Best. Christmas. Ever! (2023) Movie Script

[festive music playing]
[mouse clicking]
[festive music continues]
[woman 1] A lot of people
feel that holiday newsletters
are corny and old-fashioned.
[Santa] Ho-ho-ho!
[woman 1] But in our family,
they're a time-honored tradition,
so here goes.
[keyboard clacking]
"Dear friends, family,
and fellow Earth dwellers."
"We're back,
after a brief one-year hiatus,
to report on the latest
and greatest in the Jennings family."
"Life just seems to fly by,
but that's what happens
when you're having a splendiferous time."
"At only ten years old,
our daughter, Beatrix,
became the youngest person ever
accepted to Harvard University."
"As for our oldest son, Daniel,
his work continues helping to avert
a humanitarian crisis in Africa,
and building a water purification system
that'll bring fresh
and clean water to thousands."
- Ugh.
- "And my better half, Valentino,
runs a highly-successful karate dojo."
"He's also directing
our town's annual Christmas pageant,
which is Hadley Falls' biggest event
of the year."
"And In case you're wondering
about little ol' me,
well, my hard work finally paid off,
and I was able to sell Jennings Aviation
this year and retire early."
"I'm always searching for new adventures."
"The latest is fulfilling
Daniel's dream to promote green energy
by taking a family trip around the world
in a solar-powered hot air balloon."
- [music stops suddenly]
- [woman 2] Really?
Who sends Christmas letters anymore?
I mean, how much
of this can a person take?
[light music plays]
Don't bother. I know the answer.
As for me, I would never send
one of those letters.
Why, you might ask?
Well, my family's accomplishments
are hardly newsworthy.
This is my youngest, Dora.
Cute as a button.
[triumphant music playing]
But thanks to Marvel,
she believes she has superpowers.
"Super strength"?
Okay, we can cross that one off the list.
Never mind.
Let's get in the car.
And do me a favor, give me
a heads-up before you try flying again.
Okay, Mom.
I know everyone thinks their kids
are exceptional, but... come on already.
I nominate Bob for copilot.
- He's a born navigator.
- [woman 2] And then there's Grant.
- [bang snaps popping]
- [woman 2] He thinks he's a ninja warrior.
And his only friend in the world
is a stufty named Monkey Bob.
- Do we really have to go to Aunt Stacy's?
- They're family. It's Christmas.
Why can't we go to Jackie's house?
- Who?
- Your pal Jackie from this letter.
They sound super awesome.
You are friends, right?
Pfft! I mean, no. Yes, we were.
- Sort of. A long time ago.
- I wanna fly in her balloon.
[scoffs] Okay. Well, let me tell you
something about my BFF, Jackie.
I would love nothing more
than to show up at her house uninvited
and to see the actual truth
of all her imagined...
Forget it.
Uh, put Aunt Stacy's new address in here,
and don't download any games.
Hop on in. Okay, kiddo?
[woman 2] This is my adorable husband,
the dreamer.
Every house he sees for sale,
he thinks it's an opportunity
to make some big money.
- Check this out.
- [woman 2] He dreams. I worry.
We can't afford to buy
that house right now.
- Let's just dip into the emergency fund.
- That would be a swan dive.
It's for emergencies,
like losing our jobs, or a flood, or...
[lively music playing]
Your Chip Mitt is gonna pay off, babe.
It's just taking
a little longer than we thought.
- A little.
- What was it John Lennon said?
"Life is what happens
when you're busy making other plans."
[woman 2] As for me, I finally gave up
my dream to be a famous inventor.
I'm a reliability engineer
with StarTech Industries.
When stuff you buy goes south,
like our flaming vacuum cleaner here,
which Consumer Weekly
nicknamed "The Vacuum of Death,"
- I'm the one you call to clean up... Oop!
- [igniting]
[sighs] All right.
[car door slams]
Um, I think Bob just peed in the car.
Gross! What if I have super smell?
It'll be way, way worse for me.
It's gonna be a long drive to my sister's.
Yep. All right,
the Sanders holiday travel train
is finally leaving the station.
Choo choo!
[woman 2] Only two hours behind schedule.
We are improving.
Hit the brakes!
- [brakes screech]
- [screams]
[Grant] Oh...
- Dude!
- I just remembered.
We forgot to tell Santa where we'll be!
What if he sees we're not there
and gives our presents
to the kids next door?
First of all,
don't ever scream, "Hit the brakes."
And second, Santa knows.
How do you know he knows?
- 'Cause I called him.
- You actually spoke... to Santa?
The fat man and I are like that, yo!
Don't do that in public.
- Okay!
- [festive music playing]
Everybody, come on over
[man] Wow.
Is that...
Uh, the Jennings Holiday Newsletter.
They missed sending it last year.
- I was wondering how they were doing.
- Well, that's not gonna tell you anything.
It's the most absurd thing ever.
It's a holiday letter. They're always...
Smug? Boastful?
Overly positive.
I mean, doesn't it bother you
that she makes up this preposterous stuff,
and then she broadcasts it
to her "fellow Earth dwellers"?
[mockingly] Like,
"Oh, you're life is amazing."
- How do you know she's making it up?
- That's who she is.
Do you remember when she said
she was best friends with Mariah Carey,
and she got her to sing at our graduation,
and then Mariah's tour bus
conveniently got a flat?
And she even claimed
that you proposed to her three times.
[scoffs] Well, that is ridiculous.
It was only once.
You're just defending her
'cause when you two dated,
you were in that No Doubt cover band.
- It was not a cover band.
- It was called Total Certainty.
- We sang all original songs.
- That sounded exactly like No Doubt.
Okay, look, I'm not defending anyone,
but just because Jackie
embellishes a little does not mean...
Nobody's life is that wonderful,
that perfect, that "splendiferous."
By, uh... "nobody's life,"
you mean ours?
- Rob!
- Let me know when you wanna switch.
[Rob grunts softly, sighs]
["We Wish You a Merry Christmas" playing]
[automated voice] In half a mile,
take the exit on the right.
We wish you a merry Christmas
We wish you a merry Christmas
We wish you a merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
We wish you a merry Christmas
Wish you a merry...
- Wish you a merry...
- [song fades]
[ethereal music playing]
[expectant music playing]
I thought your sister moved closer to us.
- Isn't it almost midnight?
- I know. It does seem far.
Could that be her house?
- It sure is pretty.
- [Rob] Are you kidding me?
Did you see the Santa on the...
It's like a real-life sled.
[expectant music continues]
Looks like Stacy hit the lottery.
I mean, she said her new house was nicer,
but I didn't think it'd be this nicer.
Okay, you guys stay in the car.
I texted to let them know we'd be late.
I hope they're still up.
- [doorbell ringing]
- [man on recording] Ho-ho-ho!
- [electricity flickers]
- [recording winds down]
Oh no.
- [grunts] Damn it.
- [door opens]
- [gasps]
- [gasps]
Charlotte Sanders?
Jackie Jennings?
Oh my God!
Robbie, my rocker! Hey.
Hey, Jax. [chuckles dryly]
What on earth are you doing here?
I mean, is the band getting back together?
I was gonna ask you the same question.
Isn't this my sister Stacy's house?
Uh, no, silly. This is my house.
Honey, are you sure you put
the right address in your phone?
Of course I'm sure.
Oh wait, actually, I didn't put it in, I...
Merry Christmas, Mom.
Oh wow. He's stealthy.
I'm guessing he's one of yours?
Not for long.
Grant Sanders, you have no idea how
much trouble you and that monkey are in.
But you said there was
nothing you would love more
than to show up
at Jackie's house uninvited...
- Oh, that's enough.
- [Jackie] You said that?
Uh, technically, I may have.
That is so sweet, Char.
Listen, I have been putting
"stop by anytime"
on our newsletter for years,
and nobody has ever
taken us up on the offer.
Val and I actually have a bet going,
and what I just won is gonna
put us on Santa's "very naughty" list.
- [whispers] If you know what I mean.
- I'll try to imagine.
- [Jackie laughs]
- This is so awkward, um...
Oh, I am so sorry for waking you up.
I'm sorry for the mix-up,
and, um, well, have a good night.
Wait a minute. Where do you think
you're going, young lady?
Oh, well, to my sister's.
At this hour? I don't think so.
Grab your bags.
There is plenty of room here at the inn.
Oh, no, no.
Are we here? I gotta pee super badly.
Me too.
Me three.
Okay. Well, we're gonna
leave first thing in the morning.
Of course! After breakfast.
You have to meet the fam.
Okay, come on.
Whoa, this place is like Wayne Manor.
[intriguing music playing]
I hope you grounded him for life!
He's claiming it was
all Monkey Bob's idea,
who, by the way, has his own room,
and it's bigger than our entire apartment.
- I guess he needs his space.
- [knock on door]
I remember Robbie's toes
get cold at night.
Now, I am right next door.
If you guys need anything,
you just knock, okay?
Oh, and, Robbie, look what I found.
This is when we won
the Battle of the Bands.
- We killed it that night!
- [laughs] What?
- [Jackie] Remember?
- Wow! Well...
Yeah, that was a long time ago.
Ah! It feels like yesterday.
[chuckles softly]
Okay. So cute.
Good night, Robbie.
Good night, Jax.
- [door closes]
- Oh my God. "Jax. Robbie."
[chuckles] You guys had pet names?
I mean, how serious were you?
I thought you just kinda sorta dated?
Well, we sorta did.
But Jax... Jackie...
Jacqueline was, uh, you know,
she was my first college girlfriend.
[Charlotte] Mm-hmm.
[Rob sighs softly]
- [light music plays]
- Hmm. Hmm.
So, what did you see in her, anyway?
Oh God.
I don't know.
I was young and sheltered,
and she was, like,
smart, and crazy, and spontaneous.
- I mean, she was always up for anything.
- Huh.
Well, I'm spontaneous.
I'm always up for anything.
You are?
[intriguing music playing]
[Charlotte] Mmm.
- But here?
- Sure.
- Now?
- Why not?
I don't trust your motives.
- What does that mean?
- It's suspicious behavior, that's all.
Got it.
Okay. [grunts softly]
Night, Miss Spontaneous.
- [mischievous music playing]
- [bed rattling]
[rattling continues]
Guess she won the bet.
- [glass shatters]
- [Charlotte] Oops!
Looks better this way.
What... Really, Charlotte?
No, no, you don't understand.
I didn't do anything. It fell.
[Rob] Yeah.
[rattling continues]
[expectant music playing]
- [shrieks]
- [door opens]
There you are, buddy. Sorry, Mom.
Sometimes Bob likes to watch you sleep.
- Um, where is everybody?
- Kitchen.
Is it okay if we try
to find the car after breakfast?
Sure. I mean, wait.
What do you mean, "find the car"?
["Snow" by JJ Heller playing]
It won't be long
Before we'll all be there with snow...
Don't bother, Nanook.
What do you mean?
We have to get to my sister's.
I already spoke to Stacy.
They got hit worse than us.
Totally snowed in.
We'll try to see her for New Year's.
Come inside. Jackie and Val
whipped up an incredible breakfast.
But then we're going home!
On skis, chains, sled dogs, whatever.
By the way, try not to stare.
Stare? Why would I...
- ["O Holy Night" playing]
- O, holy Night
The stars are brightly shining
It is the night...
Charlotte Sanders.
It's nice to finally meet you.
I'm Valentino Miguel Garcia Jennings.
Freshly squeezed.
[Charlotte] Mmm!
Long lay the world
In sin and error pining...
- [in Spanish] No good?
- Yes.
[in English] Chest I ever ha...
I mean, it's the best.
The best I ever had.
I am so excited to talk
to you about your dissertation.
[Charlotte] You've read my dissertation?
A bedtime story for our daughter, Beatrix.
We both found it... fascinating.
[giggles nervously]
[sipping loudly]
Ah! Honey, this is Beatrix.
I found a few calculation errors
in your formula, by the way.
Sweetheart, what did we tell you?
- Don't correct the guest.
- Mm-hmm.
She's our little genius.
Cute. But there were no errors.
[Jackie] Pancakes are ready.
First up, Dora.
Here you are, sweetie.
Look, Mom!
Aunt Jackie made pancake shapes.
Wow, pancake shapes, just like I make.
No. These look like real things.
- And mine look like what?
- Not Super Dora.
Aunt Jackie, Uncle Val, Bob would like to
thank you for your generous hospitality.
He's not used to being treated so...
Well, man or a monkey, a guest is a guest.
For my king of rock and roll.
[laughs] Oh!
What? That's amazing. It's a crown.
It's a crown.
Mom, what was all that banging last night?
Oh! That was just your Aunt Jackie
and Uncle Val moving some furniture.
- [Val] Mmm.
- It's an adult thing.
You guys don't move
furniture like that at night.
Uh... oh.
We, um, move furniture all the time.
We just do it quietly.
But that doesn't mean
it's not getting moved
and getting moved real well.
The nucleus of an atom.
For the girl who single-handedly
got me through Physics 101.
[chuckles] Listen, your mother
was the most brilliant student in college.
Without her as my tutor,
I never would have graduated.
Oh, which reminds me,
Robbie, did you ask her yet?
Ask me what?
Oh, well, um...
Jaqueline, uh, invited us
to stay for Christmas.
Yes! It will be so great, Char.
I mean, we can catch up
and have us some serious girl time.
It's been way too long.
That is incredibly generous,
but we could not possibly...
Christmas with Jackie
is a life-altering experience.
Please, Mom.
Me and Bob wanna stay. Please?
Oh, um...
[laughs] I mean, um...
It's up to your dad. Rob?
[chuckles] Uh...
Well, then it's settled.
'Cause Robbie already said yes.
- [bell ringing]
- Do we all hear that?
- Yeah! I heard it! It's...
- [Dora] I hear bells.
- [Dora] Sleigh bells!
- I... I hear it.
[Grant] Yeah.
[imitating Bob] I heard it too.
I heard it.
Are there letters in the stockings?
How do you like that?
Ooh! This one
is addressed to Theodora Sanders.
Is that what Dora is short for?
I thought it was "adorable."
And, ooh, Grant!
- Really?
- [Jackie] Mm-hmm.
And there's another one to a Bob Sanders.
Could that be Monkey Bob?
[chuckling] I wonder who they're from?
[Grant] It's from Santa!
[Jackie gasps softly]
It says, "Dear Honorable Ninja Grant."
But the flue was closed.
"I've been informed
you'll be staying with the super cool
Jennings family this Christmas."
"I will deliver your presents
to their home in Hadley Falls."
"Merry Christmas. Santa Claus."
Best Christmas ever.
How could you say yes? Now we are trapped.
This isn't the Donner Pass.
And I didn't say yes.
I just said
I was fine with it if you were.
We still have
three days till Christmas Eve.
We leave as soon as the weather clears,
we can get home in time for...
What? For what?
- What is wrong with Christmas here?
- Ugh.
Is the real reason
you don't wanna stay what I think it is?
You mean about you and Jackie?
Pfft! Don't be ridiculous.
Are you sure?
'Cause, look,
I would totally understand if...
I'm positive.
I mean, I'm not threatened by Jackie.
Okay. All right. I was just
being sensitive to the situation.
- There's no need.
- [chuckles]
So if it's not about that,
then what is it?
Is this about the letter?
- [Charlotte] Uh, what letter?
- Come on.
You thought it was BS,
and now that we know it isn't...
We do not know that it isn't BS.
Babe, have you had a look around?
I mean... besides ogling Valentino.
- [laughs] I was not ogling!
- Okay. Sure.
"Chest I ever had"? [chuckles]
- Real smooth, Charlotte.
- [groans]
I was flustered. Like...
- But you are way hotter than him.
- Mmm.
- Mm-hmm.
- Ugh. I had taken a look around.
And something is off here.
I can't put my finger on it.
But did you see how fast
she came up with those Santa letters?
And what about, like,
her other kid who's not here, Daniel?
You read the newsletter.
- He's in, uh, Kosovo or somewhere.
- Uh-huh.
You know, look,
I know it's kind of spontaneous and crazy,
but they're really nice people.
Maybe you can just
fake having a good time.
- Pretend we're visiting my mother.
- What did you just say?
Uh, maybe you can just
fake having a good time.
- You're right.
- I am?
Let's be spontaneous.
[mischievous music playing]
Okay, so maybe that's true.
Doesn't mean everything else is.
So, you're the Harvard girl.
I am.
- [dramatic note plays]
- Checkmate!
[Charlotte] I can admit the kid's good.
[mischievous music continues]
Fine. Whatever.
Mariah Carey?
Good for them.
- Ms. Sanders?
- Huh?
- Grant mentioned you work for StarTech.
- Oh! Yeah, I do.
I dunno if you have any company shares,
but hedge fund superstar Ken Griffin
over at Citadel is shorting the stock.
You might wanna get out while you can.
You're so cute!
Are you patronizing me?
Me? No.
Point is, I may be small in stature,
Ms. Sanders, but I am tall in intellect.
- Beatrix, don't intimidate the guests!
- She wasn't intimidating me.
- Mind if we take your car?
- Our car? But we're snowbound.
See? Were snowbound.
Driveway is heated, melts in hours.
And they are rock stars
at plowing the roads around here.
Come on. Let's get us a tree. [exclaims]
- ["O Christmas Tree" jazz version playing]
- O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree
How lovely are your branches?
O Christmas tree...
Ooh! Nice, firm needles.
- [Val] Oh yeah. That's a nice one, baby.
- [Jackie] Mm-hmm!
Sturdy trunk.
It's okay.
- Oh. Sticky.
- [Rob] Yeah, love it. Sturdy. Firm.
Isn't this one, I don't know,
kind of ginormous?
- Well, Val is hugely festive.
- Oof!
- [Jackie chuckling]
- You inspire me, mi amor.
[Jackie] Ooh!
- Okay, okay, okay!
- [both chuckling]
- Baby, not at the tree lot.
- Well...
[Rob exclaims]
- Inspiration? Inspiration?
- [Rob] Charlotte!
Okay. Okay.
[Rob] Mmm!
- Ow! Ow, ow, ow! Ow, ow, ow!
- [both] Ow!
Can you just... Wait.
Hold on, hold on, hold on.
- [hair ripping]
- [both exclaim]
It's a little sap.
From the tree.
[all laughing]
- [Charlotte] Are you okay?
- [man laughs] Ho-ho-ho!
- [Grant] Santa!
- Well, hello there, children.
Merry Christmas.
Merry Christmas.
Thanks for sending the letters.
Letters. Letters, uh...
Mmm. Oh, yes, of course! Right.
The letters. You're very welcome.
We were pleasantly surprised to
find them under our pillows this morning.
I'm glad they arrived safe and sound.
Merry Christmas.
The letter wasn't under my pillow.
Ooh! What's this?
Oh, it's nothing.
That's a Chip Mitt. It's one of
Charlotte's brilliant inventions.
Oh, right! Back in college, you used to
come up with all the cool gadgets.
What does this one do?
It's, um... It's a glove that uses
a reverse static charge to repel crumbs.
Why would you need
a glove to repel crumbs?
Well, it's for when you're eating snacks...
Well, never mind. [laughs]
I mean, it's, um...
Never mind.
Well, you know,
Daniel always wanted to be an inventor.
Always hoping to change the world.
[Charlotte laughs] Well, it's a Chip Mitt.
It's not gonna end world hunger.
Speaking of which,
we read about what Daniel's been up to,
and you must be so proud.
[exhales] He's an inspiration.
I wish he was here.
Anyway, everything comes
with a purpose, Charlotte.
Chip Mitt included.
And when God gives you a gift,
the best "thank you" is to use it.
- I love that.
- I love you, baby.
- All right, watch out.
- Okay.
- Here you go.
- Yeah.
Here it comes.
- [loud bang]
- [all exclaim]
That'll buff right out.
[festive music playing]
- [Jackie] Hey, did the mail come?
- Yeah, just bringing it right up.
[laughing nervously]
Thank you, Char.
[breathes deeply and exclaims]
So, um, have you
had any contact with Jackie lately?
I mean, besides receiving her newsletter?
Me? No. Why?
Oh, I'm just asking.
- Are you okay?
- Well, why wouldn't I be?
[festive music playing]
- [Grant] Dad, can I have one?
- [Rob] I forgot what a good cook you are.
- [Jackie] Well, you know I love to bake.
- [Rob] It's all coming back to me now.
[Grant] I want cake too.
- This meal, are you kidding? Oh my God.
- [indistinct chatter]
- Can I have one?
- [Val] Yes!
- For you.
- [Beatrix] Aren't they good?
[Rob] The turkey!
Did you massage it for three hours?
[overlapping chatter]
[Beatrix] My mom makes the best cookies.
I think they're better than gourmet.
You gotta try it. It's so good.
Isn't she something?
You are something. Unbelievable.
I don't know how you do it.
- She is something else!
- [Val] She is.
["Santa Baby" by Serena Ryder
playing in background]
[Charlotte] Ugh.
Charlotte Sanders!
Come. Have a drink with me.
I would love to.
Yeah, come on.
Please, sit.
- Yes!
- Try it first. It's a little... Oh!
- Okay.
- [laughing]
More, maybe?
- Is something wrong?
- Oh no.
Well, I, um... I...
Talk to me. Please.
Um, well, um, I was just wondering,
does Jackie ever talk about Rob?
- No.
- No.
- No. Why do you ask?
- I'm just curious, that's all. Yeah.
Yeah. Okay.
It bothers you to see
Rob and Jackie back together again.
I don't know. Maybe a little.
[laughs] Well, I mean, does it...
does it bother you?
No. No, I...
I appreciate it
when men find my wife attractive.
Well, wait. So,
do you think Rob finds Jackie attractive?
Do you find me attractive?
Um, sure. [laughs]
You're a very handsome, gorgeous man.
Why are you asking?
I am just trying to show you that
two people can be attracted to each other
without it meaning anything.
Do you find me attractive?
[on TV] Look at this.
[Beatrix] Santa Claus.
According to the 1934 treatise,
"Santa Claus Is Coming To Town"
by Coots and Gillespie,
his sole purpose is to bring toys
to nice little boys and girls.
In my research,
I found no correlation
between the level of naughtiness
and the amount of toys received.
In fact, the strongest factor is actually
the financial health of the parents.
But this doesn't make any sense.
Unless there's something
more sinister afoot.
And, together, we'll prove it.
- Prove what?
- That Santa Claus does not exist.
I don't know, Beatrix.
Bob and I are pretty sure he's real.
I can see you require
additional convincing.
Listen close.
[mischievous music playing]
[door closing]
- [objects clattering loudly]
- [Charlotte exclaims]
[Jackie] Val? Come up here quick.
[Charlotte gasps]
[suspenseful music playing]
[in Spanish] What happened?
[Jackie in English] I don't have
the slightest. I heard a crash.
He must have left the window open.
- [door closes]
- [gasps]
[lock turning]
It was, uh, just a gust of wind.
["Dance of The Sugar Plum Fairy"
by Sophie Park playing]
[shivering] Oh no.
[grunts] No, no, no.
["Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy"
[sighs] Go down this...
Ahh! [grunts]
["Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy"
Stupid snowman.
Whoa, whoa, whoa! Watch out! Watch out!
- [indistinct chatter]
- Watch out, watch out!
[lively music playing]
No, no, no!
[on megaphone] Cut! Cut!
- Lower her, please.
- [woman 1] You okay?
[woman 2 exclaims]
Guys, this has to be delicado,
like you're caressing a woman.
When the angel flies in,
you have to be looking up at the star.
Mi amor, are we still
on schedule for the star?
Of course we are, baby.
And it's gonna be the best star ever.
Okay? Except for maybe the real deal.
Okay. Ten-minute break,
and then we will take it from the top.
Good job, everyone.
- [gloves crinkling]
- No cheesy residue?
How is that even possible?
- Brilliant! [laughing]
- Oh.
Oh, good job, angel.
Thanks, Jackie.
That was Rose McCaffrey, head mechanic
at Jennings Aviation before I sold it.
Can you understand me?
Um, honey, is talking to animals
an actual superpower?
And I don't have it.
Here, Char. I got an idea. [giggles]
[sighs heavily]
[on mic] The weather outside
Is frightful
No! No.
- The fire is so delightful
- Okay.
- And since we've no place to go
- [playing "Let It Snow!" by Brandy]
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow
It doesn't show signs of stopping
And I brought me some corn for popping
The lights are turned way down low
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow
When we finally kiss good night
How I'll hate going out in the storm
But if you really hold me tight
All the way home, I'll be warm
The fire is slowly dying
And, my dear, we're still goodbying
But as long as you love me so
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow
[all clapping]
[Rob chuckles]
[mischievous music playing]
Operation Santa Fraud begins.
[Dora] Wow, Mom!
Aunt Jackie and Dad
are really cool together.
- [Rob] Aw!
- [both laughing]
That was just so...
I gotta go do some last-minute Christmas
shopping that you can't be there for.
You're going Christmas shopping?
To an actual store? Who are you,
and what have you done with my wife?
- Bye.
- Bye.
[man] Oh-ho-ho-ho!
And what would you three
little ones like for Christmas? Hmm?
We want the truth! Is Santa real?
Or is this some kind of elaborate hoax
perpetrated by our parents
in order to keep us in line?
[man laughing]
Well, of course Santa exists.
You're looking at him.
Please don't patronize us.
Just admit you're not the real Saint Nick,
and we'll be on our way.
You know what?
I think that's enough for today.
I have a lot of children to see,
so... off you go.
And merry Christmas. Merry Christmas.
He's lying, Grant. I just know it.
Bob has an idea.
But he's gonna need
a little of that tree sap.
[expectant music playing]
Where are you, little letter?
All right. I'm all ears.
What would you like for Christmas?
- [kid] Steel bike.
- A bike? All right. How many speeds?
A ten-speed! Are you gonna do some racing?
Good for you!
[yelps] No! Give me... No!
No! Save Christmas!
Elves, save Christmas! [yelps]
[clears throat]
Hey, Mom.
I'm going to exercise my right
to remain silent at this time.
- [sighs]
- [expectant music playing]
This must be Daniel's room.
[expectant music continues]
[gentle music playing]
[Grant] He's blaming it on Bob?
How cruel of him.
[Val] Beatrix.
Straight to your room.
No Shark Tank for a week.
[gasps and growls]
You better hope
Monkey Bob has a good lawyer, dude.
He wants to represent himself.
[Jackie laughs]
You broke into the wrong house, cabrn.
[Charlotte groans]
- [Val] Charlotte?
- [groans] It's okay!
I heard a noise.
I thought it was a burglary.
It's fine!
I struck a woman.
- [Charlotte] I'm good.
- I will never forgive myself.
[exhales sharply]
Is that...
Your mother's dollhouse.
It was supposed to be
a Christmas surprise for you and Beatrix.
You rebuilt my mother's dollhouse? God.
["Quizas, Quizas, Quizas"
by Ritmos Latinos playing]
My mother, Sophia,
she built beautiful dollhouses.
How she would make ends meet
after my father left.
But there was a fire in the studio,
and it destroyed everything.
Except one special house.
It was a charred ruin, mi amor.
My mother planned to rebuild it,
but she passed soon after, and...
I kept it as a symbol
of what my mother wanted.
For us.
Thought it would be
a nice reminder of her abuela.
How did I get so lucky
to have you in my life?
No, how did I get so lucky?
[in Spanish] My heart.
- [in English] I'm just so very...
- Charlotte, don't!
- [Val] No, no, no!
- [shrieks]
- [pieces clattering loudly]
- [all clamoring]
- [Val exclaims in Spanish]
- Oh my God.
Mom, Monkey Bob would just like
to thank you for taking the heat off of us
for that little, um, Santa incident.
[Jackie] Kids, downstairs.
[Val] Come on. Let's go.
- What were you doing up here?
- I was, um... I was just...
Like, all this sneaking around,
going through my things?
I knew you were snooping around
in my office the other night.
What is your problem, girl?
The problem is you, Jackie.
- Your life is just too wonderful for her.
- Rob, that's not...
You actually think that proving
that Jackie's life is not perfect
is gonna make you feel better
about your... imperfect life?
Well, no, my life is not...
Or maybe your imperfect kids?
your imperfect husband?
Okay, stop! You wanna know the truth?
You wanna know why I came up here?
I know you guys have been communicating
in secret and I was looking for the proof.
That's right, Captain and Tennille.
I saw the letter.
[somber music playing]
Robbie, you need to tell her.
Yeah, Robbie, tell me
how you two conspired
to make this little reunion thing happen.
Was it really Grant who put the address
in our GPS, or was it maybe you?
You got me, Charlotte.
There's the letter.
[Charlotte] What is this?
The holiday newsletter
that I've been sending
to my friends and family.
- You've been...
- Yeah.
They all love hearing how we're doing.
And I swore them all to secrecy because
I know how much
you detest these brag letters.
[Jackie] And I knew you saw it
in the mail yesterday, so I gave it to Rob
and told him that he should come clean.
I was just waiting for the right time.
Here's the thing, Charlotte.
I know that life hasn't worked out
the way you had hoped.
And maybe you're a little embarrassed
about where you are, where we are.
But I'm not.
I'm proud.
Well, so am I.
Sure have an interesting way
of showing it.
[somber music continues]
[soft music playing]
- Hey.
- Hey, um...
So the car's all packed,
and I just wanted to apologize for today,
and for everything, and just say thank you
for your incredible hospitality,
and just say how sorry I am that...
- You're leaving?
- Rob and I thought it would be best.
So we're not gonna
spend Christmas together.
Well, I can't imagine spending
the holidays together after what happened.
I mean, what I did was unforgivable.
But, Charlotte, everybody makes mistakes.
That's why they put
erasers at the end of pencils.
But, I mean, that dollhouse,
it must have taken you weeks to build.
Um, months.
But it was a thing,
Charlotte, not a human being.
It's over.
Who was it that said,
"To forget is to forgive"? I don't know.
I just... I just don't want you to leave.
[laughs and sniffles]
- [Jackie] We are friends.
- I mean, we were friends.
No, we are friends.
- I want you to stay.
- [Charlotte sniffles]
Will you?
[laughs and sniffles]
- We will.
- Okay.
- You better stay.
- [laughing] Thank you.
- [sweet music playing]
- The warm, familiar glow
- [laughs]
- Doesn't matter how far you go...
Jackie, um, I'm wondering,
do you have any more of those, um...
Any more...
The letters?
Now that everyone is here
You're right where you belong
[footsteps approach]
- Things change.
- Yeah.
Life's what happens
when you're busy making plans.
Yeah, but I gotta admit,
that monkey kinda creeps me out.
[laughs] I know, right?
I mean... [squeals]
- [squeals]
- [both laughing]
"This year, Charlotte took a job
with StarTech Industries."
"She calls it 'a placeholder.'"
That was the plan.
[Jackie sighs]
I always thought
someday things would work out.
And we'd shout from the rooftops,
"Look at us! We finally made it."
I know what you mean.
But the problem is, Char,
things won't happen
unless you believe they can.
Maybe it's time for a swan dive.
- Rob's dream house?
- A Christmas surprise.
- What do you think?
- That's what I'm talking about!
Yes, you should do it.
It's all the little things
I spoke with our mortgage arm in Arizona,
and based on your credit score,
we'd be willing to do 4.4%.
What do you think?
I think he should be ashamed of himself.
Existing home sales
in that area are down 14%.
That's the slowest
fourth quarter in a decade.
And have you taken a look
at your bank's 10-Q recently?
It's pathetic!
How do you think your customers would feel
if they knew that this institution
was on the verge of insolvency?
[laughs nervously]
I'm sorry, but their credit, it's...
Above your requirement threshold.
- [table thumps]
- Come on, Mom, Ms. Sanders.
We can do better elsewhere.
[upbeat music playing]
- [Jackie] Just keep walking.
- [man] Wait!
How does 4.2 sound?
- Keep walking.
- Three-nine.
- Stay strong.
- [man] Three-point-two...
See? Was that so hard?
Now let's make it an even three.
[sighs] Okay, 3.1 will do.
[Jackie laughs]
- [snaps]
- [Jackie] Oh!
[both snap and chuckle]
[footsteps approaching]
[knock at door]
So where'd you run off to today?
Oh, I can't tell you.
It's part of your Christmas surprise.
Not sure I can handle any more surprises.
It's a good one. I promise.
Phew! [laughs]
- Tell me about it.
- Yeah.
no worries.
- Seriously?
- Yeah.
Yeah. First thing we need to see is, uh,
what, if anything, is still intact.
The structural elements are good,
so we only have to replace the flooring
and the roof.
Once that's done, it's just a matter
of patching up the damaged walls,
framing, and applying the finishes.
So it's salvageable?
Everything is salvageable.
You sure?
As long as it has a solid foundation.
[sweet music playing]
Do we have...
I think we do.
[sighs in relief]
- But...
- What?
Well, the furniture...
[Charlotte] Yeah?
Let's just say, um...
Might need a little more moving.
["Beautiful Season" by AJ playing]
It's a beautiful feeling
A beautiful season
Everything feels so brand new
I can hear the bells ringing
The whole world is singing
I love you
Ho-ho-ho-ho, ho-ho-ho
- Ho-ho-ho
- [music fading]
Each pin represents
a sighting of Santa in the tristate area.
[sighs] Malls,
Christmas events, et cetera.
They can't all be the real Santa,
if the real one exists.
- Bob thinks they're his helpers.
- [sighs] It would dilute his brand.
Any luck on your end?
I searched through my mom's call log,
but I couldn't find any calls
or texts from a Santa or a Claus.
- [sighs]
- [Beatrix] Hmm.
Okay, on three. One, two, three!
- [lively music playing]
- [gasps]
- [Beatrix] It's Abuela's dollhouse!
- [Grant] Oh, wow!
- [Val] It is beautiful.
- Is it okay?
- [Val] You did it!
- [Dora gasps] Good job, Mom and Dad!
[in Spanish] Thank you.
[Grant in English] They even
put Christmas lights on it.
- It's cultural.
- Mmm.
It better be.
[laughs] It's amazing.
Totally and completely amazing.
Thank you.
[Jackie] Charlotte!
We have another situation.
We found your fake Santa letterhead, Mom.
And so... we started an investigation.
Grant still believes in "Santa."
- But I have my doubts.
- Where did he go?
He checked your phone and thinks
that "Santa" didn't get your text.
So he decided
to prove that "Santa" is real
and go back to where
"Santa" would be expecting him.
["Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)"
Grant? Grant? Grant?
Shepherds haven't seen him.
I'm gonna ask Santa and the elves.
I'll check the bus station.
Just in case.
- Come here and tell Santa...
- Excuse me. Sorry.
- Santa, have you seen this boy?
- Ah! Not today, thank goodness.
Not... He... Not at all?
- A couple of days ago, but not today.
- Okay. Thank you. Sorry. Thank you.
[man] Come on.
[Jackie] Char, Char, Char. [sighs]
Listen. I called the police chief.
He's got his people out looking, okay?
I promise you, okay?
This kid is a ninja. He...
- Oh my God.
- What?
[Jackie] He's a ninja warrior.
Jackie knows.
- Trust me. Jackie knows.
- Okay.
- Where should we go?
- Straight.
I'm watchin' them shine
You should be here with me
- Baby, please come home...
- [song fades]
Char, listen. You got this.
I'm gonna see you at home.
- Love you.
- Love you.
- Hi.
- Hi. Um, that's my son.
- How long has he been here?
- Not long. We gave him miso.
[laughs] Oh gosh.
Oh, it's our pleasure.
It's not very often that we get
a real ninja in our restaurant.
That's so sweet. Thank you.
- Mom?
- Monkey Bob was hungry?
Honey, Santa got your message.
It's gonna be okay.
Santa's real, isn't he, Mom?
- Well, what do you think?
- I wanna believe, but I need proof.
Well, he gives you presents
on Christmas morning.
Beatrix says that's not enough proof.
Our parents can give us gifts.
She says we need real evidence,
like a lock of hair for DNA testing.
Do you believe in him?
- Yes.
- Did you ever see him?
You know, I usually
fell asleep before he came.
- But I always keep looking and hoping.
- Really?
Pinky swear?
[man] Can we turn on the news?
Okay. Let's go.
[reporter on TV] Breaking story next
on Channel 6 News.
Michelle is our tech reporter
who's been following this breaking news.
- Michelle, what can you tell us?
- Thank you, Jim.
Following the viral video
"Vacuum of Death,"
which showed StarTech's popular robovac
bursting into flames,
federal investigators learned the company
went ahead and shipped the units
- despite serious design flaws...
- I warned them!
The feds have frozen the company's assets
as they now face crippling lawsuits
that could likely force them
into Chapter 11.
Translation, it's going to be
a blue Christmas for StarTech employees.
[Charlotte sighs]
[knock on door]
Something terrible happened.
StarTech just imploded.
- It's all over the news.
- What?
Oh no.
- Seriously?
- Yeah. Rob has no idea.
I just sunk our entire emergency fund
into this house that Rob loves.
That's it. No more money.
And now I'm losing my job for sure.
- It's impeccable timing.
- Oh my God, Charlotte. I am so sorry.
Really, I am.
I knew something like this would happen.
It always does.
So the real estate office
in Salt Lake is open till five.
They need an original signature
to revoke the deal.
- And if I leave now, I can just make it.
- But you can't leave.
It's Christmas Eve,
and you'll miss the pageant.
Well, I have no other choice.
I'm just facing reality.
Oh no, you always have a choice.
I appreciate your positivity,
but things just
don't magically work out for all of us.
Things don't just
magically work out for me either.
Oh, come on, Jackie. You have it all.
Like, you have the house.
You have Mr. Genius Fitness Model.
Your kids are amazing.
One is super smart,
and one is out saving the world.
[voice breaking] Saving the world?
Oh, Char.
And I don't say it with envy.
I think it's wonderful. You deserve it.
[sniffs] It's just some girls have it,
and some girls don't.
But I'll be back later tonight,
and I'll meet you all at the pageant.
[somber music playing]
- [Rob] Hey.
- Hey.
- [Rob] How's he doing?
- He's fine.
[Rob] Good. Where are you off to?
- Uh, it's a long story.
- Is this about StarTech?
- You heard?
- It's all over the Internet.
Well, all that time I put in,
and it's gone, just like that.
StarTech was always a placeholder.
Remember? You always promised yourself...
It was a placeholder
that helped pay for the food and the rent.
But never inspired.
Look, we're...
we're gonna figure things out.
Look on the bright side.
You were right.
I was? About what?
You warned me not to buy the house.
That was smart. [exhales]
I'm sorry, honey.
- For what?
- It wasn't supposed to be like this.
I mean, I was the one
with all the potential.
- And now look at me.
- Look at you?
Look at... Honey, listen, I... I...
I get that this is not great news.
But I have faith.
Everything is gonna work out.
Yeah, but, I mean...
things don't really work out.
- They don't actually work out.
- [Rob sighs]
And every year I'm reminded,
on an annual basis, of everything
I wanted to do for you, for us.
And it's punctuated by
this "exclamation point" called Christmas.
I love you.
["Just Cancel Christmas" playing]
- Where are you going?
- To try a reverse swan dive.
Just cancel Christmas
I won't spend it on my own
You asked me to spend it with you
Then you left me all alone
So just cancel Christmas
Leave my stocking in the drawer
No Christmas tree will sparkle for me
Hang no holly on my door
[song continues on radio]
[DJ] That was "Just Cancel Christmas."
And in financial news,
StarTech takes a dive
just in time for the hol...
- [exclaiming]
- [menacing music playing]
- [yelps] You scared the...
- [tires squealing]
- [groans]
- [angelic music playing]
Does this mean I'm dead?
- Miss, are you okay?
- Rose.
[exclaims] I'm so glad you're not real!
Oh... [laughs]
I'm sorry. I'm just heading
into town to get ready for the show.
- Okay.
- You're Jackie's friend, right?
Yeah, I just, um...
I was driving,
and I hit a patch of ice, I...
We're all real happy
you're spending time with Jackie.
She loves company,
especially around this time of year.
I'm parked right over there.
I'll wait while you get back on the road.
You're gonna be all right.
You drive safe now.
- [Val] You guys wanna see Santa?
- [screaming] Yes!
- [Beatrix] We'll see.
- [Jackie] Oh my goodness! Get excited!
- [Val] You will see!
- [Rob] Okay, come on, ninja man.
We don't wanna make Val
late for his performance.
But I need to find Bob!
Well, I'm sure he'll turn up.
You know how he likes to hide.
Oh yeah. He does.
Good thinking, Dad.
- The star will be there?
- The star will be there. Okay? Promise.
[Rose] We're all real happy
you're spending time with Jackie.
She loves company,
especially around this time of year.
[pensive music playing]
[Jackie] You know,
Daniel wanted to be an inventor.
Always hoping to change the world.
I wish he was here.
Oh no.
[tires squeal]
[bittersweet music playing]
That's not something you just...
put in the holiday newsletter.
[bittersweet music continues]
When what happened happened,
it took such
an unbelievable toll on our family.
I didn't send out a newsletter
that year because, well...
But then I realized
that we needed to create something.
You know, to keep his memory alive.
So... we started a foundation in his name.
And I wrote about it
in the newsletter like he did it all.
in a way, he did.
I wanna show you something.
But you have to dress warm. Okay?
- [sniffles] Okay.
- Okay.
[ethereal music playing]
This was Daniel's biggest dream.
It's real.
[whispers] Yeah.
- [exhales]
- [chuckles softly]
You're looking at the first
completely solar-powered hot-air balloon.
Around the World in 80 Days was
Danny's all-time favorite bedtime story.
We read it nearly every night.
At home.
In the hospital.
Oh, I, I...
I promised him that someday I would build
us a balloon to take us around the world.
And it had to be environmentally friendly,
because that was a big thing to him, so...
So I made it solar-powered.
- [Charlotte laughs]
- [chuckles] It's crazy, huh?
No. No, it's not crazy.
And the balloon is going
to be the Star of Bethlehem.
It's our way of making sure
that Daniel's part of Christmas this year.
This is what I saw in the sky!
- The star lights up!
- [laughs] Yeah.
Wait, yes. Rose has been helping me.
She did a...
a test run the night you guys arrived.
[soft music playing]
- [Jackie] Monkey Bob.
- [both laughing]
- [kids] Dad, can we get an apple?
- Yeah, there's one up there.
There's apples up there.
Go ahead. One each.
- [Grant] Oh my God!
- [Dora] Sprinkles!
[Beatrix] Can I get M&M?
- Thank you.
- [Rob] What'd you get? Sprinkles?
[Dora] Sprinkles!
- Daddy, you get one.
- [Rob] Should I get one?
- You're gonna give me a bite, right?
- [Dora] No, I'm not.
- [beeps]
- Okay.
[device powering up]
[claps and titters]
- Yeah.
- [uplifting music playing]
Okay, Char.
Thank you.
- Bye, Monkey Bob.
- Bye! Have fun.
[Jackie laughing]
Thank you. Thank you.
- [power surging]
- [Jackie] What?
- [alarm ringing]
- What's going on?
- No, no, no.
- [ringing continues]
The solar batteries are fully charged.
Something's wrong with the control panel.
- Are you okay?
- No!
I mean, we've had sporadic
electrical issues during our test flights.
- But I thought it was all sorted out.
- Well, sounds like you need an engineer.
[exclaims] Yes!
[Charlotte] I can figure this out.
[Grant] Any sign of Santa?
[expectant music playing]
[device chimes]
Okay. That should do it.
- Just keep those on to be safe.
- I thought these were for eating chips.
They are, but they're also
gonna help us fly this baby.
They are?
It's the same reason
the Vacuum of Death caught fire.
Electrostatic discharge.
They channel the electron buildup
from the dry air,
and they stop the system
from shorting out.
[Jackie] Hmm!
- Trust me. [laughing]
- Okay.
[device chimes]
It worked!
[uplifting music playing]
See you at the pageant.
Care for a lift?
You got room for three?
Me and this creepy monkey?
[laughs] You're so funny.
There you go.
[Charlotte] Okay.
[uplifting music continues]
Thank God Monkey Bob convinced Grant
to put our address in your GPS.
You saved my Christmas, Char.
Aw! You saved my Christmas.
[device warbling]
Oh, and for the record,
I still don't understand
why these things never took off.
It's a marketing no-brainer.
You slap a sports team logo right here,
and, mmm!
- And what?
- It's called branding, girl! Hello?
People love that stuff.
- You'd make a fortune. [squeals]
- Okay!
[both laughing]
[Jackie] Look, it's our house.
[Jackie exclaims]
[ladder rattles]
Wait, we forgot to pull the ladder up!
Gonna grab it.
[Jackie] Oh my God.
[sparks whining]
- [both yelp]
- [device beeping rapidly]
We're losing altitude.
It's the weight of the sleigh.
[both exclaim]
Oh my God. I think we should land.
[Grant] I wanna believe, but I need proof.
- [Charlotte] Well...
- We should land.
- Monkey Bob has an idea.
- Monkey Bob?
Yeah. I'm gonna increase the fan speed.
[chiming, warbling]
- [Jackie] Wait, what? Why?
- We're not landing.
Not yet.
Char, we can't fly over the town square
with a sled hanging
off of us and no Santa!
[Charlotte] You're right.
- [kisses]
- [Jackie exclaims]
[chuckles] Whoo!
Wait. [grunting]
What the heck are you doing?
[Jackie exclaims]
Oh my God. Be careful.
[Charlotte] You got this.
[nervously] You got this.
I don't think she's got this.
- [yelping]
- [yelping] Charlotte!
[Charlotte] I'm okay!
[nervously] I'm okay.
I'm okay. I'm okay. I'm okay.
[exhales heavily]
[gentle music playing]
[indistinct chatter]
Char, just let me land.
No, no, no! Steady the course.
And fly straight out over the audience.
Santa Claus is coming to town.
[uplifting music playing]
- [soft music playing]
- [indistinct chatter]
[sighs] I think it's time
to conclude our investigation.
We need more time, Bea.
You wanna believe, don't you?
Yeah, Grant.
I do, but I am me.
[Grant sighs]
Oh my gosh.
- Bea!
- [Beatrix] What?
[Grant] It's...
- [exclaims]
- [Grant] It's...
- OMG!
- [crowd clamoring]
- Santa Claus!
- [clamoring continues]
[Charlotte in deep voice] Ho-ho-ho!
[indistinct chatter]
[in deep voice] Merry Christmas to all!
[Dora] It's Santa!
[in deep voice]
Is Grant Sanders down there?
That's me! That's me!
Monkey Bob is flying!
[Grant gasps]
[crowd exclaiming and cheering]
[in deep voice] Merry Christmas to all,
and to all a good night!
[cheering continues]
[uplifting music playing]
[Jackie] Let's get you
on the ground, Santa.
Okay, quick, unhook the sleigh.
- It's caught.
- Oh.
Here, let me help.
[Charlotte] Okay.
I know how tricky
these flying sleighs can be.
[Charlotte] Okay.
[Charlotte laughs]
You're good to go.
- Thank you for your hel...
- No, thank you, Charlotte Sanders.
You're welcome.
Wait! How do you know my name?
[ethereal music playing]
[band playing "Star of Wonder"]
[crowd exclaims]
Merry Christmas, Danny.
Merry Christmas, Danny.
["Star of Wonder" continues playing]
[indistinct chatter]
["Star of Wonder" continues]
["Star of Wonder" continues]
["Star of Wonder" continues]
- [tapping mic]
- [band stops playing]
[on mic] I have an urgent message
to all the kids out there.
New evidence has emerged
in my investigation of Santa.
My advice to you is believe,
'cause he still believes in you.
[all cheering]
[Jackie] You better watch out
[cheering continues]
You better not cry
You better not pout
I'm telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town
Santa Claus is coming to town
Santa Claus is coming to town
Now, who's ready to help me
make this the best Christmas ever?
- [all cheering]
- [Jackie chuckles]
He's making his list
He's checking it twice
He's gonna find out
Who's naughty or nice
Santa Claus is coming to town
[all] Santa Claus is coming to town
Santa Claus is coming
[all] To town
The kids in girl and boy land
Will have a jubilee
They're gonna build a toy land
All around the Christmas tree
- You better watch out
- You better not cry
You better not pout
I'm telling you why
- Santa Claus
- Santa Claus is coming to town
Coming to town
- Santa Claus is coming to town
- [Jackie vocalizing]
Santa Claus is coming to town
- [music fading]
- [all cheering]
- [cheering continues]
- [upbeat music playing]
Season's greetings from the Sanders family
with the Jennings family as well.
It's sort of become our new tradition.
We finally made it to my sister's house
just in time for New Year's Eve.
Jackie and I started
our own Chip Mitt business.
And our first client was Mariah Carey.
"No more cookie crumbs."
In their quest to become superheroes,
all our kids are taking
karate lessons from Valentino.
The Jennings family dream
finally came true
when they floated around the world
raising money for Daniel's charity.
And our dream also came true.
We got the house!
But guess what? We're keeping it
for our splendiferous family.
What can I say?
Christmas with Jackie
is a life-altering experience.
- [upbeat music continues]
- Happy holiday, happy holiday
Oh-oh, oh-oh
[whistling in tune]
I got that holiday feelin'
[festive music playing]
[music fades out]