A Christmas Treasure (2021) Movie Script

Mr. Schiller. Merry Christmas!
Hey, Lou, Merry Christmas! How are you?
I'm good. You ready for the big winner?
Just a few more customers.
I haven't seen your brother yet, though.
Yeah, he'll be here.
Hey, I heard you're leaving Pine Grove.
-I'm headed to New York to write.
-Isn't that what you do for the newspaper?
Yes, but I'm going there
to finish a novel.
A novel?
I love Pine Grove,
but it's time for a change.
Well, you will be missed.
But I wish you luck.
There he is.
-Hey, sorry, did I miss it?
Jeralyn thought she was going into labor,
but it was a false alarm.
This is it, this is it.
Attention, everyone!
Attention! Everyone, attention!
The Schiller Family Christmas Tree Farm is
happy to announce that we hit a milestone.
This tree marks number 50,000!
And the lucky winners are...
-Aaron and Beth Taylor.
-Aaron and Beth Taylor!
You two are going home
with a check for $5000.
And, of course, a free Christmas tree!
Are you kidding? Wow!
We've never won anything before.
Thank you so much!
What a wonderful Christmas gift!
Can I interview you two
for The Pine Grove Register?
Sure! We've never been interviewed before.
Brice, get a few more pictures.
Yep, that's the one.
Okay, guys, Merry Christmas!
-Thank you!
-Henry's great, isn't he?
-How'd it go at the Christmas tree farm?
They had no idea it would happen.
You'll have it by tomorrow.
-Oh, great.
-I'm uploading the photos now.
Oh, wonderful.
Oh, Brice, these are great.
-Which one do you wanna use?
-Let's go with the surprise shot.
I agree with Mom.
Brice, you captured the moment.
Great. Merry Christmas.
The Pine Grove Candy Emporium
wants a half-page Christmas ad.
That's wonderful!
I'll let the team know
to adjust the layout.
Hi, nephew!
Aunt Marcy! You look great.
Same as you did last time I saw you.
Was it two years ago?
Thank you, I'll take that compliment,
and you actually missed
the last two Christmases.
-Didn't wanna make it three in a row.
-Tell that to your parents.
They send their love from Cancun.
They wished they could have rescheduled.
-I've heard that before. Come on inside.
Is that fruitcake?
Did you add chocolate to it this time?
Anything else?
Triple sec?
It's gonna be good having you here.
How about a cup of peppermint tea?
Sure. Sure you don't mind
having me for two weeks?
As far as I can tell,
I'm getting the better of this deal.
And you sure you don't mind
helping me at the restaurant?
I can't think of a better way
to spend Christmas.
So how is the job search going?
Oh, it's going.
I got a few things I need to figure out.
There's not a lot of people
looking to hire a chef around Christmas,
but I've got some feelers out there.
I was surprised to hear
the restaurant even closed.
Yeah, but times change,
and you gotta change with them.
The Tavern's not
as fancy as what you're used to.
It'll be a nice change of pace.
Great job on the Christmas Tree story.
Thank you. I am really glad
that my final piece was about Christmas.
It doesn't need to be your last piece.
You could cover the Time Capsule ceremony.
It would be a great angle
to have the fourth-generation Webbs
cover the first generation.
I am dying to see
what's inside that capsule,
but I wanna have fun with it
instead of it turning into work.
You can't blame me for trying.
I just want you around the office
for as long as possible.
I know, but if I'm gonna finish this book,
I need the time to dedicate to it.
-We'll miss you.
-I'll miss you too.
Hey, I found these photos
from the 1921 ceremony.
That's your great-grandfather Louis,
holding the time capsule.
This is incredible.
It's really been a hundred years?
This will be an interesting story.
Sure you don't wanna write it?
No. I still have to pack, I'm on the
Christmas show planning committee,
and I still have Christmas shopping to do.
I'm booked.
I thought I'd ask again once more.
What's with all the cookbooks?
Changing your menu up?
No, I'm looking for a new recipe
for the Taste of Christmas.
-What's that?
-A local charity event
where all the restaurants,
diners, bakeries from the tri-county,
we set up booths,
and the judges pick their favorite dishes.
Sounds fun.
How come I've never heard of it?
You haven't been here early enough.
It's happens the last week
before Christmas.
Well, I'm here now. You want some help?
You bet I do.
Especially since I lost my title to the
Fairfield Cookery three years in a row.
Then let's go win it back.
I know it's a few weeks late,
but here's to turning 30.
Thank you, you guys,
you really didn't have to do this.
Of course we did!
I'm just sorry it took so long
to coordinate our schedules.
Well, that's what I get for being
best friends with the deputy mayor
and a busy attorney
who is about to become a mom!
Which means
you're about to become an aunt.
I can't wait.
It wasn't that long ago
when all we thought about
were boys, clothes,
and really bad hair days.
Well, the only boy
I thought about was Brice.
A little sappy, but sweet.
-I owe it all to you guys.
Yeah, it was the first day
at a new school,
I didn't know anyone,
and you two invited me to lunch.
And we went over to Lou's house
to bake brownies.
And we ate all of them!
That afternoon was
the first time I saw Brice.
Then it took him three years to notice me.
Yeah, he's always been slow
with those things.
Promise you'll be back
for the baby's birthday?
Of course. And Thanksgiving and Christmas.
If you're gonna be coming back that often,
maybe you should just stay.
I've always just stayed.
You guys have gone after your dreams.
It's time I went after mine.
-Then here's to New York.
-And old friends, and lots of video chats!
Don't you know it.
After all these years, I still can't tell
what the secret ingredient is in this.
And I don't plan on telling you.
Maybe when I retire.
I've never heard you
talk about retiring before.
Well, I mean, not right now, but someday.
Right now, I gotta get these orders out.
Oh, I got it.
-Thank you.
-No problem.
-They're for table seven.
-Coming up.
I know that New York is expensive,
so I'll eat on the cheaper side.
-Three lunch specials.
Here you go.
Here you are. What are we celebrating?
Years of friendship
and adventures to come.
Sounds fun. Can I get you anything else?
-How about some silverware?
-That would be helpful.
-And maybe some salt and pepper?
-Salt and pepper?
I don't think you'll need it.
This meatloaf is perfect. I know the chef.
She uses a secret ingredient,
won't tell me what it is.
Oh, I'm putting pepper on everything
these days.
Just a pinch of salt for me.
I'll take the salt and pepper, please.
-Just kidding.
I've been eating Marcy's meatloaf
for years. It doesn't need anything.
-Because it's made with love.
-Lots of it.
Okay, bon apptit.
-He is unusual.
-He's definitely different.
Certainly the cutest waiter
she's ever had.
Thank you all for being here
on this very special evening.
We're here tonight
to witness a historic moment.
Our town's founders
buried this time capsule,
and to carry on what they began,
we will bury our own
Christmas time capsule
on December 24th
at our annual Christmas Show.
You're all invited
to bring any items you'd like to submit
to the newspaper office,
and the committee
will then choose those items
that best represent Pine Grove today.
Now, I'd like to turn things over
to Eli Webb.
Thank you, Mayor Townsend.
On behalf of my family,
it is an honor to carry on
what my grandfather Louis Webb began,
and I think it only fitting that
my daughter, and his namesake, Lou,
join me in opening this treasured box.
We love you, Lou!
Let's see what mementos
the citizens of 1921 have left for us.
We've got a... We have a hymn book.
That's nice.
We have this beautiful
hand-crafted tree ornament.
We have a menu
from the Pine Grove Tavern.
It's my grandfather's journal.
Isn't that special?
-May I?
-Of course.
Here we go.
We have the Christmas edition
of The Register!
With a very interesting headline.
"Santa Claus Makes Unexpected Visit
to Pine Grove."
Who would have thought?
-What have you got there, Lou?
-I don't know.
-Yeah, okay.
Sure looks good to me.
Shouldn't you taste it first?
Okay, I deserve that.
-Here you go.
-Thank you.
I'm sorry if I offended you yesterday.
I can get pretty opinionated
when I get talking about food.
Well, I get that way with bad grammar.
Makes sense since you work for the paper.
How do you know that?
I... I may have asked Marcy about you.
And what else did Marcy say?
-She mentioned that you were a Webb.
-Just one in a long line.
Not every day you meet somebody
with a library named after them.
Not me, my great-grandfather.
-Still an impressive family history.
-Thank you.
I suppose the Webbs have
made their mark on Pine Grove.
What about you? You're heading to New York
to make a name for yourself?
-That's what I'm hoping for.
-Maybe I'll see you around.
Hey, Lou.
Did you happen to ask Marcy about me?
"He wished me a Merry Christmas,
and before he departed,
he left me a beacon,
instructing that it be placed in a window
a hundred years from now,
and then, in the blink of an eye,
he was gone.
There was only the sound of distant
sleigh bells and an infectious laugh,
until both were lost in the night,
and whether or not
anyone believes this story,
it's Christmas,
and that's when the magic happens."
That's a sweet story.
Almost like
Santa actually visited Pine Grove.
Grandpa always could spin a good yarn.
I wonder what inspired him to write it.
Probably wanted to
bring some Christmas cheer to the town.
Times were tough back then.
It was just after the First World War,
and the way I heard it,
Louis almost packed it all in
and went to San Francisco
to try his luck as a reporter,
but he stayed and started The Register.
Any idea what changed his mind?
I never heard that part of the story.
Look at this,
it's a Christmas recipe from the Tavern.
Well, Marcy's gonna love this.
Now we know why this was in there.
Yeah, and by putting it
in the time capsule,
it shows that Louis had a sense of humor.
Maybe it wasn't just a joke.
Okay, maybe it was.
I know most of these items are
gonna go on display at City Hall,
but why don't we keep this?
Just in case Santa comes back.
And the journal.
I was thinking about
the Taste of Christmas contest.
What about ham?
Well, I've already done two hams,
a Christmas goose, even a Christmas steak.
This one's perfect.
I'll take this one, thank you.
All right, I'll keep thinking.
"Gingerbread house decorating contest"?
Is there a Christmas event
this town doesn't have?
I don't think so.
While I'm here,
I need to order some desserts.
Would you open up the restaurant?
I'll meet you there.
-Yeah, I can handle that.
-All right.
There you are. Thank you.
You need some help?
It might look that way, but I've got it.
You sure?
I got it.
That lock has always been tricky.
It's all yours.
-Let me show you.
Wow, thanks. I'll have to remember that.
-Oh, hey, I see you've met my nephew.
Yeah, I'm in town for a couple of weeks,
helping out for the holidays.
-Come on, get in out of the cold.
Thanks for bringing
these menus and recipes.
I just can't get over this menu.
I have never seen anything this old.
I've never heard of
a Christmas Caroler's Stew before.
It must have been pretty good
if it was in the paper.
Interesting blend of spices.
Reminds me of a dish I used to make.
Oh, you like to cook?
You could say that. I'm a chef.
Then I'm confused.
Oh, Kyle was head chef
at one of Chicago's best restaurants.
Yeah, I'm only here for Christmas.
I brought you something else.
I found the arrangement we did
for my first solo.
It's still lovely, and I think
it could work for the Christmas Show.
Lou was the soloist
and the best singer in the choir.
I just don't have the time this year.
Lou's family sponsors everything from the
food pantry to the Christmas Toy Drive.
How do you find time to write?
That's exactly why I'm stepping down
from my usual commitments,
but, Marcy, you put on a great show
every year, no matter what.
-I'm glad I'm here this year to see it.
About time.
You know, this might be just right
for Jeralyn, and I've got another idea.
I have a submission for the time capsule.
So you're a chef.
I'm in between jobs right now, but...
It's a long story.
So you are a writer and a singer.
I'm trying a different kind of writing,
a novel, but that's also a long story.
Well, seems like we're both at a fork
in the road, metaphorically speaking.
Mine was a choice
I've been thinking about for years.
Unfortunately, mine is by circumstance,
but it's given me the opportunity to come
here and spend more time for Christmas.
Christmas is the best time of year
in Pine Grove.
Yeah, I might have to
agree with you on that.
-Hey, Brice! Whoa!
-These are just today's submissions.
Wow. Okay, well, here's another one
for the pile, a menu from the Tavern.
I don't know how
you're going to narrow it down to 12.
Good thing it's a committee decision.
Mom bought these cookies for the staff,
and since you don't work here anymore...
-But since I'm such a good brother...
-Thank you. I will be at City Hall.
What's there?
Anything I should know about?
No. Just Naomi and I
setting up the time capsule display.
-For Naomi.
Prepping for dinner?
No, I thought we'd test a dish
-Pork loin?
-Bacon-wrapped pork loin with cherries.
I can smell Christmas already.
So how is it?
Try it out.
It's not bad.
Not bad.
But it's nothing special,
and I need this to be special
if I'm gonna beat The Fairfield Cookery.
Maybe we need to think outside the box.
My box, but not yours.
-What do you mean?
-Maybe I should step it up
and let my talented nephew teach me
a thing or two about nouvelle cuisine.
It's your specialty after all.
All right.
Thank you.
Thinking about entering the contest?
No, I was just picking up some pastries,
and thought I'd stick around.
Not too old-fashioned?
I haven't had a good
old-fashioned Christmas in years.
Usually, when I am in town,
it's just for a quick visit.
Well, you seem to have a lot of time now.
Why not enter?
Is that a challenge?
I've been known to make
a mean gingerbread house.
But you are a professional chef, so...
Well, yes, a chef, not a baker.
That's two different things.
I guess that does level
the playing field a little bit.
I'd say.
All right, you're on.
-Let's see what you got, Mr. Chef.
-Set it up.
That's what you call giving it a shot?
It's not without its flaws,
but I'm happy with the way it turned out
given the time constraints.
I used to decorate cakes
in culinary school.
I guess it paid off.
You are certainly full of surprises.
Wait till you really get to know me.
Do you think that's likely to happen?
I'd say the odds are in our favor.
-What are you going to do with yours?
-I don't know. Maybe--
Well, I guess that answers that question.
Come in!
I was on my way to the paper,
but I thought I'd swing by
and drop these off for you.
I figured you might need this.
Thanks, Mom. That's really thoughtful.
Did I interrupt your writing?
I hadn't even started yet.
Well, it doesn't look like you're making
much progress with the packing.
I know, but it's just so hard to decide
what to take and what to leave behind.
The apartment is small,
and even though Stacy
is giving me half of the bookshelves,
it's not nearly enough space
for all my books.
Store whatever you need at the house.
Thanks, Mom.
-I've got to keep this, right?
-Oh, Mom.
If you're gonna move to New York,
you're gonna have
to make some tough decisions.
You've got to keep those.
Yes. Thank you.
-Hey, Henry.
-Hey, Lou.
Hey, you need some help?
-I thought I had it, but I guess not.
Is that you?
Didn't I tell you
the odds were in our favor?
How are you handling this?
Yeah, Marcy asked me
to get the biggest tree.
But I think this one's too big.
Well, I think you got it now.
Henry, we'll hold these two trees.
This one and that one.
You got it, Lou.
-I'll take that.
-Thank you.
-You're welcome.
Oh, yes. Kelly's is open.
What's that?
What? You haven't had Kelly's
famous Christmas treats before?
-Can't say I have.
So Kelly's is only here in Pine Grove,
and their peppermint bark
is one of a kind.
You can only get it in the weeks
leading up to Christmas.
-Hey, I've had Christmas treats before.
-But not like these you haven't. Come on.
Are you ready to admit that I was right?
-That's pretty good.
-Oh, come on.
This is like peppermint
and chocolate from heaven.
Kelly grows the peppermint himself,
and he makes the chocolate by hand.
I did an article about him for the paper.
This is the perfect spot for a shop.
I can see opening up a restaurant here.
Is that the fork in the road
you were talking about?
The question is,
do I take the chance to go out on my own,
open my own place,
or do I just continue on
down the path that I've been on?
Which is what?
Working for other people.
I've had some good bosses,
but at my last place,
just mismanaged the place.
He didn't have...
He didn't care about the food
that came in and out of that kitchen.
It was an investment for him,
but for me...
being a chef and cooking...
it's a passion.
You know, it's like...
being in love.
I'd like to feel that way
about my writing again,
finish the novel I started.
Is that why you're moving?
I wanna make my own mark as a Webb.
-And the only way to do that is to move?
-For me it is.
Why is that?
I come from a long line of incredibly
accomplished people and, in New York,
I won't have anyone or anything
to prove except to myself.
But why New York?
I have a few friends there, and since
it is the publishing capital of the world,
-I thought it might be inspiring.
-Okay. That makes sense.
I promised myself that I would get
at least two chapters done before I go.
It sounds like
you've got it all figured out.
Eight years in the making.
Don't get me wrong,
but it seems like you're falling in love
with the romance
of a new beginning in a new place.
-What's wrong with that?
Inspiration comes to people
in all different ways.
You did good, Kyle.
Oh, thank you, Lou, for helping.
This is the biggest tree we've ever had.
I'll get some refreshments.
-She's great, isn't she?
-Marcy? Yeah.
She's always been generous with her time.
You know, it's because of her
that I started writing for myself.
How did that happen?
I was always a really big reader as a kid,
and once, in choir,
she was trying to get my attention,
and she couldn't because
I was so into the book that I was reading.
Marcy suggested that if I loved reading
fiction so much, why not write it?
-You never considered it before?
It took a little bit
for the idea to sink in.
Yeah, she's always had a knack
for bringing out people's passion.
She's the reason I'm a chef.
We really owe her a lot, don't we?
Yeah, I guess we do.
This tree needs more lights.
That is the best tree
the Tavern's ever had.
-Thank you.
-You wanna stay for dinner? On the house.
Your food is always so tempting,
but I really should get going.
Got big plans or something?
No, I'm just rehearsing with Jeralyn
for the Christmas Show.
Rain check then.
Oh, excuse me.
I need to take this.
Seems we've got a problem
with our linen delivery.
Hey, thanks again for your help.
There's no way this tree looks this good
without your expertise.
Toast to that,
and you're right, it wouldn't.
But if writing doesn't pan out,
I could always get a job
decorating Christmas windows on Fifth Ave.
-I don't think you'll have that problem.
-What makes you say that?
Call it a hunch.
Hey, what's your book about?
A love story
set back in the Spanish Civil War.
-I was a history minor in college.
-Hemingway fan?
You've read The Sun Also Rises?
After culinary school,
I spent a year in Spain,
traveling all over.
That sounds amazing.
Yeah, it was. Incredible.
I learned 19 different ways to make tapas.
Tell me about that later.
Sorry to leave you with the mess,
but I gotta go.
No, I got it. It's fine.
Jeralyn, I love this ornament. Thank you.
You're welcome.
But I thought
you weren't gonna get a tree.
I wasn't, I know,
but it's just not Christmas without one.
Or without you singing the Christmas solo.
I don't know what I was thinking
when I said I'd take over for you.
You have a beautiful voice.
I've never sung a solo
in front of the whole town before,
and making my debut
at the Christmas Show is--
It's a bit overwhelming.
I get that,
but Marcy wouldn't have chosen you
-if she didn't think you could do it.
-But I've got big shoes to fill.
-Oh, yeah, you do. Size 11.
Okay, but you are practically
a legend in Pine Grove.
Great-grandpa Louis, he's a real legend.
I started reading through his journal,
and even though his name
is all over this town,
it's amazing how much self-doubt
he had at such a young age.
Speaking of self-doubt,
we better start rehearsing.
I need all the help I can get.
-Hold on. I got you.
Come on, mama. Come on.
-Thank you.
-Of course.
-At least I've got a great coach.
-You are talking about me, right?
Okay, okay, don't answer that.
-You ready to start?
-As ready as I'll ever be.
Okay, let's do it like Marcy taught us,
and warm up, okay?
We wish you a Merry Christmas
We wish you a Merry Christmas
We wish you a Merry Christmas
And a Happy New Year
Good tidings we bring
To you and your kin
Good tidings for Christmas
And a Happy New Year
I don't know why you're worried.
You sound amazing.
No such thing
as too many lights, huh, Dad?
-Now, who in the world taught you that?
-Oh, I don't know.
It's only something I've heard you say
every Christmas since I can remember.
-I'll be in the garage if you need me.
-All right.
-Oh, hey, Dad.
How's it going? Finding enough room?
I actually found a bunch of
Great-grandpa Louis' letters and stuff.
Find anything interesting?
Not especially.
Oh, the journal that we pulled
from the time capsule
-is turning out to be a real page-turner.
Seems that the stories
you heard were true.
He really did turn down a job
writing for The San Francisco Ledger.
Did he say why?
Not so far, but he did mention
the time capsule a lot,
and no mention
of why he put the beacon in there.
-Which proves it was just a joke.
Did he say anything else
about the time capsule?
Turns out that he was frustrated
with his fellow committee members
because they couldn't decide
what to put in it.
Well, let's hope history
doesn't repeat itself.
Are you sure I can't fix you something
before you leave?
Thanks, but your tea and cookies
were good enough, Mom.
Thanks for stopping by.
-Love you.
-Love you too.
Dad, there's been something
I've been wondering for a while,
and after going through Grandpa Louis'
letters and stuff in the trunk,
it just felt like
the right time to bring it up.
You can always talk to me about anything.
Are you disappointed that
I don't wanna stay with the paper?
I know sometimes it can be hard
to live up to the family legacy,
but I understand your decision.
My dad was Mayor of Pine Grove,
I didn't follow in his footsteps.
But you stayed with the paper,
and you became publisher.
Because it's what I wanted,
and what I loved.
It's not that I don't love the paper.
I do, all of it.
I know. I know,
and all your mother and I want
is for you to find what makes you happy.
-I think I'm on the right path.
-Then there's your answer.
I know moving to New York has been
a big goal of yours for a long time...
but I think I'm the one
who's had trouble letting go.
How many fathers get to work with
their daughters so closely, for so long?
I'll miss that.
Now it's your time...
and seeing the determination
in you every day,
I know you'll do well in New York.
-This is for you.
-Dad, I can't.
It's just a little something
to help you out along the way.
Thank you.
I could never be disappointed in you, Lou.
Now go find yourself.
That's important for us Webbs to do.
-Bye, Dad.
Now, the main difference between
nouvelle cuisine and traditional cooking
is presentation, and the combination
of flavors all in one dish.
So I came up with a lobster ravioli
with ivory-white chestnuts,
scented with butter and thyme,
over a bed of purple carrots,
radishes, and beets.
-What do you think?
-I like it.
Not too far out of the box,
but just far enough.
That's what I was going for.
-Let's get to it.
-All right.
Where's the rest of it?
Nouvelle is also about small plates.
Small plates I get,
but this portion is awfully small.
-Go ahead and try it.
-The presentation is just so pretty, I--
-There's just a lot of flavors going on.
That's the whole point
of nouvelle cuisine.
That may be,
but what I'm not tasting is Christmas.
-We have two more days.
-And more cookbooks to go through.
Hear me out.
It won the drama award for this year.
-The year that the--
-No offense, mayor,
but I don't think your nephew's Christmas
play should go in the time capsule.
But it's a wonderful depiction
of Pine Grove in 2021.
It's the next Our Town.
With all due respect, I saw the play,
and your nephew is no Thornton Wilder.
How about we put a pin in this?
We're still getting submissions every day,
and we have a week until Christmas Eve,
so there's still plenty of time to debate.
Let's talk about the ceremony.
-Lou, you wanna fill us in?
So Santa will be making an appearance,
and passing out toys for the toy drive,
and then Jeralyn will be singing a solo.
I think that covers our agenda.
We'll meet on Saturday
to go over our final choices.
Wanna grab dinner?
I would, but I have to go back
to the office and clean out my desk.
I could come along and help.
I'd love that,
but then we'd be talking all night,
and I have eight years
of memories to go through.
I don't mind going down memory lane.
I know, but you know that
we'd get all sentimental and weepy,
and I wouldn't get anything done.
Good point.
Does your dad still have
that thing from the time capsule
in the window at the newspaper?
The beacon, yeah.
He put it there in case Santa needs
to find his way back to Pine Grove.
Or maybe he put it there
for someone to find her way back.
Trust me, I don't need a beacon.
Hey, Marcy. You guys open for take-out?
Marcy already left.
We closed a bit early tonight.
Okay. Well, have a good night.
No. You don't have to leave.
What were you going to order?
I'll make it for you.
I don't know, maybe a sandwich?
A sandwich?
Come on in. Sit down.
-I'll cook you something better.
-What's wrong with a sandwich?
I hope you like lobster.
I was not expecting something so fancy.
-You look nice.
-Thank you. You too.
That is so delicious.
Good. Marcy and I made that today.
We were working on some recipes
for the Taste of Christmas.
This one didn't make the cut.
Not Christmas-y enough?
That's exactly what she said.
You don't agree?
Well, she also mentioned
there were too many flavors going on.
I'm no food critic, and it is so good.
It does seem a little bit elaborate
compared to what Marcy's known for.
That was kind of what we were going for.
We thought maybe
if we went more nouvelle cuisine,
-it would increase her chances of winning.
-We all know how much she wants that.
If I can help her get it,
it would mean so much.
She taught me to cook.
No wonder you're so comfortable
here in the restaurant.
This kitchen is the first place
I ever cooked.
I was 11 years old.
I thought you didn't grow up
here in Pine Grove.
No, I didn't, but my parents and I,
we'd try to come back
every year for Christmas.
And back when my grandparents
were here, on one visit,
Marcy offered to watch me for a few hours,
so she brought me to the kitchen,
and put me to work.
And even though
I was just peeling potatoes,
I remember watching her and thinking,
"I want to be a chef when I grow up."
That's beautiful.
I'm sure Marcy is thrilled
to have someone follow in her footsteps.
Yeah, she is, but I'm sure you can tell,
our cooking styles are different.
I feel like I can appreciate her style
more than she appreciates mine.
If this ravioli is any indication
of what you can do,
I'm sure you'll have
your own spot one day.
Yeah, maybe.
I'm still at that fork in the road,
but I'll deal with that
after the holidays.
You know... I bet Marcy wins this year
with you on her team.
You think so?
I'll get us more wine.
This is it.
I think...
I just found the winning recipe.
That's a great idea.
My great-grandmother's
old Christmas recipe?
You don't think that's too old-fashioned?
No, not if it's done right.
Maybe with a contemporary twist or two.
No, something's not working with this one.
Maybe too much coriander?
I'd say too much cumin.
Mine's not much better.
Should we start again and use
a pinch of saffron instead of cumin?
I say we take a step back,
clear our heads.
How about a walk, get some fresh air?
No, you go on. I'm gonna clean up here.
That was a long walk.
I stopped to help some neighborhood kids
build a snowman.
You're still at it?
I had an idea,
I wanted to see if it would work.
And did it?
You tell me.
Now, that tastes like Christmas.
-But I can't tell what you've added.
-That's my secret.
You're not gonna tell me?
I'll tell you, when you tell me
the secret to your meatloaf.
Thank you. Please enjoy.
Thank you. Please enjoy.
Kyle, when you take those samples out,
make sure you go all around.
I'll check out the competition
while I'm at it.
Who do we have next?
The Fairfield Cookery.
Fairfield Cookery.
Look at this spread.
It's delicious, I can tell.
But I'll give you a...
I heard that I need to taste your stew.
It's getting rave reviews.
Well, let's hope the judges think so too.
Tastes like a winner to me.
This stew is amazing.
Absolutely fantastic.
Thank you.
Thank you. Please enjoy.
Thank you. Please enjoy.
-Hey. I was just at your booth.
-What do you think?
-The stew is phenomenal.
You and Marcy came up
with an inspired choice.
Okay, good.
Marcy's really anxious about winning,
so I'm going to check out the competition.
Want to join?
Now I see why Marcy's worried.
This Fairfield Cookery
is gonna be tough to beat.
There's a lot of great chefs here.
Well, it's not Chicago,
but we hold our own.
I wish I was here
more often for Christmas.
Is there a reason why you weren't?
Yeah, I missed the last two Christmases
because I was with my ex and her family.
I can't imagine not spending
Christmas in Pine Grove.
Christmas in New York is phenomenal.
You're gonna love it.
But everyone I love is here.
So you're not leaving a boyfriend
or anybody special behind?
Totally single.
I find that surprising.
Thank you, and if I do find a guy,
he's gonna have to love Christmas.
-Is that a deal-breaker?
What's yours?
Well, she would have to love my cooking.
That's too easy.
You're right. Thank you.
I'll take the compliment.
All right, how about this,
she's gotta have a great sense of humor,
and laugh at my corny jokes.
What if she doesn't?
I never thought about that.
-That might be too hard.
-You're laughing.
I'm gonna go find my friends.
Okay. I should get back to the booth.
-I'll be rooting for you and Marcy.
Thank you. Hope you enjoy.
Hey, tell your friends
to get on over before it's all gone.
Marcy? Kyle?
Why don't you take a break for a second?
-Your booth is doing great.
-Thank you.
But we're almost finished up,
so you'd better get some.
Oh, we tried your stew, Marcy.
Believe me, we all did.
So, what's going on?
It's our honor to award
the Pine Grove Tavern
first place for Best Entre
in this year's Taste of Christmas contest.
Hey, congrats, Marcy.
This is so exciting. I can't believe it.
-Thank you.
-You did it, Auntie.
No, we did it.
Yes, we did, didn't we?
One more time for the Pine Grove Tavern.
"I knew this would be
my last Christmas in Pine Grove,
as I'd accepted the newspaper job
in San Francisco."
And it took every ounce of my courage
to ask my beloved Mae to be my wife
and come with me.
It shattered my soul
when she turned me down.
She couldn't bring herself
to leave her family or her new community.
She had more faith in it than I did.
-Hey, Auntie.
-Hey, Kyle. What are you doing here?
I thought you were back at the house.
Getting some last-minute
Christmas shopping done. What about you?
Same. Looking for something for the Webbs.
I saw these adorable earrings for Lou.
I'm just not sure if they're her style.
You've been hanging out with her lately,
you got any ideas?
I didn't even know
she had her ears pierced.
-These are nice, though.
-Thank you.
-Oh, one second.
-Are these the only ones you've got?
No. Yeah,
I'm definitely still available. Sure.
Okay. What kind of restaurant is it?
Okay, great.
No, I'd love to come in for an interview.
I did it. They're perfect.
Okay, all right.
Yeah, I'll see you then. Bye-bye.
- Hey. Hi there. What can I get you?
Two dozen Christmas buns
and a large coffee, please.
Coming right up.
Hey, Lou. How you doing?
Hey. It was a late night.
-Here you go.
-That explains the coffee.
So, what kept you up?
Writing. Or attempting to.
I've heard about this,
the proverbial writer's block.
I know you said inspiration is personal.
How personal does it have to get
before it kicks in?
Well, it's different for everybody.
When you know, you know.
What brings you out so early?
I've got to finish my Christmas shopping.
I still have to get a gift for my aunt.
-You think you can help me out with that?
-I could,
but I'm headed to a committee meeting.
I could meet you in about an hour.
All right. It's a date.
Thank you.
Wait, are these the Christmas buns
everybody's talking about?
Yes, they are, and you need to try some,
but not these ones.
Excuse me? Can I get another one
for my friend, please?
-Thank you.
-Thank you.
-Let me know what you think of them later.
-I will.
Thank you.
Yeah, I've never been
the greatest Christmas gift giver.
You just need to know what people like.
You've got to pay attention sometimes.
-Right, okay.
-Let's try this table.
You really think I should get jewelry
for my aunt for Christmas?
Well, haven't you noticed
she always wears a brooch?
There's so many.
I don't which one to choose.
Think about what Marcy likes to do.
She likes to cook, sing,
boss me around.
Right there.
I think she's gonna like that one.
-Oh, yeah, that's the one.
-He'd like to see that one, please.
Thank you.
Yeah, that's perfect.
Can you warp this up for me? Thank you.
Looking for a Christmas gift for someone?
I've always loved lockets.
There's just something so special
about putting a picture
of someone you love in there,
and wearing it close to your heart.
I know that sounds cheesy.
No, that's not too cheesy.
Thank you.
Thanks. Merry Christmas.
Well, thanks again.
All right, I'm gonna let you
enjoy the rest of your day.
In case you're interested, a few of us
are going to the town square tonight.
It should be a clear night
to look at stars, sit by the fire pit.
Yeah, I--
Sorry. I'm expecting an important message.
Good news?
I've got an interview
at one of the top restaurants in Chicago.
-That's great. Congratulations.
-Thanks, but I don't have the job yet.
I have to cook something for the owner.
So the question is, what do I make?
Why not show him who you are?
Cook what you love.
That's good advice.
-Thank you.
Hey, Lou.
What time tonight?
I'm planning to get there at 8.
I'll see what I can do.
Looking for something?
No, I mentioned to somebody
that I might be here,
but I don't think he's coming.
-It's not a big deal.
You're wearing your new coat,
so I'm guessing it is.
I'm gonna find out sooner or later,
so you might as well tell me.
Two ciders, please.
Remember the waiter from the Tavern?
The cute one?
He's Marcy's nephew from Chicago,
and he's actually an amazing chef.
-Are you two dating?
No, we ran into each other a few times,
that's all. Thank you.
Maybe you are
running into each other for a reason.
No. He's from Chicago and, hello,
I'll be in New York.
You have five days till you leave.
You never know what could happen.
In this case, I do.
-Okay, maybe the two--
-Not gonna happen.
Good luck.
You're going to love everything
about New York, but nothing beats--
Nothing beats a Chicago deep-dish pizza.
What? Everybody knows
that New York pizza is the best.
Everybody's wrong.
I knew there was a catch.
I knew there was a catch.
Hey, you never forget
your first meal in the Big Apple, never.
It sticks with you forever.
Like something you're passionate--
Do you remember
the first book you wrote?
I was 6 when I wrote my first book.
You were 6?
When you wrote your first book?
Yes, but, okay,
there was exactly one copy,
and it was printed on cardstock
from my dad's office.
-And did the author sign the book?
-With crayon.
What was it about?
A little girl that goes to the North Pole
to make sure Santa
is giving gifts to the elves.
-And you wrote it yourself?
My dad helped me with the pictures.
He took it to the paper and got it
professionally printed, bound, everything.
And he got it wrapped,
and I opened it on Christmas morning,
and I saw, "Written by Louise Webb."
I never forgot that.
Won't be long before you see
your name like that again.
It's frustrating, you know?
Nothing that I've been writing lately
has been sticking.
I write the words,
and they just slide off the page.
Well, keep going.
Sooner or later, something's gonna stick.
Your passion has taken you this far.
You'll get it.
Thank you.
You know what I think will help
with your writer's block?
You chefs think
chocolate solves everything.
It does.
This is the last batch.
-We get better at this every single year.
-We sure do.
-For me, it's the highlight of the season.
-Me too.
Despite all the work.
So much of it.
I was thinking
that I would wear my red dress.
Would you mind if I borrow
your charm bracelet again?
Of course not,
but I think you should keep it.
-I was going to give it to you eventually,
so it might as well be now.
It'll be nice knowing you'll take
a piece of me with you to New York.
Oh, Mom.
I love you.
I love you too.
Hey, Del, it's great
to finally see your restaurant.
Well, I've heard a lot about you
from our mutual friend, Michael.
-He's been singing your praises.
-Hopefully, I can live up to it.
-I've prepared two of my favorite dishes.
-Great. Let's give them a go.
This kanpachi tartare is outstanding.
The flavors are just right.
This is very nice.
-Thank you.
-Now, what's this?
This is Christmas Caroler's Stew.
It's an old family recipe.
Also very nice, but a little too meat
and potatoes, if you know what I mean.
Well, since it's Christmas,
it might be fun to have a seasonal dish.
Fair enough. Both of these dishes
certainly showcase your talents.
Why don't you give me a couple days
to get back to you?
My chef is leaving after New Year's,
and I need to fill that spot soon.
-Are you available then?
-Yes, absolutely.
That's good to know.
Sorry we're late.
Kyle just got back from Chicago.
I had to stay at the restaurant
to clean up.
No worries.
I'm just happy you both could make it.
That is a lovely pin, Marcy.
Oh, you know me and my brooches.
Who doesn't?
I see your father, I'll go say hello.
Excuse me.
So how did things go in Chicago?
Pretty good. I took your advice.
-Which advice?
-I made something I love.
I think the owner liked it too,
but I won't know
until he offers me the job.
-I'll bet he does.
-Yeah? What makes you say that?
Call it a hunch.
Lou, come and say hello to the Marshalls.
-Mrs. Webb, this is quite the spread.
-Thank you.
We go all out every year.
This party is a long-lasting tradition?
It started with Eli's grandfather, Louis,
in 1925 when he built this house.
He didn't have much family of his own,
so he invited anyone
who didn't have somewhere to go.
That way, no one was on their own.
Wow, that's a lot of Christmas parties.
Well, this town loves its traditions.
Yeah, I noticed.
You really do have a beautiful home.
Thank you.
It is, isn't it? Care for a tour?
Yeah, I'd love one.
Excuse us.
This is one of my favorite places.
I used to come out here,
snuggle up with a cup of hot cocoa,
watch the snow fall, and become inspired.
I thought you said Hemingway inspired you.
Yeah, well, he came after.
After reading him,
and Fitzgerald, and Dorothy Parker,
the plan was to go to New York
and become a novelist.
So, what stopped you?
My parents offered me a job at the paper.
I thought it'd be good experience
before New York.
Was it?
But I didn't think
I'd stay as long as I did,
and I never could quite find the time
to finish my book.
Sounds like an excuse to me.
I suppose it is.
I had a big birthday this year,
and seeing all that my friends
had accomplished,
and I was still stuck in Pine Grove
at the same job,
I suddenly became terrified
that I would never achieve my dreams,
so I thought, to do that, I had to leave.
Yeah, I get that.
It's too bad, though.
It would have been nice to spend some more
Christmases here with Aunt Marcy.
-What makes you say that?
-I might have met you a whole lot sooner.
Lou, I've been looking for you.
We need you at the piano.
Oh, right. Coming.
Good evening, everyone.
I'd like to thank you all
for coming tonight.
I know we all look forward to this
year after year.
Lou, take it away.
How come no one ever asks me to sing?
Because you sound like a foghorn.
O Holy Night
The stars are brightly shining
It is the night
Of our dear Savior's birth
Long lay the world
In sin and error pining
'Til he appeared
And the soul felt its worth
A thrill of hope
The weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks
A new and glorious morn
On your knees
Oh, hear
The angel voices
Oh, night
Oh, night
Oh, night divine
Oh, night
Oh, night
Oh, night
Pine Grove had made me feel
part of something
for the first time in my life,
and I was deeply in love with Mae,
so it was with heavy heart
that I contemplated leaving.
I wrestled with this decision for days,
but it wasn't until I realized
exactly what I'd be leaving behind
that I had a change of heart.
My community had become my family,
and it dawned on me that--
"...everyone I loved was here."
"Every town is filled with memories,
especially at Christmas."
No one could have imagined
that something found inside
a 100-year-old time capsule
would have such a profound effect
on a young woman at a crossroads,
or that she would utter
the same words as her great-grandfather
whom she had never met.
"'Everyone I love is here.'
It was enough to stop her in her tracks."
-I was thinking about today's special.
-The Quiche Lorraine?
Yeah. How do you feel
about changing it up a bit?
What did you have in mind?
How about a cranberry tart
with pancetta and thyme?
It's more or less still a quiche.
It sounds delicious. Let's do it.
"Her great-grandfather insisted
that he'd only printed the story
to sell more newspapers,
telling her, 'People want to believe
in miracles at Christmas,
because that's when the magic happens.'
But she wondered if there was more
to the story than he let on.
For instance, why was the beacon
placed in the time capsule?
And then it dawned on her.
It wasn't the whimsy
of the Christmas season,
it was his way of telling them
that he had found his way home."
Hey, it's Lou Webb. Yeah.
I'd like to place a lunch order to go.
Special of the day,
cranberry tart with pancetta and thyme.
Thank you. You didn't have to do this.
It's a special delivery.
Let me know how you like it.
You have not failed me yet.
Come inside, come in.
-I hope I'm not interrupting anything.
-No, I have been writing all morning.
How is the Spanish Civil War going?
I put that aside.
I actually started writing something new,
something I really love,
and everything just fell into place,
and I wouldn't have even stopped writing,
except I got hungry.
Well, that's great.
Now you don't have to move.
Are you kidding?
I'm even more excited to get to New York.
-Then I'm happy you had a breakthrough.
-I'm pretty happy about it myself.
We should celebrate.
This is my celebration.
-We can do better than that.
-Like what?
Go out with me.
That is an interesting proposition.
It hadn't crossed your mind?
It might have.
You know, for two people who met
fighting over pepper and salt shakers,
we're way ahead of the game.
We have done a lot
in a short amount of time.
So let's keep the momentum going?
What did you have in mind?
I heard there's a sleigh ride tonight.
I can pick you up around 6?
Unless you have other plans.
I'm really behind on packing,
and the movers are going to be here
in a couple of days.
Yeah, I guess the move
is pretty close, huh?
-It'll be here before we know it.
-So, what are we saying?
That maybe we shouldn't start something
we can't finish.
Would've been nice.
All right, I'll...
I'll see you around.
Sorry I'm late.
Where have you been?
I started writing
and I lost track of time.
-We printed your last story.
-It's not for the paper.
I started writing a new book,
and the pages just poured out of me.
-That's awesome!
-I know.
And since you're in such a good mood,
there's one thing I want to ask you.
What's up?
Are you taking your desk chair with you?
Because if not,
-can I have it?
-What is your problem?
It's just so much better than mine.
It really goes.
-Okay, it's all yours.
-Thanks, sis.
-This place won't be the same without you.
-I know.
But at least you'll always have my chair
to remember me by.
Let's get you a drink.
-Pour it on up.
Here's to having you on board.
Thanks. I'm very excited.
Now, you mentioned on the phone
that you had some ideas about the menu.
Yeah. I've spent the last two weeks
in a small town
working at my aunt's restaurant.
Mainly comfort food,
but well-prepared, high-quality.
It's the type of cooking that reminded me
why I wanted to become a chef
in the first place,
and the type of food
that first inspired me.
Now, now, don't get me wrong,
I love nouvelle cuisine, I love it,
but I was thinking
maybe we could combine the two.
Comfort and nouvelle.
I understand where you're coming from,
and it's a unique approach.
It's just not the right one for my vision.
Now, come on,
I'd like to introduce you to the staff.
Okay, everybody.
Time to open up the Secret Santa gifts.
Oh, gifts, yes.
I think, this year, Lou should go first.
-Are you my Secret Santa?
I'm not telling.
It's a going-away gift
from the entire staff.
I can't believe
you managed to keep a secret!
It took restraint.
Thank you. This is the perfect gift,
and I'm going to miss all of you so much.
We're just so proud of you,
and wish you all the best on your journey.
-Here's to Lou.
-To Lou.
To Lou.
-I'm gonna miss you, sis.
-I love you guys.
-Hey, you made it!
-Of course.
-Here, let me help you with that.
-Thank you.
Merry Christmas Eve eve, everyone!
Just wanted to say thank you so much
for another wonderful year at the Tavern,
and winning back
the "Taste of Christmas" title
was just the perfect gift.
And I also want to pay a special thank you
to my nephew, Kyle,
who's also just invaluable
in preparing tonight's celebration,
and he's also done
a greater service for me.
He has decided, finally,
after so many years away,
to spend Christmas with his aunt.
Kyle, it means so much to me
to see how far you've come in your life,
in your career,
and that you'd take the time to share it.
Well, maybe in the spirit of Christmas,
you can share the secret ingredient
in your meatloaf?
I could...
if you're willing to share the
secret ingredient for the Caroler's Stew.
Maybe after dinner.
All right, everyone, dig in,
and thank you all again, really.
Hey, what's with the long face?
What are you talking about?
Well, for a guy
who just landed the perfect job,
-you don't seem too excited.
-I didn't take it. I turned it down.
Why? What changed your mind?
On the drive back,
I had time to think about it.
I guess you could say Pine Grove.
You've wanted
a job like that forever, Kyle.
Yeah, I know,
but I had a rediscovery
over the last couple of weeks.
Cooking with you, and the contest...
it brought out something
I haven't felt in a long time.
I want to bring my own ideas to my work,
and not just implement
someone else's, you know?
So, what are you going to do?
I haven't thought that far yet.
Well, this might be
a happy coincidence then.
-What do you mean?
-What about working here?
As chef, here?
Not, not just as chef.
-A partner.
-A partner?
I'm gonna retire eventually, Kyle.
Not soon, but someday.
And I want someone I can trust
to take care of the business
after I leave.
Now, you don't have to decide now,
just think about it.
You okay?
Yeah. Just feeling a little bit nostalgic.
Do you want to come over
and sit around the Christmas tree?
Or we could watch a Christmas movie.
I think I'm gonna take a walk,
clear my head.
Well, whatever you got on your mind,
I know you'll figure it out.
Yeah. Thanks, Mom.
-Night, Dad.
-Good night.
Mind if I ask what you're doing
sitting alone in the middle of town?
-Just thinking.
Too many things.
That's the problem.
You mind if I join you?
I've got a few things
I need to think about too.
You want to talk about it?
Not really.
I'm good just sitting here.
If you listen hard enough,
you can hear the sounds of Christmas.
You can?
I can't hear anything.
I hear...
the fireplace crackling...
carolers singing...
and even the bells
from the sleigh ride we didn't take.
Hey, you know,
that would have been a lot of fun.
Maybe next year.
I'll be back for Christmas.
Yeah, so will I.
You want to get that?
Brice, hi.
Tell Jeralyn that I'll be right there.
I'm gonna be an aunt. I've gotta go.
Hang on, I'll drive you.
Thank you.
I can't believe our first grandchild
was born just after midnight.
He is so cute.
We think so.
Where did Brice go?
I don't know.
He just said he had something to do.
It's gonna be a lot of fun
having a little one around again.
And babysitting,
and watching him growing up.
I am gonna love being a grandmother.
You are gonna be
the best grandparents.
And I like the part about the babysitting.
So do I.
I'll just have to catch up
when I come back on visits.
We'll be here...
and you'll always be his aunt,
no matter where you are.
I don't think that's good enough.
I just heard that we've got
the first Christmas Eve baby born today,
and I've got some photos of him
already printed out.
-Can I have one of those?
Well, since he is the first Christmas baby
born in Pine Grove,
and he is a fifth-generation Webb,
it's only fitting to put this picture
into the time capsule.
And that way,
in 100 years from now,
when the town opens it,
there will, hopefully,
still be some Webbs here
to find out
what Christmas was like for us.
If you wanna get that picture
in the time capsule,
shouldn't you all be getting over there?
The ceremony is starting soon,
and someone has to take my place.
You sure went to great lengths
to get out of your solo...
but I do have to say, he's so worth it.
It's my pleasure
to now introduce Louise Webb
to sing "This Christmas."
Hang all the mistletoe
I'm gonna get to know you better
This Christmas
And as we trim the tree
How much fun it's gonna be together
This Christmas
Fireside is blazing bright
We're caroling through the night
And this Christmas will be
A very special Christmas
For me, yeah
Presents and cards are here
My world is filled with cheer
And you
This Christmas
And as I look around
Your eyes outshine the town
They do
This Christmas
Fireside is blazing bright
We're caroling through the night
And this Christmas will be
A very special Christmas
For me, yeah
Thank you, Lou. That was beautiful!
Thank you.
And next up,
it's time to load
the Christmas time capsule!
As you all know,
everyone was invited to submit items
for the new time capsule.
Your submissions were overwhelming,
but we narrowed it down to 12 items
we felt would best represent
to future generations
what Christmas in Pine Grove
was like in 2021.
So, once again,
I'm delighted to turn things over
to Eli and Lou Webb.
Thank you, Mayor Townsend.
In no particular order,
these are the items:
A Christmas edition
of The Pine Grove Register.
A not-so-lovely Christmas sweater,
which I hope
they don't judge us too harshly for.
We have a picture of Main Street
as it looks today.
We have a menu,
and an award-winning
"Taste of Christmas" recipe
from our beloved Pine Grove Tavern.
Did you submit the recipe?
And before we continue,
we're including a photo
of Pine Grove's newest resident,
Christopher Webb,
the youngest descendant
of one of our town's founders,
Louis Webb.
This is what Christmas is all about.
there are a few things
that are going to take getting used to,
which is what I was trying
to tell you last night.
What things?
Well, I decided
not to take that job in Chicago.
To be honest,
I haven't had
this much fun cooking since...
I don't even know when,
so I decided to stay here
and partner with my aunt.
-Well, you are an award-winning team.
You had something to do with it.
I did?
I don't know, maybe we can make it work.
I'm willing to go to New York
as often as I need to...
I'm falling for you.
I also had a change of plans.
Oh, really?
I'm not moving to New York.
I can write from anywhere,
and when the time is right,
I can find a publisher,
but this...
is right now.
I'm falling for you too.
Seeing as Christmas
is right around the corner...
Go ahead.
It's not too corny, is it?
Just corny enough. I love it.
You may not have noticed Marcy's pin,
but you do pay attention.
Did you see that? The beacon just lit up.
I don't know if it was the beacon,
but, yeah, I thought I saw a light.
Probably a power surge,
energy surge, something like that.
But it is Christmas...
and that's when the magic happens.