Write Before Christmas (2019) - full transcript

Jessica gets dumped before Christmas. She sends 5 Christmas cards, affecting her BFF, brother, aunt, pop star, and past music/cello teacher, meeting her single, photographer son.

♪ "La, la, la, la"


I was just
Photoshopping you. Wes.

Oh, not that Christmas card
thing again.

Well, I could
Photoshop you out.

Can you?

Look, I know you're not
a big "holiday" guy,

but it's just a picture.

With a wreath...

and some mistletoe.

And maybe even a snow globe.

- Jessica...
- Okay, fine.

No snow globe.

You want
to grab drinks tonight?


I'll text you.

Okay. Bye.

Merry Christmas.

You want the moon?

Just say the word

and I'll throw a lasso
around it

and pull it down.

Let me guess.

It's a Wonderful Life?

You caught me, Jess.

"You want the moon?"

"Just say the word

and I'll throw a lasso
around it and pull it down."

Never gets old.

'Cause you're a romantic.

Not really.

I mean, who's gonna give
someone the moon, right?

You never know.

Yeah, I kinda do.

Wow, Joe.

I've never seen these before.

I thought you were
sending out photos this year.

Oh, I am.

But these are for the guy
in the photos.

Can I get a hot cocoa
today, Joe?

Extra marshmallows?

You know it.

- Coming right up.
- Thank you.

- Oh! Sorry.
- It's okay.

Morning, Mims.

More decorations?

You can never have
enough Christmas.

Speaking of
"enough Christmas"--

how's Dr. Handsome?

Still "Bah, humbug,"

and still not a doctor.

He's an eye doctor.

That's an optometrist.
He's an optician.

An optometrist
goes to med school.

He fits people for glasses,

which is important
if you can't see.

Anyhow, yes, I have
a few plans lined up.

A "Jessica Christmas"?

No. But...

I bought him these five cards.

I'm gonna send him one
every day this week.

I think that will get him
into the spirit, right?

I mean, who doesn't love
opening a Christmas card?

I approve.

And then we're gonna go
caroling on Wednesday.

Followed by ice skating
on Thursday,

leading up to Christmas Eve
at Aunt Lila's.

Too much?

How about you
just stick with the cards?

But aren't these cute?

They're so cute.

Oh, hey, Ruth.

How's the recorder coming,

He wants to try
a new instrument for Christmas.


Ahh... ladies love
a guitar player.

But I keep telling him

the violin looks better
on college apps.

Well, there is always that,

but sometimes the instrument
picks the musician.

What do you play?

I play the cello.

That's the really big
one, right?

Mm-hmm. That's actually
why I picked it at first.

I had a really mean
bus driver

and it took up two seats.

But turns out,
I ended up loving with it.

Go ahead and look around.

Seeing as we're on the subject
of your love of the cello,

did I mention my cousin

at the Chicago Heritage
Orchestra called?

Or maybe I called him.


Turns out one of
their cello players just left.

What a shame.

Just let me
get you an audition.

I am way out of practice.

So, practice.

I just...

Maybe another time.

That's a really great
starter guitar.

You like it?

- Yeah.
- Looks cool.


Thank you so much.

He'll love it.

Bye, guys.

Merry Christmas.

They'll be back for a guitar
before the new year, trust me.

Dr. Handsome?

We're having drinks tonight,
at Primo's.


"The Proposal Palace"?

It's near his office.

Do you know how many couples
get engaged at Primo's?

He's not proposing.
It's only been three months.

Remember him?

Mm... mm!


Mm. Very cute.

Wake up, Sunshine.

Hey, you didn't, uh,

happen to bring me
an espresso, did you?

That's a little
out of my job description.

You're my manager.

Also your brother.

Get up.

So, you ready
for that Christmas gig?

What Christmas gig?

You know how hard I had to work
to get you that spot?

I'm opening
for a 12-year-old.

He should be at home
with his parents.

He's 17
and he has 50 million followers.

When did "fans"
become "followers"?

Oh, let's see, about the time
that you split up the band?

I'm not sure I want
people following me.

I'm not sure
I want to get up there

and sing that song.

People love that song again.

You are that song.

Unless, of course,
you want to write a new one.

"Luv U On Christmas" it is.

I thought so.

Oh, maybe that
will inspire you.

I like their candy canes,
don't you?

You know what I love?


♪ Christmas is here...

No, not Jax, please.

Hey, can someone urn that off?

Hey, uh...

Private Carter Winthrop?

Oh, uh...

Um, I thought you were...


Yeah, it's not that
I don't like Christmas music.

It's just not that.
Uh, my sister, she--

Can you sign, please?

Sure. Yeah.




Yeah, I'm-I'm making it...
making it worse.

Here's your alternators.

Think I can alternate
the last two minutes?

Not unless you have
a time machine.

Merry Christmas.


You saw that?

Just tell her you like her.

What's the point?
Shipping out in two weeks.

She's here now,
you're here now.

Seize the moment!

Pretty sure
I just blew the moment.

Good morning, CJ.

Good morning, Jessica.

Morning, Auntie Lila.

Honey, you don't need

to check in on me every day.

Although I appreciate it.

I know it's gonna be

a quiet Christmas this year
with Carter away,

but I am bringing Wes.

You asked him?


Did you get your tree yet?

I think
I'm gonna skip it this year.

But you are making
your famous fruitcake, right?

Working on it!


Honey, don't worry about me.
In fact, I'm just on my way out.

13 shopping days, right?

- I love you.
- I love you, too.


Let's do the proposal.


Oh, honey, you were
on the other knee.

Who's gonna know?

This is our place.

I want to look back
on this moment

and remember exactly
how you asked me.

And now look into
each other's eyes

as if you are the only
two people in the entire world

on Christmas.

Or at least
in the restaurant.

All right!

I got it.

They're perfect.

All right.
I'm glad you're happy.

Oh, Luke...

are you
in a relationship?

Uh, no.

Great. I'd really love
to introduce you

to one of my bridesmaids.

Uh, thanks. I just--
I don't like to mix work--

She's amazing.

I'm sure she is,

I mean, I want to be focused
on your wedding--

You can meet her
before the wedding.

I have a really good
feeling about this.

So what is better for you,
tomorrow or the day after?

Do you know what?
I'll just text you her info.

You're gonna love her.

I have a good feeling!

- Thanks, Luke.
- Thanks, Luke.

What just happened?

Hey, Luke.
So, I, uh...

Taking pictures
of ornaments now?

I, uh, need this room.

Yeah, for the customers.

Right. I'm on my way.

I owe you, Primo.

Yes. Yes, you do.

You... get to be Santa.

I'm Santa every year, Primo.

That's at Saint Mary's,

but you also get to be Santa
at my nephew's birthday.

9:00 a.m.


I want you to take good care
of these guys.

They're here
for their anniversary.


Thanks again, Primo.

- See you tomorrow.
- See you tomorrow.

9:00 a.m.!

Thank you.

Make sure
they have a great time

and we'll get their next party.

Sorry I'm late.


It's "National Eye Exam" Day.




I'm sorry.

Am I'm making a "spectacle"
of myself?

Ahh. So, uh...
Christmas shopping?

Not exactly.

Well, if you're wondering
about what to get me...

"You can just get me
the moon, George Bailey."

It's a Wonderful Life?

- The movie?
- Oh, I didn't see it.

Would you like
to see a menu, Dr. Dade?

Can you give us a minute?





Holidays are closing in.

Look, I know you think
I'm overdoing it,

with the traditions
and the plans,

but just... Christmas has always
been so special to me.

And this year,

with my brother away
and my aunt being alone,

I just really want to keep
that spirit alive.

I know,

which is kind of why
I wanted to do this now.


we've been seeing each other
for three months.

- Mm-hmm.
- And what do they say?

It takes three months
to get to know somebody.

I've never heard that.

The thing is...

we've had 20, 25 dates?

Not counting the phone calls,
the texts, the emails...

I think I know
all I need to know

for what I'm about
to say.



I mean, maybe.
It's too soon.

We haven't even said
"I love you" yet.

I mean, not
that I couldn't love you.

In time, but...
I mean, what if

you are the one for me,
and I just don't know it yet?

Oh, God.

I was gonna say

I think we should
stop seeing each other.


I just-- I think
we've run our course,

and I really need
to focus on my practice.

You left these at my place.


Are you ready
to order, Dr. Dade?

You know,
he's not even a doctor.

He makes bifocals.

I am so... sorry.

Who breaks up with someone
at "the Proposal Palace"?

I am so humiliated.

And right before Christmas?

I don't want to marry him.

Of course you don't.

I don't even think
I liked him that much.

I never liked him.

Why didn't you say anything?

Would you have listened?



this is what you do--

you pick the same stuffed shirts

that you're never
gonna really fall for,

and when it ends,

you don't feel anything.

I feel stupid.

And tomorrow
you're gonna feel relieved.

You've been through a lot.

Who hasn't?

You lost your parents.


you were so young.

That changes everything.

I know.

But you can't keep
picking the wrong guys

just to avoid feeling hurt.

One day, the right one's
gonna come along

and he's gonna be
worth the risk.


I just stop.

Stop what?

All of it.

Yeah, I-I'm taking a holiday
from dating.

And while I'm at it,

I'm taking a holiday
from the holidays.

That's ridiculous.

No. This year,

Christmas will just be
another day on the calendar,

between Thanksgiving
and New Year's.

You'll spend Christmas with us
and John's parents in Michigan.

Auntie Lila, too.

Thank you,

but she doesn't want
to celebrate this year either.

We are fine right here--
just the two of us.

I feel better already.

It's open.

Hi, honey.

- Hi, Jess.
- Hey.

- Merry Christmas.
- Is it?

This was outside the door.

Oh. Thanks.


we're so proud

of the amazing young woman
you have become.

Love Uncle CJ and Aunt Lila."

"Dear Jessica,

for always knowing
how to put a smile on my face.

We will be friends forever.

Love Mimi."

"You're the best sister

a guy could ask for.

Thanks for always
being there for me.

Love Carter."

"Dearest Lug Nut...

I bought these...

for someone else...

...But now I think
they were for me."

♪ Fa, la, la, la, la
la, la, la, la ♪

Aww! Yeah.

And Merry Christmas.


There's that look again.

What look?

The one you get
every time you see a baby.

Don't you think
you should talk to John?

We agreed we'd wait.

You also agreed

that you'd work out every day
and only eat egg whites.

Okay, that was unrealistic.


Are you really gonna wait
another three years?

2.9 years.


Did you get me a card?


It's so cute.

"Merry Christmas
to my best friend...

who's always there,

in good times and bad.

And who always
tells me the truth."

And I always will.

Me too.

And right now the truth is

I have something for you.

What? We said no presents.

It's not a present.

It's an audition.
I called my cousin.


Day before Christmas.

And since you were jilted,
you're completely available.

Mimi... no.

No more excuses.

I told you,
I am out of practice.

You have all week.

What's the worst
that could happen?

Uh, I humiliate myself
in front of the Heritage?

And who hasn't done that
once or twice?

Change. Change.

You're getting slow
in your old age.

So, blind date, huh?

I thought
you swore off those things.

I got roped in.

She's a bridesmaid
at that wedding I'm shooting.

Ah. What time?

Coffee, 10:00.

So, what,
you'll be done at, uh...

what, 10:05?

I'm just saying.

You haven't been in
a real relationship in a while.

And, uh, by "a while,"
I mean...


Let's go, let's go!

Well, maybe I'm waiting
for the right one.

Right one? How would you know?
You never give anyone a chance.

I gave someone a chance--
three years of my life.

So you grew apart.
It happens.

She left me at the altar,
Primo. Remember?

Remind me again--
you still single?

No, I'm not.
I'm married to a restaurant.


And we have
a very good relationship!

--Understood you.

I loved you.

How could you do this to me?

- I loved you.
- Leslie?


Am I interrupting?

No, I was just running lines.


I have a really big
audition later.

- You're an actress?
- Yeah.

And you're
a wedding photographer.

Uh, more than just weddings.



Well, look at this...

It's awful, right?

No. I think you look great.

But you could do better.

I saw the proposal pictures.


Thank you.

Maybe you could do
my new headshots?

Uh, sure.

Yeah, uh...

What can I get you?

I'll have a latte,
the Christmas Blend.

That's a good choice.

You know what?
Make that two, please.

Thank you.

I love blind dates.

Even if it's bad,

something good can still
come out of it, right?

Uh, I've pretty much had
the opposite experience.

You on any dating apps?

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

I like to think of myself
as a man of fate.

You mean, like, locking eyes
across a crowded room?

Something like that, yeah.

Could you do me a big favor?

Would you mind

reading this with me
before our drinks come?

Oh, no, I'm not an actor.

It's only one page.

I'm just so nervous
about this audition.


You're Mike and I'm Claire.

I'm Mike...

"Mike." Okay.


Claire, I can explain.

How could you do this to me?

I trusted you!

I loved you!


It's not what you think.

You make me sick!

Do you want this to go?


"Dear Mrs. Miller--

Thank you for introducing me

to the one lasting love
of my life, music.

Merry Christmas.

Love Jessica."

Excuse me.
You dropped something.

Thank you.


Blitzen, come back here!
Oh, I'm so sorry.

It's all right.
You can come in.

Well, he's smart!

He picked the best seat
in the house.

Blitzen... oh, boy.

Blitzen, huh?

You're a little small
for a reindeer.

How long have you had him?

Oh, he's not mine.

A friend of mine moved
and couldn't take him with him,

so I'm trying to find him
his forever home.

You know, I had a dog like you
when I was growing up.

You're very handsome.

Well, thank you.

I'm sorry. Just...

I'm Tom.



I'll get him some water.

Can I get you
a bowl of water, too?

No, thank you.
I had one earlier.

I'm, um, gonna take an ad out
after Christmas,

but I haven't done
a good photo yet.

Is that even a dog?

I know.
He just wouldn't sit still.

Blitzen, here's some water.

Ah, "coffee for one."

I got one of those
last Christmas from my daughter.

Mine's from my niece.

Apparently, they don't think
we can handle caffeine anymore.

Who do they think they are?

Even if they're right.

So, do you live nearby?

I'm over on Maple.

Those new condos.

I moved in
after my wife passed.

Oh, I'm sorry to hear that.

When did she pass?

Around three years now.

My husband passed
two years ago.

I'm sorry, too, Lila.


it's been a pleasure
meeting you.

You too, Tom.

Happy holidays.
We will, um...

We'll let ourselves out.

- Come on.
- Bye, Blitzen!

I've got this
for Private Winthrop.

Merry Christmas, Jess.

Let's see what we have
for you today.


You again.

You, uh, come here often?

Every day.

Right. Yeah. Uh, me too.


Got any plans for the holidays?

Waiting for my orders.

I'm heading to Germany.

Did you know that gingerbread
is from Germany?

Yeah, they call it,

uh... lebkuchenplaetzchen.

Anything for
Private Angie Dawson?

Let me have a look here.

No, sorry, Angie.

Maybe try again tomorrow.



- I wanted to apologize.
- For what?

Being a complete idiot
around you.

I am extremely charming.

- Really?
- Okay, I'm somewhat charming.

Cute card.

Ah, yes, the snowman--
perfect guy.

and not afraid to carry a broom.

- Who's it from?
- My sister.

She's pretty amazing.

You must be close.

Yeah, she's kind of
been my rock-solid.

Are you okay?


It's just my first Christmas
away from home.

Mine too.

You're lucky to have
family like that.

Your social media manager

says you should post
three times a day.

I have
a social media manager?



Whatever that is,
I don't want it.

What's that?

It's from a fan.

You mean a follower?

No. I don't mean a follower.

Well, what's it say?

I was "the soundtrack"
of her life.

She says

my music helped her get through
the loss of her parents.

Your music helped me
get through a tough time, too.

You never told me that.


Merry Christmas, Daisy.

Who's next?


Oh, you're getting
so big, Billy.

Now, tell me,

what do you want
for Christmas?

A giant Christmas tree!

A giant Christmas tree, huh?

Let me see what I can do.

Deal? Deal.

All right.

Say "cheese."

I've got pepper spray.

Jessica Winthrop?



Uh, I'm coming from somewhere.

The North Pole?

North Side.


You sent this to my mother.

Your mother is Mrs. Miller?

I usually just call her "Mom."

She's in Kenya for a year,

Oh, that is so wonderful!

It must seem crazy,
me writing to her,

since I haven't seen her
since I was 10.

Why don't you come in?

You know, I don't think
sending a card is crazy at all.

She did introduce you

to the one lasting love
of your life...

You read it?

Okay, in my defense,
she asked me to open her mail.

I read it to her
over the phone.


you were my mother's
most promising student.

She remembered me?

Even your nickname.

"Messy Jessie."

Should I ask?

Nope. You should not.

Anyway, I just thought
you should know.

It really touched her.

Like what she did mattered,
you know?

- Okay!
- Sorry.

Let me give you a hand.

Oh! Ow!


I'm so sorry.
That was my fault.

I have a really hard head.

You really do!

Looks like you still play.

Oh, uh... a little.

I own, um, "Strings & Notes"
on Wabash.

- By the donut shop?
- Yeah.

Yeah, I've seen it.
I've never been in.

I'm not musically inclined.

But your mom
is a music teacher.

Yeah, she made the mistake
one Christmas

of giving me a camera.

That was it for me.


- There you go.
- Ahem.


It was a recital...

In my Mom's living room.

Where I first saw you.

You were that girl
hiding behind your cello.

Anyway, uh...

your apple.

Thank you.

It was great seeing you
again, Jessica.

You as well,
Mrs. Miller's son.

That's right.

Call me Luke.



No Santa pants?

Clashed with my shirt.

Nice place.


You probably wonder
what I'm doing here.

Yeah. Kinda.

Oh... it's beautiful.

May I?


Is this your mother's?

One of her favorites.


You're not selling it,
are you?



She has instructed me

to give it to you.


Christmas present.

No. No, no, no, no.
I-I-- I couldn't--

She insists.

You can check
the 15 emails she sent me,

if you don't believe me.

But all I did
was send her a card.

Well... that card
brought me here.


Okay, then, well,
I should probably confess

that I originally
bought that card

for my ex-boyfriend,

but he dumped me
before I could send it.

- Sorry. Sorry. Sorry. Ouch.
- No, no, no.

I shouldn't be laughing.

It's okay, it's all right.

I actually bought five of 'em,

so I sent them

to the most important people
in my life,

so it actually turned out
kind of perfectly.

I'm not trying to be nosy,
but who were the other four?

My best friend, my brother,
my aunt,

and a guy in a boy band.

Boy band?

Mm-hmm. Jax.

- Ohh...
- Okay!

Before you judge me...

His music got me
through a really tough time.

Whatever you say.

Just take the cello.

How do I thank her?


I guess you can start
by playing it.

Don't stop.

That was... beautiful.

Thank you.

She's auditioning
for the Heritage.

That's incredible.

It's a long shot.

Not from what I just heard.

It was the cello, believe me.

I've heard that cello before,

and it has never
sounded like that.

But if you ever tell
Mrs. Miller that,

I will totally deny it.

Mm-mm. Mum's the word.

Uh... hi.


good luck.

Thank you.
You too.

I mean... Merry Christmas.

Oh! Uh...

One more thing.

Who did the tree?


You don't, by chance, have
a free hour after work, do you?

She can go right now.

This place
practically runs itself!

You know, I-I'm actually
taking a break

from dating
for a while, so...


That's great.

But, actually, I'm wondering
if you could help me

pick out a tree and ornaments,

and whatever you did there.


She'd love to.

- Yeah?
- Sure.

Well, hello, you two.

He pulled me
the whole way here.

Any luck finding
his forever home?


Not yet.


Don't worry, boy.

Well, maybe if you groom him
and take a new photo.

Yeah, dog grooming
is not really my wheelhouse,

but I'm game.

I have some Christmas
decorations in the house.

We could spruce him up
if you want to take a picture.

Yeah! Yeah, let's.

What do you say then?

Blitzen! Come on.

Let's clean you up.

Your niece sounds great.

She is.

And Carter is in the military.

Oh, you must be very proud.

I am.

Their parents died
when he was a baby,

but Jessica was 13...

hit her really hard.

And over the years,
she's stopped taking chances.

I can understand that.

Let's put a bow in your hair!

On behalf of dogs everywhere,
let's not,

especially if
I'm gonna be walking him.

Okay, just on his collar then.

Oh, boy...



Hey, let's take one
with all three of us?



Oh, that's great.

You know...

He can stay with me

until you find him
a forever home.

Are you sure?

That could be a while.

I'm sure.


You okay?

Because I practically
cried over a Christmas card?

I'm fine.

- Just checking.
- Thanks.

I guess your card
just reminded me

that my family's...

Actually, it's just two of us.

Me and my Mom.

She stopped talking to me
when I enlisted.

I'm sorry.

She's afraid
something will happen to me.

She can't understand
this is what I want.

Guess it can be hard
for some people.


Plus, Christmas and all,
you know,

it's a time
people get homesick.

Even when you're home.

Where's home?


Oh! Yeah, all the sun
and oranges,

that must be brutal.

Can't build a snowman
with orange peels.

What? You've never
built a snowman?

No. You?

From Chicago.
We build, like, three a day.

Come on.

♪ My way

♪ Find my way...

♪ Back home

Yeah, I like that.

That's good, that's good,
that's good.

You're up early.

I'm writing.

On a napkin?

I wrote "Luv U On Christmas"
on a paper towel.

Speaking of which,
shouldn't you be rehearsing?

I'm gonna be
doing a new song.

Oh, pretty sure
they don't want a new one.

Convince them.


Do you remember
the band's first gig?

Christmas Eve
at that little dive

near the El tracks?

Remember? Yeah. I had to give
the club owner my watch

just to get you that spot.

All of us together--
that was real music.


I gotta find
that feeling again.


♪ Woke up
Two weeks before Christmas ♪

♪ Singing
The same old song ♪

"Three weeks before Christmas"?

Two weeks before Christmas.

Ah. Norway Spruce--

it's pretty,

but it drops needles
kind of quickly.

Good to know.

Noble fir.
Holds heavy ornaments.

Hmm! Are you an arborist?

No, I'm just someone
who overdoes Christmas.

Or at least I used to.

I'm trying to cut down
a little bit.

Pretty sure
there are worse habits.

Christmas is about love.

You can never have
too much love, right?

Where'd you hear that?

- Wedding vows.
- You married?

No! No, I just go
to a lot of weddings.

I'm the guy behind the camera
saying "Cheese."

Yeah, I used to think

I was gonna change the world
with my photos.

Turns out, that doesn't
pay the bills, so...

wedding dresses
and "I Do's."

Oh. You're giving people

That's true.

Ah! Christmas fir--
the king of Christmas.

Great needle retention

and the best smell.


It's a little big,
don't you think?


Do you live
in a department store?

Rockefeller Center.

Ah! Perfect then.

Now we just need
a couple hundred feet of lights

and 50 pounds of tinsel,
we'll be good to go.


You skate?

Uh... hockey. You?



You know, we play
every Wednesday and Friday night

at Lincoln Park rink,

if you ever want
to join us.

- But I--
- Not a date.

Just a... skate.

- Oh...
- No!

It's a classic!

So is "The Chipmunk Song."

Oh, and I like
that one, too!

- Oh!
- Uh-huh.

"Grandma Got Run Over
By a Reindeer"?

On my top-10 list.


And you call yourself
a music aficionado?

Hey you mind

if we drop this enormous Sequoia
off on our way?

I'm just not sure I'm man enough
to carry it on my own.

So, what, you give me
one priceless cello

and, all of a sudden,

I'm your personal
holiday assistant?

Santa needs his Mrs. Claus.

her name is Mrs. Kringle.

And I suppose
you know her first name, too.

Oh, I do.

It's actually "Jessica."

Please tell me you were not
named after Mrs. Kringle.

No, I was not.

"Jessica and Kris Kringle."

It's got a ring to it.

Yes. It does.

We're here.

I thought
the tree was for you.

No. I already have a tree.

Is it Primo's?

Please tell me this isn't
some sort of "proposal tree."



St. Mary's.

Oh! Oh, that's so nice.

I'm kind of attached
to the place.

Oh, you know someone there?

Uh, yeah,
just about everyone.

I volunteer there a lot.

Actually spent a few years there
myself way back when,

until Mrs. Miller found me.



You want a hat?
I've got an extra.

- Why not?
- All right!

Oh! So sorry.

No worries.

Wow, these are beautiful.

Thank you.

Oh! Wow.

Keep it.

What? No. I...

"You want the moon?
Just say the word,

I'll throw a lasso
around it,

and I'll pull it down."

Now come on.

Grab the end of this tree.

Santa! Santa!

Ladies and gentlemen...

Santa has entered the building!

Ho, ho, ho!

You remembered?

Of course I remembered.

Now, how could I forget
you, hmm?

And you and you...

and you and you and you?

And I'm going to help you
decorate this tree,

right after I take
"Mrs. Kringle" here

back to the North Pole.

Now, wait a second, Santa.

Do you remember what happened

the last time I left
the decorations up to you?

Not off-hand.

Well, let's just say it ended

with a tipped-over tree
and an electrical shortage.

Oh, ho!

Ho, ho, ho. Oh!
It's all coming back to me now.


Ho, ho, ho.

Well, Mrs. Kringle here

listens to boy bands.


Well, did you know

that Santa eats donuts
for breakfast?

- Mm!
- Uh-huh.

Who doesn't?

Oh, ho, ho, ho!

Ho, ho, ho...

You're back!

I got some things for Blitzen.

Thank you.

A '72 Scamp!

She is beautiful!

It's my husband's.

The "Lug Nut"
was crazy about this car.

Must have taken it apart

and put it back together
20 times.

When was the last time
you drove it?

I haven't.

He wanted me to,

but I'll probably just
sell it now.

You know, cars are like us.

It's not good
for them to sit around.

Have you finished
your Christmas shopping yet?

Actually, I haven't started.

Neither have I.

Ahem. You requisitioned a car
for your supply run?

That doesn't look
regulation, Rudolph.

You get your orders yet?


somewhere with snow.

You really like snow.

I've spent a lot of years

hearing about
these "white Christmases."

Hang on.

Electrical short.
I got this.

Just need to wait
till the engine cools.

You know...

there's something
I've been wanting to do.


Make a snowman.


What'd you think
I was going to say?

That's absolutely what
I thought you were gonna say.

Come on.

When I was little,

my mom and I used to make
little snowmen

with mashed potatoes.

We'd use olives for eyes

and a little carrot nose.

Mashed potato snowmen...
that's quite the tradition.

I'd forgotten about it...

until now.

What are you doing with that?

No, no. No. No!

You'll be missing Florida.

Okay... what is it?


The gig fell through.

Ahh. What, did the 12-year-old
lose all his followers?

No, no,
he's still playing.

You're just not opening for him.

I told them that you wanted
to play a new song,

and they said no.


I said no.

You said no
to a paying gig?


Well, like somebody said,
it's... it's about the music.

You're not mad, are you?



Thank you
for believing in me.

I've always believed in you.
You're my brother.

Hey, so, uh,
let's hear that song.

Yeah, it's a--
it's a Christmas song.

Yeah, that's a good start.

I've had this tune
stuck in my head all week.

Check it out.

It's good, right?


Relax! Relax.
I've got this.

I know you do.

You know
what I don't have, though?

A band.

I'll call the boys!


I'll do it.

I'll call Tim and Perry.

The beginning
of my "Apology Tour."

Thanks, bro.

♪ ...One-horse open sleigh
Hey! ♪

♪ Jingle bells, jingle bells

♪ Jingle all the way

♪ Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh ♪

♪ Oh!

Wow, we were there
for six hours.

Yeah, that's like...

six first dates.

If this were a date,
which it's not.

Your dates only last an hour?

About five minutes, tops.

I spend the rest of my hour
just being polite.

Five minutes?

Oh, come on, you know

in the first five minutes,


You're telling me
it takes you three years

to figure out if it's gonna
work with somebody? Huh?

Mm, I can't say,

because I've never been in
a three-year relationship.

Mine usually end around
the three-month point.

- Three months?
- Mm-hmm.

It's like a 90-day warranty?

Five minutes?

Like the grace period
in a parking lot?

So who's more messed up,
you or me?

I'm gonna go with you.

Then again, I'm alone, too,
so I can't really talk.


Oh, no!

That's him.
That's him.


Mm. The guy
that just dumped me.

- The fake doctor guy?
- Yeah.

I don't want to see him.

Taller than I thought.



What are you doing?

You don't have to see him...

but he can see you.

Holding hands with Santa?

Works for me.

Or how about...

Jessica kissing Kris Kringle?

That works for me, too.

Okay, but let's just be clear,
this is not real.


Fake kiss.

Fake doctor, fake Santa.

I got it.

Did he see?

Who cares?

I-- uh, I'm-I'm gonna go...

I'm gonna-- I'm gonna
take a cab now--

- No.
- ...And go.

- I'll take you.
- No.

It's no problem.

No. But thank you.


You've never sounded better.

And don't say
it's the cello.

It's you.

I don't want to make an idiot
of myself at the audition.

You won't.

I might.

So? What if you do?

It's the Heritage!

I'm sure they've seen
plenty of hacks before.

Oh, that makes me feel
so much better!

Thank you.

And I feel better,
knowing you haven't given up...

on romance
and Christmas.


You bought a tree together,

you decorated it,

you went caroling...


he gave you a cello,
all in less than 24 hours.

Not to mention,

I like him.

You don't even know him.

I know
he wears Santa pants.

I told you that?

By the way, your last boyfriend
ironed his jeans.

You know
way too much information.

Just tell me that
you're gonna see him again.

I don't know.
I don't know.

Well, how was it left?

Did he ask you out?

Did he shake your hand?

You kissed!


It wasn't real.

Wes was there,
that's why it happened--

it was purely tactical.

What does that even mean?

You know, I don't care.
Who kissed who?

I don't remember.

Did he move in first,
or did you?

Well? What do you remember?


We kissed and...
I forget the rest.

That is so romantic.


Hey, Ruth.
Hey, Joshua.

We were wondering

if Joshua could switch
to the guitar.

Of course you can.

You owe me dinner.

Oh! That looks so cool.

What a beautiful picture.

Oh, yeah, it's the, um,
it's the kids at St. Mary's.

St. Mary's...
that's downtown, right?

Yeah. Uh, the photographer
who took it, Luke Miller,

he spends a lot of time
with the kids down there.

Does he have a website?

Yeah, I think so.

♪ Woke up
Two weeks before Christmas ♪

♪ Singing the same old song

♪ Finding my way
Through the season ♪

♪ Four calling birds
Three French hens ♪

♪ Two turtle doves

♪ And a partridge

♪ In a pear tree

How are you?

- Good to see you, man.
- Long time, brother.

How long has it been?

Nine years,
two album flops,

and a partridge
in a pear tree.

Oh, what a dump.

I live in two rooms,

I don't know
what the rest are for.

Remember our old apartment?

One room for all of us.

Taking turns
sleeping in the hallway.

Standing up!

I don't even remember
why we broke up.

Uh, you wanted to go solo.

Uh, didn't work out so well.

Yeah, we know.

We-- We know.

Look, I'm sorry, guys.
I don't...

I was stupid.
And selfish and...



We all were.
We've all made mistakes.

I'm just really glad
you called.

Me too.

Me three.

So, what's this I hear
about a new Christmas song?

I don't know if you guys
are ready, but follow me.

All right!

Got it. Perfect.

So? I heard
you went out with Leslie?

Uh, kind of.

It was sweet of you to offer
to take her headshots.

- I did?
- Hi, Luke!

So, I was thinking.

I brought a change of wardrobe.

Maybe we could do
some shots right now?


The thing is,
I have a hockey thing.

It's my annual Christmas game.
I'm already running late.

- I love hockey.
- She does!


Now, Blitzen,

this is my famous fruitcake.

You may think you want some,

but you don't,
trust me.

Let's get you
your kibble for one.

You're such a good boy.

That's where that went!


"Dear Aunt Lila,

it wouldn't be Christmas
without you,

and I wouldn't be
the person I am today..."

"...if you and Uncle CJ
hadn't been there for me."

"You taught me to be kind,

to be strong,

and to always
believe in myself."

"I'm lucky.

I'm blessed.

Thank you."

"Love Jessica."


Are you crying?

I just read
your Christmas card...

and I wanted to thank you.

Being in your life
and Carter's life

has been the greatest joy
of my life.


Now you're gonna
make me cry!

Are you watching a dog movie?

No, I'm watching a real dog.

Blitzen, this is Jessica.

Aw! That's so sweet!

He's with me
until he gets adopted.

But, honey, how are you?

Are you getting out?

Just because some fake doctor

did you a favor
and broke up with you

doesn't mean
you need to be sitting around.

I'm not.

Oh. Time for a walk.

Love you! Mwah!

Love you.

Mwah. Bye.

That's good.
Like it.

Chin up?

There we go.

Sorry to interrupt.

We're, uh,
we're dropping the puck.

Uh, oh, uh, Leslie, Primo.

- Primo, Leslie.
- Hey.

You did
that toothpaste commercial!

Yeah! You saw that?

Saw it? Yeah!
I even bought some.

See? It works.

You didn't tell me you were
working with a celebrity.

Look at this.

- Stop.
- Keeping secrets!

You're coming, right?

Yeah, give me a minute.
You good?

Can we just take one
of me skating?

It's the last one.
I promise.

I'll be there in a minute.

Yeah, take your time.

All right. Ready?




You okay?

They were ice skating together

and she was gorgeous.

Not more gorgeous than you.

John, tell her

she's more gorgeous
than the ice skater.

I'd have to see
the ice skater.

Of course you are.

Plus, she could be his sister.

Or his mother.

Mm, definitely
wasn't his mother.


People don't skate
with their grandmothers, Mimi.

The point is,

it's not gonna work out.

Anyway, what was so important

that you guys had
to bring me here so early?



You said,

"my friend who always
tells me the truth."

Well, John read it
and it turns out,

we haven't been exactly honest
with each other.

You haven't?

We made some promises
when we got married,

but things changed,

and we were afraid
to tell each other.

But your card got us talking

...We made a decision.

Oh, no.

We're not waiting
2.9 years.


We want to have a baby.


You guys are gonna be
the best parents!

And you're gonna be
the best godmother.

She can call me
Auntie Jess.

Unless it's a he.

I'll teach him
how to play the cello.

Isn't that kind of big
for a baby?

He won't have time.

He's playing football.


Good morning.

Hey, you two.
You ready to walk?

Let me get his leash.

I couldn't resist.

A Christmas leash.

Well, we all could use
a new "leash on life," right?

Something smells good in here.


The famous fruitcake
is a doorstop?


Do I get to try it?

Oh, we don't eat it.

It's famous for
being hard as a rock.

It's a family tradition.

Oh, Lila. I've got some news.

Someone I know,

she and her husband
are looking for a dog.

I showed them
a picture of Blitzen

and they'd like to meet him.

Oh. That's great.

You okay?

Of course.

A forever home.

I said that
we'd bring him by tomorrow,

if that's all right.


Well, Blitzen, we should take
an extra-long walk, shall we?

After you.

Jax, Tim, and Perry,

it's three days before Christmas
and you're all in the same room.

So I'm gonna ask
what the fans what to know.

Are we talking reunion?



I mean, we were friends
before we were a band,

so that's really
the most important thing.

Come on, Jax.

More important than the music?

Yeah! Yeah. It's what
Christmas is all about.

Being together
with the people you love.

All right,
I feel that, I feel that.

Now, last time you guys
were in town,

you played Horizon Center,

Yes, we were!
Great show, right?

And the first time
we played here

was for about 20 people,

half of whom were our parents.

That's what I like to call
a nice, cozy audience.

- Nice way to put it!

So where's it gonna be
this time?

Trying to get that exclusive.

What do you think
we're all doing here, man?

Too easy!
How much fun would that be?

You heard it here first!

Jax and his boys are back.

You know the music,
you know the band--

you love them both.

I want to wish you guys
a merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas, guys!

Hello, Luke.

I write for

the South Shore Daily

Jessica at Strings & Notes

showed me your photo
of St. Mary's.

Could we talk?

Thank you. Ruth Smith.

Look who's having
a pop-up concert.

Oh, wow.

I haven't seen Jax in concert
since I was 14.

And now you have
your braces off.

Yes, I do.

Oh, no.

Jerk alert.

I'll get rid of him.

No. I got this.

I'll be in the back,
sharpening a drumstick.


how are you?

I'm good.

You left this in my car.

How thoughtful of you.

Look, I really...

I just wanted
to talk to you in person.

I was insensitive.

I can think of another word.

I got scared.

All the holidays

and family stuff

and the traditions...

I never had that,

and it kind of freaked me out.

It wasn't all you.

I knew things
weren't right between us.

I just-- I couldn't
admit it then,

but you were right.

Maybe I wasn't.

Look, could we just

forget the last few days
and try again?


Actually, I... I can't.

What, because of that guy
you were kissing?

You saw that?

That turned out
to be a mistake, too.


No, it's okay.

I'm actually taking a holiday
from dating.

And you know me
and my holidays.


if you ever need glasses...

Ex-girlfriend discount?


Merry Christmas, Jessica.

Merry Christmas.


If you're here
to try to change her mind,

I wouldn't bother.

"...And this is my journey
to becoming a foster parent.

One I've been wanting to take
for a very long time."

This story's so good,
I want to cry.


In fact, everything
makes me want to cry.

Come on, Mimi.

Did you call him?


- Just call him.
- Mimi.

But I had such a good feeling
about him!

Look, if it was meant to be,
it would've been, right?

Now, you two get outta here.

We said no presents.

We say a lot of things.

Merry Christmas.

Call us the second
your audition's over.

I will.


Merry Christmas, Jess.

Mimi, honey,
we really gotta hit the road.

Wait, wait, wait.
One last thing.


Nice touch.

- Merry Christmas, you two!
- Merry Christmas.

Mm. Love you.
Drive safely!

Okay, look.

You've been doing this
forever, right?

Is there any way

you can play this by yourself

and I promise
I will make it worth your while?

New strings, new case,
you name it.

Thank you.

Next cellist.


My name is Jessica Winthrop

and I've been avoiding
this moment for way too long,

but it's Christmas

and this is my gift
to myself.

We're hoping
it's your gift to us as well.

Whenever you're ready.



You put it on the mantle?

Text me a picture.

I miss you, too, Mom.

Merry Christmas, Lug Nut!

Merry, merry,
Messy Jessie!

How are you?

I'm great.

I got your card.

I want you to know
it meant a lot to me.

I am so proud of you

and I just--
I want you to be safe.

Thanks, sis. I am.

Hey, um,
this is gonna sound weird,

but your card kind of set off
a chain of events for me.

There was someone I wanted
to get to know here

and your card
got us talking,

so I wonder if I could
cross a few things off

and give it to her?


Who is she?

A private.

And it's private.

- Oh!
- For now.

Everything good at home?

You are looking at

the new substitute
second chair

of the Chicago
Heritage Orchestra.


That's amazing!

When you come back,
you'll come see me play, yeah?

I can't wait.

Okay, I love you.
Merry Christmas! Mwah!

This is it.

Looks nice.

And it's close by,

so if they're walking him,

we might see him.



I want you to have
a happy life.

But if you don't like them,
you tell me,

and we'll go right home.

- Home.
- What?

Well, you said "home."

Well, he knows what I meant.

Yeah. Yeah, I think he does.

I can't do this.

I won't do this.

He's found his forever home.

With me.

I was hoping
you would say that.



Come on, let's get outta here
before they see us.

Just call her.

Let it go, Primo.

It wasn't meant to be.

All right.
Are you sure?

'Cause it lasted a lot longer
than five minutes.

I get it. You're scared.
It's okay.

Of what?

Of "what if she's the one?"

You're going to have to stop

hiding behind
that camera of yours.

You've spent so much time

taking pictures
of other people's lives.

How about
you start living your own?

Come on.
Let's go.

Ho, ho, ho!

Merry Christmas!

- Merry Christmas!
- Santa!

Your picture made a story,

and the story made
people find us!


I love you, Santa.

Oh, I love you, too, buddy.

Merry Christmas, Santa.

I wanted to come over
and thank you.

I'm Ruth Smith.

Merry Christmas, Ruth.

I'm glad you came.

Seeing your photo

with all those sweet faces
made me realize...

what am I waiting for?

I'm glad to hear that.

I know how much
it means to these children.

I don't think I've ever had
a happier Christmas.

Hey! Come and get it!

Christmas pizza
for everyone!


Red and green peppers.


Isn't Mrs. Kringle with you?

Well, uh... ahem.

Mrs. Kringle

had to go
back to the North Pole.


Last night.

But she was here this morning.

She was?

She brought us presents.


I opened one,
but I rewrapped it.

Oh. Shh.

I won't tell.

Go on.
Go get some food.

Okay. Can I have
a piece of cheese pizza?

I'll give you the moon, Mary.

I'll take it!

Then what?

Well, then you could swallow it

and it'd all dissolve, see?

And the moonbeams would

shoot out of your fingers
and your toes

and the ends of your hair.

Am I talking too much?


Why don't you kiss her

instead of
talking her to death?

How's that?

Why don't you kiss her

instead of
talking her to death?

You want me to kiss her, huh?

Ah, youth
is wasted on the wrong people!

Merry Christmas.

Grand fir.





I got something for you.

You redacted
your Christmas card.

Got permission
from the higher-ups.

"Dear Private Dawson..."

"I don't know when
we'll see each other again

or what the future
will bring,

but we have today,

and we'll always
have our snowman...

even when he melts."

Are you trying
to make me cry again?

Just the opposite.

I have something for you, too.
My orders.

What was that word
for gingerbread again?


Close enough.

We might be spending
a lot of holidays together.

I think I'm okay with that.

Me too.

Merry Christmas, Angie.

Merry Christmas, Carter.


Those are for you.

Merry Christmas Eve!

Hi, Aunt Lila!

Jessica! Oh!

- Hey!
- Oh!

What a beautiful tree.

Trees are our thing, right?

They are!

I heard from Carter.

Me too!
You got the door?


And guess what--
I think he has a girlfriend.

He told you?

He tells me everything.

We'll set it here,

and then you can help me
with the yams.

You get the marshmallows?

Of course.


Is this Blitzen?

Welcome to the family, buddy.

I have you to thank.


He came to the mailbox

when I went to get
your Christmas card.


And that's Tom.

He also came to the mailbox.

I am so glad
I sent you that card.

I am, too.

Merry Christmas!

- Merry Christmas!
- You must be Jessica.

I am.

It's such a pleasure
to finally meet you.

Thank you.

- Merry Christmas.
- Merry Christmas.

♪ O come, all ye faithful
♪ Joyful and triumphant

- Excuse me one second?
- Of course.

I'm just going to go
check on Luke.

- I'll save you a dance.
- You going to be okay?

- Hey!
- Hey.

Buddy, you all right?

Yeah, man.
Think I'm gonna take off.

No! No. Stay.
Stay a little longer.

No, it's a great party, man,
really, it is,

but it is time
for this "third wheel" to roll.

Come on, man.
Love you, buddy.

I love you, too, Luke.
Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas to you.

Good luck.

♪ O come let us adore Him...


You cook, I clean.
That's our deal.

It's not necessary.

- Yep.
- You cook?

Hey, Mimi!
You're on speaker!

Hey, you're not
gonna believe it.

Jax is playing
at Club Tavas tonight!

That's right,
it's a Christmas miracle.

Tonight only
at Club Tavas--

Jax and All In Motion
back together again.

What's up, Chicago?
Merry Christmas!

Look at you beautiful people!

Sorry, sorry.
Excuse me, excuse me.

- Hi. I need to get in there.
- Too late.

You can listen out here.

Oh, no. No, no. Please.
It's not about the music.

You see,
I don't like his music.

And that's supposed
to get you in?


What if I told you

I think there's a woman in there
that I'm meant to be with?

That's better.

- But it's still a no.
- Come on, man.

It's Christmas.

Merry Christmas.


Anyway, I got a lot
to be thankful for.

Um, my brother

and manager, Todd,
who's stuck with me

through the good times
and the not-so-good times.

You know what?
Todd, come out here.

Come on, man.

This guy right here.

I would not be here
without you, brother.

Yeah, don't I know it.

And my oldest friends--

Perry and Tim--

who have been
the backbone of this band,

and who have remained patient
while I...

...the magic
that brought us here tonight.

They have never lost
the talent and purpose

that began in my basement.

We were just dumb kids

when we first
got up here and...

I-I got off-track
a little bit,

but we found our way back here,
right, guys?

Okay. And tonight,
we're gonna play a new song.

This goes out to a very special
lady named Jessica.

I don't know
if you're out there, Jessica,

but if you are,

thank you
for the Christmas card.

♪ Woke up
two weeks before Christmas ♪

♪ Singin' the same old song

♪ I'm finding
my way through the season ♪

♪ And looking
inside of my heart ♪

♪ I lost my way once before...


What are you doing here?

Call it fate...

...Messy Jessie.

♪ ...I found something
inside me ♪

♪ No, I don't need...

This is us?

♪ ...Any gifts
under the tree... ♪

You were the boy

who licked all the frosting
off the cupcakes.

Just the chocolate ones.

- Where did you get this?
- I took it.

It's one of my earlier works.

Notice the artistic angle.

Ah, so basically,
you invented the selfie.

Well, I mean,
I wouldn't go that far.

♪ ...Christmas

♪ I want love for everyone

You know, this Jax guy's
starting to grow on me.

Oh, so you're a fan now?

No, no, I didn't say that.
Don't put words in my mouth.

So I went to the ice rink,

and I saw you there--

with a girl,


Just a girl
trying to get some headshots.

I went to your store...

Your ex said--

- No. I-I was saying goodbye.

And negotiating
a discount for glasses.

Can I get in on that?

- Do you wear glasses?
- No.

- Ah.

But I think Mr. Kringle does.

You know what,
come to think about it,

I think Mrs. Kringle does, too.

♪ I want love for everyone

♪ On Christmas


it's Christmas Eve.

Shouldn't we be
in a sleigh somewhere?

- No.

I'm happy right here.

♪ I want love for everyone

♪ On Christmas

♪ I want love for everyone

♪ On Christmas

♪ Oh, yeah

♪ Candles burning low

♪ Lots of mistletoe

♪ Lots of snow and ice

♪ Everywhere we go

♪ Choirs singing carols

♪ Right outside my door

♪ All these things and more

♪ All these things
and more ♪

♪ That's what Christmas
means to me, my love ♪

♪ That's what Christmas means
to me, my love ♪

♪ Oh, yeah

♪ And you know what I mean

You tell me
if you've heard this one.


That's really good.

And here I thought I was going
to be alone on Christmas.

Me too.


"Should I give you the moon?"

I think I like it
right where it is.