A Christmas Romance (1994) - full transcript

A widowed mother with financial woes comes to the aid of a bill collector who crashes his car in a snowstorm.

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Thank you! Merry Christmas!

Dave, Merry Christmas!
All the best to your family!

This is the receipt book. And don't forget,
to make all the receipts in triplicate.

I use the carbon paper until the sticky side is gone.
Saves a little money.

And here's accounts receivable and accounts payable.
And for Gods sake, don't pay the bills before they are due!

I am an old hand at avoiding bill collectors.
But how am I going to handle all this without you, Julia?

Oh, maybe things will get better soon
and you'll hire me back.

I hope they do. I just feel so bad.

I did not want to get to this,
especially with the holidays coming up.

Everything will be all right, Mr. Macklin,
Don't worry about it.

Do not forget the time cards.
And you remember where the checkbook is?



I remember it.

Call me. If there is anything.

- Merry Christmas, Mr. Macklin!
- Merry Christmas, Julia.

And don't worry about me, okay?

Peace on Earth,
good will towards men.

Right, right. Well, we will discuss that
at the deal point.

I have the paperwork right here.
In duplicate.

Oh, can I make it little earlier?
No, no, that's fine.

We will do.

Here we go again. I thought you said
you were going to try to leave early.

I will, I will. The meeting won't be long.
What time do I get to pick you up?

- Cocktails are at six.
- I'll be there at five thirty.

- Brian ... Hello, Felicity.
- Hi, Susan.

I am going now. Please don't let him work
late tonight. We have a very important party.



I will do my best.

- I'll be on time.
- I wish I could trust that.

Honest!

- Yes, bye!
- Bye.

- We got a problem.
- Can it wait till after the holidays?

No. Joe's stuck in a snow storm in Albany.
Alice is stuck in a snow storm in Springfield.

and there is nobody left in the office to go
up the mountains and make this collection.

- What about Molly?
- She's stuck in Freehold.

Oh, I hate things like this!
I feel like Scrooge.

It's his season.
Do you have any better idea?

Here we go girls!
Just two more cakes and we go to town!

- I'm tired, Mommy!
- Persevere, Emily Rose!

We are not mere bakers of cakes!
We are Julia Stonecypher and daughters Inc. !

We mean business!

Can we earn a million dollars, and
then resign from Mr. Macklin?

I'll think about it
when the time comes, Deenie.

He will be real sad. But we can give him a ride
in the limousine and he will get a lot better.

All right! Let's go !

- I'm going to check on Daisy before we go.
- Don't be too long.

Okay.

Let's go !

Can you go?

You look better, Daisy.
We're coming back soon.

Deenie!

I have got to go.

Bye !

- Here we go!
- Yes !

Be careful with the cakes!

Hi, Julia!

- Thank you! Bye!
- Yes !

Look what she brought us!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas ! I brought you
Christmas cake. Five dollars.

Oh sweetheart, I am sorry,
but we can't afford it this year.

Oh, Okay, well, bye.

She doesn't have any money
for a cake this year.

Take it back to her Deenie
and wish her a merry Christmas.

- We have to take a loss on that one.
- How come, she couldn't pay for it?

Some people are just having troubles
making ends meet these days.

- Mom, says you can have it anyway.
- How kind of her! Thank you!

Bye Deenie! Bye!

- Last one!
- Yes !

I will be right back.
You two wait here, Okay?

- Good. Get out of the way!
- And no fighting! Hear me?

All right. It's your fault !

The barber says to the preacher: I know,
but you don't eat a pig like that all at once.

- Hey guys !
- Hey Julia, how are you doing?

Margie, I have the cakes.

There is nothing like a Stonecypher cake
to make it feel like the holidays.

- Where is ours?
- You get yours.

- Now, where's that doll that Emily Rose has
- her eyes on? Over there!

- Yes.
- and I am going to take that used bicycle.

- Deenie will love it.
- Smart guy, bye!

Can you hold them till I come back this afternoon?
Then I will have the rest of the money.

- You better hurry young lady,
- there is a storm coming.

- I will, Mr. Mel.
- We will walk you out.

- Thanks Marty.
- the same, Margie.

Merry Christmas!

- Merry Christmas, Margie!
- Stay out of trouble, you rascal!

- You're coming by our place Christmas Day, aren't you Mr. Mel?
- Well, it wouldn't be Christmas if we didn't.

- You think you might drop in before that?
- Why, have you got a problem ?

It's Daisy, Deenie's project.

- Oh Yes I know her.
- The lamb isn't due for a while.

But she is kind of restless and off her feet.
and I think it may come early.

- It would be a shame to lose the lamb.
- yes Sir, it would.

I will be by in the morning,
the weather permit.

Thanks! I appreciate it.

Miss Julia?

How are you three doing up there this year?

Oh, fine. We are just fine.

It must be kind of hard around
the Holidays since Tim passed away.

Yes, it is.

I am having a hard time hearing you!

Now listen, the bottom line is
I will miss the cocktails, but that's all.

Sweetheart listen, I don't like this
any better than you do.

Felicity ...
I will be down there as soon as I can.

What? what? I can't hear you.
I am loosing you.

It must be the mountains or the storm.
I am getting off this thing.

Honey, we will talk about it later!

What? what?

Emily Rose, that red stuff
is for the cakes.

- I'm the princess!
- Yeah, you're something alright.

- That snow is really coming down!
- Don't worry. Christmas must be white.

- That mean you are going to shovel the snow?
- Of course we will, won't we Emily Rose?

- I don't want to.
- She will, Julia. Don't worry.

You think you could stop calling me "Julia"?
That makes me feel like the maid.

- All right Mother.
- What's wrong with "Mommy"?

- Mommy, how many more days to Christmas?
- Two days. Just two more days.

What are you doing?

It's the chair for the Christmas stranger

It's just a stupid story, Emily Rose. Besides,
he is not supposed to come till Christmas Eve.

And if he comes early
and has no place to sit?

Mommy, when Daddy gets home
could we have Christmas all over again?

Emily Rose ...

- Look what you did.
- What did I do?

Oh no ...

Girls, I am going to check the animals.
Keep working, all right?

Okay.

Emily Rose!

Peace on Earth
and good will towards men ...

Peace on Earth
and good will towards men ...

Hello!

It's awful nice of you to come,
but it really wasn't necessary.

- Are you Mrs. Stone ...?
- I'll only have the money in January.

- Excuse me?
- I'll call you the minute I have it all.

- Merry Christmas!
- No, Mrs. Stonecypher ...

Wait! Mrs. Stonecypher!

I guess I should have told you
the last time when he was here.

Brian Harding, Ma'am. I am vice president
of the Raeburn Bank.

Didn't I use to do business with your father?
He was such a patient man.

That was my uncle. He is now retired.

Now, let me get this straight.

You knew in October that you weren't going
to be able to make your December payment?

I kind of had a suspicion, you might say,
and then I lost my job on Friday and
that pretty much confound it.

Please don't do this to me.

I am not doing anything to you Mr. Harding.
I just had to cut back on some of my bills.

Cut back?

I meant with Christmas and all.

I know I can get back on my feet.
I just need a little more time.

Even if you got the best job in town tomorrow

I seriously doubt that you will ever be able
to pay back all the loans that your late
husband took out against this property.

I came up here to give you one
last chance to make these payments,

but if you can't, I am afraid then that
you just will have to face the truth,

that you and your children
are going to have to leave.

What?

Please don't let me say it again.
It's hard enough as it is.

Mr. Harding, this house has been in my
husbands family for over a hundred years!

I am sorry. There is nothing that the bank
nor I can do for you any more.

You will be getting a formal notice
in the mail.

I am sorry. I truly am.

Mr. Harding!

You can't do this to us!

Mommy!

Is he breathing?

Yes! Thank God!

Deenie, take your sister back into the house!

and call Dr. Owens! Tell him there has been
an accident and a man was hurt!

- He's not gonna die, Mommy?
- We're not that lucky.

- What?
- He is just fine Deenie. please do what I ask!

Come on.

He had an accident!

What? Dr. Owens?

Hello? Hello!

What happened? Deenie!

- What happened...
- I called the doctor.

He said the bridge was closed,
and then the phone went dead.

Just what we needed!

Mr. Harding, I should have left you
in that snow bank to freeze!

We will put him in your room Okay?

You will never get away with it!
Kidnapping is against the law!

- I don't know what you're talking about.
- I want an upgrade!

- Who's this man, Mommy?
- I don't know, Deenie.

- He is the Christmas stranger.
- I want an upgrade!

I have mileage!

Peace on Earth
and good will towards men ...

Daddy! Daddy!

- He's not daddy.
- He looks like Daddy.

Daddy was handsome. This guy is a dork.

Besides,
you don't remember your Daddy.

Yes I do!

If you remembered him,
you would have known this isn't him!

- Then who is he?
- I don't know.

- His nose is running.
- Let's wipe it.

No! Don't touch it!
He could be an escaped convict!

Angels?

Am I dead?

- What's going on here?
- He jumped suddenly ...

Emily Rose, there is nothing to be afraid of.

- Tie him up!
- No, Deenie ...

Can we keep him?

- Don't be ridiculous.
- I don't want him. He is disgusting.
00:16:35,891 --> 00:16:38,589
We do not even know who he is.
He could be an escaped convict.

- He's not an escaped convict.
- He is the Christmas stranger.

- I told you, that's just a story.
- No it is not. It is the truth!

- You're a such a baby.
- No I am not!

- Yes you are!
- No!

Stop it, both of you!

Now, I am going to get him some dry clothes.
Watch him. All right?

He is dead!

Mommy! do something!

Why don't the two of you put on the kettle
and make some tea.

Okay Mommy!

Come up! wake up!

Felicity?

She is not here.

- Are you a waitress?
- My name is Julia, remember?

You had an accident.

Can't you help me a little?

I can't see...

Your glasses got broken.

Stay there.

Let's get these off you ...

- What are you doing?
- Your pants are soaking wet.

I don't want you!

I don't want you either Mister, but there
is nothing we can do about that, Okay?

I need to look in your eyes, all right?
to see if you have a concussion.

- Now, hold still.
- get away from me!

- I'm trying to help you.
- I don't want help. I want a cappuccino!

Really, the service here is atrocious!

I can't do this!

If you need anything,
call your waitress.

The storm that has hit the Western part
of the state is expected to stick around
at least through tonight,

and probably tomorrow.

The main roads remain closed and
the State Patrol is advising folks to stay indoors.

Now, back to music!

Mommy, if the snow doesn't stop,
Will Santa be able to get to our house?

- Don't worry, he will get here.
- You always say that.

You always say everything is going to be
all right, but it never ends up that way.

Santa can go through anything, Deenie!

Good things never happen to us.

How can you say that?
Lots of good things have happened to us.

- We have good friends ...
- and cake.

- Exactly, good cakes.
- We live in the best house in the world!

Right.

He is awake! He is awake!

Sorry,
He hasn't been among strangers much.

- I want my pants.
- Your pants are soaking wet.

- Are you an escaped convict?
- Deenie!

No, I'm no criminal. I'm a banker.

Big difference there!

Can I use your telephone? I'm getting
out of here immediately.

I'm sorry, but you're out of luck.

- What do you mean?
- The phone is dead.

One of the bills you just decided to
cut back on, Mrs. Stonecypher?

The storm must have knocked
down the lines Mr.Harding.

- Well, I can't stay here!
- We don't want you to!

Deenie!

No, I think I need a doctor.

I tried to get him,
but the bridge is closed.

What?

I am afraid You're stuck here, Mr Harding,
at least until the plow comes through.

I don't believe this!

I'm bringing you something for your headache.

Emily Rose!

Please keep her away from me!

Excuse me,
but she lives here. Take these!

- What are they?
- Just some arsenic I had lying around the house.

I made you some tea.
- Might help your headache.

Too bad we can't do anything about your manners?

My manners did not hit the steering wheel, my
head did. I could use a little sympathy here.

Sorry, we are out of that.

What's your name?

Brian. Brian Harding.

I'm Emily Rose.
and that's Deenie and that's Mommy.

Yes, we have met.

You're the Christmas stranger, aren't you?

- The what?
- I put a chair at the table,

In case you came earlier.
And you did.

I wish I hadn't.

Sorry,
but I'm not the Christmas .. whatever.

Then why did you come here?
- Because...

Emily Rose! Stop asking
the poor man so many questions!

Because ..I.. got lost.

That's what happened to the Christmas stranger!

- Oh, that's it!
- Help !

- What kind of monster are you?
- What kind of mother are you?

You let your children
climb all over people?

If you touch either of my children ever
again, you will be out in the snow, you hear!

You don't have to threaten me.
Give me my pants and I will go!

Fine!
There are dry pants next to the bed!

You can't let him go out there! I don't think
he has learned to take care of himself.

Thank you for your generous hospitality.

I will have my secretary send back
the clothes.

There's no hurry.
They were my husband's.

- I see, well ... Goodbye.
- Don't go! don't go!

- What is wrong with you?
- No! Please!

- Is she a little... you know?...

She's five years old.
That's how they are.

- Please! no!
- Get out Emily Rose!

- No!
- You're making a terrible mistake, Mr. Harding.

That weather is very serious!
You can die out there!

Please, don't worry about me. I'll be in touch
right after the holidays about that matter we discussed.

- Merry Christmas!
- You're making a terrible mistake!

Come back!

- You think he will be all right?
- He will come back as soon he sees how bad it is out there.

It's not that stupid. I'm going out to the barn
and feed the animals before it get's worse.

I come with you.

No. You stay here.
It's snowing too hard.

Maybe we should bring the animals
in the house. I bet they are cold.

Don't even think about it!
We are not bringing the animals in the house!

- Please !
- No. Now, where did she leave it?

Emily Rose?
Where did you put the swash bucket

Emily Rose?

Emily Rose!

- Her coat has gone!
- Oh my God!

Emily Rose!

Emily Rose!

She followed that man. I'm going to the General
and find her!

- I'm coming to help you.
- You stay here in case she comes back.

- I'm scared to be alone!
- Everything will be all right!

That's what you always say, but that's not how it is!

I'll find her! you hear?, I'll find her!

Just turn on all the lights in the house,
so that I can find my way back.

- all right?
- Okay

Damn it man!

General Lee! I know you're hungry,
but you have got to go to work.

Okay, I am sorry about this. Let's go !

Let's get her!

God, help her find her!

Please!

Brian!

Brian!

Ah, yes!

That's it! that's good!

Emily Rose!

Come on, girl! Come on, General!

Come on!

Emily Rose!

Emily Rose!

Hurry up! hurry up! you let the heat out!

Come on, close the door.

Come on!

What are you doing here?

- Don't go!
- Does your mother know where you are?

- No. Oh, as soon as you are warm.
I am going to take you back to your house.

You should never have followed me here!

Anybody out in this kind of weather
is just plain idiotic.

- You're here.
- My point exactly.

Peace on earth ... See what I'm doing
when I find that banker!

Emily Rose!

I think I'm going to read you a story.

It's the story of the hawthorne bush in Gla ...

Glastonbury. I know this one.

Joseph of Arimathea arrived in England.
stuck his staff into the ground,

in the middle of winter,
and the staff bloomed.

- I wanted to tell it to you!
- Sorry.

And this is a picture of the chair
for the Christmas stranger.

It's empty. Do you want to know why?

- You want to know why ?
- In case he comes. See?

- No.
- You're not paying attention.

Maybe we ought to get back to your house.
Your mother is probably worried.

- My feet are still cold.
- Oh, mine are frozen.

Try moving your toes.

I'm glad that somebody
found something to laugh at.

No! no! Please No!...

So what do you want to do now?

Easy General!

- Emily Rose!
- Hey Mommy!

- Well, hello.
- Are you all right?

- Yes.
- Come on!

- Why didn't you tell me
how bad it was out here?
- I tried.

- Well, you didn't try very hard.
- you were to full of yourself to hear what I was saying.

Hi, General!

Nice donkey! You think it knows
how to get back?

The donkey is for my daughter!
In fact, who invited you back?

Dii! Dii!

We are nearly there.

- Hang on!

- Where's the heater?
- There isn't any. The electricity went out.

Don't just stand there.
Help Deenie with the fire.

I am going
to put the General away.

You are alright?

We are going to make more lights.

Now, you are going to stay?

You did really well General.
You are a great old friend!

I'll find you a home where the food
is better and the roof doesn't leak.

How do you like that?

Daisy? How are you doing?

You have got to eat, Daisy.
Do it for Deenie.

Come on, eat.

You didn't pay your electrical bills either,
did you? that's what it is, isn't it?

Cut the ... I saved your neck
twice in one day.

Look Mister, this is the mountains.
The electricity goes out all the time in the mountains.

So does the water.
Do we call our accountants for help? No.

Do we call our psychiatrist for help? No.

We just learn to do without.

I will read you some more.

- Isn't it your bedtime?
- It's early.

What was that?

- What?
- That sound.

It's just the wind.

Why are you standing over there,
in the dark ?

Those stories are for little kids.

- I am listening.
- you're are kind of a dork.

Oh, Lord!

Candle, candle burning bright

In our window late tonight.

See the shiny Christmas star, calling

- Shep, shep...
- Shepherds.

Shepherds from afar. Lead some weary Trav...

- Traveler

Traveler,

that he may share our Christmas cheer.

Here's a picture of all the animals
talking at midnight on Christmas eve.

That's what they do, you know?

- Really?
- Yes.

They talk about whether people have been
good to them all year or not.

Do you think they speak English?

I have not got close enough to find out.

- Isn't your mother taking a long time out there?
- She is okay. She can do anything.

I bet she can.

Mommy, can we go to the barn midnight tomorrow

- I want to hear the animals talk.
- We'll see.

- Just another stupid story, Emily Rose.
- No it's not!

- Yes it is!
- No it's not!

- Girls !
- All we have to do, is go out in the barn
midnight tomorrow, and you will see!

and then you have to see your story.

Just one, Okay?
Dinner is nearly ready.

Wash your hands.

Did your mother teach you how to cook like this?

You gotta be joking. My mother had every
modern convenience she could lay hands on.

You had to learn it somewhere.

I learned from Tim and his family,
when I first came here.

They taught me all the old ways.

What else can you do?

Oh, I can read the instructions on a TV-dinner,
and hop it in the microwave,

and read the entire Gazette while it is cooking.

If I had to do this every day,
I would be old before my time.

Still, it's ... charming.

That's because you didn't have to lift a finger
for anything in your whole life.

- You don't know me!
- No I don't.

Just lucky, I guess.

You don't like me because I belive that people
ought to take responsibility for themselves

rather than just be given everything.

- You just don't understand do you?
- What don't I understand?

How can we help ourselves
if there are no jobs?

People are willing to do anything,
they can always find something.

- What?
- Whatever!.

There are plenty of jobs available down
in the city. They can go down there
and look for something.

So they should leave their homes and their
lifelong friends and all their relatives,
living or dead,

so they can turn as self centered and unfeeling as...

... me?

You said it.

Emily Rose, eat the carrots.

- I don't like carrots!
- I don't care, they are good for you.

Brian isn't eating his.

There, I eat one.

You know, with the knowledge and training
you have gotten up here, you can go anywhere
and get a good job.

I rather not discuss this at the table.

Do we go anywhere?
But we live here!

- Yes, we do Dennie.
- Then what is he talking about?

Just bankerly things.
Isn't that right Mr. Harding?

Right.

Our house is the goodest house in the whole world.

Eat, Emily Rose.

Our daddy grew up in this house.
He went away for a very long time,

but he will come home
just as soon as he can.

Just because you want something very very much,

it doesn't mean it is going to happen.

I wanted the Christmas stranger to come,
...and he did.

- He's not staying for Christmas, is he Mommy?
- No.

I assure you all, I will do everything in my power
to be out of here first thing tomorrow.

Can you please pass the salad.

I don't like that man staying here.

I don't either, Deenie, but there is nothing
we can do about it.

Are you okay?

If Mr. Mel can't get through?
What if Daisy is not better?

If anyone can, Mr. Mel can.

If the lamb comes to early,
it will die, won't it?

Won't it?

It might.

I don't want anyone to die!

Bad things happen,
I can't deny that.

But good things happen too.

You just got to remember that, and that will
make the bad things a little easier to take.

Are you sure
that good things happen?

Are you sure?

When your daddy died, I thought
that I would never be happy again.

But when I look at the two of you,
I feel very happy.

You two are the best thing that ever happened
to me in the whole world. I love you so much!

What if the fire goes out in the middle of the night?

Don't let it.

You enjoy torturing me, don't you?

What do you expect? forgiveness?

I have to look in your eyes,
to see if you have a concussion.

- Shouldn't you have done earlier?
- I tried, but you were in some kind of yappi delirium.

- What if I do have a concussion?
- I have to look it up in my first-aid book.

Now, take your glasses off.

Put your head back and open your eyes really wide.

You know, if we made a good deal on this
place it would really change things around here.

The other eye.

We have been approached by a very
prominent hotel chain looking for property in the area.

Given the view from this mountain,
it would be a very popular resort.

You still refuse to face the truth.

No, I get it.

You want to ruin the mountain.

- I'm talking about jobs here.
- Boring lousy jobs.

You prefer welfare?

I prefer not to hear about your plans
to destroy everything

which means all to me
and my children!

It's not fair !

It says here you have a slight concussion.

Good night.

Wait! What does that mean, "slight contusion"?
Is that serious?

You just have to wake up every
four hours and check yourself.

- How am I gonna do that?
- I don't know.

- Do you have an alarm clock?
- Not one that winds up.

- You have to stay awake all night.
- What if I fall asleep?

Don't.

Help me! Stay up and keep me talking!

I have a very busy day tomorrow Mr. Harding.
It's Christmas Eve.

I don't trust myself to stay awake.
I need your help !

Oh, all right...

Just for a little while.
Then you are on your own.

- You're too kind.
- No. I just don't want you dying on me.

People might think I murdered you.
Especially if they knew.

What time is it?

10:30..

- It feels more like two in the morning.
- Three.

So who is this Daisy I keep hearing about?

A sheep. My daughter's project.

- What's wrong with it?
- It's pregnant.

She has always been rather sickly,
it's worse

and chances are if the lamb comes too early,
it won't make it.

Still, Deenie is lucky she can have a pet at all.
I was not allowed any growing up.

- Not even a dog?
- My mother said they were too dirty.

I couldn't live without animals around.

Of course I was not at home enough to have a
dog anyway. I went away to prep school.

Do you enjoy living in a city Mr. Harding?

Brian.
Yes I do, very much.

Very much.

I am in a relationship with a woman down there.

- How did you end up, up here?
- I was an exchange student at university.

That's how I met Tim.

When at first I came up here, I thought
I could never live here, not in a million years

Now, I can never leave.

I made so many good friends.

- What do you do up here for fun?
- There is always something to do.

A wedding to go to or graduation ...

Or a funeral.

Or somebody needs my help.

Sometimes I just like to lie back
and listen to the wind.

I can never live in a place this quiet.

and it would drive Felicity insane.

- Felicity is your ...
- My relationship, yes.

- Sounds so technical.
- Is that not what relationships are?

Agreements between people
to be together?

Oral contracts if you are not
married, written ones if you are?

So what happens
if it doesn't work out?

Contract is broken.

So, what would you do?
evict your girl friend from your heart?

I don't like evicting people from anything.

- I do everything I can to avoid it.
- Well, You're very good at it.

I am not much good at anything.

You do more things than anybody has ever seen.

Felicity is a wonderful woman,
I love her very much, but ...

... she can't even boil an egg.
Not that she has to.

of course I usually do the cooking.
Although we like to go out to eat.

And then we like to go out to a play or a movie,
and after that we like to go out for coffee.

Actually, we are rarely in.

Mrs. Stonecypher?

Julia?

Mommy?

Mother!

The fire in our room went out!

- Oh, my God!
- What ... What happened?

- Go back to bed, right now!
- We're cold!

Not for long. I'm coming with you.

What were you doing?

Mommy? what's wrong?

I miss your daddy.

Me too.

Good morning !

Morning.

I thought maybe I could do something useful around here,

but my shoes are not exactly suitable for alpine climate.

There are some of Tim's old boots
in the feed room.

- It doesn't look like it's going to light up.
- No it doesn't.

Mr. Harding ...

Brian.

Brian ... about last night ...

I don't consider myself a weak woman.

I wouldn't say that.

But I do have my weak moments
and last night was one of them.

My husband has been gone two years now
and I still have the same reflexes ...

Between you and me I'd like to just pretend
that nothing happened.

Nothing did happen.

That's right.

You know, I read your file, but it doesn't
say anything about how your husband died.

It's because it's nobody's business.

Right.

Do you know how to swing a hammer?

I think I can manage that.

Well, there is one on a nail by the door.
Break the ice on the pump handle and bring in some water.

- and don't get lost!
I am not saving you three times.

- What are you doing?
- I am going to free up the pump.

- You know how to do that?
- Sure I do.

You let him go out there? by himself?

- He will be alright.
- Sure...

- Did she eat anything?
- No, nothing.

Why won't you eat?

What's wrong?

You got to get better. You got to!

Mr. Mel is not coming, is he?

Not unless the snow lets up.
I'm sorry, Deenie.

Don't die!

I was going to take that cake
to town and sell it !

- What's that flavor in it? I can't get enough
of it.
- Bourbon.

- What?
- Bourbon.

I use artificial flavor for the Methodists and the Baptists.

But the Catholics and Episcopalians
like the real thing.

- That cake was Episcopalian.
- Mommy, when are we going to put up the Christmas tree?

It's too hard
to go and get one.

- You have Christmas trees around the house.
- Why don't you go out and get one for us?

Alright. I will.

Don't let him do it. He will hurt himself.

Nonsense!
Anybody can cut down a tree!

We got to see this.

Timber!

What a dork!

Hurray!
Now it's really Christmas!

We plant two new in spring,
to replace this one.

Can we hurry please?
I think I have frostbite.

Here it is.

My Daddy did this when he was a little boy.

Why don't you hang it there, right in front.

Good!
Good, so when my Daddy comes home, he can see.

Emily Rose?

Your daddy is not coming home.

He is not?

No. He can't.

He's dead.

Are you sure?

Yes.

But you already knew that, didn't you?

Yes. But don't tell Mommy!

I don't think she knows.

Do you believe in Heaven?

Well...

Yes. In my own way, I guess so.

Do animals go to heaven?

If anyone does, they do.

You think our dad is in Heaven? do you
think he still loves us from that far away?

Well, from what I know about these things,
I would say: absolutely.

Yes, he does.

Really?

Really.

Well, let's take a look.

- It's great !
- Look, Mommy, look!

Beautiful.

Dinner is ready.

No, wait! Sit here!

He is our Christmas stranger, Mommy.
Now, aren't you glad we kept him?

Yes!

Chopped all the wood!

I see that. Look's like you kind of chewed it too.

- Anything else I can do?
- No, please. You've done quite enough.

Somebody had to tell her Julia.

You obviously avoided facing that, the way
you avoided facing your financial problems,

hoping they would just go away.

You just don't know how it is
raising children all by yourself!

No, I don't, but I do remember
what it was like being a kid.

Nobody ever told me what was going on,
but I always picked up on it

and I was living in constant apprehension about the future.

I told Emily Rose the truth.
I told her, over and over.

She thinks if you belive something hard enough
you can make it come true

She seems to be coping fine.
It's you who have a hard time with it.

Just take the wood in there!

- Mommy is it midnight yet?
- You are not staying up till midnight.

But you promised me we're going to
hear the animals talk.

- No I didn't.
- Emily Rose, I will make you a deal.

If you can stay awake till midnight,
I'll take you to the barn.

- I don't think it's a very good idea.
- It's done !

See? it worked.
Looks like I have a talent for dealing with children.

Right.

What are you doing, adding up our assets?

No.

It's the girls!

The perspective is wrong.
I don't like the eyes.

I have to try from a better angle.

- You could have been an artist.
- That's not a profession, it's a hobby.

But you can make a lot of money doing that.

You mean getting a little booth
and sell my art at a craft fair?

I guess I don't know a lot about these things.
Seems to make you happy.

It does.

Then why don't do what makes you happy?

- It is an absurd notion!
- What? being an artist?

No. Being happy all the time,

Especially when you have to be
responsible for things.

Why can't you be both?

Wake up! bedtime!

It's midnight!

Deenie!

Deenie, wake up!

It's time! We're going to go to the barn!

I can't believe I am doing this!

Hey girls, hold on to the cloth line!

Don't walk to fast! I'm still basically an invalid you know!

It's because of you, we are here in the first place.

It's fun. We are having fun!

Come here.

There you go!

That's it.

- They are not talking!
- Not yet.

- You hurt yourself?
- I am fine.

They are talking!

They are all talking!

What I told you!
It's true ! It's true !

It is true!

Take it easy Daisy, take it easy.

- We don't want to frighten her.
- What's wrong with her?

Daisy is going to have a baby right now
and we are all going to help.

I need you to take care of her
while I get some water rags.

What do we mean to take care of her?
What do you want me to do?

Keep her calm.
And girls, be real quiet, all right?

Nice sheep.

Lambs are born every day.
It's no a big deal, right?

I think you wish it was all over.
I know I sure do.

No!, no! Lie still! nice sheep!

Calm sheep! Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle...

- Why are you singing that?
- Because I know all the words.

Come, help me!

Nice to ride in an open sleigh...

Okay, okay...

I have never done anything like this before.

I guess none of your friends growing up with farmers.

- Not one.
- can be a little gruesome.

- Oh, oh, What?
- Here we go.

Now, she is going to resist you.
So hold her still, okay? okay!

- Come on, baby!
- Come on, girl!

Okay Daisy, come on! here we go.
Come on Daisy, come on

That's it! It will be alright.

Hold her still! hold her still!

- Come on, Daisy!
- You can do it!

Come on, Daisy! You are doing it!
You can do it!

Come on, I know you can do it!

You did it! You did it! she did it!

Its beautiful! Good girl Daisy!

- Good girl Daisy!
- We have to take the lamb up to the house.

And he has to eat something.
Calm down, Daisy!

Calm down.
It's Okay. You will be okay.

- That a girl.
- You'll have to heat up the milk

and to make sure he drinks it, affright?
- And the most important thing, keep it warm, okay?
- Okay!

- What about you and the girls?
- I will be a little later. I'm staying with Daisy.

Brian?

Thank you.

Daisy?

No!

Daisy ...

Daisy!

I wish there was something I could do.

You put up such a good fight.

I guess that's what mothers do.

We just don't always win.

They didn't even wake up.

It's eating.

I couldn't save Daisy.

Why do these things always happen to us?

What are we going to do about Santa Claus?

There is no Santa Claus.

- Don't loose faith now.
- Why shouldn't I?

Anyway, it's none of your concern.

Maybe there is something in the attic for them.

Look at all this!

You scared me.

Some of these things must be worth a fortune.

Money is all you ever think about?

If you sold a few of these things,
you may be able to pay some of your bills.

I could never sell these things.
They belonged to Tim's family.

His mother wore this.

You know, Julia ...
Maybe you hang on to the past a little too much.

Maybe it has been holding you back.

It's everywhere, I can't avoid this.

How did your husband die?

I'd like to understand how things got this way.

Things are pretty much always this way.

Tim worked well in shop.

It was kind of our last chance.

He put everything he had into try to make it work .

That night, was the first time he realized
he was going to loose the business.

He had a few too many beers
and took off on his bike.

He hit a car coming up the road around the
same place you had your accident.

We didn't have any insurance.

Did you have to pay damages?

Mr. Whitfield settled for what was done
to his to his Cadillac. 5000 dollars.

Then there was the hospital, and .. funeral.

And that is some of the debts
which I am still paying off.

Why didn't you tell the bank about it?
All you had to do was write us a letter.

Answer me honestly.
Would it have done any good?

You didn't even fight for yourself!

No, it probably would not have done any good.

This doll will have to do for Emily Rose.

I will give the farm to Deenie.

She will be onto that.

Know that Santa Claus didn't bring these gifts.

I am sorry I ruined your Christmas.

It's getting cold.

We should leave.

The doll!

Excuse me.

No point in trying to get any sleep.
The girls are going to be up soon.

- Julia ...
- I will make us some coffee.

- He came!
- He came!

Merry Christmas, my girls!

Merry Christmas, Mom!

- Thanks Mommy.
- Thanks Mommy.

Mommy, will you keep this doll somewhere safe?
It's too nice to play with.

Of course, if that's what you want.

The lamb!

You want to hold him Deenie?

- What if he dotted?
- he won't.

- Is it a boy or a girl?
- It's a girl.

Come on, go there.

- What should we call it?
- I don't know.

she is beautiful!

Can we go and see Daisy?

Daisy was very sick, Deenie.

I am sorry.

I did everything that I could for her.

But you know, she gave us the most
wonderful Christmas present,

and Brian was up all night with the lamb
to make sure that it lived.

Don't be sad, Deenie.

Sometimes bad things happen, but the
good things make them not hurt so bad.

Thanks. I guess you are not a dork.

Anyone for breakfast?

Pancakes?

Santa Claus did not make it
through the storm, did he Mommy?

I guess not.

I bet that's it.

Too bad...

Look, it's stopped snowing.

I don't believe it!

They got through!

Good morning, Miss Julia!

I never dreamed you make it!

Just like in the old days! I always said
a horse is worth twenty plows!

So good to see all of you!

You don't mind Miss Julia, we will just park these horses
in the barn and we will check on that sheep.

I am afraid It's too late, Mr. Mel.

I am Sorry to hear that, Mrs. Julia.

- Merry Christmas, Mr. Mel!
- Good morning, Mr. Bart!

Come, give me a hug!

Guess what happened at our house last night

We heard a rumbling on the roof.

And when we went up there to check it out,

it seems that Santa had left ...

... these!

- My doll!
- My bike!

It seems Santa couldn't get through the pass.

- Look Mommy!
- Lucky girl!

Oh, it's beautiful!

- Everybody must think you're dead, young fellow.
- Or worse.

I've never gone this long
without using a telephone.

- That about does it.
- Well, I say we go to the other room for
a mixture before dinner.

- Good idea!

- Come on, Mr.Harding!
- Oh, I am not much of a drinker.

- Oh, you can't say no.

Deenie? Emily Rose?

Let's clear the table.

A helicopter!

Boy, he must have some important friends!

Brian!

Brian!

Felicity!

- What a surprise!
- Thank God you're alive!

I've been so worried about you!
What happened? Why didn't you call?

I was going to, but the phones are dead.

I had a car accident. These people
they saved me, they are very nice.

Come in. You have to meet them.

Everybody! This is...

- Felicity.
- Right, right, Felicity.

- You had a bad accident.
- No. I feel fine. I can't feel a thing.

Felicity, this is Mr. Betsill.

and Mr Betsill and Mr Betsill,

and Deenie and Emily Rose and ...

... Julia.

- There you are! You have everything?
- I don't know...

Well, if you have forgotten anything,
I am sure that...

- Julia.
- Julia will send them on to you.

Thank you so much for all you have done.

- Brian? Let's go.
- I'm not ready yet.

There is a helicopter waiting.

But it's Christmas!

- You are welcome to stay for dinner.
- Thank you, we have already made plans.

That is, if you're sure you are alright.

I have to go now.

I know.

- It's so much I want to say to you!
- Brian!

You are very pretty.

- Very very...
- He is delirious. I am sorry.

- Very...
- Brian!

- Now!
- Very pretty!

No!

Well, I guess that's that.

- He'll come back, will he Mommy?
- No, Deenie, I'm afraid he is not.

Merry Christmas!

- That's all there was Julia.
- Thanks for holding them for me.

Next time there is a storm, I will tell the mailman
to send back all your bills.

- Wouldn't that be lovely.
- What have you got there, Deenie?

- It's my lamb.
- We named it Brian after the Christmas stranger.

I heard you had the bank man
up at your house for the holidays.

He had an accident
and he hurt his head right here.

And he was bleeding all over
and he had to take all his clothes off.

- Emily Rose!
- and he cut down a tree.

He saved Deenie's lamb
and then he went away.

That's quite a story!

- Here you are.
- Thank you.

Time to go! Happy New Year !

Happy New Year!

STRONG EXECUTION
signed: Brian Harding.

Emily Rose? Deenie?

It's time for us to have a little talk, okay?

You know Mommy has had a kind of hard time
lately in paying the bills and all.

One of the reasons is this old house.

Really it's to big for the three of us.

And I think it would be kind of fun
if we moved into town.

You would be closer to
your friends.

and Deenie, there would be a lot more places
for you to ride your bike.

- But what about the animals?
- May be we can give them to someone who would
allow us to visit them once in a while.

- No!
- Deenie ...

We're not moving!

Who is that?

It's Brian!

- Hi everybody!
- I didn't think you were ever coming back!

- I thought you didn't like us anymore.
- It has nothing to do with you. I want you to know that

See all these boxes?
They are all for you.

Are they for us? All?
- All of them!

Oh boy!

Is this charity or guilt?
Take them back right now!

- Run, girls!
- Deenie!

- We can't move any more than we have already.
- Well, that's what I wanted to talk to you about.

I got your letter.
What more is there to say?

- What letter?
- This one.

Now, get out!
This house is our's for a few more days at least!

It says so in print. Right there!

- Don't go!
- Emily Rose, get in the house!

- I don't want to go!
- Have you looked at the date on this?

It was written
three days before Christmas.

How thoughtful of you!
Let my daughter go!

- She's up to me!
- Look, Emily Rose!

Colored pencils, watercolors
and a drawing block!

Let me see!

Why did you come back here?

Well, your phone is still out. And I wanted
to give the girls their Christmas present.

And ... I wanted to see you.

I don't want to see you!

In my way!

Listen to me.

- You are still in my way.
- What did I do!

- You left!
- I had no choice!

Besides, I was drunk.
That stuff that Betsill makes is toxic!

My children thought you were gone forever.

I am sorry.
I had to deal with some things down in the city ...

What things ?

Well, this for one.

It's a present for you.

- Just one more thing to pack.
- Julia ...

Maybe I can convince the bank
to lend you more money.

I have been thinking, maybe you could turn
this place into a culture center.

You know, to preserve the old ways of life.

That would bring tourists up the mountain
and it would create jobs for you

and a lot of the folks around here, your friends.

Giving demonstrations on weaving
and genuine home cooking?

Conducting tours?

"And here in this room are my daughters,
Emily Rose and Deenie."

"Say hi girls!", that's how we greet folks
up here in the cute old mountains!"

- That's not what I meant.
- what did you mean?

I mean, I want to do something for you!

Then get your bank to lend me
some money to let me do what I want!

- What do you want?
- I want to go living in my house,
the way I have always done.

I want to raise my kids, I want to keep our
animals and I want to bake my special cakes!

How are you going to make a living?

I don't know. Those people who bake those awful
fruit cakes they sell in the gourmet stores,
they make a killing of that stuff.

My cakes are better than those!
Why couldn't I do that?.

It's hard to make it in the food business.
You need the right financing and the right marketing advice.

But ... maybe I could help you.

I have some connections down in the city
who know about this kind of thing.

maybe we could be partners.

I couldn't stand it down in the city,
and you wouldn't last a day up here.

I already did.

What about Felicity. what would she think about
this partnership?

I broke up with her.

Julia ...

I never felt like this before.

I always spend all my time working
and that seemed like enough, but ...

But now it doesn't.

I never knew that I could be happy,
not like I have been in the last few days,

when I got stuck up here with all of you.

Julia, I want to be with you.

I thought you had feelings for me.
I guess I was wrong.

I do. I do have feelings for you.

Well, you have a funny way of showing it.

I thought you may have noticed, I keep my cards up.
I am just not very good at expressing my feelings.

I want to tell you how I feel!
I feel so much! I think you are...

But I don't know how!

So what am I supposed to do?
Read your mind?

I got you!

Look! Now it's Christmas!

Electricity!

Play us something at the piano!

Come on, we all play.