Two Turtle Doves (2019) - full transcript

Dr. Sharon Hayes (DeLoach) searches for a beloved family heirloom in a small Christmas town. When she unexpectedly discovers an adorable little girl and her disheartened father (Rady), she realizes that Christmas miracles really do happen.

by VaVooM

Hi, this is Lucy,
leave a message.

Hi, sorry I missed you again.

So I have one quick meeting
with my mentor

and then I'm on my way to you,
I will meet you in town square,

and then we're gonna wrap
that tree in so much tinsel,

they're gonna be able to see it
from outer space.

I love you, call me back.

Come in.

Merry Christmas.

Sharon, congratulations.

How do you feel?

I am still in absolute shock.

I mean, the MacAdam's Fellowship,

it's just one of those things
that you joke about winning,

but I never actually expected
to be nominated.

Well, I can't think of anybody
more deserving.



I know I'm not supposed to ask,
but did you nominate me?

Sharon Harper.

You know as well as I do
that nominations

are to remain anonymous.

But on a completely unrelated
note, Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas.

Look, they already know that
you're a brilliant neuroscientist.

If you wanna stand out,
you're gonna have to focus

on the future, not the past.

Tell them how you'd like
to change the world.

Don't overthink it.

Do you have
any fun holiday plans?

I do.


I'm going home now to celebrate

with my cousin Lucy
and her husband.

Is this the first time
you're going home since...

The funeral, yeah.

I've gotten quite a few messages

from my grandmother's
estate attorney

about my part of the will,
and so I have to handle that.

But it's gonna be great.

My grandmother loved Christmas,

so it's the perfect way
to celebrate her.

That sounds great.

Is your town the kinda town that
likes to go all out for Christmas?

There she is.

I'm here.

Where are you?

Sorry, I went home.

My feet were killing me.

Can you scoop me
up here instead?

Of course, I will come to you.

You okay, Share Bear?

Yeah, it's, you know,
it's strange being back.

When I was here in January...

It was not exactly the most
wonderful time of the year.


I'm actually having
a real hard time

getting in the spirit this year
without her.

I can't even imagine how much
harder it must be for you.

Oh stop, she was
your grandmother too.

Gramma Vera was the world's
best grandmother to me.

But she raised you.

Yes, yes, and she also taught us

that no matter
how hard things get,

that Christmas is
an all-out joyfest,

and we are not gonna let
our Christmas blues

get in the way
of celebrating her,

we are going to do
this thing right.

Which way are you facing?

Towards the Christmas shop.

Okay, turn.




You are a genius.

I am getting us
a dozen snickerdoodles.

Actually, could you get me

salted chocolate chip cookies
and a jar of mayo?



See ya soon.


Andrea, hi!

It's so good to see you.

It's so good to see you!

I was hoping that you could swing
by the counseling center.

We renamed it after gramma Vera.
Naturally, since she was its founder.

I did not hear that.
That is so wonderful.

Sharon Harper, is that you?

Hi miss Pat.
How are you?

I'm headed to Holly and Ivy.

- Me too.
- Okay.

Good morning.

I read about your latest
study in psychology now.

It looked like it got excellent
peer reviews.

Thank you so much
for reading it.

Yeah, I'm pretty excited
about it.

Coffee black
and a plain croissant.

Now, I heard a rumor
that you are nominated

for some big fancy award?

The MacAdam's Fellowship, yeah,
it's a creative award.

But I thought
you were a scientist.

Well, science is very creative.

I am so excited for you.





How did you know?


Nick, Nick, get out here.

Coming, coming, coming.

It's little Sharon
snickerdoodle Harper.

Hey, where's Lucy?

Well, that's
actually why I'm here.

She would like a dozen of the
salted chocolate chip cookies,

specific craving request.

I'm on it.

Thank you.

Vera did say that
you weren't married,

and I think my David would be
a wonderful option for you.



My Wyatt is handsome
and a firefighter.

- Sharon.
- Yes.

Sharon Harper.


Sam Taylor,
your grandmother's estate attorney.

Oh yeah, of course,
it's nice to meet you.

- Likewise.
- Yeah.

Pardon me, do you have
a quick second to chat?


- Yep.
- Thank you.

These are on the house.

Thank you guys,
I will be seeing you soon.

Merry Christmas.

Thank you so much.

Trust me, I've been there.

They mean well,
but it can be a lot.

Have we met?

I am your grandmother's
estate attorney,

that was not just great improv.

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

I'm also her next-door neighbor.


Yeah, Sam Sam, see,
I knew you looked familiar.

I've heard so much about you.

- Really?
- Yeah.

I've heard a lot about you too.

It's nice to officially meet you
outside of a few neighborly waves.

Yeah, well, work has been so busy
that Christmas has been

more of a fly in,
fly out extravaganza

for the last, well,
how long have you been here?

- Six years.
- Six years?

It's so weird we never met.

It's always busy at the holidays,
probably just bad timing.

So if you have a little bit
of time tomorrow,

maybe we could go through
the last part

of your grandmother's will.

do you have time today?


Sounds great.

- Okay.
- Bye.

For me?

You shouldn't have.

I didn't!

Sorry, Roland, you have been
usurped by your child-to-be.

- Hey.
- Merry Christmas!

I know, I look like
I'm short two wise men.

Listen, I was hoping you'd talk

some frankin-sense
into your cousin.

There's that wit.

She's very excited to see you,
but she's also quite...

Fully capable of deciding
what she can and can't handle.



You look so amazing!

Thank you.

- So good to see you!
- So good to see you.

- You got the goods?
- Oh, yes, how could I forget?

The goods.

The goods.


- And?
- Mayo.

Thank you!

Yum, okay,
can you take these inside?


Thank you.

Okay, bye sweetie!

Bye, have fun!

I could understand
if you're a little nervous

to be back at her house,

This is the first time
I'm staying here without her.

- Right!
- Right.

But I am not gonna
let that overshadow

a lifetime of happy
memories, right?


Because you're not
gonna do it alone.


All right.



Thank you.

So tell me about
this crazy award again.

The award is
half a million dollars.

Half a million dollars?

Yeah, yeah.

And you can use it
to advance your expertise

or jumpstart a new project,
change career paths altogether,

but either way, it is insane
that someone nominated me.

No it isn't.

You've always been super smart.

Thank you.

Now, the interview
is on the 30th,

and I just have to come up
with a plan

of how I would use the money.

Knowing you,
I'm sure you've come up

with a color-coded
100 page plan.

It is 50 pages, thank you
very much, and color-coded.

But I will probably use
the money for my research,

if I get it, and that is a big if.



Take a break.

Not until I hang the 12 days
of Christmas ornaments.

Do it later.


These were my favorite
when I was a kid.

- Especially the...
- Two turtle doves, I know.

I remember the tears
the year I tried to hang it

instead of letting you.

You know what,
that was my ornament,

and gramma Vera said so.

I gotta go, I'm gonna be late.

I will see you in an hour?

I love you?



Love you too.

Just one second, I wanna
make sure everything's in order.

This is your daughter Mikayla,

Yes, although she's twice as big
and twice as loud now.

She's really cute.

Gramma Vera
talked a lot about her.

Yeah, we liked to claim Vera
as family.

We got very close
after Mikayla's mom died.

I really felt like she should
talk to someone,

and there's no one better
than Vera.

That is true.

I'm sorry about your wife.

I'm really sorry
about your grandma.


Would you like to have a seat?



I didn't know that gramma Vera
was Mikayla's therapist.

I mean, not that she would've
ever said anything.

No, no, I guess
that makes sense.

Help yourself.

Thank you.

Never pass up a cookie.

Okay, so, here's the deal.

Vera knew that you had
a very full life

outside of Pine Springs,
and she did not want you

to feel obligated to have
to maintain a house

that was in a town
that you didn't want to live in.

She also wanted to make sure
that you got the decision

before it went to someone else,
since you grew up here.

She is still somehow the most
considerate human being

I have ever known.

This is where it gets tricky,

She has compiled a list
of Harper family

Christmas traditions,
and she would like you

to complete all of them
before Christmas,

at which point in time
you would then be able

to make the decision
about the house.

I'm gonna let her
explain it to you.

Wait, what?

She thought it might be better
coming from her.

After Jennie died,
I really wished that I had

more things with her voice,
and so we both agreed

that it might be nice
to record her explanation.

Okay, so I'm gonna
just leave this here,

and you just press play
whenever you're ready,

I'm gonna step outside,
just give you a second.

Let me know when it's ready.

I pushed record,
you can start any time.

Well, that's not a great start.

Say hi to Sharon, Sam.

Hi Sharon.



My dearest Sharon,
please know that I am

squeezing you right now,
even if you can't feel it.

I am so proud of the woman
you've become, Share Bear.

After your mother passed away,

it occurred to me that
I might leave this world

while you're still fairly young.

So I started jotting down
the family Christmas traditions

in these journals,
so you'll always have a connection

to the Harper women
who love you.

So these are yours,
written to you,

because I know
this first Christmas without me

might be hard.

In my experience, having
something positive to focus on

is the best way to keep going.

And because, my little scientist,

I know you love clear parameters
for an experiment,

I'm giving you until Christmas
to complete

12 of these traditions,
one for each of our cherished

12 days of Christmas ornaments.

And I promise you, if you do
12 of these by Christmas,

you won't need more time,
you'll know if this house

and this town are the place
for you or not.

There's no wrong answer,
Sharon, only discovery.

I want you to know
that so much, my love.

From here,
there is only discovery.

I love you.

Hey, how are you doing?


I'm good.

Would you like some water?

No, no, it's okay.

You know what, I think
I'm just gonna go

and process all of this,
you know?

If there's anything else
I can do for you...

Yeah, yeah, yeah,
thank you so much.

Thank you, and for the cookie.

Thank you.

Hey, and remember,
I live right next door.


I know, thank you so much,
thank you.

How are you feeling?

I am feeling like someone
cracked my heart open

and fried it like an egg.

That is vivid,
but understandable.

I really just thought
that I was gonna relax,

sign some papers,
and then get back to work.

But it's sweet, in a way.

It sounds like she was worried
about this first Christmas

and wanted to give you
something positive to focus on.

Something positive to focus on.

It's tough, but it's important
to remember

that we're hurting because
we lost someone worth missing.

Have you ever heard
of synaptic pruning?

How did we get here?


So, our brains are full of neurons
that are wired together,

and these connections,
they get stronger or weaker

based on our experiences,
so what we focus on grows.

Okay, so if we focus
on the sad things,

then our brains
will theoretically rewire

to focus on the sad things,
but if we focus on

the happy things,
say, our grandmother's

amazing Christmas traditions,
those things will grow

and our brains will be wired to focus
on the love, not the loss.

I'm not gonna bypass
my grief with positivity.

Besides, gramma Vera always said

"sometimes you just have
to sit with the hard things."

Or, or we could go ice skating,

or have a cup
of the best hot cocoa in town,

or decorate the house,
she said those things too,

and wouldn't that feel
so much better?

I wish I had your energy,
but this?

This is hard for me still,
and I was hoping with you home,

I wouldn't be alone in that.

But you won't be alone.

You won't, we would be
doing these things together,

and then she would also
get to be a part of it.

Do you remember that every year,

there is a competition
on our street

for best Christmas lights?

We may not take top prize
every year,

but I am proud to say
our house never disappoints.



Hi, just wanted to check on you,
see how you're doing,

I feel really bad
about the way things

went down in my office,
I shouldn't have

sprung it on you like that.

No, no, it's fine.

You know, I'm actually
really excited about this,

it gives me something positive
to focus on.

- Okay, well.
- Yeah.

Are you sure you wanna start
positively focusing tonight?

It's gonna be dark
in like 11 minutes.

Yeah, maybe you're right,
I got a little overexcited.


In my experience,
sometimes plans can...

Sam, you seem like a great guy.

Gramma Vera's five-star review
of you feels pretty accurate.

And I appreciate your concern.

But I'm doing great, I am.

I mean, crossing off a
list is very satisfying

for my type a
puzzle-loving brain.

I mean, there are such
doozies as, you know,

watching a Christmas
movie marathon

while wearing fuzzy socks.


Thank you.

Thank you, though.

I will let you know when I have
made a decision about the house.

- Okay.
- Okay.

See, now that's a rookie mistake.

You always put the clips
on the lights

before you climb the ladder,
you know, so that...

Okay, I can't watch this anymore.


Go run and get your coat!

Okay, uncle Alex!

Excuse me, hi.

You look like you could use
a hand.

You know what,
if my 83-year-old grandmother

can do it, so can I.

She didn't.

She asked me to do it.

At least
for like the last couple years.

Anyways, I'm Alex,
by the way, and this is...

The famous Mikayla!

Gramma Vera talked so much
about you.

She did?


Are you Dr. Harper?

I am.

But you can call me Sharon.

Gramma Vera told me
that once you get a doctorate,

everybody has to call you doctor,

and I thought that was pretty cool.

It is pretty cool.

Are you finished
decorating inside yet?

Because I used to be one
of gramma Vera's best helpers.

I heard that.

I heard that last year,
you were her very best elf.

Well, I still have to buy a tree,
and I have to decorate it.

By yourself?

Well, I think
I can handle a tree.

No, I'm not saying you can't,
I'm just saying that

can and have to might
be different things.

The only things that
I really know about you,

gramma Vera told me.

So tell me something
about yourself.

I'm the lawyer, I should
be the one interrogating.

I will point to Exhibit A,
I was raised by a therapist.

- Good point.
- Yeah.

What do you wanna know?

- That's sweet.
- That's kinda nice.

How do you like your coffee?


Coffee with milk and sugar
defeats the whole point

of drinking coffee.

What is your most
controversial opinion?

I don't believe in naps.

But naps are life.

I do believe in late lazy
Saturday mornings, though.

- Yeah, that's just...
- Yeah.

What is your version
of the most wonderful

time of the year?

Well, I have a 10-year-old,
so whatever makes her happy.

Yeah, but you must have
some kind of preferences,

you know,
some things that you love.

Dr. Sharon.

What about this one?

Well now this, I love.

It's perfect.

What do you think?

Whatever you like.

It's the one.

Okay, one, two, three!

- Okay, you good?
- Yeah.

All righty.

Thank you guys.

Yeah, let's get
this thing decorated.

Come on guys.

You know what, you
don't have to sweetie.

Hey, Mikayla.

Make sure uncle Alex
doesn't get pine needles

all over her house, please.

On it.

Look, do not feel obligated
to have her help,

but if you do need
an extra set of hands,

she really loved doing this
with Vera last year.

You know what,
that would be really nice.

It's kind of empty in there
decorating the house by myself.

I get that.

Take it from me, nothing
fills up an empty house

like an enthusiastic

I put all of the angels
on the top shelf,

and then I put the manger
on the middle shelf,

and the three wise men
go on the bottom shelf

so that the whole...

whole bookcase tells a story.

That is exactly how gramma
Vera taught me to do it.


You can take over here.

Put those on there.

- Thank you.
- Okay so.

Put me to work.

It's always soft and squishy
on the bottom, got it?

All right.

And then anything that's sparkly

goes in front of a light
so it can send rainbows.

And she's absolutely right,
absolutely right.

Soft and squishy,
high as we can go.


You put it down here.

Hey, thanks for letting me help.

I'm really glad you're here.

I am really glad you're here.

This was always my favorite part
to do with gramma Vera.


This was my second favorite part.

Can you guess my favorite?

I'm gonna give you a hint.

Hanging stockings?

So close!

Hanging the 12 days of
Christmas ornaments on there.

What are those?


I never did that with her.

Wait a second,
wait a second,

you are going
to love this, okay.

Alex, there's an antique
wooden box

in that pile of boxes,
do you mind finding it for me?

Yeah, sure.

All right, so.

Gramma Vera
made these journals for me

and they have all of our
family traditions in here.

Here, okay.

So on this page,
she talks all about

the 12 days of
Christmas ornaments.

So a long, long time ago,
my great-great-great,

let's just say seven greats

He was an artist and
he worked with ceramics.

My mom did that.


Oh yeah,
that's why we moved here,

so she could open a shop,
she was a very talented artist.

That is so cool.

So he fell in love with my
seven greats grandmother,

but her parents didn't approve
of them getting married.

Why not?

I'm sure they had
very specific ideas

about who they wanted her
to marry, probably, yes,

and that was very common
back then,

we don't do that anymore.

No, we do not.

So he made her these ornaments.

All right, I think I found it.

Yes, yay!

Here, come here,
come here, come here.

Forbidden love,
that's a pretty juicy

family history right there.

I know.

Well, they actually
had to leave for America

before he had time to make
the partridge in the pear tree,

so there's a family legend now

that the two turtle doves
makes people fall in love.

That was my favorite part.

I loved how gramma Vera
told the story,

and I like the ritual of it.

Where's the two turtle doves?

There's only 10.



She's right, there's
only 10 ornaments in there.

But that doesn't make any sense.

Well, it's gotta be
here somewhere.

Look, I pulled out
all the boxes,

if it's not
in one of those boxes,

then I don't know
where it would be.

We're gonna find it, okay?

We're all gonna help you,
right guys?

Yeah, yeah, definitely.

I'll check the rest
of those boxes.

We'll find it, it's okay.

Dr. Sharon, it's Mikayla.

Yeah, come on in.


Hey guys, what's going on?

We were sad
that we couldn't find

the ornament yesterday,
and so Mikayla

wanted to make you something
to help you feel better.

It's a placeholder.

This is perfect.

Thank you so much.

Come here.

So, I was gonna hang
one ornament

for each tradition that we
crossed off gramma Vera's list.

This is the one
for decorating the house.

Can I do it?


Any leads?

No, I'm gonna stop by
gramma Vera's old office,

and then if it's not there,
I'm gonna

turn Lucy's house inside-out.

Well that's a start.

Well, let us know if there's
anything we can do to help.

I'm a great detective.

I bet you are.

So does that mean
I'm gonna see you guys later?

Yeah, we'll see you later.


Great, thank you again.


- Bye.
- Bye.



Hi, I just wanted to give you
a five-minute warning

before the next appointment.

Thank you.

Any luck?



Do you know anywhere else
she might've stashed it?

No, if it's not in one of those boxes,
then it's not here.

But you might try to do
some sleuthing

at the town tree lighting tonight.

A couple of years ago
the mayor invited every family

to hang one personal ornament
on the town tree,

so maybe there was
a mix-up there.

That is a great idea.

I will definitely do that.

Thank you.

And I'll clean everything up,
just give me two seconds.

- Thank you.
- Thank you so much.

One of my favorite days
of every Christmas season

was watching your face
when you came home from school

and saw Santa and his reindeer
right there, at our house.

You told me as long
as we displayed our Santa,

the real Saint Nick would always
know he was welcome here.

I thought that was the cutest
thing I'd ever heard.

And so every year, up he goes.

What are you doing?

If you don't know,
then I'm worse off than I thought.

Okay, here, let me help you,
stay there.

No, it's balanced,
I'm almost there.

Nope, I got it.


I'm assembling Santa
and his reindeer.


So Santa knows
that he's welcome, right?


Wasn't this list supposed
to bring you Christmas joy?

What is more joyful than Santa?

I don't know,
maybe not assembling

a 15-foot lawn ornament
all by yourself.

You know what, okay.

You don't appreciate my Santa,
you don't like sweets,

you don't have a tree preference.

I'm starting to think
you just don't like Christmas.


- First...
- That's heavy.

Nobody enjoys assembling
these things by themselves.

I'm having a great time!

Right, okay, talk to me tomorrow

when everything hurts.

That is not my point.

You're evading my point,
which is you don't like Christmas.

I think you're a secret Scrooge.

- Let's do this one.
- All right.

- Right to this one, okay.
- Yeah.

You know, the first year
after Jennie died,

I went all out for Christmas.

We just had a rough year,
and I was so excited

to finally have something
to celebrate.

Man, I did the cookies,
half-eaten carrots,

little hoof prints
through the snow,

and there was a suit involved.

That sounds amazing.

Yeah, Mikayla
still talks about it.

It had to be this big,
over-the-top thing

that would distract her
from the fact

that her mom wasn't there,
and it had to be

a big enough gesture to
remind her that I always would be,

and that Santa
would be there too.

You are a really great dad.

Doing all that without Jennie,

I wanted to sleep
right through January.

It was rough.


Last one.

I don't understand why anyone

who doesn't have kids
would want to do this.

I mean, I would be inside
by the fire,

reveling in the joys
of adulting.

Well, it's because I'm not
doing it for me either.

I'm trying to remember her.

Why is this so hard?

Why is she making me do this?

Because she loved you.

Come on, let's see
how we're lookin' here.




Now we just have to put
together Santa's village.

I'm sorry, what?

The traditional lighting

of the town Christmas tree.

I'll never forget the first time
you saw it.

The lights came on and your eyes
went wide as saucers.

I just love when we light candles
and the whole town sings.

There's something so magical

about the stillness
in that moment.


No, looks like she's doing
her thing,

I don't think she wants to talk
to anyone right now.

Okay, well, I'm sure
she'll make an excuse for you.

Come on, let's go see
the reindeer.

Oh, yay.

All by yourself over here.

- Hey.
- Hey.

Yeah, Andrea
mentioned gramma Vera

possibly putting the ornament
on the tree.

So I just thought I would...

Yeah, nothing yet though?


I checked Lucy's and the
counseling center, and nope.

Just a couple of days of nope.

Some guy came and humbugged
all over your Santa.

That was really great.

Lighting this tree
later tonight.


It used to be
one of my favorite traditions.

Is it always gonna be like this?

I just, I keep having
these flash memories

of being here with her
and my mom,

and if Christmas
is gonna be like this,

I just, I don't think I can do it.


First year after Jennie died,
it was really hard

not to feel like Christmas
was just a giant shadow

that Jennie would just, she
would light up the whole house.

But whether she was gone or not,

I was not gonna let
how I felt about Christmas

ruin it for Mikayla,
'cause she's a kid,

she gets to be a kid once,
and when you're a kid,

Christmas should be magical
no matter what.

How did you do that?

No, seriously, I'm just
by myself and I can barely do it.

At first I took it
one step at a time.

Like driving with your headlights on,
you know,

you just focus
as far as you can see.

And most importantly,
you don't do it alone.

My brother Alex,
he moved here just to help me out.

And Vera, and Nick,
and Ethel, yeah,

a whole town full of wonderfully
nosy neighbors

who were ready to help make
Christmas Magic happen

when I didn't feel
like I had it in me.

You're welcome to join us
if you want.


- Dad!
- Hey.

I pet the reindeer!


And he licked the corn
right out of my hand.


And awesome.

So, Dr. Sharon,
did you find the ornament yet?

I did not, but thank you
so much for asking.

It's okay, we'll find it.

Please join me
in the traditional lighting

of the Pine Springs
Christmas tree.






And as your mayor,
I want to welcome

everyone who's come
near and far to join us.

The spirit of generosity
this town embodies

is truly a miracle every season.

Hello, my friend,
Dr. Sharon Harper,

is missing an ornament that
used to belong to Vera Harper.

It's white with two birds
and a little heart

hanging from it,
so if we could all look,

we can make a Christmas miracle.

Thank you and Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas.

Well, I don't think
I can top that.

Welcome home, Dr. Sharon Harper.

We will all keep
our eyes peeled, yes?


And now, please join me
in enjoying

the rest of this fine evening,
Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas!

Is baking Christmas cookies
on your list?

As a matter of fact, it is.

Would you like to bake cookies
with me and Mrs. Ethel?

I would love that.

Thank you.

Do you want me to take you,
or is your dad coming?

- No...
- Yeah, I could swing by.

I thought this was girl time.

Well I will come by at the end, then,
and we can hang out for a bit.

Sounds great.


Okay, well, good night.

Come on.

Good night.

Now, I'm no Ethel,
but I just don't think

it's Christmas without
a homemade batch of cookies.

Frosted sugar cookies
are my favorite.

But you love a snickerdoodle,
just like your mom.

It's so much fun to get
your hands messy

and spending time
in the kitchen together.

That's my favorite part.

Your favorite part seems
to be licking the spoon,

and I can't blame you.

I've got something
to check on out front.

Lucy, do you think
you can give me a hand?



I have a very important
question for you.

What is your favorite
Christmas cookie?

I only get one?

You're right, loose top three.

Okay, I like Ethel's


Gingerbread cookies.

Crunchy or soft?



Good choice.

And I like my mom's
frosted sugar cookies

that were shaped
like snowflakes.

Or at least what I can remember
of them.

You know,
I lost my mom when I was

just a little bit younger
than you.

Yeah, I know.

Gramma Vera told me.

If it makes you feel any better,
I never forgot her.

In fact, I feel I know her
even better now

than I ever did
when I was younger.



Pinky promise.


Great-gramma Ida's
famous lemon cake.


For your list.

The ornaments, right?


That looks so beautiful.

It smells just the same.


Yes, I am ready.

How did you do this?

She fudged the recipe a bit.

'Cause I know back in the day,
your great-grandmother

wouldn't have baked
with anything but lard, so.

- Lard?
- Lard?

I don't wanna know any more.

That's the best,
don't ask any questions,

just eat the cake.

Hi ladies.



Hey, hello.


I see we're gettin' into a little
dessert before dinner, huh?

Hey Sam, good to see you.

Good to see you too,
this looks great.

Thank you for lending me
your little helper today.

You're welcome.

We still have two more batches
of cookies in the oven.

I wouldn't dare intervene,
but it is getting close

to dinnertime, so do you
want me to go out

and get takeout or something?

That sounds amazing.

Can we get pizza?


You should go to Patsy's.

I was talking to her,
and she seemed to recall

Vera mentioned the two
turtle doves ornament to her.


It might not be much of a lead,
but it's something.


Yeah, yeah, I'm gonna go.
I'm gonna go!

That's fantastic,
thank you so much.

I just need to get my jacket.

It's cold, can you,
sorry, can you hold that?

So has Vera's list
swayed you to the charms

of hometown living?

It would be heartbreaking
to give up that house.

But I'm a finalist
for a MacAdam's Fellowship,

and my interview is on the 30th.

You just became
like 11% more intimidating.

I love my family,
and I love my home.

But my work and my everything
else is somewhere else,

and moving back home
was never part of the plan,

and now I just
feel torn between, you know,

my past and my future.

Well, hey, just to be clear,
I don't think

the goal was ever
to make you choose,

I think it was more
to just give you options.

Well, now you sound
like my mentor.

It's not a bad thing.

I just have a very clear path
for this Fellowship,

and she just keeps urging me
to think bigger

than the research,
and there's no time for that,

'cause in my field, once you take
your foot off the gas,

you just get left in the dust.

Yeah, the New York bubble,
I remember that well.

I live in Minneapolis.

Right, okay, I'm just saying,
New York is an achiever culture.


And people who live there,
they think

the world starts
at the East River

and it ends at the Hudson River,
and I loved being there.

I lived off of that
ambitious culture,

that ambitious energy,
that relentless pulse,

a lot of Thai food.

Yeah, there's nothing
resembling Thai food

in Pine Springs.

No, no, no, no, no, no.

No, but I firmly believed
that leaving Manhattan

would mean a slower life,
a slower career,

that I was settling
for those things,

that all of my colleagues
would rocket past me

to fame and acclaim, and...

So wait, you're saying that
that didn't happen?

No, it totally did.

That's not helpful at all!

But it wasn't settling.

It was a new dream.

A yard for my daughter,
a chance for my wife

to be a working artist.

What I wanted changed,
so the plans changed.

And whatever you choose,
that'll be the right thing too.

Do you miss New York?


Some days.

But I mean, look at this place.

I know.

It's the perfect place
for Mikayla to grow up.

Well what about
when she goes to college?

She'll never be that old.

No, I'm not focused on that,
I'm just trying to focus

on Mikayla, it's part
of being a good dad.

Yes, and also...

And also what?

I am not a parent.

But I lost my mom at a young age,
like Mikayla.

And even though gramma Vera
was there for me

every step of the way,
she also went back to school

and she got her
master's degree in social work,

and she opened up
her own therapy practice.

And I watched her do that.

She cared for me, yes,
but at a time in my life

where I was afraid
that being an adult

meant getting sick and dying,
she modeled what it was like

to be a happy, fulfilled adult,
even after loss.

It was one of the most
important things

that she ever gave to me.

Now, it was a long time ago,

so my memory's a little hazy,
but she said something

about an ornament that
your great-great-grandfather

or whomever never made?

He never made
the partridge in a pear tree.


And I remember she
mentioned something about

maybe she could get someone
to make one for her.

Use one of the other ornaments
as a model.

Do you have any idea
who that was?

I'm not sure she even got
around to doing it.

I mean, she just sort of
mentioned it in passing.

I'm not sure if
that's helpful, but...

it's more
than I've had to go on so far.

Thank you so much.

Do not take his money, no no no,

your money's no good here

Thank you, Patsy.

You're welcome.

Welcome home, honey.

- Merry Christmas.
- Merry Christmas.

And I will let you know
if I find it.


Dr. Sharon.


Are you going
to the Christmas pageant?

Because I'm going to be
an angel.

I wouldn't miss it.

Pinky promise?

And then we get hot cocoa.



Gramma Vera always took us
to go get hot cocoa after.

It's on the list.

Have a cup of the best
hot cocoa in town.

I'm doing it for 11 pipers piping,
you wanna know why?


Because the cocoa
will be piping hot.

Dr. Sharon, seriously?

You're better than that.

I know, I know.

All right.




So you know how
this field works.

I can't just press
pause on my research

to pursue some sort of
passion project, you know?

Once you lose momentum,
there is no going back,

the path is very clear,
it is very specific, it is very...

Very limiting.

Which is the beauty
of this Fellowship.

I've seen scientists use this
award to fund their research,

and that would be great,
but I've also seen them use it

to integrate their work into
community outreach projects,

to write books,
start treatment centers.

So if you win, the question
you'll have to answer

is what would you do
if there were no more limits?

Well that is
a terrifying thought.


What if I choose something else,
and I fail?

You know?

All of that research,
all of that work, for nothing.

If you care more
about defending your path

than exploring the possibilities
right in front of you,

you're gonna get stuck, fast.

Thank you.

I need an elf to help me
pass out candies

to these boys and girls,
do you think you can help?


Merry Christmas.

Well, it's been a year since
I was here with gramma Vera.

You know, I can remember
the exact fabric

from the chairs
in the waiting room,

I can remember pretzels are
B7 in the vending machine,

but I have the hardest time

what kind of candy
Jennie put in the stocking,

or how many cookies
we left out for Santa.

I just wish that I didn't have
such flash-bold moments

from those last terrible days,

and then such hazy memories
of our best family moments.

And I really wish
that when those memories

did come back into focus,
they just didn't...

Knock the wind right out of you.

Because they're
just memories now.

I know.

This week, it seems the more I try
to keep Christmas alive for her,

the more painfully real it becomes
that she is not here anymore.

I never would have been able
to confront

any of those memories if I hadn't
been making new ones with you.


I am going to show Sharon

some more Christmas decorations.


Well, I am going to do
the last of the shopping.

Do you need anything else?

No, yes.

I am in desperate need
of wrapping paper.

Okay, cool.

Well, I will see you all later.

Thank you.

Look at this place,
did you do all of this by yourself?

No, my dad and uncle Alex
helped a little bit, but...

This is one of the first
ornaments my mom made.

That is so beautiful.

- Yeah.
- Yeah.

And this is the one
I made in preschool.

Very nice, I can see
where you get your talent.

Thank you.

This is my dad's.


Yeah, that one
we can just tack around

the back side of the tree there.

Oh no no, I think that
this should go front and center.


- So everyone can see it?
- Yes.

Okay, I'm going to show you
where all the Santas go.

- Okay.
- Come on.

All right.

There are 37 Santas over here,
and my mom,

she would always put lights
and ribbon on the garland,

and she would always help me
put teddy bears up there.

Wait a second.

What happened
to the teddy bears?

I think they're
with my mom's stuff

in a box in the basement

Wait, what?

Which box,
I'll go get them, honey.

It's okay.

So, we would always
save the tree for last,

for when dad got home.

And while we waited,
we would make muddy buddies.

You know what?

I'm gonna need to know
what a muddy buddy is.


You okay?

I don't remember
the teddy bears.

You know what, it sounds
like that was something

that was between
she and her mom.

I wouldn't worry
too much about it.

We would always take these
and cover them

with chocolate
and peanut butter,

and then shake 'em up in a trash bag
with powdered sugar.

I do not remember that.

'Cause we ate 'em all
before you got home.

You what?

Well, do you wanna
make some now?

No thank you.

Why not?

Because it would make me sad.



It's okay to be sad.

But you don't get sad.

Sure I do, I miss your mom
every day.

Not at Christmas.

You're always happy.

Especially at Christmas.

I just,
I don't wanna talk about it

because I want Christmas
to be so magical for you.

Because I love you.

And I know that's what
your mom wants for you too.

I thought I was the only one
that got sad.

You're not alone, okay?

I get sad, uncle Alex gets sad,
Sharon gets sad.

I mean, she's been sad all week

because she misses
her gramma Vera.

It's true, I have been so sad.

And you know what,
talking to your dad about it

has really helped me.

He's actually
a really good listener.

You can tell me anything,
you can ask me anything.


Is Christmas always
going to be a little bit sad?

You know what?

I think Christmas
sometimes feels sad

because we just want everything
to stay the same, you know?

And it can't.

But I realized something
this week.

You know all those traditions
that gramma Vera

wrote in the journal?

Well, once upon a time,
someone made them all up.



There were no ornaments,
and now we hang them

every single year,
and my great-grandmother

would make her lemon cake,
and now I eat it every Christmas.

Or the Christmas that uncle Alex
came down for the first time.


So if we can just make space
for the past

and also make some fun
new memories

that make us so happy,
Christmas doesn't have to be as sad.

Does that make sense?


So what if you and I
do something new?

Would that be fun?


Should we come up
with a new cookie?

Should we paint an ornament,
we could make a wreath, we could...

Oh yeah,
we don't have a wreath!


We're making a wreath, then.

Okay, you go get your coat,
go get your gloves,

get your hat, and we're gonna get
some awesome supplies, okay?


I don't know
how to make a wreath.

Okay, it's easy, actually,
you just bend some branches

and get some snazzy ribbon.

I don't know how to get snazzy
with ribbon.

Well, you know,
a really wise person

once told me that you don't
have to do it alone.

You've got Alex
and you've got Nick,

and you've got Ethel,
and you've got a whole town

of really nosy neighbors
that will help.

And me.

You got me.

And I can get really snazzy
with a ribbon.

Did you mean what you said
about making Christmas new?

Not until I said it.

And when I said it,
it hit me that it was true.

Okay, I'm ready.

- Let's go.
- Yeah.

Did you know wreaths
are a Christmas symbol

for eternity, because they have
no beginning, and no end.

I will forever remember
making wreathes with you

and your mother.

It was a nice reminder
when I needed it most

that life may be brief,
but some things are everlasting.

All right,
let's see it, let's see it.

- Okay.
- Yeah.

Hold it up.

- That is beautiful.
- Oh my gosh.

It's beautiful.

What do you think?

I like it.

I like it too.

I like it a lot.

I think I'm going to go hang this
on the front door.

- Perfect.
- Good idea.

And thank you guys, because
making a Christmas wreath

was on gramma Vera's list,
and now I can cross that off.

See that?

You're welcome.

I think I should give you guys
some time alone.

No, look, you don't,
it's really fine.

No, besides, I have
a Christmas movie marathon

to cross off my list.

Look, I mean, there must be
some kinda rule in there

about not watching
a Christmas movie alone, right?

I might've read that somewhere.

And hey, even if you
didn't read it in there...

Stop shaking it.

Don't shake it, stop.

Thank you guys so much
for indulging me.

Oh no, twist my arm,
movie night.

Is it time to press play?

I call sitting by Sharon.

I call dibs on the armchair.

Get in here.

There you go.

- Yeah.
- Okay.

Okay, we're ready.

It's from London.

Mr. Gower cabled
you need cash, stop.

My office instructed to advance
you up to $25,000, stop.

Heehaw and Merry Christmas,
Sam Wainwright.

Will you just...?



Good morning.

I was wondering
if Mikayla wanted to

go ice skating tonight,
you know?

Keep the streak alive.

She's actually at a sleepover
at her friend Kara's house.


Worth a shot.

Have a good day.

I could go.

You know, you don't have to.

Maybe we could go out
to dinner before, or...



I mean, hey, you have lots
of crossing off to do,

and list takes priority, but hey,

ice skating alone sounds a little...

- Well, not as much fun.
- No.




Dinner and ice skating.

- Dinner and ice skating.
- Yeah.

- I'll see you tonight.
- See you tonight.

There is nothing wrong with
wanting to date him, by the way.

It's just...

I know, I know,
it's not a good idea

to start something if I
don't plan on staying.

Look, I now can't imagine
not being here for that baby,

and I can't imagine not having
Christmas in that house,

and I can't imagine not seeing
Mikayla run across the yard,

or Sam.

Or Sam.

And I also can't imagine
walking away

from everything that I have
worked for for my entire life,

and by the way, the interview,
it's in 48 hours now.

I don't wanna pick.

I don't wanna pick.

You've got a double whammy
right now.

You are confronting
the death of gramma Vera,

probably after outrunning it
all year,

if I know you at all, and I do.

Plus it's Christmas.

A whole season of new beginnings
in the midst

of unlikely circumstances.

Death and birth and miracles,
those are all

terrible times
to make permanent decisions.

Yeah, well you know what?

Gramma Vera didn't exactly
leave me a lot of time.

Gramma Vera, she was
a wonderful grandmother,

and I loved her,
but that was a bad deal,

and I think
you should ignore it.

Keep the house for now.

Sell it later.

Take a sabbatical from work
and write or paint, or whatever.

Ask them to delay the interview
for the award.

I don't think it works that way.

Just because that's not the way
it works

doesn't mean it shouldn't work
better than the way it works.

You know what, you were
on a real roll until then.

I just can't believe
that a smart woman like you

can't buy herself some more time,
and some better options.

Thank you.

Thank you.

- Here we are.
- Here we are.

So any luck with the ornament?


And I think that's okay.

Yeah, I think that I am
just gonna take a break,

and focus on the good things
that I have left

right in front of me.

Now it's my turn
to cross-examine you.

- My goodness.
- Yeah.

Do you bring a lot of dates
to Chez Noel, Samuel?

Objection, leading the witness.


I have frequented Chez Noel
many times, but no.

I can't say that I've brought
many dates here.

That would require dating.

Is that because
you didn't want to,

or because the options
were limited?

At first, I didn't want to.

In the beginning,
I was just really trying

to take it one step at a time.

But then
when I was finally open to it,

I remembered that I live
in a very small town.

So this not only limits
your options...

it insures that everyone knows
how that date went

by the time they buy
their coffee the next morning?



Trust me, I know.

Try dating as a teenager
in Pine Springs.

Yeah, yeah, you get it.

I do.

But yes, I do want to be dating.

So wait, ice skating
is a Harper family

Christmas favorite.

- Only every Christmas.
- Favorite?

And every Friday
in middle school,

because what else
was there to do?

Oh man, I forgot
Mikayla's gonna be

in middle school next year.

Middle school.

I don't know anything
about middle school girls.

Well, tell her
she can always call me.

I feel like I'm going to blink

and she's gonna be in college.

Oh man.

- It's just like...
- What's the plan after that?

I have no idea what
I'm gonna do with myself.

Anything you want.

The world is your oyster.

Wait, so ice skating
was which ornament?

10 lords a-leaping, of course.

That was really good,
by the way.

Come on.
Come on.

- Now you have to do it.
- What?

- Yeah, leap!
- That, no.

- Yes.
- No thank you.

Are you all right?

I'm so sorry, you okay?

No, I'm fine.

I'm so sorry I pulled you down.

No, I tried to catch you,
and then I lost my balance.

Mikayla is so excited
that you're coming

to the Christmas pageant,
by the way.

I got a glimpse of the angel
costume she's gonna wear,

it is, what?

I got an email and they
changed the interview,

and I actually, I gotta fly
to New York in the morning.

- I am so sorry.
- Okay, hey.

No, it's okay.

Mikayla will understand.

What about you?


It's just hit me,
this week is gonna end

and it's probably
not gonna end with you

packing up and moving
to palm Springs.

- I don't know that.
- Yeah.

I don't, I mean, the fact
that I'm here right now

and not frantically pacing
and preparing for this interview

speaks volumes about
how I've changed my mind

about Pine Springs.

Being here, it just, it showed me
how much I was missing,

home and community and
a connection to my past, and...

Future possibilities that
I have never even considered.

I want you to know how hard it is
to not kiss you right now.

I'm sorry, I can't.


I wish I could be the guy
that just kisses you

and doesn't care what it means,

but if I'm being honest
with you,

this is new to me.

Feeling this way again.

The part of me that just needs
the world to make sense

needs to know
that when I kiss you,

you're not gonna have
one foot out the door.

Sam, I wish that I had
a definitive answer

to be able to give you, I just...

No, I really, really need you
to not answer right now,

a giant pit of guilt would
just open up and eat me,

and swallow me whole.

I couldn't live with myself if I felt

like you decided
not to stay and then

me kissing you just somehow
may have made a difference.

I'm sorry.

Why didn't you kiss him?

Because he made it very clear

that he did not
want to be kissed.


He wanted to kiss you,
he just needed you to say

that you were staying first.

Lucy, you were the one
that told me not to kiss him.

Don't listen to me,
what do I know?

Well, this has been
supremely helpful.

I gotta go.

What's your plan here, Share?

To have absolutely no plan,
that's what I've got.

All right, I gotta go,
I'll call you after, okay?


We will be well on our way
to creating

a culture that knows
how to heal trauma.

That knows how get down
on the ground with the wounded

and say,
"I know that this hurts.

"But you are not broken,
and you cannot stay here.

"Because anything bad
that happens to you

"happens to us too."

15,000,000 views and counting.

Countless media appearances.

You've jump-started
a major conversation

about a topic that most people
would prefer to avoid.

That's inspiring.

We were particularly struck
by how your talk

made the scientific,
creative, and personal.

Can you speak to how
this Grant and Fellowship

would personally
change your life?

Earlier this year
I lost my grandmother.

The woman who raised me
and inspired me

to go into this field.

A week ago, I went home
to celebrate Christmas

and get her affairs in order.

Even though I'm supposed
to be an expert in this field,

even though I was prepared
for how

my brain and body might respond,

I discovered that this experience
brought me to my knees.

And it made me think more deeply

about the gap between
what we know

and how we actually
experience things.

I love you, dude,
but you have like zero chill.

I mean, what did you think
she was gonna say?

I don't know.

I thought
I was stating the obvious.

because your life screams

"I am open to dating right now."

- Now come on...
- What?

You're living
with your younger brother,

who is helping you raise
your 10-year-old daughter.

Okay, but...

And you know I loved Jennie.

- Right.
- Okay, all I'm saying is,

if you really are ready
for your life to change,

you have to make space
for something new.

How did it go?

I got it.

I can't believe that I got it.

Okay, this is a teddy
I got for your mom in college.

I gave that to her
on our first official date.


What are you doing?

Making space.

These are the last of Jennie's
boxes from the basement.

And they liked that?

They loved
that I was thinking big,

and they got really excited
about some of my ideas.

Even if you don't know
how to make them happen?

Well, if I knew how
to make them happen,

then that would mean
that someone

had already done them, right?

Okay, so all of this
can go to Gloria for sale?

- Yeah, I love that idea.
- Okay.

And then, this should go
to Nick and Ethel.


- By the door, Nick and Ethel.
- Got it.

What's that?

This, I don't know what this is.

Maybe this decision will take me

off of the track
that I had planned.

It is going to be super scary,
for sure, but new always is.

But it could also be bigger
than anything

that I have ever planned.

It's messy, very messy,
and I definitely have

more questions than I have
answers right now, for sure,

but I just have a feeling
that I will know the answers

- when I see them.
- Dad.

"Dear Jennie, I can't tell you
how delighted I am

"that you've agreed to make us
a partridge in a pear tree

"to complete our family set.

"I so love your work,
and I'm sure

"if anyone can do it, it's you.

"Please use this ornament
as a model

"and return it
when you're finished.

"Take all the time you need.

"Love, gramma Vera."

Look, little lady,
I just don't want you

to get your hopes up.

You don't understand.

She pinky promised.

I know, but hey, things happen,

and Sharon's got a lot
on her plate right now.

Dad, if you break
a pinky promise,

I don't wanna get into it,
but it's messy.

She's going to be there.


All right, we gotta go, hon,
let's go.

Do I have my, yeah.

Long, long ago,
under the biggest star

the sky has ever seen,
an angel sent a message of hope.

Any word from Sharon?


You were magnificent!

I'm really glad you came back.

I'm gonna
go talk to your dad, okay?


Okay, I'll see you in a few.

You did so good.


So how did it go?

Did you get the...

Okay, now it's my turn
to ramble, okay?

Since gramma Vera passed away,

I have been running
as fast as I can,

just chasing goals to a place
where she would be proud of me.

I decided to take
a leap of faith.

Believing her
when she said that I could

never disappoint her.

I think that's a great...

I'm not finished.

I'm gonna break
gramma Vera's challenge.

I'm not gonna make
a decision on the house yet.

I'm gonna hang on to the house
for a year.

A year?

What are you gonna do?

I'm gonna write a book.

I am going to collect
people's stories

and use story to shift
how we view

the brain in the face of loss.

And who knows, maybe I'll open
a grief center, I don't know.

Okay, so I'm guessing
you got the Grant.

I did.

Okay, so a year, and then...

I know you told me that
you didn't wanna kiss me

with one foot out the door,
and maybe the promise of a year

isn't enough for you, but man,

I would really love to kiss you
on the promise of tomorrow.

And I don't have a sign,
a big neon sign

to prove to you that...

There might be signs.

They might not be neon,
but sometimes there's signs.

Where did you?

It's the craziest story.

Isn't it amazing
how seven generations ago,

two people fell in love
one day at a time,

and now here we all are.

by VaVooM