'Tis the Season for Love (2015)

Bells will be ringing
Glad, glad news
oh, what a Christmas
to have the blues
my baby's gone
I have no friends
to wish me greetings
once again
while you'd be singing
silent night
oh, Christmas Carols
by candlelight
come home for Christmas
please come home
for Christmas
if not for Christmas
by new year's night
seven swans a...
six geese are... swimming...
That's not
right, is it?
Not even close.
Swans swim,
geese lay.
Yeah, well, if
I ever date a guy
who gets me any of those
things for Christmas,
it's over anyway.
Where would you put them
in your New York City
"Our" New York City
Mm. "Your" New York
city apartment.
Beth, stop.
You're not just someone
who sleeps on my couch,
you are my roommate--
end of story.
Now, grab some garland
and help me
Make this tree beautiful
for our apartment.
I know it's two weeks
until Christmas,
but I am ready for
some Christmas cheer.
Yeah. This is just
what I need right now.
Oh! How was closing
night of your play?
Shouldn't you be at some
cast party or something?
No, I could not go
to another closing night party
of a terrible play
that nobody saw.
My agent
couldn't even be bothered
to go to this one,
I would much rather
be here with you
trimming our tree,
drinking eggnog.
Please tell me
that we have eggnog.
What am I? An amateur?
We'll finish the tree,
and then I'll take you
for closing night drinks
at Fred's piano bar.
[Sighs] No. Fred's
is for the Broadway crowd.
You are welcome there,
I feel like an outsider.
Every time I go,
I feel like
I'm riding the coattails
of your career.
Okay, you are one
great audition away
from my career
being your career.
I was you
three years ago,
plucked from obscurity
by my dad's producer friend--
but that is
besides the point,
and now I'm on
my second Broadway play.
That'll be you.
Especially if you get
that David Mamet play.
My audition did
go really well.
You're going to get it.
Ohh... I'm going to get it.
I have to get it.
Because sleeping
on the couch,
doing bad theater,
waiting tables,
this is not how
it's supposed to be.
Life is never "how
it's supposed to be."
You've got to learn how
to roll with it, Bethy,
because maybe
it'll be even better.
Good morning, sunshine.
I'm just making
some French toast
before I go to the Hamptons,
Merry early Christmas.
What is this?
Open it!
This is the first year
in forever
that you haven't had rehearsal
over the holidays,
and they cut your hours
at the diner,
so now you get to
go home for Christmas...
On me.
This is too much.
I got you earrings.
They're not expensive ones.
Wow! Thank you for
ruining the surprise.
Now, I already
checked you in,
and I arranged
to have a limo
pick you up
when you land.
Why are you
doing this?
you're my best friend.
And nobody should
be alone at Christmas.
I mean,
it's just not right.
You can't sit around waiting
to hear about the Mamet play.
You deserve
a hometown holiday...
So go to Kern.
They all expected
so much for me, you know?
"Destined for greatness..."
So the yearbook said.
Stupid, lying
Yeah. Yeah...
New York is great.
I'm up for a play, actually.
Yeah, yeah. David Mamet.
It is!
It's... very exciting.
Thank you.
Merry Christmas, mama.
Oh, my goodness.
Oh... oh!
Oh, you're home!
It's a Christmas miracle.
Oh, come on,
come on, come on.
Get inside.
You outdid yourself
on the lawn.
I can't help myself.
Well, it's very festive.
Thank you.
You want to tell me
what's going on?
Why does something
have to be going on?
It's Christmas,
I wanted to see you.
Beth, first you tell me
you can't afford a ticket
and then you show up
out of the blue
without so much
as a phone call.
It was my Christmas present
from Nicole.
My show closed,
and I just
wanted to have
a real hometown
family Christmas.
Like we used to
have, you know?
Do I ever!
All those Christmases
I spent with you in New York,
they were fine--
we were together.
But this? [Gasps]
Oh, we have so much to do.
We have to get
a tree and... [gasps]
Santa. We have
to go see Santa!
You have some sort of
Christmas wish, right?
I have, like, a thousand.
I hope Santa has time.
That was my favorite part
of Christmas.
I used to get everything
I wanted.
Then let's
get moving!
Can I unpack first?
Finish my coffee? Relax?
Of course. Because,
if you're unpacking,
it means you're staying put
for a while.
I kept your room
exactly as you left it.
[Beth]: You took out
all my pageant trophies?
How many was I in?
Some of those
are mine!
I won
the entire state.
You only won the county.
Mine should be
displayed, too.
It's like stepping
through a time machine.
For both of us,
[Soft chuckling]
I saw him today.
Barry McCormick?
He walked into
the pharmacy.
I ducked.
I think everything
is going to be fine
between the two
of you, Bethy.
It's been years!
I can't imagine he has
any hard feelings toward you.
He shouldn't.
He stayed.
And you chose
to leave, so...
This is what
was meant to be.
Have to accept the choices
we make in life.
I guess so.
Okay! Let's go.
It is time for
some retail therapy.
We are going to go see Santa...
We're going
to make ourselves
some Christmas wishes.
We are going
all out this year!
It is going to be
our best Christmas yet.
Not until I change first.
[Mom]: The gingerbread
houses are ready,
and Mae is at the shop today,
so you can go in
and pick those up!
The bakery is just swimming
in gingerbread.
I have so many orders.
Merry Christmas.
My elf will give you
a candy cane,
so off you go!
Come on over, ladies!
Oh, everybody's welcome.
Age is just a number,
and I-- I am in
the wish-granting business.
It has been
far too long
since you had
a real Christmas.
You go first.
No, no.
I'm still thinking.
Go ahead.
Okay, because
my list is long,
and I intend
to get everything.
So, what do you want
for Christmas,
young-- and I do mean
"young"-- lady?
Now, I wrote everything down,
lest you forget anything.
And my first wish came true,
because my girl came home.
Next, I need a new mixer...
Wow! It is you.
Is that Beth Baker?
Can I set this thing down?
Yeah, yeah.
Go ahead. Set it down.
[Out of breath] This guy...
Picks the heaviest tree
on the lot.
Some things never change.
Hi, Dean.
Beth Baker is in town.
That she is.
It's been
a long time.
[Toddler babbles]
There's daddy
with the tree!
Daddy with the what?
Barry, honey...
We have been looking for you
We have to pay for that tree,
you know.
Look at what that is.
There it is!
[Laughs awkwardly]
Beth? Wow!
Uh, Taylor...
This is mommy and daddy's
old friend, Beth.
Can you say hi?
Say hi!
Barry and Eileen
are married!
I didn't-- Barry and Eileen
are married!
Going on five years.
Wow! Wow. She's beautiful.
Thank you!
We think so.
But then again,
you know,
we're a little
biased here.
Beth and mommy
did drama together!
All of the plays.
The plays!
Yeah, the plays!
And then she left
and I guess we lost touch.
It's good to see you.
How are you?
Crazed, as usual.
We promised Taylor
that we'd get the Christmas tree
up today,
so she's very excited.
But, luckily,
Dean has been very helpful.
Listen, we're going to go
to the pub later.
Why don't you join us?
My mother's going to come
to look after Taylor,
and I want to hear all about
your fascinating life
in New York.
You know, I'm supposed to
help my mom put up the lights.
Oh! Dean can help you
with that tomorrow.
Yeah, they're always
volunteering me for things.
Must be what it's like
to be born a weakling,
you know, like Barry.
Hey! This "weakling"
beat you for
all-state in wrestling,
even though
you're bigger than me.
And he still won
"most athletic."
He's never going to let me
live that down. Never!
Please come.
I need you there.
I can't listen
to this guy's stories anymore.
That's enough out of you.
I'm going to go pay
for the tree.
And you can lug it
to the car.
-Bye. We'll see you later.
So will your
family be there?
Will I be the only
unmarried spinster of the group?
No. It's just me.
No wife. No kids.
You didn't marry
Melinda Casswell?
You guys were voted
"most likely to get married."
Yeah, no, I did marry
Melinda Casswell.
She just traded me in
for a newer model
a couple years later.
I never liked her.
Yeah, nobody did.
You should've told me that.
Would've saved me
a lot of trouble.
[Both laughing]
Okay, I'll come.
It was
a beautiful wedding.
You went?
I made Eileen's cake.
But you never
told me that!
I know how hard it was
after he decided not
to go to New York with you.
It's not my style
to throw salt on wounds.
You didn't ask.
I didn't tell.
I asked about Barry.
Did you?
Maybe I didn't.
It was just easier
to make a clean break.
It's all old news anyway,
so leave the past
where it belongs
and enjoy your friends tonight.
This one is perfect!
Excuse me!
We'd like
this tree, please.
Mom, I don't even know
what I would say to them.
Tell them the truth.
I don't even want to
tell myself the truth.
Honestly, I feel like
I should give up,
move back home, and...
Sell insurance.
Oh, stop!
We both know you're not going
to be doing that.
You're going to get
that Mamet play,
is going to be perfect.
Broadway will be lucky
to have you.
Now, I'm going to pay
for this tree,
and I will meet you
Dream big, sweetie.
[To tree lot worker]
I'll follow you.
Are you ready
for your Christmas wish now?
My mother didn't monopolize your
entire afternoon
with her laundry list
of wishes?
[Chuckles mirthfully]
I'm Santa Claus.
There's no cap
on the number of wishes
I can Grant.
So, what's on your mind?
There's this part
in a play.
Ah. And you want it?
More than anything.
It would mean
that I'm not spinning
my wheels in New York.
don't mean greatness.
They don't hurt.
And if you don't get
this part?
How can you say that?
You're Santa Claus!
You're in the business
of wish-granting.
I am.
So... you want this part.
That's your wish?
That's my wish.
Consider it granted.
Although I have learned
that, sometimes,
what we don't wish for
is more powerful
than what we do.
All righty.
Did you make
your Christmas wish?
Yeah. Let's go.
Bye, Santa.
[Chatter and laughter]
Here you go, Beth!
It's on the house.
Oh! Wow.
Uh, thank you, um...?
When I was eight,
I saw you in Our Town.
I cried and cried
after your performance.
We still talk about it
to this day.
Drama used to be
everything, you know?
Now they may have to
shut it down.
They can't afford
a full-time teacher anymore.
Yeah, I heard.
My mom was telling me that.
That's a shame.
I loved my drama days.
We all did. Those
were such good times!
Please enjoy, guys.
Thank you.
So, Beth, tell us
all about your
exciting life in New York.
Oh, well, you know... it's--
it's New York, it's incredible.
You know,
I've never been.
We should really go.
Taylor would love it.
She's learning about
the "statute" of Liberty,
as she calls it,
in preschool.
We should all go.
I bet Beth has some fancy
New York City apartment
we could all crash in. Right?
Yeah. Yeah.
You know, I mean...
When the weather's nice.
Right now it's a mess.
How I would have loved
to have made a career
out of acting,
but I did not have the guts...
Or the talent.
Not like you, Beth.
I'd probably be one of those
perpetually out-of-work actors,
living on someone's couch,
waiting tables,
praying for that big break
that never comes.
[Chuckles] Nope.
I'm much more suited
to the boring old
stability of Kern.
Well, it's not for everyone.
Hey, do you guys remember
that high-speed chase
that happened on main street?
It was all anyone ever
talked about for weeks!
Your dad made us
go downstairs
and turn out the lights
in the pharmacy.
We missed it
by, like, 30 seconds.
We were so mad!
The Weekly Kernel
must've done
a hundred stories
on that one event.
High-speed chase.
That is what you need
for the paper
to really take off.
I can't believe you took over
The Weekly Kernel .
I mean, that is huge.
Started as an intern,
worked my way up.
Of course, no one else
wanted the job,
so that definitely helped
my meteoric rise up the ladder.
Your daughter is
adorable, by the way.
Thank you.
She keeps us
on our toes,
that's for sure.
Barry's running
the pharmacy now.
Yeah, my dad, he
retired three years ago.
Business is good.
Ahh. Your dad
always wanted
to hand over
the reins to you.
I'm sure he's glad
that you took them.
[Guys laughing]
All right,
on that note,
I think I'm going to
go call my mom
and check on Taylor.
Hey, send her
a kiss from me.
-I'm gonna get another pitcher.
[Awkward chuckles]
You married Eileen Taylor.
Yeah, I thought
you would've heard by now.
I didn't get the memo.
I didn't have
your address.
You seem really happy.
I am really happy.
Great job,
great family,
great life.
I couldn't ask for more.
I'm glad.
Me too. Everything's--
everything's great.
Ah. So you made
the right decision,
when you decided to leave.
You decided to stay.
I was always
going to leave.
We had a plan. We were packed.
We had tickets.
Well, I guess things work out
the way they're supposed to.
And we both made choices
that led us here.
To a great life.
I was hoping this wouldn't
be weird between us,
after all this time.
I'm really glad
that they're not.
So we're good?
We're good.
Ah. Yes.
There he is.
Oh! Over this way.
And now you're the fire chief.
Yeah, I'd set these
little fires in the backyard,
I'd grab the hose,
and I'd put them out.
I remember that!
You set Barry's treehouse
on fire.
Well, everyone
has a dream, right?
And look at us.
We are living ours.
You're in New York...
And I...
Am rescuing cats from trees.
So, what's it like being
in a real Broadway show?
Uh... it's more like
Well, how far
off Broadway?
Mm. Hoboken,
New Jersey.
Come on... Beth.
I know we haven't
seen each other in a while,
but we used to be
pretty tight.
What's really going on?
[Sighing heavily]
I just...
I got to New York
and I thought that I would
have a career by Friday.
It's not like that.
It's a building process.
It's a lot of pounding
the pavement.
Nothing worthwhile
is ever that easy.
If it were,
any old dope
could do it.
I mean,
I could do it.
Except I really don't
think I could do it.
But you...
[Balls clacking]
Well, you were always
We had no doubt
that you would make it.
The thing is,
in New York City,
every single girl
at every single
open casting call
is the "extraordinary" girl
from her hometown.
We're, like, a dime a dozen
Nothing but
extraordinary women?
Yeah, I've got
to go to New York.
So, it didn't
work out with Melinda.
I imagine
there's no shortage
of dating
options here.
I date...
Here and there.
But I just haven't
really found anyone
that I've clicked with.
Maybe I'm too picky.
What about you?
Is there a man in New York
that is eagerly
awaiting your return?
Mm, I've had a boyfriends
over the years,
but same thing,
Nothing clicked.
Nothing felt...
Like Barry?
No. Nothing felt right.
I just threw myself
in my career.
There's this part.
It could really
change everything.
[Thumps pool table]
To getting it right.
To getting it right.
Could we
give you a ride?
Oh, no,
it's such a nice night,
I think I'm going to walk.
Well, let's
do this again
before you go back
to New York.
Yes. Definitely.
You guys drive safe.
-Will do. Good night.
-Good night.
[Cell phone chiming]
Please tell me
you have good news for me.
Uh... [sighing] I don't.
I'm really sorry, Beth,
but you did not
get the Mamet show.
I mean, it came down to you
and just one other girl,
but... they--
they went with her.
[Bill clears his throat]
Listen, Sweetheart,
you're a terrific actress--
very talented,
and you know
I wish you only the best,
I'm afraid we're not going to
be able to do this anymore.
I-- I got to let you go.
Beth, I just--
I really don't think
I'm the right agent
for you anymore. You know?
But hey, we--
we tried. Right?
Uh, ah...
I know the timing is bad.
Again, I'm really, really sorry.
Bill, please, I need an agent.
Don't do this to me.
It's already done, Beth.
But good luck to you, okay,
Really. 'Kay?
He can't be the only
agent in New York.
Ah, he's not, but
he's a really good one,
and they're hard
to come by,
and in this business,
nobody wants you
until everybody wants you,
but at that point,
who needs 'em?
Yeah... it's the same
in the fire business.
I can only imagine
how competitive
it must be.
Listen, Beth,
I need to ask you--
how come you cut things off
with all of us?
No phone calls,
no visits.
We were all so close.
I didn't mean to,
Dean. You know?
I just got swept up
in my new life.
I had every intention
of coming back,
once I had
something to share.
The last day
with Barry was hard.
All right, look.
Neither of you
were willing
to give up your lives
to live someone else's.
That's no one's fault.
Can you hold on a sec?
There's something
I have to do.
Sure. I'll wait
right here.
How'd you know I wasn't
going to get that part?
Oh, you didn't
get it?
You told me
I wasn't going to get it.
No, I said "if you don't,"
but that was
a potential outcome.
I'm sorry to hear that
it happened that way.
Well... [sighing]
I didn't get it,
and I'm probably never
going to get the part,
and I don't know
what I'm supposed to do.
Nothing's working out
as it should.
I had two options.
One was to stay in Kern
with Barry,
and the other was to go
to New York City,
and both of those
are completely a bust.
So you think leaving
was the wrong choice?
I would say so.
What is this?
It's a key...
Maybe to the answers
you're looking for.
I want you
to have it.
Because that
was your wish--
Now, what would
you like to know?
What my life would be like
if I never left for New York?
Well, then, okay.
Ask yourself...
And maybe
you'll have the answer.
-Good night.
-Good night.
So, what was that all about?
Just one more little
Christmas wish to make.
Well, Santa's always good
for granting a wish or two.
Hope so.
Come on,
I'll walk you home.
[Beth sighs]
What is that smell?
Oh, my mom is super-busy
at the bakery this time of year,
so her assistant's there.
She's here using the oven.
50 orders of gingerbread.
Gingerbread is very popular
this time of year.
50 cookies?
Uh, no, 50 orders,
a dozen each.
Want one?
I don't want to eat all your
profits, but yeah, I do, badly.
Mom, I'm back!
Dean Hubert!
Did you come here
to help us bake?
I... don't know.
Did I? Beth lured me in
with the promise of gingerbread.
Oh, then I taught her right.
Okay, you two.
Into the kitchen,
put on an apron.
I am exhausted.
I'm going upstairs
to have a hot bubble bath
and recharge.
What's this?
Oh, it's a welcome home gift
from a friend.
Chop-chop. No snacking.
-[Dean chuckles]
[Beth, laughing] Okay.
You know what?
This one's never going
to pass quality control.
Let me see.
Yeah. Mm.
That's bad.
You know, you should just
give me all the terrible ones
and I'll dispose
of them properly.
Right, so how many
have we done? 86?
I could've sworn we were
in the triple digits.
Uh, not even close.
Well, actually--
no, that's not true.
[Laughing] Sorry.
I hope she's enjoying
her relaxing bubble bath
while we're down here
slaving away.
[Loudly] I hope you're enjoying
your bubble bath!
[Mom]: Why,
yes, I am!
[Dean laughs]
You Baker ladies
sure are something.
It's nice to see
you smiling, Beth.
Yeah, tonight's
been a lot of fun.
I mean,
don't get me wrong,
I am still bummed
about the Mamet play,
but I am
just so tired
of fighting
against my life.
What are you
fighting against?
What is, and what
I think should be.
Those two things
are in disagreement.
But... I'm letting it go.
I love Christmas,
it's my favorite
time of year,
and I'm here,
I'm home...
I feel like
myself again.
Then maybe you should stay.
I'm not saying that
you should give up
on your dreams, Beth.
I'm just saying
that, you know,
life shouldn't be a struggle,
and maybe it wouldn't be,
if you were you,
all of the time.
Mom! Wake up!
Mommy, since daddy left early,
I made my own breakfast.
You made
your own breakfast?
Do I even want to know
what the kitchen looks like?
That's okay.
Only spilled twice!
You only spilled twice?
Kevin spilled.
Oh, Kevin spilled?
Well, I think
you should come here,
and you should
help me clean it up.
But it wasn't me.
It was Kevey.
It was Kevey?
Well, I think you should
be a good big brother
and you should be a helper,
and you should be a helper...
And you should be a helper!
And you should help me...
Tickle you!
Tickle monster!
Tickle monster!
[Boys giggling]
I have twins?
I'm sorry, excuse me.
Just-- just--
it'll be one minute.
I'm so sorry.
Oh, I'm sorry, kids--
important north pole business
to discuss.
[Kids groan]
Now, who wants candy canes
while you wait?
-Me! Me!
-I do!
What is that key
you gave me?
Did you get some answers?
I don't know. I don't know!
I had this dream,
and it was so vivid.
I'm a mom.
Or I will be.
Or I would've been
had I'd stayed.
I don't know,
but it was so sweet.
Is that what
would've happened
if I'd stayed in Kern?
I'd be married to Barry
with two adorable sons?
I don't have
the answers, Beth.
You kind of act
like you do, Santa.
What did I tell you?
I have all the answers?
Well, all I'm getting
is a lot of questions.
[Chuckling mirthfully]
-[Laughs] You're thirsty.
Too much gingerbread
last night?
Yeah. No, I'm getting
some coffee and donuts
for the boys--
keeps morale up.
We haven't been out on a call
in a couple of days.
-Want some help?
That's one of
the drawbacks of living
in a ridiculously
safe town.
Do you remember
when Barry and you
stole the Wixleyville mascot?
The sheriff told us
that we were going to jail
for stealing a raccoon.
I mean, I'm laughing now,
but I was bawling my eyes out
I seriously thought that
I was going to have to visit
my 15-year-old boyfriend
in prison.
You know,
that's where Melinda
lives these days, actually.
Do you miss her?
Uh... I miss who
I thought she was,
but not who she became.
She said that
she wanted this life,
with me, here, but...
Time changes people.
You know?
I do know.
That was fun
last night.
Like old times.
Gang back together.
Ah, the gang has taken on
a very different form
these days.
That's not
a bad thing, Beth.
Change is good.
People evolve.
You can either fight it,
or you can go with it.
I think that's
the biggest thing
that I've learned
from my divorce.
Yeah, you know,
that's actually been
my motto this week.
"Go with it."
You were right,
you know,
what you were
saying last night.
So you're thinking
of staying?
I didn't say that.
I'm just trying
not to think so much.
There's been something
I've been wanting to ask you,
and I'm not sure how
you're going to feel about it,
but if you're not thinking,
then you're not going to say no.
I have been put in charge
of the children's performance
at the holiday festival,
since they can't seem to find
a part-time drama teacher.
I know!
Me, of all people.
I'm a disaster.
You want to help me out?
And by "help me out,"
I mean...
Completely take over,
and I'll just shut up
and do whatever you say.
Well, I'm sure
you're not a complete disaster.
I would love to help.
Ha! I figure,
you and me together,
we'd do all right.
I mean, last night,
we accomplished
the task of making
468 gingerbread cookies.
We're unstoppable!
Right. Count me in.
So there's a festival meeting
tonight at 7:00,
Barry and Eileen's house.
-It's a date.
Well, not a date-date.
You know,
it's a meeting date.
Just today... a meeting.
I will
see you there.
-Hey, Beth?
Don't be so hard
on yourself.
You're not
a dime a dozen.
[Man]: Shirley?
Principal Hyde.
Good evening.
Boy, Beth,
we could sure use
someone like you
around here.
Do you know
how hard it is
to find someone
who knows the drama game
and is willing
to work part-time?
I imagine you have
quite the search on your hands.
If Beth ever decides
to stay in Kern...
Look at that, Beth,
a job offer.
Oh, Harold,
that's so sweet
of you.
You should consider that, Beth.
Just a few more minutes
and then we'll get started.
Oh, Eileen, let me
help you in the kitchen.
Excuse me.
[Chuckles softly]
Hey, sweetheart!
Oh, are you
going to bed?
There she is.
Wanna say night-night.
[Eileen]: You wanna say
night-night to daddy?
Night-night, daddy!
I'll go tuck her in.
Night, sweetie!
Well, I guess you don't need
any help in the kitchen.
So all of the decorations
are going to be delivered
on Wednesday,
which means we are all going to
have to hit the ground running.
We only have one week left
until Christmas
and the clock
is seriously ticking.
Now, as for the actual theme
in the town hall,
I have some plans right here
that I'm going to pass out.
Here you go.
This isn't even
our domain.
This is all
about decorating,
and I am starving.
You want to
sneak out of here
and get
a "corner diner" burger?
[Gasps] More
than anything. Yes!
Okay, let's go.
[Indistinct chatter
and laughter]
When things went
really bad with Melinda,
and all the other guys
were asleep,
I would
come down here and...
Just always found
clarity here.
Figured everything out
right here on this bench.
Mm. Is that why
you never left Kern?
Never had to leave.
My life is here.
My job. My family.
This is where I'm happy.
So, what about you?
I mean, why did you leave?
The real reason.
I wanted to be great.
And you can't
be great here?
I had already set Kern on fire,
so to speak.
I wanted
to set the rest of the world
on fire.
The problem is,
you have to be
invited to act,
and the invitations
just aren't coming.
And that's the only way
you can be great?
Everyone seems
so content, and I'm--
well, you have to
love what you're doing.
That's why we're content.
So many people
walk through their lives
without ever knowing
what they're passionate about.
You can't give up
on your dream, Beth.
I just have to figure out
how much more fight
I have in me.
You always
have more fight.
You just have to
figure out
if the payoff
is worth the effort.
I missed corner diner.
I think my thighs
wouldn't have handled it
if I'd stayed.
[Both chuckle]
What if
you'd stayed?
You know, what if
you never went to New York?
Do you think
you'd be sitting here
on the bench with me,
having fries?
Probably not.
You'd probably
be married to Barry.
Hmm. Maybe.
You know,
I've got to be honest.
I never really thought you guys
were right for each other.
That probably had to do
with some unrequited
schoolboy crush, but...
On me?
But you were always
with Melinda.
No. Before Melinda.
[Laughs] But that was
a long, long time ago.
I'm a very different
person now.
No, you're not.
You're still
kind to others.
And you give your time
to people.
You're not even mad at Barry
for changing his mind
at the last minute.
You think that you need to find
some big, fancy career
to have greatness, but...
Greatness comes
in all shapes and sizes.
[Sighs] I just...
I wish you could see yourself
the way I see you.
[Chokes up] I do too.
And now I have upset you.
[Sighs] That was
not my intention.
I'm sorry.
Why don't I take you home?
in a one-horse open sleigh
So good, you guys!
You're going to be great
for the festival.
time to pack up your stuff,
go to your homerooms.
Beth, it's time
for career day
in Mrs. Beesley's class.
Your husband
is on his way.
I thought
you'd want to know,
so you could see him
with the kids.
Thank you,
principal Hyde.
I'll head over there
right now.
I always wake up
at the worst time.
Sorry I'm late.
Thank you
for doing this.
Are we okay?
I was going to call you
this morning.
I really didn't mean
to upset you last night.
No! No, we're fine.
Yeah, I know you were
just trying to lift me up.
I appreciate it...
More than you know.
'Cause I don't ever
want to see you sad.
Well, let's, uh, get
some Christmas going in here.
[Dean, chuckling] Okay.
Okay, everyone!
As you can see,
I rounded us up a little help.
Miss Beth Baker
of New York City
is going to be
the new director,
and I will be co-director.
Does that make this any--
a bit more appealing
to any of you?
-[Unenthused Mumbling]
Well, I have
a chocolate Santa
for each of you...
After we finish
the song, okay?
So let's start
with some scales.
[Plays the scales]
la-la-la, la-la
That's good!
It's a start.
[Plays next scale]
la-la-la, la-la
Very nice!
We can't bribe them
every day
with delicious
treats and candies.
We just haven't
earned their trust yet.
We will. They're going
to love it, and soon.
How do you know?
Because I was them,
once upon a time.
We have to infuse them
with Christmas spirit
and the love
of theatre.
How do you suppose
that we do that?
We put on a show.
And then,
the elves...
Bring all the gifts
to fill Santa's sleigh--
which will go right here,
as soon
as it's done being built.
Hold it! This one's a--
this one's a train!
[Kids cheering]: Yeah!
And this one's
a doll!
[All giggling]
And as snow fell
on Christmas Eve,
the big guy himself,
Santa Claus,
comes to bring presents
to all the children
of the world.
[Dean]: I forgot my line.
What does Santa say?
[Kids]: "Ho, ho, ho!"
That's right!
Ho! Ho! Ho!
This is your part, Noah.
Mrs. Claus,
is my sleigh ready for flight?
It is, dear!
And the children of the world
are waiting.
Then I shall go!
And deliver presents
to all the wonderful little boys
and little girls
this beautiful land!
And remember, children...
Don't be naughty!
Exactly! Ho, ho, ho!
[All cheering]
[All laughing]
It was all you.
No, you're the one
that won them over.
Yeah, but
it was your idea.
Let's be honest,
you guys...
It was all me.
I killed as that elf.
You know,
after all these years,
it felt so good
to be back onstage.
I can't wait for Taylor to be
old enough to be in the pageant.
Just a few more years.
It's too bad you're
not going to be here
when it's her turn.
Well, this year
is going to be a success.
I knew we'd be a good team.
Oh, did you, now?
Yeah, we got
a full 15 minutes
of actual
rehearsal today.
That's more than I've had
the entire week
before you came on board.
We make a great team!
Um, I'm going to call home
and check on Taylor.
I'll come with you.
So, question for you.
What are you doing
tomorrow night?
Hanging Christmas lights
in the foyer
with my mom.
That is so funny,
because I was
going to ask you
if you wanted
to hang lights
with me and your mom
tomorrow night.
What a strange,
weird coincidence.
So, what do you say?
Yeah, we could
use the manpower.
Why don't you
come over about 6:00?
I'll make some food.
Mm. Perfect.
I love food.
All right, I'm ready
for another string of lights.
Really, mom?
Well, it's been a while
since I had someone
to help me hang them
in here.
This was daddy's job.
He's been gone
a long time.
So, thank you, Dean.
It is my pleasure.
Oh, do you
remember that time
when daddy was hanging
the lights outside,
and he slid
down the roof?
[Beth, laughing] He slid
right into the snowbank!
I don't remember much,
I-- I was only eight
when he died,
but I do remember that.
You know, I think
my favorite
Christmastime memory
with him
after every Christmas dinner,
he would take me
ice skating--
[in unison]
...At Rinkorama.
And they were open
past midnight,
so I felt so grown-up.
But every year,
he would carry you home,
fast asleep,
into the house by 11:00.
I loved those times.
Me too, sweetheart.
And now
we're making new memories.
Yes. Yes, we are.
Listen, I promise,
you have some good food
coming to you
as reward for all this.
No reward is necessary.
What kind of food
are we talking about here?
Thank you
for tonight.
It meant a lot to my mom
and to me.
It was
my pleasure.
But the night's
not over.
It's not?
There's something
I want to show you.
It's a surprise.
[Giggles nervously]
Where are we going?
You'll see.
Watch your step.
Okay. [Laughs]
Okay, we're ready!
[Beth gasps]
This is the important
phone call you had to make?
The owner
owes me a favor.
I saved his cat.
Come on.
Let's get you
some skates!
Ahh, this brings
it all back!
I didn't realize
how much I missed this!
You know? All of it.
Thank you.
This is the most
incredible thing
anyone's ever
done for me.
I just want to do
whatever I can
to make you smile.
It's not that hard
around you.
You make me laugh.
I'm glad.
You're good people,
Dean Hubert.
-[She gasps]
[Both laugh]
You got me?
I don't understand.
I'm not following.
I-- I don't understand
why she couldn't see
what she had with you.
I mean, guys like you,
they don't come around
very often.
Evidently they do for Melinda,
because I heard
she has a third husband now.
Well, that's her loss.
Because I just--
I think that you're
the most selfless,
caring person
I've ever met.
Where's all this
coming from, Beth?
I don't know... this.
Tonight. You.
You make everything
feel right.
Well, it's not
really me.
It's Rinkorama...
And Christmas, the ice--
stop. No. It's you.
It doesn't
matter what was
or what might
have been.
This feels right.
You feel right.
Next, to talk about his career,
is the husband
of our very own
Kern park high school
drama teacher.
...Angels sing
glory to the newborn king
peace on earth
and mercy mild
god and sinners...
Come on, Beth!
Sing with us.
Oh, I can't.
No, I would ruin it.
Are you kidding?
We can always use
a real Broadway star
in the chorus.
Hark the herald
angels sing
glory to the new born king
peace on earth
and mercy mild
god and...
Oh! Hello there.
And to what do I owe
this pleasure?
And that smile?
I came to give this
back to you.
Oh, no,
you keep it.
No. I couldn't possibly.
It's too special.
It showed me a lot,
and I'm good.
What are you talking about,
I found it
in a thrift store.
I liked
what it represented,
and so I gave it to you.
So, this didn't...
You had all
the answers, Beth.
And it's cute, no?
It's cute.
I think it'll look
good on you.
Thank you.
Take a step, snap, step.
Very good! But where
are the rest of my elves?
Uh, Greta?
Greta, come on.
Let's go.
All right, and so we dance
and we dance and we dance,
and then
Mrs. Claus sings the line.
Mrs. Claus sings the line...
Did you
forget your line?
[Gently] Okay. Sorry.
Hey, Dean, want to help me
with this ladder?
I actually wanted
to talk to you anyway.
[Beth]: Step,
snap, step... good.
[Dean]: And it just
happened last night.
At Rinkorama,
of all places,
but I wanted you
to hear it from me.
You know, because
of all the history.
That's ancient history.
I know,
but if you've got
a problem with it,
it ends here.
No, really, Dean,
I'm fine with it.
I'm happy for you guys.
[Sighs] I just...
What's up?
Has she mentioned
anything about
staying in Kern
after Christmas?
Well, we haven't really
gotten that far, you know.
It was only one kiss.
Right. But just
be cautious.
Beth has big dreams
and a life in New York,
and you live here.
But hey, I mean, you're
a pretty charming dude,
not terrible-looking,
a worse wrestler
than me, but...
Who knows?
Maybe, uh... maybe she'll
stick around this time.
Yeah, we'll just see
where it goes.
That's good.
Okay, so now that
we have our costumes on,
let's do this for real.
You can do this,
You know,
I was nervous
when I started
You were?
[Laughs] Terrified.
But I did it
and it was so much fun.
And I still get nervous
when I go onstage,
but it's the good
kind of nervous.
It's an excited nervous.
Okay, I'll try to be
the good kind of nervous.
[Chuckles] Yeah!
That's my Mrs. Claus.
Should we do it
together? Okay.
Here comes the man--
the man with the plan!
Here comes...
That's your cue!
[Beth, chuckling] Well,
we're gonna need a seamstress.
All right, guys.
I think we're done for today.
Who wants a snack?
[Kids all talking at once]
I thought I'd drop by
just to see how things
were going.
You're wonderful
with them.
You think so?
Not to sound like
a broken record,
but I still haven't
filled that part-time
drama teacher job.
Just let that simmer
for a little.
Okay. Thank you.
You know, that's not
a terrible idea.
Yeah, well,
you know what they say.
Those who can't do...
And those who can do,
teach incredibly well.
Just let me just get through
this performance first.
[Beth]: Yeah, Dean's great.
I think
you'll really like him.
You sound like a new person.
I feel like a new person!
Although, at the same time...
I feel like myself again.
So you're glad
I talked you into going home?
I am.
Thank you for my present.
[Inhales deeply]
It's festive and fun here,
and I feel like
I'm getting involved.
Well, I am back
at the apartment.
My dad brought
his new girlfriend
to the Hamptons,
and she's perfectly terrible.
I got on the first Jitney
back to NYC.
Well, now you're going to be
alone for Christmas.
Nah. It's fine. I'm good.
A few people
from my last show are here,
so we're going
to go get Christmas dim sum.
You could come here
for Christmas.
Sounds like
you're going to be pretty busy
for the next four days.
I can't intrude on that.
But I'll see you
when you get back,
and you can give me
all the gory details.
When I get back...
[Inhales sharply]
Yeah, what happens
with this Dean guy
when you come back
to New York?
[Shirley]: I'm sure
you're doing a great job!
Those kids are
doing a great job.
I'm just teaching them
the box-step.
And I think they're going
to pull it off in time.
It's five days
till Christmas.
If anyone can do it,
you can.
Here you go,
and don't forget to come back.
Valentine's day
is just a few months away.
Do you think
I'd make a good mother?
Where did that
come from?
You were
an exceptional mother.
Thanks, honey.
It was just you and me
for all those years
after daddy died...
It wasn't always easy,
but I did the best
that I could.
You were so selfless.
You lifted me up,
you gave me everything.
That's what a mother does.
She nurtures her baby
so that she can feel free
to fly.
I just don't know
if I would have it in me.
Oh, of course
you do.
I mean...
To stay, have a family,
live this life.
Are you thinking about staying?
Thinking about
all kinds of things
that I never considered before.
Is this because of Dean?
It's Dean...
It's the kids.
I feel like something is opened
inside of me.
I feel...
I never imagined
this life for myself.
Look, Bethy...
Kern may be small,
and it may be simple,
but I get to walk out
my front door,
and I know everyone.
And when something bad
or something good,
a hundred people
show up at my front door
with either condolences
or congratulations.
I have...
More love than I know
what to do with.
This is home.
But that's just it--
I don't know where "home" is.
How do you know?
How do you really, truly know
when it's right?
You know
because your heart tells you
that it is.
And your head shuts up.
So I was in the fitting
with Frances,
and she looked at me,
and she said,
"you're right,
it's the good kind
of nervous."
I love that kid.
You're really quiet.
Just thinking.
About anything specific?
About this. Us.
Do you want to share
any particulars?
[Sets his drink down]
[Sighs deeply]
I really like you, Beth.
A lot.
I can't help but wonder
if this is just
some sort of holiday thing
that's going to end
with the new year.
What do you think?
I am trying
not to think so much.
I've also been thinking
about what
principal Hyde said.
There's a life
and a job for you here...
In Kern.
I want you
to stay, Beth.
I'm just worried.
About what?
About falling for you.
And then January first
comes around,
and you have to go.
So... maybe we just
shouldn't do this.
And what if I do?
What if you do what?
In Kern.
That would make me really...
Jingle bells
jingle bells
jingle all the way
Oh, what fun
it is to ride
in a one-horse
open sleigh...
That was so perfect!
That was so good, you guys!
You didn't make one mistake,
you didn't miss one note.
You're going to be so great
for the festival.
I'm so proud of you.
I'm proud
of you!
Thanks, Frances.
We did it together, right?
Okay, I have a surprise for you.
In the hall, Mrs. Pratt made
gingerbread cookies.
Go get 'em.
[Kids chattering excitedly]
You are doing
such a great job
with the kids, Beth.
We're so lucky
that you came home
this year.
You're doing a great job.
The decorations
look fantastic.
Half the hall
looks fantastic.
At the rate we're going,
I'm starting to think
I might have to rope off
the other half
so no one can see it.
Do you need an extra set
of hands? I can help.
Yes. Please.
That would be great.
[Laughs] Okay.
You can start by helping
me hang this tinsel.
Yep. Absolutely.
Mm. You know...
Principal Hyde
asked me to work on you
to take that job.
But I had to break it to him
that we will be
once again losing you
to the glitz and the glamour
of New York.
Yeah... full
disclosure, Eileen?
My life in New York
is anything but glitzy
and glamorous.
It's actually been
a complete struggle
since day one.
I'm sorry
to hear that, Beth.
I know what the theater's
always meant to you.
You know, I thought it was
the only thing I was good at,
but I don't know.
Maybe I had it all wrong.
And maybe you have more gifts
than you know what to do with.
The way you are
with those kids...
I don't know, maybe we can
convince you to stay.
I would love that!
And I think I know someone else
who would really love that.
Ah, no peeking!
Five days
until Christmas day!
Oh, I was thinking
about Christmas dinner,
and I'm going to make
your favorite--
glazed ham
and green bean casserole.
With the crunchy onions?
I cannot believe
you would even ask me that.
You can't make
that dish
without crispy onions!
It sounds great.
Can I invite Dean?
Of course.
You really like him,
don't you?
[Laughs] I do.
It's funny,
growing up,
it was always me and Barry.
I never really
saw Dean that way, but...
He makes me laugh.
All the time.
Makes my day to see you happy.
Makes my day
to see you happy.
Are you?
Of course I am!
I love my life.
I raised
a sweet, compassionate daughter.
I get to bake
for the people of this town
on a daily basis.
And this year,
I get to have
a perfect Christmas
with my favorite girl.
What more could a lady ask for?
Well, what about a boyfriend?
Well, um... I-- I--
Well, uh, oh, occasionally, um,
principal Hyde
takes me out for a nice dinner
to the cobalt buffet.
You never told me that!
You never asked!
I didn't... did I?
That's going to change.
I promise.
So you...
And principal Hyde?
The man that wears
the same suit every day?
That is his work outfit.
He wears khakis
every time he takes me out.
[Both laughing hard]
They're very nice.
Beth! Got some
interesting news for you.
What's going on?
Well, I just
got off the phone
with the director
of the Mamet show.
It seems the star's understudy
slipped on some ice
and broke her ankle.
She's going to be off it
for eight weeks,
which means
you are on a plane tonight,
back to New York, baby!
Rehearsal starts
9:00 A.M. tomorrow,
and the show opens
in four weeks,
so you've got to be ready.
You did it, Beth!
You got the part.
[Bill Laughs]
Merry Christmas!
-So, what are you going to do?
-I don't know.
I don't know,
but I have to decide,
like, now, because they have me
on a flight in three hours.
What do you think?
It doesn't matter
what I think.
I have so much to do here--
the festival, the kids... you!
We had so many Christmas plans.
Dean-- I practically told Dean
that I'm staying in Kern.
This has always
been your dream, Beth.
It's Broadway!
I just feel like I am letting
so many people down.
What have I always told you?
Don't you ever apologize
for following your dreams.
But maybe you do
need to ask yourself
if this is still
what you want.
I think I need
to go to New York
so I can be sure.
Can we talk?
So for how long?
It's four weeks of rehearsal,
a six-month run,
with a possible
[Chuckles sadly]
You could
come to New York.
Like, live there?
[Words catch, she sighs]
I don't know.
Yeah, I could come and visit,
Beth, but...
My life is here.
I have a town
that relies on me.
I can't just up and leave.
I know. I hate to even ask it
of you, Dean,
but I have to go.
This is it.
This is what I've been wanting
my whole life.
You know,
call me crazy, Beth,
but I watch you
with those kids
and I see greatness every day.
What about them?
You could direct the show.
You've gone
to every rehearsal,
you are so good
with them.
They don't want me.
They want you.
You're the one that
inspires them to be great.
That is greatness.
They just want to perform.
They don't care who directs it.
I really think
that you're underestimating
they way these kids
are feeling about you, but...
I get it.
You have to go find out.
It doesn't mean
that this has to be the end.
I don't want
a weekend girlfriend, Beth.
I want to start
a life with someone,
a family, a home.
Not some long-distance
Skype relationship,
that goes on
for who knows how long,
with "a possible extension."
I know.
I'm sorry.
This is not
how I intended it to go.
I know.
Break a leg, Beth.
I hope you find that greatness
that you're looking for.
[Nicole]: Hey!
Now neither of us
will be alone for Christmas!
We'll be together!
You okay?
It was hard...
The kids, my mom...
They'll be fine.
I came in and I wreaked havoc
on these people's lives,
and I just left.
I guess this is what I do.
That's not true.
I feel like
I'm letting a lot of people down
and I don't want to be
that person anymore.
You're doing
a Broadway show, Beth.
It's what you've always wanted.
Enjoy it.
You're right.
It's a Broadway show.
I'm going to try
to enjoy it.
[Beth]: If I'd never gone home
for Christmas...
[Beth, reading]
"Home is where the heart is."
[Line ringing]
[Beth]: Hey, Mom.
Merry Christmas.
Merry Christmas, sweetheart.
I just wanted to call
and see what your plans were
for the day.
Oh, I just finished
getting dressed
and doing my hair,
and I'm going to head over
to Marilyn Rowell's house
in a minute.
Good! Good.
Just wanted to make sure
you weren't
spending Christmas alone.
I love you.
I love you too, sweetheart.
I got your beautiful pendant.
Thank you.
Sorry I couldn't come home.
I know how hard things are
for you right now, Bethy.
I meant every word
on that pendant.
Home is a feeling,
not a place.
No matter where you are,
I am always with you.
Okay, elves
and Santa's helpers,
we are about to begin one of
our last dress rehearsals.
Are you guys ready
to knock 'em dead?
Where's Beth?
Beth had a-- a thing
in New York.
She had a really important
work thing in New York,
that she had to fly back for
last night.
Lucky for you, you have me!
You know? So...
[Begins playing "jingle bells"]
Well, they don't call me
"Beethoven" for nothing.
You want to step in here?
Dean, I'm worse than you...
And you are awful.
This is not going to
work without Beth.
Of course it will!
You guys are the talent,
and you're all so good.
We... we want Beth.
I'm sorry,
but Beth's not coming.
But you guys
are going to be great,
because it's Christmas,
and that's what
it's all about.
So everyone,
just grab your places onstage.
We only have a couple of days,
and we've a lot of work to do.
You okay?
Yeah, I'm fine.
I'm sorry, man.
I really didn't want
to be right.
I know you didn't.
Hey, uh, Eileen's
mom plays piano.
I'll give her a call.
Maybe she'll help out.
So he says,
"it's completely safe!
It just depends
on your sense of danger."
[Men laughing]
Oh! Oh... Beth.
Thank you for cutting
your trip short
and coming to join us here.
Mm. You know, when Jane
broke her arm-- or her leg...
What did Jane break?
Ah, what
does it matter?
Anyway, we knew that
we had to get you here
Now, you were
my first choice,
but the producer
writes the checks,
and he fought me
for Jane.
But you're here now
and we're thrilled.
Thank you.
I am very excited
to be here.
It is an honor
to be understudying
Alexis Avery.
You won't be saying that
in a few months,
I can assure you.
Nine Broadway shows,
and I've never missed
one performance.
Not once.
Sorry, doll, but at least
you're getting paid.
And it's a Broadway credit,
right? Yeah.
So should I just
stand over here, then--
oh, no. No, no,
no, no, no.
No. You will sit
right here,
in this chair,
and you will watch
and you will study
every move
that Alexis makes
in the event
that you ever go on for her.
That's your job.
Easy-peasy, right?
All right, my lovelies.
Let's begin with act three.
All right, Jerome,
can you come in
from upstage left,
make your way down
to Alexis,
David will find you
on the couch...
[Continues indistinctly]
[Beth]: It was like
I was invisible.
I mean, there's no guarantee
that I'll ever perform.
It felt like...
A stepping stone?
A waste of time.
How can you say that, Beth?
This is what
you've always wanted.
It's a great
Maybe it's not anymore.
I feel like I'm having
an out-of-body experience.
What did that town
do to you?
It felt like...
I was a part of something
that mattered...
Like I belong there.
I belong there.
So you're just going
to give up?
You're committing
career suicide.
I think I wanted my career
to define me
so I could feel
worthy of this praise
that I've been given
my whole life.
But it doesn't define me.
You know, what I did
with those kids,
that defines me.
My family does.
Community does.
I don't feel
like I'm giving anything up.
I feel like
I'm moving toward something.
I need to go home
for Christmas Eve.
Well, let's get you
a flight home, then.
Beth! You're back.
I'm back.
It's a long story,
but I am here,
and I am available,
and I want to help
with the festival,
or however you need me.
You haven't heard?
Heard what?
Come in.
I've been on
a lot of planes
in the last 24 hours--
the festival
is canceled.
Wait. What?
I haven't been
gone that long.
What happened?
Someone set off the sprinklers
in the town hall.
Everything was ruined.
and we can't even
use the hall
because we have to wait for it
to dry out,
which could take a week,
I don't know.
It was a nightmare.
Just be glad that
you were not here for it.
[Sighing] Those poor kids.
Yeah, they were
pretty devastated.
Dean took them
to the Rinkorama today, though,
to cheer them up.
Of course he did.
Everyone must be so upset.
This is the biggest event
of the year in Kern.
No decorations,
no budget, no location--
no festival tomorrow.
Oh. There has to be
something that we can do.
Wait a minute.
It's the inside of the hall
that's ruined?
Not the outside?
The outside is fine,
but it's supposed
to snow,
and we don't have
any decorations,
not to mention time.
It's Christmas Eve
tomorrow, Beth.
I have an idea.
[Hum of chatter]
I'm going to ask the Rowells
if we can borrow
their decorations as well.
There we go.
["Deck the halls" playing,
[Eileen]: How you got them
to deliver this tent
60 miles away
the day before Christmas Eve,
I don't know.
[Beth]: Well, I just
told them our story
and about the people of Kern,
and then I begged,
and that seemed
to do the trick.
And you got everyone,
at least on my street
and your mom's,
to donate their decorations.
We owe a lot
to you, Beth.
Well, it's Christmas,
and in Kern,
we always have a festival.
Which we may just
have ready in time
for Christmas Eve tomorrow.
I hope everyone got
their Christmas shopping done,
'cause we're pulling
an all-nighter.
Not a problem.
I do have one more favor
to ask of you, though.
What's that?
Hi. Dean.
Uh... wh--
[Confused chuckle]
What are you doing here?
Listen, um, I'm going to
tell you everything
at the festival.
You haven't heard.
There's not going to be
a festival this year.
No, there will be.
You'll see.
It's going to
be different.
Better, but different.
What are you
talking about?
Look, can you
do me a favor?
Read the paper tomorrow?
Special Christmas Eve
Can you
promise me that?
Okay. All right.
We'll talk
tomorrow night.
Bethy! Bethy!
Wake up! Wake up!
It's here! The paper!
I waited for the paperboy
to get here.
Scared the heck out of him!
It's here!
I guess I'm up.
All righty!
"Kern is where the heart is,"
by Beth Baker.
My daughter.
"Home is where the heart is.
"I didn't realize that,
"as I turned my back
"on the place that valued
and validated me
"throughout my childhood.
I would leave Kern..."
[Overlapping with Beth]
"...And set the world on fire."
[Beth]: "But Christmas
is a time of renewal...
of rebirth, so to speak."
"and that's exactly
what the people of Kern,
"and the spirit
of this season,
"have given me--
my rebirth."
"A brilliant mind once told me
"that greatness comes
in many shapes and sizes.
"To me, it always had
a huge connotation.
Like you had to be Abe Lincoln
or Susan B. Anthony..."
"But greatness..."
[Choking up] "Greatness
could be the challenge
of raising a child
all by yourself..."
[Overlapping With Beth]
"or the daily production
"and distribution
of a newspaper...
"or running a pharmacy
with nothing but your intuition
to guide you."
"Or being given a firetruck
"and entrusted with the safety
and well-being
of an entire town."
"A truly great life
is filled with love and family
"and those pivotal moments
that we get to share.
"And Christmas
is when we come together
"to honor those blessings.
"And so...
"I humbly offer a replacement
Kern holiday festival,
"this evening,
in front of the town hall,
"so we may continue to celebrate
this time of year...
As only our community can."
[Beth]: "I thank you,
"the people
of this beautiful town,
"for helping me find my way
back to myself.
"I will never stop striving
for greatness,
"but I understand it now
"in ways I never did before.
"and only now
do I feel truly worthy.
Merry Christmas."
[Voice breaks] Oh, honey.
That's beautiful.
Thank you.
Ahh, I hope
everyone reads it,
and I hope
they show up.
Oh, Beth! Even if
they didn't read it,
news in this town
travels like tumbleweeds.
They will show.
Do you have any more
Christmas wishes for me,
before I head back up
to the north pole?
Got a busy night ahead.
I think I'm good.
Merry Christmas, ladies.
Merry Christmas, Santa.
[Kids, with piano]
jingle bells
jingle bells
jingle all the way
oh, what fun it is to ride
in a one-horse
[Squeal of delight]
Thank you, everyone,
so much for coming.
We have tables and tables
of delicious treats
generously provided
by my mother, Shirley Baker,
of the Baker's dozen.
Merry Christmas, everyone.
Merry Christmas to you.
[Excited chatter]
Thank you.
Hi. Merry Christmas.
Merry Christmas.
Can we talk outside?
I'd like that.
It's a nice night.
[Beth]: Mm-hmm.
I think the only thing
that would make it more perfect
is if it snowed.
I love when it snows
on Christmas Eve.
Yeah. Me too.
I read your article.
You have a knack
for writing.
Maybe Eileen will
give you a job on the paper.
I think my talents
would be
better suited elsewhere.
I talked
to principal Hyde
this afternoon.
I took the job.
You'll be good
for them.
Uh-huh. They'll
be good for me.
I mean,
it's part-time,
but I can stay
with my mom,
and help out
at the bakery
from time to time.
I think
I owe you an apology.
I was... pretty hard on you.
I know
what I want now, Dean.
Without a doubt.
Welcome home, Beth.
It's good
to be home.
Mommy! Daddy!
-Wake up!
-He came!
-Santa was here!
-Santa was here!
Okay, okay,
I'm up, I'm up.
Let's go find out
what Santa brought you.
[Dean grunts]
Merry Christmas,
Merry Christmas, Dean.