Heaven Down Here (2023) Movie Script

Let us adore him
Lift up your voices
Sing it out loud
Sing it out clear
Don't forget the sprinkles.
[Roxy] Okay, Mommy.
Hey, Julian,
put a little bit of sugar
on those cookies, huh?
Yeah, perfect!
Great, babies.
[radio playing]
Oh, it's our song!
Come on, get your microphones.
Get your microphones!
Ready? Here we go. Here we go.
Dashing through the snow
On a one-horse open sleigh
Over the fields we go
Laughing all the way
Ha, ha, ha!
- [phone ringing]
- Oh, hold on, guys.
I'll be right back.
Keep... keep decorating.
[phone ringing]
Hi, Dan.
[Dan sighs]
Imani, hey, listen.
I'm gonna need you
to come in today, okay?
A singles group
booked off an entire section
for their annual
Christmas Eve mixer,
so I'm gonna need
the extra hands, all right?
Dan, I can't. I can't.
It's a lunch shift.
You'll be home by 6:00 p.m.
Dan, I promised the kids
that I would spend
the whole day with them.
I can't go back on that.
Imani, I'm not trying
to be a Grinch here,
I'm really not,
but may I remind you
what "at will" employment means?
Yeah, well,
I'll just have to risk it.
Mommy, come!
Let's finish the cookies.
[laughing] Of course!
[dial tone beeps]
[piano playing]
[children and Pastor Felix]
Go tell it on the mountain
Over the hills
and everywhere
Go tell it on the mountain
That Jesus Christ is born
That Jesus Christ is born
[playing a flourish]
[child] Merry Christmas!
I've been touched by an angel.
Thank you, children,
for that wonderful performance,
and thank you all
for coming today.
I know you have a lot to do
for Christmas,
but I want to put in
a personal appeal
for our annual Christmas
Mission dinner for...
w-well, for those
with nowhere else to go.
[speaking over noise]
This is an important cause.
Like the Bible says,
"Let us not love in word,
but in deed."
So if you can... if you can make
time in your busy schedules,
please talk to Gladys
on your way out.
Spread the word!
Thank you.
Merry Christmas.
That color washes you out.
You need to wear
more autumn colors.
Seriously? I-I love this color.
Mom, let's just eat.
Are you okay
with me leaving in January?
Of course.
I mean, I don't understand
why you need to go
cross-country for school.
Los Angeles
is no city of angels.
[chuckling] I actually
think you'd like it.
Lots of sunshine,
and it's the top film school
in the country.
You know,
how about we just, um...
focus on making Christmas great
I'm making our special dishes,
and, of course,
grabbing your favorite
Black Forest cake.
My favorite when I was like 10.
I'm paleo these days.
What are you talking about?
You love Black Forest cake!
[sighing] Mm.
Never mind.
It sounds delicious.
You know...
I could go with you.
I need to do this on my own.
Okay? But you can
visit me any time you like...
for a few days.
Oh, I-it's just an idea.
I was trying to help you.
Oh, God.
God forbid that I be late
for Ms. Nancy.
You know, she's the one dying,
but... [chuckling]
she just might kill me
in the process.
Okay, just be careful!
It's supposed to snow!
Love you.
Love you too.
[banker] I've already
given you two extensions.
There's no more I can do.
If we don't receive payment
by January 1st,
this account
is set to go to collections.
Listen... [sighing]
our family
has been through a lot
since I lost my husband.
We just need a little more time.
I'm truly sorry for your loss,
but unfortunately,
there's just nothing more
I can do.
Yeah. Yeah, you said that.
Um, I understand.
Well, if that's all,
then, Merry Christmas,
and please hold...
[call ringing]
Hey, Dan.
[call ringing on speaker]
[man] Hello?
How are you, my friend?
Listen, I'm...
I'm just checking in.
How we doing
on your company's donation
for our annual
Christmas Mission dinner
for the homeless?
When is that again?
It... it's tomorrow.
Right. Uh, listen.
I'm sorry, man.
Word from the board is that
they wanna change up
the end-of-year giving.
Change... change it up?
They've donated
for the past five years.
I know. It's not my decision.
I'm sorry, man.
Yeah. Yeah, m... me too.
Merry Christmas, Max.
Same to you.
[hanging up]
[chuckling sadly]
I'm sorry.
I couldn't help but overhear.
Should we cancel the dinner?
No! No, no, no, no.
No, we will... we will
figure something out.
I will...
[drawer opening]
go to the grocery store
and see what's on sale.
Are you sure that's enough?
Loaves and fishes, Gladys.
[bills crinkle]
Loaves and fishes.
[Roxy and Julian] We wish you
a merry Christmas
We wish you
a merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Roxy, Julian, I gotta go.
Have a great time
with Auntie Ellie.
When are you gonna come back?
Oh, I will be home in time
to tuck you in.
These are for you,
in case you get hungry.
Oh! This will be a great snack,
sweetie. Thank you.
[Roxy] No problem.
Come to me, love. Mm!
[car starting]
Bye, babies!
I love you.
I'll be back soon.
[car honking]
[radio] Ooh, this nor'easter's
blowing into Philadelphia
faster than Santa
and his reindeer,
so it's a perfect reason
to spend Christmas Eve
inside with your loved ones.
I'm leaving you
with this beautiful tune.
This is "Heaven Down Here"
by Mickey Guyton.
Hey, God, it's me
I hate to be a bother
But I could use
a minute or two
Yeah, I'm just so...
In the way this world
is coming unglued
And I can't help but wonder
Are you?
If you got a little love
left in your back pocket
[radio playing]
Rain it down like pennies
All righty. Here you go.
Well, that took long enough.
Is it even still hot?
It should be a good temperature.
You tell me.
It's fine.
Turn that music off.
- O-kay.
- [clicks radio off]
I'm gonna get you your blanket.
I don't want a blanket.
Well, it started
snowing outside.
You don't want to catch a cold...
I don't want you babying me.
Just... go sit in the kitchen!
On second thought,
go to the attic.
The attic?
Yes. The attic.
There's a box up there
with some Christmas ornaments
I haven't seen in a while.
Bring 'em to me.
You don't even have a tree.
Oh, thank you
for stating the obvious.
I'm your nurse,
not your servant.
I would ask
that you be respectful.
Bring me the box
from the attic...
[sighing wearily]
[stairs creaking]
[wheezing] Hello.
Diane, this is Clara.
I can't do this assignment
any longer.
Nothing has improved.
[panting] No.
I will stay till the New Year...
[wheezing] ...but then
you must reassign me, okay?
Ding, dong, Christmas song
Sing, sing, sing along
Ding, dong, ding, dong
Okay. Oh...
Oh, oh, oh.
[Dan] More dishes, please.
[clearing throat]
You're late.
In case you haven't noticed,
there is a snowstorm coming.
Traffic was a nightmare.
[Dan] You ever hear
it's better to give no excuse
than a bad one?
[she scoffs]
Well, look at you!
Getting into the spirit?
Well, it's good for business.
Got one for you right there.
Oh, no. That's all you, Dan.
Tables two and 16!
[dings bell]
And that's all you, Imani.
Merry Christmas to you too, Dan.
- What's that?
- Nothing!
Oh! [stumbling]
Oh. Oh...
Oh, you won't believe it.
I don't know how I'm supposed
to find anything in this mess!
I could be up here all night.
Oh... mercy.
[exhales] What?
[radio] Deck the halls
with boughs of holly
[engine dies]
No me digas!
[engine turns over]
'Tis the season to be jolly
Fa-la-la-la-la la-la-la-la
Fill the mead cup
Drain the barrel
[engine dies]
[Felix sighs]
Oh, I see!
We're in
an Old Testament mood today.
Very funny.
No puede ser.
[zipping coat]
[winds whooshing]
[snow crunching]
[doorbell jingles]
Ooh. Imani, can you please
set up tables four and seven?
The singles group is gonna
be here in an hour, okay?
I set them up
when you first asked me
20 minutes ago, Dan.
Fine. Start on the drinks, then.
Man, this storm's
really kicking up, huh?
I hope we're out of here
before it gets too bad.
Fingers crossed.
- [Felix grunting]
- [snow crunching]
Hey there!
You need some help?
Oh, I called a tow truck.
- Oh.
- It'll take some time.
Come on in while you wait.
We just put on
a fresh pot of coffee.
Thank you.
Could you tell me where's
the closest grocery store?
[Imani] They're all closed.
It's Christmas Eve.
[exhaling deeply]
You got any spiked eggnog?
That kind of day, huh?
[chuckling dryly]
[winded] ...there's, uh,
some really
beautiful artwork in here.
[opening clasps]
Ms. Swanson?
Shall I help you
put this stuff out?
Oh, for years, I haven't
decorated for the holidays.
What's the point?
There's nothing to celebrate
and no one to celebrate with.
I just needed
to see them once more.
This may be my last Christmas.
This stuff is beautiful.
This is my daughter's work...
We named her that
because she was born
on Christmas Day.
I didn't know
you had a daughter.
Will you and Noelle
be getting together
this Christmas?
She was
a very talented artist...
the youngest person
to win a scholarship
at the Institute of Art
of Chicago.
No one had
her attention to detail.
Oh, you see here?
The Star of Bethlehem emblem
is carved into each piece.
- Yeah.
- Yes.
That's the signature
for a Noelle Swanson original.
[Clara] Oh, my!
Is this your daughter?
This is personal!
Of course. I-I just thought
that maybe you would want
to reach out...
Don't you have something to do?
Can I get you some more tea?
I have everything I need.
[recorded voice]
We're experiencing delays
due to unforeseen
weather conditions.
Please stay on hold
for an update on your request.
Your estimated wait time
is four hours.
[Felix] Four hours.
[Imani] That doesn't sound good.
Is there anyone
that can pick you up?
- [phone buzzing]
- Oh.
Hey, Ellie. What's going on?
Hey, Imani.
I hate to bug you at work,
but Julian's upset.
I think he's having
a panic attack or something.
I don't know
if it's the storm or what.
I tried to calm him down,
but he only wanted you.
Could you talk to him?
Of course, of course.
Put him on.
[Ellie] Okay. I've got Mommy.
Hey, J!
How you doing, buddy?
I can't breathe.
My chest hurts.
I wish you were here.
I know.
And I feel awful,
but we can do this, right?
[sniffling] Yeah.
Just sit on the floor,
like we do.
Yeah, now,
put your arms up, up...
and stretch to the sky!
Okay, I'm gonna count.
On one, breathe in,
and when I get to five,
breathe out.
[breathing deeply]
two... three...
[blowing out]
How's that feel?
[chuckling] Awesome.
You are such a strong kid.
[Julian] Will you be home soon?
[Imani] Yes, sir! [chuckling]
Um, okay, sweetie, I gotta go.
I love you so much.
Love you too, Mommy.
Love you guys!
[blowing kisses]
[Dan] Table six!
Steak medium rare.
Um... I am so sorry
for sitting at your table
like this.
No, no worries.
That seemed important.
I take it that was your son?
my husband passed away
around this time last year,
and since then, he's been
having these panic attacks.
Well, you...
you handled it very well.
I enjoy bearing witness
to a mother's love in action.
"As a mother comforts her child,
I will comfort you."
Isaiah 66:13.
That's beautiful.
Thank you.
[clearing throat]
Imani, if you wanna sit,
you know, clock out,
take a break.
Thank you.
- Back to work.
- Of course.
Thank you.
[Dan] Here we go!
Number two special!
Pastor Felix Montes.
Looks like you're the man
in charge around here?
That's right.
Dan Russo.
What can I do for you, Father?
It's Pastor.
Or Felix is fine too.
Whatever you say, Fester.
- Felix.
- Hmm?
Never mind.
'Tis the season of giving,
and I was wondering
if you'd be willing
to donate some food
from the diner
to our church's holiday dinner
for the homeless tomorrow.
I-I-I don't think so.
I'm sorry.
It's fully tax-deductible.
Also, we could add
your business to our website,
send a ton of traffic your way.
Listen, this is a business,
so if you want food,
you'll have to pay for it.
All right.
How much will this pay for?
About two dozen hoagies.
You want 'em?
That's not nearly enough.
We have to feed 200 people,
at least.
You know, you might want
to cut your waitress some slack.
Seems like she's
the only one here
who actually understands
the meaning of Christmas.
[Dan chuckles wryly]
You know what? Uh...
actually, here.
This one's on me.
Merry Christmas!
God loves a cheerful giver.
- [doorbell jingles]
- [wind roars]
Okay, so...
Sylvie is here to relieve me,
so I'm gonna be on my way.
[distantly] Okay.
Is there anything I can do
for you before I leave?
You know, I can, uh,
take this stuff back...
Just go home, Clara.
I'm perfectly fine,
and I don't want
to pay two nurses.
All right, ma'am.
Merry Christmas.
Check the table on your way out.
Oh, Ms. Swanson, this...
[snoring lightly]
is so generous.
[file folder falls]
- [call ringing]
- Order up!
[man's voice] Leave a message
after the beep.
Hi, Jack.
I-it's Pastor Felix.
Merry Christmas.
I know it's late, but I'm...
I'm in a bit of a bind.
I was hoping maybe
you could donate
some cheesesteaks
for tomorrow's event.
Give me a buzz.
Thank you.
[exhaling deeply]
[Dan] Yes, well, you know,
it really is a shame,
but we look forward
to you dining with us
in the future.
Okay, I understand.
I am out of here!
- What?
- Yeah. Single Seniors called,
you know, they canceled
because of the storm.
Dinner service
is gonna be light, I figure,
so why not get my party on?
I agree.
No need hanging out here
if no one's coming in.
No. I do need you to close.
I canceled Jessica's shift,
Jaime can go home after
the last customer is served,
and you... can lock up.
Uh, no.
My shift is almost over,
and I gotta get back to my kids.
Call Jess back.
Well, Imani,
I need a team player here.
Jess has already kinda been
angling for more day shifts.
I would probably have
to give her some of yours.
What? No, no, no.
No, I need...
I need my day shifts.
[Dan] Hey. Couple more hours.
What's the big deal?
No, I'm not staying
past my shift.
Call Jess.
- You sure?
- [keys jingling]
Day shifts.
[Imani sighs]
Fine. I'll stay.
There you go. All right.
Have a good night.
Merry Christmas.
Hey, Mom.
[Clara] Hi, hi!
I-I'm going to pick up the cake,
and then
I'm heading home to cook.
Cake? What...
Don't worry about the cake!
I just heard that
the buses stopped running.
I-I know!
That's why I'm walking.
[Clara chuckles]
But I need the exercise,
and I love the fresh air.
Okay, Mom,
just please be careful,
and call me when you get there.
Look at you,
worryin' about your mama!
Okay, love you. Bye-bye.
How's the tow coming?
- Oh...
- [phone hits table]
I've given up on that.
You're a man of faith.
You're not supposed to give up.
How are you holding up?
I couldn't help
but overhear your boss.
No one's ever accused Dan of
having too much holiday spirit.
[chuckles ruefully]
If you want to close up early,
I won't tell.
Mm. It's okay.
I just need to power through.
Oh, Merry Christmas!
Uh, h-hey.
Excuse me. Excuse me? Um...
Was there... was there something
wrong with your service?
It was fine.
Well, I'm just wondering why
you only left a dollar tip
on a $75 tab.
Is that how you show
your Christmas spirit?
Look, I don't
have time for this.
My wife and kid are at the car.
Yeah, well, well,
I have kids to feed too.
That's not my problem.
If you're so worried
about your kids,
maybe get a real job
with benefits.
How dare you?
Sad that you have
to tear other people down
to make yourself feel better.
I'm with the lady here.
I think you owe her an apology
and a real tip.
I can handle myself.
[quietly] You know,
you didn't have to attack her
just to make yourself
feel better about being cheap.
If she can't hack it,
it's not my problem.
So... can it
with the goody-two-shoes.
Oh... Father, I...
You were rude to a good person,
doing an honest job,
for no good reason.
God has clearly
blessed you with much.
A pity you choose
to be ungenerous
with those gifts.
Merry Christmas.
All right, I'll admit it.
That was fun.
[Imani, to herself]
You're not gonna go out there
and wring his neck.
[deep breath, sigh]
We could use
A little more Heaven
down here
[capping lipgloss]
We could use
A little more
Heaven down here
[chuckling softly]
That customer had
an amazing change of heart
after I left.
Well, it is
the season of miracles.
Why do I have the feeling
you had something to do
with this particular miracle?
Well, thank you.
I understand guys like that.
I used to be just like him,
I didn't always
wear this collar, you know.
[he chuckles]
Until eight years ago,
I worked for
a big venture-capital firm.
All I cared about
was chasing the deal,
climbing the ranks,
even at the expense
of the people that I love most.
When that guy was talking,
I heard myself...
How I used to talk
to coworkers and friends...
He's probably deeply unhappy.
I certainly was.
So how did you end up
in the ministry?
Oh... uh...
I had a really bad year.
I lost my marriage...
my business.
I was forced to take
a hard look at myself
and ask
"What is truly important?"
I always wanted to help people
and guide them,
I left it all behind,
and I enrolled in the seminary.
I bet your past
makes you more relatable
to your congregation.
[chuckling ruefully]
You'd think so, right?
I... I don't know.
The church used to be
so filled with energy and hope.
We had the best choir
in the whole city.
And now?
Attendance is down,
and our choir director
joined a church across town.
[Imani laughs]
Well, have faith!
I mean, you got that guy
to give me a tip
on Christmas Eve.
You moved his heart.
Yeah, more like I gave him
a guilty conscience.
Either way... it worked.
I'd be happy to give you a lift
after work, if you like.
T-that would be a blessing...
if it's not too much trouble.
No trouble at all.
[winds gusting]
[Clara struggling]
So, be careful
on the roads, okay?
Always am.
Merry Christmas.
- Let's go!
- Oh, hey! You guys...
- Hey!
- Watch where you're going!
Oh. Boy! Scram!
Okay, Boomer. I'll scram.
What are you, 80?
[doorbell jingles]
What's wrong with being 80?
- Merry Christmas.
- Merry Christmas.
- [doorbell jingles]
- [wind rushes in]
Aah! Oh. Okay.
Okay, okay.
You know what?
I am done! [laughs]
we are closing up early
because the snowstorm
is so bad, okay?
Thank you.
Bold move. I like it.
[she chuckles]
Uh, Jaime...
um, we're closing up...
Executive decision.
Copy that, boss.
Uh, I just need
about a half-hour or so,
and I will take you home.
Oh, yeah.
Take your time.
[doorbell jingles]
Oh, thank you! Thank you!
[shivering] Ooh!
I don't think I could've
walked one more step.
Your light
was divine intervention.
we're closing, um,
so if you were planning to eat...
[Clara] Nope!
Just one Black Forest cake.
Oh, I-I'm so sorry.
I can't ring up
any more transactions.
Oh, well, fortunately,
I prepaid.
Oh. Uh...
Of course!
Of course. You must be...
I am. [chuckling]
[Imani] Yes! Oh...
Um, are you having
a big Christmas dinner?
No, just my daughter and I.
I am fixing
all of her favorites,
including a soup
that my mom used to make for me.
Well, cheers to both of us
making it home by Christmas.
[Clara chuckles] Yes.
Back of the house is closed up.
I packed a Christmas spread
for you and the kids.
Figured you could use
a pick-me-up.
Oh, Jaime... thank you.
Oh, oh, oh!
For you and the family.
I... love it.
Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas.
- Okay. Get home safe.
- Yeah.
May I see you to your car?
Oh, well, thank you,
Reverend, but no.
I'm going to walk.
Uh, I don't think
that you can walk.
[electricity crackling]
[power failing]
[Imani sighs]
What now?
Let's stay calm.
I'll check the fuse box.
Hang tight.
Thank God
for battery-operated lights.
[dialing] Ugh.
Hey, Ellie.
Hey, Mani.
Um, is everybody all right?
The power went out here.
Oh, yeah, we're fine.
It must just be a local outage.
The kids are upstairs
watching a movie.
[exhaling with relief]
Well, there are batteries
and candles
in the table in the hallway,
then I'm gonna lock up
and head out.
Uh, have you listened
to the radio?
They're saying all
the major roads are closed
because of
the weather conditions.
What? They can't do that.
Yeah, they're calling it
and they're saying
stay off the roads
unless absolutely necessary.
But this is necessary!
Their bedtime
is in a couple of hours anyway.
Just wait out the storm, okay?
As long as you're here
Christmas morning,
they'll understand.
We'll see.
Um, will you put them
on speaker, please?
Okay, hold on.
Kids! Mom's on the phone.
Here they come.
Say hi.
[both] Hi!
So, guys...
I hear you're having
a great time with Auntie Ellie.
[Roxy] Yes!
Are you coming home now?
yeah, well,
the storm is pretty bad,
so I am going to stay here
at the restaurant
until it clears up,
and as soon as I can,
I am gonna come home,
and we are gonna open presents!
[Imani laughs]
Okay, well...
I don't want you guys
to miss any of your movie.
Okay. Go ahead.
I love you guys.
[Roxy] Love you too!
[electricity crackling]
[Clara chuckles]
"And God said,
let there be light."
It's a miracle!
I say we get going
before anything else goes wrong.
[Clara] Yes.
I just heard that the city
has closed all of the main roads
until the storm passes.
[Felix] How long
is that supposed to be?
The advisory says...
5:00 a.m.,
and then it'll take
a couple of hours
for the road crews to come in.
We plan, God laughs.
[footsteps approaching]
[Imani] Stay warm.
Oh, thank you, honey.
Who's the handsome guy?
it's my son, Bobby.
Are you spending
Christmas together?
Uh... no. No, not this year.
Okay, it's getting cold in here.
Um, I'll go get some blankets.
We have a stash
for cold summer nights.
Yeah, don't worry, Jade.
Yes, I'll keep
checking the news,
and if anything changes,
I'll come home.
All right, good night.
I love you.
Is that your daughter?
Oh... [chuckling]
No, it's my patient's daughter.
I stole this file
from her today.
Oh... a confession.
You know I'm not
that kind of preacher, right?
You know, I never
understood why Nancy...
Th-that's my patient...
Why she was so...
hostile and difficult,
and then I found
this file today,
and when I showed it to her,
I have never seen her so...
I mean, for the first time,
I felt really sorry for her,
and I think
that this young lady
has something to do
with why she's so unhappy.
She must be estranged
from her daughter.
what exactly are you planning
to do with that?
am going to find
Nancy's daughter.
What are you still doing here?
I thought you left hours ago!
I did, okay? I did.
I did. I left.
You know what?
My whereabouts...
None of your business, okay?
I can come and go as I please.
It is my business,
because if it weren't for you,
I would've been long gone!
Imani! [grunting]
[Felix] Are you okay?
We heard screaming.
Oh, I am not even
a little bit okay.
Didn't we see you leave earlier?
[Clara] Who is this man?
This man
is the manager
of this fine establishment.
He forced me to cover a shift
on my kids' first Christmas
without their dad,
only to find out
he was here the entire time
playing video games!
Oh, I will never
buy another Black Forest cake
from you!
You can kick
somebody else around,
but you are not
ruining my Christmas.
What? Do I owe you
an explanation?
No, but you owe her one.
I'm just gonna take
back streets and side streets,
and it'll take twice as long,
but they can't have closed
every single road.
I am getting home to my babies.
In this storm,
that's a bad idea.
It's Christmas.
I have to try something.
You two seem like
good, trustworthy people,
so you can
stay here, if you want,
and Dan can take you home
and lock up...
[keys jangling]
but I have got to go.
Okay, all right, all right.
I'm all right.
- I'm okay.
- [pole breaking]
- [crashing]
- [yelping]
- [gasping]
- [power fritzing]
[Felix] Are you hurt?
Anything broken?
No, no, I'm fine,
and I can still drive.
No! That's not happening.
- [storm raging]
- [electricity fritzing]
I'm sorry I ran off like that.
I guess
I just had tunnel vision.
[Felix] I get it.
We put everything on the line
for our children.
It's 7:00.
He'll be asleep in an hour.
I really wanted to tuck them in.
They have been through so much
in their short little lives.
I admire your spirit.
[Dan clears his throat]
Imani, look,
I'm-I'm sorry about tonight, I...
Dan, I really don't want
to hear your lame apologies
right now.
Ah... Clara! Felix...
since we are going to be
stuck here
for the rest of the night,
we might as well enjoy
our Christmas Eve together.
A little festive
sparkling cider.
to Christmas Eve
at Rocko's Diner.
[they chuckle]
Not an evening any of us
planned or imagined, but...
it doesn't mean
we can't make it special.
[bubbles pouring]
- Cheers.
- Cheers.
[they chuckle]
[Clara] So, what would
you normally be doing
on Christmas Eve, Felix?
Mm... I'm usually busy
with the Christmas service,
but, back in the day...
[Latin guitar plays]
my whole family would
fly to my abuela's in Houston
We would play music...
and dance and eat...
and eat.
[all chuckling]
Just have a blast.
Whatever divisions
or arguments we'd had
over the year
just didn't seem important
in that moment.
I get what you're trying to do.
Reconciliation and forgiveness
is kind of your thing,
but I am not breaking bread
with that man after what he did.
Understood, but...
no one should be alone
on Christmas Eve.
Maybe you can extend
just a little grace?
[whispering] It's Christmas.
Look at him.
If you would like to...
bring your plate and join us,
please do.
[whispering] Happy?
[hushed] Good girl.
Tread lightly, love.
Look, uh, Imani...
I am sorry.
I didn't realize how important
this whole thing was.
I figured
it was a few more hours
and maybe you were just,
I don't know, being dramatic.
Maybe if you thought
about someone else's feelings
besides your own,
you'd realize the truth.
I get that,
but maybe I'm under a lot
of pressure with this job.
Oh, poor you.
Given a job
handed on a silver platter
by your uncle.
You mean the uncle
that barely respects me?
You really think
he wanted to give
the 28-year-old college dropout
this job?
No. He just did it
as a favor for my mom.
But look,
the bottom line of it is,
I didn't have some big
Christmas party to go to.
I just pretended like I did.
But why?
Oh, I don't know, Pastor.
Maybe I didn't want to admit
that I was a loser
that nobody wanted
to spend time with on Christmas.
that's just sad, isn't it?
Little bit.
Okay! Well, let's eat.
- Mm-hmm.
- Yeah.
[Felix] I...
[Clara] Yes?
I like to hold hands for grace.
Come on.
[cutlery clatters]
Heavenly Father,
thank you for this food
we are about to receive
that will nourish our minds,
bodies, and souls.
In your name, we pray.
[others] Amen.
[Clara] All right!
[Felix] This looks wonderful.
Jaime is the best cook
in Philly, I swear.
I don't know how you got him.
[all chuckling]
Dessert is on me.
Oh, oh, wow.
Oh... my daughter and I
used to make these cookies
when she was a child.
Mm! She loved to bake with me.
We would make candy and cakes,
and she'd get all sticky.
Black Forest cake,
that was her favorite.
I would buy one every Christmas,
and then I'd dress up
in bright colors
and wrap myself in tinsel.
"Just a little sparkle,"
I'd say.
And we'd sing songs
to the radio.
I miss that time.
This year, she tells me
that she doesn't
like Black Forest cake anymore,
but I know better.
That's why
it was so important for you
to pick one up...
even in a blizzard.
Sounds like a wonderful memory.
Next month,
Jade moves to Los Angeles.
Nothing'll be the same.
You can always visit.
- [crackling]
- Oh...
- Oh, come on.
- No.
All right. It'll be all right.
- Oh, my goodness.
- Stay. Just stay.
Oh, you know what, you guys?
I've got an idea.
Hold on.
[Felix] What is she up to now?
I don't know.
[Dan] What, we're doin'
arts and crafts?
[Imani chuckles] I keep this
behind the counter
to keep the kids occupied
while their parents eat.
We are gonna
spruce this place up
so it doesn't look like
a 20-something bachelor
decorated it.
[giggling gleefully]
We always made
homemade decorations
when I was a kid,
so I'm kind of an expert at it.
[Felix] Thank you.
No reason we can't add
a little sparkle in here.
Thank you!
Yes, ma'am.
Whenever my parents came,
we'd recreate
all the silly traditions
from my childhood.
This is all of us,
um, the last time
we were all together.
That's Martin,
before he was diagnosed,
and that's my mom and dad.
You are their spitting image.
Ha, ha. Yes.
When you are the child
of an interracial adoption,
everybody got jokes.
- [laughter]
- My bad.
At least...
they, um, they wanted me.
[Felix] Of course they did.
My parents were
of Scandinavian descent...
so we also celebrated
on Christmas Eve...
Lunch with family and friends
at the smrgsbord,
and then...
home for Christmas caroling.
Look at you!
I used to have the best
Christmases as a kid.
Video games...
snowball fights
in the backyard with my cousin.
Then my parents split up.
It's like everything's perfect,
and then all of a sudden...
[makes exploding sound]
falls apart, you know?
Yeah... I know.
Okay, um...
what do you got?
Oh, it's...
A disco ball!
[Felix chuckles]
So, what do you got?
Oh, I, um...
[Imani] Dan...
This is...
This is beautiful.
I had no idea you could draw.
A year of art school.
I didn't... I didn't know
you went to art school.
- [chuckling]
- Well...
let's make this place Christmas!
Not too shabby, guys.
- What?
- What's wrong?
My tips.
No, I-I put them in this pocket,
I'm sure of it,
and I can't find them.
Are you sure
you put 'em in that pocket?
Yeah, maybe you left them
in your apron?
No, no,
I put them in this pocket.
I-I checked right at closing,
and it...
Oh! That little...
[inhaling sharply]
That boy!
Ugh! I didn't even notice
when he was picking my pocket.
[Dan] Whoa, who are you
talking about?
The neighborhood kids?
They're always
in here causing trouble.
It's gone. It's all gone.
I... I can't...
[crying] Oh!
This whole day...
was for nothing.
No, I needed those tips.
The money!
Thieves and pickpockets
are everywhere this season.
You have to find
a more reliable method
of storing your money.
You can't be so careless, honey.
Yes. Yes, thank you, Clara,
for making me feel like
even more of a failure
than I already did.
You sure have a way with words.
I was just trying to help.
Clara didn't mean anything.
Martin and I were always a team.
I don't know if I can
do all this by myself...
and I just keep screwing it up.
Because you're trying
to do the impossible.
They lost someone they loved.
That's... That's the reality.
All you need to do
is be their mother.
Your love will get them
through anything.
It just feels like...
we're barely holding on.
my son,
he's grown up now.
But when he was little,
I can't remember
how many birthdays
or special occasions
I missed
because I was out of town,
trying to close some big deal
that I thought
was so important...
and now,
my son has cut me
out of his life.
[he chuckles sadly]
When I'm lucky enough
to get through on the phone,
he makes it crystal clear
that he wants distance,
and I can't blame him,
but I also can't keep
beating myself up for this.
Look, none of us is perfect...
but you are clearly
an amazing mother.
Never doubt that.
It's Christmas.
Maybe you can call your son.
I already reached out, and...
maybe next year.
I'm sure
you're a wonderful father...
because you're a good man.
[power fails]
But not such
an amazing electrician.
[both chuckle]
[Clara] Imani?
I am so sorry.
I know. It's okay.
And I had no right
to speak to you the way I did.
[Clara sighs]
Jade says that I meddle,
and that I can be too harsh
with my words sometimes.
You've just got
a lot of love to give.
Jade's lucky to have you.
When we moved here,
she was a baby,
and not everyone was kind to us.
I was committed
to protecting her,
and now I fear
that I'm the one who's judging
and finding fault.
It all comes
from a place of love.
I know my parents loved me,
but they were ill-equipped
at protecting me
from the harsh realities
of this world.
But I imagine
they did their best.
You know, I really could've
used an Auntie Clara...
speaking up for me
when I was growing up.
I was a schoolteacher
back in the day,
so I-I guess it sort of
comes with the territory.
thank you, Auntie Clara.
[Clara chuckles]
Thank you, Imani.
Whew. Okay.
We need some serious
holiday cheer up in here.
Yes, I agree!
It's been a lot.
About that...
look what we found.
- Oh!
- It's Jaime's.
He's in a band.
I let him store it here.
[Felix] I have an idea
about how to get a little
Christmas spirit going.
Okay. Well, whatcha got,
- Yeah.
- Oh.
- Well, there you go.
- Well...
- [laughter]
- That will help!
Mom, is Santa still coming?
I'm worried he won't show
since you're not here.
Yes, Santa is still coming,
but it's bedtime.
But we can't sleep
until you sing to us
like you always do!
I may have something
to help with that.
This is my Christmas Eve gift
to you two.
[she chuckles]
Away in a manger
No crib for a bed
The little Lord Jesus
Laid down
His sweet head
The stars in the sky
Looked down where
He lay
The little Lord Jesus
Asleep in the hay
Sweet dreams, babies.
I love you.
[chuckling softly]
- Oh, thanks, guys.
- That was amazing!
- Thank you.
- Wow.
Where have you been?
My choir needs you.
Mani always kills it
at karaoke nights.
I always loved to sing.
I even studied it in college,
I knew it was a pipe dream.
I don't think
it's a pipe dream at all.
[Clara] I don't think so.
[Felix] It's a gift.
Still looking at that file?
Oh, I'm trying to find
some contact info
for Nancy's daughter.
Clara, do you really think
it's a good idea
to involve yourself
in all of this?
Oh, no!
What is it?
An obituary.
Nancy's daughter,
Noelle Swanson,
died 30 years ago.
Looks like it was cancer.
The family made a donation
to a cancer research center
in Noelle's name.
Oh! I so wanted to bring Nancy
some Christmas joy.
Clara, this birth certificate,
it's not for Noelle.
It's for a "Denise."
Oh, look at the year...
and the mother's name.
Noelle had a baby.
Oh, Felix...
I can track down
this granddaughter for Nancy.
Clara, you could be walking
into a minefield.
What if Nancy doesn't
appreciate your interference?
I know that I can poke my nose
where it's not wanted
[he chuckles warmly]
but you, of all people,
should know
that this season
is about doing for others!
I mean, am I so wrong
for wanting to give
a precious gift
to a dying woman?
Of course not.
I'm just saying...
I just can't do anything right.
- Clara...
- [electricity groans]
Oh, no, not again.
[Imani] This is not good.
All of the food
in the freezer will thaw.
I have an idea.
Come with me!
Well, we can't do
anything about my problems,
but we can do something
about yours.
We were supposed to host
50 elderly romantics tonight,
but the storm put a wrench
in those plans, so...
do you think
this will work for your dinner?
[Dan] Wait, what?
I-I can't afford this food.
It's already paid for,
and it'll all go to waste,
and Dan wouldn't turn his back
on 200 people
down on their luck,
not on Christmas?
Right, Dan?
- Uh, well...
- I can't just take it.
Okay, you know, you know,
I'll just pitch the whole
write-off thing to my uncle.
Can we just get out of here?
It's very cold.
[Imani] Great, great.
So we'll keep
all the food in the freezer,
and it'll stay cool there.
There you have it.
That is so generous of you.
Well, that's what
Christmas is all about, right?
Bringing a little hope and joy?
I am very grateful to you both.
Yeah, well, I'm sorry
I was a jerk earlier.
You found your way in the end.
- Yeah.
- [chuckling]
I think I can do it.
I can make my soup
with these ingredients
and donate it to your event.
Thank you, Clara.
Okay, let's get to work!
I'm not doing this on my own.
[chuckling warmly]
Yes, ma'am.
Hey, hey!
I told you a fine dice.
It has to blend in.
You should be more worried
about bumping into someone
with a knife in hand.
[Clara laughs]
No! No, I'm cooking!
Oh, come on.
Show us your moves!
Oh! Felix, you've got moves!
You should share these
with someone special.
Have you ever thought
about getting remarried?
Oh, I already bombed at that.
I've got my church
and my parishioners.
Oh, you should be open
to God's will.
[he laughs]
- Imani...
- Oh!
You take over.
Dan, you're with me.
[Dan] On it!
[laughing] Oh!
All right, back to work.
Okay, back to chopping.
"Just a little sparkle."
Thank you!
Okay, enough.
Stop stalking your son
and call him.
You're not doing yourself
or Bobby any good.
It's getting late.
Call the boy. Fix it.
It's not that simple.
Go to him.
Talk to him face to face.
Maybe he'll be more open.
As someone with a complicated
relationship with his dad,
I agree.
[Felix chuckles]
Okay. Okay.
I promise
I will go to see him...
if we ever get out of here.
[Clara chuckles] Good!
Uh, hey. So, um...
I actually...
[paper tears]
drew something for your kids.
I still feel terrible
about tonight,
and I wanted
to do something for them.
I know it's not much, but...
[Imani] Are you kidding?
This is beautiful.
Yes. They'll love it.
Why'd you quit art school?
[Dan] You know,
the last Christmas I had
before I left school...
I actually had a blast.
Top of my class.
I had my girlfriend.
My friends and I,
we were inseparable.
A few months after that,
my girlfriend got offered a job
as a designer
at a huge clothing brand
in New York City.
She invited me to go with her.
I said no.
I was a jerk, I-I told her
that maybe we weren't right
for each other after all.
I was just gonna
hold her back, you know?
I missed my moment.
your circumstances
may have changed,
but your talent, your value...
That hasn't gone anywhere.
I should cut you some slack.
Yeah. I have been
so single-minded
since Martin passed.
It's hard to see what
other people are going through.
Let's be honest.
I was being a jerk to you too.
I just wanted people
to respect me.
At least here, you know?
obviously, I went about that
the wrong way.
You know I couldn't run
this place without you, right?
I know.
Okay, good.
[they laugh]
[Clara] Guys...
it's Christmas!
[Imani] Oh! Look at the moon!
[service trucks beeping]
[voices outside]
Hey, guys!
- [startled] Yeah?
- Guys, wake up.
[Felix] What time is it?
It's dawn. And come look. Look.
[voices outside]
A white Christmas
and their mom...
I know two little people who
will be very happy this morning.
[Imani chuckles]
[Clara] Well, how's that
for answered prayers?
[chuckles] Helps when
you got a direct line.
Really, I gotta
start going to church.
- [chuckling]
- [relieved sighs]
You know, I have to say,
this has been
one of the greatest
Christmas Eves I've had in ages.
As fulfilling
as pastoral life has been,
I've been feeling
a little bit uninspired
at church lately, and...
I didn't know what was missing.
But I know now.
It was family.
And last night,
I felt this...
This sense of family
that I haven't felt
since Bobby was small.
You have all inspired me
to reconnect with my son,
so thank you.
Okay, well, let's not all act
like we're never going
to see each other again.
In fact...
I would like to volunteer
for Mission dinner today.
I'll bring the kids.
Yes! I would love to come,
and I'll bring Jade.
[Imani] Ahem?
Oh, me? You know
I got nothing else to do.
I'll be there.
I love this idea!
Well, then it's settled.
Oh, so sorry.
Why do you have
a picture of me as a baby?
No, honey, that's, um...
[Dan] What? You're...
You're sure that's you?
I only have one baby picture
before I was adopted,
and if that wasn't
enough proof...
this puts any doubt to rest.
The Star of Bethlehem emblem
is carved into each piece.
Oh, it can't be.
What is going on?
What do you know about
your adoption, honey?
My parents never
gave me much information.
When I got older, I pushed,
but they weren't forthcoming.
I figured
it was something ugly, like...
like I was abandoned,
s-so I didn't press.
I think I know
who your mother was...
and who your grandmother is.
What do you mean, Clara?
[Clara] Okay.
My employer, Nancy,
she had a daughter, Noelle,
who was an incredible artist.
Noelle died
and left a baby behind...
And your grandmother has
been looking for you for years.
This... [paper rustling]
is a picture
of Nancy's granddaughter,
and I didn't realize it
until now,
and your... certificate...
Noelle had a baby girl,
"Denise Imani."
You are Nancy's granddaughter.
This is wild. I...
[chuckling in disbelief]
Your mother
put a Star of Bethlehem
on all of her artwork,
just like the one
underneath your collarbone.
No. I...
This can't be, and I don't...
I don't believe you.
Imani, your name...
it means "faith and belief."
Are you really ready to look
past this wondrous miracle
on... on Christmas Day?
You weren't unwanted,
and you certainly
weren't abandoned.
You were given
to a loving family,
and your birth family
has never stopped
thinking of you.
You're loved.
[crying] I was loved.
are you okay?
I don't know.
I think I'm processing
a lot of emotions...
fear, gratitude,
It's a lot.
I try to just accept
God's gifts for what they are.
[he chuckles]
Looks like Mr. and Mrs. Claus
had a rough night.
- Oh, ho!
- Ooh!
Hey, hey, hey!
I was wondering if I would
see these guys again!
[Dan] Are you all right?
Well, now
you're just showing off!
[chuckling to himself]
Speaking of gifts from God...
My tips?
You must have dropped them
when you tried to leave.
Well, I can't believe
they're still there.
Thank you!
[Clara] His wonders to perform.
[Clara] Okay, be careful.
Be careful.
[Imani] You good?
[Clara] You can hold
onto the banister.
[loud knocking at door]
If you're carolers,
I'll tell you
like I told the others.
Go away!
- [door opening]
- Clara?
What are you doing here?
I know that it's early,
but I have a special
Christmas gift for you.
I'm Imani.
Oh, babies?
Babies, come.
And who are you?
I'm Roxy.
I'm Julian.
Nice to meet you.
Well, it's nice to meet you too.
She was so talented.
Julian is a really great drawer,
so maybe he inherited
his talent from her?
I don't doubt it.
I have something for you.
Um, this was in Noelle's things,
addressed to you.
[Clara] Hey, guys.
Do you want
to go up in the attic
and find some really cool toys?
- Yeah!
- All right, come on.
[envelope rustles]
[exhaling softly]
"Dearest baby girl,
it has been
the privilege of my life
bringing you
into this world."
"I write this letter
to let you know a few things
that I wish
for your future."
"First, I wish that you grow up
in a family full of love."
I did.
[quietly] Good.
"I hope you embrace everything
this world has to offer
and that you get to experience
the miracle of motherhood."
"Even for
this brief moment of time,
it has transformed my life
in ways I never expected."
"I love you...
my sweet."
[exhaling softly]
When my parents passed,
I was wondering more and more
about my biological family.
Where I got my nose...
my voice, or...
my hatred of cucumbers.
That was from me.
[chuckling] Oh!
We didn't know
Noelle was pregnant,
or I would've come for you.
We always set
such high expectations for her.
Maybe too high.
Maybe she feared
we wouldn't accept you.
When I did find out about you,
I hired a private detective
who kept running into dead ends.
I wish I'd found you sooner.
Me too.
And Noelle...
I wish I'd had
the chance to meet her.
[quietly] Me too.
So many regrets.
[Imani] No.
No, this is a moment
to celebrate...
this wonderful gift.
We just have to make up
for lost time.
Yes. Oh, I, um...
[Nancy exhales uncertainly]
I would like it very much
if you and the children
would move in.
And I-I'll understand if you...
If you think me too forward.
It's just that I don't have
all the time in the world,
and whatever time there is,
I'd like to spend it with you.
[gate creaks]
[latch catches]
[exhaling tensely]
Merry Christmas, Bobby.
You okay?
Well, better late
than never, I guess.
I know we have
a lot to work out between us.
I let you down in a lot of ways,
and I regret
every single one of them.
But I love you, Bobby.
That is an undeniable truth.
if you're ever open to it...
I want to build on that.
No strings.
[Bobby] It's about time.
I've been waiting
for you to show up.
I'm sorry it took so long.
you'd better...
come inside, I guess.
I missed you, Dad.
[sobbing] My son.
You have no idea
how much I've missed you.
[both laughing]
Yeah. The kids
are gonna love living here,
and they're gonna love
having family.
[Clara chuckles]
- Oh!
- They are precious.
[Imani] Thank you.
Okay, so Jade's waiting.
I am gonna run.
Oh, Clara, Clara.
Thank you so much
for everything,
and I will see you
this afternoon.
Mm! With bells on!
[Nancy] Clara?
I don't have the words
to thank you
for bringing my family to me.
I know that my behavior with you
these past few months
has been insufferable.
I do hope
you'll accept my apology.
No need.
Oh, yes, there is!
I put my hurt onto you,
everyone else...
that's not right.
And I understand that...
you'll be leaving
at the beginning of the year?
No. I'm not going anywhere.
I'll be here
as long as you need me.
Merry Christmas?
Merry Christmas.
[Clara giggles]
[door opens]
[many conversations]
[Felix] Last night,
it seemed like
Christmas was going
to be a disaster.
We lost our biggest donor.
We got pummeled with that storm.
I admit, I was... I was feeling
a little sorry for myself,
and a bit weary.
My faith was being tested,
but that's okay,
because that's when
God brings his blessings.
He puts people in your path
that enrich your life
in ways you can't imagine.
You may have seconds,
and thirds.
Okay, you better be careful.
I might just want to marry you.
- Merry Christmas!
- Merry Christmas.
Hey. Here you go, man.
That is good for one free meal
at Rocko's Diner,
and you are welcome any time.
I appreciate you.
Merry Christmas!
[quietly] Merry Christmas.
Merry Christmas.
Last night,
God put three strangers
in my path...
and because of these people,
miracles happened...
small ones,
like little drops from Heaven.
We helped each other
find our way home,
and because of them,
I feel connection
and togetherness...
a true reason for the season.
I was reminded
of something really important
about Heaven last night.
Heaven... is other people.
We are at our strongest
[voice cracking]
when we lift each other up.
Let the church say, "Amen."
[congregation] Amen.
And now I would like
to invite one of my new friends
to take the stage
and sing a very special song.
[Imani] Okay.
[Felix begins to play]
Hey, God
It's me
I hate to be a bother
But I could use
a minute or two
Yeah, I'm just so
Heartbroken, disappointed
In the way this world
is coming unglued
And I can't help but wonder
Are you?
If you got a little love
Left in your back pocket
Rain it down like pennies
In this wishing well
of tears
I know that you're busy
But if you could
hear me talking
We could use a little
more Heaven down here
We could use
A little more Heaven
down here
[with choir]
We could use, we could use
We could use
A little more Heaven
We could use
some more Heaven, yeah
We could use we could use
We could use
a little more Heaven
We could use
A little more Heaven
down here
Merry Christmas.