Christmas Jars (2019) Movie Script

I'll be right back with your drinks.
One more day to go.
Thanks for switching shifts with Ivan.
- Christmas requires an optimist.
Give me a high-fiver.
I need three more reindeer waffles
and a Christmas wrap.
I'm running out of antlers. I mean bacon.
Bacon and antlers, you know what I mean.
It's okay. It's okay, baby.
My goodness.
It's killing me to leave my baby behind. But I
can't bear the thought to see her suffer ...
as I have suffered the past few years.
Please tell het that I love her...
and that I pray to hold her again some day.
That will forever be my hope.
Hope Jensen.
Yeah, right.
Debate, but no.
What are you doing here?
You're not supposed to be here.
I'm okay.
I wanna be here.
No, you don't. Trust me,
nobody wants to be here.
No, really. One day alone
on the couch was enough.
I'm so sorry, girl.
So, how is the dating?
O, pretty good. I just matched with a guy
who works at Ikea.
Is he cute?
O, no! But I do need help putting together
my new bookshelf, so...
Where is the colophon?
What does he want?
Hope! Is Hope there?
Tell him we had to adjust it to accomodate
the new banner ads.
Welcome back!
What kind of graphics designer would do this?
What's going on?
Uhm, they had to adjust the mass head
to accomodate the new banner ads.
What? Allright.
How is it going fact checking that
cryptocurrency fraud story?
I'll get right on it this morning.
- O, 'cause you weren't here yesterday.
Sorry to hear about your mom.
Do you need more time off?
- No.
Good. 'Cause we've got a lot of work.
I just scheduled a pitch meeting to discuss...
story ideas for the Christmas season.
I'd like you to be there.
I'd love to.
To serve peppermint hot chocolate. Because
I think that will up the Christmas quotient in here.
People will think I'm a swell guy.
- Okay.
Shall I get some whipped cream?
O, and book me a table at Farinelli's. I wanna
take our precious writers out to lunch.
- Goodbye.
I want my mother to be proud.
Instead, I only serve hot chocolate and make reservations.
- At Farinelli's.
O, no I got food poisoning there once.
- And I'm tired of being nothing more than his assistant.
I took this job because I wanna be a journalist.
I wanna be at Farinelli's.
You want food poisoning?
- Yes!
You know what I mean.
You march into his office right now,
and you tell him what you told me.
You're right. Here I go. I'm going.
- Yeah. You tell him, girl.
- He's at Farinelli's.
I'll tell him tomorrow.
Your mom was already proud of you.
Whoa! A match.
They make me write this list of how and why,
but you're never gonna see your stuff again.
I figured.
And I mean, the door, you've got a single
bolt lock on that. No security system.
You couldn't have made it any easier
for these guys if you tried.
Excuse me?
There is always an increase in breakings this
time of the year. You cannot stay here tonight.
Where am I supposed to go?
- I don't know. Parents, family?
I'm all alone.
O, okay .... uh...
I'm sorry, I just need a minute.
- That's okay, yeah.
Someone left this at my door. Did you see
it when you came in?
Christmas Jar.
I'm looking for stuff that was stolen, right?
Yeah, maybe one of the
neighbours dropped it.
Well, I'll ask around.
What? you don't go knocking on people's doors
saying "Hey, did you drop a jar full of cash?"
Why not?
- Why not?
Because the first person you ask is gonna take it
from you, before you can finish the sentence.
I think people are better than that.
- I don't know what world you live in, but they're not.
Thank you so much.
I don't pay you much, but please tell me
about secretly living here?
Uhm, I was just getting caught up in some stuff.
- O, that's the thing about working the news.
You can never get caught up,
it's always breaking.
That's what I love about it.
- I can get any coffee?
Can I talk to you first?
- Weren't we just talking?
I've worked hard as your assistant.
And I've learned a lot.
Oh, you're not quitting on me. I don't have time to train...
- No. I wanna be considered for a writing assignment.
I've payed my dues.
And I'm ready for the next step.
You have payed your dues, of course. Because
you are 22 and you have been here a ... year?
You were 21 when you got your
first byline at the Boston Globe.
Sure I did that.
Let's revisit this conversation in 6 months.
If you're still here then,
I will give you a shot.
What if I'm not?
What if I've moved on to a competitor's website?
O, I guess we've just have to
manage without you?
Yeah, that's what we do.
It is November 30th, people. Alright.
And I'm gonna be running two full weeks
of Christmas theme content starting on the tenth.
I need to hear some solid pitches starting now.
I'm gonna go to .... Rory!
We've got the year's latest gifts and gadgets?
- Next!
A Christmas tipping guide.
Who in your life you should be tipping and how much?
Well, here's a tip: no! But I do like the elf ears.
- Really?
Because I've got a whole bunch of them at home.
I''ll bring them to the Christmas party.
Okay, that'll be great. How about an idea
though in the mean time?
What have we got?
Chester, quit the drinking, get to thinking.
Rory, my golden girl.
- There's a new diet: the eggnog Christmas cleanse.
That is disgusting.
- It's basically keto, and it's delicious!
That's basically boring and
we ran fat diets last year.
- Top ten Christmas movies to watch with the family?
Not bad.
- It's not a great idea.
Morgana, I gave you those extra few seconds.
Lay it on me. Nothing?
Then it's up to my girl.
Rory, give me something!
Gift cards.
Good idea, or lazy and impersonal?
Lazy and impersonal. Guys, these are all
derivative, boring, uninspiring click-bait.
All of these! What I want and what I need
are stories with heart, tradition, Christmas spirit!
You know what? Maybe it is time to give
Hope a crack at this.
- Yeah. Do you have any stories, Hope?
Of course I do.
- Tomorrow we're all gonna come back here ....
with some fresh pitches, and I'm very much looking
forward to what you have, Hope.
Guys, got to go. Work on it!
Think, think, think.
I saw this really cute guy this morning,
speaking of cute guys...
I've told you about that Christmas jar, right?
Well, I done some research and I've discovered
a message board for Jar-recepients.
These people wanted to thank
whoever gave them a Christmas jar.
From all over the country?
- No, everyone is local.
They give away the jars anonymously in december
to someone going through a rough time.
Like you.
- No. Kind of amazing, right? Wait.
Brandi, that's it. That's my story.
Very good! Yeah, it is.
So, one more time, from the top.
Just the words Christmas jar written on the glass.
No other notes, nothing on the bag?
- And you didn't see anyone or hear anything?
- Maybe it's a friend of your mom's.
- Or someone who saw the police at your door.
And knew something bad was happening.
Yeah, maybe.
- How many other jars do you think are out there?
Well, I've only been able to track twelve sofar.
Nine years ago was the earliest one I found,
but I believe I'm only scratching the surface.
Do you think it's the same person,
giving away all these jars?
How is she supposed to know that?
I think it must have been the same person in the
beginning, but this whole thing is totally snowballed.
There were some people who found a jar,
have now been inspired to start giving their own.
That's what I would do.
- Me too.
Only I would decorate mine with rhinestones
over purple glitter.
O, Come on, Rory. It's supposed
to be a Christmas jar!
So what?!
- What you're describing is not traditional.
Uh, says the guy with the hairy Hoggit feet slippers.
- Yes.
Where do you think this idea came from?
- I don't know.
And that's what I want to figure out
and write about.
It's like there's a Christmas angel out there.
Still got a lot of holes.
- Yeah.
But, it is an intriguing story.
You've got two weeks, kid.
Do not mess it up.
And still get me my coffee.
- Thank you, Lyle.
Hi, this is Hope Jensen from City Buzz.
I saw your post of a Christmas jar you found in your mailbox.
I was wondering if I could interview you.
Yeah, I was wondering if I could interview you about
a Christmas jar you found in the mailbox.
Hi, this is Hope Jensen from City Buzz.
I count it will take ten minutes.
O, sorry, can you hang on a second?
Hello. Wouldn't it be nice to hear an uplifting story for a change? I'll buy you lunch.
Someone say lunch?
Or a pony. Yeah. Hello?
A pony?
- I could be bribed with a pony.
The same people that posted their story online, won't
talk to me. It seems they're keeping it all a mystery.
Keep your chin up.
You don't want one of those double...
It's called a wattle.
Actually the correct term is a caruncle.
Also known as a doolap or a snooder.
Hey, how was your date last night?
- That was a no-show.
O, I'm sorry.
- O, no. I backed out.
He texted me like five times yesterday.
I cannot deal with that level of crazy.
- What?
Nothing, just hey.
- Yeah, you said that.
I brought you a muffin.
- I'm gluten-free.
Of course you are.
Gluten is bad.
Hey, thanks. Bye, Steve.
- Bye, then.
What about Steve?
- I swipe left.
O! Dear Hope, I got your email and would be
happy to do an interview about the Christmas jar.
There you go!
- Did it.
High five!
Alright. Your homework is due tomorrow.
You better be able to name all 96 countries.
Hi! Come on in.
Have a seat.
- Yeah.
O! No phones in my classroom.
Also, no chewing gum.
Should I...?
- Yes.
- That's okay, this time.
I love to think that whoever gave me my jar...
will read your article and know
how much it meant to me.
I'd like that too.
I was just a teachers assistant back then
and I had just said my goodbyes for the last time.
It's hard for children to understand
budget cuts...
but I did my best, as I always do.
I promised to put the tears on the inside
as I packed up things into my bag...
but then my bag was really heavy,
and that's when I found it.
Was there...
- Whoa. We put our hands up when we ask questions.
I'm just kidding!
No, I'm not.
Yes I am. I'm confused.
What's your question?
Was there a note with your jar?
- Yes, there was.
The note said "Merry Christmas,
you will be missed."
And then came the waterworks.
Tears of gratitude. Does that make sense?
Of course.
- And the funny thing is, that I wasn't really into Christmas...
before all of this.
- And now?
And now I can't get enough of it!
These jars are proof that the magic of Christmas
is real.
O, and I started my own Christmas jars
But I already gave this Christmas jar away last week,
so this one is for next year.
Yeah, I'd love to...
For your jar.
Contagious, you know.
- What is?
I know I have this amazing story,
but I still don't know who's behind it.
What if they don't want their story told?
That's her job, Cynthia.
You said yourself this tradition
has been going on for years.
If they wanted, don't you think they
would have come forward by now?
Well, maybe nobody never asked.
And that's what she's doing.
Not everybody wants credit
for their good deeds.
I'm dying to know who's behind this.
- Yeah, so am I.
And this is the opportunity I've been searching
for. If I can't deliver, it's back to coffee brew land.
Look, I know that this is your big break.
I just don't agree with your approach.
She's an undercover reporter trying to crack
a story with a positive spin.
This is a win!
Hope, you're gonna knock this right off the pock.
So, where is the red string?
- I was fresh out.
None of these people know eachother?
- Right.
What do the numbers next to their names mean?
Well, recipient 1 refers to the guy who
found the first jar that I'm aware of.
All the way down to me,
number 51.
Who's this guy? I'd like to interview
him. You know what I mean? Number 7...
Come on down!
- Brandi! Focus.
Numbers 23 to 51 have all been
in the last four years,...
indicating that there's I think more than
one person who's responsible for the gifts.
I thought if I laid it out like this,
it would start to make more sense...
and see closer patterns,
but it's still not any clearer.
Look, you're all the way out of the outskirts.
Where do you come from?
The last 32 jars are all in the rural areas,
but jars 1 to 18 are all in tyhe inner city.
So, whoever gave up the early jars was likely
the same person, living in that neighbourhood.
Precisely. These others jars
could be the work of copycat offenders.
I mean, assailants ... uh ...
Thanks, Steve.
- Mr. Investigator.
Well, I always knew there was a reason
I went DC over Marvel. Detective Comics.
That was my bad. Uhm...
I thought that the breaks were on...
Let's go for lunch.
- I got this! Don't worry about a thing.
When I first came to the US,
I was excited but nervous
My English wasn't very good
and it was hard for me to make friends.
So I didn't fit in and, ohh,
Christmas time was the worst.
How so?
Well, what people don't realize is that Holiday
celebrations ...
are only fun for the people that get
invited to them.
Every day I would just go to work and
come home. I felt like nobody saw me.
Except for those kids.
- Children have a way of seeing things.
Especially when they stole my laptop.
And my bike and the wreath on my door.
And stuffed a rotting pumpkin
down my mailbox.
At least I think it was a pumpkin.
- Iew.
I can't eat any of ....
Right when I was at my lowest point, when I was
wondering if this country was ever going to feel like home...
I found this jar at my door.
It confused me at first, but there was a red ribbon
tied all around it...
and the word Christmas Jar was on the glass.
So I understood it was a gift. Someone
actually wanted to do something nice for me.
That changed everything.
I don't suppose you ever found out
who gave you the jar?
I don't know who he is.
But my security system caught the man on video.
- Please tell me you still have the video?
I think I can find it.
Who are you?
Hope, Dopey!
How is our story coming?
It's great!
Everything is great.
Don't slow her down.
Don't mess it up.
This is exactly the kind of story I wanna run this year,
so I'm really looking forward to reading it.
Thanks, Lyle.
How the hell am I gonna figure out
who this guy is?
Come on, girl. You're an investigative reporter now.
You've got to think like a cop.
Act like a cop. Move like a cop.
You're brilliant.
- I know.
It's a '74 MG.
You can make out the license plate.
But that can't be done if it's
not registered in the state.
You know, I offered to fix your lock,
not help you stalk some poor guy.
You know I'm not really stalking him.
It's for my article.
I made you think Christmas brings out
the worst in people.
But look at this guy. He gives away jars full of change
to perfect strangers down on their luck.
And I want to write about him.
Come on. It's a compelling story with a hopeful
message. The world needs more of this right now.
What exactly do you need from me?
There are only three people in Ohio
with this make and model of this car.
A 78 year old woman who lives in Akron,
a 53 year old man who lives in Dayton,...
and a 24 year old guy who lives here in Columbus.
He's our guy. Ian Maxwell, six foot one,
light brown hair, brown eyes and no priors.
- Libra.
Officer Webber wouldn't tell me anything else,
So I had to do my own digging.
Love made it cyber stalking ...
He graduated three years ago from Ohio State
and now he works for his family's ...
furniture restoration business, which they
run out of their home.
So you have their home address?
- Yeah. And guess where he lives?
Right here.
In the middle of everyone.
No way!
- Yeah.
Problem is, I can't just show up at his door
and be like "hey, I'm the
Why not? Sometimes when you meet a new guy
you've got to pretend ...
that you're into the same
super stuff that he's into.
Brandi, that's really bad advice.
- Hear me out.
Show up with an old piece of furniture, you
talk about your mutual love for sand paper and polish...
and whatever he does, and then
boom, done, you're in.
What about this?
- I've already got one of those.
No you don't! I'm getting it.
- For what?
Masquerade Monday!
- That's a non-thing.
Not yet.
This is what I've been looking for.
I can't believe they still want
75 bucks for this thing!
It's perfect.
I think it's old.
Would you take 50 bucks for
this old broken desk?
Well, this a gorgeous antique mahogany ladies writing
desk with green leather inset from the regents here.
So 50 bucks?
You've got it.
- Yes!
Is there anything else you can tell
me about it?
There's a locked drawer
and no key, unfortunately.
And what about other damage?
O, ladies... What do you think
you're gonna look like in 200 years?
Hi, there!
You must be Hope.
- I am.
I'm Adam ans this is my daughter Hannah.
Let me give you a hand.
- Hoooh! My hand!
Just kidding!
You've got it?
There we go.
Watch the legs, there.
What did this poor desk do
to deserve this?
It was my grandmother's.
I'm afraid it's been a little affected.
Where did your grandmother get it from?
O, eh ... it was a wedding gift
from her father.
He didn't want her to stop writing
just because she got married.
Wow, what did she write?
- Wat did she write...
Uhm.... You know, letters, poems,
short stories and that sort of things.
How romantic.
- Okay, let's gat her in there.
I got it.
- Thank you. Okay.
Hope, make yourself at home, okay?
Alright, careful where you step.
Dad's always leaving sharp pieces of wood...
and hazardous materials kicking around.
Hey, that's part of the artistic process.
- That's what you're calling it now. You're just messy.
Two hats hanging on a hat rack.
One said: You stay here, I'll go on ahead.
O, don't encourage his bad jokes.
You love them.
- Nope.
So, how many of you are
in the family business?
O, technically it's just me, my dad and my brother.
But really everybody lends a hand.
It looks like you have a lot of
other jobs on the go.
Yeah, but that's normal for us.
- In fact, I've sort of a strange favour to ask.
I'm a journalism major at Ohio State,
and for my business writing class...
I have to write a report about a
local family home business.
I was wondering if you would let me
write about Maxwell Restoration.
Well, I don't know,
we like to keep a low profile.
O, come on.
It might to good for publicity.
Everyone else is writing about a family
home restaurant, or a funeral home.
And this would be just way more
interesting than all of those.
I don't know. A funeral home sounds
pretty interesting and spooky....
I promise I would stay out of your way.
Okay, my little elves. Who's ready to put down
their mallets and take a break from the workshop?
Hope, this is my wife, Lauren.
Lauren, Hope.
Hope dropped off this beautiful
mahogany desk...
and she's gonna write something about
our business for a school assignment.
What do you think?
- It's exciting!
Hope, would you like to join us for lunch?
O, no, no. I couldn't possibly ...
What is that delicious smell?
- Come on. Find out.
So, Hope, you said you were in your senior year.
What are your plans after you graduate. You have any?
Well, I've always wanted to be a journalist.
- Alison is gonna love you.
Who's Alison?
- My little sister.
She writes all these stories,
but she never shares it with us.
I used to be like that. Sharing your writlings
is like giving someone a peek in your soul.
That's never easy.
Well, you can tell you're a writer.
I could never put words together like that.
Or sentences, or coherent thoughts.
- O, look who it is. Just in time for a free lunch like always.
As a matter of fact I already ate, ...
but you go ahead and enjoy the
green thing stuck in your teeth.
Ian, this is Hope, and she's going to write
a profile on Maxwell Restorations...
for her business writing class.
Really! You couldn't find a more interesting
company to write about?
He's just jealous, because we get all the
thank you's and he gets all the bills.
Somebody has to take care
of that book keeping debacle.
I overpayed a supplier once.
- By 2,000 dollars!
I'm a giving guy!
Mom, I said I already ate.
- It's a small bowl of soup.
Hope, here's the tip: if my mom
asks if you're hungry,...
you might as well say yes, because
she's gonna feed you anyway.
Always arrive with an appetite.
That actually sounds really nice.
Okay, you're ready?
- For what?
Come on, you know.
Come on!
Oh boy.
- Alright, here we go. One, two, three.
So .... what's Ian like?
He seems nice. They all do.
Is he cute?
- I'm trying to work.
You do think he's cute.
- No! I ... What if I do?
And that doesn't change the fact
that I'm there on assignment.
And I'm still here ordering punch and
costumes for the office party, all by myself.
What's with the mistletoe?
- Carry it with you at all times.
Works like a charm.
Good luck.
It's an antique ladies writing desk
from the Regency era.
It's the kind of desk you can imagine
Jane Austen probably used to sit at...
to write her novels.
- You read Jane Austen?
O, no, no.
I just know the time period.
Don't lie. Ian loves sappy love stories.
- I do not!
Everybody likes a good love story.
My son is a romantic.
It's amazing that he is still single.
What about you, Hope?
Are you single?
- What?
Uh, yeah.
- Really?
I would have thought that guys would be
lining up around the block to go uot with you.
- What?
You know you should give Ian your phone number.
- Hey, that's enough.
You know, it's just in case I mean ... uh,
an interesting piece comes in and you're not here!
- Okay.
Thanks, dad.
This piece is stunnig.
- You know, each piece has a story to tell.
Our job is to see to it that their stories carry on.
Do you mind if I record a few questions?
- Yeah, okay.
So how do you deviate the workload?
- Well, that's kind of all over the place.
There's no real order.
Used to be that Hannah was my apprentice.
I've been teaching her everything I know
since she was 8 years old.
Learned a lot that day.
These days, I'm the one learning from her.
How did this all get started?
- That was when I was in college.
I needed to make a little extra money
and so I started this business...
weel, 36 years later I was still at it.
And frankly, it's the only thing
I ever wanted to do.
What would you say is your company's purpose?
Your mission statement?
O, that's easy. We make damaged
furniture beautiful again.
Clear and simple.
- It sure is.
You can fix just about anything if
you apply enough love and elbow grease.
Mom, I'm thirsty.
- Are you thirsty? I'm grandpa.
Ask your grandma to give you a drink.
- I can't find her.
Honey, my hands are all covered in stain.
- I can get it for him.
Thanks, Hope. Ther's a new bottle
of apple juice in the fridge.
So, how old are you Jake?
- Six.
Six? Are you driving yet?
- Nope.
Do you have a girlfrind?
- Nope. Do you have a boyfriend?
Where'are the cups?
Just over there.
- Thank you.
So you must be excited about Christmas?
- I do.
Yeah, me too.
Hey, can you tell me what that jar is?
O, it's the Christmas jar.
The Christmas jar. What's that?
- Not supposed to say.
How come?
So, what are you gonna ask Santa for Christmas?
My Sammy.
- Who's Sammy?
He's lost.
- O, no.
Could I go on playing now?
- Sure.
It can use some over there.
Thanks, Hope.
- He's adorable.
Who's Sammy?
He said the only thing he wants
for Christmas is Sammy.
Who's that?
- That was his teddybear.
They were inseparable. But then we lost him
last summer from visiting my inlaws.
We've been looking everywhere for a replacement,
but Sammy was a gift of Jake when he was born...
and no one seems to be
making them anymore.
He has been heartbroken ever since.
- Poor little guy.
Ian just found out about a another job.
You should probably go with him to see
how the other side of our business works.
I will just be loading a piece of
old furniture in my truck, dad.
Exactly, all part of the process.
She should see everything.
I do't have to go
- No, no. It's fine. I'd love for you to write about me.
Not, not, ... eh ... about me, but
... ehh ... I mean, like the family.
Yeah, let's go.
- O, okay.
Take your time, guys!
- Can you be any more obvious?
- I see what you're doing.
Get back to work.
You've asked us so many questions. What we
hardly know anything about you.
O, that's because I'm not writing a report
about me.
But what if you were, what would you
say is the most interesting thing about you?
Whatever happened to where to go out
or your favourite colour?
No one outside you and my family knows about
my love for classic English literature...
- Literature.
- It's romance.
I'll have you know that I'm also
a huge fan of Ellis Bell.
Well you know that Ellis Bell was the
preudonym used by Emily Bront?
- Yeah.
I knew that.
- Okay.
Okay, let me think.
I cry all the time watching movies.
I have an irrational fear of clowns.
Who doesn't?
And on Christmas eve, when I was 3 days old,
I was abandoned in a booth in a roadside diner.
The woman who found me,
she became my adoptive mother
And she was single, with hardly
any money or family support.
But she still managed to do an amazing job raising me.
And we were extremely close.
Where is she now?
She recently passed away.
- O, I'm so sorry.
It's been a really tough time.
Hey, Hope?
- Yeah?
What's your favourite colour?
I told you...
Alright, thank you.
Jake, what did one snowman say
to the other snowman?
Do you smell carrots?
- Jake, isn't that the worst joke ever?
Did you get that from him?
- No. no. Mine are good.
So, how do customers find you?
- Usually through the mouth.
Really? 'Cause if you advertise on City Buzz,
there is an average of 40,000 visitors a day.
It will yield 6 to 10 thousand
onclicks a month,...
and it's not even that expensive.
I did an internship there last summer.
We do go through some slow patches.
Something to think about maybe?
- Okay.
Is it true you were born in a diner?
- Jake!
I'm sorry.
- It's okay.
No ... I wasn't born in an diner,
But my mom dropped me off there,
when I was just al ittle baby.
Did you ever find out who your
birth mother was?
No, I've always been wondering what
could have been going on in het life...
that was so awful, so abandoning me
seemed like a better option.
Do you want to find her?
- I don't know.
Every Christmas eve my mom and I would
sit in that booth at Chuck's, have a big dinner...
to celebrate the day she found me.
I always secretly wondered if maybe my
birth mom would show up too.
Did she ever come back?
- I don't think so.
Every time the door would open with a jingle,
I would search all the faces and ....
see if anyone was looking for me. After all these
years I've stopped searching.
I'm so sorry.
- Don't be. I had the best mom I could have asked for.
What about you grandmother, is she still alive?
Your grandmother, the writer?
The one that gave you the desk.
Why don't we give Hope a break.
- Good idea.
Who's ready for desert?
- O, I don't know.
I've got cake. Who wants cake?
- This is a great photo.
How did you two meet?
Well, when I was seventeen, Lauren and the family
moved down the street from us.
Prettiest girl in the neighbourhood.
I used to see her waiting for the bus ...
or walking the dog, but I could never
muster the courage to say hi to her.
And then when one day my dog got away from me,
when she took off after a squirrel, ...
and Adam helped me get her back.
- Yeah.
How did you know he was the one?
I just knew.
Or at least my heart knew.
You make me cry.
- I know!
So I was getting Jake a drink and he called
that jar on your shelf a Christmas jar.
What's that all about?
It's just the place where we
throw in change. That's all.
O, come on, dad. Tell the story.
- What story?
Okay. Lauren and I were
in our twenties, newly married, ...
and completely broke. And Christmas was just
around the corner.
And I wanted to buy something
for my new beloved bride.
So that november we had this idea to throw
whatever change we had in a jar ...
and see what we could save up.
- So I washed out an empty raspberry jam container ...
and wrote the words Christmas jar across the glass.
Yeah, and we put hte jar right in the middle
of the table, so we could see it all the time.
And what, by Christmas we saved 28 bucks.
- Which didn't go far.
No, we didn't.
- But it was something.
So, the next year we started earlier. Like
Halloween or something.
No, it was like May.
- No, I think it was Halloween.
It was ... late May.
I got this bigger jar, and we promised ourselves ...
that we would never get into it
for no reason whatsoever.
Then of course, the kids came along,
and we started even earlier.
We wanted to buy gifts for everyone.
Until Hannah had other ideas.
It was 22 years ago, Christmas eve, ...
and we took the jar to the bank
as we always did every year, ...
before we did our shopping.
Okay, who's ready to put all this change
in the big coin machine?
- Are you ready? Right over here.
I know how much it is.
- How much is in there?
874 Dollars and 90 cents.
- Are you sure?
- Okay, I think you're probably right.
Hold on. I will get your baby brother.
Here we go. I got you.
What's the matter?
- Nothing.
Why are you so sad?
Why are you wearing sunglasses in the wintertime?
Would you like our Christmas jar?
- No, thank you, I couldn't.
Hannah? Don't wander off like that.
You scared the heck out of us.
You okay?
- Yeah, I'm okay. But this lady isn't.
I asked her if she wanted our Christmas jar.
- She's very sweet.
Tell you what?
Why don't you go give it to her?
O, no, I couldn't.
- Yes you can.
- We really want you to have it.
Give it to her.
That's it, honey.
Thank you.
- You're welcome.
Merry Christmas.
- Merry Christmas.
When we gave away the jar that day, ...
we gave away our Christmas.
There wasn't any money there
to buy gifts for anyone.
And then in the morning,
with no presents to open, ...
we turned on the christmas lights,
put on some carols, ...
and took turn sharing what
we were all grateful for.
It turned out to be the best Christmas
we ever had.
And we vowed to do it every year after that.
So from that point on we threw
all our change into a jar, year around, ....
and then we would give it to someone
we thought could really use it.
And you're the first person
who we've ever told that to.
So, I guess that makes you one of us now.
- Yeah. Mom's the worst...
Still have to repair the corners on this night table
and we have to strip that desk of yours.
Some locker thinner,
then give it a good sanding.
Do you have any questions
about any of this?
Yeah, I'd like to know how you decide
on the person to give yours jars to.
So were back to that, are we?
Sorry. I couldn't stop thinking
about it last night.
We share stories we've overheard about people
from work, school, church, whereever.
Do you ever wonder about them?
I mean, where they are now?
Sure. I think about them year round,
every time I throw my spare change in the jar.
And no one's ever guessed
the jars came from you?
Come on, there's still work to be done.
- Don't be sorry, just give me a hand with this clamp here.
You haven't learned anything, have you?
- Not a thing.
Hey Hope, I finally got your drawer unlocked.
Maybe we'll find one of
your grandmothers old stories...
Actually, that's been locked for so long,
probably even before my grandmother had it.
I don't know ...
That's an old Chinese take-out menu.
That wasn't what you were expecting, huh?
- Honestly I had no idea what would be in there.
Hey, what's up guys?
We want to know if Hope will come
skating with us tomorrow.
I promised I'd take him in the morning.
You're welcome to join us, if you like.
Yeah, I'd love to.
- Yeah, she's coming!
We usually go for pancakes afterwards.
- I know the perfect place.
Hey Hope!
So, did you always know
you were gonna be a reporter?
Yeah, I can't imagine
doing anything else.
I don't know what kind of writer
I want to be.
Well, you have a lot of time
to figure that out.
Right now I just like making up
my own stories.
Maybe I can read one someday?
I know it can be scary.
I promise I won't be mean.
I know. I trust you.
Tap! You're it!
- I'm gonna get you!
You seem to be knowing what
you're doing out here?
I've been skating since I was five.
You know any tricks?
- Yeah, I used to.
Let's see what you've got.
- Okay, it's been a while.
Don't laugh if I fall.
- No promises.
Are you okay?
- Uh, no. I think I just broke my dignity.
Are you sure you're okay?
- Yeah, I was just thinking about my mom.
This is the same place
she taught me how to skate.
Sorry, I didn't know.
- It's okay.
I just miss her.
You know when your tears are cold,
those can be sharp and deadly.
Can I aks you a question about those jars?
- So what are your plans for the holidays?
You go first.
I was just wondering why you always
give the jars away anonymously.
That way no one thinks
they owe us anything in return.
That's the real spirit of giving.
Has anyone ever caught you in the act?
- Almost.
A couple of years ago a woman whom I was
supposed to give a jar to, opened the door ...
right as I was about to put it down.
And so I pretended I was lost ...
and asked her for directions.
- O, no!
Yeah, in the age of GPS
I was asking for directions.
She must have thought
I was casing her house for a break-in
So, after that I started delivering
them in the middel of the night.
So no one would see me.
So what were you gonna ask me?
I was wondering if you had any plans
for the holidays.
- Maybe we could go out to dinner, or something?
Dinner would be good, yeah.
You seem happy.
- We've been having such a fun day.
Still haven't told them yet?
- I promise I'm gonna tell them everything ...
when the time is right.
The longer you wait,
the harder it's gonna be.
I know.
But I can't yet.
You'll be fine, Hope.
If you write that story, you'll make us proud.
Yes. This article is a chance for the people
whose lives we've changed, ...
to say thank you.
If you say so.
I just hate seeing you compromise
your values.
And I don't want to see you get hurt.
O, Come on, Cynthia! It's not like she's pretending
to be a doctor, to perform a surgery or something.
She's telling people she's a college student.
What's the big deal?
I should really get back.
But come and say hi, okay?
Hoi. We were just discussing your
incredible figure skating skills.
O, yeah. Did you talk about when you fell on me?
I don't remember that.
- I saw it.
Thank you.
Hey, you see that seat over there? Right in the end?
That's where I used to sit to finish my homework
every dat after school.
And where I was waiting
for my mom to finish her shift.
You had your own stool?
- Sure did. I practically grew up here.
And is this the booth
where your mom found you?
Yeah. Right where you're sitting, actually.
I got so lucky. She wasn't even
supposed to be in in that day.
In that case we all got lucky.
Important question: Do you believe pineapple
is ever an acceptable topping on a pizza?
Too controversial an issue for
text message. Discuss over pizza?
Great idea!
Messing around with your phone, I see.
You must be done with your article?
Not quite.
- What seems to be the problem, Hope?
You've been saying 'not quite' for days.
- Well, I haven't been exactly honest with the Maxwells
And I'm starting to feel
really guilty about it.
- Yeah.
Have you ever of Nellie Bly?
- No.
Nellie pretended to be a crazy person
to get admitted to a mental hospital ...
where she reported on the horrible
conditions inside.
And that report became the foundation
for sweeping reforms in the psychiatric profession.
Hope, there is a long history of journalists
in this country going undercover ...
for the sake of a good story.
And this what you've got right here,
is a good story.
I know that.
- Okay.
So don't fight it, embrace it.
Be one with it. Be Nellie Bly.
- Okay.
Okay, you've got to show me something,
Hope. Because I'm telling you ....
this whole wishy washy thing
is not cutting it.
I put a lot of faith in you, Hope.
Don't make me regret it.
Something is coming on here, is that regret?
O, that's regret. Yeah, Hope, help me.
- Hi.
Whoa! What's all this?
- So I did a bit of Christmas shopping.
I've got this for Ian.
It's the Jane Austen collection.
O, that is perfect.
- I couldn't resist.
But how?
Thank you so much.
You have just made his Christmas.
Okay, I'm gonna go hide all this.
Everyone is in the kitchen.
Ready to go. Great.
It smells so good in here.
These are incredible. So cool.
We were just talking about Christmas and
wondered if you'd like to join us?
On Christmas eve.
- Really?
Unless you have other plans.
- Just dinner at Chuck's like I usually do.
Come over after dinner and spend
Christmas day with us too.
Christmas eve is my favourite.
All the Christmas lights and carols, ...
we've got presents, drink eggnog, simply
just talking and eating way too many of these.
That sounds just about perfect.
- But I should warn you.
Jake here gets up super early and makes
a point of waking everyone.
How early?
- Five AM. Six if we're lucky.
Well, the Christmas eve part sounds great.
- You just come over whenever you want.
But don't show up looking all fancy.
We spend half the day in our pyjamas.
Do you mind grabbing those for me?
- Of course.
I was thinking about your birth mother.
Do you have any clues about her at all?
She left a note in my baby blanket.
But she never signed it.
- Did you keep it?
Of course. It's the only thing
I have from her.
What about trying one of these
family tree DNA-kits?
That might lead you to a blood relative.
I don't know. I always worried that
talking about that would upset my mom.
Of course.
I'd be happy to help if you ever want to try.
Thank you.
Nope. Nope.
No, I'm not gonna take one.
They're really good.
- I don't even see them.
No, they're not even there.
But, yes, they are, honey, and
this girl needs her sugar.
One cannot survive on one alone.
One speaks truth.
Where's my story?
- It's almost finished.
O, almost! That's great, yeah!
Because there's a single Christmas coming up ...
and it's kind of a hard deadline!
- I know.
But there's still a few pieces of the story
that I haven't quite cracked yet.
Okay. Then just give me whatever
you've got by end of day.
What? Why?
- Because!
We're running out of time!
You're making me nervous.
You know what?
Until your work done, cookies go bye-bye.
But Lyle, I'm not done yet.
I said no to you last week. Yeah.
No. No.
You've got the saddest sad salad.
- I'm stressing out!
Lyle wants my story by the end of the day
and I still haven't told the Maxwells the truth.
O, boy.
- I know. I don't want to let Lyle down either.
So what are you going to do?
- I ... don't know, Rory.
I was gonna say: you're torn because
all you ever wanted was to be a reporter ...
and now this is finally your chance.
But you don't want to loose the Maxwells either.
But if you could only have one, which
one would hurt the most to loose?
That's just it: I can't choose.
- You may not have a choice.
And if you don't act soon, you
may loose both of them.
I can't believe she walks all this way.
- Five days a week, seven miles each way.
She has to leave the house at 5:30
to get to work on time.
At least that should be enough to fix her car.
With hopefully someone
to do it for Christmas.
Okay. Now, her mom is attending
the kids during the day ...
and they'll probably be home,
so we'll have to be really quick.
Grandma, there's someone at the door.
- What do we do?
- Go.
That felt incredible!
Shhh! Let's get out of here.
Thanks for sharing this with me.
Come on.
I'm good!
Four strikes in a row!
- What?
That's my girl.
- Can you believe it?
How about you, Hope?
What's your secret talent?
O, I'm a really fast typist.
Okay. I can pick up a pen with my toes
and sign my name.
Why would you ever learn to do that?
You've never been really a child.
How about you, Ian?
- Me? Uh ...
I think you should do that trick.
- Yes!
- Come on, do it!
I'm not doing that ... I'm not gonna ...
- Please!
What trick?
- Alright, I'll do the trick.
Are you gonna make that disappear?
Watch very closely.
Not bad, huh?
Thank you very much.
And is this the part where you reach
behind my ear and you flop the coin?
Kind of.
Kind of?
What's that?
- It's a key. For your desk drawer.
I've made it.
You made it?
- You're welcome.
Dis you practice that?
- The trick?
No, made it up. On the spot.
- No way that was the first time.
Hey, we're gonna get going if
we're going to the 7:30 show.
No, I just got tickets on-line. Four adults, 7:30...
- I think Hope gets a student discount.
You would need to show your student ID
and I left mine at home. I'll just get my own ticket.
It's fine, I got it.
- Okay.
What's wrong?
- Nothing.
You're sure? You look
so serious all of a sudden.
I should probably tell you something.
I'm just sort of worried about ...
what's gonna happen. You know,
when I turn my school paper in.
Don't be ridiculous. You don't need an excuse
to hang out with us. Come on. let's go.
Come on.
Wow! Mind blown. You totally hit it out of the park.
And I'm gonna run this as the top story on our homepage.
They give away the jars anonymously.
They don't want any form of recognition.
So they're reluctant heroes, that's fantastic!
We can add that in.
The Maxwells have been so good to me.
Hope, come on. I mean, you have written
a powerful story here, that has ....
the potential to touch thousa... no, millions
of reader's lives. Inspire them even.
Hey, that should be your focus.
Am I right as a journalist?
Hi, Brandi. I have some people at reception
inquiring about advertising with us.
Great, thanks.
Our classsified sales agent will be right with you.
- Thank you.
Come on, Hope. You should be proud of yourself.
I'm proud of you, even though
you drive me crazy right now.
Lyle, I'm grateful for this opportunity.
I don't think hurting this family ...
for the sake of my career is worth it.
- Okay. I'm confused.
Because you pitched me this story. Right?
I've been waiting for this story for the last three weeks.
'Not quite. Not quite.'
Now it's ready. And now you want to pull the plug.
Why don't you just grow up.
You're so overthinking this.
The Maxwells will probably get a kick
of all this publicity.
No, they won't.
- Yes, they will.
Hope, come on. Smarten up.
Come on.
Is that Hope?
Hope, we're running the Christmas jar story
and that's final. I just sent it to the copy editor.
- Ian.
Columbus metro BUZZ
Those Mysterious Christmas Jars
It's killing me to leave my baby behind. But I
can't bear the thought to see her suffer ...
as I have suffered the past few years.
Please tell het that I love her...
and that I pray to hold her again some day.
That will forever be my hope.
DNA testing genealogy kits
I really miss you, mom.
I messed up and I don't know
how to fix it.
Ian, I'm so happy to see you.
- I just came to return your desk.
Why don't you come in?
I have other deliveries to make.
- Ian, wait!
I wanted to tell you the truth so many times.
But I was scared.
Scared of what?
- I was scared of this moment.
I was scared of what you'd think of me.
And that you might not ever forgive me.
I didn't think I was gonna fall in love with you.
And your family, like I did.
And I didn't know how to
come clean about anything.
I just ...
I don't know what to believe anymore.
Was that desk even your grandmother's?
Ian, let me explain.
Goodluck with your career.
I hope it was worth it.
Cheer up!
They're never gonna forgive me.
- They'll come around. Give them some time.
Nice ears!
- I said: nice ears.
Hey! I like yours too.
Thank you.
Hey, what do you think about masquerade
mondays as a way to beat back the monday blues?
Masquerade mondays? You mean I'll have
an excuse to dress up every week?
I love it!
- I love it!
- Eggnog?
Let's go.
- Let's go.
Hope, Hope! It's not every day somebody
has his first story on the homepage!
Nice job!
- Thanks.
Wait! What's that?
That's some house fire.
A fire broke out in a family's home studio,
trapping a man in his fifties inside ...
He still in critical condition in the hospital.
- I have to go!
Your story is totally gone viral and the
Christmas Jar hashtag is trending.
Lay it on me. I'm gonna be hiring you as a
full time writer in the new year.
I have to go.
- Hope?
What would you say is your company's purpose?
O, that's easy. We make damaged
furniture beautiful again.
Clear and simple.
- It sure is.
You can fix just about anything if
you apply enough love and elbow grease.
You can fix just about anything if
you apply enough love and elbow grease.
I wrote a follow-up piece.
- O. I never asked for that.
You said the article went viral. Did you see how
many comments and questions there are?
So you wrote a new article answering questions
from your old article. We don't do that.
Please, Lyle.
I need to make this right.
No promises. I give it a read.
Many of you read my first article on the Christmas
Jar tradition. I was surprised and touched ...
by the extraordinary responses it created.
The truth is, I didn't tell the whole story.
A few weeks ago my apartment
was broken into.
That same night I myself received
one of these Christmas jars.
Hope got one too?
- Shhh, just listen.
There was no note and no explanation.
I needed to find out where it came from.
I discovered there were others as well.
My investigation led me to the family behind it all.
The Maxwells never sought the spotlight.
They taught me that people are mostly good.
We just need to be reminded of that sometimes.
And to look around and really see each other.
Especially those who need a helping hand.
I had just lost my mom to cancer and I was feeling
lost. The Maxwells openend their home to me.
I felt like I belonged somewhere again. My deception
was repaid with nothing but kindness and compassion.
I revealed a secret that was not mine to share.
And now I'm sad to report that the Maxwells
ate going through a tragedy of their own.
Adam Maxwell is in the hospital fighting for his life,
so please keep him and his family in your prayers.
And may the spirit of Christmas jars
live on in all of you.
Come on in, please.
How is your dad doing?
- We just got back from the hospital.
He's still in intubated in the ICU.
They are worried about respiratory failure
from all the smoking chemicals he has inhaled.
Hannah, I'm so sorry about everything.
I know you are. Come on in.
I'm so sorry about Adam.
- Thank you.
And I'm sorry for what I did to you.
For lying to you and for exposing your secret.
I trusted you.
- I know you did. And I'm so sorry.
I wanted to tell you the truth. No, I didn't,
but I just got so far in with all lies ....
that I couldnt find a way out.
That's all I really wanted to say.
And of course that I am keeping Adam and
you all in my prayers.
Do you want to stay for dinner?
I would really love to.
I really would, but my mom and I
always spent Christmas eve at the diner.
Though she's not here, it felt that if I were there,
then she would be with me.
Of course.
I could come with you if you want.
Thanks, Jake.
I'll be okay.
You should stay here with your family.
Ian, would you walk me out?
I know I screwed up.
And I know you might not ever forgive me.
So, if I never see you again, I want you
to know that I really do care about you.
That part was never a lie.
I got to go.
Are you okay?
- Yeah, fine.
Why don't we play a game or something,
instead of standing around staring at each other?
Good idea.
She must have forgot something.
How about a game of cards?
- I got them.
Alright, here you go.
It wasn't Hope.
- Who was it?
It was this woman and her little boy.
They gave this to me.
All she said was thank you and God bless you.
I'll get it.
Let me see that jar.
I got three more!
- Proper!
People who want us to know they're thinking of us.
I want to get that one!
- This is amazing, but I don't understand.
They're saying thank you.
That's all.
You better come and see this.
Merry Christmas.
- Thanks.
Thank you.
- Thank you.
My goodness, thank you.
Merry Christmas.
Mrs. Maxwell?
- Yes.
I'm so sorry to bother you. I know it must be
a very tough time. I just felt like I had to come.
Would you like to come in?
- Thank you.
I used to live near here when I was a newly wed.
- That's a happy time.
Some of it was happy, but not much of it.
My husband had a very bad temper.
Everything okay, mom?
- Come, join us.
These are my two oldest, Hannah and Ian.
My son in law Dustin.
I'm sorry, I just realized
I didn't ask you your name.
It's Marianne.
- Nice to meet you.
So nice to meet you all.
Please, go on with your story.
My ex-husband was a very violent man.
When I was nine months pregnant ...
he beat me so badly that I thought
I was going to die. But I didn't.
I survived and so did my baby.
I gave birth to her at home.
By yourself?
Yeah. I never had any friends back then.
He made sure of it.
I didn't have money for a doctor. He cleaned out
our savings account and took everything.
The rent was overdue, utilities shut off,
and there I was, freezing with a newborn ...
in an apartment, wallpaper
was eviction notices.
I had nowhere to go. No one to turn to.
I was inconsolable.
I could barely breathe, after ...
After what?
I gave her away. I gave my baby away.
I didn't know where to go. No one to turn to.
And out of nowhere
Just this little angel.
She gave me this jar full of change.
I just sat there. I couldn't believe it.
It's amazing.
That money did more than help me to survive.
It renewed my faith.
So I could pick myself up and carry on.
What happened to the baby?
I left her in a little diner.
I know it sounds terrible. It was terrible.
There was something in the kindness in
my waitresses eyes, the friendly owners, ...
it made it seem safer.
I just knew that someone else could give her
a better shot at life than I could.
But I think about her every day.
Marianne, have you had dinner yet?
Do you want us to come in with you?
Thanks, but I need to do this on my own.
I think this is the same booth.
- It is.
I'm sorry, this is so awkward.
I thought about this day for so long, and
now that it's here, I don't know what to say.
That was the worst day of my life
when I wrote that.
It's okay.
I'm sorry.
I'm okay.
And I'm really happy with you here.
Me too.
Did your mom name you Hope?
- Yeah.
Ohh! I'm Marianne.
It's nice to meet you, Marianne.
- Me too.
We have the same nose.
- Yeah, we do.
O, there's that huge ring blinding me.
O, so beautiful.
Thanks for making me look bad, Ian.
- O stop.
Who wants turkey?
- I do!!
Raise 'em up, that's it.
As this family gets any bigger,
we will need two turkeys next year.
And two Christmas jars.