My Christmas Inn (2018) Script

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♪ Ooh ♪

♪ Yeah ♪

♪ Feel the love all around ♪

♪ See the smiles across this town ♪

♪ ’Cause the kids are counting down ♪

♪ It’s a Christmas state of mind ♪

♪ Yeah ♪

♪ Baby, let’s watch the snow fall down ♪

♪ This Christmas ♪

♪ I’ll light the fire and hold you close ♪

♪ The twinkle lights ♪

♪ The stockings full ♪ All right, I want you all to imagine a room immaculately decorated for Christmas.

Perfect tree, perfect stockings.

A mother comes in and sees her little boy waiting by the Christmas tree.

It’s his bedtime, but he tells her he’s too excited to sleep.

The mother asks the little boy if maybe a cup of hot chocolate will help him fall asleep.

The little boy answers, "Only if it’s made with Silky Cocoa Mix."

The mom brings her son a steaming hot mug of Silky Cocoa, and he loves it.

The mom asks if maybe now he can go to sleep.

The little boy answers, "Only if you leave a mug of Silky Cocoa out for Santa."

That’s when the father comes out and says, "That’s a great idea! Santa would love a cup."

Silky Cocoa.

Now, this is Christmas.

Well, I don’t know about you all, but I could sure go for a cup of hot Silky Cocoa right about now.

[laughter]

You really hit that one out of park.

They’re thinking about signing long term.

-Wow. -Who knows?

You keep moving like that, you might find a little bonus under your tree Christmas morning.

Thank you, Ellis.

Sounds like they loved the pitch.

Well, when you’re doing a Christmas ad, you’re selling people a fantasy.

It’s not supposed to be real.

So that’s why you don’t have a Christmas tree.

I don’t have a Christmas tree because I don’t like vacuuming needles.

Whatever you say, Scrooge.

-Bah humbug. -[chuckles]

Brian Anderson called again. He has been very persistent.

That’s because my great-aunt Helen passed away four months ago, and he’s handling her estate.

I’m so sorry. I didn’t know.

That’s okay. Knowing Aunt Helen, she probably left me her rare spoon collection or her ventriloquist dummy.

At the very least, I’ll deal with it later.

Okay.

Oh, no, you don’t have to clean up.

If I don’t, who’s gonna save your artwork?

Actually, I’m getting kind of a modernist vibe with this one.

Oh, those are just doodles.

Jen.

I heard you knocked it out of the park with that Silky Cocoa pitch.

It’s a good thing I was out of town when they assigned that account.

Gave you a chance to show off.

Good thing.

Oh, by the way, I overheard Ellis on the phone earlier.

Sounds like Tyler’s going to be leaving before Christmas.

That means they’re going to have to hire a new creative director before the holidays.

Huh.

How’s your quota going anyway?

You’re, what, three, four accounts behind?

Five.

Well… good luck to us both, right?

Forget her. She is not half the creative genius that you are.

-Thanks. -Oh, and don’t forget.

You’re meeting Irene for drinks tonight.

Tonight? Can you see if--

You’ve already rescheduled four times.

I’ll be there at seven.

Thirty!

Ish!

[sighs]

[jazz piano]

Irene, I am so sorry I’m late.

I’m just glad that you made it.

I told Bill I was shocked that you didn’t reschedule.

And how are things going with him anyway?

Actually, really well.

Too well.

I keep waiting for something to be terribly wrong, like does he put ketchup on his spaghetti.

Maybe he has a secret reptile room in his apartment.

[chuckles] Oh, I’ve missed you.

I missed you. So stop working so much.

I can’t. I have this huge promotion coming up.

Creative director.

-Ooh. -But no matter how hard I work, I can’t seem to catch up to Karen.

Are you kidding? If I worked half as hard as you, I’d be the best realtor in San Francisco.

Well, the difference is you actually have a social life.

-Speaking of which… -Nope.

-Bill has this friend Tom. -Not gonna happen.

-Oh, he’s so cute. -You said that the last time.

How are you supposed to meet anyone when you’re working 24/7?

Well, the right guy will understand that my work and my success is important to me, and he will love me for that.

Mm, okay, well, when you meet this alien from an alternate reality, you’ll have to let me know.

-Deal. -All right.

Cheers to love though.

[trolley bell ringing]

-[phone ringing] -Oh.

Mom?

[drums beating]

Hi, honey! You’re on speaker. Dad’s here too.

Where are you? I thought you’d be off sailing.

We made a pit stop in Hawaii.

Ah, the life of a retiree.

Well, I’m glad you two finally have service.

It’s nice to hear your voices.

Which reminds me, we just got a bunch of messages from Aunt Helen’s lawyer.

Yeah. He’s been calling me nonstop too.

I think you should take the time to call him back.

I will, eventually.

You’ll never guess what Aunt Helen left me in her will.

An adopted elephant from a reservation in Kenya.

She doesn’t have to guess if you tell her.

She never was gonna guess about an elephant in Kenya.

You don’t know that.

That sounds like Aunt Helen.

He didn’t tell us what she left you, only said that it was confidential and time-sensitive, so I think you better call him back soon.

-Probably her spoon collection. -No, I got that.

I got those too. Spoons and elephants.

Fine. I’ll call him first thing tomorrow.

And, honey, honey, please, promise us you will take some time off for the holidays.

Don’t be like us and wait till you’re old to finally start relaxing and have some time for yourself.

I won’t, I won’t. I promise.

All right, gotta run, honey.

Got a scuba lesson in five.

Since when do you two scuba dive?

Started right after that whole snorkeling thing.

What snorkeling thing?

Bye! We love you! [kissing]

Love ya.

[laughs]

Bye, Mom. Bye, Dad.

Brian Anderson.

[phone ringing]

This is Brian.

Hi. This is Jen Taylor.

You’ve been trying to reach me about my Aunt Helen’s will?

Oh! So you do have a phone.

I have a demanding job.

I am sure you do.

So what did she leave me?

The ventriloquist dummy?

That depends, if it’s inside the inn.

What do you mean?

Let’s see here.

All right, here we go.

"I, Helen Taylor, do hereby bequeath to my niece Jennifer my beloved inn, located in Chestnut Hill, Alaska."

Wait, what did you just say?

So legally speaking, that would include any mannequins left inside, yeah.

Hello? You still there?

She left me the inn.

Yeah, so all you gotta do now is come up here to Chestnut Hill and claim the property.

Come to Chestnut Hill, Alaska?

Mm-hmm, although for tax purposes, I would try to get here before the end of the year.

It’s almost Christmas.

I can’t just up and leave my job right now.

Then maybe you should’ve answered my call the first time.

[sighs]

Alaska?

I’m supposed to claim the property by the end of the year.

Look, I know it’s close to the holidays, and I know we’ve got some board meetings coming up, but if you want, I could stall.

You know what?

Go.

Wait, what?

Jennifer, you have worked here for seven years.

How many vacation days have you taken?

-Two. -Besides that time you got your wisdom teeth taken out.

Um… Exactly.

Go take some time off. You’ve earned it.

Yeah, but I’m still working on the Wilkins account, and we’ve only just started on the Silky Cocoa.

Oh, don’t worry. I’ll pick up the slack.

After all, we’re just a few accounts off quota, aren’t we?

Look, I won’t be gone for long.

Long enough to sign the paperwork and start the sale process.

You know, just in case you might have any decisions to make.

Well, you think you might be back by Christmas?

Because after we choose the new creative director, we’re gonna need all hands on deck to rearrange our accounts.

All hands on deck. Absolutely.

Okay.

Okay, so don’t worry. I’ll start putting feelers out to my commercial property contacts, so just send me photos of the inn when you can.

I’ll do just that.

Okay. I promise we’re going to get this place off the market by Christmas.

You are the best.

-Bye. -Bye.

♪♪

♪ Hey, hey, Santa ♪

♪ It’s time to soar across the sky ♪

♪ All right ♪

♪ There’s a chill in the air putting cheer everywhere ♪

♪ It’s all right ♪

♪ Mm, yeah ♪

♪ People, get ready ♪

♪ Christmas is about to take flight ♪

♪ Ho ho ho ♪

♪ Let it snow ♪

♪ Ho ho ho ♪

Hi. Is this the pickup area?

It’s as good as any.

There’s not really a parking lot here.

Hey, you didn’t come in off the San Francisco flight, did you?

-Yes. -I don’t suppose there was an older woman on your plane, maybe in her late-sixties, face buried in her work, ignoring important phone calls?

Wait, are you Brian Anderson?

Are you Jen Taylor?

Wow. I-I-I’m so sorry. I just, uh… No, that’s okay. I usually have my face buried in my work.

No, I was just expecting someone older, like much, much older.

Helen is my great-aunt.

In my defense, you did ignore my phone calls.

In my defense, I didn’t know I was left an inn.

Well, how would you have known unless you answered your phone?

-Are you my ride? -Appears that way.

Then shall we?

Uh, Jen?

So if you were my aunt’s attorney, why does this truck say, "custom-made sleighs?"

Because I also build sleighs.

Oh. That clears that up.

Chestnut Hill is a small town.

People wear many hats.

Which hat did you go to school for?

And what is it that you do that’s so incredibly important that you can’t answer the phone?

Advertising.

Ah, so you lie for a living.

I don’t lie.

Isn’t that what ads are, making something look better than it actually is?

I think of it as showing someone what something could be, under the best circumstances.

Speaking of best circumstances, how come you never came up here to visit your aunt before?

Well, let me guess.

’Cause work’s more important than family.

That is not true.

Well, you’re not spending Christmas with them, are you?

You’re the one who told me how important it was to come up here.

Mm-hmm, and if I hadn’t, you’d be with them?

That’s what I thought.

Well, if you must know, my parents are traveling.

My dad recently retired and wanted to see the world.

Happy?

Listen, the sooner we get this taken care of, the sooner I can get back to San Francisco.

You mean, the sooner you can get back to work.

Look, just so you know, your aunt’s inn means a lot to this town.

I really hope you’re not gonna rush into anything and just sell it off to the highest bidder.


Well, here we are.

Wow. It’s actually really cute.

Of course. What were you expecting?

I don’t know. Maybe something a little more run-down?

I’ve been meaning to put up some Christmas decorations, but I just hadn’t been able to find the time.

But hey, now that you’re here, you can do it.

I told you, I don’t really--

No, your aunt always made sure the inn had the best decorations every year.

Well, I’m pretty sure the town will survive if I don’t hang up a few twinkle lights.

I don’t know.

No, no, no, I got it, I got it.

Oh, okay.

You don’t want me to help you get settled?

I think I can handle unlocking a door.

Oh, by the way, the paperwork for the transfer of the property.

Just come by tomorrow whenever you’re ready to sign.

My office is right around the corner.

Pleasure!


Oh.

[sighs]

Help me get settled?

How hard can it possibly be?

[whoosh]

There!

Piece of cake.

♪ You gotta shake it up, Santa ♪

♪ Ooh ♪

♪ You gotta shake it up, Santa ♪

♪ Oh, yeah ♪ How’d it go?

She is nothing like her aunt.

She’s rude and snarky and kinda mean.

Are you sure it wasn’t your…

"I’m super unwelcome to outsiders" vibe?

I don’t have a vibe like that.

She just got here.

You don’t know what she’s going to do.

[phone rings]

Molly’s.

A fire? Where?

Huh?

The inn?

Oh, no. Jen!

Jen!

Jen!

Jen?

Jen!

What happened?

I just made a fire, and all of the sudden, the room started filling up with smoke.

[coughing]

Did you open the damper?

What’s a damper?

[coughing]

If the damper’s closed, the smoke’s got nowhere to go.

The only fireplaces I ever used came with a switch.

Shocker.

You know, this is all your fault.

My fault?

You could’ve mentioned there was no heat.

You were so sure of yourself, I didn’t get around to telling you that I winterized the place.

Well, can you un-winterize it?

Preferably before I lose all sensation in my toes.

[coughing]

Here.

There’s a little cafe around the corner called Molly’s.

Why don’t you go there, you warm up, I’ll meet you there.

Thank you.

Switch.

Whew!

Oh! You poor thing. Are you all right?

I just forgot to open the damper.

Oh, you must be Jen, Helen’s niece.

-Great-niece. -Oh.

Well, I’m Molly, and this is my daughter Beth.

-Hi. -What happened?

The guy who dropped me off neglected to mention that there was no heat in the inn.

Well, I’ll have to have a talk with him.

Uh, let me get you some tea.

Thank you.

[Jen] Wait, are these Aunt Helen’s?

[Molly] Mm. She was such a great artist.

Yeah. She taught me how to sketch when I was young.

Really? Do you still draw?

Not unless you count coffee cups and napkins.

I still enjoy it. I just don’t have the time.

She’d probably be disappointed.

Oh, I doubt that.

She always spoke about you with such pride.

-Really? -Mm-hmm.

Were you two close?

When I was young.

But when I went to college, and I started my career, I didn’t keep up with her as much as I should’ve.

Well, I’m sure she understood.

Every afternoon, she and Eddie would sit in that corner.

She would sketch, and he would play cards.

Right.

You have the same smile, you know?

This is Aunt Helen’s recipe.

Mm-hmm. Slow-cooked apples with cranberries, just a dash of cinnamon.

I make it every Christmas season.

It’s perfect.

Oh, thank you.

Heat, electric, and water are all back on.

Thank goodness. Thank you so much.

This place is so lovely, and you two have been so welcoming.

We’re just happy that you finally made it to Chestnut Hill.

I just hope you stay awhile.

Don’t hold your breath. She’s just here to sell the inn.

Ain’t that right?

Please excuse my son’s rudeness.

I’m sorry, your son?

-Uh-huh. -Yeah, the one and only.

Huh!

But you both are so nice and sweet.

Well, if he gives you any trouble, you just let me know.

[Jen] Thank you so much for the tea.

You’re welcome.

Oh, stop by tomorrow!

Lovely girl.

Okay, Irene.

Wait until your buyers get their eyes on this place.

[click]

[sighs]


What a cutie.

Must be Eddie.


[Helen] I’ve spent my entire life traveling the world, and I have never seen a town so full of charm and wonder as Chestnut Hill.

I’m so glad I arrived during the best time of year, Christmas.

It is enchanting.

I also found a perfect little cafe called Molly’s.

A sweet woman with two young kids runs the place.

Would that be you, Brian?

Her husband works next door as the town lawyer, and it’s always full of the nicest people.

Today I met a man there, about my age, named Eddie.

I challenged him to a game of bridge.

He was very surprised when I whupped his butt.

For some reason, he thought he was good at the game, so we scheduled a rematch for tomorrow.

It’ll be nice to see him again.


Thank you, Beth.

How was your first night at the inn?

Um, you know, the beds are very comfortable, but the kitchen was empty.

Oh, you must be starving.

I’m actually headed to Brian’s office to drop off some paperwork.

Oh, sit. It’s on the house.

[laughs]

What would you recommend?

Turkey club’s the best thing on the menu!

David, this is Jen.

-Helen’s great-niece. -Hi.

-You must be the mailman. -Yes.

When he’s not sitting there most of the day.

I like to make my own hours.

I was gonna come see you in a bit.

I’ve got four months of your aunt’s mail.

Thank you.

Yeah, now, more importantly, food.

I will put my faith in David and try the turkey club.

Doug?

Doug, sweetheart, this is Jen, and she’d like a turkey club.

Hello.

A real family business, huh?

He’s just working here while he studies for his boards.

He’s gonna be a doctor.

-A dentist. -A tooth doctor.

Turkey club coming right up.

Molly, did I order five or six dozen cinnamon rolls for the kickoff party?

I can’t remember.

Six, just like last year and the year before that.

Thank goodness. I woke up in the middle of the night thinking I put in the wrong order.

How’s the festival planning going, Lana?

What’s the festival?

The Chestnut Hill Annual Christmas Festival.

It’s a week-long celebration, and it all starts tomorrow night at the big kickoff party.

We light up the whole town.

Sounds like a lot of work.

It is, but it’s also the most exciting time to be in Chestnut Hill.

Here.

Oh, wow.

You weren’t kidding.

Jen is Helen’s niece.

-Great-niece. -Fantastic.

Now that you’re here, you can decorate the inn.

Oh, no, I don’t really--

Your aunt decorated that entire inn, inside and out, every year.

She would be heartbroken if it was the only building on the street not lit up for the festival.

I wouldn’t know where to start.

Go from top to bottom.

Start with lights, end with the lawn ornaments.

No, I meant I’ve never really decorated for Christmas.

I haven’t celebrated that day in a long time.

Ooh, before I forget, do you think you could run the gingerbread booth tomorrow night?

Gingerbread booth?

That was always Helen’s thing, so you’ll be great.

I mean, how different can you and your aunt really be, right?

I can run the booth for you, Lana.

Don’t be ridiculous, David.

I need you at the photo booth, taking photos.

Lana, she just got here. Let the girl breathe.

No, no, I guess I can make some time to help out.

Perfect. Here is everything you need to know.

A map of the booths, cookie diagrams, oh, and a how-to on the frosting gun.

I will take care of all the supplies.

Just be there tomorrow, 6 p.m.

Gotta dash. Love you all!

Uh, David, you know that nothing’s going to happen unless you actually ask her on a proper date.

Yeah, I’m biding my time.

I’m waiting for the right moment.

You can’t rush love.

Brian?

Brian!

[distant whirring]

[whirring continues]

Brian?

Brian. Brian!

You found my workshop.

Yeah. Where are the elves?

I gave them the week off.

Something about a prior commitment.

Oh, so you weren’t lying. You really do build sleighs.

-Yeah, yeah. -Not too busy being a lawyer?

That’s the thing about Chestnut Hill.

Sometimes a job is just a job.

At least you have a choice.

You always have a choice.

And just how is the sleigh business anyway?

Yeah, well, you know, it depends.

It still count as a business if I haven’t made money on it yet?

[laughs]

Well, too bad because you’re actually really good.

Thank you.

I mean, come on.

No wonder you’re not making any money.

Look at these flyers.

We don’t exactly have a marketing firm here in Chestnut Hill, you know.

Clearly.

Oh, you know, I came by to drop this off.

I read it cover to cover, signed where I was supposed to.

Well, then… guess the inn is officially yours.

Congratulations.

Wow. I own an inn.

I never thought I’d say that.

So how long you think it’ll take to get ready?

To sell.

Oh, um, sell.

Right.

Well, hopefully only a few days.

You know, I actually just got roped into running something called a "gingerbread booth" at the festival kickoff tomorrow tonight.

You met Lana!

[laughs] Indeed.

Okay, well, you might actually have fun.

It’s kind of a big deal around here.

I’ve noticed.

Uh, well, you know, I… I gotta go.

I got lots to do.

Good luck with the giant sleigh.

-It’s for Santa. -Of course it is.

See you around.

Bye.

Hi!

Oh, good. Hey.

As promised, four months’ worth of mail.

Helen always got more Christmas cards than anyone in town.

I didn’t have the heart to send them back after, uh, you know.

This place really meant a lot to people, huh?

This place? This inn’s one of the best things that ever happened to Chestnut Hill.

It gave a lot of people a lot of joy.

I’ll put this somewhere safe.

Great. Oh, you gonna come to the big kickoff party tomorrow?

I’ll be there with bells on.

Not literally.

[laughs] I’ll see you there.

-Okay. -Okay.

-Bye. -Bye-bye.


[Helen] Eddie took me to the Chestnut Hill Christmas Festival kickoff party last night.

Apparently the town throws a big Christmas festival every year.

I’ve heard Santa himself shows up Christmas Eve.

I’ve never had so much fun.

The best part of the party was the big lighting of downtown.

Okay, I lied. The best part of the party was when Eddie held up some mistletoe and stole a kiss.

[phone ringing]

Hello?

Hey, how’s the wilderness?

Actually, it’s not that bad.

Did you get the photos I sent?

I did.

But the commercial property guys who I showed it to said that you’re gonna need better ones.

Huh. What was wrong with them?

Well, it’s just the inn’s a little dated.

Mm. You should see the town.

Why don’t you stage it? Deck it out for Christmas.

You of all people should know how well Christmas sells.

Christmas, Christmas, Christmas.

And, you know, maybe hire a professional photographer while you’re at it?

-Done. -Don’t worry.

We’ll have this place off your hands faster than… it takes Santa to slide down the chimney.

Okay, you’re trying way too hard.

I know.

-Bye. -Bye.

[doorbell rings]

Oh.

Good morning, Alaska.

[doorbell rings]

[ringing continues]

I’m coming, I’m coming!

[Jen] Hi, can I help you?

Just checking in.

-Checking in? -Can we speak to Helen?

She usually handles our reservation.

Oh! Oh, I am so sorry.

Helen, she passed away four months ago.

Oh, that’s terrible. We had no idea.

We’ve been coming here every Christmas since the inn opened.

Oh. well, I’m Jen, Helen’s great-niece.

Ruth! Henry!

-Oh, Brian! -Hello!

[Brian] Hi.

We had no idea about Helen.

I’m so sorry no one told you.

Helen didn’t really keep much in the way of records.

Sounds like Helen.

I guess we’ll have to figure something else out.

I sure hope we don’t miss the kickoff party tonight.

We love when they light up the town.

You sure you’re not running the place?

Jen run the place?

She wouldn’t know how to do that.

She’s an advertising executive from San Francisco.

She’s just here to sell the place.

Isn’t that right, Jen?

You know what?

I have plenty of room.

Of course you guys can stay.

Are you sure?

Yeah, yeah! Come on in.

-Here, let me help you. -Oh, thank you.

-Do you have any rooms ready? -Shh!

We usually stay in the Polar Bear Room.

Best view of Main Street.

-Mm-hmm. -Polar Bear Room it is.

I hope it’s not too much work for you to set up.

Oh, not at all. Besides, Brian’s here.

He can help me get the room ready.

In fact, he would love to help you with those bags, while I get ready, isn’t that right?

You know, I’m actually supposed to be setting up the booths for the kickoff party tonight.

Then you probably should be making up this bed a bit faster.

Yeah, yeah.

Does this mean the inn is officially back open?

Well, I couldn’t leave them without a place to stay.

What?

[laughing]

Okay, I gotta get ready for the big kickoff tonight.

I will see you guys later.

-Bye-bye. -All right.

We better go freshen up for the party.

Thank you so much, dear.

-Thank you so much. -Yeah.

What have I gotten myself into?

♪♪

♪ Go, Santa, go ♪

-Merry Christmas. -Merry Christmas.

♪ Go, Santa, go ♪

♪ Go, Santa, go ♪

♪ Go, Santa, go ♪

♪ Come on, Santa ♪

♪ Let’s see you rock and roll ♪ You’re gonna smile, okay?

Wow. A lot of people in the town really seem to go all out.

Right? Look at our tree.

It’s a big tree there.

-Come on, come on! -Okay.

Okay, I have no idea what I’m doing.

How do you even make a gingerbread man?

It’s easy. Here’s all the gingerbread, here’s all the frosting, and here’s all the candy to decorate with.

You just have to make sure everything goes smoothly.

You’ll get the hang of it. It’s not that hard.

No, no, wait, wait! I…

["Deck the Halls"]

[continues]

Okay, here’s the gingerbread, and there’s one right there.

Oh, yeah, and then just go ahead and just, yeah, yeah.

And this is the… Oh, okay, yeah.

Uh, miss, can you help me?

Yeah, sure.

Oh, wow! Look at your gingerbread man.

He looks amazing.

It’s a gingerbread girl.

Oh, of course it is.

[chuckles] All right.

-Oh. -Got that?

Yeah, it’s tight. [grunts]

-Want me to give it a go? -No, I got it.

All right, fine.

Wow. [grunts]

It’s all right.

I guess I can make her dress a different color.

No, no, no, absolutely not.

Almost… Almost got it.

[grunts] Ohh!

-[Jen laughs] -No.

Oh, looks like pink just may be your color.

[laughter]

Hey, at least I got it open.

Oh!

Oh, okay.

[laughter]

Oh!

[Lana] Not bad.

Come on. It’s time for the main event.

Gather round, folks, we are about to light the town.

Welcome, everyone, to the official Chestnut Hill Christmas Festival Kickoff Party!

Really got into the spirit this year, huh?

Shut up.

This festival has been a tradition in our town for over a hundred years, and I am honored and a bit overwhelmed to be this year’s chair.

The festival started as a way for us to really appreciate Christmas, not just for one day, but for an entire week.

It’s important for us to slow down and to be grateful for all that we have.

One woman who embodied everything this festival stands for and everything Christmas represents was Helen Taylor.

We will all miss her dearly.

But it is an honor to have her niece, Jen Taylor, join us all the way from San Francisco.

Great-niece.

Jen, would you do the honors of officially kicking off the 115th Chestnut Hill Christmas Festival?

-Oh, my… -Yes!

Are you sure?

Yes! Get up here!

Everyone…

10, 9, 8…

7, 6, 5, 4…

3, 2, 1.

[cheering]


Well, what do you think?

I think he’s cute.

[laughs]

The festival.

Um… It was nice. How did I do?

Uh, not bad.

-Considering. -Considering what?

Considering you don’t like Christmas.

Oh, I never said I don’t like--

Christmas is practically a career for me.

I can tell when someone doesn’t have the spirit.

It’s just never really been a big thing for me, that’s all.

Well, you made an effort, and I thank you.

You’re welcome.

[phone chimes]

Christmas pics.

I saw you working the photo booth last night.

Everyone around here wears a lot of hats.

So let’s say I decided to decorate the inn for Christmas.

-That’s great! -Huh?

Lana was afraid that you weren’t gonna participate.

The open house.

-Open house. -Yeah.

Right.

So anyways, assuming I decorate for the open house, I was wondering if you can take professional photos of it?

I’d love to, yeah.

Thanks.

So what’s the story with you and Lana anyway?

Lana? She’s my friend.

I saw the way you looked at her last night.

What are you waiting for?

Well, look, I know she just got out of a relationship, and I just wanted to give her some time before she jumps into something new.

That was five years ago.

I drop hints.

Hey, Molly, have you seen Brian?

I was hoping he would know where my aunt kept her decorations.

He’s at the candy cane toss.

Ah. Of course he is.

Hey, Jen, there are still a few slots left.

Oh, I have no idea what a candy cane toss is.

It’s easy. All you have to do is throw those hoops over the giant candy canes.

Whoever has the best score at the end wins the grand prize.

I don’t want to brag, but I have won ten years in a row.

I was captain of the badminton team in high school.

I don’t think those skills apply.

I think you’re just nervous I might win.

-You wanna make it interesting? -Like a bet?

If I win, you have to help me paint Santa’s sleigh.

And if I win?

Your pick.

You have to help me decorate the inn for open house night.

Deal.

Deal.

Oh! You almost got it.

So the candy canes in the back are worth more, but they’re harder to hit.

Everyone gets three rounds of three hoops.

The person at the end of the game with the most points wins.

Usually me.

Not this year.

Good luck.

♪ Tick tock tick It’s coming up quick ♪

♪ Yeah, Santa Claus is on his way ♪

♪ Pulling lots of toys for the girls and boys ♪ Ah, beginner’s luck.

Ah, someone’s worried.

♪ Ooh, ooh, whee ♪

♪ Christmas is coming fast ♪

-♪ Ooh, ooh, whee ♪ -Yeah!

♪ Christmas is coming fast ♪

♪ Now deck the halls with lights and all ♪

♪ This Christmas is gonna be bright ♪

[cheering]

♪ We’ll get this holiday right ♪

♪ Ooh, ooh, whee ♪

♪ Christmas is coming fast ♪

♪ Ooh, ooh, whee ♪

[Brian] What do you know about that?

♪ Christmas is coming fast ♪ Wow!

[yells]

So this is Jen’s last hoop.

She makes this, we tie.

Go, Jen.

[Beth] What? You’ve won enough times already.

[laughing]

For the first time in festival history, we have a tie.

Brian Anderson and Jen Taylor.

A job very well done.

Well, that was impressive.

So who wins the bet? Or is it off?

Oh, no. You are helping me paint that sleigh.

Good. You’re helping me decorate.

Fine.

Fine.

No!

A pipe must have burst.

I needed those decorations.

Maybe there’s something we can salvage.

I have a better idea.

All right, so a while back, I did a campaign for a company called Balsam Hill.

It’s an online store that sells all kinds of Christmas decorations, from garlands to wreaths to lights to ornaments to trees.

-Fake trees? -No, no, no.

I’ve seen them, and they are gorgeous.

You’ll keep forgetting it’s not real.

They will have everything we need to make the open house really special.

All right. Don’t worry, Irene.

You will have the best Christmas photos ever.

[phone chimes]

Yeah, yeah.

[phone chimes]

Great.

Well, why not just use last year’s sleigh?

Let’s just say last year Lana thought it’d be a good idea to use real reindeer to pull the sleigh.

The reindeer, they were fine.

They went their own way, uh, the sleigh went another.

[laughter]

Hey, hold on, hold on.

You gotta slow down. You’re rushing.

-Okay. -Relax.

Yeah, there you go. Back and forth.

Nice and easy.

Back and forth.

Yeah, see? That’s not so bad, is it?

No, no, it’s not.

You got it.

Hope he’s not working you too hard.

Oh, no, no, not at all.

I’m gonna grab some more of that paint.

I brought you these for the inn’s open house.

Thank you so much. Now all I need are decorations.

So how do you like Chestnut Hill so far?

Would you believe I haven’t had this much fun in a long time?

Actually I can.

[horn honks]

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

♪♪

♪ When the lights have all been hung ♪

♪ And you hear the carols sung ♪

♪ There’s a smile on everyone ♪

♪ Christmas is almost here ♪

♪ When there’s magic in the air ♪

♪ And there’s joy and love to spare ♪

♪ For everyone from everywhere ♪

♪ Christmas is almost here ♪

♪ So Merry Christmas ♪

♪ Around the world ♪

♪ Merry Christmas ♪

♪ All around ♪

♪ The world ♪ Come on!

♪ Well, the lights have all been hung ♪

♪ And you hear the carols sung ♪

♪ There’s a smile on everyone ♪

♪ Christmas is almost here ♪

♪ Merry Christmas ♪ What do you think? Is that crooked?

Uh, maybe to the left?

To the right.

Perfect.

[laughs]

You know, I think you’ve got more Christmas spirit than you let on.

-You think so? -Mm-hmm.

I hope whoever buys this place keeps it just the way it is.

Your aunt opened it when I was little.

It’s practically a Chestnut Hill landmark.

Do you think she would’ve tried to find someone to take it over?

Maybe she was hoping you would.

I gotta ask. What’s up with you and Christmas anyway?

There is nothing between me and Christmas.

I’m just busy.

Mm-hmm.

Look, when I was growing up, my parents and I celebrated like everyone else.

But when I got a job, and I moved into the city, since it was just me, there was no point.

Mm. So it was a reminder that you’re alone.

No, no, not at all.

It’s just…

[sighs]

It’s a lot when… When you’re alone?

So what’s your story, Mr. Lawyer-slash-sleigh maker?

-[laughs] -What’s to tell?

My dad had a small practice here, and then I took it over.

You never thought about leaving?

I belong here.

Question is… where do you belong?

So… We gotta get ready.

The open house.

Hi! Merry Christmas! Good to see you.

Hi! Merry Christmas!

Hi! Welcome, welcome!

Hot, hot, hot chocolate.

Awesome.

[click]

Oh, hey.

Nice. Please hold.

Look here. Okay.

That’s great.

-Hey, Lana. -Did you get one of us?

Oh, that’s great!

Gentlemen.

Um, I can’t believe how great this place looks.

You know, Jen, it’s better than ever.

Helen would be so happy.

Well, I just really wanted to do this place justice.

Judging by Lana’s reaction, I’d say you succeeded.

Well, go talk to her.

I’m on the clock.

[clears throat]

Would the lady care for some refreshment?

Ah! Wow. This looks great. What kind of mix is this?

It’s not a mix.

That’s real melted chocolate.

I could get used to this.

And the craziest part is, it’s not even that hard to make.

Thank you so much for tonight.

And tell your mom thank you too.

I mean, these cinnamon rolls are a big hit.

I’m just glad to see everyone admiring your work.

Our work.

Thank you for coming.

All right, here are your photos as promised.

-Thank you so much. -Oh, you’re welcome.

So what do you need ’em for anyway?

Your family?

Family, right.

Okay, good.

Well, good night, Jen. Thanks for asking me.

-No problem. -Yeah.

It was a lot of fun.

Bye. Thank you.

[record player]

♪ I wanna wish you Merry Christmas ♪

♪ From the top of every mountain ♪

♪ From the middle of the ocean ♪

♪ And the bottom of my heart ♪

♪ You and I can take a sleigh ride ♪

♪ Bundle up and feel the snow ♪


[Helen] Yesterday I was supposed to get on a flight and continue with my travels.

I was all packed and ready to leave, and Eddie came and said goodbye.

When I got to the airport, I realized for the first time in a long time I didn’t want to choose a new adventure.

I wanted to continue the one I had already started.

The look on Eddie’s face when I walked back into that cafe, that was… that was everything.

I knew I had made the right choice.

I didn’t want to leave Chestnut Hill.

[phone ringing]

Hey! Hey, honey!

Hi, sweetheart!

Hi, guys. So are you getting ready to sail out?

Well, we just wanted to see how Alaska’s treating you.

Actually, I’m having a great time.

Aunt Helen, she really put a lot into the inn, and I’m sorry we never visited her while she was still here.

There never was a right time.

No. I should have made more time.

I know the feeling.

Do you think selling the inn is the right thing to do?

I honestly don’t know, honey.

Wh-What, are you having second thoughts?

No, no. I don’t know.

It’s not like I can run the inn from San Francisco.

I just wish I knew the right thing to do.

Well, maybe there is no right thing to do.

Maybe the thing is to figure out what you want the most.

[thump]

What was that?

What was what?

[thump]

-[thump] -Mom, I gotta go.

There’s some crazy man throwing snowballs at my window.

Wait, wait!

I’ll call you later. I love you. Bye.

You do know I have a phone and a doorbell.

Yeah, but where’s the fun in that?

What are you doing here?

I want to show you something. Are you free?

-Now? -Yeah, now.

Okay, sure, I’ll be down.

Okay. Dress warm.


Wow.

This is incredible.

I’ve seen it in the movies, I’ve read about it in books, but in person, it’s otherworldly.

Yeah.

Definitely can’t get this in San Francisco.

How are those colors even possible?

The Inuit believed those colors are the spirits of those who lived the most worthy and full lives.

Those who loved with all their hearts and lived with… endless passion.

When they get to heaven, they become torches of light… meant to guide every one of us left behind, reminding us to live our best lives.

What about you? Have you lived the fullest, most passionate life?

I’m getting there.

What about you?

Well, it depends.

If it means working really hard and gaining a successful career, then yeah.

But what if success isn’t about your career?

What if it’s about finding happiness in the little things?

Stopping to smell the roses or stopping to… stare up at the sky.

Then I guess I’m still getting there too.

Thank you.

For everything.


[phone ringing]

Hello?

-Ms. Taylor. -Hi, yes, this is she.

Hi there. Russell Nixon, CEO of Nixon Hotels.

I’m sorry to be calling so late, but I was really excited to talk to you.

I was given your information through a mutual contact in regards to the property that you’re selling in Chestnut Hill, Alaska.

Wow. Irene’s fast.

Yes, I am selling my Aunt Helen’s inn.

That’s what I hear. That’s great.

I wanna let you know that I actually own a handful of hotels in Alaska, and I’ve had my eye on your inn for quite some time.

I would love to make an offer, and I would be willing to pay cash.

You still there?

Um… Yes. It’s just all happening so fast.

I understand completely. Tell you what.

How about I tell you a little bit about our company and my visions for the inn?

Of course.

It’s just, actually, now is not a good time.

No worries. No worries at all.

Tell you what. I’ll call you again tomorrow, okay?

Perfect. Thank you.

[Brian whistling]

Well, you’re in an awfully good mood.

This wouldn’t have anything to do with Helen’s great-niece, would it?

Can’t I just be excited for the town gift exchange tonight?

I have never seen you act this way for the festival before.

I’m with Mom. I think it’s because of her.

-Who are we talking about? -Jen.

Oh, right. Yeah, Brian’s totally in love.

I am not in love.

Okay, fine. It’s been nice having her around.

And it turns out she’s actually really fun and smart and amazing and beautiful.

Brian, why don’t you tell her how you feel?

Why? What’s the point? She’s never gonna stay.

She’s a big-city girl with big-city dreams.

You know, there once was a time I thought I’d never leave Miami.

-Are you sorry you did? -Not at all.

’Cause this town has the most important thing in the world.

Yeah, yeah.

But you guys dated for years before Doug finally came around.

That’s different.

I’ve known her for, what, a little over a week?

Brian, I love you, but you can be stubbornly closed-minded sometimes.

Tell her how you feel. You never know.

People can surprise you.

I have to get to work.

I love you all. You’re all crazy.

Thanks for the coffee, Mom.

Then maybe you need to be a little crazy too.

Yeah.

I wish your brother would give himself permission to be happy.

Oh, he’ll come around.

Have you seen the way he looks at her?

Have you seen the way that she looks at him?

[phone ringing]

Ellis, hi.

I um… I hope you’re getting a little R&R up there in Alaska.

-Actually, I am. -That’s good to hear.

Um, I was wondering if you still plan on being back by Christmas.

Um… you know, I don’t know.

Jen, the board and I would like to offer you the position of creative director.

Wait.

-Really? -Yes.

We have done a thorough review of your work, and you’ve really outdone yourself on every campaign.

Well, what about Karen?

What about Karen?

She’s a great executive, but, Jen… you’ve got heart.

I do?

I-I don’t know what to say.

Say yes.

Yes, of course, of course. Thank you.

Great. We’ll make the announcement at the Christmas party tomorrow.

-Tomorrow? -Yes!

You can do that, can’t you? After all, you are the new creative director of the company.

Yeah, I’ll tell Diane to book a flight right away.

Wonderful.

And, Jen, congratulations.

You’ve earned this.

I’ll see you tomorrow?

See you then.

Don’t forget to pick up a number as soon as you set your gift down.

-Hi. -Hi.

Um, I have a gift.

Oh, just put it under the tree with the rest.

No, it’s, uh, it’s for you.

-For me? -Uh-huh.

Here. Open it.

A menu?

It’s what I want to cook if you’ll have dinner with me.

I’d love to.

You would?

I’ve been waiting for you to ask.

How about Christmas dinner?

That sounds like a plan.

Sounds like a date.

Hey! Stay behind the designated cones!

Yeah!

How great is this?

I think it’s safe to say that I’ve never seen a Christmas tree with that many presents under it.

You actually brought a gift, huh?

I did, and it’s not for the exchange.

It’s for you.

For me?

Open it.

Jen, this is… This is good.

Thank you.

No, this is like really, really good.

Like, "Why aren’t you doing more of these all the time" good.

I’ve always wanted to be an artist, but when I got older, it just felt less practical.

I went into advertising because I thought it was a way I could make money with art.

But I really do miss drawing just for the fun of it.

Thank you.

[sighs]

Brian, there’s something I need to tell you.

Yeah, anything.

Jen, I’ve been wanting to find out where you got that garland you had at the inn.

It would look great for the Valentine’s Day festival.

Balsam Hill. It’s an online store.

Guess I’ll have to plug in my dial-up.

Excuse me. I gotta call the next number.

Sorry. Um, you wanted to tell me something?

-Yeah. Can we take a walk? -Sure.

So what’s up?

I wanted to thank you.

You have done so much for me, and I don’t think I could ever thank you properly.

Oh, it’s been my pleasure.

But… I have to go back tonight.

What do you mean?

Well, I got offered a promotion.

A promotion?

Yeah.

Brian, this… all of this has been so wonderful, but I have to get back to work.

And this promotion is a huge step for me, and it’s something I’ve worked towards.

Just like that? What about the inn?

Well, there is this hotel company that’s interested in acquiring it.

So you are selling it.

Look, I know everybody wants me to stay and run the place, but it’s not me.

Just like you said you knew you belonged here, I belong there.

Well, congratulations.

You got what you wanted. I’m happy for you.

I wanted to tell you first.

What time’s your flight? I’ll take you to the airport.

Brian, you don’t have to do that.

It’s late. I’ll call a cab.

Just when I thought you were starting to get this town.

There aren’t any taxis here, are there?

Not so much.


[Helen] We did it. Eddie and I just finished converting the old house into an inn.

Our grand opening is tomorrow.

Everybody in town has been so supportive and helpful.

I’m so glad that now people from all over can come and experience the magic of Chestnut Hill.

Thank you.

Thanks.

Oh, I’m so glad we got a chance to meet.

Oh, thank you so much for everything.

Of course, of course.

Kick butt at your job.

I will.

If you ever need a dentist…

-[laughs] -Have a great trip.

Bye. Thank you.

[Molly] Safe travels.

[engine starts]


Well… Where we first met.

Where you first insulted me.

I was an idiot.

Good luck.

With everything.

You too.

Do you think if things were different, if we lived in the same place that this, that you and I, we could’ve, could’ve been something?

I do.

I thought asking that was gonna make me feel better.

It didn’t.

Bye, Brian.

Bye.

Bye.

[door closes]

-[trolley car bell rings] -[Diane] Jen!

It was so weird not having you here.

It’s… great to be back.

Mm-hmm. Uh-oh. Don’t look.

You looked.

I’m sorry.

You said don’t look, so I wanted to see.

-She’s coming, isn’t she? -Mm-hmm.

Jen!

Karen!

How was Alaska?

It was… great.

I just want to say congratulations.

You know, on the big promotion.

You heard?

You deserve it.

I do?

I mean, I am transferring over to Parker-McKenzie.

Otherwise, the position would’ve totally been mine.

Uh-huh.

[phone ringing]

Jennifer Taylor’s office.

Can you hold for a moment?

Russell Nixon on the line for you.

I’ll take it in my office.

This is Jen.

Ah, Ms. Taylor. Russell Nixon.

Yes, I am so sorry.

I meant to return your call earlier.

No, I completely understand. Look, it’s the holidays.

Things get a bit crazy.

But, I was hoping we could talk more about my offer.

Yes. Actually, I am back in San Francisco.

Oh, great.

Then we can chat in person then.

How does this evening work so that we can talk about the sale?

Perhaps someplace close to your office.

Well, this afternoon is the office Christmas party, and I have to leave early, but there is this restaurant next to my apartment building that’ll work.

Name the spot.

Here, eat something.

Mopey's not a good look on you.

[sighs]

What was I supposed to do, Mom?

Say, "Hey, I think I’m completely in love with you, even though we’ve only known each other a week.

Please leave your life behind and move to Alaska to be with me"?

Well, maybe not in those words.

But look at Beth and Doug.

It’s not the most far-fetched idea.

That’s different.

[sighs]

You know, when I took this place over from your grandparents, I had this great job offer in New York.

-You never told me that. -Yeah.

But I’d started dating your dad, and, well, you know how he was.

Hometown boy through and through.

-That’s Dad. -Yeah.

But you know what he did?

He made a list of all the law firms that he could apply to in New York.

And that’s when I realized what he was willing to sacrifice to be with me.

And it was right then that I knew I wanted to stay here and marry him.

Jen gave me this to give to David, to have the inn’s mail forwarded.

Show her you’re willing to make a sacrifice.

Thank you, Mom.

I love you.

I love you too.

[Ellis] Now, we’ve got the Anderson account quarter three.

See if Peter can give you the numbers from last year.

He may even have some other ideas.

That sound good with you, Jen?

Great. Totally on board.

Okay.

Let me get you that file.

You’ll have these numbers ready for me by tomorrow morning.

One of my clients sent us all fresh-baked gingerbread cookies.

-You want one? -Ooh! Pink one.

They call this a gingerbread man?

Least they could’ve done was put some buttons on him, maybe a hat.

[phone chimes]

Oh, uh, I’ve gotta go.

I have a meeting.

-A meeting? -Yeah, I’ll call you later.

You will be at the party this afternoon for the big announcement?

Big announcement, right.

As you can see, we have these resorts all over Alaska and parts of Canada.

People just love the stunning landscape of those majestic mountains, so we provide a luxury experience, while still appreciating the nature around them.

-Wow. These buildings are huge. -Yes.

We’re acquiring some empty adjacent lots as well.

I thought you wanted to take over the inn, not build a hotel.

Some of the original structure of the inn will remain intact, but we will need to tear down some of it in order for us to reach the property’s full potential.

Full potential?

We’re building a destination here.

Think about it.

Vail. Aspen.

Chestnut Hill.

We’re catering to an exclusive clientele.

We’re gonna offer concierge service, first-class spa, fine dining.

Okay, well, what about the mom-and-pop restaurants, like Molly’s, the town’s cafe?

Won’t that put them out of business?

People can still get their grilled cheese and tomato soup.

They’ll just have to go somewhere else.

Well, their turkey club is pretty good.

We’re gonna make Chestnut Hill special.

It’s already special.

Thank you. Thanks.


Okay, I can assure you that you’re not gonna get a higher offer from anyone else.

But it’s not about the money.

It’s about the town.

People in the town.

The inn, my inn, it’s not just about the profit.

It never was.

It’s about a place where people go to and slow down, to finally enjoy what life has to offer.

I couldn’t agree with you more, which is exactly why we want to put the resort in.

Okay, but these tall buildings that block a mountain view?

An entertainment center?

That’s not why people come to Chestnut Hill.

They come for something unique.

Listen, Ms. Taylor, I think--

No, you listen, Mr. Nixon.

Jen?

Brian?

What--How--

I’m so sorry I didn’t call.

I didn’t know that you were gonna be on a date.

I just… I had to come see you.

There’s something I have to say to you.

Buddy, this isn’t a date. This is a business meeting.

A business meeting that just ended.

The inn is no longer for sale.

Great.

Wait, are you really not selling the inn?

Yes. Wait, wait. What did you come to tell me?

I still can’t believe you’re here.

I came to tell you that… I’m falling for you.

I’ve been falling ever since you first stepped off the plane.

And I know that this is fast, and it’s sudden, and it’s crazy, but I think that if you feel at all the same way, we should see where this goes.

I’m sure they’re always looking for more attorneys here, and I bet I could really get a leg up on the sleigh-making market here too.

I have never felt this way before.

I don’t wanna lose you.

I know how much your career means to you and how hard you’ve worked, and I would never ask you to give that up.

You know what?

I am done with selling the idea of living.

I’m actually ready to live it.

I want to go back to Chestnut Hill.

What?

Yes, yes!

I can run the inn, you know, just like Helen did.

Maybe start a small marketing firm for the Chestnut Hill businesses.

You know, since everyone there wears many hats.

And you know, if we caught the next flight out, we can get back in town just in time to see Santa arrive.

There’s just one thing I need to do first.

[jazz piano]

Oh, Jen, there you are!

We’re about to announce your promotion.

You mean Karen’s promotion.

-I told you that-- -You don’t need to transfer.

-Stay here. -But--

I’ve given everything to this job.

Literally everything.

My entire adult life has been about succeeding here, creating ad campaigns to get people to think that their lives would get better just buying something.

I thought that that’s what I wanted, until I got a taste of what actually makes life better.

I found out that it’s about appreciating the people in your life, spending time with people who make you laugh, and experiencing the little things that remind us every day is a gift.

Someone asked me once where I belong.

I belong there.

Ms. Ellis, you are an incredible boss, but I quit.

Now if you’ll excuse me, we have a plane to catch.

[Ellis] Merry Christmas, Jen, and good luck.

Come on.

[sleigh bells ringing]

Merry Christmas.

Mom, look who’s here.

[gasps]

-Oh, this is amazing. -Aww.

-Ohh! -[Jen laughs]

I thought you went home.

This is my home.

-Merry Christmas. -Merry Christmas!

The sleigh came together well, didn’t it?

I did have some help.

Hopefully it’ll do better than the last one.

Mom? Dad?

What are you doing here?

Sweetie.

-Hey. -How are you, sir?

-This is Brian. -Nice to meet you.

Well, we were headed off to Kenya.

Yeah, to see the elephant that Aunt Helen left me.

But then we started talking about you and Aunt Helen.

Yeah, and we heard so much about this town, we thought why not come see it for ourselves.

It’s even more beautiful than Aunt Helen said.

So who did the decorating?

Actually, she did.

Wait. You did all of this?

-I had help. -But it was all her idea.

Well, you’re lucky

’cause we’re planning on sticking around a little bit.

Oh, good… because so am I.

Really?

Yeah. Like someone said:

You should never wait until you’re too old to relax and have some time to yourself.

Plus I’m really beginning to see what Aunt Helen saw in this place.

Oh, well, we’re proud of you, sweetheart.

So how about it? You got a vacancy?

Well, the Polar Bear Room is occupied, but you might enjoy the Moose Suite.

Wait, we have a Moose Suite?

Sounds like Aunt Helen, all right.

Moose Suite, okay.

Aren’t you forgetting something?

Oh.

Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas.

♪♪

♪♪

♪ Ooh ♪

♪ Yeah, yeah ♪

♪ It’s the time of the year ♪

♪ When the church bells ring ♪

♪ Magic snowmen appear ♪

♪ And the children sing ♪

♪ While Santa’s filling his shiny red sleigh ♪

♪ We hang mistletoe ♪

♪ We count the minutes We count the days ♪

♪ By the fire’s glow ♪

♪ When the world’s a winter wonderland ♪

♪ I wish you Merry Christmas ♪

♪ It’s a winter wonderland ♪

♪ So Merry Christmas, baby ♪