"Christmas" - Episode 9



(Shot of a color-TV screen. Cher and Glen Campbell are singing "Silent Night".)

That Christmas of nineteen-sixty-eight my brother, Wayne, and I fell in love.

(Shot of Kevin and Wayne looking into the camera, awestruck.)

(Shot of the TV. Cher and Glen Campbell are singing.)

With color-TV.

(The color tint changes on the TV.)

It was more than love. It was lust.

(Shot of Kevin and Wayne from the TV's perspective, as Wayne fiddles with the color knob.)

We were witnessing a modern miracle.

(Shot of the TV. Cher and Glen Campbell are singing.)

And we worshipped it like aborigines...

(Shot of Kevin and Wayne from the TV's perspective.)

From the black-and-white stone-age. It was the first thing we'd ever agreed on.

KEVIN: Cool.

WAYNE: Boss.

(Norma and Karen approach behind them, and look toward the TV.)

Even Mom and Karen tended to mist up...

(Shot of the TV screen. Cher and Glen Campbell are singing.)

In the presence of that almost-living color.

SALESMAN (V/O): Hello, can I help you?

(Shot of a saleman joining the Arnold's.)

NORMA: Oh...!

(Kevin and Wayne look over their shoulders.)


(Wayne and Kevin turn back to the TV and Kevin smiles.)

Load a dozen of theses babies into the car - and make it snappy.

(Kevin and Wayne glance toward Norma, as she frowns and glances at the salesman.)

NORMA: Well...

Unfortunately, there was...one very small, very minor, hitch.

(Kevin and Wayne look at Norma.)

NORMA: You'd really have to...talk to my husband.

JACK (V/O): You gotta be joking.

Cut to

Ext. Day - Christmas Tree Lot

(Shot past the tree salesman of Jack. "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" plays in the background.)

JACK: Eight bucks for a crummy little stick like this?

(Shot past Jack of the salesman.)

SALESMAN: Buck-a-foot...

(Shot past the salesman of Jack.)

JACK: That's highway robbery.

(Jack frowns and reaches for his wallet.)

Not that my father was Scrooge.

(Close shot of Kevin glancing around.)

It's just that...every year around this time, he - he'd go into kind of a...slump.

(Close shot of Jack.)

JACK: Next year we're gonna skip the damn tree.

(Shot of Wayne and Kevin. Wayne is frowning with his arms crossed, as Kevin glances at him.)

It was a bad time to be hittin' him up for a major appliance.

(Shot of Wayne, Kevin, the salesman and Jack, as Jack picks up the tree.)

(The camera pans as Jack walks away, and Kevin hurries after him.)

Still, in an emergency, there were ways to the big guy's heart.

(Close shot of Kevin grabbing the tree.)

KEVIN: Here, let me help you with that, Dad.

(Kevin and Jack continue to walk with the tree.)

You had to kill him with kindness...drown him in good-will.

(Wider shot as they approach the car, and Jack lifts the tree onto the roof.)

KEVIN: Hey, I got it!

(Kevin reaches into the car, gets some twine, and hands it to Jack.)

All the while, sending him very specific, psychic messages.

(Close shot of Kevin frowning, looking at Jack off-screen.)


(Close shot of Jack glancing over his shoulder toward Kevin off-screen.)


(Close shot of Kevin as he shrugs.)

KEVIN: Sure! Why?

(Close shot of Jack.)

JACK: Looks like you got a headache.

(Close shot of Kevin as he looks off.)

Of course, you didn't want to tip your hand.

(Close shot of Jack turning back to the car.)

This was a delicate procedure...

(Shot of Kevin as Wayne approaches and stands next to him.)

That required the touch...

WAYNE: So, Dad. You gonna buy us that color TV, or not?

(Kevin looks down.)

Of a sledgehammer.

(Close shot of Jack frowning over his shoulder, as he ties the tree.)

JACK: What TV?

(Shot of Kevin and Wayne as they glance at each other.)

WAYNE: He didn't tell you?

KEVIN: Uh...

(Close shot of Jack frowning over his shoulder as he ties the tree.)

JACK: What do we need a color TV for?

(Shot of Kevin and Wayne as Kevin shrugs.)

KEVIN: So you can watch things. In color!

(Close shot of Jack.)

JACK: Watch what?

(Shot of Kevin and Wayne.)

WAYNE: Bonanza!

KEVIN: Baseball! (Shrugs.) Football!

(Closer shot of Kevin.)

KEVIN: Uh...(shrugs)...baseball!

(Close shot of Jack.)

JACK: TV's cost money, kids.

(Close shot of Kevin frowning and glancing down.)


JACK (V/O): And money doesn't grow on trees.

(Close shot of Jack as he starts to walk around the car.)

JACK: Ya know that.

(Close shot of Kevin sighing and glancing around.)

Yeah. We did know that. If there was one thing we knew, it was that money doesn't grow on trees.

(Close shot of Jack as he reaches for the door-handle.)

JACK: Come on, get in!

(Close shot of Kevin in thought.)

Still, he hadn't specifically said "no".

(Kevin smiles and shrugs, then starts toward the car.)

(Shot across the car hood as Kevin and Wayne get in.)

So there was still hope.

(Close shot through the windshield as Kevin settles in the back seat.)

After all, Christmas was a time when impossible dreams came true. When the Grinch turned good. So just maybe...

(Wide shot of the car, and trees in the background, as Jack pulls away.)

JACK: "Buck-a-foot"...you believe that? Highway robbery...

Or, maybe not.

Cut to

French Class

(Very close shot of the clock. The minute hand moves.)

(Close shot of Kevin sitting at his desk, looking at the clock off-screen.)

Few things are less productive than the last ten minutes of school before a major holiday.

(Shot from the rear of the class room up the aisle, of the teacher leaning against her desk.)

MRS. GAMBINO: Maintenant, tournez a page soixante-cinq, s'il vous plait.

(Close shot of Kevin looking toward the clock.)

(Close shot of the teacher.)

MRS. GAMBINO: Allons, Guillaume?

(Close shot of Kevin turning forward, then glancing toward Paul off-screen.)

(Close shot of Paul looking at Kevin off-screen.)

(Close shot of Kevin.)

KEVIN: Uh...je pense que, um, le...

(Kevin glances toward the clock.)

(Very close shot of the clock. The minute hand moves backwards.)

(Wides shot of the students from the front of the classroom. They look toward the clock as it clicks loudly.)

(Close shot of the teacher looking toward the clock off-screen, then turning back to the class.)

MRS. GAMBINO: Oh, well...joyeux noel, everyone.

Cut to


(Shot of the empty hallway. Kids disgorge into the hallway as the bell rings.)

(Low shot through the legs of the students hurrying through the hallway, making a lot of noise, and dropping crumpled papers.)

(Close shot of Kevin and Paul walking up the hallway. The camera rolls back with them.)

KEVIN: I mean on average.

PAUL: Counting socks and underwear?

(Kevin gestures.)

KEVIN: Total annual tonnage.

PAUL: See, well, I thought we were talking quality, not quantity.

KEVIN: Oh, come on, Paul. (Shrugs.) I mean, you get Hanukkah presents every day for a week.

Paul and I had a standing argument over who made out better on the holidays. Paul's lasted eight days which I thought gave him the edge.

PAUL: Well, let's see. (Gestures.) I'll give you an example.

(The camera pans as they pass it.)

PAUL: What's the one thing you really want for Christmas?

KEVIN: What's that got to do with it?

(They stop at Paul's locker.)

PAUL: Just answer the question!

(Close shot of Kevin turning around, and looking down the hallway, as Paul opens his locker.)

What did I want? What would make things absolutely perfect?

(Slow-motion shot of Winnie approaching with a group of friends. "Winnie's Theme" plays. Winnie smiles and tosses her hair, and smiles at a friend.)

(Close shot of Kevin smiling.)

(Close shot of Winnie in slow-motion, smiling.)

(Wide slow-motion shot as Kirk joins Winnie and take her hand. The music grinds down.)

(Close shot of Kevin frowning, as Paul slams his locker shut.)

(The camera pans to include Paul as Kevin shrugs and turns toward him.)

KEVIN: A TV. I guess I want a color-TV.

(Shot of Winnie as she approaches, smiling, behind Kevin.)

WINNIE: Kevin?

(Kevin turns around.)

(Shot past Winnie of Kevin as he smiles.)

(Shot past Kevin of Winnie smiling.)

She was alone. She was wearing perfume.

(Shot past Winnie of Kevin.)

KEVIN: Hi...

(Shot past Kevin of Winnie smiling.)


(She holds up a small white box with red ribbon.)

WINNIE: I wanted to give you this.

(Shot past Winnie of Kevin.)

KEVIN: What is it?

(Shot past Kevin of Winnie.)

WINNIE: It's a present.

(Shot past Winnie of Kevin as he looks at the box.)

(Very close shot of the box in Winnie's hand, as Kevin's hand takes it.)

(Shot past Winnie of Kevin frowning.)

KEVIN: Sure. I knew that.

(Kevin looks at the box.)

I wanted to tear it open with my teeth.

(Shot past Kevin of Winnie looking at the box.)

WINNIE: But don't open it till Christmas.

(Winnie looks at Kevin.)


(Shot past Winnie of Kevin frowning and shaking his head.)

KEVIN: Course not.

(He looks at Winnie, then the box.)

A thousand thoughts were barrelling through my head.

(Shot past Kevin of Winnie.)

A million questions, a billion -

WINNIE: Well, seeya!

(Winnie turns away.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking after her off-screen.)

Wait - stop her! Stop her!

KEVIN: Uh, I - I got somethin' for you, too.

(Wider shot of Kevin and Winnie as she pauses and turns, then approaches.)

Good. A lie, but a - a good lie...

(Close shot of Kevin as Winnie approaches him.)

KEVIN: I just...don't have it with me.

(Shot past Kevin of Winnie as she smiles and shakes her head.)

WINNIE: Oh, that's OK. You don't have to.

(Shot past Winnie of Kevin, as he glances over his shoulder, then back.)

KEVIN: Maybe I can...bring it to your house?

(Shot past Kevin of Winnie.)

WINNIE: I guess so.

(Shot past Winnie of Kevin.)

KEVIN: Then I'll seeya. (Smiles.)

(Shot past Kevin of Winnie as she smiles and walks away.)

In a matter of seconds...

(Shot of Kevin, and Paul behind him, as Kevin looks after Winnie off-screen.)

My whole life had been bent into a question-mark.

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Winnie joining her group of friends.)


What did this mean?

(Shot of Kevin, and Paul behind him.)


Was it a message?

(Closer shot of Winnie smiling, with her friends.)

WINNIE: I'm so excited about this...

One thing I was sure of - Winnie Cooper...

(Shot of Kevin and Paul, as Kevin smiles.)

Had never smelled better.

PAUL: You're dreamin'.

(Shot past Paul of Kevin, as Kevin turns and frowns.)


(Shot of Paul and Kevin.)

PAUL: You're never gonna get a color-TV!

(Shot past Paul of Kevin frowning.)

JACK (V/O): Hammer!

Cut to

Int. Day - Arnold Living Room

(Close shot of Jack lying on the floor, half hidden under the the Christmas tree. He reaches out his hand.)

Maybe Paul was right.

(Jack takes a hammer which Kevin, off-screen, hands to him.)

The great color-TV campaign was sputtering.

(Wide shot of the living room. Karen is on the couch looking in a box. Norma is sitting on the floor near the coffee table. Kevin stands next to the tree as Jack is working on it.)

Dad was a rock.

(Close shot of Kevin looking toward Jack off-screen, then glancing over his shoulder.)

The situation was getting desperate.

(Close shot of Wayne approaching behind the couch.)

So was Wayne.

(Wayne shakes his head and sits in the chair.)

(Close shot of Norma frowning toward Wayne off-screen.)

NORMA: Honey? You haven't been peeking in the closets, have you?

(Shot of past Karen of Wayne as he frowns and shakes his head.)

(Wide shot of all.)

JACK: Screwdriver!

(Karen reaches into the box, and pulls out an ornament.)

KAREN: Ah - look everybody! It's the little bird in the cage!

NORMA: Awwww...

(Close shot of Kevin looking toward Karen off-screen.)

KAREN: Remember, Daddy?

Uh-oh. Holiday traditions.

(Kevin frowns and glances off.)

My family was honey-combed with them.

(Close shot of Norma smiling as she holds up the ornament.)

NORMA: You know who gave this to us?

(Shot of Kevin looking away.)

KEVIN: Uncle Mike...

(Close shot of Norma.)

NORMA: Your uncle Mike.

(She looks at the ornament.)

NORMA: He used to say that it reminded him...

(Shot of Kevin mouthing the words as Norma speaks.)

NORMA (V/O): Of the only girl he ever loved.

(Shot of Norma looking coldly toward Kevin off-screen.)

JACK: Pliers!

(Close shot of Jack reaching up for the pliers.)

(Close shot of Kevin.)

I hated those old stories.

(Kevin frowns and glances off.)

There was a reason.

(Close shot of Norma smiling.)

NORMA: You know what I'm remembering?

And here it came.

NORMA: The year Kevin played Santa in the school pageant.

(Close shot of Kevin making a face.)


KEVIN: Mom, you don't have to right now. It's -

(Close shot of Norma.)

NORMA: I know....but you were so cute! The way you came...waddling in, just like a bowl full of jelly.

(Close shot of Karen smiling, looking at Kevin off-screen.)

KAREN: Yeah, with his pants almost falling off.

(Close shot of Kevin frowning and looking off.)

Did these people have no mercy?

JACK (V/O): He was pretty cute.

(Kevin pauses, then looks toward Jack off-screen.)

(Close shot of Jack looking up and smiling.)

Wait a minute.

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Jack off-screen.)

Was that a smile on the old man's face? An actual smile?

(Close shot of Jack looking up and smiling.)

We'd caught him off-guard!

(Shot of Kevin.)

Now was our chance. With the right combination of tact and finesse...

(Kevin looks toward Wayne as Wayne stands next to him.)

We might just -

WAYNE: Dad? Are you gonna get us that new color TV set, or not?


(Close shot of Jack looking up toward Wayne off-screen.)

(Shot of Kevin and Wayne.)

(Close shot of Jack looking toward Norma off-screen.)

JACK: What TV?

(Close shot of Norma smiling.)

NORMA: Nothing, honey.

JACK: What TV?

(Close shot of Norma shaking her head.)

NORMA: Really! Nothing.

(Shot of Kevin and Wayne.)

WAYNE: Mom said that we were gonna get one. Didn't you, Mom? (Nods.)

Obviously something critical had malfunctioned in Wayne's brain.

(Close shot of Norma shaking her head.)

NORMA: I didn't say definitely...I did say that your father and I might -

(Shot of Kevin and Wayne.)

WAYNE: Everybody else has one!

(Close shot of Jack as he frowns and looks down.)

(Wide shot of all as Jack slams the pliers into his toolbox and stands up.)

(Close shot of Kevin as Jack sighs heavily.)

(Close shot of Jack. He puts his hands on his hips, and looks toward Norma off-screen.)

JACK: Fact is I like color TV.

(Jack looks toward Kevin and Wayne off-screen.)

JACK: Fact is, I bet I like color TV as much as the next guy.

(Close shot of Kevin glancing toward Wayne off-screen.)

(Close shot of Jack.)

JACK: But let me ask you this...does anyone here, have any idea how much one of those sets cost?!

(Close shot of Norma looking down.)

(Close shot of Karen looking off.)

(Close shot of Wayne with his arms folded, looking down.)

(Close shot of Kevin.)

KEVIN: Four-sixty-nine-ninety-five!

(Close shot of Jack turning toward Kevin off-screen.)

(Close shot of Kevin.)

KEVIN: Plus tax! (Smiles.)

(Close shot of Jack frowning.)

(Close shot of Kevin frowning and looking off.)

KEVIN: Minus the discount...Four-thirty-four-forty total.

(Close shot of Jack frowning at Kevin off-screen.)

Looking back, he probably meant that question to be rhetorical.

Cut to

Night - Kevin & Wayne's Bedroom

(Close shot of Wayne lying on his side in bed.)

WAYNE: Nice goin', butthead!

(Close shot of Kevin frowning.)

KEVIN: Me?! What did I do?!

(Wide shot of Karen, Wayne and Kevin.)

WAYNE: Nice goin', butt-head!

(Close shot of Kevin frowning, then looking off.)

Oh - well! One minute you're everybody's little Santa, the next minute your Benedict Arnold.

KAREN (V/O): You guys have a lot to learn.

(Close shot of Karen with her arms folded. She gestures.)

KAREN: Don't you know anything about psychology?

(Close shot of Kevin looking toward Karen off-screen.)

This from a woman who read the Cliffsnotes for Khalil Gibran.

(Close shot of Karen as she frowns, and gestures with both hands.)

KAREN: I mean, you're backing Dad into a corner. He wants to buy us a TV, but he wants to surprise us.

(Close shot of Kevin frowning.)

(Close shot of Karen as she frowns and nods.)

KAREN: It's complex.

(Wide shot as Karen exits.)

(Wayne props himself up, and watches her leave.)

(Shot past Wayne of Kevin, as Wayne frowns.)

(Shot past Kevin as Wayne turns toward him.)

WAYNE: Nice goin', butthead!

(Shot past Wayne of Kevin as he frowns.)

KEVIN: Hey, you're the one who started all this.

(Kevin slides into bed.)

(Close shot of Wayne turning off the lamp.)

(Close shot of Kevin lying back in bed, looking toward Winnie's present on the nightstand.)

OK - I'd blown it. There was dissention in the ranks.

(Shot of the door, and the edge of light around it.)

I could take it. But out there, down that hallway...

JACK (V/O): I'm not buying a TV, Norma.

Cut to

Night - Kitchen

(Shot of Jack and Norma at the table, wrapping presents.)

JACK: We can't afford it despite what you - what they - think.

NORMA: Well, I think we oughtta -

JACK: It's not like I don't work hard for a living, you know. I do what I can.

(Shot past Jack of Norma.)

NORMA: Honey, I know! It's just that...when I saw it there in the store - TV...I saw the kids looking at it...

(Shot past Norma of Jack.)

NORMA: I saw us here, watching it, together.

(Shot past Jack of Norma.)

NORMA: They've grown up so fast, Jack.

(Norma looks at Jack.)

NORMA: Karen's almost leaving us.

(Shot past Norma of Jack looking at Norma, then looking down.)

NORMA: Honey? What the heck! (Gestures.) Why don't we just go for it?

(Jack frowns.)

(Shot past Jack of Norma.)

NORMA: You don't have to give me anything this year...

(Norma frowns and gestures.)

NORMA: We - we'll eat hotdogs for a month!

(Jack looks off. She puts her hand on Jack's hand.)

(Shot past Norma of Jack looking at her.)

NORMA: You know it would make you feel good.

(Jack glances down, then frowns and sits back.)

Fade to

Ext. Night - Arnold House

(Wide shot of the house as the last of the interior lights is turned off. Sound of a barking dog.)

Cut to

Night - Kevin & Wayne's Bedroom

(Close shot of Kevin awake in bed, as a door slams. Kevin sighs.)

I couldn't sleep. I felt confused.

(Kevin sits up.)

Why couldn't things be simple, the way they used to be, in the sixth grade?

(Shot of Wayne and Kevin, as Kevin turns to him.)

KEVIN: Wayne? You awake?

WAYNE: Angela!

(Close shot of Kevin. He looks off, then at Winnie's gift.)

It was all a riddle inside a riddle, inside -

(Kevin picks up the gift and looks at it.)

A box. And I had to find the answer. Boy! Christmas was turning into a minefield.

Fade to

Int. - Department Store

(Wide shot of the aisles as Kevin, Wayne and Jack walk toward the camera. "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" plays in the background.)

One-hundred-twenty shopping-minutes till Christmas.

(Closer shot of Kevin and Wayne, as Wayne points to something.)

(Close shot of Kevin glancing over some merchandise as he walks forward.)

In my family, that's when the serious last-minute purchases began.

(Shot of a display of color TV's as the camera rolls forward and pans to the TV's.)

(Shot of Kevin and Wayne looking at the TV's. Jack follows in the background.)

WAYNE: Gee! Look over there! Wonder what those are.

(Kevin and Wayne pause as Jack walks past them.)

WAYNE: Why, they look like color TV's. (Gestures.)

(Close shot of Kevin frowning and looking at Jack off-screen.)

(Close shot of Jack, as he walks toward the camera, uninterested.)

If Dad was planning a surprise, he was sure playing it close to the vest.

(Close shot of a TV screen - Mr Magoo on TV: "Christmas?! Hah! Bah, humbug!" Mr. Magoo slams the door.)

(Shot across a counter of Kevin and Paul approaching. "Twelve Days of Christmas" plays in the background.)

But I had problems of my own. I had to find a present for Winnie.

(The camera rolls back, across the counter, as Kevin and Paul look around.)

It had to be perfect. It had to say everything - without saying anything. And it had to be under six bucks.

(Paul shrugs.)

PAUL: How about a book? How about one of those paperweights, with the ice-skater inside, and the swirling snow? (Gestures.)

KEVIN: Are you kidding?!

(They pause.)

(Shot past Paul of Kevin frowning.)

KEVIN: I hate those!

(Close shot of Paul.)

PAUL: Well, my mother liked the one I got her.

(Shot past Paul of Kevin.)

KEVIN: Sorry. (Frowns.)

PAUL: It's OK.

Compromise was out of the question.

(Kevin looks around.)

I had to find the right gift - or die trying.

(Kevin smiles, and walks out of the shot.)

(Shot of a woman's hands opening a bottle of perfume. "Jingle Bell Rock" (Intrumental) plays.)

(Wider shot past Kevin of the woman holding the bottle toward Kevin.)

(Shot of Kevin and Paul as Kevin smells the perfume. Paul is holding a hankerchief to his nose.)

KEVIN: I can't tell.

(The woman puts the cap on the perfume as Kevin looks at Paul.)

PAUL: I think I'm dying.

(Kevin looks toward the clerk, and frowns.)

KEVIN: It smells like...leaves...(gestures)...i-in the ocean, at night. Do you have anything like that? (Frowns.)

(The woman walks off.)

PAUL: Why don't we just pick up the phone, and ask Winnie what it's called?

KEVIN: We can't.

(Kevin shakes his head.)

PAUL: Why not? We can disguise our voices.

(Closer shot of Paul.)

PAUL: We could be Avon calling.

(Close shot of Kevin as he turns away.)

Paul could be amazingly dense when it came to women.

(Kevin looks back to Paul off-screen.)

Fortunately, he had me to set him straight.

KEVIN: It's gotta be a surprise!

(Shot of Kevin and Paul as Kevin gestures.)

KEVIN: That's what she's expecting!


KEVIN: See - that's why she gave me the present in the first place. She wants me to make the next move.

PAUL: Ohhhh...

(Kevin smiles and gestures.)

KEVIN: Yeah...

(The woman returns with a tray of perfume bottles.)

(Close shot past Kevin of Paul as the woman sets the tray down. Paul looks at the perfume and sighs.)

(Shot of the woman dabbibg some perfume on her wrist, and holding it out toward Kevin.)

(Shot past the woman's arm of Kevin as he sniffs, and shakes his head.)

(Close shot of the woman smelling another bottle top, and holding it out.)

(Close shot of Kevin as he sniffs and shakes his head.)

(Close shot of the woman spritzing perfume into the air.)

(Close shot of Kevin as he frowns.)

(Close shot of the woman looking determined.)

(Close shot of Kevin grimacing and turning away from the bottle.)

(Shot of Paul, past the woman's hands holding another bottle. The camera pans slightly toward Kevin as the woman spritzes it. Kevin makes a face.)

(Close shot of the woman holding another bottle.)

(Close shot of Kevin making a face and turning away.)

(Close shot of the woman looking determined.)

(Close shot of the countertop as she sets another tray on it.)

(Close shot of Paul holding a hankerchief to his nose.)

(Close shot of the tray. The camera quickly pans to Kevin.)

(Close shot of the woman holding a bottle.)

(Close shot of Kevin as the bottle is held under his nose. He smiles. "Jingle Bel Rock" ends.)

("Winnie's Theme" plays, as Kevin nods and smiles. Fade to the earlier scene of Winnie walking up the hallway, smiling.)

(Close shot of Kevin smiling as the woman puts the cap on the bottle.)

PAUL (V/O): One question.

("Winnie's Theme" fades as Kevin turns toward Paul off-screen.)

(Close shot past Kevin of Paul.)

PAUL: If she already has some - why get her more?

(Close shot of Kevin as he frowns and turns forward.)

(Close shot of the paperweight, as the woman sets it on the counter. Kevin's hands are opening his wallet behind it.)

OK - so it wasn't what James Bond would give Pussy Galore.

(Close shot of Kevin looking at the paperweight.)

"Double-Oh-Seven" wasn't gettin' by on fifty-cents-a-week in allowance. Besides...

(Kevin glances toward Paul off-screen and smiles slightly.)

KEVIN: It's the thought that counts.

(He looks at the paperweight.)

I had to believe that...

(Shot of Kevin and Paul, as Paul shrugs.)

I had no choice.

(The woman places the paperweight in a bag.)

Fade to

Ext. Night - Arnold House

(Wide shot of the house, with lights on. A lighted snowman is in the foreground.)

Christmas Eve. In homes all over the known universe, an age-old celebration...

Cut to

Int. Night - Arnold Living Room

(Close shot of the paperweight sitting on some wrapping paper, and Kevin's hands wrapping some paper around it.)

Was about to unfold.

(Wider shot of Kevin sitting in front of the couch, as he puts the paperweight into a box.)

A time of joy - and harmony. And family.

(Kevin glances toward the TV off-screen.)

(Close shot past Wayne sitting in front of the TV, wearing a Santa hat. A noisy TV show is on.)

(Shot of Wayne, and Jack reading a newspaper in the background.)

WAYNE: Gee! Would ya look at that car? I wonder what color it is...Oh, wait - there's the ocean! You think it's orange? Nah, it's probably blue. But, how would I know?

(Close shot of Karen frowning.)

KAREN: Wayne! Turn it down.

(Close shot of Kevin sitting back on the couch.)

(Wide shot of all.)

That night, all the seams were showing. Only Mom was in there pitching...

(Kevin glances up at Norma as she approaches at the edge of the shot.)

Like a lone fireman at a five-alarm blaze.

(Wide shot of all as Norma sets a tray of glasses on the coffee table, and sits on the couch.)

NORMA: Eggnog, anyone?

(Norma sits next to Kevin.)

NORMA: Lydia Herschmuller just called. To remind us about the carolling party tonight.

(Close shot of Norma handing a cup of eggnog toward Jack off-screen.)

(Shot of Jack behind the newspaper. He shakes his head slightly.)

NORMA (V/O): I told her we'd be there with bells on!

KAREN (V/O): Wayne!

(Close shot of Karen frowning.)

KAREN: Turn it down!

(Close shot of Kevin looking down, then at Norma, and down again.)

You had to wonder - maybe every family was given only so much Christmas cheer to begin with.

(He picks up a cup of eggnog.)

Maybe this year my family had run out.

(Close shot of Wayne, and Jack in the background.)

WAYNE: Woops! (Points.) That guy's eating a gray banana!

(Norma walks along the back of the couch toward Karen.)

NORMA: We have to sing "Little Drummer Boy" tonight.

(Close shot of Karen taking a cup from Norma, and smiling.)

(Close shot of Kevin sitting up straighter.)

This was pathetic. Someone had to do something.

(Close shot of Kevin looking around to everyone.)

KEVIN: Hey, you remember the year I played Santa in the school play?

(Close shot of Jack turning the page of his newspaper.)

(Close shot of Karen leaning her head on her fist, and looking bored.)

(Close shot of Norma sipping her eggnog.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking around, smiling.)

Well, I'd given it my best shot.

(Kevin sighs, and rests his head in his hand.)


(Close shot of Wayne.)

WAYNE: If we put on sunglasses, we could watch this in black-and-green!

Wayne had finally reached the limit.

(Wayne slides his Santa hat over his eyes, and reaches out his hands toward the TV. Jack lowers his newspaper slowly in the background.)

WAYNE: I think I'm picking up some color, here! Oh, it's beautiful. It's -

(Wide shot of all as Karen stands up.)

KAREN: Wayne! Will you just give it up?!

(Close shot of Jack frowning.)

KAREN (V/O): We're not getting a TV!

(Close shot of Kevin looking toward Karen off-screen, then looking down.)

KAREN (V/O): Just forget it!

(Close shot of Karen.)

KAREN: Well, I gotta go.

(She turns to leave.)

JACK (V/O): Wait a minute, wait a minute.

(Close shot of Jack.)

JACK: Where do you think you're goin'?

(Close shot of Karen turning and frowning.)

KAREN: I have a date.

(Close shot of Jack glancing sideways.)

JACK: On Christmas Eve?

(Close shot of Karen rolling her eyes.)

KAREN: Why not?

(Close shot of Norma turning over her shoulder.)

NORMA: What your father means -

(Close shot of Jack frowning.)

JACK: It's Christmas Eve - we spend Christmas Eve together!

(Jack looks toward Norma off-screen.)

(Close shot of Norma.)

JACK (V/O): I can say what I mean.

(Close shot of Kevin looking toward Norma off-screen.)

"Jingle all the way..."

(Close shot of Kevin looking toward Karen off-screen.)

(Close shot of Karen.)

KAREN: I'm goin' out, Dad. (Nods.)

(Close shot of Jack.)

JACK: Nobody...is going anywhere. We're all staying...right...here.

(Close shot of Karen as she turns away and walks toward the hallway.)

(Wide shot of all as Jack stands up. Sound of Karen's door slamming shut. Jack folds his newspaper, and tosses it on the table. He walks past the camera. Wayne glances over his shoulder, as Norma stands and walks toward the hallway. Kevin turns over his shoulder and looks after her.)

(The camera moves in on Kevin slowly as he turns forward, hands together, and looks at the box. He picks it up.)

Fade to

Ext. Night - Cooper House

(Wide shot of Kevin walking up the sidewalk, then up the walkway toward the house.)

(Closer shot of Kevin as he pauses at the door.)

I wasn't sure exactly what to expect at Winnie Cooper's.

(Kevin rings the doorbell.)

I had a pretty good idea.

(Fantasy scene.)

-(Shot from behind Kevin as Winnie opens the door and smiles. She is wearing a red outfit. "White Chistmas" plays.)

-(Shot of Kevin smiling, holding his gift.)

-(Close shot of Winnie smiling.)

-WINNIE: Hi...

-(Close shot of Kevin smiling.)


-(Shot of Winnie smiling at Kevin. Her hair blows in the breeze.)

-(Shot of Kevin holding the present out.)

-KEVIN: I brought this for you.

-(Close shot of Winnie as she steps outside.)

-WINNIE: Then you got my message.

-(She looks at Kevin a moment.)

-(Shot from the side as she puts her hands over his shoulders.)

-(Shot past Kevin of Winnie smiling.)

-WINNIE: Merry Christmas, sweetheart.

-(Shot from the side as Winnie moves in to kiss him.)

(Fantasy scene ends.)

(Close shot of the door opening. An older woman looks out.)


(Close shot of Kevin glancing off, then toward the woman.)

Holy cow! I'd never seen this person before in my life!

KEVIN: Uh, is...Winnie home?

(Shot past Kevin of the woman.)

WOMAN (V/O): No, she's not.

(Shot past Kevin of the woman.)

WOMAN: Can I help you?

(Close shot of Kevin frowning and shaking his head.)

KEVIN: No, that's OK.

(Kevin turns to leave.)

WOMAN (V/O): You're the boy next door, aren't you?

(Shot past Kevin of the woman.)

WOMAN: Gwendolyn said you might be stopping by.

(Close shot of Kevin.)

KEVIN: She did? (Smiles.)

WOMAN: The Cooper's decided to spend the holidays with relatives. It was a last minute decision. She seemed to think you'd understand.

(Close shot of Kevin frowning and glancing off.)

Understand what? That nothing made sense? That Christmas was a bust? That my whole family was coming apart at the -

(Shot past Kevin of the woman.)

WOMAN: You...do know about her brother, don't you? Brian?

(Close shot of Kevin looking off.)

KEVIN: Oh...

(Shot past Kevin of the woman.)

WOMAN: Brian was killed...last fall. In Vietnam.

(Close shot of Kevin frowning.)

KEVIN: I know! I know that!

(Kevin glances off.)

KEVIN: I guess I just...forgot.

(Shot past Kevin of the woman.)

WOMAN: They needed time away - they'll be back in a few days. Goodnight.

(She closes the door.)

(Close shot of Kevin frowning and glancing around.)

At that moment I felt like the dumbest human being on earth.

(Kevin rings the doorbell.)

(Shot past Kevin of the woman as she opens the door and looks at Kevin.)

(Close shot of Kevin. He holds out the gift.)

KEVIN: It was supposed to be perfume.

(Shot past Kevin of the woman as she takes the gift and looks at Kevin.)

(Close shot of Kevin as he half smiles, and turns away. "River" starts. He pauses and looks back over his shoulder then walks to the sidewalk where he pauses again, then steps forward.)

(Fade to shot from the street as Kevin walks up the sidewalk with his hands in his jacket, looking around.)

"It's coming on Christmas"
"They're cutting down trees"
"They're putting up reindeer"
"And singing songs of joy and peace"
"Oh, I wish I had a river"
"I could skate away on"

(Closer shot of Kevin walking and looking.)

"But it don't snow here"
"It stays pretty green"
"I'm going to make a lot of money"
"Then I'm going to quit this crazy scene"
"I wish I had a river"
"I could skate away on"

(Fade to a close shot from in front of Kevin.)

"I wish I had a river so long"

That night I thought about a lot of things.

"I would teach my feet to fly"

About Winnie. About Brian. About my family.

"Oh, I wish I had a river"

About how things get lost, or messed up.

"I could skate away on"

(Music fades.)

(Wide shot of a group of carollers in front of a house, singing "Silent Night".)

(Close shot of Kevin looking at them off-screen.)

(Closer shot of Wayne, Karen, Norma, and Jack singing.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking at them off-screen, then walking past the camera.)

(Wide shot of the group as Kevin joins them.)

(Closer shot of the group singing.)

(Closer shot of Kevin glancing around.)

(Close shot of Norma and Jack.)

(Close shot of Kevin turning forward.)

Nothing short of a miracle was gonna make this right.

(Kevin starts to sing.)

(Shot of the five Arnolds.)

(Close shot of Kevin.)

And then it happened.

(Kevin glances up, then puts out his hand.)

(Shot of the five Arnolds.)

It started...

(Kevin looks over his shoulder, as others look up, as thunder sounds.)

To pour.

(Heavy rain starts to fall.)

(Wider shot of the whole group as the others scatter. The Arnold's linger.)

(Close shot of Jack frowning.)

The thing was, Dad just stood there. We all wanted to run for cover.

(Norma glances toward Norma.)

(Wider shot of the five Arnolds.)

But Dad was just standing there.

(Closer shot of Jack glancing up.)

So, we all just stood there with him.

(Shot of the five Arnold's.)

(Closer shot of Jack glancing up. He looks at Norma off-screen, and starts to laugh.)

(Shot of the five Arnold's as they all start to laugh, and huddle together. Some light guitar music plays throughout.)

JACK: Come on - what are we waiting for?

Fade to

Int. Night - Arnold Kitchen

(The Arnold's are gathered around the kitchen table, still laughing, as they dry off. The camera pulls back slowly. Jack and Kevin throw paperwads (?) at Wayne.)

WAYNE: Alright! Alright, already!

(Wayne, Kevin and Jack continue to toss things at each other.)

I don't even remember what I got for Christmas that year. But Dad gave Mom a bracelet that knocked her socks off. Oh, yeah...and he did get us that color TV...two years later.

WAYNE: Oh, man - eat'em off the floor...

Fade to

Arnold Living Room

(Shot of Kevin in pajamas, kneeling next to the tree, untying the ribbon on Winnie's gift. "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" starts.)

For me, that year Christmas stopped being about tinsel and wrapping paper, and started being about memory.

(He pulls the tag off, and sets it down.)

At first I was disappointed. Until I learned that memory is a way of holding on to the things you love, the things you are, the things you wish to never lose.

(Kevin pulls the ribbon off, and sets it down. He peels the paper off.)

And I learned from Winnie, that in a world that changes too fast, the best we can do is wish each other Merry Christmas.

(He pulls the last of the paper off.)

(Close shot of the box as he opens it. There is a four-leaf clover on top of the cotton liner.)

And good luck.

(Snuffy's guitar changes to "Jingle Bells".)

(Shot of Kevin holding the open box, and looking off.)

Fade to


"Silent Night" - Traditional
"White Christmas" - Bing Crosby
"River" - Joni Mitchell
"Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" - Martin & Blane


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12/25/04 13:10