Christmas Time Capsule (2023) Movie Script


Festive yet subtle with
hints of vanilla and pine.
The perfect gift for the
cognoscenti in every family.
[incoming call ring]
Hi Mom! Hi Dad!
Hey! You haven't sent us a copy
of your trip itinerary yet.
Have you checked the tire
pressure in the car?
[Elise] Your father is going
to send you a copy of all
the weather reports for each
of the states along the way.
[Frank] Oh and pack some flares,
and kitty litter for traction.
Don't worry.
I have been planning
this trip home for weeks.
I leave tomorrow morning
and I'll be hitting all
the festive stops along the
way to review for the magazine.
[Frank] That's my girl.
Writing off every
expense you can.
[Elise] We can't wait
to have you home.
Oh speaking of, is James home
for the holidays this year?
I can set up the guest room.
No, I don't think so.
His tour keeps getting extended.
I actually haven't
spoken to him in months.
Oh, that's too bad.
We always love having
him celebrate with us.
Me too.
[oven timer chimes]
Oh! That's my cookies.
Gotta go.
[Elise] All right.
We'll see you home soon.
And call us from the road!
But not while you're driving.
I am dying for your baking!
We'll see you Christmas Eve.
Seeing your family
for the holiday?
I'm going to ask my
girl to marry me.
Man, that's
incredible, congrats.
We're going to miss
you around here.
Thanks, brother.
Merry Christmas and be well.
Same to you.
[knocking at door]
Thanks again for looking
after the plants.
I'm so glad that we
won't be reliving
the cactus incident of 2012.
Hey Tiff.
What are you doing here?
I thought you weren't coming
home for the holidays.
Change of plans.
Well, come in.
You just caught me.
I won't hold you up.
I just needed to see you.
It's been what, like
eight months? I miss you.
The thing is, I've accomplished
a lot in the last ten years,
but it's time to start thinking
about the next chapter.
Moving on...
Settling down...
I'm not sure how to say this.
Don't be nervous.
It's me, your best friend.
Just say what you're
trying to say.
I'm ready for a real
a family...
That's so good to hear.
And I think I've found the
woman to spend my life with.
Her name is Ashley.
We met overseas.
Her father is one of my
commanding officers.
Tiff, you okay?
Okay... Um, great.
How long have you
guys known each other?
Six months.
That's why I needed to see you.
I'm planning to
propose at Christmas
and I need my
grandmother's ring.
You still have it, right?
Yes, of course.
But, don't you think it's
a little soon to propose?
I mean, I've had my house plants
for longer than six months
and let's be honest, I won't be
that upset if my neighbor
forgets to water them.
I know it's fast.
But her family has a history
of proposals during Christmas.
It's kind of tradition.
- Well, talk about pressure.
- [message notification]
Tiff, I hate to cut this short,
but I have to report
back to base and you
look ready to head out.
So, if I can just grab the
ring, I'll be right on my way.
It's not here.
It's back home.
I put it in a time capsule.
What? A time capsule? You what?
You buried my
grandmother's ring?
The family heirloom
ring I gave you
for safekeeping when I enlisted.
Of course not. It's on a
shelf in the basement.
Perfectly safe.
Well, okay...
Call your mom, ask her to
open the time capsule...
[Tiffany shouts]
That's not possible.
I'm the only one
who can open it.
Why? Does it have some sort of
biometrics technology
or something?
It's got some really
personal stuff in there.
Tiffany, this is important.
I'm sorry, but I'm not
asking my mom to open it.
I have been waiting ten
years for this, Jay-Jay.
I know you don't like
being called that anymore.
Not since I was like four.
It slipped out.
I assume you haven't gotten
over your fear of flying?
The last plane I was on had to
emergency land in San Diego.
Then I guess we're
going on a road trip.
[computer keys clacking]
[James' phone rings]
- Hey.
- Hey!
Where are you? We were
expecting you here hours ago.
Yeah, I uh...
Hit a bit of a snag.
What do you mean a snag?
I just have something
important I need to do first.
But I'll be there
as soon as I can.
What is it?
It's kind of a surprise.
Okay, I got to go, but
I will call you tonight.
Oh, okay. Umm...
Miss you.
Miss you, too.
Ready to go?
As soon as you put this on.
I'm not wearing that.
Oh come on, where's
your Christmas spirit?
Anxiously waiting for
me on a military base.
Smells like an elf died in here.
What is that?
It's ginger spice. I'm
reviewing it for the magazine.
Too much?
Just a little, yeah.
Well, maybe it's just
one of those scents
that needs to grow on you.
It's grown on me. Now I have
to have it surgically removed.
Too much ginger,
not enough spice.
[loud Christmas
music starts]

[music stops abruptly]
Hey! That's my holiday jam.
We need to plot the route.
Already ahead of you.
[map snaps open]
Four days? No!
We can make it in two if
we take turns driving.
I have been planning
this trip home for weeks.
Did you know that
the world's largest
Santa figurine
collection is in Utah...
I need to get the ring
and get back to base
as soon as possible.
Fine. Three days.
One roadside attraction.
- But...
- No buts.
I'm not the one who sealed
a cherished family heirloom
in a time capsule, remember?
[Tiffany's eclectic Christmas
playlist plays in the car]
The first Noel
The Angels did sing
Let's play a road trip game.
Christmas words
that start with 'S'.
I'll go first.

That was an easy one.
As in Santa's ride,
not a holiday massacre.
You technically piggy-backed
off my word, but I'll allow it.
Your turn.
I think I should
focus on driving.
[Tiffany's eclectic
Christmas playlist plays]
Sorry, I'm just feeling guilty
for not being completely
honest with Ashley.
She's really
special to you, huh?
She's one of the most
compassionate people
I've ever met.
And she's the daughter of one
of your commanding officers?
Yeah... Sergeant Dave's
been my mentor for years.
They have a huge family
and everyone gets together
on the base for the holidays.
It's really nice.
It does sound nice.
What's her astrological sign?
I'm not sure.
When's her birthday?
March the 20th.
Or 22nd...
You're going to ask
her to marry you
and you don't know
when her birthday is?
I know it's in March.
Well, that means she could
be an Aries or a Pisces.
I don't put much
stock in all that.
Obviously. Because
you're a Capricorn.
Okay, well, is she a dog
person or a cat person?
Dog person.
[buzzer sound]
You googled her?
Luckily I did. You're
deathly allergic to cats.
I just saved your life.
You're welcome.
All I'm saying is that six
months is not a long time
to know someone before making
a commitment this big.
It's long enough.
Nobody wants to wait forever.
Okay, easy one.
What do you love about her?
That's an easy one?
Isn't it?
As I said, she's compassionate.
She's smart, caring and funny.
Yes, yes, I'm sure she's
delightful, but what is
uniquely her that makes you
believe that she's the one?
She just gets it. Gets me.
This military life.
That's important.

Okay, then.

[changes music to
something funky]

[James sings] We wish you
a merry road trip
We wish you
a merry road trip
We wish you
a merry road trip...
And we are going home!
What? I am not a Scrooge.
Another 'S' word.
Your turn.

[alien sounding beeps and music]
This is your one stop?
This shop was listed as
one of the top must-see
holiday attractions by
Sci-Fi Fanatics Magazine.
Well, if it's a must-see.
No! I am not on the clock.
If I only get one stop,
I'm going to enjoy it.
And so are you.
Did you just throw an object
at an officer in uniform?
[fun music starts]
Come here, Tiff!
Let's have a feast
Let's celebrate
This time of year
That special day
We got a tree
We feeling good
It's all lit up in
the neighborhood
We can barely sleep
Can't wait no more
Yeah that's how we feel
on the 24th
We are all together
That's the greatest gift
So let's celebrate
cause it's the 25th
Come together
Now and forever
It's Christmas
Santa's here with
holiday cheer
It's Christmas
Yeah it's
Christmas time again
[song ends]
I have to admit,
this is pretty cool.
Right? Non-traditional, but
definitely an experience.
Christmas on base isn't all
that traditional either,
but Ashley's family helps
to organize a few events
to make it feel a
bit more like home.
Guess she wouldn't consider
spending the holidays
in Chicago instead?
Nah, I don't think so.
Take your time.
I should look around
for the review.
Hi! What names would you
like written on this, dear?
James and Tiffany.
I mean, Ashley...
James and Ashley.
Well, if that's your final
answer, I'll get this going.
It sure is.
Five dollars, please.
Thank you.
Thank you!
What do you think?
It really suits you.
It brings out your...
[talks like an alien]
Inner alien.
[clears her throat]
Oh, no no no no no no...
I don't think they have
mistletoe on other planets.
Plus it's an archaic tradition
that fails to take into
consideration an important
thing called consent.
Yeah, and besides
we're just friends.
Best friends. So yuck.
I mean, right?
I don't know.
We've never done it before.
Well you know that mistletoe
isn't only for lovers, right.
I mean, why don't you just have
a friendly consensual kiss then.
Unless you want a year
of cosmic bad luck.
I don't want cosmic
bad luck, do you?
Not particularly.
[James' phone rings]
It's Ashley. I should...
Hey, I've been
trying to call you!
Yeah. The reception on the
roads has been pretty sketchy.
It doesn't sound like
you're on the road.
Yeah, I'm at this alien
Christmas bazaar thing.
Look, I'm sorry I didn't
mention this earlier, but
Tiffany was driving home to
her parents for Christmas
and well, I just didn't
want her driving home alone,
so I offered to tag along.
Christmas Alien Bazaar...
Okay. Well that's sweet of you.
But are you still coming?
Yeah, of course. Yeah.
As soon as she's home safe and
sound, I'll be right on my way.
Just hurry up and
get here already.
You're missing all
the holiday fun.
I have mistletoe.
Oh, well...
I'll be there soon.
Okay. See you soon.
I think that ornament
should be ready by now.
Yeah, we should
probably hit the road.
Happy Intergalactic Christmas!
Yeah, you too.
[James snores loudly]
[Christmas music
plays on radio]
[James snores loudly]

- Snoring.
- [James snores]
[James snoring]
Sleep while you can, James.
At Sunrise, you Steer, I Snooze.
[James snores]
[James] So...
what's the deal with this
time capsule, anyway?
Well, I got a beautiful
stainless steel case
and I put it together the
Christmas before you enlisted.
Which is why I put
the ring in there.
Other than my ring,
what else is in it?
I'm not telling you that.
It's private.
Oh come on.
Just stuff that was
important to me back then.
Hmm. Okay, why not just
store everything in a box?
A box! No!
This is way more special.
Time capsules are a historic
cache used as a method of
communicating with
future people.
In this case my future self.
You set a date for it to
be opened, this Christmas,
and it should mark an
important life event.
I guess that's kind of cool.
Yes it is.
I figured it would appeal
to your historian side.
I'll grab snacks.
Sounds good.
[ringing tone]
Happy Holiday Road Trip Day!
James is driving with me.
Oh, that's wonderful!
Why aren't you more excited?
He's not staying. He's
spending the holidays on base.
Oh, and he plans to propose to
a woman he met six months ago.
What? Huh?
He's only along for the ride
to get his grandmother's ring.
You know, the one I put
in the time capsule.
[Elise] Okay. Well, don't
panic just yet.
I mean, anything can happen
in the next few days
on the road, right?
Well, that's the other thing.
He needs the ring
as soon as possible
so we're cutting
the drive short.
Only one fun stop.
Okay darling. Love you.
[Elise] Try and talk some
sense into that boy.
I'll try.
Can I interest you in a
holiday scented air freshener?
It's ginger spice.
- Um... No thanks.
- Fair.
It actually smells
like an elf died.
Ready to go?
Do you think you
have enough sugar?
No such thing.
[upbeat Christmas music
plays in the car]

Maybe we should
stop for the night?
Oh yeah.
I am not spending another
night on the road.
Oh wow! Look at this place!
This hotel has some
Christmas spirit!
Yeah you can say that again.
The front desk said this
was the only room available.
This works.
As long as you're okay with it.
Yeah, of course.
Oh! Did you want this one?
No no no no no.
It's all yours.
Oh wow.
Yeah, I thought you
might like some privacy.
A little trick I learned from
co-ed platoon tents overseas.
Thank you.
Nice PJs!
Laugh all you want but these are
the softest PJs I've ever worn.
They are definitely
getting a five star review.
They're cute.
What is it? Puppies and
Christmas critters?
I was supposed to be alone
when I packed for this trip.
Why is that?
Why is what?
Why are you single?
I can't remember the last
time you dated someone.
I don't know. It just hasn't
really been a priority.
And dating in LA is a nightmare.
Hard to tell genuine interest
from someone who thinks
I can help advance
their career somehow
because I work for the press.
Yeah, but
you meet people at work and
networking events, right?
I like to keep my professional
and personal lives separate.
Roger that.
[bathroom door opens, closes]
You good?
Yep. You?
I, uh, saw your release papers.
I wasn't snooping or anything.
They were just kind
of out in the open.
I was going to tell you.
I've decided to apply
for a civilian position.
No more active duty.
That must have been
a big decision.
It was. But I've served ten
years, four tours overseas...
They take their toll.
Your grandfather
would be really proud.
You think so?
Yeah, following in his footsteps
was always important to me.
And the military gave
me a great education.
I've seen the world.
Are you having second thoughts?
Part of me feels like I'm
letting people down or...
Will be.
Like Ashley?
Her father mostly.
The family has been on
six different bases
on three different continents.
And her mom actually served too
before she had Ashley, so...
[Tiffany] Well, I'm sure
they'll support your decision.
Yeah. I hope so.
So, what's next?
Yeah, I'm not sure yet.
I want to do something with
my military history degree
and stay active
in the community.
I know whatever you decide
to do you'll be great.
And I will sleep better at night
knowing you're not overseas.
[snort laugh] You have never
had any trouble sleeping.
[Tiffany pretends
I'm sorry, did
you say something?
I fell asleep.
Night Tiff.
Night James.
[Tiffany] I'm really sorry
about the ring and this detour.
I know you're in a
rush to get to Ashley.
It's cool.
I'm actually happy we get to
spend time together before I...
Before your next chapter begins.
[James breathes heavily]
No no no no.
[James sobbing]
[James mumbles]
- James?
- Get away.
No! No!
Hey, James.
[James mumbles]
- James.
- [yells] No!
- James.
- No!
Hey, hey. Hey.
- You okay?
- Yeah.
It's just a nightmare.
Sorry to wake you.
It's okay.
Holiday pajamas, though
comfy, evoke night terrors.
I'll be sure to mention
it in my review.
Are you sure you don't
want to go back to sleep?
If I only get you for a few
days, I'd rather stay awake.
You good?
This ain't my first rodeo.
[they both laugh]
[majestic movie music plays]

[light snoring]
[Tiffany yawns loudly]
Good morning.
Oh! What time is it?
O seven hundred hours.
We're a bit behind schedule
so we should get going.
Yeah, of course.
So... Life in LA...
How's that going?
Good. It's different.
Kind of lonely, actually.
Lonely? In LA?
Yeah well having a
lot of people around
doesn't really mean anything.
Plus I work from home so that
can be kind of isolating.
I really miss my parents.
Then why not move back
home to be near them?
You can do your job
from anywhere, right?
Still want to work
for a big newspaper?
Wasn't that the dream?
Community college only
got me so far, I guess.
You could always
go back to school.
You were so great at asking
those deep, piercing questions.
[they both laugh]
Not always a positive trait.
Well, I actually have a big
question of my own to ask.
Oh yeah? That sounds ominous.
Will you be my best man?
I mean, best woman?
You okay?
Are you okay?
Great. Just great.
That came out of nowhere.
We were already behind schedule.
I'm sorry. This is my fault?
You were the one who
peeled off the road.
Okay, well, maybe don't drop
a bomb like that on someone
when they're driving
on slippery roads.
A bomb?
I asked you to stand
beside me at my wedding.
She hasn't even said yes yet.
Ah, Tiff!
James, I haven't spoken
to you in months.
You just show up out of the blue
and tell me that you're marrying
someone you barely know
and ruin my road trip.
And now I'm expected
to be, like what?
A third wheel in your life?
No. I expect you to
be my best friend.
An important part of my life.
Oh Tiff, what?
You don't think we can be
friends after I get married?
Oh come on!
Marriage changes things.
Well, it doesn't have to.
You can't have the best
of both worlds, James.
[James' phone rings]
It's Ash.
[Tiffany, softly]
That's why.
[James into phone]
Yeah, this is not good.
[upbeat Christmas
music playing in car]

We should be there
in a few hours.
Why don't you take a nap?
You'll feel better
when we get there.
[slow music starts]
Snow is falling down
the streetlights
Lights are up
replacing the leaves
I just wanna be outside
Cut a tree from our backyard
Snowball fights
till it gets dark
Warming up by the fire
It's Christmas Time

It's Christmas Time

We're here.

Let's get you that ring.
Right. Let's go.
It's Christmas Time

It's Christmas Time
Mom! Dad!
Hey hey!
Oh honey!
What's with the
matching outfits?
Oh, we're training for the
Christmas Eve, 5K Santa Scoot.
The one on
Christmas Eve morning?
- Yeah.
- That's ambitious.
Yeah, well, it's
mostly downhill.
[they all chuckle]
It's good to see you, son.
How was the drive?
A blur.
How fast were you driving?
My fault. I've got
to get back to base.
What? You're not
staying for Christmas?
I got out all your
favorite board games.
I told you guys.
James is seeing someone.
He's spending the holidays
with her family on base.
Well, you can't leave until you
try my new ginger spice cookies.
Okay. Maybe just one.
Get in there!
Come on. Try these.
I have been dreaming
about holiday cookies
for last twelve months.
Everything in LA is like
gluten free, and carb free...
Oh! It lingers!
I tried something different.
Um... Sugarless.
Your dad and I are
trying eat healthier.
So now we have to be punished?
Don't New Year's resolutions
start in January?
Well, we want to get a
head start on things.
Speaking of...
You know I'd love to stay,
but I really should be getting
on the next flight out.
You look so tired.
Maybe you should have a nap.
Or a good meal at least.
I'm really sorry,
but I can't stay.
Can we get that ring?
Yeah. Of course.
One family heirloom
ring coming right up.
Yeah, I'll just stay here
and I'll do some warm ups.
What happened to the basement?
It's our new wellness center.
I'm mean, it's still
under construction,
but fitness starts here.
It's looks great, mom.
Oh good!
So, where'd you
put all my stuff?
It's gone!
Well, I donated most
of it to charity.
It was a bunch of old clothes
that are out of style
and books that you're never
read going to read again.
Based on my recipe book sales,
nobody reads paperbacks anymore.
I'm actually thinking
of starting a blog
or maybe doing
that tik tak thing...
Yeah, uh huh?
Please tell me that you
kept my time capsule?
Oh! Yes darling.
Of course I kept that.
I just can't remember
where I put it.
But, don't worry,
I'll think of it.
We'll help you look.
Oh no no!
Actually, you and Tiffany are
going to have to search for it.
Frank and I are getting
ready to go for a run.
We need to train!
- Mom...
- I'm coming Frank!
I need to catch
up to your father.
He got a head start.
[yells] Don't slow
down on account of me!
I'm the one that's the
sprinter in the family.
Hey, if I was you, I'd start at
the back of the wellness center.
Good luck!
I'm coming Frank!
You've got to be kidding me.
I thought you said
you knew where it was.
I did know exactly where it was.
I had no idea that my mom
was going to declutter
and make a home gym.
What does it look like?
It's a metal tin like this big.
And it has an open by
date sticker on it,
which isn't until
Christmas Eve, by the way.
Well, thank you for breaking
the international time capsule
society rules for me.
Aww! Remember your
ninth birthday party?
[they both laugh]
Do you remember how
terrified you were
of the clowns that mom hired?
You wouldn't go near them.
No, I would not.
I'm so lucky your parents
even threw me a party.
I know grandma appreciated it.
Her hands were full
after mom left.
I know they loved doing it.
Ah huh!
Proof you didn't always
hate Christmas PJs.
I didn't say I hated
yours last night either.
Ah, look!
Our Christmas sweaters!
Keep these out for the big day.
You were accepted
to Nation York?
This came right
after grandma died.
You stayed behind for me?
Of course I did.
I wasn't going to leave you when
your grandmother just died.
And you were getting
ready to enlist.
Tiff, you should have told me.
I'd have told you to go.
Which is exactly why
I didn't tell you.
Anyway, it doesn't matter.
It's not here.
Yeah, it's getting late.
I doubt you'll be able to
get a flight out tonight.
Do you want me to set
up the guest room?
Nah. A guy I served
with lives in town.
I should stop in and see him.
All right.
I'll crash at his place tonight.
I'll keep looking.
I'll text you when I find it.
[Ashley on phone]
You on your way yet?
Unfortunately not yet. Soon.
Wait. I thought you arrived
back home this morning?
Well we did, but we got tied up
at Tiffany's parents' house.
They're like family to me,
so I didn't want to be rude.
Do you have a
flight out tonight?
I'm still working on that.
What is going on, James?
You were supposed
to be here days ago.
It's almost Christmas.
I know. I'm sorry.
Look, there's just
something I need to do
before I can get there.
How much longer is
it going to take?
Hopefully not long.
- [Man] Hurry up!
- Be right there!
Look, they're doing the
holiday turkey giveaway now,
so I have to go.
Just promise me you'll
be on your way soon.
[Ashley] This is our
first Christmas together.
I just want it to be special.
Yeah, me too.
Just trust me, okay?
I want to be there.
I will be there.
Talk soon.
Hey! Good to see you, buddy.
Thanks for letting me crash
at your place tonight.
Trouble in paradise.
I get it.
Technically I have two
women annoyed at me
for different reasons. So....
Two women, huh?
Double trouble.
Not like that. [chuckles]
I'm planning to propose to my
girlfriend this Christmas,
but my best friend has my
grandmother's engagement ring.
Long story. How are you?
Good. Real good.
At first it was tough not
being in active duty but
the past few months
have been better.
Yeah well, what
are you doing now?
I'm heading up the
Veteran transition program.
Helping others find
jobs and housing
and any other support
groups they may need.
That's why I work here.
Lots of Vets drop by to have
coffee with their buddies.
It's a good place to talk.
I'm transitioning into
civilian life in the new year.
So, I could definitely
use some advice.
Really. What kind of position
are you looking for?
Well, I have a degree
in military history so
I'd like to use it for something
other than good grammar.
Good. So you saw the opening for
a historian at our war museum.
You applied and you want me to
put in a good word for you.
I have no idea what
you're talking about.
Okay. So there's an opening
for a historian here
at the war museum.
I get the updated available
position list every day in case
I have someone looking for work
who fits the job description.
Go apply. I'll put in
a good word for you.
Thanks man, but I'll
need to think about it.
I'm not sure if Ashley
will want to move out here
to the Midwest.
Which one is Ashley again?
Is that the girlfriend
or the best friend?
The girlfriend.
Got it.
Well, have a look around,
at least.
We're proud of our displays.
My grandfather's medals.
Family history can help
with your application.
If I decide to apply.
I knew you weren't on board
with this health kick.
I thought you were your mother.
I'm going to need
something to stay quiet.
So why are you sneaking
around, hiding treats?
Listen, I know marriage is all
about supporting the passions
of your partner, but I
don't know how much more
of this natural
sugar I can take.
[message notification]
You know, sometimes the
search for lost items takes
just the right amount of time.
Hmm. Tell that to James.
Your mother and I,
we met years ago
when we used to live in the
same apartment building.
A few of us were decorating
the courtyard Christmas tree
and your mother appeared
with a box of garland.
She was wearing this
beautiful red scarf
and a matching hat and gloves.
I tried to talk to her
but she was so shy.
I still don't believe
that mom was ever shy.
Your mom wasn't
always so feisty.
But anyway, as soon as the
tree was lit up, she was gone.
But I found one of her
gloves in the snow.
So I went and I knocked on
every apartment in that building
until I found the owner.
So when I did find her,
she invited me in to
taste her holiday baking.
And ever since, I have been
her official taste-tester.
I love that story.
But what you didn't know is that
on our wedding day, she admitted
that she had left the glove
in the snow on purpose.
Because she felt our connection
and she knew that I
would come find her.
Now, that sounds like mom.
You see?
Lost glove. Lost ring.
Your mother left the glove
in the snow on purpose
because she knew
I'd come find her.
James left that ring with you
because he knew he'd have to
come back to you to get it
before he married anyone else.
Good night sweetheart.
Don't stay up too late.
Good night dad.
[crunching under his feet]
Hey Elise!
Oh! Hey! Got to go!
Strength training.
If I don't move it, I lose it!
With a bag of groceries?
[Elise hums a
Christmas carol]
Good Morning.
Merry Christmas Eve!
Happy Christmas Eve.
I think Christmas Eve should
have it's own greeting.
Like, hey, it's Christmas Eve!
Or whadda ya know!
It's Christmas Eve!
Please tell me these
have real sugar.
Sugar adjacent.
Getting better.
At least I can swallow it
and it doesn't have that
lingering aftertaste.
Is that your official review?
Yep. Swallow-ability
has improved.
I'll take it.
So, I looked in the new
storage area. It wasn't there.
It wasn't in my bedroom,
it wasn't in the shed.
Do you have any idea
where else it could be?
It could be in the spare
guest room closets
or maybe the desk
drawer in the den.
I can't believe I can't
find his grandmother's ring.
I'm sure it will turn up.
And what if it doesn't?
I wouldn't blame him if he
never speaks to me again.
Not that he's going to after
he gets married anyway.
Why haven't you told
him how you feel?
I have no idea what
you are talking about.
Oh honey.
I've seen the way you've
always looked at him.
And how you've made important
life decisions based on him.
And that goes deeper
than friendship.
I can't just tell my best
friend of twenty years
that I'm in love with him.
Why not?
For a woman as direct about
her feelings on just about
everything, you've always held
back when it comes to James.
Fear of losing him, I guess.
What if he doesn't
feel the same way?
Well, you'll never know
if you don't tell him.
Well, it's too late now.
I should keep looking.
You're on the right track.
Yeah, but what am I missing?
[door opens]
[door closes]
Why did you run away
from me this morning?
What? Oh!
Was that was you?
Oh, darling, I thought it was
one of those pesky kids wanting
to get me to donate recyclables
to their hockey team.
If it was a better team, maybe.
Is Tiff around?
Yeah, she's searching the
guest rooms and the den.
Oh wow! This is a great photo.
It was the last Christmas before
you went off for basic training.
Every summer we biked up there.
And every winter,
it was the best place in
the city to see the lights.
You kids used to call
it your secret spot.
You thought nobody else knew.
How's the baking coming along?
Oh gosh.
I can't seem to get them to
simultaneously taste good
without having that
texture of chalk.
Hey, your grandma
was a great baker.
It must have rubbed off on you.
Come on, give me a hand.
Ah, no, I...
I should probably be helping
Tiffany search some more.
Ah, Tiff can handle it.
Come on. Roll up your sleeves.
Okay, yeah.
Can I lick the spoon, at least?
Yes, I will let
you lick the spoon.
Whoa! Jay-Jay!
[they both laugh]
That was worth keeping just
to see the look on your face.
Come on. Let's go.
Okay, what should I do next?
The moment of truth.
I believe in you, Elise.
You've got this!
Oh! Perfect timing.
Uh hmm.
These are good.
Like, really good.
That's my official review.
You can publish it if you like.
Did you give up and
go back to real sugar?
I just had some unexpected help
and a holiday baking miracle.
Thank you!
So. Any luck?
I'm sorry James.
I looked everywhere.
Oh look you guys.
Come watch the race and as soon
as it's done, we'll come back to
the house and we'll tear it
apart looking for that ring.
I promise.
What do you think?
Okay, but I really need to
be on a plane by tonight.
It's now or never, sweetheart,
while the universe is handing
out holiday miracles.
James I have to
tell you something.
You know where the
time capsule is?
What is it, Tiff? Say it.
We've been friends a long time.
And sometimes, when two
friends are really close,
it's hard to distinguish
love from....
What I'm trying to say...
What I'm saying is...
- [loud horn sounds]
- [almost inaudible] I love you.
I didn't hear you.
Ah... Never mind.
Yes, I know! You have
to get back to Ashley.
No, Ashley. Over there.
[loudly, warning]
Ashley, are you okay?
What are you doing here?
I came to surprise you.
It doesn't matter where
we spend the holidays
as long as we're together.
I'm Ashley.
Right. Introductions.
Ashley, this is my...
Friend, Tiffany.
What are you doing here?
James said that you were
spending Christmas on base.
What a great surprise!
Welcome to our home town.
It's so lovely to meet you.
I've heard so much about you.
It's been like Ashley this
and Ashley that...
And I can't wait
to get to Ashley.
And Ashley, Ashley, Ashley!
[embarrassed laughter]
Oh, that's sweet.
I didn't realize how
cold it would be here.
I don't think I packed anything
suitable for this weather.
If you want to grab
some warmer clothes,
there are plenty of
shops along Main street.
Yeah. If we're going to be
stuck here for Christmas,
that's probably a good idea.
Will you come shopping with me?
I could use a female opinion.
This guy thinks camo is a color.
[laughs heartily]
Guilty there.
Pffff... What was that noise?
My laugh.
Since when?
I can tag along.
No. No way.
This will be my opportunity to
get all the insider info on you.
Okay, I thought you wanted to
spend Christmas Eve with me.
There will be plenty of
time for that tonight.
I checked into the B & B on Oak
Street and I'll call around
to see if we can get some last
minute dinner reservations.
All right.
You guys can't have Christmas
Eve dinner at a restaurant.
Oh Tiffany, that's
so sweet of you!
We would love to join you
and your family for dinner.
Yeah! Okay.
I'm seriously going to
turn into a snowman
if we don't get out
of here soon. So...
I'll see you later. Yeah?
Sounds good.
All right! Well, have fun.
And I guess I'll see
you both later then.
Oh boy!
You came to apply for the job!
Not yet.
I just needed somewhere
to go to decompress.
What's going on?
Still no luck finding the
ring and now Ashley's in town.
Ashley's the girlfriend?
Why is that a bad thing?
Because she's
shopping with Tiffany.
The best friend?
But you and Tiffany are
just friends, right?
But things have somehow
gotten complicated.
Complicated how?
I had feelings for Tiffany
for a very long time.
Over time, I learned
to push them down
because they were
never reciprocated.
But earlier today,
I don't know, there was a...
A thing, a spark or a
connection, or something.
Maybe. I think.
What about Ashley?
A life with Ashley makes sense.
She understands this life.
Just because Tiffany doesn't
have a military background
doesn't mean that she
can't empathize with.
Or what you're going through.
Or will go through.
You're not helping.
Listen, lots of service
members are afraid about
the transition
into civilian life.
Afraid of losing the
family and the camaraderie
that they've had
within the military.
The support system.
You think I want to marry Ashley
as some sort of safety net?
Only you can answer that.
All I can tell you is that
you won't be alone in this,
whatever you decide.
I have a lot to think about and
maybe I need to take
more time to do that.
You're making a lot of
life changes all at once.
Maybe take a breather.
You're right. We've only been
together for six months.
There's really no need
to rush to propose.
Thanks, man.
No problem.
[big sigh] Think I'll add
relationship counselor
to my job description.
Would you like anything?
No, thank you.
I should probably bring
something back for James.
I feel kind of bad
for abandoning him.
Hi! Can I get two...
Let me guess.
Two peppermint mochas?
Yes. That's perfect.
How did you know?
I'm really really
good at my job.
James hates peppermint.
And caffeine in the
afternoon makes him jittery.
Oh. I guess, in that case, just
one peppermint mocha and uh...
A decaf latte, extra
foam, extra hot, please.
One peppermint mocha
and one decaf latte.
Keep the change.
You know so much about him.
I've known him forever.
He's different around you.
Different how?
I don't know. He just has a
different energy around you.
familiarity that's all.
You two have been best friends
since elementary school, right?
Yeah, we met in
recess detention.
I was in trouble for
writing a critical review
of the English teacher's
expected choice of reading
instead of a review
of the actual book.
And James had gotten into
a fight with an older kid
for bullying a first grader.
That sounds like James.
He's always had a
protective streak.
I mean, that's why he insisted
on driving home with you.
He didn't like the idea of you
driving alone on the highway.
He's just so considerate.
That's James.
I bet you have a lot
of great stories
from when you two were kids.
If you need any funny
ones for the wedding,
I'm your girl.
Wait, is James going to propose?
Is that what all of
this has been about?
Oh, ah, I don't know...
Such a relief!
I feel really foolish right now
for being so jealous of you.
Jealous of me?
You were all James
talked about overseas.
For a long time, I thought
maybe he was in love with you.
And then this road trip
home during the holidays.
I just...
Don't worry.
I'll still act surprised
when he pops the question.
I have to get something
else, so I'll see you later.
Oh. Okay. Bye!
- Hey!
- Hey!
Decaf latte, extra
hot with extra foam.
Just give me a sec.
Tiff! Wait up!
Tiff, wait up!
I'm going to find the ring.
I won't stop searching
until I find it.
Actually, I was thinking...
I can wait on the proposal.
I just want you to enjoy this
time with your parents and
whenever you find
the ring, it's fine.
Thanks for the coffee.
Wait, what?
But you said her
family tradition
is to propose on Christmas.
This was a big deal.
I know, but you were right.
It's only been six months
and what Ashley really wants
is to spend the holidays
with her family, so...
Ah, that may not be
all she wants anymore.
What are you taking about?
I may have let slip that
you're going to propose.
You what?
I know! It was an accident.
I just said something about a
wedding and then she inferred.
Kind of like how she inferred
her invite to dinner tonight.
She does that a lot.
And I talk a lot.
I can't believe this.
You were going to propose
an hour ago. What changed?
Besides the fact that
I don't have a ring?
I said I'll find it, Jay-Jay.
Well, I guess you don't
have any other choice now.
Do we?
[both together]
I'm sorry about that.
That's okay.
Even in this warmer
coat, I am still freezing.
I have no idea how people
live in cold places.
I don't know. It doesn't
truly feel like Christmas
being surrounded by
sand and palm trees.
Oh, give me a fake pine
smell and that yule log
in the fireplace loop on
the TV and I'm all set.
Are you happy I came?
Yeah. Yes. Yeah.
I do feel bad you're missing
time with your family though.
Oh, it's okay.
They understand.
And I know I've been pressuring
you to tell me what all of this
is about, but I promise,
I won't bug you anymore.
Whenever you're ready to
tell me is totally fine.
Let me show you
around town first.
[Elise humming a
Christmas carol]
[door opens, closes]
Hey, where did you go?
I didn't see you
at the finish line.
The cat's out of the bag.
We need to find that ring.
What do you mean?
Ashley's here. In town.
And I accidentally let slip that
James is going to propose.
What? I thought you were going
to tell him how you felt.
Yes, I tried to.
And then Ashley showed up
and everything kind of
went in slow-motion.
And then the next thing I
know, I'm helping her shop
and inviting her to our
Christmas Eve dinner.
Actually, she kind
of invited herself.
I can't breathe.
Okay. Slow down.
- Take a breath.
- Okay.
[takes a deep breath]
James is going to murder me
if I don't find that ring.
And now Ashley is expecting
a Christmas proposal.
This is a nightmare.
Calm down.
Go over there. Go sit down.
Wait here.
I guess I'm going to
have to hand this over.
You knew where it
was this whole time?
Mom! James has been
going out of his mind.
Ashley flew all the way here.
I just thought that if I'd give
the two of you more time...
I feel bad.
Honestly I do, but I think
James is making a mistake.
And I've known that
boy a long time.
Well, if he is making a
mistake, that's his to make.
Yes, but I'm also
thinking about you.
And about your happiness.
Look, I know what it feels like
to feel like you may be losing
the love of your life.
Look at this kitchen.
All this holiday baking,
it's because of
your dad's health.
Is dad sick?
Why didn't you tell me?
We didn't want to worry you.
But last year he was really sick
and the bloodwork came back
with the results, so...
But the doctor says
he's doing great now
as long as he watches
his sugar intake.
Well, this is different.
James isn't sick, he's in love.
You risk losing him
and that pain is the same
no matter what the cause.
Look, I think James
is just blinded
by what he thinks he wants.
Raised by his grandparents,
he's always wanted a large
family and that supportive unit.
I wish he knew he
had that with us.
And he always will.
That is a beautiful ring.
Here we go!
Looks amazing.
[chatter and laughter]
James, you look so lovely.
I'm so glad you guys found
the old Christmas sweaters.
[Ashley] Thank you so much
for having us for dinner.
Oh well, of course.
James and any friend of
his is always welcome.
So, you two met overseas, right?
[Ashley and James]
Uh huh.
[James gets a
message notification]
My father is his
commanding officer.
I was volunteering with the
peace corps at the time.
Well, that's so interesting.
So noble.
It truly changed my life in more
ways that I could have imagined.
And then I met James.
And I feel like nothing's
been the same ever since.
Oh. Well, we love James...
I have a toast!
Huh? Okay.
To a very memorable Christmas.
[laughter, glasses clink]
Cheers. Merry Christmas.
[James quietly]
I'm sorry I took
so long to find it.
It was actually really nice
spending time here
with everyone.
It was good having you home.
What do you think of her?
Ashley? She's wonderful.
[James chuckles]
That's it?
Come on! From the woman who
can write a thousand words
on holiday scented cat litter?
I'm not product reviewing
your girlfriend.
How about an honest opinion
from my best friend?
She is refined but approachable,
she has an amazing
sense of style
and a genuine openness
that's hard to find.
And she loves you, which
is the most important part.
You think this is
the right decision?
You don't need my
approval, James.
Yeah, but I'd like your support.
You know you have it.
Before at the race you were
going to tell me something.
What was it?
You know, I don't even remember.
You should probably get
back inside with Ashley.
My parents are probably
going to make her play
Christmas charades.
[sad music begins]
Are you coming inside?
Yeah, in a sec.

Can you feel the magic?
A hint a spark electric
Pulling me into your eyes
Like snowflakes
floating from the sky
Drifting down a lullaby
I'm fa la la la
falling for you
Oh it's just a
dream come true
Like a gift out of the blue
I'm fa la la la
falling for you
[James V.O.]
Dear Tiff,
We've been best friends for
as long as I can remember.
You've never let me down and
the love that I have for you
goes deeper than friendship.
I haven't had the courage
to say this out loud, so
I'm doing it this way.
You see, there's a
difference between love
and love-love.
I feel the second one for you.
Now, this may be a lot
for you to take in.
And if you don't feel the same
way, you don't have to say
anything and I'll
respect your decision
and pretend this never happened.
I'll be your best friend forever
and move on with my life.
But if you do feel how I feel,
just let me know it, Tiff.
Write me back. Text me.
Call me.
It's always been you.
Love, James.
I'm fa la la la falling
Into a wonderland
full of bliss
A starlit mistletoe kiss
Never have I felt like this
It's like snowflakes
floating from the sky
Drifting down in a lullaby

You came back.
Uh, Ashley forgot her scarf.


Where were you rushing off to?
I think you're
fa la la la falling too
I was going to find you.
[music ends]
- You were?
- Yeah.
James, I'm in love with you.
I always have been.
I mean, eighth grade you
got a little annoying, but
ultimately for me,
it's always been you.
Why are you only
telling me this now?
Because our timing
has never been right.
And it is now? When I plan
to propose to someone else?
Okay, so maybe it's still
not the right time,
but it's either tell
you now or lose you.
James, you can't deny that
we're perfect for each other.
We've been best friends forever.
We share similar passions
and similar life goals.
I know you.
I know that you want
to settle down here.
And I know that you
want a big family
like the one you never had.
James, choose me.
Why didn't you say something?
Why didn't you
respond to my letter?
I put it in the time capsule.
You put it in the time capsule?
Well, you told me
to wait to read it
and not open it right away.
Yeah, I meant wait until
I left the room, Tiff.
Like wait ten minutes.
Not ten years!
You should have read it!
I know.
I read it now.
[sad music begins]
Do you still feel the same way?
December comes
before you know
The streetlights
from the stars
Plans for yet another year
Never went that far
I'm with Ashley now.

It's too late, Tiff.
The bells will ring
The sky may fill with snow
But all that I
have left to give
Only you will know

Dancing slow to
a Christmas song

Until the day is done
Hey, Ash, why do you love me?
What kind of question is that?
Because you're kind and caring
and brave and adorably handsome.
But why me?

Never mind.

I have something to tell you.

What's this?
You're leaving active duty?
I want to apply for
a civilian position.
When did you decide this?
On my last tour overseas.
Why didn't you say something?
I wanted to surprise you.
Surprise me?
Or afraid to tell me?

Well, maybe a bit of both.

I thought you were
happy serving?
I am. I was, but...

I want other things too, Ash.
I want a different
career, a family.
You can have a family.
I mean, daddy did.
You traveled around a lot.
I want to set down
roots in one place.

The military life
is all I've known.
I've been planning a life like
the one I've always had.
Traveling, seeing the world.
Being in a position of service.

I'm sorry, Ash, but
I don't think I can give
you the life you want.

Maybe we were rushing
things a little.
[sad music ends]
And also, you're
in love with Tiffany.
Anyone can see how perfect
you two are for each other.
You have a shared past.
You want the same
things for your future.
I can't compete with that.
She's been in my life for
as long as I can remember.
Then I don't want to
stand in the way of that.
Look, I know you're a good guy
and you want to do the right
thing, but maybe the right
thing is what makes you happy.
And if that's Tiffany and
life here in the Midwest...
Then that's what you should do.
What about you?
I'll be fine.
Maybe I'll enlist.
But right now, I am going
to head to the airport
and get out of this
freezing arctic of a city.
I'm sorry for dragging you away
from your family like this.
Oh. That was my
impulsive decision.
Now it's time for yours.
See ya.
[sad music begins]
See you dancing
Around the tree
I see you laughing
With family

Cause I've been away
for the whole year
And you have been praying
for some kind of miracle
To take me back home
On Christmas Eve

It's gonna be
a wonderful time of year

It's gonna be
a wonderful time of year

It's gonna be
a wonderful time of year

It's gonna be wonderful
It's gonna be
A wonderful time of year
It's gonna be
a wonderful time
A wonderful time of year
[song ends]
Decadent and delicious
without the guilt.
A perfect holiday
treat for any family.
Hey, you did the right
thing by telling him.
Yeah, a little too late.
I need some fresh air.
Think I'll head to the
lookout, check out the lights.
Okay. Love you, darling.
She's back.
You're still here!
I've decided to apply
for the position.
But tonight, I need your
help with something else.
Name it.
Do you have any
extra holiday lights?
Is this for the girlfriend?
The best friend.
Come on.
[music playing on radio]
Snow is falling
down the street
Lights are up
replacing the leaves
I just wanna be outside

Cut a tree from our backyard
Snowball fights
till it gets dark
Warming up by the fire
It's Christmas Time

It's Christmas Time
[James] Thought you
might come here.
What are you doing here?
It's the best place in the
city to see the lights.
Where's Ashley?
She went home.
It's over.
Really? Why?
Because of you.
You see me.
What do you mean?
You asked me how I knew
Ashley was the one
and I couldn't answer because
she wasn't the right one.
You are.
Every good memory I
have includes you.
And every bad one has
you standing by my side.
You've never let me down.
You've always been there for me.
But more importantly,
You see me like no one
has ever seen me before.
So, what do you say?
Can I kiss my best friend?
You kept this safe for a decade.
Can I keep you safe
for a lifetime?
I love-love you, Tiff.
I love-love you too, James.
Merry Christmas.
Merry Christmas.
[James] I thought we could
take another road trip
after the holidays.
I think I owe you a redo.
I do have to head back to LA
so I can pack my things
so I can move back here.