FADE IN: CHRISTMAS TREE SALES YARD – AFTERNOON
HARRY – What is it?
CINDY – It’s a Christmas tree.
HARRY – No, it’s not.
CINDY – Dad, this is your fault.
HARRY – It’s not my fault … why is it my fault?
CINDY – Because you procrastinate.
HARRY – You’re not old enough to know what that word means.
CINDY – You don’t even know how old I am … do you?
HARRY – Ah … ten … eleven?
CINDY – I’m fourteen and I know what procrastinate means.
HARRY – Are you suggesting…?
CINDY – No, I’m telling you. We would have had a better choice of trees if you hadn’t…
HARRY – … procrastinated.
SALESMAN – Good evening, folks, this is the last one. Isn’t she a beauty?
HARRY – Are you kidding? You’re right about it being the last one. And I’m not wondering why.
SALESMAN – It’s a magic Christmas tree and will bring the owner much luck.
HARRY – Much luck, my Aunt Fanny. How much is it?
SALESMAN – Twenty…
HARRY – …DOLLARS? Have you been nipping at the eggnog?
SALESMAN – As a matter of…
HARRY – I’ll give you a dollar. No, on second thought, you give me a dollar and I’ll take this twig off of your hands.
SALESMAN – Fifty cents. I have a family to feed.
HARRY – A family of what?
SALESMAN – That isn’t funny, mister.
HARRY – Okay. Here’s your blood money.
SALESMAN – Thank you, kind sir. And blessings of the season on you and yours.
HARRY – Oh, please … spare me. Cindy … carry.
CINDY – Dad … it’s too heavy. I’m not that strong.
HARRY – You were strong enough to beat the crap out of Dale Clausing.
CINDY – I never…
HARRY – Cindy!
CINDY – Okay. But that was different.
HARRY – I see how you look at him. I’m not as inept as you think I am.
CINDY – Oh, Dad. What am I going to do?
HARRY – Try being nice to him for a change. Give him something for Christmas.
CINDY – That will probably freak him out.
HARRY – No, it won’t. Trust me. I can just imagine what your mother will say about this thing.
CINDY – She’ll love it.
CUT TO HARRY’S GARAGE
HARRY – Okay, here she comes.
MARGE – What the hell is that?
CINDY – (to Harry) I thought you said she’d love it?
(to Marge) Mother … it will be beautiful.
MARGE – Harry, this is your fault.
HARRY – What did I do?
MARGE – (points to Cindy) Her … that’s what you did. You can sleep in the guest room tonight. Come on, dinner is ready.
CINDY – She’s kidding … right?
HARRY – No, she’s not kidding.
CINDY – She’s punishing you with no sex?
MARGE – I heard that. Mind you manners, young lady. Now, both of you … get in here before it gets cold. Where’s your brother?
CINDY – Hiding … from you?
HARRY – Shhhh, don’t aggravate her. (to Marge) He’s upstairs, dear, studying like a good boy. (to Cindy) Go on, get him. Oh, here he comes. Dinner, Charlie.
CHARLIE – What’s all the yelling about?
CINDY – Because of that.
CHARLIE – What is it?
CINDY – A Christmas tree … keep laughing and I’ll kick your butt.
HARRY – Be careful, Charlie. She can do it.
CINDY – Dad!
HARRY – Come on you two. The mistress of the house awaiteth us.
CHARLIE – Smells good.
HARRY – Be sure to tell her that. She’s in a mood.
CINDY – She cut Dad off again.
HARRY – Will you two stop? She’ll box both your ears if she hears you.
CINDY – Sorry.
CHARLIE – Mom, it smells de-lish.
MARGE – Thank you, Charles.
CUT TO THE NEXT MORNING
HARRY – Morning, Marge. I made coffee.
MARGE – (looks at Christmas tree) Morning, Harry. Where’d that angel come from?
HARRY – I was wondering the same thing. You didn’t…?
MARGE – No, I didn’t. Cindy maybe?
CINDY – I didn’t do it … what didn’t I do?
HARRY – Morning, Cindy. The angel. Was that your idea?
CINDY – Oh, my God, no. She is so beautiful … Mom?
MARGE – No. Do you think Charlie did it?
CINDY – Not very likely.
CHARLIE – Morning. What’s with the angel?
HARRY – Morning, Charlie. We’re all wondering the same thing.
CHARLIE – I know who did it.
MARGE – You do?
CHARLIE – Grandma Rose.
HARRY – You’re kidding?
CHARLIE – She’s been helping me with my homework.
MARGE – What? That’s impossible.
CHARLIE – No, it’s not. She’s always helped me.
HARRY – You’ve never mentioned that before.
CHARLIE – Didn’t think it was important.
MARGE – Your grandmother is dead and buried. Now, I want you to stop this nonsense.
Everyone looks at Charlie.
MARGE – (stares at tree) Harry?
HARRY – Yes, dear.
MARGE – (points at tree) That bell. Where did it come from? It wasn’t there last night.
HARRY – I have no idea.
MARGE – It looks like real gold.
HARRY – By golly, it sure does. And that angel is just the thing my mother would do for a funky old Christmas tree like this one.
MARGE – I agree.
CINDY – Maybe Santa Claus came early and placed it there.
MARGE – Harry?
HARRY – Yes, dear.
MARGE – I know you did it … always with your tricks.
HARRY – But, I didn’t. I swear on your mother’s grave.
MARGE – That’s not funny.
CHARIE – I vote for Grandma doing it.
CINDY – I second that. Hey, if she’s actually responsible for the angel and the bell, I guess we can call it our Christmas miracle. Besides, the tree man said it was a magic tree.
HARRY – I don’t think he meant it.
MARGE – Okay, enough of this nonsense. Let’s have breakfast and then … to work on dressing the tree. (Marge moves toward the kitchen) Harry?
HARRY – I’ll be there in a minute, dear. (when everyone is gone) Thanks, Mom. And a Merry Christmas to you.
Harry turns to leave and stops in his tracks when he hears the bell ring. He smiles and continues into the kitchen.
CUT TO THE KITCHEN
MARGE – (holds up an open box)
Where’d this come from?
CINDY – (closes refrigerator) What is it?
MARGE – A fruitcake.
EVERYONE (shouts) GRANDMA!