Entertaining Christmas (2018) - full transcript

"Claire is a cookbook author, crafting expert, and television personality whose name is synonymous with perfection. As she contemplates retirement, her daughter Kara (Sweetin) is poised to ...

Places, everyone.

In five, four, three, two...

My next guest
needs no introduction.

From cookbooks

to a successful line of decor,

her name is synonymous
with home.

She is the Queen of Crafts,
the Dame of Decoupage.

Liz Livingstone!


You look amazing.

Merry Christmas.

And you know what,

it will be a merry Christmas
for our audience today

because you're gonna be
showing us how to do

a truly show-stopping
gingerbread house!

That's right.

Take a look at all these
wonderful ingredients.

I can do this.


My personal favourite,
jelly beans.

And melted caramel candies

make wonderful
stained glass windows.

Be careful.
They're fragile.


And next...
you're gonna love this...

- I'm making a scalloped roof.
- Okay.

But you can also use
candy wafers for shingles.

No. No-no-no-no!

- How's that?
- Very nice.


finish it all off with a
dusting of powdered sugar.

It's snowing!

Snowing indeed.

You know what?

The most important thing
is to have fun

and make it your own.

Liz, it's perfect.


Be sure to pick up
the latest issue

of Livingstone
Lifestyle Magazine...

...for this and other recipes.

Hi, Mom.

Hurry up, sweetheart.

We're gonna be late
for the party.

Is that flour on your neck?

How did the royal icing
come out this time?

Not so great.

Next time add a splash
of lemon juice.

This is Anna
from Livingstone Magazine

and if you are just joining us,

we are live from the annual
Livingstone Magazine

Christmas party.

And, yes.

Those are Liz's signature
snowflake pancakes.

Hello, everyone.

Welcome to the 21st annual
Livingstone Christmas party.


We are here to celebrate

another wonderful year
at the Livingstone company,

and it is my honour to introduce
the woman of the hour,

our fearless leader

and my mom, Liz Livingstone.

Thank you, Candace.

Well, this has always been
my favourite event of the year.

I get to show my true gratitude
to all of you

who make this company
what it is.

And to our board of directors,

along with
our wonderful chairman,

James Carlyle, who flew in
all the way from Chicago

to be with us here
to celebrate tonight.

I say thank you.

There was an announcement
that I was planning on saving

until the new year
but with you here, together,

I think this might be
the right time after all.

This will be my last year
as acting CEO.

I'm stepping away but I know it will be
in good hands with all of you.

So, let's make this next year
the best one yet.

Merry Christmas to you all.

You're retiring?

Well, I've been thinking
about it for a while now.

And it just feels like
the right time.

What's the Livingstone brand
without Liz Livingstone?

I agree.

The Livingstone brand
needs a Livingstone,

which is why I'm suggesting you
as my replacement.


Well, who better?

You've been at the magazine
for five years,

you know the business side
inside and out.

Well, yeah, but working
behind the scenes though

is worlds different than being
the face of the entire brand!

I've always dreamed that
you would take over from me.

I built this for you, Candace.

Well, not exactly
the announcement

they were expecting.

I better go
put some minds at ease.

I'll be back in a moment.

How are we gonna replace her?

I'm not sure that we can.

She's someone
that people really admire.

You know, when they buy
her cookie cutters

or try one of the recipes
from the magazine,

what they're really trying to do

is they're trying to be...

Be just like her.


And that is a tough act
to follow.

Oh, I agree.

Are you okay?

You know what?

I feel like the shadows
are a little harsh.

Do you think we could diffuse
the light a bit?


And in here,

Candace is overseeing
the photo shoot.

A four course Christmas dinner.

And it looks delicious,

but hasn't the Christmas edition
already gone to print?

This is for the website.

Our readers
will be able to click

on any item in the photo
and go to a video tutorial.

What's this?
This is spectacular!

Well, we're gonna be
shooting this next.

All of our social media accounts

are going to have
a gingerbread house a day

to countdown to Christmas.

I made Christmas Eve

and Candace's will be
Christmas Day.

- You made one too?
- Yes.

I would love to see it.

It's not quite finished yet.

Just like your mother?


Where do you want the
Christmas Day gingerbread house?

You can leave it
right there. That's fine.


This is your gingerbread house?

Yes, well...

It was a bit of a rough ride
over here

in the cab this morning.

It was... a lot of potholes.


I... I like
the peppermint wreath.

I think it has
a lot of character.

It just needs
a little sprucing up.

- Candace.
- Yeah?

Do you have a minute?

There's something
I think you'll wanna see.


This was posted yesterday.

It has been shared
nearly 30,000 times since then.

Hi, Mrs. Livingstone.

My name is Harper
and I'm a really big fan.

My dad is currently
stationed overseas.

He's in the army

and whenever we send him
a care package,

we always include
Livingstone ginger snaps.

He said it reminds him
of being here with all of us.

I'm making this video
because I just found out

that my dad will be coming home
on December 20th,

just in time for Christmas!

So we're throwing him
a welcome home party

and I really want it
to be perfect,

and I know you're the
one person who could help us.

So, if you can make it,

I know it would be
just the best surprise ever!

A real hero's welcome.

You could be there
to greet him with the family!

And maybe you could even make
those cookies that he loves.

And then we could feature
this whole trip

in next month's issue.

I think it's a terrific idea.

No. Wait.

I'm gonna be in Aspen
at the charity fundraiser.

I'm already committed.

- You could go.
- Alone?

You could take Anna!

It sounds like a lot of people

are following this story
on social media.

We could give them
a happy ending.

But she asked for you, Mom.

If you're gonna
take over from me,

we're gonna have to get
the approval

of the board of directors

and currently,
they have some reservations.

This would go a long way in
showing them that you're ready.


We're here.

That's a lot of notes.

This is just the menu.

Look at this.
She even drew diagrams.

At least you're well prepared.

All right.

Let's do this.

I don't know, though.

Do you think maybe
we should've called first?

No, the surprise
is part of the fun.

This way we'll get a real,
genuine reaction from them.

All right.

What if that real, genuine
reaction is disappointment?

They're gonna be
so excited to see you.

Just watch.


Wait, wait. Wait.

Okay, you ready?

- Remember to smile.
- Okay.

Hello, can I help you?

Yes, hi.
I'm here to see Harper.

- I'm Candace Liv...
- Livingstone!

Liz's daughter, of course!

Yes, yes, I recognize you
from the magazine!

Come in, come in.


Come on.

Thank you.

She will be over the moon
to see you!

I told her that the video
was a long shot

but she was so determined

to make her father's homecoming
extra special.

This is a lovely home.

Would it be possible

to open these curtains?

I think the natural light
would help the shot.

This is Anna.

She's our social media manager
for the magazine.

She's gonna be taking
some photos and videos

of the homecoming
if you don't mind?

Well, of course!

I'll just get Harper.

- She's upstairs with her mother.
- Okay.

Oh, please,
make yourselves at home.

Thank you.

See? You had nothing
to worry about.

This must be Harper's dad.

You came! You really came!

Hi, Harper!
How are you, honey?

So nice to meet you.

This is Jane,
my daughter-in-law.

- Hi.
- Harper's mother.


I can't believe
you're actually here!

Well, we saw Harper's video

and we wanted to be a part
of this very special day.

I have a surprise for you.

Here is... a box

of my mother's famous
homemade ginger snap cookies.

And she's very sorry that
she couldn't be here today.

She really wanted to come.

It's okay. You're here!

Well, we have boxes

of decorations
and desserts in the car

so that we can help you plan

your picture perfect
Christmas party.

Well, you've come
at the perfect time!

Steve's not due back
for another couple of hours

and we've only just started
getting ready. So...

We're gonna bake him a cake

and when he gets here
we're all gonna hide!

Harper's been
planning this for weeks.

She's worked so hard
to make it a surprise.

That'll be the cake!

I am gonna go to the car
and get some more boxes.

No, no, no.

No, you're not supposed
to be here yet.

I'm sorry?

Look, I don't have time
to explain right now

but I need you
to get back in your car

and just drive around
for maybe like 15 minutes

and then when you come back,
act surprised.

Just... let's...
hold on a second here.

Who are you?

I'm Candace!


My mom is Liz Livingstone?
You love her cookies?

You're selling cookies.

No, no... No, I'm not
selling anything.

So you're giving them away.

There are no cookies.

It's... I'm here, for you.

You're here for me?

Yeah. I'm your surprise.


Uncle John!

Hey, Harp!

How are ya?!

Look who's here.
It's Candace.

I sent a video to help
surprise Dad, and she came!

This is my uncle John.

- There we go.
- Yes.

- Hi.
- Hi.

- Nice to meet you.
- Yeah, you as well.

I'm so sorry.
I thought you were Steve.


Younger brother.

I get that a lot.


Hey, is Grandma home?

She's in the kitchen.

Come on, you need to see
the cake we made!

Okay. I'm comin' in
right away!

That is, if it's okay with you.

Of course.
Please, be my guest.

I'm allowed now.

- You are allowed, yes.
- That's good.

I did a great job, Candace.

You know, in my defence,

that picture
was very misleading.

- What's going on?
- Steve's flight was delayed.

- What time does he get in?
- Thursday.

Thursday. That's...
That's Christmas Eve.

I'm sorry.

Seems you came
all this way for nothing.

Don't apologize.

I'm glad I got to come out here
and meet you all.

No, but you can't go!
We need you!

Are you gonna come back?

Harper, we can't ask Candace

to give us any more time
from her busy schedule.

Popping in today was already
incredibly generous.


I'm sorry to drop in unannounced

but everyone down
at the town hall...

- Hey. You want some coffee?
- Yeah.

...chipped in to buy Steve
a little welcome home gift.

Is he here?

Thank you, that is very kind

but I'm afraid there's been
a slight change of plans.

Steve won't be back
until Christmas Eve.

- That's too bad.
- Thanks.

This is Candace Livingstone!

And Candace, this is
our beloved Mayor Walsh.

I thought you looked familiar.

I'm a big fan of your magazine.

- I'm very pleased to meet you!
- Yes, you too.

Candace was here
helping with Steve's party.

So does this mean you'll be sticking
around our little town for a while?

Can you?

Well, you've come all this way.

Let us extend to you

some good, old-fashioned
Cedar Falls hospitality.

Well, I wouldn't want you

to go to all that trouble
just for me.

Our town takes great pride
in its Christmas calendar.

In fact, there's a lot
of wonderful events

that I think will be
right up your alley.

How so?

Well, the crafts fair,
the cookie stand,

the gingerbread house

I would like for you to attend
them all as my guest of honour!

Please, Candace?

Who could say no to that?

Wonderful! Wonderful!

We are going to make the next
four days ones you'll never forget!

I'm sure!

Hey, Mom. Just give me a call
back whenever you get this.

Talk to you later.

That was really nice,
what you did back there.

Offering to stay for Harper.

It's kinda hard to tell her no.

Oh, believe me. I know.

Last week I took her
to get a Christmas tree

and we came back with ornaments
for the entire family

and a pound of peppermint fudge.

Is this it?

That's the one.
The Inn on Holly Drive.

You turn left by the town hall.
You can't miss it.

They make their own egg nog.
Highly recommended.

You should both come over
tomorrow for breakfast.

Oh, gosh, I...
wouldn't wanna put you out.

You wouldn't be putting us out.
We'd love to have you!

Well, all right then.
We will be here.

I hope I'll be seeing you too.

We have the gingerbread

and then we'll be
decorating the tree.

Sorry, I can't. I gotta get
to the paper early tomorrow.

I thought it was your day off.

When have you ever known him
to take a day off?

- The paper?
- Yeah. John's a reporter

...at the Cedar Falls Gazette.

Well, I hope you'll have time
for the festival.

You can't miss that.

I will try.

Scout's honour.


- It was nice to meet you.
- You too.

And we'll see you guys later.

- Okay.
- All right.

I can take that.

You wanna go back in?
It's cold!

- All right, you ready?
- Bye!

- Hello.
- Hi.

Welcome to the Inn
on Holly Drive.

The name, please?


I actually don't have
any reservations.

I was wondering if you might
have two rooms available

for the next four nights?

I realize it's last minute,

but the trip
was a little unexpected.

You're in luck, Miss...

Candace Livingstone.
Liz Livingstone's daughter!

Yeah, that's me.

How exciting!

A celebrity in our little town!

Wait right there.


Flights are rescheduled.

Do they have any open rooms?

Look, we have your pillows.

Yes, you do.

Your mother just has
the most amazing taste.

In, well, everything!

But of course,
you need reservations.

Let's get you in the book.


All right.

Follow me and I'll show you
to your rooms.


You can keep the pillow.

There you go.

We spotlight different traditions
from different countries.

Christmas across the globe.

We're a local paper, John.
We cover local stories.

Right, but it's a big world
out there.

I mean, don't you think
we should be bringing

a little bit of that
into our readers' homes?

We have a travel section.

Betsy just got back
from Niagara Falls.

In fact, she's got a wonderful
write-up in today's edition.

Pictures, too.

What about that winter
tournament basketball game...

- ....I gave you?
- It's on your desk.

- And the booster club fundraiser?
- Finished, Ben.

I'm a good reporter.

I know I could be
doing bigger things.

What about Candace Livingstone?


The... the...
Queen of the Crafts lady?

Her daughter.

My niece sent in a video
asking her to come

and help welcome my brother Steve
home for Christmas and she came.

Tell me more.

Anna sent me that video.

You made
that little girl's year.

Mom, what is all that banging?

I thought you were
at the ski lodge.

Well, I was talking to the owner

and he said he'd never had
an almond dacquoise.

Well I happened to have
a wonderful recipe

so I thought I'd whip one off.

Of course you did.

That's a sponge cake, right?

No, sweetheart.
That's a Genoise.

Just a sec.

You're going to carefully
fold that into the chocolate.

Thank you.

I had a fabulous idea.

Instead of going back
to the office,

why don't you fly out here?

There's a few people
I'd like you to meet.

Well, there's been
a slight change of plans.

- I'm staying.
- You're staying?

Yeah. Harper's dad Steve doesn't
get in until Christmas Eve now

so that's actually
why I was calling.

I was hoping maybe
you could meet me tomorrow?

Sweetheart, I'd love to
but they've asked me

to stay on
an extra couple of days.

They're auctioning off
a lunch with me.


I'll do my best
to get there as soon as I can.

Just hold down the fort, okay?



I love you.

Bye, Mom.


My mom said that she'll be here
as soon as she can

but for now we're on our own.

Did I just make a huge mistake?

So we're here
for a few extra days.

What could go wrong?

Candace. Candace, will you
sign my cookbook, please?

Mrs. Deevers,

did you tell people
that I was staying here?

Of course not.

But word travels fast
in a small town.

It might be good for the site.

- Will you sign my cookbook please?
- Absolutely.

Your mom is amazing.
I love her.

This is amazing.

Are you okay?

What am I gonna do?

It is one thing to take
some pictures with a family

with a carefully written
set of instructions

but it a whole other
to be the guest of honour

at some entire town's
Christmas festival!

You could always cancel.

- I can't do that!
- Why not?

Because my mother
is recommending me

as her replacement

and she wants me
to use this trip

to make a good impression
on the board of directors.

She has built her entire legacy
on perfection and I...

...I'm anything but!

Nobody expects you
to be perfect.

Cedar Falls certainly does!

You know my mom's
snowflake pancakes?

Yeah, of course!

Who doesn't?

Okay. She used to make those
for me and my dad every Christmas.

Well, one Christmas
she had the flu.

So I thought I would go
downstairs to the kitchen

and surprise everybody
and make them myself.

What happened?

I burnt the whole first batch!

The second batch
was completely lumpy.

The third batch
was the worst one of all!

Well, kids burn things
all the time.

Anna, I was 17.

What did your mother say?

I never told her!

I mean, I'm the Liz
Livingstone's daughter

and I can't even make a pancake?

I was so embarrassed!

And she always made this
look so easy!

It just never was for me.

What I'm saying

is that the more time
I spend here in Cedar Falls

under a microscope,

the more opportunities I have
to screw everything up.

And my mom is counting
on me for this.

I can't afford
to let her down.


you fake it.

Fake it?


You've been watching your mother
for years now.

You don't need to be
the Queen of Crafts.

You just need to play the part.

That's what I've been trying
to do my entire life.

All you need to do is get
through the next four days.

And I will be here to help!

You really think I can do this?


We just need a game plan.

All right.

Well, first thing I'm gonna need
is some winter clothes.

You need a pair of these.


Red's a good colour on you.


Doin' some Christmas shopping?

Not exactly.

I didn't bring any luggage

so I've gotta find something
to wear for the next few days.

Well, since you are
sticking around,

I was hoping for an interview.

With me?

That's the idea, yeah.

No, I'm really
not that interesting.

The daughter
of the Queen of Crafts?

And with her recent
retirement announcement,

widely considered to be
the heir apparent

of her Fortune 500 company?

Thought you didn't know
who I was.

I did some research.


Well, sounds like you have
everything you need right there.

There's not much more
to the story.

Well, let me be
the judge of that.

Can you excuse us
for one moment?

- Yeah.
- Yeah.

- You should do it.
- Are you serious?

It'll be good press.

I am trying to avoid questions.

Now you want me
to sign up for some?

Look, he is the uncle of the
girl that you're here to help.

I'm not sure that you'll find

a more friendly
interview situation.

What's all this?

- Christmas on Main Street.
- Christmas on Main Street?

Yeah, it's Cedar Falls'
biggest event of the year.

They shut down Main Street

and there's games,
concessions, carolling.


- Check out that tree.
- Yeah.

That's the grand finale.

So at the end of the night,

they'll light that tree
in the centre of the square.

I'm gonna go get
some footage of that.


So you graduated
with an MBA in business?

I did.

Always been good with numbers.

Everybody says
I take after my dad.

Well, I mean, if you can cook,

then obviously your mom's
an influence as well.

Right! Yeah,
I mean, of course.

You know, sort of 50/50 I guess.

I used to have
a camera just like that.

My dad got it for me
for my 15th birthday.

What are you doing?

Just jotting it down.

It's not really important.

It sounded important to you.

Yeah. More of a hobby.
I just...

I always like to be
behind the camera

rather than in front of it.

I oversee
our feature photo shoots.

Excuse us.

My gosh!

Here, here.

Sorry, I... That's all right.

I was so sure
I could balance them.

Where did you park?

I had to park way,
way down the street.

Let us walk you to your car.

You don't have to do that.

It's our pleasure.


Yeah. Lead the way.

Yeah, okay. Thank you.

You're a Christmas angel.

So, thank you again for
answering all my questions.

Yeah, no problem.

Did you get everything
you needed?

For now.

I'll see you later.

See ya.

Here, can you put those
in there? Thanks.

What's this?

Word does travel fast
in a small town.


Well, I hope you brought
your appetite.

Good morning.


Well, it seems my very busy son

suddenly had an opening
for breakfast.

No, he's still on the clock,

John's writing a piece
on Candace for the newspaper.

I see.

I'm here.
Isn't that what counts?

Can I get you two some coffee?

Yes, coffee would be wonderful.

Thank you.

Well, dig in, everyone.
Don't be shy.

Thank you.

This all looks so good.

We got all the recipes
out of the magazine.

Everything except the
snowflake pancakes, I'm afraid.

Snowflake pancakes?

Yeah. They're sort of
my mom's specialty.

She makes them every Christmas.

And try as I may,

I just can't seem
to get them right!

Well, you know,
it's all in the wrist.

I'd like to see
the snowflake pancakes.

You wanna see one?

You know what?

I probably have a picture
of them on my phone.

- I could show you.
- No...


Sorry, I meant,
could you make one?

- Could you?
- I'd love to see it in action!

But here? Now?

Why not?

Well, we don't have any batter.

I can fix that.

- Okay.
- Let's get some snowflake pancakes.

They're gonna be so good.

Pancake time.

What are you doin'?

I thought I'd get a few pictures

as a companion piece
for the article.

Well you know,
it happens really quickly

so I don't know that a picture

is really the best way
to capture the moment.

You're right.
You know what?

Video would be better and then
we can put it on our website.

Here you go.

The batter should be
the right consistency.

I can't wait to see
how it all turns out!

Me either!

All right.
Get the right position

and start here...

and here we go.


Would you mind
if I gave it a shot?

Yeah. Go ahead.

She has been showing me
the perfect technique.

I've been practicing

and I would really love
to try it out.

Yes! I think
that's a great idea.

You should practice.

Very nice.

Okay. Good, yeah.
I'll take that.


That's perfect.
Just like I taught you.


Take that.

Whoa, it looks
just like the picture!

You must be
an excellent teacher!


I'd still like to get one
of Candace doing it.

Just... if you don't mind
if I could?

But we need to get a move on

or we'll be late for the
gingerbread competition!

Go on, before it all gets cold!


- Thank you.
- Of course.

This looks fun.


Don't let those
friendly faces fool you.

It gets pretty competitive.

- Seriously?
- Cutthroat.

I see my friends.
Can I go say hi?

So? What can I expect?

To be honest, I'm not sure.

I haven't been here
since I was a kid.


Just haven't found the time.

Well you know,
my mom always had a saying.

"Time well spent
is time spent together".

Well, your mother
is incredibly successful.

I'm sure she spent
long hours to get there.


But family
was always the priority.

And there was nothing
more important.

Especially at Christmas.

It was a time
for us to slow down

and appreciate all that we have
with the people we love.

You know, I think we need
to get you into the spirit.

And how do you propose
to do that?

I've got just the thing.


Yeah! It's a start.

Welcome, everyone,

to the 50th annual
gingerbread showdown!

We're so lucky today

to have a very special
guest judge,

Candace Livingstone!

Hi. Hi, everyone!

I'm gonna put this down.

Thank you, Mayor Walsh
and thank you, Cedar Falls

for inviting me to be a part
of such a wonderful event.

I'm sure I have a very tough
decision ahead of me.

Now, before we begin,

we thought it might be fun
to ask Candace

to show us some tips
and tricks of the trade!

You guys don't need my advice.
They're in a competition, right?

Well, what do ya say, folks?

Would you like a little

Why did it have to be

Candace! Candace! Candace!

Okay. Well, the secret to a perfect
gingerbread house is patience.

Because, you know,
it can take one, or two...

or, you know,

even ten tries

to get it right.
Oh, boy.

Yeah. But you know,

the great thing about
gingerbread houses

is that there
really are no rules.

So, you know,
your gingerbread house

could be tall or short,

neat or messy.

the perfect gingerbread house

is whatever you make it to be.

And that royal icing is
giving you a bit of trouble?

Just add a splash
of lemon juice.

Wonderful. Thank you, Candace!

Let the competition begin!

- Good luck, everyone!
- Good luck.

Look at all those windows.

Look at this one!

- It looks like a little castle!
- Yeah.

They did a great job.

Look at that!

Nice job.

Great job.

Well, ladies.

Do we have a winner?

What do you think?


I have conferred with
my esteemed colleague here

and we have made a decision.

It's the Carsons!


Let's get a picture.

Great. Nice job.

Kevin. Grab the photo.

Well, we're all heading home
to trim the tree.

Do you have to get back
to the paper right away?

I'll be right behind you.

- Yes!
- All right.

See you later.

I can't believe
you still have this.

You made this for me
when you were six.

Of course I still have it.

It's lopsided.

It's perfect!

I like it!

There you go.
Two against one.

And she's the expert.

I'm hanging it in the back.


What are we going to do
about the angel?

Dad always puts it on top.

Harper. I spoke to your dad
last night and...

- ...he thinks you should do it.
- Me?

can you hand me that box?

Yeah, sure.

There you go.
Thank you.

But I can't reach.

I think I can
help you with that.



Now, you see?

You almost missed this.

You did a good job.


There's something
that just doesn't add up.

Did you see her
at the gingerbread competition?

She didn't even know
what a gingerbread house was

let alone how to make one.

Everyone has an off day.

No, I think... I think
you should look into this.

My instincts are never wrong.

- She was...
- Dig a little deeper.

Come on, Ben.
She was ambushed.

She wasn't expecting
to build a gingerbread house.

For what it's worth,

I thought you handled it
with a lot of finesse.


Well, the crowd
seemed to like it.

I've been here
less than two days

and I've barely averted
three potential disasters.

But they were averted.

And if anything else comes up,

I will run interference.

Wait, wait, wait.
We've got one more problem.

- What?
- John.

Because you wanna
lose yourself in his eyes

and never find your way out?

I was thinking
because he's nosy.



The last thing I need is a
reporter tailing me around,

catching me
in a domestic mishap.

Don't worry...

Heavens, you're just in time!

I have a surprise for you.

No, no.

I'm not really big on surprises.

I know you'll love this one.



The inn hosts a sewing circle
twice a month

but since you're here in town,

I decided to call
an emergency meeting.

Let me, take your coats.

I thought it would be
a welcome sight

to help you feel at home.

Oh, gosh, well you...

didn't have to go
to all this trouble.

No trouble at all!

Well, I remembered
last year's Christmas issue

was all about how
you and your mother

loved to knit something
special for the holidays.

Yes. Yeah...

You know, Mrs. Deevers,

can I just talk to you
for a second?

Sure. Just one second.

You know, I... I...
would really rather just watch.

You know, I don't wanna
disrupt the circle.

No, no!

They'll be excited to learn
some tricks from an expert.

Well, I...
I wouldn't say expert.

All right.
I see what's going on here.

You... you do?

I think it's fairly obvious.

It is.

You're worried
about showing the others up.

You caught her!

That is Candace,
modest to a fault.

You have nothing to worry about.

We all just do this for fun!


Yes, okay. Sorry, excuse me.

Thank you so much.

Right here in the middle.

Okay, great. Hi.

Now that that's settled,

I have just one question:

knitting or cross-stitch?


Yeah, Candace,

you have that scarf
that you've been working on.


Yeah, maybe you could
finish it up?

Yeah, yeah.

I'll go grab it for you.


Thank you.

Isn't this fun?

It's so much!

Yeah. Hi, ladies.
Thank you for having me.


I got it!

Yeah, there...
there's the scarf.

My, that's beautiful.


- So, what do I do with this now?
- Stick some buttons on it?

Could you hand me
those buttons right there?

Some of these...

Doing lovely work, ladies.
Some more buttons.

That's a really beautiful quilt.

Thank you.

You know, next month's issue
is gonna be all about quilts.

You would love it.

- Do you have a subscription?
- I'm sorry, I don't.

That's okay.
I could send you one.

Truth is, I find your magazine
a little intimidating.


I shouldn't have said anything.

No, I... I'd love
to hear your thoughts.

Well, it's just...
all the perfect pictures

of all the perfect things?

It always felt so unattainable,
like it wasn't meant for me.

I'm sure you have no idea
what I'm talking about.

No. No, I do.
More than you realize.

Just for the record,

we would be lucky
to feature a quilt like that

in our magazine.

Good night, ladies.

Good night.

- So lovely meeting you.
- Bye. Nice to meet you.

Thank you so much.
Have a good night.

- Good to see you.
- Hi! How are you?


- Hey.
- Hey.

What are you doin' here?


observing you
in your natural habitat.

You know, getting a little
colour for the story.

I thought it was
just an interview.

- Now I'm a story.
- Right, yeah.

But it's kind of a big deal,
you coming to town.

So my editor thought it would
be nice to get a profile piece.

I was hoping to maybe spend
the day together tomorrow?

My family's going downtown
for the festival.

We'd love for you to come.

- John! Hi!
- Hi, how are you?

- What a surprise!
- Yeah.

Did you see the beautiful
scarf that Candace made?

You made this?

- Isn't she talented?
- Yeah, very.

Yes, indeed. Well,

I guess I'll just leave
you two kids alone.


Good night.

Well, if you don't have
any questions for tonight,

- I think I'm gonna go...
- Yeah.

No, it looks like
I missed out on all the fun.


See you tomorrow?

- Yeah.
- Great.

- Good night.
- Good night.

- Hey!
- Hey.

- What's up?
- I just spoke to Matt.

His parents want us
to celebrate Christmas

with them at their family cabin.

It was a last minute decision.

When do you have to leave?



I'll keep my phone on
in case of an emergency.

You think I can do this?

You made it this far.

Yeah, with your help.

You only agreed to the one day.

No one would blame you
if you left early.

Merry Christmas.


- Have fun.
- Yeah.

Hello. You've
reached Liz Livingstone.

I can't come to the phone
right now.

Leave a message after the tone
and have a Merry Christmas.

Hey, Mom, it's me.

Looks like I'll be joining
you in Aspen, after all.

Give me a call
when you get this.

Okay, bye.


What a wonderful surprise!

Hi. Is Harper here?

She's inside, come on in!

Okay, I'll be right there.


I can't believe you're going to
miss Christmas on Main Street!

Well, you're just gonna have
to tell me all about it

when I'm back!
Did you pick an ornament?

Still deciding.

I voted was for the snowman
with the sunglasses.

Ha! That's why Harper
is in charge.

You know, I gotta go, kiddo.


I know,
I'm sorry it was so short.

But listen,
I'm gonna be home so soon,

and I can't wait to see you!

Okay. Bye, Dad. Love you.

I love you, too, kiddo.

I'll see you soon, Janey.

Not soon enough.

Bye, Mom.

Love you, son.

See you, bro.

See ya, buddy.
Love you guys!

See you soon!


Do you think he suspects

You're about to throw him
the world's best

Christmas homecoming,
and he doesn't have a clue!

Do you think he's going
to like it?

No. I think he's going
to love it.

Thanks, Uncle John.

Hi, Candace!

What brings you here?

Well, I wanted to talk
to Harper about something.

What is it?

Well, I heard there was a big
Christmas festival in town,

and I was wondering if I might
tag along for the day?



Hey, what are you doing here,
little guy?

That looks great!
Good job!

There you are!

- Hey, how are you?
- So good to see you!

- Good to see you.
- Merry Christmas!

Merry almost Christmas.

How does it look?

I think it looks great.

I'd say you picked the best
branch in the bunch.

Where'd you sneak off to?


This was still in the window.

So, everyone just brings an
ornament from their own tree?

It's a tradition
almost as old as the town.

A way to celebrate Christmas
together, as a community.

I love that.

Harper! Do you want
some Christmas fudge?

As if the answer
was ever going to be no.

Come on.

Ooh, that one!

I'm gonna get a picture of this.

Is that for the magazine?

Just for me.

Thank you.

- Here.
- Thanks.

Cherry blossoms.

It's on old Austrian tradition.

You take a cherry blossom branch
and you put it in a vase,

and if it blooms by Christmas,
you'll have good luck in love.


I was going to do a story

about Christmas traditions
in other countries,

but my boss shot it down.

Said focus on local news.

I see...


Nothing, just...

You know, sometimes
we get so focused

on wanting the things
that we don't have

that we forget about the things
we already do have.

I just want to feel like
I'm making a difference.

Aren't you?

I mean, these people trust you
enough to tell their stories.

I'd say that's pretty important.

You know, it's just growing up,

I was always in Steve's shadow.

It doesn't feel like much
has changed.

You know, I guess I'm always
just looking for a way

to make my own mark.

Well, believe me.
I can relate to that.

Yeah, well,
I guess you can, huh?

- You're nothing like I expected.
- What's that mean?

Well, I didn't think we'd
have anything in common.

And you're easy to talk to.

And shorter in real life.

I'm not short.



This hot chocolate is delicious.

You know what?

If you think this is delicious,
I got something to show you.

Come on.

Everything looks so good.

Yeah, this is Steve's favourite
part of the festival.

My big brother has
a real sweet tooth.

You know, we should see
if some of the vendors

would make some things
for his homecoming.

That's a great idea.


It's a family tradition.

My grandmother made sugar
cookies every Christmas,

and one year, all she could find

was her Valentine's Day
cookie cutters.

It became a thing we always did.

It's a little unconventional,
but it's ours.

Well, I think it's a lovely


We'll take two.

Why, thank you.

That was wonderful.

That was so amazing!

Oh, my gosh, I haven't eaten
that much sugar

in a very long time!

You okay?

Thank you so much
for letting me tag along.

Of course!

You're always welcome.

And I will be back tomorrow
because Miss Harper,

you and I have a party to plan.

- Yes!
- Nice.

All right, see you guys later.

- See you later.
- Bye!

I'll see you later.

Hey, just one second.


Do you have plans tonight?

I don't have any luggage,

so I certainly don't have
any plans.

Would you like some?

Are you asking me out?

I am.

But, like, but not
on a date-date,

'cause you're probably
seeing someone,

but like, you know,
for the article's sake.

Okay, for the article's sake.

Yeah, right? I mean...

Yeah, and for the record,
I'm not seeing anyone.

That's great.

I mean, or not.

Whatever, you know, for you.

No, I get it.

Dating has always been
a little weird for me.

I'm never quite sure if people
are interested in me,

or Candace Livingstone.


But you are Candace Livingstone.

Yes, I am. Yes.

Okay, I was just checking.

No, I am, but I'm not.

If that makes any sense.

It does, actually, yeah.

Yeah, so...

I'll pick you up at eight.

Okay. Where are we going?

It's a surprise.


I'll see you tonight.

See you tonight.


I've been calling all day.

I know, I'm sorry,

I've been down at the Christmas
on Main Street.

I know.
I've been tracking it online.

Anna, would you go enjoy
your vacation?

We're getting really good

People are posting pictures.

I've been sharing them
on the website.

Everybody loves you!

There is no way that the board
could turn you down now.

You know what, Anna?
Can I call you back?

I need to go to that little
clothing shop again

before it closes.

What? We were just there.

How many wardrobe changes
have you gone through today?

I actually need an outfit
for tonight.

I'm going out.

With John.


Would you go decorate
a tree or something?

Or wassail, I don't know.

Fine. But for the record?

One of the worst ways to keep
a low profile

is by falling for the local

Goodbye, Anna.


You look beautiful.

This old thing?

I thought you didn't have
any luggage?

So, maybe this old thing
is a rather new thing.

- Shall we?
- We shall.

So, are you excited?

About taking over for your
mother when she retires?

I thought the interview
was over?

This is off the record.

Well, in that case...

I'm really nervous.



I mean, I always thought I'd be
involved in the family business.

I just figured it would be
behind the scenes.

Well, if it's something
you don't want to do,

then why are you doing it?

It's important to my mom.

Yeah, but what's important
to you?

I guess I haven't figured
that out just yet.

When I was a freshman
in high school,

I counted down the days
until football try-outs.

My brother Steve was
a quarterback,

and there was nothing more I
wanted than to make the team.

Sprained my ankle
the first practice.

Sulked about it for a good week,

and then, my guidance
counselor suggested

I take an extra-curricular
to get my mind off of it.

School newspaper?

The worst thing that happened to
me turned out to be the best.

Well, I like to think that
what we're truly meant to do

finds us eventually.

Why did you come here?

What do you mean?

I don't know many people

who would put their holiday
plans on hold

for a family they haven't met.

Well, to be honest,
I almost didn't come.

I thought Harper
would be disappointed.

Disappointed? Why?

Well, she asked for my mom.

I didn't know how
she'd react when I showed up.

I think she was glad it was you.

I'm glad it was you.

Where are they all
rushing off to?

You know what,
we gotta go. Yep.

What's going on?

- We're gonna miss it.
- Okay!

Yep, come on.

Excuse me.

No, that way.

Are you gonna tell me
what's going on?

No, I'm going to show you.

Three, two, one!

Merry Christmas!

Can't come to Christmas
on Main Street

and miss the best part.

Well, it looks like somebody
found their Christmas spirit.

You were right.

I was too busy
chasing the next story,

and I forgot about all the
things that were important.

These traditions used to mean
something to me.

I guess they still do.

Well, it is pretty spectacular.

It is.

Candace, it is you!

I'm sorry.
Am I interrupting something?

No, no, no!

Yeah, we were just enjoying
the tree-lighting.


It really is something, Mayor.

Yes, it is!

The events committee
does a fine job.


I was hoping to convince you

to come up and pose
for some pictures.

There are a lot of people that
are very excited to meet you!

Yeah, I'll be fine.


You should go.

Yes, of course, I would love to.


I'll bring her right back.

Thank you.

Me first!

Yes, absolutely.

I had a really good time

Yeah, me too.

Good night, John.

Good night, Candace.

Good night, John!

Good night, Mrs. Deevers!



Ms. Livingstone!


I have something for you.

I'm sorry,
it didn't come with a note.

That's okay.

I think I know who sent me this.

Would you mind putting it
up in my room for me?

I'm heading out.



I saw the notes in your desk.

It's great stuff.

I mean, she faked knitting
a scarf?

No, it was a hunch.

I mean, I don't have any proof.

It's a whole lot of nothing.

The Queen of Crafts' daughter

doesn't know anything
about crafts

and you don't think
that's a story?

I want something on my desk
by tomorrow.

Candace could hide outside.

So, when Dad walks in,
he won't suspect a thing!

Outside? In the snow?

I didn't think of that.

All right,
time to roll out the dough.

Can I do it?

Yes. Of course!

Let's see. Yeah.


We weren't looking
at the camera.

I know. That's my favourite
kind of picture.


Because, because I get
something real.

Okay, bye-bye.

That was Betty Ryerson.

She wanted to know

if she could help
with Steve's homecoming.

Nearly half the town's
called to get involved.

If more people want
to come and celebrate,

why don't we make it
a big party.


I don't know. How big?

We could cook a whole Christmas
meal, just like that!

All right! Let's do it!

Can you, Candace?


Cook a whole Christmas dinner?

Well, we'd help, of course.

Naturally, we are not up to
your level of expertise.

A Christmas dinner
for the whole town!

Yeah, the whole town.


Probably mostly just watching
a true professional at work.

Just... just watching.

Please, Candace,
it would be so cool!

Well, sure.

You know, I'd be happy to.

That's wonderful!

So exciting.
That's great!

Mrs. Deevers, just the person
I was looking for.

How can I help you?

Well, I'm going to be cooking
a homecoming dinner.

I heard!

You heard? Already?

Word travels fast.

In a small town, right.

With you at the helm, we are
certainly in for a treat!

Right, well,

that was actually what I wanted
to talk to you about.

Do you think that I could
use your kitchen tonight?

My kitchen?

Yeah, I wanted to test out
some new recipes.

Oh, well, of course!


Okay, thank you.

My kitchen!

Is it true?

Is it a perfect cake?

Well, you know,

it has everything you need
right in the box,

so it sort of takes
the guesswork out.

Are you following me?



I just had to grab...

- Lettuce?
- Right.

- Got it.
- Yeah.

I heard you were making
Christmas dinner for us.

I wanted to make sure
that you were okay with that.

Yeah, why wouldn't I be?

'Cause you're our guest,

and I don't want you to feel
like you have to do anything

that you don't want to do.

No, no, I do.
I really do.

So, it's good?

Yeah, no, absolutely.

In fact, I'm so inspired

I thought I would try out
some new recipes tonight.

Okay, I mean,
I would love to help.

I mean, I'm all thumbs
in the kitchen,

but I'm a great taste-tester.


I really appreciate that,

but I think I'm gonna
fly solo on this one.

Yeah, no, I understand.

Yeah, no, just do the...

- Okay.
- You know, whatever.

- Yeah.
- And then, I'll...

I guess I'll see you
at the party.

Yeah! Yeah.
I'll be there.


- Bye.
- Yeah.

All right, let's do this.


Mrs. Deevers.

I came to see how
the trial run was going.

Well, I think your oven
might run a little hot.

Oh, dear! Really?

Should I have someone come in
and look at it, do you think?

No, no.

Your oven's fine.
I can't do this.

I thought this trip
would get me ready

so that I could take over
for my mom, but...

I just, I can't do it!

I let her down.


I can't make
a snowflake pancake.

I can't build a gingerbread house!

I don't know
how to darn a sock.

Whatever that means!

It's just to sew, dear.

Then, why don't they
just say that?

I mean, she gave me pages
and pages of notes,

and I still couldn't get it


Oh, my!

These are very good.

Classic Liz Livingstone


But what giving the Ryans
a Candace Livingstone one?

I don't even know that that is.

Well, maybe this is your chance
to find out.

And Candace...
your secret is safe with me, dear.


Hello, Ms. Livingstone,
someone's here to see you.



Have you tried this eggnog?

It's wonderful.

We're gonna have to find room
for more than 50 people.

Luckily, the neighbour
three doors down,

he's gonna let people park in
his driveway to avoid suspicion.

- Clever.
- Yeah.

And I have gone through all of
their old Christmas photos.

I was thinking maybe
we could highlight

some of their family traditions.

I'm gonna do a dessert table
and a full Christmas dinner.

It'll be mashed potatoes,
green beans, turkey.

I think roast would be
more of a showstopper.

You know, I can make a call...


I built the menu
around the family.

Every dish has a special
memory for them.

Of course.

Well, I'm not sure that I would
do a Brussel sprout dish

with a green bean casserole.

But the Ryan family would.

Well, I guess I just
want it to be perfect.

It will be perfect, for them.


Just trust me?

You're the boss.

Good morning!
Are you ready for the big day?

I am, and I hope you don't mind,

but I brought some

You're really her!

I am.

Can we come in?

Of course, of course!



Your house is lovely.


All right, is everyone here?

Everyone but John.

He's stuck at the office today,

but he'll be in
as soon as he's finished.

John is my other son.

He took Candace on a date!


He was showing me around town.

And he bought her flowers!


Well, it was more of a branch,

with like little flowers on it.


Well, we should focus on
the task at hand

'cause we have a party to plan.

So, here are our to-do lists.

There we go, and for you.

All right!

Well, why don't we hop to?

Come on, come on.


So, I want to know everything!

Mom, Mom. I will tell you
all about it later.

- Later.
- Later.

Yes, yes.

What do you think of those?


Smell good.

Looks even.

Is that... is that good?

Nice job, ladies.

Merry Christmas, Steve.

- It's great.
- We're all set.

For the centrepieces.

We were actually
going to do poinsettias.

They're Martha's favourite

Steve buys them for her
every year.

But these are antique
kugel balls

shipped all the way
from Germany.


Maybe I could find a spot
for them in the living room.


Thanks so much for coming.

You can go ahead and put
your gift in there.

Thank you.

It's been such a joy
to have her.

You must be very proud.

I am.

She's so much like you.

Like me?

I've always felt we were
very different.



Candace is so determined.

And she's a whiz at numbers.

Honestly, she talks to me

about business reports
and market shares,

and I find I'm a little lost.

And she's always been so good
at connecting with people,

understanding what makes them
feel special.

To be honest, I wish I was
a little bit more like her.

I think you're both
really lovely.

Back at ya.

Hi! Mr. and Mrs. Carlisle!
Please come in.

- Hi, Candace.
- Hi.

Good to see you.

Mr. Carlisle,
what are you doing here?

Well, your mother told me all
about this wonderful event,

so well, my wife Jennifer and I

thought we'd like to come
and be a part of it.

Oh, really? You did?

Well, Liz has been singing
your praises for weeks,

and I have to admit
that I had my reservations,

you know, about you
taking her place

at the Livingstone company.

But your trip here has been
very convincing.

We've seen all of the positive
feedback on social media,

and you've been a wonderful
ambassador for the brand.

Thank you. Thanks.

Looks like the Liz Livingstone
touch runs in the family.


Please, you can put the gift
by the tree. Come in.

Are we there yet?

Almost, keep going,
keep going, keep going.

You can open your eyes.

So cool!

It's us!

I know you were kind of
disappointed that your dad

had missed all your favourite
Christmas activities.

So, I thought you might want
to share these with him.

Mom, look what Candace gave us!

These are wonderful.

He's going to love it!

Well, I think a lot
of people are.

Here, I want to show you

Excuse me.

Come on over!


I worked on this all last night.


It's going to go live
on our website

for our special
Christmas Eve edition.

The perfect family Christmas.

We have to show John!

He's stuck at the office.

He said he was finishing up
an article.

He's going to miss the party!

I tried calling him,

but I think his phone
must be turned off.

I suppose I could head on down
to the paper and get him.

No, you know what?
I can go.

Are you sure?

Yeah, it's fine.

I have to go home and change
for the party tonight, anyway.

So, I'll just swing by
on my way back.


All right,
I'll see you in a bit.

Okay, if you run
into any trouble,

just call me on my cell.

So, I'm looking forward
to meeting John.


It sounds like he made
a real impression on you.

He really did.

But I haven't been exactly
honest with him.

I'll explain it later.

Look, I know it can be scary
putting your heart out there,

but some people are worth
the risk.

Thanks, Mom.

All right,
I'll see you in a bit.

See you.


- Big story?
- Yeah.

What are you doing here?

I wanted to talk to you
about something.

Okay, what is it?


I don't really know
how to say this,

so I'm just gonna say it.


John, I need that copy today.

Yeah, no, yeah,
I'll be right there.

Just give me one second?
I'll be right back.

Yeah, of course.

Okay, just got to...

You look really good.


What's this?

"Scarf", "price tag".

"The real Candace Livingstone"?

Sorry about that...

Steve! You're here.

Yeah, my flight got in early.

I thought I'd come
and surprise everyone.

You know, you look a lot like...

Yeah, I am.

Could you do me a favour,
and like, count to 20,

and then, act surprised
when you go in.

Okay, yeah, okay, great!

O... Kay.

Let me get that.
There you go.

You guys,
I just saw Steve pull in!

He's here! He's here!

Get the lights!

What the...

Okay, ready?




Welcome home!


- Merry Christmas, kiddo!
- Merry Christmas, Dad!

- You're back.
- I'm back.

- I missed you.
- Missed you, too.

Merry Christmas.

Son, it's so good
to have you home.

It's so good to see you.

Dad, look who's here!

- Merry Christmas, Steve.
- Liz Livingstone?

And thank you for your service.

Well, thank you
for your gingersnaps.


They made the whole
Christmas dinner.

All your favourites.
I helped!

Well, lead the way, kiddo.
Let's go!

It's Christmas!

- Nice work, Mom.
- Yeah, you did good, too.

Welcome home, son!

It's great to be home, Mom.

I'd like to give a special
thank you to Candace

for helping to make this day
truly special.


really, it's me who should be
thanking you.

All of you.

You've made me feel
like a part of the family.

But I haven't been honest
with you.

The truth is, I'm nothing
like my mother.

I'm not particularly crafty.

I make horrible gingerbread

And I could never cook such
a beautiful Christmas dinner

on my own.

I spent my whole life trying
to be perfect just like her,

and I'm not perfect at all.

But I'm starting to see
that that's okay.

You know, Christmas isn't
about perfection.

It's about this,

and spending time with our
friends and our family,

and the people that we love.

That's so true.

- Hear, hear!
- Hear, hear!

Yeah, cheers!

Thank you.

Well, dig in, everyone!
Don't be shy!

Merry Christmas!

Get out of the way,
I got two helpings.

Excuse me.

- Hey, little brother.
- Hey.

- Welcome home.
- Thanks, man.

James, just...

Liz, please,
just give me a second.

That was certainly
an interesting speech.

I think it's the right direction
for the magazine.

At Livingstone,
there is a place for everyone.

You know what, Liz?
You were right.

She is perfect for the job.

Well, she is my daughter.

You got my vote.

Thank you, Mr. Carlisle.

- This calls for a toast.
- Let's do it!

Yeah, I'll be right there.


Leaving already?

That was the idea.
I said my goodbyes.

You didn't say goodbye to me.


Just wait.

You haven't even read it.

I don't need to read it.

I saw a preview of it
on your desk.

Sorry I told the truth in there.

I guess you don't have
your scoop anymore.

It's not a scoop
if I didn't write about it.

Well, what did you write about?


You don't know me.

I've been pretending to be
somebody else

the whole week I've been here.

I'm a reporter.

My job is to find out the truth,

and I found out who you are.

You're smart
and you're thoughtful,

and you are creative.

You love gingerbread cookies,

even if the houses give you
a little bit of trouble.

You see the best in people,

and you are the kind of person
that would drop everything

to help a little girl
you don't even know.

You're Candace Livingstone.

I am,

but I'm not perfect.

You are for me.

I knew it.

So, that must be John.

Okay, looks like we got
an audience.

Well, that is life
in the spotlight.

Think you can handle it?

I'd like to give it a shot.