Marrying Father Christmas (2018) - full transcript

In the latest installment to the Father Christmas trilogy, Miranda and Ian finally look to tie the knot, but more complications are always on the horizon, putting their happily ever after in jeopardy.

Great, great.

I will have all the Christmas

in your office
before you know it.

No one is going to recognize
this place

when they come in tomorrow.

Wow. It's gonna be beautiful.

Well, Christmas is kind of
my specialty.

I wish we had known about you
last year.

Oh, I haven't been
in Boston that long.

I moved from Seattle
just after last Christmas

to start my own
interior design company.

That's a long way to come.

Well, that wasn't
the only reason.

Oh, no?


Uh, I found out that I had
family in Vermont.


But it wasn't just spending time
with my family

over Christmas that made it
so wonderful.

I met someone.

Someone very special.

Something tells me he felt
the same way about you.

Before I met Ian, I spent most
of my life trying to avoid

the holiday hoopla but he made
me believe in Christmas again.

We had fallen in love
at Christmas

so it just seemed right for us
to get engaged then, too.

He proposed? At Christmas?


That's so romantic.

We rode up on a horse-drawn
carriage to a gazebo

shining with Christmas lights.

So when are you getting married?

Christmas Day.

Oh my gosh, that's perfect.

And the greatest part
of the story

is it's just getting started.

[phone rings]

I was just thinking about you.

Hey, I'm still trying to find
a gift for your folks.

Any ideas?

Hey, remember what they said.

"This wedding is all
we want for Christmas."

I know, but I'd still like
to thank them

for letting us have the wedding
dinner at the inn.

Are you kidding?

They've absolutely loved
helping us make all our plans.

I know.

They're so sweet.

So when're you heading back?

I just have a few things
to wrap up

at the office tomorrow morning.

Uh- huh. And then
you're coming home?

Ian, I've barely been
gone a week.

Doesn't mean I can't miss you.

And then I'm coming home.

I love you.

I love you, too.

Oh, Ian, good.

Do you know when Miranda
plans on going back to Boston

for her final dress fitting?

She's still in Boston, mom.

But do you know when her final
dress fitting is?

It is so sweet, she asked me
to go with her and Margaret.

But I still have to schedule
the wedding cake delivery.

Right. Ok, uh, I can be here
for that then.

Like you won't have
enough to do?

You worry too much, mom.

Trust me, this wedding's
gonna be great.

That's exactly what your father
said on our wedding day.

Just before the roof in
the church started to leak.


As I recall it was more like
a downpour than a leak.


And when everyone was running
around looking for

a mop and a bucket
my husband to be

got a big grin on his face.

Could you blame me?

If the wedding was that much fun

I couldn't wait for
the marriage to start.


[phone buzzes]

Hi, Margaret.

Hello, Miranda.

I know that you're busy,

I hope that I'm not

Not at all, no.

I just had some
wonderful news.

What is it?

Well, you remember I spoke
to you about

Yvonne and Amelia Williams,

they were very close
to your father.

Sure, sure.

They're lovely people.

I am so delighted, they would
love to come to the wedding.



I know that I should have spoken
to you about this but...

well, I hope you understand,

they cared so much
about your father

and when they heard that
he had a daughter they-

well, and you're such an
important part of this family,

they said they couldn't
wait to meet you.

Thank you, that's
really wonderful.


When you and I met
two years ago

there's no way we
could have known that...

there... there was no way
we could have known that...

that I would never be able
to write my own wedding vows.

Excuse me.



Um, I'm looking
for Miranda Chester.

I'm Miranda.



My name's Charles Finley.

I don't have an appointment,
I'm afraid.

That's ok, but I'm- I'm not
actually here today.

I'm- I'm sorry?

I just mean I'm only here
to wrap up a few things

and then I'm leaving
until after the holidays.


Oh, you're getting married.

I am, yes. Christmas day.


Um, congratulations.

Thank you.

So then I guess you're not
taking on

any new office decorating
clients today.

I'm not, no.

But let me take down
your contact information

and then I can get
back to you-

Uh, no.

Don't worry, I'll get back
in touch with you.



What are you doing here?

I thought I'd wait so I could,
you know,

be the first to welcome
you back.

So, how long have you
been waiting?

Not long, just a couple
of days.

Totally worth it.

Oh, you!

Coming, I'm coming!

Ah, there she is!


Hello, Miranda.

Hi, Ellie.

Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas.
Everything looks so beautiful.

Oh, thank you.

Hello, Ian.

We have our girl back
for another Christmas.

And you know what they say.

Third time's the charm.

Well, it certainly is
for you two.

Hi Aunt Miranda!


Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas.

You guys must have been
very busy

while I was in Boston
this time.

Do you like the tree?

I think it's the best
one yet.

It's amazing.

Miranda, I've been practicing
how to throw the petals

when I'm the flower girl
at your wedding.

Really? That's great.

It's a very important job,
you know.

But I'm the ring bearer.

You can't have a wedding
without the rings.


That's right, buddy.

You know, I was a ring bearer
when I was about your age.


Mmmhmm. If you have any
questions just ask away.

Thanks, Ian.


Ok, I'm gonna go put these
things in my room.

I'll come with you.

I'll get the rest of your things
from the car.

Oh, here you go.

Oh, you put up all the Christmas

Well, we love having you
for the holidays.

But fair warning,

we're gonna have to make
the most of it this year

because next year
you're gonna be

in your own home for Christmas.

I know, I can hardly believe it.

The first day that we met did
you ever imagine

things would turn out this way?

Well, when you fall in love
at Christmas

I can't imagine things
turning out any other way.


Thank you, Pastor Wayland,
for performing our ceremony.

We really appreciate you taking
time out of your Christmas

to marry us on Christmas day.

My pleasure, Miranda.

Now that we have
this chance to talk,

just the two of us, I've known
Ian and his family for years.

I'd like to get to know you
a little better.

Well, that sounds great.

You know, Margaret and I have
known each other forever.

As a matter of fact I married her
son Peter to his wife, Ellie.

She told me.

So you've known Margaret
a very long time.

You must have known
her husband, James.

I knew your father
very well, yes.

Sorry. I guess I'm still
just getting used to the idea

of people knowing
I was his daughter.

Well, I can assure you Margaret
is making sure everyone knows.

I'm beginning to get
that feeling.

But let me ask you something.

Why Christmas day?

What's so important about that?

Christmas was always
very special to my mom.

But after I lost her I...

I guess I didn't really feel

like I had anything
to celebrate.

But all that changed
after I found my family

and met Ian.

Now it feels like
everything good in my life

has come out of Christmas.

So what better way to start
our lives together

than to do so on the day
that makes us both so happy?

I agree.

So I talked to Pastor Wayland,
we're all set,

the only thing is he wants
to talk to both of us

before the wedding.

Oh, absolutely.

Just let me know when.

How are you doing on your vows?

Yeah, uh, yeah, great.


I have never known you to be
at a loss for words before.

What? No. No.

We said that we were gonna
write our own vows

and that's what I'm gonna do.

I'm just trying to find a way
to say uh... stuff.



Anyway, let's go see how my
dad's making out on the set.

Oh, there you are.


Looks like Ian's really put
everyone to work in there.

Well, if they'd stop laughing
long enough

to get any actual work done...


I didn't realize
until I got back here

just how much I was looking
forward to singing

a Christmas carol again.

And before you know it you
will have that thing memorized

just like the rest of us.


By the way, I heard from another
of James' friends this morning.


Yeah, Thomas Reed,
an old fellow actor.

He said he'd love to come
to the wedding.

Oh, um... you invited him, too.

I did it again, didn't I?

Um, it's just that I am so
excited about this wedding

and about you and...

and the fact that you and I
can do this together.

Well, I think it's so wonderful
that they can come,

I just- I'm not sure there'll be
enough room at the cottage, so-

You're exactly right.

I mean, that- that place
is too small.

But I think that I have
a solution.

You do?

Why not have the wedding
at Peter and Ellie's house?

And we can put up a tent
on the back lawn

and that way you'll have
plenty of room.

Oh, your father
and I just had

the most wonderful
parties there.

That's... I...

Just think about it, ok?

I will.


Ian, Margaret invited
so many people.

Well, we'll talk to her
about that.

You didn't see her face.

I've never seen her like that.

When she talks about our wedding
she's just so... vibrant.

It's like for the first time
she wants everyone to know.

To know?

What do you mean?


Everyone she invited,
they knew my father.


Cared about him.


I think, for Margaret,
our wedding is a chance

to show people that I'm a part
of him and he's a part of me

and she cares about me
the way he would have.

That's actually pretty sweet.

I know.

What would you like to do?

I don't know.

Come here.

I just can't help
but wonder...

what if something happens?

Happens, like what?

I don't know, just something
to spoil this for us.

Nothing is gonna spoil this
for us.

I promise.

How can you be so sure?

Because I'm pretty sure
that every couple

wants their wedding day to be
perfect just like we do.

And they worry about
what can go wrong.

But there are two things that
I feel very confident about.


The first is something
always goes wrong.


And the second is that something
always goes wrong.



But nothing is gonna stop us
from having the wedding day

that we've always wanted.


Thank you.


And the flowers you ordered
for your bouquet are on the way.

They're gonna be beautiful.

Thank you so much, Lydia.


Now, Margaret
mentioned something

about a change of venue
for the wedding?

She did?

It's not a problem,

just be sure to let me know
where you want

everything delivered.

See you later.


Thank you.


Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas to you,


Miranda, hi.

Hi, Peter.

No hug for your future

Well, bring it in.

Nice to see you again.

You too.

I'm sorry I missed you
this morning,

I had to get out of
the house early.

We're finalizing plans for
the Christmas tree lighting.

Oh, no, it's fine.

The kids have kept me busy.

I'm sure they have.

So what brings you
by the theatre?

Well, Ian had some errands
to run

so I thought I'd do
some shopping

and then I saw you outside
of the theatre

talking to someone.

Ah, our mystery man.

No, he seems like
a nice enough guy,

it's just not every day
that someone just drops in

out of nowhere and wants
to make a donation.

A donation?

To the theatre.

Mr. Finley says he'd be more
than happy to help.

So who is this
generous stranger?

Not quite sure.

He found his way here all
the way from sunny California.

California. Really.

He said he remembers dad
from his acting days

and when he read about
the Whitcomb Theatre

he decided to get in touch.

Did he happen to say where
he read about the theatre?

I don't think so.

I'm sure we'll hear more
about it

when we see him the next time.

Oh, he's- he's coming
back to town?

Actually, he said something
about staying at the inn.

He wanted to take in some of
our town's Christmas spirit.

Um, I have a few more errands
to run so I'm gonna go.

- See you at the house.
- Ok.




Oh, it's so good to see you.

You too.

How are you?


Yeah? Are you crazed with all
these last minute wedding plans?

Not just yet.

Good, let's keep it that way.


Meanwhile, our Christmas
rush is officially underway.


Plus a wonderful wedding.

So you know where everything is,
uh, help yourself to some tea.

There's fresh scones
in the tea room.

I'll be in as soon as I can,
we'll catch up.

Ok. Thanks, Catherine.

[phone ringing]

Carlton Heath Inn,
Merry Christmas.

Mr. Finley.

Hello, uh, Ms. Chester.

You show up in my office
in Boston

and the next day
you turn up here.

That's no coincidence,
is it?


I know why you're here.

This is about James Whitcomb.

About how no one knew
he was my father-

No. No.

Miranda, this is not
about your father.

I'm here because of
your mother.

What about her?

Um, is there somewhere else
we can talk?

I saw your mother play, Miranda,
in the Tempest.

Eve was mesmerizing.

But so was your father.

A remarkable man from everything
I've heard about him.

So you were there.

You saw them.


Eve invited me.

And how did you know her?

Eve was my sister.

I'm your uncle.

That- that's impossible.

I'm sorry, but my mother
was an only child.

She told me that
when her parents died

she had no other family.


And when she died I had
no other family.

Until I came here.

Please, let me explain.

There's nothing to explain.

You're not the first person
to show up here

at Christmas asking questions,

digging into my family's

risking their happiness
and my father's good name.

You're too late.

Whatever it is you're trying
to gain it's not gonna happen

so please just...
leave me alone.

Let us enjoy our Christmas

and let me have the wedding
that I've always wanted.

Look, I never came here
to tell you any of this.

Then why are you here?

Because after I met you
in Boston,

you told me you were
getting married,

I wanted to do something nice
for you.

I knew you'd never accept
a wedding gift

from a complete stranger, so...

So you offered to make a
donation to the theatre.


You told them you were
from California.

That's true.

A small town in the northern
part of the state.

But when you came to my office

you made it seem like
you were from Boston.


Look, I just um...

I wanted an excuse to meet you,
to talk with you.

So you expect me to believe
that my mother had a brother

with a different last name
who she never told me about?

Chester was your mother's
middle name.

She used it for a stage name.

Miranda, I never meant
to upset you.

After I leave tomorrow
you'll never see me again,

I promise.

I'm so sorry.

It was actually Ian's idea
the first time

that we delivered gift baskets
at Christmas.

Remember, Ian?

Mmmhmm. My first year back
helping out with the inn.

It was only a couple days
before Christmas.

And we were in a rush and
we put all of the cookies

in the baskets
with everything else.

Yeah, and dad and I were gonna
deliver them first thing

in the morning so I thought
it would be a good idea

if I put them in the back
of the truck the night before.

That was a bad idea.

What happened?

Sorry, what happened?

It- it turns out raccoons
have a serious sweet tooth.



So, needless to say,

we were up very early the next
morning baking cookies.


Oh, there we go.



[doorbell rings]

I've got it.


My name's Thomas Reed,
I'm here to see Margaret.


Merry Christmas, Margaret.

Merry Christmas.

I- wha- what are you doing here?

I know I should have
called first but uh,

I wanted to surprise you.

To say the least.


Thomas Reed, this is my son,

Peter, this is Thomas Reed,

he was a close friend
of your father's.

They were in the theatre

We met back in the day
when your mom

used to bring you backstage
after your dad's shows.

I was a lot younger then.

Weren't we all?


Well, I have a few things to do,
I'll let you two catch up.

Nice to see you again.

And you.

Bye, dear.


Margaret, you look amazing.

Oh, stop.

Ah, but then you always did.

And you were always
a good actor.


So tell me, what- what on earth
are you doing here so early?

The- the wedding isn't
until Christmas.

Well, after I got your email
about it I-

I started thinking about
James and you

and how much I enjoyed
our time together back then

and I realized how long
it's been since I've seen you.

Oh, it's good to see you,

When you came into my life
something changed.

Things changed.

Whatcha doing there?



Here, let me take that.



I just...

I just have one question for you
before you leave.


How did you know that
I was Eve's daughter?

It's true I had no idea Eve
had a daughter.

Not until I saw the article
on the internet last Christmas

about James Whitcomb.

The internet. Of course.

So it was the story
that brought you here.

Listen, Miranda, I don't
blame you for being skeptical.

You know, your mother
loved Christmas.

Merry Christmas, Miranda.

I really missed you, Tommy.

Oh, it's just so nice
to have someone

to share all these
old memories with.

Yeah, I've- I've missed you,
too, Margaret.

But I can't remember the last
time anyone called me Tommy.

Oh. Well, that's, you know,
an old habit. Sorry.

No, I- I like it.

Suddenly I feel kinda...

Can I get you
some more coffee?

Yeah, that'd be great.

Thank you.


Do you believe him?

No, I...

I don't know.

Miranda, he admitted that
he found out about you online.

He saw the story about how
you came to Carlton Heath,

he found out who
your father was-

I know, but he also didn't
ask for anything.

And he left after I asked
him to leave.

I just... I got a feeling.

Look, what if it's true?

What if my mother didn't
tell me about him

the same way she didn't tell me
about my father?

What if he really is my uncle?

I understand why you'd want it
to be true.


For the first time you'd get
to hear about a part

of your mother's life
that you never knew.

A part of you
that you never knew.

What better gift than
to open a window

into that part of your world?

Maybe it is too good to be true.

You know, there is one thing
we haven't talked about yet.


Well, I believe it's traditional
for the bride and groom

to have the first dance
at their wedding.


Yes, yes.

I believe I have heard something
about this.

And it occurred to me
that you and I

don't do much dancing.

That's true.


So what're we doing?

Wait for it.


I thought we could...


♪ Sleigh bells ring
are you listening ♪

♪ In the lane
snow is glistening ♪

♪ A beautiful site ♪

♪ We're happy tonight ♪

♪ Walking in the winter
wonderland ♪

♪ Gone away is the bluebird ♪

♪ Here to stay is a new bird ♪

♪ He sings a love song
as we go along ♪

♪ Walking in a winter
wonderland ♪

♪ Deck the halls
with boughs of holly ♪

♪ Fa la la la,
la, la, la, la ♪

So Margaret mentioned
that you may want to have

the wedding ceremony
at our house?

Oh, um... we talked about it.

Is that what you want to do?



Having been Margaret's

for some time now,

if you want my advice?


Just be direct


Yes, You may have noticed
that she's not really one

to beat around the bush.

[phone rings]

Oh, sorry.

Hi, this is Miranda.

Yes, hi.


Fantastic. We will be
there tomorrow.


My dress is ready.


I can't wait to see it!

Alright, one week and counting
until Christmas

and the wedding that we've
all been waiting for.

Lydia will deliver the flowers
in the afternoon,

we have our photographer and
someone to video the ceremony.

You really think two cameras
is enough?

Two are plenty.

Ian and Andrew are getting
their tux fittings on Thursday,

musicians are on stand-by.

Oh, when are you two meeting
with Pastor Whalen?

The day after tomorrow.

Although I'm not totally sure

what we're supposed
to talk to him about.

Don't worry, he has a sixth
sense about these things,

it'll be fine.

Is everything ok in there?



Do you need some help?

Uh, no, no. I'm good.

Are you ready?

All set.

Here goes.


Oh, Miranda.

What do you think?

You- you look absolutely

Beautiful. Beautiful.

Oh, honey, I am so happy
for you.

Thank you.

And Thomas said that most of
the questions he gets

from his students are still
about his work with James.



Yeah, we've been talking
on the phone

and sharing old stories.

I had forgotten
how funny he is.


Well, he sounds really nice.


Sounds like you two are
really hitting it off.

What? No. No.

Tommy's just a friend.

[together] Tommy.

Well, I would really like
to meet him.

Oh, you will.

No, he's coming to the wedding,

Oh, of course.

Oh, and speaking of that, have
you given any more thought

to my idea of having
the ceremony at the house?

Ian and I talked about it.

At the house?

Oh, Catherine,
don't you remember

all those wonderful parties
that James and I had there?

Yeah, no, I do.

And I talked to the tent company

and even on such short notice

they said that it's not
a problem, they can do it.


So we just have to get back
to them as soon as possible.

I mean, we still have
so much to do.


Miranda, when I first met you...
no, saw you...

when you first walked
into my life...

In all the time I've known you
my feelings have never changed.


You're back.

I'm back.

How'd it go with your dress?

You'll just have to wait
and see.

I'm looking forward to it.

Have you told Margaret yet?

I kinda chickened out.

I just didn't know how
to tell her.

Well, we'll work on it
on the way.

Where are we going?

The McKendrick
family tradition lives on.

You're delivering baskets.

Ho, ho, ho.


I am so excited.

♪ I know in my arms
you'll be tonight. ♪


♪ Don't you worry ♪

♪ about a thing my love ♪

Merry Christmas!

♪ The winter's calm ♪

♪ The bells are ringing ♪

We brought baskets!

♪ And my heart is singing ♪

♪ It's Christmas time
It's Christmas time ♪

♪ It's Christmas time ♪

I love this.

♪ When you’re here with me ♪

♪ There is nowhere else
I'd rather be ♪

♪ at Christmas time
Christmas time ♪

Merry Christmas, Santa.

♪ Christmas time. ♪

Hey there, how'd it go?

It's gonna be another great
Christmas, dad.


Hey, sweetie.

Oh, a package came for you.

A package?

Yeah. I put it in the office.

Thank you.

I didn't order a package.

Maybe it's an early
Christmas present.

Or maybe it's an early
wedding present.

What is it? What'd you get?

What's wrong?

Who is she?

My mother.

Who sent these?

Charles Finley.


Look at this one.

Look at that costume.

It must have been
junior high.

Her first play.

She told me she only had
one line,

but that was enough.

She had been bitten
by the acting bug.

I'm sorry you've never seen
any of these before.

We travelled around so much
growing up,

she didn't really hang on
to photos or keepsakes

from when she was a girl.

Just what she could fit
in her suitcase.

She told me so many stories
but these... these make it real.

I can't believe I let him go.

We still don't know that Finley
is who he claims to be.

How else would he have
these photos?

I need to find out if
he's really my uncle

and I need to know
what happened between them

and why she never
told me about it.

What do you think?

I think it looks beautiful.

I thought I'd get a jump on this
for Santa's grand entrance

at the tree lighting tonight.


I assume Prancer will be pulling
Santa's sleigh again this year?

With bells on.

Oh, I see what you did there.

You know, Mrs. Claus was such
a big hit last year

I was thinking she might like to
come along tonight for the ride.

Hmm, were you?

I mean, since she will be
the real Mrs. Claus very soon.

She wouldn't miss it
for the world.

Santa will be very happy
to hear that.

So I tried to find
Charles Finley

on the internet last night.

I couldn't find anyone
by that name or description

in California.

Oh, no?


Charlie, Chuck, even Chaz,
I tried them all.

I just wish I knew a little more
about who he is

or where exactly he lives.

What his job is.


Well, we'll just have
to keep looking.

In the meantime I believe
we have one or two things

to help keep us in
the holiday spirit.

Would you mind hanging those
on the back for me?

When is Santa coming?

Oh, I'm sure he will be here
any minute.



Merry Christmas.

I didn't know you were
coming tonight.

Well, I heard about

the Christmas tree lighting
and I thought I'd check it out.

Oh. Look at you
full of surprises.


You remember my son,

Yes, hi.

Welcome back.

His wife, Ellie.

My grandchildren,
Mark and Julia.



We're having some people
over to the house

after the tree lighting,
hope you can join us.

I don't want to intrude.

Don't be silly, Tommy.
Of course you're coming.

Well, how could I say
no to that?

Why don't we go and get that
hot chocolate and warm up?

Sounds good.

Nice to meet you.

Nice to see you.


We'll see you two later.

Shall we?

Don't mind if I do.

Oh my, look at that.

What a beautiful tree.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas, everybody!

Merry Christmas!

Ho, ho, ho.

What a turn out.

Merry Christmas.

So good to see everyone again.

Everybody ready?

(All): Yes!


(All): Nine, eight, seven, six,
five, four, three, two, one.


Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, Santa.

Merry Christmas, Julia.

Merry Christmas.

Hi sweetie.

You see, Miranda?

We hung your stocking
just like last year.

I see that.

Thank you so much.

And after you're married
we'll put one up for Ian, too.

Well, if he's a good boy.

Miranda, I have someone who very
much would like to meet you.

This is Thomas Reed.

Thomas, Miranda.


What a pleasure
to finally meet you.

Your father was a very
dear friend of mine.

Well, it's very nice
to meet you.

Maybe later I could uh,

share some wonderful stories
about him.

I'd like that so much.

(Margaret): Come with me.

I want you to meet
Ian's parents.

(Thomas): Nice to meet you.

(Miranda): You too.

Miranda, can I show
you something?


You remember our mystery man?

What about him?

Turns out he wasn't just talk.

I got an email from him

wanting to make a donation
to the theatre.

Wha- that's- wow.

So his name really is Finley.

Well, according to this,

it's Joseph Charles Finley
of Fuller Springs, California.

So Charles is his middle name.

But he insists that his donation
be anonymous.

He doesn't want us
to use his name.

Just shows you how wrong
you can be about someone.

Yes, it does.

(Ellie): Miranda, Ian's here.

Now, what about
the service itself?

What do you have in mind?

Well, we'd like
to keep it simple.

Really just an opportunity
to include

our friends and family
in our celebration.

Um, we've written our own vows.

How's that going?

Good. All done.


Aren't you?

Yeah. I mean, practically.

I have some tweaking
to do, but yeah.


I understand from Margaret
there may be a change in venue?

The Whitcomb home
instead of your cottage?

Well, we haven't exactly
decided yet.

Christmas is in four days.

And it's at the top of our list.

What about family?

Is everyone on board
with the marriage?

Any issues you'd like
to talk over?

My parents absolutely
love Miranda.

They can't wait for us
to be married.

That's what I like to hear.


Um, Ian and I haven't really
talked about it yet

but I've been thinking
and there is someone else

I'd like to invite
to the wedding.

A family member?

Um, maybe.

I'm- I'm actually not sure yet.

I'm sorry, I don't understand.

(whispering): You didn't tell me
that you wanted

to invite him to our wedding.

I just thought about it
on the way over here.

You don't know anything
about him.

I know, but I would talk
to him first

to make sure before I invited
him to the wedding.

Ian, is there something
you'd like to say to Miranda?

Miranda grew up not knowing
who her family was.

Now that she does it means
everything to her.

All I want is for her to be
happy on our wedding day.

I like him.

Me too.
Good guy.


Thank you for what you said
about inviting Charles

to the wedding.

Sure. Joseph.


His real name is Joseph Finley,

which he forgot to mention
when he met you, apparently.

You think inviting him
is a mistake.

I meant what I said.

I want you to be happy.

I know, but there was more
you wanted to say

when Pastor Whalen asked.

What if you're wrong?

What if he's just some guy
who's in this for himself?

Who thinks he can get something
out of it?

I don't believe that's true.

What if it is?
What then?

I told you, I'm not gonna let
anyone hurt you

and I'm worried about
what this might do to you,

and to this day that means
so much to us.


Look, when I came to Carlton
Heath two years ago

I was looking for my family
and no one believed me...

except you.

And if you hadn't I never
would have had the chance

to prove that my story was true
and we wouldn't be

about to start
our lives together.

If there is even the slightest
chance that his story is true,

that he's just trying
to find his family

the same way I was trying
to find mine,

shouldn't I give him
that chance?

I hope you're right.

Me too.


Come in.

I'm not supposed
to wake you up.

It's alright, sweetie.
I'm already awake.

Can I ask you something?

Of course.

Everybody else is busy with work
and shopping and stuff

and Mark is going sledding
with his friends.


But I really wanna bake
Christmas cookies

and mom says I'm not old enough
to do it by myself,

even though I totally could.

Lots of times,
even when she's there,

I do everything anyway and she
doesn't even have to help me.

Julia, I would love to make
Christmas cookies with you.



Just let me get dressed.
I'll meet you out there.

Thank you, Auntie Miranda.


You know, I was thinking
about it,

that the last time you wore
a tux you must have been

in high school, right?

Senior prom under protest.

What're you talking about?

Everybody wears a tux to prom.

It doesn't mean
you have to like it.

It's a special occasion.
One of life's moments.

Like getting married.

Well, the getting married part
is great

but does the bow tie have
to cut off my air supply?

You look like a million bucks.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Oh, hey, we've come up
with a new floor plan.

If we rearrange the dining room

there'll be plenty of room
for everybody.

You don't have to do that.

Are you kidding?
We're having a blast.

You just let us know if there's
anything else you need.

How are you
with wedding vows?

Stuck, are you?

I know what I wanna say.

I know the words to say it,

I just can't seem to get them
in the right order.

And there's just been
so many distractions

over the last couple of days...

That's normal.

You're both busy,
got so much to do.

This is different.

You wanna talk about it?

I think Miranda and I need
to work it out.

She's just been through so much
over the last two years.

I really wanted this to be...
simple for her.

Well, whatever's going on son,
simple or not,

I'm sure that you and Miranda
will work it out.

'Cause that's what a vow is,

It's a promise from the heart
to somebody you love

that no matter what
you'll always be there.

And from what I can see,

you and Miranda took that vow
a long time ago.

I am so proud of you, son.

Thanks, dad.

I still can't breathe.




Were you ever flower girl
at a wedding?

Mmmhmm. When I was
about your age.

Were you ever kind of
nervous about,

you know, doing it wrong?

Maybe a little,
but you know what?


I remembered that out of all
the little girls in the world

the bride had chosen me
to throw the petals

for her to walk down the aisle,
just like I chose you.

And I am sure you are going
to do a wonderful job.

I can't wait.

Neither can I.

Well, what do you think?

I think they're ready.

I do, too.

That's the angel bracelet
that Ian gave to you

the first Christmas
you were here.


Yes, it is.

It's very pretty.

Sometimes, when I look at it
and I think very hard about Ian

and just how much he means
to me-

[phone buzzes]


Your timing is incredible.

What'd I do?

Oh, just made Julia and me
believe in Christmas magic.

With one phone call?

Not bad.


Where are you?

I just finished getting my tux.

Oh! How'd it go?

I guess you'll just have
to wait and see.

Sounds like we both have
something to look forward to.

Listen, about yesterday,

I think sometimes
I worry too much.

No, I think you worry
just the right amount.

So you're ok?

Hey, we're getting married
in three days.

I'm a lot more than ok.

I'm gonna head over
to the theatre,

help dad out with rehearsal.

Why don't you come by later?

I'll see you there.

I love you.

I love you, too.

Oh, you little sneak!

You are in trouble, missy!



Oh, hello, Ian.

How's it going in there?

Good. Good.

No, your father seems more
than ready to be back on stage.

No kidding.

Well, I better get in there,

make sure he doesn't chew up
the scenery.

Oh, Ian, uh, did Miranda mention
that she met Thomas Reed

at the party last night?

Yeah, she told me about that.

He so enjoyed talking to her.

Gosh, I have known Tommy for,
what, 40 years now?

He was always such a good friend
to James and me

but now that it's just
the two of us it feels...

it feels strange.

Well, Miranda said he seems like
a really nice guy.

You knew, didn't you?

When you met Miranda
two Christmases ago,

you knew how you felt
about her.

Yeah, I guess I figured out
pretty quick

that I wanted to be with her.

Yeah, I could tell.

I remember thinking how
extraordinary it was that,

despite everything,
all the obstacles

that stood between
you and Miranda, you...

you always stayed true to your
feelings and you found a way.

Here you are,
about to be married.

Here we are.
I'm a lucky guy.

No, no. Luck had nothing
to do with it.

You fell in love and you
were fearless with your love.

That's uh... thank you.

It's just been so long.

Margaret, I'm no expert, but you
said you and Thomas are friends.

That seems like a pretty
good place

for two people to start out.

Yeah, it does, doesn't it?

Thank you.

[phone rings]

Merry Christmas,
thanks for calling

Grace Fellowship Church,
this is Nicole,

how may I help you?

Hi, um... I hope I have
the right number.

I was um, I'm just trying
to reach Charl-

I'm trying to reach
Joseph Finley.

Oh, I'm sorry, Pastor Finley
is off until the holidays.

Pastor Finley?

Yes, that's right.

I'm just curious, how long
has he been a pastor there?

Oh, gosh, 20 years?

Yeah, he's become quite
the fixture around here.

We're all very fond
of Pastor Charlie.

I thought Charles was
his middle name.

Uh, everyone's been calling
him Pastor Charlie for,

like, forever.

Is there um- do you-
do you have a cell number

where I could reach him?

Oh, I'm sorry.

But he does check in sometimes
for messages.

Could you please tell him
that Miranda called?

Miranda, sure.
Merry Christmas, Miranda.

Thank you.

He's a pastor?


Has been for years at the same
church in Northern California.

I don't understand.

Why wouldn't he just
tell you that?

I don't know.

But he came here at Christmas,
Ian, and...

and it was to find me.

Someone he believed
was his family,

and I... I didn't listen.

Well, that's- that's not...
no one would expect you

to just open your arms and
welcome him into the family.

The way everyone opened
their arms to me?

Tell me what you wanna do.

I want to marry you
at Christmas.

I want to spend the rest
of my life with you.

And I need to find him.

I just... I need to know.

Ok. I think we should do
all of the above,

but first let's get out
of the cold.




Oh, hi Miranda.

You two look busy.

Uh, we sent Peter on an errand
with the kids

so we could finally get some
Christmas wrapping done.


Why don't you sit down
and join us?

Thank you, but I'm actually
feeling a little tired.

I think I'm just gonna head
to my room.

Wait, you're not getting sick

right before your wedding,
are you?

It was just a busy day.


But let us know if
you need anything.

I will. Goodnight.


Oh, uh, Miranda, I- I spoke
with that tent company again.

They tell me they hadn't
heard from you.


Well, we don't have
a lot of time left

so you really should
speak to them.


You know what?

I'm gonna run and just go
get some tape from the office.

Margaret, I so appreciate
everything you've done

to help plan this wedding.

Ian and I both do.

But... we want to be married
at the cottage.

Oh, but there are
so many people.

I know, but... the cottage has
just been a part of this family

for so long and that makes
it mean even more to me.

There's really nowhere we'd
rather start our lives together.

And being there, it just...

it makes me feel closer
to my father

even though he won't be there
to walk me down the aisle.

Of course, I... I just didn't
know that you felt that way.

Thank you for understanding.




Come in.



Um, forgive the intrusion.

Um, I just wanted to apologize.

What you said about the cottage,
I should have realized.

I'm afraid I've just been
a little distracted lately.

It's alright, really.

But now that I know we will
make this right,

I promise you.

Thank you.

Oh, what a cute girl.
Who is that?

That's my mother.

In high school.

Every Christmas she worked
at the mall.


I just haven't seen any of these
photos until a few days ago.

Where did they come from?

My uncle.

I- I'm sorry, I don't

I thought you told me that
your mother had no siblings.

That's what I thought.

I first met him in Boston
and then he- he came here

to tell me who he was and...
and he sent me those photos.

So you knew nothing
about this man

and your mother never mentioned
she had a brother?


I just wish that you had felt

that you could have come
to me about this.

I wanted to, I just didn't...

You didn't what?

You've seemed so happy
with Thomas

and I didn't want you to have
to worry about any of this.

Still haven't heard from Finley?

Did I do the right thing
telling Margaret about him?

Of course.

I could just see how concerned
she was that this was gonna

affect the family and that's-
that's the last thing I want.

I know that, love.

And after Margaret has had
some time to think about it

she'll understand that, too.

I hope you're right.

Have you ever asked yourself

why your mother kept
these secrets from you?

I think she was just trying to
protect me from getting hurt.

I think so, too.

Kinda like you.

The first time you came here
you were ready to leave

without telling anyone
who you were.

You were gonna keep it a secret.

But I stayed because of you.

No. You stayed because of you.

You're so much stronger than
you give yourself credit for.

You don't need to keep secrets
to protect yourself,

or anyone else,
for that matter.

Ah, Peter told me
you'd be here.

Am I interrupting?

Thomas, I didn't think I'd see
you until tomorrow.

Well, I had this sudden urge
to be roasting chestnuts

over an open fire,
like in the song.

Well, what a nice surprise.

I also heard there's
a performance tonight

of a certain Dickens classic.

I thought we might get a bite
to eat and see it together.

Uh, my grandchildren
are in the show

and I always go
with Peter and Ellie.

But of course you're welcome
to join us.

Sounds like I should
have called first.

I'm sorry.

No, you have no reason
to apologize.

I've enjoyed our time together
as much as you have.

No, it's I who should apologize.

What're you talking about?

Well, I just realized that,
uh, I've allowed myself

to become distracted and there's
just so much going on

so I feel that I should just
take a step back

and focus on my family.

I think your family's doing
just fine, Margaret.

Maybe it's time to focus
on yourself a little bit.

Who knows what
might happen?

[bells tolling]

Wow, that looks great.

There you go.

Mr. Finley?

Oh, Miranda. Hi.

I was just on my way to come
and find you but...

I've never been able
to resist church bells,

especially at Christmas.

You got my message.

Yeah. And you got
those pictures of Eve?

Why didn't you tell me that you
were the pastor of your church?

I thought about
how it would sound,

me coming here asking
for your trust

and then saying I was
a man of the cloth.

Might have just been a little
too convenient,

don't you think?


Anyway, I figured no matter
what I said

you're gonna have to make up
your own mind

whether to believe me or not.

Ah, so beautiful.

[bells tolling]

When I saw mom's photos
they reminded me

so much of all the stories she
told me about her childhood.


She was a real firecracker,
your mom.

Nothing slowed her down.

But she never told me
about you.

Well, it's not what
she wanted.

What happened?

When I went to see her
in the Tempest I was uh...

a young pastor in my very
first church

and I was so certain about
right and wrong.

Everything was black and white.

There was no room for grey
or doubt or...

Anyway, she introduced me after
the show to James Whitcomb

and they were so much in love.

Everyone could see it.

But then I found out that he was
still in the middle

of his divorce and that was just
simply not acceptable to me.

I told her so in so many words.

I said some things
that night that...

What did she say?

Well, she was stunned.
She was hurt.

She hugged me, hard,
told me she loved me.

I never spoke to her again.

She never told you about me?

I never gave her
the chance.

What do you mean?

When she phoned
a few months later

and I was still so sure of how
things should be in the world.

I was so arrogant.

I never picked up the phone.

And then, ultimately of course,
the phone stopped ringing.

I realize now that she was-

she was trying to tell me
about you.

She was reaching out to me,
her brother, for help

and I just wasn't there
for her.

You didn't know.


I've told myself
that a thousand times.

It doesn't matter.

She was family.

I should have been there
for her no matter what.

Did you even know how
to reach her?

I mean, she moved around
so much at that time

I uh, I lost track of Eve.

And then I found out

she had a beautiful daughter
named Miranda,

and all I want now is
to tell you how sorry I am

that I was never there
for you, either.

I am very glad you're here now.

Well, I- I should get going.

It's almost Christmas,

you must have a million things
to do before the wedding.

There's someone I'd really
like you to meet.

Are you sure?

Very much.

(Announcement): The show will
begin in two minutes,

please take your seats.
That's two minutes.

I was just calling you.
The show's about to begin.

Sorry we're late.

Ian, I'd like you to meet
Charles Finley, my uncle.

It's a great pleasure
to meet you, Ian.

And congratulations
on the upcoming wedding.

Nice to meet you, too.

It's a pleasure.

Think we can find an extra seat
in there?

Yeah, of course.

Thank you.

There isn't doubt
but ever about that.

And scrooge's name was
good upon change for anything...

[crowd laughing]


God bless us, everyone.


Have you seen this weather
report for Christmas Eve?


It looks like there's
a front moving in.

Good. Looks like we'll have
a white Christmas.


Oh, and a white wedding.


White wedding.
That's good.

Listen, we're taking the kids
for hot chocolate.

Why don't you join us?

Uh... I don't think so.
I have a lot to do here.

But you go ahead.

I was surprised I didn't see
Thomas Reed

at the show last night.

You two seemed to really
hit it off.

Peter, I have known Thomas
most of my life

and we did not hit it off,
he's... he's just a good friend.

And a really nice guy who
I think would like to spend

Christmas with you.

And who makes you smile in a way
I haven't seen in a long time.

Just saying.

So tomorrow morning we are
opening presents very early

with the kids and then
we're having a quick breakfast

before Ian and I have to start
getting ready,

so you should just plan
on coming over to the house.

You're so kind to invite me
for Christmas and the wedding,

but um... this is your
family here.

This- this is your home.

This is where you and Ian
are gonna start

to build a life together.

This is a time when you should
be with people you're close to.

People you love.

And I would- I would never want
to intrude on that.

But I have so many more stories
to tell you about your mother,

so believe me, we'll be together
again very, very soon.

Merry Christmas, Miranda.

Merry Christmas,
Uncle Charlie.

I don't want you to...

No, that's no good.


What're you doing out here?

I want to talk to you,

Ok, fine.

Let's go in the house so
you don't freeze to death.

No, I- I need to think
about this

and I want to say this now to
make sure that I say it right.

What're you talking about?

You're not the easiest person
in the world to talk to,

you know?

You can be very stubborn
at times.

Oh, for goodness sake.

Over the nearly 40 years
that we've known each other

I have come to cherish
your friendship.

Well, of course.

But at the same time, in the-
in the past couple of weeks

I have discovered
that I may have...

other feelings towards you.

Feelings that I never had
when James was with us,

which is why it's so
completely unexpected.

And confusing.

Hmm, confusing?

Because I never want to
jeopardize our friendship.

So if that's what you want...


To remain just friends-

No, no, Tommy. Tommy.
Listen to me.

Would you like to spend
Christmas Eve with us tonight?

Very much.


Now can we go inside?

Good idea.

It's very cold out here.

How long have you been
standing out here?

You really don't have...

It's still snowing.

I know.

According to this the roads
between here and the highway

have been closed
pretty much all day.

Nobody's going anywhere.

Well, at least it's a very cozy
Christmas Eve in here.

Though we might have
to dig a path

for our wedding
guests tomorrow.

All the more reason to cozy up
by the fire tonight.

Did... did Charles Finley
check out?


Yeah, about two hours ago.

But I'd be surprised if he's
gotten very far in this weather.

Come on.


♪ Silent Night, ♪

♪ holy night, ♪

♪ All is calm, ♪

♪ all is bright, ♪

♪ Round yon virgin, ♪

♪ Mother and child, ♪

♪ Holy infant so tender
and mild, ♪

It turns out I'm not going
anywhere tonight after all.

I'm so glad.

We're all happy you're here,

♪ Sleep in heavenly peace ♪

Merry Christmas!

(Mark): Thank you, I love it!

Be careful when you open it.


I love you.

Ian, Ian.

What if I trip when I'm walking
down the aisle?

Or what if I drop the ring?

I've been a little worried
about that stuff myself.

You have?

So it sounds like we're kinda
in the same boat, huh?

What do you think
we should do?

I guess we just have to,
you know... focus.

And try not to think
about all the other stuff.

Makes sense.

I mean, even if we're a little
nervous it's probably ok, right?

Yeah, I mean, we just have
to remember why we're there.

That you and Miranda are getting
married and that's pretty cool.

That's very cool.

We're all friends and family,

And that's what matters.

That we're all together
on this... special day.

To help make this happen.

So what's there to be
nervous about?

That's right.

Thanks, Mark.

This really helped me.

No problem.

Hey, you know what?

I'm getting married today.

I better get dressed.

Me too.


[violins playing]

Oh, she said she wanted
a few minutes for herself.

But it's almost time.

Maybe we should remind her.

I think we can give her
another minute.

Ok. Alright.

How're you feeling? Ian?



Yeah? You'll be fine.

Just remember who's coming
through that door.


Come in.



You almost ready?



Would you...

there's something I'd like
to ask you

and it means a lot to me.



Charles Finley.

Thomas Reed.
Pleasure to meet you.

There's a seat right here
if you want.

Thank you.


How uh, how do you know...

I'm Miranda's uncle.

Oh, really? Fantastic.

Take your time.

There's no hurry.

It's a special day
for Miranda and Ian,

and one you'll remember
for the rest of your lives.

So smile and
enjoy yourselves.


Please rise.

[wedding march plays]

There you go.

You look so beautiful.


Please be seated.

We're gathered here to join
this lovely couple

in holy matrimony.

And now we come to the time
for the couple to read the vows

they've written
for each other.

Miranda, it's no secret that it
was a very special photograph

that brought you to Carlton
Heath two years ago

and I've been grateful
that you found that photograph

every day since.

It's almost as if Father
Christmas, your father,

had a hand in guiding you here
to me.

When you came into my life
everything changed.

You brought so much joy
and light and beauty

that I had never
experienced before.

But best of all you've shown me
what love really is.

And that our love is stronger
than any obstacle,

any distance,
any challenge.

That together there is
absolutely nothing we can't do.

You make me fearless
with love.

I had a little bit of trouble
writing my vows,

I hope that was ok.

[crowd laughs]

With this ring I promise
that I will always love you.

I promise that no matter
what we face

I will always be beside you

and I promise that
I will cherish you

for all the days of my life.

I love you so much.

Ian, when I first saw you
I was trying and failing

to get directions
on my phone.


Fortunately for me,

you were there to point me
in the right direction.

I thought about that
a lot since then

because you've been there
beside me

to help me find my way
ever since.

For most of my life I've
wondered where I belonged.

When I came to Carlton Heath
I met you.

I found my answer.


With this ring I promise
to always be there for you,

to encourage you, to honor you,
to cherish you.

I love you with all of my heart
and I always will.

And now, by the power
vested in me,

Miranda and Ian, I couldn't
be happier.

I now pronounce you
husband and wife.


You may kiss your bride.



And Merry Christmas!




You ready?


Oh, yeah, that's our sign.

I'm ready.

Step up.

[horse whinnies]