.

So, is that your only move? Nodding, huh?

West Side Story was my big break and you ruined it for me, you booze-back loser.

Oh, honey!

You don't have to whisper sweet nothings in my ear.

I know how much you love me!

I know it! I know how much you love me.

So much.

Oh! Beautiful.

You are the ornament that makes this Christmas complete.

Ow! Concrete. Hurting.

You're weird.

Oh, honey. Let me help you up. Come here.

Oh, baby.

It takes more than that to keep me down.

Okay guys, Dad's gonna open the cave.

The time has come!

I now pronounce the Christmas cave officially open!

I know. Pretty awesome, right?

Now, you need get to your post at the end of the tour.

Well, come on!

All right, all right. One at a time, one at a time.

Merry Christmas, everybody. Merry Christmas!

Right after you. Make your way.

Take your time. Enjoy all the sights.

Good, good, good. No pushing, now. No pushing.

We've got plenty of room in the cave.

Come around a second lap, if you want.

It's Christmas time for crying out loud.

So, then I had to learn to... to walk again.

And just as I was able to stand, I fell in love with Chris here, and he swept me off my feet.

But then he had to go fight in the war.

That's so inspiring, Mr. Winters.

Yeah. Which war did you fight in?

Canada, in Canadian War.

Hmm. People don't really talk about it much.

Eh? No, they don't.

They don't.

They don't, they don't talk.

It's cool!

Okay...

So, it was the Battle of Winnipeg, right?

And it was brutal, because it was covered in snow and maple syrup... Whoa.

Is Nicky all right in there? It's been a while.

Oh, no, no, no.

She was probably just...

Oh. ...wrangling an extra-large matzoh ball. Okay. Heh, heh.

Too proud to ask for help.

You stay there, I'll go check.

And don't let them leave, okay?

♪ Oh, Canada ♪ No!

Yay!

Stephanie!

There are no words. The words are help!

Stephanie!

Someone's coming! With you in a second.

Stephanie?

Hey, do you have ice tongs?

I feel like my character would have ice tongs.

No!

It's fine.

Stephanie! Stephanie? Stephanie!

Come in this window. It's bigger.

Yeah. Come on.

Okay.

You guys okay in there?

Ow.

Nicky, someone's coming.

Who? Hey, why... Someone's coming.

Someone's coming!

Should I even ask?

How is everything going with Mr. and Mrs. Fake Parent?

Yeah, it's fine. Everything's fine.

No, no, no, no! It's just eggnog!

Okay.

It's just eggnog!

I can hear your ankle monitor beeping!

It could be better.

That's it.

I can't act with this woman. You can't act, period.

Oh, I can't act? You're the... Oh, oh, I'm this guy...

Guys.

Guys.

That boy in there loves me.

Please, do not ruin this.

He said I'm his Kate Middleton.

He said I'm his Kate!

Okay.

Fine.

Thank you.

Who's Kate Middleton? She's the princess!

Oh, my god.

Hm.

Who is ready for soup?

Ah, um.

Hm.

Watch and see how it's done.

I was just gonna ask Tanner to tell us the story about how you guys met at camp.

You forgot to nod.

Once I heard Nicky on that tuba, the rest is pretty much history.

Is that a bat?

Is it wearing reindeer antlers?

Oh! Hey!

Hey, guess what.

Let's play a fun party game called, "No one look out the window."

Oh, I'm going outside to get a picture of that bat.

Oh, no. You don't wanna do that.

Why not?

Here's that thing, the family that lives next door is nuts.

Bonkers. Every year, that sad family puts on some insane Christmas display that is totally over the top.

Oh, criminally. Like, over the top.

And the kicker is, the city actually passed a law to try and stop them from making more disturbing and dangerous lighting displays.

Oh, my god, they did! Yeah! So, they built a huge cave, and they put the display inside of that.

Inside the cave! And what's a Christmas cave without Christmas bats? Am I right?

That's what you saw.

Mm-hmm. That's what you saw.

Wow. Mm-hmm.

Isn't that so, "Huh?" It's crazy.

That seems rather extreme.

Extreme doesn't begin to describe it.

They also make their children dress up as ornaments.

Ornaments!

And that's just child abuse.

Mm-hmm.

Uh, if these people are so horrible.

No joke, trust me, they are. Huh, yeah.

Why don't you guys just move?

Oh.

Uh...

We feel sorry for them. We feel sorry for them.

Sorry for them. Right, Mom and Dad?

Mm-hmm.

We pray for them nightly.

And drink to their salvation.

Amen.

Um...

Please excuse me for a moment.

Is, is your dad okay?

Uh, he'll be fine.

Just, uh, tough for him to talk about anything Christmas related is all, you know?

I understand. Yeah, it was a tough time for both of us.

I wish he could move on for his own sake.

All right, everyone. Calm down, calm down.

The gates are gonna be opening soon!

We've been waiting for hours.

Stephanie, will you help me in the kitchen with something with which I need help with?

Oh, certainly, Nicky.

Let me tell you about the time I carried a Sherpa on my back at 30,000 feet.

Okay. You're, you're nodding.

I... No, I am, I am. 'Cause I'm... I'm good at it.

I got... I got paid to do it.

Law & Order.

George Bailey to Clarence, what's the hold up?

Something must be wrong with the dancing Santa.

I told you Nicky can't be trusted.

I gotta go back! Okay.

Come on! Come on, come on.

It really does take two people to put this costume on.

You'd think whoever designed this thing would have realized anybody who bought it would have no friends.

Yeah. Pull down. Come on. Okay.

One, two, three. Okay.

Good to go. Got it. Good?

Go, team.

Sorry, folks.

Oh, my... No.

Not Satan. Santa!

That one scared me, and you?

Excuse us.

Sorry. One sec.

Nicky!

What is going on?

We're backed up all the way to the elves!

Just, uh, working out a leg cramp.

Oh.

Okay.

Hey, everyone.

Sorry about the delay.

But, I now present, the dancing Santa!

This is the best Christmas ever, Dad!

Oh, honey.

Ha! Oh, my god.

And we have now come to the main event!

Ah, yeah!

I know what you're thinking.

It can't be. But it is.

I give you, the Santa hat from the single greatest Christmas movie ever made!

Die Hard?

No. Elf?

No. Christmas with the Cranks?

What? No.

Polar Express. Uh, no.

A Christmas Story.

Ooh! Wrong!

Bad Santa. What? No!

Scrooge? Oh, it's not even close.

Christmas Vacation?

No.

Gremlins! Seriously? No!

Ernest Saves Christmas.

No!

I'm almost ready to ask you to leave the tour.

Santa Claus Versus The Martians.

Nobody saw that!

Nobody saw that!

I saw it.

Miracle on 34th Street!

Aha? Great movie!

First released in...

Oh, seriously?

Ugh. Oh. Ah! Dang kids!

Who'd put chewing gum on my Christmas hat display.

Dad, I need to go rest.

I'm cold and I'm tired.

Oh, you deserve a rest, honey.

You did a great job. Noelle loved it, didn't you?

I gotta go get this gum off my display.

Actually.

Why don't you wear the hat, in the meantime.

Hmm?

Hm.

Oh!

Will you look at that.

The two most precious things to me, in the entire world.

That Santa hat and my beautiful daughter.

Daddy... Not now, Noelle.

Okay, where was I?

Oh, yes. Two most precious things.

Hm.

Okay. Continuing on with our tour now, everybody.

We're coming up to our build-your-own-snowman portion of the cave.

And here's something I made in my workshop.

It's a bat with antlers.

A reindeer bat.

Don't let me fall.

Don't let me fall. Don't let me...

I know!

You let me fall.

I hate Christmas so much. Is this the hat...

That hat from the stupid, old movie my dad spent my college education money on?

Yeah, it is.

Well, you got back just in time.

Because I think Tanner and his dad are starting to get suspicious.

I know.

It's a miracle they haven't figured it out yet.

If I ever hire actors to play my parents, it will not be those two.

But, if I had a boyfriend as awesome as yours, I too would hire a fake family to have Christmas dinner with them.

Sure, you can see the kitchen.

Oh! Go ahead, go, go, go.

Okay.

Go, go. Okay, okay, okay.

Everything all right in here?

Yeah, I was starting to worry. Yeah.

Yeah, everything's fine. We were just...

Just doing the dishes.

Doing the dishes.

Doing the dishes.

Okay, all done.

Come on, shall we?

Come on, let's go.

Latke.

That was close.

Clarence to George Bailey.

Clarence to George Bailey.

It's not such a wonderful life, after all.

Oh, boy.

And that's how you make a chicken napkin.

Chicken napkin!

Stupidest thing I've ever seen.

Oh! I just realized. I haven't done my impression of Abraham Lincoln.

No one knows what he sounds like, honey.

And is therefore, immune to criticism.

"Four score and seven years ago."

Um, sorry. Lincoln's from the south.

Immune to criticism!

Well, as they say in Cali, it's time for Latkes!

Nicky?

What's going on?

Mrs. Franklin? What are you doing back?

Bed bugs at the hotel.

Who are these people? Why are they in my house?

Your house?

She's in here.

See, Dad. This is ugly.

The only upside of this situation is that I'm going to be getting the bigger room.

Since, Nicky's going away for a long, long time.

Go home, Rudy. But...

I wanna...

What's going on?

Yeah, Nicky. What exactly is going on?

You guys live here?

No! Just me.

Nicky's dad lives next door.

Nicky's dad?

Yes?

Then who are you?

I'm Chris, I'm Nicky's dad.

I'm Chris.

I'm Nicky's dad.

No!

I'm Nicky's dad!

Damn, understudy.

Understudy? No, no, no. Not again!

Aw, I thought you'd be used to it by now.

No, this can't be happening. I will not be replaced!

I've been listening through the vents.

And I believe your acting, is missing the mark.

Oh, yeah?

Missing the mark, huh!

Yeah.

Understudies!

Stop! Stop, right now!

Cut!

Please note.

That I did all my own stunts.

You're all done here.

And scene!

Please. I feel good. You know.

Normally, I am my harshest critic.

But I feel like tonight was some of my best work.

And now, if you'll allow me to give you a few pointers on your "performance."

Okay... I would start with the...

You're gonna be singing No! in Rikers! No!

No! Yes!

No! Yes!

Can we talk about this over a drink?

Where is my Parsley?

Oh, he's in here.

I...

Nicky, what's going on?

Please, I...

Tanner, I swear I can explain.

Yes. We'd all like to hear that.

Is it true?

Huh, what Rudy says?

That you're so ashamed of us, you hired actors so that your boyfriend and his father wouldn't have to meet your real family?

Christmas has caused Tanner and his Dad nothing but heartache. And I couldn't let them suffer through your insane version of this holiday! Oh, Nicky.

You are in big trouble.

All this fighting.

I hate Christmas.

Oh. Hate?

Oh! Oh, is this the boy who turned you against me?

I didn't ask her to do anything.

Oh, right, she just magically transformed into a liar who happens to hate Christmas, just like you.

That's enough!

We don't have to stand here and listen to this.

We're leaving. Vamos.

Dad.

Now.

Why does Christmas always have to ruin everything good.

Tanner, Tanner!

No, no, no, sweetheart. Just let him go.

I really, really like him.

They're not even Christmas people!

You're right.

They're normal.

I've never had a normal Christmas!

Do you have any idea how good it felt to sit down with my fake dad and my fake family on Christmas Eve?

A feeling of peace came over me, like, I have never known in my entire life.

Okay. You don't even know what you're saying right now.

That cat really should have been called Pissy.

It's my magic hat!

Ugh.

Ruined.

Tanner!

Tanner, wait.

Tanner, wait!

Wait, please.


Die, you stupid Christmas tree!

Nicky's gone crazy!

This is the best Christmas ever.

Mom, can I have her room once you put her in the insane hospital?

Oh.

Mommy, why is Nicky killing Christmas?

Honey, it's just something teenage girls do.

Nicky, you stop this behavior, right now!

No, Dad. I need to do this.

'Cause Christmas ruins everything.

I hate this stupid decoration.

And stupid Santa Claus.

And all the stupid songs.

And the stupid trees every damned year!

Why do you do this to us, Dad?

Why do you shove Christmas down everyone's throats?

Why can't you be a normal dad?

If you were a normal dad, I never would have had to lie to Tanner, and gone through all this.

And Tanner never would have found out about it and gotten mad at me. But, because of you, Tanner will never talk me again.

Why are you such a Christmas freak?

Because that's what you are, Dad.

A freak.

Oh, my god.

Oh. Ah.

♪ Something's wrong ♪

♪ Where is our love song ♪

♪ Show me where does it say ♪

♪ Your love just fades away ♪

♪ I've always been ♪

♪ Oh ♪

♪ The kind who holds it in ♪

♪ Oh ♪

♪ I used to pass love but ♪

♪ Now I know I dedicate ♪

♪ A walk away from me ♪

♪ There to guide Your walk away ♪

♪ Oh ♪

♪ Oh ♪

♪ Baby, baby ♪

♪ Baby don't ♪

♪ Dedicate ♪

♪ A walk away from me ♪

♪ To where I belong ♪

♪ There to guide Your walk away ♪

♪ To walk away ♪

♪ Please take off you're lying ♪

♪ To walk away ♪ Honey?

Why don't you come downstairs and open presents?

Seriously?

Despite what's going on between you and your dad, we're a family.

And it's Christmas Eve, and that's when we open presents.

Okay?

All right. Come on.


Why is everyone so sad?

Oh, no.

Oh. Mom? Mom, what's wrong?

My chest.

Fran Sienna Winters? Yes, yes.

I have the good news to tell you, she did not have a heart attack.

Oh!

What was it then?

Well, according to the test we made, your mother is as healthy as a...

You know, you're not a horse, you're not a donkey, it's...

You're a mule? Yes.

Your mother is mule.

Mm-hmm. Oh.

So mom's gonna be okay? That's wonderful.

So, what exactly did happen to her?

We see this sometimes during the holidays, cause is stress.

Is there something stressful happening in the family now?

Something that would upset her?

Any what, she said she wants to speak to someone named Nicky.

Grandma?

Are you alone?

Yup. Oh.

Good.

I didn't know how much longer I could fake it.

Grandma, you were pretending?

I can't breathe.

Oh, help me.

Help me.

I should've been an actress, huh?

Hmm.

Screw you, Faye Dunaway.

Who's Faye Dunaway?

Exactly.

Why would you pretend to have a heart attack?

The tension between you and your dad was sticker than molasses on neck hair.

We were all worried about you.

Oh, let me have some fun.

Plus, I wanted to give you some time to make things right between you and your dad.

Fine, I'll just apologize to him.

Will you mean it?

No.

Ow!

Ow! You... idiot. You're strong for an old woman.

He's gonna know if you fake it.

Clark Gable knew when I made love to him.

And let me tell you, he did give a damn.

Grandma, please.

Oh, sweetie.

If you don't make things right between you and your dad, things will never be the same again.

She's okay? She's talking?

You know Grandma, she says what she says.

She's feeling good though.

You can all go in now.

Okay. Come on kids, let's go see Grandma.

Wait. Nicky, honey, just, um, sit down for a second, I wanna show you something.

Okay.

Oh, my god.

Yeah, not a pretty picture, is it?

What happened to his face, the poor kid.

That's your father.

When he was five years old.

Some neighborhood bullies threw him in a patch of poison ivy and rubbed his face in it.

As you can see it swelled up pretty bad.

That's awful.

It was a few weeks before Christmas and even though he looked like that he still really wanted to see Santa.

When your grandparents took him to the mall all the kids in line were pointing at his face and making fun of him, and he started crying.

And then as they turned to go, that mall Santa picked him up, sat him down on his lap, and your dad... stopped crying, and told that wonderful Santa everything he wanted for Christmas.

See, that Santa took a kid who believed in Christmas and made him feel like a little boy again, instead of a freak.

Mom, I...

I had no idea.

He just wants you guys to feel loved and magical, like he did that day when he was five.

So now you know.


They just wanna observe her, she's gonna be fine.

♪ Jingle bells poo-poo smells ♪ Come on, Noelle, I don't wanna sing by myself.

♪ Jingle bells poo-poo smells ♪ ♪ Jingle bells poo-poo smells

♪ 'Till you flush it down ♪ ♪ 'Till you flush it down ♪

♪ And when you go number two ♪ ♪ And when you go number two ♪

♪ Better not fall in And drown ♪

♪ Hey ♪

Hello, boys and girls! Ooh!

Oh, and Grandma.

I'm a Jelf, a Jewish elf.

And I brought Christmas with me.

Christmas!

♪ Making spirits bright ♪

♪ What fun it is To ride and sing ♪

♪ A sleighing song tonight ♪

♪ Oh, jingle bells ♪ What?

♪ Jingle bells ♪ Are you serious?

♪ Jingle all the way ♪ This is...

Oh, can I get in? ♪ Oh, what fun ♪

♪ It is to ride ♪ ♪ It is to ride ♪

♪ In a one-horse open sleigh ♪ ♪ In a one-horse open sleigh ♪ Wait, what's missing?

I know!

Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho!

Santa!

And har-dee-dar-har.

What's this? I see kids with no presents.

Ho, ho, this cannot be.

Ho, ho, ho.

Oh, ho, ho, ho, ho!

And one more thing.

♪ Oh, what fun it is ♪

♪ To ride in a one-horse ♪

♪ Open sleigh ♪ Ho, ho, ho!

Ho, ho, ho, ho!

♪ Oh, jingle bells Jingle bells ♪

♪ Jingle all the way ♪

♪ Oh, what fun it is to... ♪ You did it.

Everyone's so happy.

You saved Christmas.

Thanks for doing all this.

I'm here for you, girl.

Right by your side. Sticking to you like glue.

Wow!

Cute elf.

Um...

My little brother's getting his tonsils out.

You wanna hang with me in the waiting room?

Laters.

Now that's a Christmas miracle I can get behind.

There's a party in Room 220.

Merry Christmas, everybody!

Nicky!

Did you arrange that?

Thank you.

I wanted everyone to have a great Christmas.

Yeah.

Uh, the... the carolers were a nice touch.

Nicky...

Okay, look, honey.

A father often forgets that his little girl will eventually grow up, and become their own person.

I mean, look at you. You... you have.

And... and I'm sorry, I didn't recognize that before but I... I do now.

And I would love it if you would join us.

On one condition.

It's something you actually want to do.

Oh.

Sorry I hired an actor to pretend to be you.

I'm sorry I yelled at your boyfriend.

I'm sorry I called you a freak.

Well, I kinda am.

But I get it.

And I'm sorry I smothered you with Christmas.

Thanks, Dad. I... I appreciate you saying that.

Mm-hmm. But, someday when you have kids of your own, you will... Never, do anything like that to them.

Ever.

Okay.

But they're sure gonna love going over to Grandpa's house for Christmas.

Hey, come on. Mm-hmm.

♪ Open ♪

♪ Sleigh ♪ ♪ Jingle bells, jingle bells ♪

♪ Jingle all the way, hey ♪


Okay, everyone.

Oh. It's Christmas.

Which means it's hat time!

Ooh! Huh?

It looks like new.

Be careful with that, Dad. It's my inheritance, you know, if something tragic happens to Nicky.

Ahem. Who wants to go first?

Me! Oh, come on up here, princess.

There we go.

And...

I'm grateful that my grandma's okay.

And now the hospital can see my grandma, and I love her, and she's the only one who knows that I'll sing the "Jingle Bells Poo-poo" song right.

Thank you.

Yes.

All right.

Um, I am grateful that Mom is okay.

And that Patty from next door is not going to sue us for Nicky borrowing her house.

Here, here.

Nicky?

Oh, Um...

Me first.

Hon. Okay.

Um...

I'm grateful that I have a family who understands my passion for Christmas.

Christmas can do magic, if you believe.

I believe, Daddy.

Aw.

Sweetie? Yes.

Ah.

Huh? Why are you giving me that?

We just wanted you to play a little Christmas music for us, sweetie.

Mom, I can't even look at that thing right now.

You're so good at it.

Playing the tuba reminds me of Tanner, and how I messed up and lost him forever.

Hmm.

Nicky, actually why don't you go next?

Okay.

There you go.

And, uh, remember...

It can do magic.

Right.

What?


Tanner!

That hat's magic.

So which one of my 400 texts convinced you?

Actually, a very nice man came over this morning, told me about all the crazy things he's done to his family at Christmas over the years.

Once he got to that part about you being attacked by a reindeer... Mm-hmm.

...started to understand why you did what you did.

Thanks, Dad.

I wanna thank you. Oh!

I needed to see Christmas like this.

Ah!

It's what I do.

Is someone in the cave?

Sup?

Maybe Christmas isn't so bad after all.

Give me a hand? Sure.

Steph?

Dad?

Okay.

Okay. On three.

One, two, three.

Come on, Dad. That's better.


♪ Gonna dance with baby Gonna shake it ♪

♪ Gonna be the best dressed Tonight ♪

♪ Wanna sing While the jingle bells ring ♪

♪ 'Cause I'm looking For a wonderful time ♪

♪ Get close girl because ♪

♪ 'Cause there's enough time To ride around the corner ♪

♪ Get cozy as we move Into the mistletoe ♪

♪ Thinking what A colorful life ♪

♪ 'Cause it sure feels like The holidays ♪

♪ Get on your feet And let's celebrate ♪

♪ It's gonna be joyful ♪ ♪ Joyful ♪

♪ Yeah that's the feeling ♪ ♪ That's the feeling ♪

♪ Oh, yes indeed ♪ ♪ Oh, yes indeed ♪

♪ It's gonna be joyful ♪ ♪ It's gonna be joyful ♪

♪ Joyful ♪ ♪ Joyful ♪

♪ 'Cause it's the season ♪ ♪ It's the season ♪

♪ I got a feeling ♪ ♪ I got a feeling ♪

♪ It's gonna be joyful ♪

♪ Cinnamon whiskey Warming up the coffee ♪

♪ Everybody fire a side ♪

♪ Hanging up the stockings Tearing off the wrapping ♪

♪ See my Secret Santa tonight ♪

♪ Yeah, the blizzard Got us all snowed in ♪

♪ Ain't nobody going nowhere ♪

♪ Once you're here Bring the cheer fill my cup ♪

♪ With the holly And the jolly all right ♪

♪ 'Cause it sure feels like The holidays ♪

♪ Get on your feet And let's celebrate ♪

♪ It's gonna be joyful ♪ ♪ It's gonna be joyful ♪

♪ Yeah that's the feeling ♪ ♪ That's the feeling ♪

♪ Oh, yes indeed ♪ ♪ Oh, yes indeed ♪

♪ It's gonna be joyful ♪ ♪ Joyful ♪

♪ Joyful ♪ ♪ Joyful ♪

♪ 'Cause it's the season ♪ ♪ It's the season ♪

♪ I got a feeling ♪ ♪ I got a feeling ♪

♪ It's gonna be joyful ♪

♪ Joyful ♪ ♪ Joyful ♪

♪ Yeah that's the feeling ♪ ♪ That's the feeling ♪

♪ Oh, yes indeed ♪ ♪ Yes indeed ♪

♪ It's gonna be joyful ♪ ♪ Joyful ♪

♪ Ooh, joyful ♪ ♪ Joyful ♪

♪ 'Cause it's the season ♪ ♪ It's the season ♪

♪ I got a feeling ♪ ♪ I got a feeling ♪

♪ It's gonna be joyful ♪ ♪ Joyful ♪

♪ It's gonna be joyful ♪ ♪ Joyful ♪

♪ Yeah that's the feeling ♪ ♪ That's the feeling ♪

♪ Oh, yes indeed ♪ ♪ Oh, yes indeed ♪

♪ It's gonna be joyful ♪ ♪ Joyful ♪

♪ Joyful ♪ ♪ Joyful ♪

♪ 'Cause it's the season ♪ ♪ It's the season ♪

♪ I got a feeling ♪ ♪ I got a feeling ♪

♪ It's gonna be joyful ♪ ♪ Joyful ♪

♪ Kitty cat, kitty cat I love you ♪

♪ Kitty cat, kitty cat Yes, I do ♪

♪ Kitty cat, kitty cat You're adorable ♪

♪ Life without you Would be horrible ♪

♪ No one makes me work ♪

♪ Like my little bundle of fur ♪

♪ Kitty cat, kitty cat I love you ♪

♪ When you're down ♪

♪ And feeling blue ♪

♪ Here's that thing ♪

♪ That you must do ♪ ♪ Gotta do it ♪

♪ Make a B-line ♪

♪ For the nearest feline ♪ ♪ Kitty cat ♪

♪ Then your trouble Will be through ♪

♪ Cheeseburger ♪

♪ Kitty cat, kitty cat I love you ♪

♪ Kitty cat, kitty cat Yes, I do ♪

♪ Kitty cat, kitty cat You're adorable ♪

♪ Life without you Would be horrible ♪

♪ No one makes me work ♪

♪ Like my little bundle of fur ♪

♪ Kitty cat, kitty cat I love you ♪

♪ Kitty cat, kitty cat I love you ♪