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Int. Living Room – Day
Niles is decorating the staircase with cramberry strings and garland. Fran and the kids enter from outside, dressed in ice-skating outfits. The children carry their skates. Fran munches on a bag of chestnuts. They hang their coats in the entry hall closet.
Fran : Okay kids, run upstairs, hang up your skates, and don’t forget to put those wet clothes in the hamper.
Maggie and Brighton exit upstairs.
Niles : No wet clothes for you, Miss Fine?
Fran : I didn’t fall.
Grace : She didn’t skate..
Grace exits up stairs, too.
Niles : And yet, such a lovely ensemble.
Fran : Hey, you should see what I wear when I don’t play tennis. (Then, noticing decorations) Oh, cranberries on a string. Who started that tradition?
Niles : Probably Ocean Spray.
Fran : Niles you old Scrooge. Get into the spirit.
Niles : Spoken by one who doesn’t have to clean it all up.
Fran : That’s the thing about Chanukka. Eight candles and a Menorah. No muss, no fuss.
Niles : Is it too late to convert?
Fran : Never. We’ll give you a bar mitzvah, and of course, a circumcision –
Niles : Suddenly I’m filled with the spirit of Christmas.
Int. Living Room – Day
Maxwell is directing from a chair how the christmas tree gets trimmed. Niles strings the lights. The children and Fran have formed an assembly-line to unwrap ornaments. Fran is humming along with the music from the stereo.
Fx : Fire in the fireplace.
Fran : My first real Christmas tree. I’m so excited.
Fran begins to place tinsel on the tree.
Maxwell : Miss Fine, what on earth are you doing?
Fran : I’m puttin’ on a tinsel.
Brighton : (Mock shock) Not before the lights.
Fran : Oh, is that a faux pas?
Maggie : Lights first, ornaments second, tinsel, always last.
Maxwell : But just a whisper.
Grace : Father’s very anal about his tree trimming.
Fran : One year we begged my mother for a Christmas tree. She called it a Chanukka Bush. P.S., the candles from the Menorah set the flocking on fire and the fumes put my father in the emergency room.
Maxwell : A variation on the burning bush classic.
Fran : Well, my mother took the whole thing as a sign from God, and from then on we spent every Christmas at the Fountain Bleu in Miami. To this day I can’t get a whiff of Bain de Soleil without havin’ a yen for eggnog.
Niles : Sir…
Maxwell : Ready, everyone? Three, two, one!
Maxwell plugs in the lights, illuminating the tree.
All : Ooh!
Maxwell : Niles, I thought we agreed on twinkling lights.
Niles : Here.
Niles takes the plug from him and pulls it out, causing the lights to go out. He then pushes the plug back in. The lights go on again. He repeats this several times.
Maxwell : Miss Fine, I realize it’s a holiday and a bit of an imposition, but is it at all possible for you to work on Christmas day?
Fran : Are you kidding? To be a part of a real Christmas? It’s a dream come true. I bet Niles makes a great razzleberry dressing.
Maxwell : Razzle what?
Fran : (A la tiny tim) And razzleberry dressing… (Then, OFF Maxwell's look) What, you never saw Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol? Uch, and you’re in the theater.
Maxwell : Precisely, which is why I need you to work Christmas day. I’ll be in D.C. producing a benefit at the Kennedy Center.
Fran : You won’t be home for Christmas?
Grace : He’s never home for Christmas.
Maxwell : Grace, we’ve been through all this. We’re raising money for children who aren’t as fortunate as we are.
Brighton : (Sotto, to Grace) Yeah, but keep laying in the guilt, we’ll get better presents.
Maxwell : We’re not canceling it altogether. We’ll simply celebrate it a day early.
Fran : He’s moving Christmas? You can do that?
Niles : They do it for Washington’s birthday.
Fran : You go to all that trouble fathering a country, and before you know it, you’re sharing the third Monday in February with Lincoln and a white sale.
Grace : He’s never home on Lincoln’s Birthday either.
Fran : Guess we’re on our own for Christmas. So, let’s write our letters to Santa.
Grace : Isn’t that cute. She still believes in Santa.
Fran : I believe in anyone who delivers.
Brighton : Well, we believe in Edna.
Fran : Edna Claus? Would that be the missus?
Maggie : No, she’s Dad’s personal shopper. She buys all our gifts.
Fran : So what you’re saying is, you give your list to Edna, and she gives it to Santa.
Grace : Fran, please, I wasn’t born yesterday.
Maggie : Fran, it’s better this way. When she believed in him, she drove herself crazy.
Brighton : Crazier. She thought Santa was always watching her. Was she naughty? Was she nice?
Grace : Plus, he had me on some list and he was checking it twice.
Fran : (Exasperated) Gracie, chill out, he’s Santa, not Joe McCarthy. If you did believe in Santa, what would you want him to bring you?
Grace : Daddy for Christmas.
Fran : How about a nice “Easy Bake” oven?
Grace and the kids aren't cheered.
Fran : (Cont'd) Alright, wait here.
Fran exits to hallway.
Int. Hallway – A Moment Later
Fran encounters Niles in the hallway.
Fran : Uch, Niles, these poor kids are real grinches, and that Gracie’s the anti-Claus. I gotta talk to Mr. Sheffield.
Niles : Well, I hope you’re not going to upset him, he’s writing out the staff Christmas bonuses.
Fran : How do you know?
Niles : Well, did you think the keyholes polished themselves?
Fran : So the Nanny gets a Christmas bonus, too? Oh, that’s great news, ‘cause I want to buy each of the kids something fabulous, but have you seen the price of fabulous now a days?
Niles : Please. I can’t even afford wonderful. Fortunately, Mr. Sheffield is usually very generous.
Fran : Well, if he thinks a check is gonna make up for his not being here…
Niles : Four figures, Miss Fine.
Fran : Glory to the new born king.
Int. Library – Later
Maxwell is writing checks. C.C stands nearby.
C.C : Oh Maxwell, look what I’m standing under… is that mistletoe?
Maxwell : (teasing) I’m not sure. It looks rather more like holly.
C.C : It’s mistletoe. And I believe tradition calls for a kiss.
Fran : Alright.
She gives her a kiss on the cheek.
C.C : (Wiping her face) Merry Christmas Nanny Fine.
Fran : Whoops I got some lipstick on ya cheek…
C.C : Oh for heaven’s sake.
Fran : Meanwhile that shade looks gorgeous on you. Do you really have to go outta town for Christmas?
C.C : Yes, he does.
Fran : (To Maxwell) I love the way you throw your voice like that.
Maxwell : Miss Fine, I have to be there.
C.C : It’s a very important benefit. We’re raising money for the… Who are we raising money for? The poor, right?
Maxwell and Fran give her a look.
Maxwell : I’d love to spend Christmas day with the family, but I just can’t.
C.C : We can’t.
Fran : You’re going, too?
C.C : (Smiling) Uh-huh.
Maxwell : (Quickly) And we’ll be working the entire time.
C.C : Well, I think we’ll have time for dinners…
Maxwell : No, no dinner. The only reason I’m going away with Miss Babcock is for charity.
C.C : Thank you, Maxwell.
Maxwell : Well, you know what I mean.
C.C : No, no I don’t.
Maxwell : Was there anything else, Miss Fine?
Fran : Far be it from me to tell ya’ how to do Christmas, but you’re doing it all wrong. The father’s going away, kids don’t believe in Santa, and I haven’t seen one stinkin’ partridge in a pear tree.
Maxwell : Well, that’s why we’re moving it up a day. And I really want to make it special. So I’ve told my personal shopper to go all out.
Fran : That’s another thing. This woman doesn’t know our kids. A personal shopper is so impersonal. Although, not a bad career choice.
C.C : I’ve got an idea. During those many hours when the children are in school…
Fran : Yeah…
C.C : And you basically have nothing to do.
Fran : I fill my days.
C.C : Why don’t you get their gifts?
Maxwell : That’s not the worst idea. You would know what they want.
Fran : Don’t you want to pick out your own presents? If it were me, I’d much rather get something you picked out yourself. Believe me, a gift from the heart means so much more.
Maxwell : (Getting into it) Well, I suppose I could find some time to pop into F.A.O. Schwarz. But what do they want?
Fran : Trust me, whatever you pick out they will love and cherish forever. (Beat) Just make sure it’s returnable.
Int. Vestibule/Living Room – A Few Days Later
Fran and Val enter, loaded with shopping bags, ect. Maxwell can be seen attempting to assemble a bicycle. Niles stands by reading to assist.
Fx : Snow falling.
Fran : I got such great stocking-stuffers for the kids.
Val : Are you putting up a stocking?
Fran : I figured I’d hang up my pantyhose, that way I’ll get double.
They cross into the living room.
Fran : Hiya, Mr. Sheffield.
Maxwell : Hello ladies.
Fran : Ooh, looks like we’re not the only ones who went shopping.
Maxwell : Oh, yes. We had a wonderful time. Children laughing, people passing, meeting smile after smile.
Niles : He’s been doing that all day.
Maxwell : Admit it, old man, we had fun.
Niles : Only when you let me ride in the cart.
Maxwell : (To Fran) So what do you think of Brighton’s bicycle.
Fran : Who designed it, Picasso?
Maxwell : It isn’t finished yet. The salesman said serious cyclers build their equipment themselves.
Niles : Oh, they saw him coming.
Fran : Well, if ya’ need a few pointers, Val’s very mechanical…
Val: (Modestly) I’m a plumber’s daughter.
Maxwell : I’m a grown man, I’m sure I am perfectly capable of assembling a child’s bicycle.
Fran : May the testosterone be with you.
Maxwell : Niles, I need a Phillips Head screwdriver.
Niles passes the screwdriver to Maxwell like a surgeon's assistant would.
Niles : Phillips Head, sir.
Maxwell : Niles, this is not a Phillips Head. (To Val) Is it?
Val : (Examing it closely) No.
Niles : Who was this Phillip anyway?
Fran : And what must his head have looked like?
Maxwell : If you want something done, you have to do it yourself. (Beat) Val?
Maxwell and Val exit. Niles begins stringing popcorn.
Fran : Look at this gorgeous sweater for Maggie. I got great stuff for everyone. You think Brighton likes Aramis?
Niles : What happened? Did you win the lottery?
Fran : I wish. More like rubber checks. Relax. I’m not gonna let them bounce. Tomorrow I get my Christmas bonus, Saturday and Sunday the banks are closed. Monday I make an instant deposit, and I’ve done my part to stimulate the economy.
Niles : Don’t you have a credit card?
Fran : Not since my little run-in with Edward Scissorhands at Macy’s.
Int. Living Room – Christmas Eve Morning
It is the crack of Dawn and Fran, dressed in colorful holiday robe and slippers cheerfully goes down the staircase followed by Maxwell.
FX : Snow falling outside.
FX: Fire in fireplace.
Fran : (Calling behing her) Come on everyone. Merry… eh-
Maxwell : Merry morning of the day before Christmas.
The children enter in assorted robes and sleepwear.
Fran : (Re: plate on foyer table) Look Grace, Santa took a bite out of the cookie we left him.
Grace : I didn’t know Santa wore red lipstick.
Fran : (Beat) The man gets out of the house once a year. Live and let live!
Maggie runs to grab a gift for Fran.
Maggie : Fran would you open my present first?
Fran : Before the family?… Alright.
Fran takes gift and begins to unwrap.
Maggie : I hope you like it… I made it myself… I mean it’s okay if you don’t…
Fran : Honey, I’m sure I’ll love it, ‘cause a gift from the heart is worth more than the present itself. Right Mr. Sheffield?
Fran winks at Maxwell.
Maxwell : Absolutely, Miss Fine.
Maxwell returns the wink.
As Fran opens her gift from Maggie.
Fran : (Thrilled, searching) Ooooh –
Maggie : It’s a pajama holder.
Fran : Ooooh. And I don’t already have one.
Niles : (Sotto to Fran) Because you don’t wear any pajamas.
Fran : You have polished your last keyhole. (Rising) Thank you, Maggie. Now who’s next? Oh, Mr. Sheffield…
Fran gives Maxwell a gift.
Maxwell : Miss Fine, how kind of you.
He opens the gift.
Maxwell : (Cont'd) I’ve always wanted a Swiss Army knife.
Brighton : Cool, let me see.
Brighton and Maxwell look at it together.
Maxwell : Be very careful, Brighton. These are designed for soldiers. It has all kinds of intricate survival gadgetry. What’s this?
Fran : (She looks) That’s the clipper for your nose hair! You don’t want bushy nostrils in battle.
Niles : Be all that you can be, sir.
Brighton : Dad, I love my what is this?
Maxwell : It’s a bicycle – kit.
Fran : Bicycle kit?
Maxwell : Half the fun of owning a bike is building it yourself.
Niles hands Brighton a screwdriver with a bow on it.
Niles : And this is from me.
Brighton : Gee, guys, you shouldn’t have.
Maggie : He really wanted Cindy Crawford.
Brighton : At least she’s built.
Maggie : Daddy, I love my pearls.
Maxwell : I wanted your first string of pearls to come from your old man.
She hugs Maxwell.
Grace : (Removing wrapping paper) Oh, “The Screamer”! Thank you.
Maxwell : I’m glad you like it. And I hope you understand why I can’t be here tomorrow.
Grace : I understand.
Maxwell : That’s my big girl. Merry Christmas, sweetheart.
He crosses to Niles.
Grace : Merry Christmas, Daddy.
She punches the doll.
Brighton : (Sotto, to Maggie) No hidden hostility there.
Maxwell : (Re : envelope he pulls out of his vest pocket) Niles ol’ man, what can I say, year in and year out, you’re a friend indeed. Thank you and Merry Christmas.
Niles takes the envelope from Mxwell and opens it. It's a check.
Niles : Thank you, Mr. Sheffield, this is more than generous. It’s hard to express just how much I… deserve this.
Maxwell : You’re welcome. And Miss Fine…
Fran : (Drooling) Yeah?
Maxwell : Your contribution to this family has not gone unnoticed.
Fran : I think I’m gonna cry.
Maxwell : (He hands her the box) Thank you and Merry Christmas.
Fran : What’s this?
She begins opennig gift.
Maxwell : Your Christmas present. I gave it a lot of thought and picked it out myself.
Inside the box she finds a small vase which she turns every which way but loose with hope that a check might fall out.
Fran : Oooh.
She continues to shake the vase.
Int. Living Room – Later That Same Morning
Fran sits disconsolately as Niles cleans up. They are alone.
Fran : Me and my BIG mouth! Niles will you come visit me in debtors’ prison.
Niles : Miss Fine, you should be flattered that Mr. Sheffield got you a gift. I’ve never known him to give a staff member anything but a check.
Fran : Well, who the hell needed that distinction? Why can’t I mind my own business? Be more like you… cold and aloof.
Niles : I’m no fool. (Re : Vase) You know it really is a lovely vase.
Fran : Gorgeous, but does it fit through an automated teller? Niles, if you ever catch me shopping again, just slap me up side the head.
Maggie skips down stairs wearing the new sweater Fran bought her.
Fran : Maggie, honey. You’re wearing the new sweater already?
Feeling up the kid's arm.
Maggie : Oh, I just love it. It’s the most beautiful sweater I’ve ever seen.
Fran : (Concerned) Oh isn’t that sweet… Ya didn’t cut the tag off did ya?
During the following, Fran and Maggie tug on the sweater.
Maggie : Yes. Why?
Fran : (On second thought) Oh that’s okay. I got the receipt.
Maggie : Fran, I’m keeping the sweater. I love it.
Fran : No you don’t.
Maggie : But Fran you picked it out. It’s from the heart.
Fran : (Hugging Maggie) Really the minute I saw it, I thought it had your name written all over it. Go wear it in good health.
Maggie exits with one sleeve hanging to her knee.
Fran : Now what am I gonna do?
Niles : That offer to loan you the money still stands.
Fran : I consider you my friend, so I’ll be frank – I’m not good for it.
Niles : Well, it really is an exquisite vase. The perfect piece to begin one’s personal art collection.
Fran : Yeah… what do you think I can get for it?
Ext. Pawn Shop – Est. Shot
Int. Pawn Shop – Later That Day
Fran : I coulda taken it straight to Sothebys but I’m givin’ you a break here. This is antique hand-blown glass.
Paul : Sweetheart, it’s a vase.
Fran : It’s very old.
Paul : So am I. Don’t you have something I can unload? A VCR or a nice semi-automatic weapon?
Fran : Paulie, don’t you know a valuable antique when you see it? It’s practically Elizabethan.
Paul : (Suddenly interested) Elizabeth Taylor?
Fran : No, Liz the Queen.
Paul : Who?
Fran : The bald one, with the big collar.
Paul : Oh her. No can do. If ya’ said Elizabeth Montgomery, ya’ know “Bewitched”, then I could move it.
Val : (Desperate) Uncle Paulie, will ya please buy the vase? The woman owes the world. She’s desperate, we’ll take anything.
Fran : And that Val, is why you cannot get a partner for bridge.
Int. Living Room – Later That Day (Early Evening)
Fran and Grace are watching TV. Brighton and Maggie are attempting to assemble Brighton's new bicycle. Maggie's reading instructions. Niles is placing the luggage near the door.
Fran : (To Grace) Cheer up, honey. (Switching channels) Oh look, my favorite, “It’s A Wonderful Life”.
Grace : We’ve already seen it six times.
Brighton : Today.
Fran : There’s a Christmas special on the Shopping Channel.
Fran once again switches channels.
TV Announcer : (O.S.) “Call now, and you can own “It’s A Wonderful Life” at a wonderful price.”
Fran : (Turning Off TV) Uch, can you believe this? Although, for nine ninety- five it is a classic.
Fran reaches for the phone. Niles walks by and slaps her on the back of her head.
Fran : (Cross-eyed) Thanks, I needed that.
Maxwell descends the stairs.
Maxwell : Niles, did you remember my attache?
Niles : Yes.
Maxwell : My carry-on?
Niles : Always.
Maxwell : Well then, seems like we have everything.
C.C enters from the library.
C.C : Maxwell?
Niles : Oops, I guess I did forget one old bag.
Grace : Daddy, I wish you could come to church with us. Do you really have to go?
Maxwell : I wish I didn’t, Sweetheart. I’ll miss you very much. All of you.
Grace : Can’t we come with you?
C.C : No! I mean, oh wouldn’t that be grand? Unfortunately, we’ll be working ‘round the clock.
Maxwell : She’s right, Sweetheart. Even if you came, I’d never get time to see you. You’ll have more fun here.
Fran : Honey, at least he just has to work Christmas. My sister, the caterer, works every holiday. Thank God we fast on Yom Kippur, or we’d never see her.
Maxwell and C.C cross to vestibule. Fran follows them out.
Maxwell : Thank you for that, Miss Fine. And I do hope you like your vase.
Fran : Heh?
Maxwell : It reminded me of you. One of a kind with just the right accent. You’ve been a wonderful addition to our family. And I hope you’ll cherish that vase as the children cherish you.
Maxwell exits as Niles re-enters.
Fran : Niles, would you watch the kids? I gotta go buy something.
Niles hits Fran upside the head,as we.
Int. Pawn Shop – A Short While Later (Night)
Fran pounds on a bell at the counter.
Val : You know, every time a bell rings an angel gets it’s wings.
Fran : Who cares?
Fran : (Cont'd) Paulie, I want my vase back!! It’s right there next to… (Straining to see it) Richard Burton’s toaster?
Paul : It’s good to see them back together again.
Val : Fran, you can’t do this. How you going to pay your bills?
Fran : I’ll think of something. That little vase is the most meaningful gift I’ve ever received in my whole life. (OFF Val's look) Except of course for that Polaroid swinger ya gave me at graduation.
Val : Well, I was gonna say…
Paul hands her the vase.
Paul : Here you go – four hundred dollars.
Fran : Four hundred? You gave me two.
Paul : Overhead… Storage…
Fran : You’re a crook.
Paul : Whatever.
Fran : Paulie, work with me here. would you take my watch?
Fran starts to take the watch off.
Val : (Gasps) Oh, not your grandmother’s watch! She gave that to you on her deathbed!
Fran : Thank you, Val, you’re making this a lot easier.
Ext. JFK Airport (Stock Shot) - Est.
Int. Airport – A Little While Later
Maxwell is on the phone. C.C stands by waiting for their flight. Santa is nearby, ringing a bell throughout the scene.
Maxwell : (Distressed) Thanks for telling me, Niles. Have a good holiday, old man.
He hangs up.
C.C : What? What?
Maxwell : I gave Miss Fine a gift in lieu of a check and aparently she had to hock her grandmother’s watch to pay for the gifts she bought for the children.
C.C : Oh, how tragic. It’s positively Dickensian. (Cheery) Oh well.
Maxwell : I wish there was something I could do.
C.C : Too bad, our flight leaves in ten minutes.
Announcer : (O.S.) Flight 851 going to Washington Dulles International airport will be delayed three hours… Merry Christmas.
C.C : Cocktails and dinner.
Maxwell : I’ll be back.
As he exits.
C.C : What if you miss the plane? What about those poor underprivileged people counting on us?
Santa walks by, ringing the bell.
C.C : (Cont'd) Oh, give it a rest.
Ext. ST. Patrick's Cathedral – Est. Stock Shot
Niles and the children are sitting in a pew. Fran enters and makes her way across the pew towards them.
Fran : Excuse me, pardon me, silent night, holy night.
Niles : Miss Fine, you’re late.
Fran : I’m sorry, but I don’t have a watch, remember? Oh, this place is magnificent. Did I miss anything?
He hands her a bible.
Niles : Here, this ought to bring you up to date.
Meanwhile, people have been linig up to go into confessionals.
Fran : Look at the crowd at the confessional. There were shorter lines at the gift wrap at Macy’s.
Niles : It’s been a rough year for everyone.
Fran : Tell me about it. I’ve got a few things I’d like to get off my chest. (She thinks a beat) Tell me Niles, are these confessionals open to anyone? Or is it more like the Homeclub?
Niles : You in a confessional? I’d pay good money to see that.
She starts exiting the pew.
Fran : Excuse me. All is calm. All is bright.
Niles : Oh, God in heaven.
Grace leans over to Brighton.
Grace : Where is Fran going?
Brighton : (Passes down to mags) Grace wants to know where Fran’s gone.
Maggie : What’s with Fran?
Niles : (To Maggie) She went to confess.
Maggie : (To Brighton) She went to play chess.
Brighton : (To Grace) She went to undress.
Grace : What?
Int. Confessional – A Short Time Later
Fran opens the curtain. She sits down.
Fran : Forgive me Father for I have shopped…
She takes the vase out of her purse and sets it down beside her.
Fran : Boy, these benches are really uncomfortable. You don’t want people to stay long, huh?
Father : Stay as long as you like, I’m on ‘til midnight. Father Donahue got Christmas week off. Again.
Fran : I know just how you feel. I’m working Christmas this year, and I was really looking forward to it, but instead it’s gonna be awful. The Father’s in Washington, the kids don’t believe in Santa and I’m in hock up to my ears. I just don’t know what to do.
Father : I hear the Fontaine Bleu’s nice this time of year. (Beat) At least Father Donahue says so.
Fran : Look , you have more experience with Christmas than I do. Does it ever live up to one’s expectations?
Father : That depends on what one expects.
Fran : Oh, you’re good. See, that’s why they shipped Father Donuhue off to Florida, and you’re working St. Patty’s on Christmas Eve.
There's a knock on the outside of the confessional.
Fran : (Cont'd) There’s someone in here.
Maxwell : Miss Fine, it’s me. May I come in?
The curtain opens, Maxwell pops his head in.
Fran : Mr. Sheffield, what are you doing here?
Maxwell : Niles told me how I got you in trouble.
The priest reacts.
Fran : It’s not your fault. I should have been more responsible.
Father : We do offer counseling for unwed mothers.
Fran/Maxwell : WHAT??
Maxwell : For heaven’s sake Father, she’s not overdue, she’s overdrawn!
Father : Forgive me. But you know I have been in this little box for a very long time.
Fran : (patting the screen) It’s alright, Padre.
Maxwell : You’ve been so generous to me and the children and made it such a special Christmas, but it shouldn’t cost you your grandmother’s watch.
Maxwell hands Fran a watch case.
Fran : (Touched) Oh, Mr. Sheffield.
Maxwell : I got the name of the pawn shop from Val.
Fran : I don’t know what to say. (She opens the case) This isn’t my grandmother’s watch.
Maxwell : Oh, the man in the pawn shop is an idiot.
Fran : Val’s uncle. Mr. Sheffield, don’t feel bad. Things could be worse. Have a seat. At least I still have my beautiful –
Maxwell plops down on the bench next to Fran.
SFX : Breaking glass.
Fran : (Cont'd) -- vase.
Angle on : Outside of confessional.
Maxwell : (O.S.) Owww!
Church bells and hymn singing mix in with the yell, as we.
Int. Emergency Room – A Short While Later
Maxwell is lying on his stomach surrounded by Fran and the children. Niles is decorating the room for christmas.
Fran : Oh, I’m really sorry, Mr. Sheffield. Talk about “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” Tim Burton has nothing on me.
Maxwell : It’s quite alright. It’s not the pain so much as the humiliation.
Fran : There’s nothing to be humiliated about. (Aside to Niles) They really should get backs for those gowns.
Maxwell : I hope C.C. can handle a benefit by herself. She must be in the air by now.
Niles : There go the friendly skies.
Grace hangs a tinsel on Maxwell's head.
Maggie : Gracie don’t decorate Father.
Maxwell : It’s all right.
He smiles at Grace and Maggie.
Santa : (O.S.) Let me go! It’s Christmas Eve. I’ve got things to do.
Nurse : In here.
Orderlies bring in santa in a wheelchair.
Santa : Don’t you know who I am?
ORDERLY #1: Yes we do. And we’ve been good all year.
The orderlies help him onto the bed.
Ordely #2 : So why don’t you be good and lie still until the medication kicks in.
Fran : What happened to him?
Ordely #1 : Some drunk lady at the airport knocked him out with his own bell.
Santa : My ears are still ringing.
The orderlies start to close the curtains between the two beds.
Grace : Thank you, Santa.
He winks at her as the orderlies close the curtains completely and exit.
Brighton : What are you thanking him for?
Maggie : I thought you didn’t believe in Santa Claus.
Grace : Well, I do now because my Christmas wish came true.
Maxwell : What wish, sweetheart?
Grace : That you’d be with us on Christmas.
Maxwell : Funny, that was my wish too.
Fran : Isn’t that a positive way to look at this disaster.
SFX: Churchbells ring in the distance.
Niles : Oh listen, it’s Christmas and not a cranberry in sight.
Fran : And look at this. We’re together, we’re happy, we’re healthy… well most of us.
As everyone ad libs "merry christmas", Fran takes a photo.
Fran : Why don’t we invite the old man to join us? No one should be alone on Christmas.
As Fran crosses to the curtain around santa's bed.
Fran : (Cont'd) Excuse me, Santa. Are you decent?
Fran opens the curtain, the bed is empty.
Fran : Where did he go?
SFX: Sleighbells ring in the distance.
Santa : (O.S.) Ho. Ho. Ho.
All that's left is an open window.
FX: Snow gently blowing in the window.
On a shot of the whole family reacting. Then, Fran leans toward the window and takes a picture, as we.