Santa and Pete (1999) - full transcript

It's the first Christmas without Grandma and a difficult time for the family, until Grandpa (James Earl Jones - Star Wars, Field of Dreams) decides to share a story with his ten-year-old grandson Terence. It's the story of Santa and Pete, a tale that has been handed down for generations.

[bells chiming]

[holiday music]

[slow instrumental music]

- Merry Christmas!
- Merry Christmas!

- Terance look at you.

- Hi Grandpa!

- You've grown near six inches.

- Hello James.

- Hey, thanks for having us.
- Thank you for coming.

Good to get to see you.

- It's good to see you.

I'm gonna take
these upstairs baby.

- Ah thank you, thank you.

So, how ya feeling Dad?

- I'm getting by.

It's been hard
since your mom died,

but I'm going
through the motions.

- Yeah, I miss mom too.

- Grandpa put up
a Christmas tree!

[slow instrumental music]

- What!

- What would Christmas
be without a tree?

- [Terence] Can we decorate it?

Can we?

- You do the hanging stuff

and I'll do the
stringing stuff okay?

[slow instrumental music]

- Here's Santa Claus.

- All right, he goes right
at the top of the tree

and there's one more
ornament, a very special one.

- Uh huh, that's the last one.

- Look a little harder.

- Here it is.

- That's Pete.

- Who's Pete?

- You don't know who Pete is?
- Uh uh.

- Well Dad, we were
hoping that you

would tell him the story.

- You're the Pete expert.

- Well, I can't tell the
story of Santa and Pete

without starting with Santa.

He came first you know.

Do you know what he was
called before the world

knew him as Santa Claus?

St. Nicholas.

[uplifting instrumental music]

St. Nicholas is a Christian
bishop who traveled the world

performing small miracles.

People claimed he lived
for hundreds of years.

To look at St. Nick, you
might think that God was

about to call him home.

The thin on hair on
his head no longer grew

and his beard was
white and wild.

But by all accounts, St.
Nicholas was a gentle man

and children loved him.

No matter where St.
Nick was in his travels,

he always returned
home to Amsterdam

to celebrate Christmas.

And one year, he had
to travel through Spain

to get to Holland
and in those days,

there was still a large
Moorish population in Spain.

As luck would have it, or
as bad luck would have it,

the Spanish government who
knew of his pilgrimages

singled him out for persecution.

- Persecution?

What's that?

- Son, that's when one
group of people don't like

the beliefs of another
group of people.

- I thought St. Nick
was a good person.

- Oh he was, but you see,
in those days the Spaniards

and Moors were not getting
along and some people resented

his power and his message
of peace and brotherhood,

so the Spanish government
arrested him as a spy.

- Spy!

- Of course he wasn't a spy.

But I tell you this, things
didn't look good for St. Nick

on that cold day in December.


- What is this?

- It's called the Book of Life.

- What do you use it for?

- It's a list of important names
that I check on every year.

Just about this time.

- It's a very handy
book for a spy.

- Ha, we both know
I'm not a spy.

- It's evidence, put it away.

What do you have in here?

- Chocolate, games, toys,
things of that nature.

Tell me, do you
have any children?

- Yes, I do.

And I can assure you they do
not believe in St. Nicholas.


You made the wrong choice
traveling through Spain old man.

It looks like you will
not be making it home

for Christmas this
year or any other year.

[ominous music]

Take him away.

- [Grandpa Nicholas] As it
were Christmas only a few weeks

away, St. Nick was as far from
home as a present could be.

Lucky for him, he was
about to meet Pete.

[ominous music]


- Thank you Peter.

- How did you know my name?

- I know a lot of things
about a lot of people.

I know you have a big
heart for one thing

and I know you want to
travel and see the world.

- You could read my mind?

- No, but I can read
what's in your heart.

- You're St.
Nicholas aren't you?

[grunts in affirmation]

What are you doing in here?

- They think I'm a spy. [laughs]

- A spy?

- I'm not of course.

The only thing I carry
with me wherever I go

is a message of peace.

- Tell me something St.
Nicholas, you've been a lot

of places, places
I've only dreamed of,

what's it like?

- It's everything
you could imagine.

But I'll add this, wherever
I've been on my travels,

I've found that
people are the same.

They love and want to be loved.

They want their life
to amount to something.

But they need help sometimes.

That's where I come in.

- St. Nicholas?

Will you tell me
about your travels?

- There's a lot to tell.

[slow instrumental music]

- [Grandpa Nicholas] The
two men wound up talking

throughout the night.

To look at them,

you might have focused
on their differences.

One was black the other white.

One was a cook the
other a bishop.

But Pete admired St.
Nick's towering spirit

and St. Nick instinctively
knew that Pete had much

to offer the world
with his generous heart

and joyous nature.

Just before daybreak, Pete
made the most important

decision of his life.

[plucky instrumental music]


- We better hurry, they'll
be making their rounds

any time now.

- Peter, why are you doing this?

- Because you're St. Nicholas
and the world needs you,

now come on.

- You're taking a terrible risk!

- Don't worry about
that, come on.

[building instrumental music]

- Peter, Peter would you
like to come with me?

I could use a partner.

- Me, I'm just a cook?

- No, you're much
more than that.

But if you can't, I understand.

[low shuffling]

- Look Nick, you gotta
get outta here right now.

- I had a book, leather
bound, very old.

I can't leave without it.

- Why's it so important to you?

It's just a book.

- Oh, it's infinitely
more than that.

- All right look, I'll go get it

and you stay right here okay?

I'll be back.

[slow instrumental music]



- Hey!

- St. Nicholas!

Here's your book now
let's get outta here!

- Thought you weren't coming.

- I think I just lost my job.


[uplifting instrumental music]

- Wow!

Pete broke Santa out of jail?

- You bet he did.
- Yes!

- [James] That looks good.

- Will you do the honors?

- Thanks Nicholas.

- Grandpa, was there
really a man named Pete

or are you making all this up?

- There was a man named Pete
and his story was passed down

for hundreds of years
until it became legend.

- What's so important about
The Book of Life anyway?

- Well, only God and
St. Nick knew for sure.

You see, The Book of Life
is filled with secrets.

- Secrets?

- About people's lives,
past, present, and future.

And if anybody else
ever looked inside,

they wouldn't remember
a thing they saw

once the book was closed.

- Like magic.

- You might say that.

You know what else was magic?

Santa and Pete.

Before Pete knew it, they'd
been partners for years.

- Now, I think that we
should plan things out

a little better.

- I prefer to go
on instinct myself.

- I can see that.

- Well, served
pretty well so far.

- I still think we need an
itinerary, some sort of detailed

plan for our journey.

- Life is the journey and
God plans the itinerary.

I know what you're thinking.
- What?

- That I'm too set in my ways.

- That's exactly what I was.

You do that a lot you know that?

- What?

- You always tell me what
you think I'm thinking.

- I can't help it, I've
got a knack for it.

How else do you think
I know the difference

between who's been naughty
or who's been nice?

- Well it's an
annoying knack Nick.

- But I do know what you're
thinking, most of the time.

- Well, even if you do, you
don't always have to say it.

Maybe, just maybe, I don't
want to know what I'm thinking.

- All right, I'll try not to
tell you what you're thinking.

- All right.


Here, this will tide you over
till we get to the next town.

You hungry, aren't you?

- How'd you know?

- I know what you're
thinking sometimes too Nick,

watch out.

- What is it?

- Dried fruit.
- Dried fruit?

- It's good for ya.

- Looks dead.

- Oh, I got some fruitcake too.

I baked a loaf a few days ago.

- Dried fruit or fruit cake.

Suddenly I'm not hungry anymore.

- More for me.

[sweet instrumental music]

That's good!

Let's go.

- [Grandpa Nicholas] No
matter what Santa and Pete's

differences were, they
were united on one thing,

the children.

The children were always
first in their hearts.

And sure enough as time passed,
the children grew to love

Pete as much as
they did St. Nick.

One year, when St. Nick and
Pete returned to Holland

for their annual
Christmas visit,

they discovered that many of
the children were missing.

- Missing?

- They had gone to the New
World with their families.

- Where's the New World?

- The New World is
here son, America.

- That's right and St.
Nick and Pete knew they had

to follow the children to
this land of new beginnings

and endless dreams.

[uplifting instrumental music]

- I can't believe it!

We're actually going
to the New World!

- Well, believe it.

- Even the name sounds exciting.

The New World.

Whew man, what do you
think it's gonna be like

when we get there?

- Like the old one, only newer.

- Right, right, right.

- Santa and Pete!

I, I heard you were
going to the New World.

- We sure are.

- Word travels fast.

- I was hoping you might
find someone for me.

Her name's Elizabeth Van Olden.

Please, please give her
this ring and tell her

I love her and I will join
her as soon as possible.

I want to marry her.

- Well, we got a lot to
do when we get there and--

- Peter, Peter,

we're never too busy to help
someone find their true love.

- Excuse me.

[slow instrumental music]

Look, there gonna be a lot
of people in the New World.

It could be like looking
for a needle in a haystack.

- What's your name young man?

- Henry, Henry Rutgers.

- Well Henry, I promise you
we'll do our best to try

and find her.

- Thank you so much!

Thank you, you're my only hope!

Have a good trip!
- Good day Henry.

- Good day to you!

- Nick, you just told
this man we'll find

the woman he loves.

We could end up
breaking his heart.

- Have faith Peter, we will
find Miss Elizabeth Van Olden

and we'll still have
time to spend Christmas

with the children.

Now, we have a ship to catch.

- The New World.

[holiday music]

- Close your eyes Dad.

Put out your hands.

And take a deep breath.

- Mince meat pie!

Your Grandma Ruth's favorite.

- Nobody made mince meat pie
like your grandmother Terence.

- She always made
it every Christmas.

Thank you Cassie.

- You're welcome.

- I wish grandma were here.

- You know what sweetie?

In a way she is.

She's all around us.

- Did grandma like the
Santa and Pete story?

- She loved it and guess what?

We're now coming to
her favorite part.

- Which part?

- Where they come
to the New World.

[majestic instrumental music]

It was a long, hard
voyage across the Atlantic

for Santa and Pete.

On December 23rd, they set
foot on the soil that today

is New York City.

[hooves clopping]

- Look around you Petey.

Wee, we're here!

The New World!

My heart's thumping
like a jack rabbit.

- You know what
we gotta do Nick?

- No, what?

- Just this once, let's splurge.

Let's get the biggest
room in New Amsterdam.

- Peter I'm surprised at you.

- I know, I'm usually the one
with the tight purse strings,

but maybe we have to do
something to celebrate.


- I couldn't agree more.

[instrumental music]

- Wait a minute.

Isn't that your coat?
- Where?

Oh, yes it is.

- Why is she wearing it?

- I gave it to her.

- You gave it to her, why?

- I grew fond of her and
her children coming over

on the voyage.

I didn't want them to be cold.

- Oh Nick, I can't believe you.

You know, you gotta think
of yourself sometimes.

You know you're getting on
in years and you can catch

a death of a cold
in this weather.

- Peter, will you stop
worrying about me?

I'm as warm as toast.


- Wow, come on.

[uplifting instrumental music]

What are we stopping here for?

- I want to get this
ring to Miss Van Olden.

- She's here?

- No, but the Reverend
usually knows everything

that goes on in town.

- Santa and Pete? [gasps]

Oh I don't believe this!

It really is you!

I heard the rumors that
you might be coming

to New Amsterdam and I can't
believe it, here you are.

Oh, my name is Maria Dangola.

- Pleased to meet you Maria.

- What on Earth would
bring you to New Amsterdam?

- Mainly, we're here
to see the children.

- That, and to ensure that
the tradition of gift giving

is carried on here
in the New World.

- Well my children are gonna
be so jealous when they hear

that I met you.

- Well, perhaps we'll
see them tomorrow night

when we do our rounds.

- Oh they would love that!

By the way, would
you care to join us

for our Christmas Eve feast?

- That sounds
absolutely wonderful.

- Wonderful, that's
sounds wonderful,

but we can't see,
that's the busiest night

of the year for us.

- Maria?

- Janet, Janet, come here.

Look who it is, Santa and Pete.

This is my sister Janet.

I was just inviting them
to dinner tomorrow night.

- Have you accepted
the invitation?

- What time would you like us?

- [Maria] Say six o'clock?

- We'll be there.

- Wonderful, we live on
the outskirts of town

in a place called Harlem.

Just ask of the Dangola family.

- Thank you Maria,
we'll see you tomorrow.

- Okay, this is so exciting!

I can't wait to
tell the children!

- What, what?

- I thought we were too busy.

- Well, I mean, I
thought, you know.

You didn't like the fruitcake,

so I figured you wouldn't
turn down a free meal.

- I'm sure that's the only
reason you wanted to go.

[slow instrumental music]

[goat bleating]

- No, no, how did
you get in here?

Those are decorations for
the Christmas program.

You can't eat those,
out, out, out.

Oh are you two here for
the Christmas program?

Out, out!

Oh, we have everyone we
need for the nativity,

but yah, yah.

Santa and Pete?

Well, that's a wonderful idea.

The children would love that.

- Actually Reverend.

- And you'd make
a wonderful Santa.

You're a dead ringer for him.

- What about me?

- Well, you're a passable
Pete, but Santa here.

- Passable?

I am Pete.

- You're not saying?
- Exactly.

- Oh my.

- Hello Reverend Bogart.

- Santa and Pete.

What an honor that you
would come to our colony.

Oh, and your timing is perfect.

The children could use a
little inspiration right now.

- Oh, why is that?

- Oh well, it just doesn't
feel much like Christmas

this year.

Life is so hectic here
with all the faiths

and cultures and so many people
and more arriving every day.

Families have been separated
and not found each other.

- Why that's terrible.

- And then there's the
unrest between the settlers

and the Indians.

- The Indians?

- Yeah, there've been
attacks on both sides,

mostly over land.

I heard yesterday the governor
was planning an attack

in retaliation for something.

- I can't believe this.

The New World's already
sounding like the old one.

- We were led to believe
that we were coming

to a land of peace and harmony.

- Well, that was the
dream St. Nicholas.

And I guess you noticed how
commercial everything's become.

- Commercial?

- Well, the establishment's put
up the Christmas decorations

a week ago.

- That is getting a
jump on things isn't it?

- Excuse me Reverend,
Peter, can I have the ring?

- I don't have the ring.

- Miss Van Olden's,
I gave it to you.

- No, I put it in your bag.

- No, I remember,
on board the ship.

- No, we were on the
ship and I gave it to you

because I didn't want to
be responsible for it.

I told you that.

This is so embarrassing.

- You may have told
me, but that's not.

- Just looking for it.

- Ah, ah, ah.

[slow instrumental music]

I'm sorry.

We were asked to
deliver this ring

to an Elizabeth Van Olden.

She wouldn't happen to be a
member of your congregation

would she?

- Yes, yes she is.

- Ah, do you know
where she lives?

- No, I believe she works

at the tannery here
in town though.

- Thank you Reverend and
a happy holiday to ya.

- And to both of you as well.

It was wonderful to see you.

[goat bleating]

Go, go, go, go!

- Reverend?

There's still time for the
dream of a better way of life

to become a reality.

- I pray for that
everyday St. Nicholas.

[slow sad instrumental music]

- Too busy to
celebrate Christmas?

Trouble between the
settlers and the Indians?

- Maybe we were
meant to be here.

We got a lot of
work to do Peter.

- Ah, but first we gotta
find us a play to stay.

- Not before we
find Miss Van Olden.

Love is patient but it shouldn't
be kept waiting too long.


- I know, I know, just
like everyone else in town.

Waiting till the last minute

and want their
boots repaired now!

- Actually sir, we're
here on other business.

- We understand you have someone
named Elizabeth Van Olden

working here.

- Not anymore.

Didn't like working with hides.

They made her squeamish.

- Don't blame her.

- Do you happen to
know where she lives?

- I do not.

This town's grown so fast it's
hard to keep track of anyone.

- So I see.

- By the way, you too
are who I think you are

why don't you leave some
coal in my children's shoes?


They haven't been good since
they came to New Amsterdam.

[soft instrumental music]

- You want me to put coal
in your children's shoes?

- Yeah, that's what
you do isn't it?

- No, that's not what I do.

I don't know where
that rumor got started,

but I do not put coal
in children's shoes.

And you know why?

Because every child
is basically good.

They need to be encouraged,
not told how bad they've been.

So when you go hoem tonight
from a long day's work

and they're getting
on your nerves,

try giving them the
biggest hug ever

and tell them that
you love them.

You do that and I guarantee you,

you and your children
will be just fine.

- Maybe I'll try that.

- Wonderful, well, it
was nice to meet you.

I'm glad we had
this chance to chat.

And happy holidays to you.

- Happy holidays to you too.

- Nicely done Peter.

- I've learned from the best.

- Now, lets go book that room.

- Oh I can't wait!

A warm bath, a feather bed,
after two months on that ship,

it's gonna be paradise!


- Nothing?

- I told them we've been
every place in town.

I asked him to double
check his ledger.

I cajoles, I pleaded, I even
told him I was traveling

with the famous St. Nick!

- What did he say to that?

- No room at the inn.

- Sounds familiar.

- But he did mention this
other place outside of town,

but I wasn't sure if--

- We'll take it.

Well, hardly the best
room in town is it?

- That's not even the
best barn in town.


Knew we shoulda let me
bargain for this place.

- I'm too tired to bargain.

Besides which that man
may have needed money

more than we did.

- Oh I doubt it.

- Give freely Peter and you
will enjoy abundance, trust me.

You know, I think it's
rather cozy in here.

- If you don't mind
a room with a view.

- It's better than
our accommodation

coming over on the ship.

- I can't argue with that.

- So, here we are.

Tell me Peter, what are
your first impressions

of this New World?

- A little overwhelming.

I wasn't expecting
so many people.

But frankly, I'm concerned
that we're not gonna have

enough gifts for the children.

- I think we're gonna have
just the right amount.

- Let me ask you something Nick,

why is it you're so
positive about everything?

- That's simple Peter.

Being negative is no fun.


[hay rustling]

- What was that?
- What?

- Shh!

[slow instrumental music]

It's okay, we're
not gonna hurt you.

Come on out, come on.

- Pete?
- Yes.

- What's going on?

- Santa and Pete!

- Well obviously you know
our names young lady.

I think it's only fair
that we should know yours.

- Marlene.

- Marlene, that's a pretty name.

- Where are your
parents Marlene?

- I don't know.

- Did you get lost?

- No, I just fell asleep.

- Fell asleep?

- In the woods where
were building our cabin.

Mother and father said it
was okay for me to lie down

under a tree.

When I woke up I
couldn't find them.

I don't like it here, I
want to go back to Holland.

- Don't worry,
everything's gonna be fine.

You'll feel better when
we find your parents.

- Can you, can you
really find them?

- We will.

Now, that's a promise.

- Thank you Santa.

- Good night Marlene.
- Good night Santa.

- I'm gonna need a ledger
to keep track of all

these promises you
keep handing out.

First you tell Henry Rutgers
we'll deliver his ring.

Then you tell Marlene
we'll find her parents.

How do you plan
we'll do all of this?

- Don't worry Peter.

We'll find Marlene's
parents safe and sound.

- What do you suppose
happened to them?

- They could have got lost.

You heard what the Reverend
said, people become separated

and then can never
find one another again.

- Do you think the Indians
might have anything

to do with this?

- I don't know but I
suspect the governor knows.

- So tomorrow we find
Marlene's parents,

visit all the children,
pass out all their gifts,

go to the governor.

- Don't forget Miss Van Olden.

- I suggest finding Miss Van
Olden is a low priority Nick.

- Miss Van Olden is very
important Peter, very important.

- Why?

I don't...

Wait a sec.

You looked in The Book
of Life didn't you?

Come on Nick, level with me.

Did you see their names
in there together?

Did Henry Rutgers marry
Elizabether Van Olden?

Is it fate that we're to
deliver this ring to her?

- The Book of Life is not
written in stone Peter.

That's the great beauty of it.

Everybody writes
their own story.

[slow instrumental music]

[holiday music]


- Look what we have here.

Look at that.

Nick you can ride more
comfortably in the New World.

- In this?

It's nothing but
a piece of junk.

- Oh, no, no, no.

One man's junk is
another man's treasure.

We can fix it up.

- I prefer riding my horse.

It's become a tradition.

- Well maybe it's
time for a change huh?

- I like tradition.

- Your chariot
awaits you my lady.

- I'm hungry.

- Oh wait a minute, I got
something that'll tide you over

till breakfast.

- What is it?

- Dried fruit, a Pete special.

- No thanks.
- Fine, be that way.

- You mean you're not even
gonna offer her the fruitcake?

- No, I'm not even gonna
mention the fruit cake.


Oh fine, go ahead and laugh.

We men of vision are
used to be ridiculed.

Ya, ya!

[upbeat instrumental music]


[door knocks]

- Good morning.
- Good morning.

- [Santa] We'd like to
see the governor please,

it's important.

- [Woman] I'm sorry,
the governor is
having his breakfast.

- [Santa] Oh.

- I'm the the governor!

- Good morning sir.

- Would you like a cup of cocoa?

- Go ahead.

- What can I do for you?

- We understand that
there's considerable tension

between the settlers
and the Indians.

- Well, it's not
exactly a secret.

What did you do, just
get off the boat?


- Actually, we did.

- There's even a
rumor to the effect

that you're planning an attack.

- Even if I were
considering such a thing

I wouldn't tell you.

Who do you think you are anyway?

- My name is Nicholas.

This is my partner Peter.

The little girl is Marlene,
daughter of two of the settlers

who seem to have disappeared.

- Do you think the Indians
might have anything

to do with this?

- Yes, I'm sure of it.

All the more reason
for a retaliation.

- Well, I'd like to
propose that Peter and I

go to the Indians, talk to them,

see if we can find a peaceful
solution to the problem.


- For one thing you'd
have to find them first.

They're always moving
from one place to another.

And if you did find them, we'd
never hear from you again.

- And why is that?

- These Indians are savages,

not to be reasoned
with or trusted.

- There's some good
in every man Governor.

May I suggest that you
reconsider your thinking,

or at least postpone action
until after the holidays?

- I'm the leader of this colony

and I will do what I
think is appropriate!


Now if you'll excuse me, I'm
in the middle of my breakfast.

- Do think about it Governor.

- Thank you for the cocoa.
- You're very welcome.

- Was the governor a nice man?

- Well...

- The word nice
doesn't do him justice.

- Well, does he know
where my parents are?

- Not exactly, but
they did give us

a good idea where to look.

- I remember you
said you were hungry.

Me too, let's go
have some breakfast.

Everything always looks
brighter on a full stomach.

[ominous music]

[laughing and chatting]

- A full stomach
is one thing Nick,

but you're gonna
put on 200 pounds

in one day if
you're not careful.

- I don't think I have
much to be scared of there.

[low chattering]

Excuse me a minute.

- What are you doing?

Going back for thirds?


- Can I take these carrots
to feed the horses?

- Yes, I think they would
like that very much.

[plucky instrumental music]

- What on earth?

- I traded it a few chocolates
and my old hat for it.

You know, everybody here
is in love with chocolate

and there's none to be had.

- Well it looks like you got
the short end of the stick

on that deal.

- You don't like it?

- It's just, it's...

- It's different.
- Different, yeah.

- It is New Worldish.

- Santa and Pete
the horses are gone!

[sweet instrumental music]


Look, there's a note!

- Dear sir, we have borrowed
your horses for the soldiers.

This pack animal is a
temporary replacement.

Signed the governor.

- They took our horses?

- Don't worry Nick we're
gonna get them back.

- But my horse has been
with me every Christmas

since I can remember.

- I know but this
is the New World.

We can start some
new traditions.

Besides, look at this face.

Isn't this a face you
could learn to love?

- I like her.
- So do I.

[babbling noises]

[upbeat instrumental music]

So, what do you think
about the reindeer now?

- I still prefer my horse.


- How would you like to put
this around our reindeer's neck?

- Yeah!

- What do you write in
those messages anyway?

- It differs from
child to child.

I want each and every
one of them to feel that

God knows them individually.

- And that the child too
might grow from knowing God.

- That's right Peter!

[Marlene giggling]

- [Marlene] Come over here, I
want to put this bell on you.

Come on!

- You're worried about
Marlene's parents aren't you?

- I'm concerned for
everyone involved.

- Peter, I believe
in my heart of hearts

that Marlene's parents
have not been harmed.

And I think I know
how to find them.

Tonight, after we've had
dinner with the Dangola's.

- After we've had dinner.

- We ride out into the forest.
- We ride into the forest.

- And let the Indians find us.

- And let the Indians
find, wait a minute!

That's crazy!
- No.

I think it'll work.

- Okay, I'm willing
to try it if you are.

But you know, with everything
going on around here,

giving out chocolates and
the toys to the children,

seems almost incidental.

- Peter, I've seen a
lot through my life.

Wars, famine, people's
dreams being dashed

for one reason or another
and through it all

I've given thanks that I was
the patron saint of children.

They are the ray of hope
through our darkness.

That's why we celebrate
them on Christmas eve.

After all, Christmas started
with a child didn't it?

- Yes it did.

- And you know what?

We'll get everything done.

If you have to work all night,

we'll deliver the
presents to the children.

- That's it!

That's it, that's the idea!
- What?

- Well, we'll deliver
the gifts to the children

at night while they're sleeping!

- Would be more of a surprise
in the morning wouldn't it?

- And more efficient.

- Peter?

I think you're on
to something here.

- It's easy to think when
you don't have a dead racoon

sitting on your head.

- Ah.

- Let me give you
an idea how long ago

this story took place.

When St. Nick and
Pete first came here,

this whole neighborhood
was nothing but a big field

and right in the
middle, two windmills.

Broadway was a dirt road.

Harlem was a small village.

In the in trails
ran hither and yon.

It was really an
exciting time actually.

Of course it was a hard time
too and people didn't have

what we have today in
the material sense.

Children didn't get
as many presents.

But see, it didn't
really matter.

The spirit of Christmas,
that's what really mattered

and it was that spirit that
Santa and Pete carried with them

on the first Christmas
eve in the New World.

- We don't have much.

- Give freely Peter.

- I know, I know,
and enjoy abundance.

- Exactly.

- I can't believe I'm with
Santa and Pete on Christmas eve.

- Well, you better start
Marlene because believing

is what Christmas is all about.

- Well, will you look at that.

Seems our deer is quite a vixen.

- You know, that's
a good name for her.

- What's a vixen?

- Yes, I think I'm gonna let
Peter explain that to you.

- Me, wait a second, you
said that you would tell it.

[light instrumental music]

Let's see, a vixen is a lady

who is very popular
with the gentlemen.

[bells clanging]

- What are the reindeer's names?

- They don't have any.

- They should all
have one, aye Marlene?

Why don't you start?

- Okay, that one in the
front, the big one, Comet.

- That's a great name.

How'd you come up
with that one Marlene?

- Well, my father and I
saw a comet the first night

we were in New Amsterdam.

He said it was good luck.

[swift instrumental music]

- Comet it is.

- Your turn.

- Dasher, for that
fast one there.

- I like that.

- He looks like a
race horse you know,

dashing to the finish line.

- One more.
- Okay it's my turn.

I'll name the last
reindeer Cupid.

- Cupid?
- Why Cupid?

- Because I believe in the
unifying power of love.

- On Dasher!
- On Cupid!

- On Comet!
- And Vixen!

[swift instrumental music]

- [Maria] Santa and Pete!

- [Santa] Maria good evening!

- Oh wait.

- Look who's here!

Come in, come in.

Let me introduce everyone.

This is my husband Big Manuel.

- Good evening.
- Santa.


- And our children,
little Manuel and Julia.

- It's very nice
to meet you all.

- And this is Marlene.
- Hello.

- Well hello Marlene,
welcome to our house!

Everyone, please make
yourself at home.

- I thought the real Santa
and Pete had a big bag

with gifts in it.

- Julia!


- Right you are Julia.

I'll be right back.

- Do you think the horses
could use a drink of water?

- Actually, it's
reindeer now Janet.

- Reindeer?

- Yes, reindeer and I'm sure
they'd love a drink of water.

- I think Janet is especially
pleased that you and Pete

came to New
Amsterdam. [giggling]

[reindeer grunting]

[sweet instrumental music]

- Reindeer.

I thought the
reindeer could use.

- Let me get that for you.

It's a nice night.
- Yes it is.

So, Janet, how long have you
been here in the New World?

- About a year.

- Why did you come?

- Things weren't going very
well for me back in Holland.

I decided I needed a new start.

- And did you get a new start?

- Yes, yes I have.

It's not perfect here,
but it is exciting.

Oh, I think this New World is
full of great possibilities.

- You might be right.

- You see, I have
all these dreams.

- Such as?

- I want to be a teacher.

- Oh, I think that's a
wonderful dream to have!

- You do?

- Yes, yes I do.

And like Nick always says,
the children are our future.

[both laughing]

- So tell me, how long will
you be here in New Amsterdam?

- Nick wants to get
home pretty soon.

- But you've just arrived.

- I know.

- Do you want to leave so soon?

- I pretty much go
wherever Nick goes.

- Tell me, what's
it like traveling

with the famous St. Nick?

- Oh, it's wonderful!

It's demanding and inspiring.

Because of him, I know
that dreams can come true.

[sweet instrumental music]

Uh, we better get back inside.

We don't want to keep
the children waiting.

Got a, had a bag, the
bag, let's get the bag.

- This is for Julia!

- Yes!


- [Marlene] Great Julia!

- There's something
else in there Julia.

See what it is.

- [Marlene] What is it?

- It's saying something momma.

- To some they are
rags, to you a doll.

If you miss Lizzie?

Look behind the mill wall.

Walk in faith.

- Let's go see, come on!

- How did you know that Julia
had a doll named Lizzie Santa?

- Nick knows a lot of things
about a lot of people.

And this is for
you Little Manuel.

- Momma, momma, Santa was right!

Lizzie was behind the mill wall!

- All right children, you
could stay up a little longer

and then it's bedtime.

- Oh, can Marlene stay with us
until her parents come back?

- Would you like to
stay with us Marlene?

We sure would love to have you.

- I think that
would be wonderful.

- Go ahead, put it in.

[slapping and giggling]

I love sugar cookies,
this is great.

- You've made this evening so
special St. Nick, thank you.

- There's one more thing
I might do for you Maria.

I know you're concerned
about your baby.

- Well, yes.

We lost the last one
and this one is--

- Three weeks late.

This is for your baby.


- Nathaniel Paul Dangola.

That's the name we
chose, if it's a boy.

- He'll grow up to be a
strong, healthy young man.

[sweet instrumental music]

- Thank you Santa.


[reindeer grunting]

[Janet and Peter laughing]

- Peter!

- I'm ready, let's go.

- Where's the bag?
- Oh wait.

The bag.

The bag.

- You're driving.
- I know.

- Thank you for a
wonderful evening

and a merry Christmas to all.

- And to you a good night.

[uplifting instrumental music]

[bells clattering]

- A merry Christmas to all
and to all a good night.

I like the sound of that.


- Whoa Vixen, whoa Vixen, stop!

[ominous instrumental music]

This was your idea Nick.

I'm gonna let you handle it.

- It is the man with
the white beard.

We have waited a long
time for your return.

- I'm sorry sir, but I
think you have mistaken me

for someone else.

- Come, join us.

Your legend has been passed down

through several generations.

A man with a white beard
came to the Indians.

It was a good time
for our people.

Crops were plentiful.

There was peace
between all the tribes.

There must be a reason
that you have returned.

- Actually, there is.

We have heard that you
may have taken a couple

of the settlers,
a man and a woman.

These two have a daughter
who misses them very much.

This is Christmas eve,
she could receive no more

wonderful present than to be
reunited with her parents.

- You bring a message of peace?

- I do, for the sake
of all our children.

- You have delivered the
same message to the settlers?

- I promise you this,
I personally will
deliver this message

to the governor
of New Amsterdam.

- It is good that you have come.

- I'm glad that we did.

And now, before we leave,

these are for the children.

- We also have a gift for you.

[slow native style
instrumental music]

- This is beautiful,
thank you, thank you.

- It took two full moons to
find the reddest of berries

to dye this coat.

- This is perfect!

In honor of this occasion,
I will wear this coat

every Christmas eve.

- The Indians knew about
a man with a white beard?

- They have a prophecy that
such a man would come to them

flying through the air.

- You know dad, what I
loved about this story,

is that is has a
mix of all cultures.

- That's why I love telling it.

- And this is a Dutch legend?

- Yes it is and it
takes in to account

the fact that people
throughout the ages have failed

to bridge the gap between
all the different cultures.

- And that's why Santa and
Peter are so important.

- Yes, love,
forgiveness, friendship,

and a playful sense of humor.

Those are the real gifts
that Santa and Pete brought

to the New World
and they had faith

that they could
make a difference.

- Grandpa, what's faith?

- Well, it's that thing
inside that you hold on to

until help arrives.

- I knew that would work out.

As soon as we got there,
I thought no problem.

Except we still don't
have Marlene's parents.

- We've done all we
could do for now.

You can't force the
Indians or the governor

to do something they
don't really want to do.

[reindeer grunting]

- Hya, Hya!

[swift instrumental music]

- What on Earth's got
into these reindeer?

- I don't know, it's like
they're possessed or something.

- Janet?

Is this the bucket you
used for those reindeer?

- Yes, why?

Oh my, that's not
the one with Maria's

special Christmas
concoction in it?

- I'm afraid so.

- Her secret African recipe.

- The one with the big kick.

- Well, I know what
it does to humans.

But what does it do to reindeer?

[fast paced instrumental music]

- Stop the carriage!
- I can't!

- You just don't want
me to get my hat back!

- No, it's not that.

I really can't
stop these animals.


Whatever's happened
to this team,

they certainly got the spirit.

[reindeer grunting]

- Reindeer.

Well, would you look at this.

Someone's left gifts for us!

- This must be where the
man from the tannery lives.

- How very kind of him.

- Not only kind, but
well needed Nick.

You could use a change,
you know, you been wearing

the same style clothes for
about what, 400 years now?

- Oh you're a great one to talk.

It's a good thing the
Indians gave you that jerkin.

- Hey, I have my
own sense of style.

My wardrobe will never
go out of fashion.

[slow instrumental music]

- I'm gonna have
a whole new look.

[upbeat instrumental music]

[bells jangling]

- Whoa, whoa.

Last stop, Governor's house.

- It was a good night Peter

- This bag is as heavy as
it was when we started.

I sure didn't think we'd
have enough presents.

Where are the shoes?

The children are gonna be
disappointed in the morning.

- No, we've got to get in.

It's important.


They must be afraid
of the Indians.

- Well, if you
want to get inside,

all you gotta do is knock.

- I don't want to wake them.

- What do you suppose we do?

Go down the chimney?

[playful instrumental music]



You okay?


- Couldn't see
very well in there.

- You need to work on
your entrance Nick.

- Where's my bag?

- Santa and Pete!

- Shh!

- Look, I can
explain everything.

You see, the shoes were
supposed to be outside

and they weren't.

So he looked up and
then the chimney.

Could you just get us the
children's wooden shoes please?

- The children stopped
wearing their wooden shoes

when they came to New Amsterdam.

- No wooden shoes?

- How bout stockings?
- Stockings?

Looks kinda funny to me.
- No it doesn't.

- I have to think
about this one.

- You could think about
it all you want, trust me.

This, this one's a keeper.

- I thought you might be hungry.

How bout some cookies and milk?

- Oh, that's so nice of you.

- Now you mention
it, I am hungry.

- I'd like you to
have this too Santa.

I must admit, I made
it for someone else,

but it does not look
like he will be coming

to New Amsterdam.

I hope you like it.

[slow instrumental music]

- You say you made
it for someone else?

- Yes.

- What is your name?
- Elizabeth.

- Van Olden?

- Yes.

[slow instrumental music]

- This is for you.

- Oh.

- Henry Rutgers asked
us to deliver it to you.

- He loves you very much.

He'll join you here just
as soon as it's possible.

He wants to marry you Elizabeth.

- Oh thank you Santa, thank
you so much! [giggles]

Please, keep the hat.

- Well, thank you.

- It definitely goes
better with the coat Nick.

- Quite smashing, it is you.
- Oh yes!


- Have you ever seen
someone so happy Nick?

- I think it's the
best Christmas present

we've ever delivered.

- Okay, so now you can tell me,

did Henry Rutgers and
Elizabeth Van Olden marry

in The Book of Life.

- They do now.

[slow instrumental music]

- You know the last
stop of the night

and the first Christmas
eve in the New World

was Santa and Pete.

- What about Marlene?

- Well, I didn't say that
was the end of the story.

- Remember the promise that
Santa made to the Indians?

Well, before he left
the governor's house,

he wrote him a letter and he
explained how he had visited

with the Indians and how he
felt there could be peace

between them and the settlers.

- Peace on Earth,
good will toward men.

- That was Santa's
Christmas message.

[uplifting instrumental music]

- Let me ask you something.

If I were to look in the Book
of Life and found my name,

would I remember what I seen?

- No you wouldn't.

But I'll tell you this.

If I get on a boat this week
to sail back to Holland,

you're not with me
I'll understand.

- Oh, I'd call that
jumping to conclusions.

I only meet Janet tonight.

- So you were
thinking about her.

- Of course I was,
she's a wonderful woman.

I've never met anyone like her.

- So stick around for a while.

See what happens.

- What are you trying
to get rid of me?

- Don't tell me you
haven't been thinking about

settling down.

You'd made a wonderful
husband and father.

I've never seen anybody who
is better with children.

And remember Peter,
there's no higher calling

than being a parent.

- What about you?

When are you gonna get
married and settle down?

- Me, married?

Ha can you picture that?
- Absolutely, I can.

Mrs. St. Nick.

- I'm on the road
too much to marry.

- Well, you can't be
on the road forever.

And besides, you talked about
cutting back on traveling.

- That's true.

Perhaps if I were to meet
Mrs. Right I'd settle down

and move up north.

- Hey wait a second.

Did you ever look your name
up in The Book of Life?

- My name's not in there.
- It's not?

- The one name that's a
complete mystery to me is my own

and I wouldn't have
it any other way.

[sweet slow instrumental music]

- [Pete] Whoa,
whoa, Vixen, whoa.

- Marlene's parents?

[slow sad instrumental music]

The last thing I want
to see on Christmas eve

is a sad little girl.

- You said you'd
find them Santa.

You promised.

- I did indeed.

Go to the window, look outside.

[slow instrumental music]

- I don't see anything.

- Outside, look again.

- Mother, father!

I knew you'd find em!

Pete they're here!

[uplifting instrumental music]

- You knew they were
coming didn't you?

- I had a hunch.

- You're good Nick,
you're very good.

- [Marlene] Mother, father!


I missed you so much.

[instrumental music]

- Thank you so much.
- Yes, thank you Santa.

- Bye bye dear.

- Yes, the Lord does
work in mysterious ways.

- Let's go partner.

- [Pete] Looks like Vixens'
got more company Nick.

- Five, six, I draw
the line at eight.

- Well, I'll tell you one
thing, even with six reindeer,

there's no way you're going
in that carriage tonight.

- I'm afraid she's right Nick.

With all this snow
I think we're stuck.

- [Maria] You
could stay with us.

- We really must be on
our way tonight Maria.

- I might be able
to help you out.

I'm known as quite a
handy man in these parts.

[fast paced instrumental music]


- You're a magician Manuel.

- No, that would be you Santa.

I'm just good at fixing things.

- Can't you stay a
little while Santa?

- Time for me to go home Maria.

- What about Pete?

- I can't speak for him.

- So you just came back
to check on Marlene?

- Not just that.

I also wanted to tell you
that we'll be back again,

next year.

I sense that I still have
important work to do with Nick

and I sense that you have
important work to do.

- Do you really?
- Absolutely.

And I think you'll make
a wonderful teacher.

- Thank you.

- Well, I'll see you next year?

- Yes, you will.

[sweet instrumental music]

- You did a great
job Big Manuel!

- Only the best
for Santa and Pete.

Oh, by the way, how did the
reindeer behave this evening?

- They were a
little rambunctious.

- Just be sure to keep
tight hold on the reigns.

- Believe me, I will.

- I do believe this is the
best Christmas I've ever had.

- Oh, it certainly has
been for us too Santa.

- Take care of yourselves.

- You sure this
is what you want?

- I don't have a choice.

Besides, if I'm meant to
have a family, settle down,

I believe it will happen.

- I believe it will too Peter.

- By the way, why did Big
Manuel ask about the reindeer?

[playful instrumental music]

- I wonder.

- Yah, yah!
- Bye bye!

[climactic instrumental music]

- We're flying!

Merry Christmas!


[bells jangling]

- That's a great story Grandpa!

- Dad it gets better
every time you tell it.

- My favorite part is when
they go flying off in the end.

- Oh, you know my favorite
part was when Big Manuel

tells the kids it's
time to go to bed.

- Aw Dad, can I stay up
just a little longer please?

- 'Fraid not son, besides,
Santa and Pete could be here

at any moment.

- Wait a minute, how
they gonna know I'm here?

- Santa knows a lot of things

about a lot of people remember.

- Come on son, let's go.

- Goodnight Grandpa.

- I'll be up in a
little bit sweetie.

You know what Dad, I
remember the first time

I heard that story.

I was just as
excited as Terence.

- You were?

- You know what else?

I remember how special
Christmas was in this house.

All the decorations
and the smells.

[slow instrumental music]

All the love.

- I'm glad the spirit of
Christmas is back in this house.

Your momma would be pleased.

[sweet instrumental music]

[bells jingling]

- Wow!


Hey, that's me.

Mom, Dad, Grandpa.



- What's going on Terence?

- You have to see this!

- See what?
- Where'd it go?

- Where'd what go?

- It was right here.

- What was right here?

- I saw The Book of Life.

It was right there.

I'm serious.

I saw my name and Mom
and Dad's and yous.

When I traced all the names
back to the beginning,

that's funny, I can't remember.

- You really got into that
story didn't you Terence.

- I saw it Grandpa.

- You know, I believe that

you're the one person
in every generation

who's the keeper of
the family history

and it's his honor and his
responsibility to pass it on.

- Do you think that
someone might be me?

- Yes I do.

- Dad?
- Is everything all right?

- Everything's just fine.

[majestic instrumental music]

There's an old African belief
that as long as there's

someone alive to call your
name, you'll never die.

We count Pete
among our ancestors

and we call out his
name every Christmas.

In this way, he and Santa
continue to share their

message of peace and
joy and family and faith

to anyone who will listen.

[uplifting instrumental music]

- On Dancer!
- On Cupid!

- On Comet!


[Santa] Merry Christmas!