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David's Christmas Carolers

Twas the night of the party
Blue Moon's holiday bash
Maddie cut out real early
Since David was smashed
He watched her go gladly
She was cramping his style
He continued to party
with PLAIN coke and a smile

A cabbie named Oscar,
Got him home to his bed.
And he took four more aspirin
For the drums in his head.
He pulled up the covers
Mind beginning to spin
The make up with Maddie
Would take more than a grin.

A noise from the bathroom
Shot him straight out of bed
Tripped over his sneakers
Nearly hitting his head.
Grabbed onto a golf club
First thing he could find,
Defense was his strategy
Number one in his mind.

Fresh from the shower
Out stepped an old man
Draining the dregs
From a Budweiser can
He chuckled at David
Still clutching the club
I'm Santa, you moron,
So how `bout some grub?

They called for a pizza,
For a while, shot the breeze
`Til Dave asked "Hey, Santa
What gives, tell me, please?"
"David, my friend,"
Santa said with a wink
"I'm here to warn you,
And to help you to think."

Like Scrooge and George Bailey
Who both needed assistance,
Me and my buds will work
 On your resistance.
Your holiday spirit
Has taken a hike
And that is exactly
What Maddie don't like.

I'm not here to lecture
To preach or to shout
My role's to inform
And to point some things out.
I can't do this alone
It's my rush time of year
So I've called out some icons
But no GHOSTS….have no fear.

"Ho, ho, ho, Santa
You have me confused
I've no Christmas cheer --
Is that what you've accused?
I am dripping with spirit
Ask all that you see
Yuletide is my season
No one's jollier than me."

I know that you think so
My dear old boy
But it's not about money
Or a shiny new toy.
This joyous season
That comes once a year
A time for love and faith
And for spreading good cheer."

"Oops, I'm gonna be late,"
Santa glanced at his watch.
"You will know all by morning
If you leave out the scotch
I'm not sure who's coming
Could be elves, could be deer
Virginia or Mary,
Or a drumming boy, here.

With that, Santa took off,
Oh, but not in a sleigh
He caught the first Greyhound
To downtown L.A.
David surveyed the mess
And then, shaking his head
He laughed at himself
And went straight off to bed.

He nodded right off
Santa's warning a blur,
Found blonde sugar plum fairies,
A dream he'd prefer.
He awoke in the morning
Refreshed and alert
Took a few more aspirin
So his head wouldn't hurt.

So this story picks up
Morning after the party
Santa's visit forgotten
Maddie's exit?  Not hardly.
Enough with the rhyming,
We're no Agnes DiPesto.
We're switching to prose
Ready? Set? Presto!


Whew … thank the Lord we are done with that.  Agnes DiPesto deserves a raise … a big fat raise.  

So - where were we?  Oh yes, it's Monday morning, after the first annual Blue Moon Christmas Gala Bash and it is the morning of Christmas Eve.  David rolls over and hugs the pillow next to him.  He knows he is alone in his bed … a rarity over the last several months.  More than half his clothes are now at Maddie's house (or at her cleaners) and he never keeps anything in his fridge anymore but a six pack of beer - well, I guess that's the same.  Anyway - David is sorry to be alone.  The fight with Maddie wasn't really a fight, but he still feels he acted like a jerk.  He is pretty sure that Maddie thinks so too - that HE acted like a jerk.  As he slowly comes to consciousness, he vaguely remembers a dream he had about chatting with Santa Claus and eating pepperoni pizza.  

David: Gotta lay off the eggnog on an empty stomach.

Singing comes from where he believes to be outside on the street - invading his sleepy wakefulness.  

Voices:  O star of wonder, star of night, Star with royal beauty bright, Westward leading, still proceeding, Guide us to thy perfect light!

The clock comes into focus - 5:28 AM - it blinks.  He covers his face with the pillow to block out the sun and the sound.  No such luck.

David: Come on … it's way too early for this sh-… "rejoicing".  

He grumbles and pulls himself up. Locating a pair of boxers (with a Mistletoe pattern on them), he trudges to the window.  No one is on the street.  The music is coming from somewhere; he walks into the living room.

David: HEY … Carolers are only supposed to come out at ni-

He stubs his toe on a box in the middle of the living room and is immediately aware that he is not alone.  Sitting on the couch are three guys dressed in robes with long beards and crowns on their heads.  The crowns look like paper … like they have just come from Burger King.  They are drinking coffee and eating Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

K3: Watch it,  MR Addison … that's Myrrh.  Do you know how hard it is to find Myrrh around Christmas?

K2 (sarcastically): Yeah --- Christmas is Myrrh season.  Can't keep it in stock.  Just FLIES off the shelves.

K3 (to K2): You don't even know what Myrrh is?


K3: How many times do we have to go over this?  It is an astringent - a tonic and stimulant -- a common ingredient of toothpowders.

K2: Right -- TOOTHPASTE … we are bringing gifts to a KING and he brings Arm & Hammer Baking Soda.

K3: And Frankincense is an INSPIRED gift.

K2: Hey … Frankincense is holy incense. It is used to help improve communication with God.

K3: Communication with GOD? … This KID won't be needing HOLY INCENSE to talk to his Dad.  

K2: Right -- they got on the Friends and Family rate with MCI.

King I: OK - KINGS!  This debate has gone on for 2000 years.

K2: Two thousand and ONE.

King: Actually isn't this VIRTUAL 1991?

King I: Can we focus here?

K3:  Says GOLDEN BOY over here … you went for the easy "gift."

K1:  Gold is a great gift … one size fits all … never have to return it.

David finally has enough of their keystone banter.

David:  HEY!  Don't mean to interrupt but …  just who the hell-

K3:  Uh, Uh, Uh … watch your language … this is Christmas.  

K2:  "Naughty"?   "Nice"?   Ring any bells?

K1:  There is still plenty of coal available.

David: Hey --- I am all for fantasies and dream sequences … but it is ---

K1:  You were told - it was in the script … if you showed up at story meeting once in a while

K2: Christopher explained it all to you.


K3 (to K1):  They are close … if you know what I mean.


K1:  Kris Kringle?  Santa Claus?  Ol' St. Nick?

David:  What are you talking about?

K3:  We are here to help you find your Christmas Spirit.

David:  I am dripping with Christmas Spirit -

K1:  That kind of spirit comes out of a scotch bottle, Mr. Addison.

K2:  He was drinking bourbon last night.

K3:  I thought you put rum in eggnog?

David:  It was brandy, rum and whiskey  …

K2: Isn't that a Long Island Iced Tea?

K3: No - that is vodka, tequila, rum and …. gin I think?

K1:  Mr. Addison -- Don't you know who we are?  

K2: Doesn't it impress you just a little that we took time out of our busy schedule ---?

David shakes his head and shrugs.  He has no idea who they are.

K1 turns to the other kings.  

K1:  Let's hit it, boys.  (They stand and move to the center of the room.)  A one and a two ….

They sing in perfect three-part harmony:

All Kings: We three kings of Orient are, Bearing gifts we traverse afar. Field and fountain, moor and mountain, Following yonder star …

K3 (to David): We wouldn't have to TRAVERSE so far if numero uno over here would have just stopped and asked directions.

K2:  Why do we say we are "OF ORIENT" … I have never been east of Turkey … I fail to see how that makes us Orientals?

K1:  Girls!

All Kings (singing):  O star of wonder, star of night, Star with royal beauty bright, Westward leading, still proceeding, Guide us to thy perfect Light!

David:  That's great.  I'll be sure to catch you at THE MINT --- but for now …

They move with some pretty simple choreography but maneuver David to the couch as they keep singing.

K1: Born a king on Bethlehem's plain, Gold I bring to crown Him again, King forever, ceasing never, Over us all to reign.

K2: Frankincense to offer have I. Incense owns a Deity nigh. Prayer and praising all men raising, Worship Him, God on high.

K3: Myrrh is mine: Its bitter perfume, Breaths a life of gathering gloom., Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding dying, Sealed in the stone-cold tomb.

All Kings: O star of wonder, star of night, Star with royal beauty bright, Westward leading, still proceeding, Guide us to thy perfect Light!

David (clapping half heartedly):  Again - you need a record deal  --- I'd ask for an encore but --- I really gotta get …

K2:  We are here on a mission Mr. Addison.

K1: To talk about the season, …love … joy … peace on earth?  

K2: Goodwill to men  … and women - if you lean that way.

K3:  Presents.

David:  Presents?  I think I have all the Myrrh that I need.

K3:  Not presents FOR YOU … FROM you.

David:  Well I am a little behind in my shopping … been putting it off `til Christmas Eve, it's the tradition of every red blooded American male.

K2:   (leering at him) And you certainly are a fine specimen of that.

K3:  (pushing K2 out of the way)  That's not the point of gift giving.  It's about effort …

K1: Thought …. FORE thought.

David:  Is that like Fore Play?

K3:  This guy is hopeless … who's next on our list?

David:  Look - what's the big deal? Mrs. Scrooge has NIXED the gift giving -  there ain't no EXCHANGE of GOODWILL this year.

K2: And you think you know why.

David: She has gone completely around the bend  - strangers are more important to her than the man she … her partner.

K3:  This guy doesn't get it.  Let's go.

K1: We're going to have to show him.

K2:  That's going to take a little more time.

K3: Time is some thing we don't have … it's Christmas Eve - YONDER STAR .. HELLO?

K1:  We could FF through some previous scenes and edit in some that hit the cutting room floor.

K2: How long will it take to put it together?

K3:  It's not a DVD and God knows it doesn't need to be timed …

K1:  Timed?

K3: Color corrected … it doesn't matter … this is V-I-R-T-U-A-L.

David:  Do I need to be here for this--???

K2:  Mr. Addison - please!  Have a doughnut and put some fresh coffee on - make yourself useful.

K1:  I'm sorry, Mr. Addison, we just need a minute or two to work this through.

K3:  About the length of a commercial break?

K1:  Yeah … I guess … maybe with a station break.

K2:  HEY … YO?  Who's in charge here … cut to commercial … make it a long one.


David is sitting between K2 and K3 on the couch in his apartment.  He has a coffee cup in one hand and is licking the glaze off his fingers.  K1 is making notes on a pad… thinking pretty hard about stuff - scratching out and drawing lines on his notes.  The TV and VCR have been dragged out of the bedroom and set up on the box of Myrrh.

David:  How long is this going to take? I have things to do today.

K2: Come on --- this is going to be fun.

K3: (whispers) You'll wake up before the alarm.

K1:  All right … I think I am ready.

K2:  Animal? Vegetable? Or Mineral?  It's a book!  A Movie!  A Song Title!  "A Christmas Carol"?

K3:  He is great at this … I always make sure he is on my team.

K1:  All right … let's start with Ms. Hayes and her "no presents" decision this year.  She told you that she didn't want to exchange expensive presents this year.

David:  Yeah -- Something about keeping a criminal from missing turkey with the under privileged.

K1: (talking to the ceiling) HAL, can we cut to Scene # 8?

K3: Hal's in Bermuda - I think it's Mel.

K1: Mel?

The screen behind the king comes to life.  The scene is Maddie and David on Friday night.  

 Maddie:  I cancelled your Christmas present, David.  I think this year, we shouldn't exchange presents.  At least nothing expensive.

David stands stock still, and draws out his response.

David:  ARE……..YOU………KIDDING?

Maddie:  I'm afraid I'm not, David.  I need the money to pay the American Express bill.

David looks up to heaven.

David:  I know I shouldn't be surprised….God, you know I shouldn't.

Maddie:  David!  

David:  Not to be dense, but tell me again why does (mocking her) our Christmas get sacrificed so that you can keep a common criminal on the streets?

Maddie:  (exasperated)  For goodness sake, David, using this money for other purposes can really make a difference.

David:  May I remind you that you're the one who keeps going on……… (aping her again)…"our first perfect Christmas"…….light the fire….trim the tree……..why even trim it if there's nothing to put underneath it?

K1:  "Why trim it if there is nothing to put underneath it?"  Do you remember that little piece of inspired dialogue?

David:  Yeah .. so .. what's changed?

K1:  OK --- let me take you back … Mel … Scene #25.

Cut to a scene nearly 2 decades before.  It is a small living room in Philadelphia (we know that because … well, because we are TELLING you it is).  It is shabbily furnished and in the corner stands a plastic Christmas tree and two unsupervised pre-teen boys decorating it.  There are way too many lights, not evenly placed and way, way too many "ornaments." The ornaments range from a Lifesaver Man that was hand made by one of the boys years ago, to a hand blown crystal bell that has the year "1952" etched on the side.  The boys are fighting over the top.  The younger wants to use a Frisbee that had been dog chewed as the "star" and the older wants to use a roll of toilet paper.  The fighting stops when singing voices can be heard from the street.  The two boys just stare towards the window, but make no effort to move.

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
Thy candles shine out brightly!
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
Thy candles shine out brightly!
Each bough doth hold its tiny light,
That makes each toy to sparkle bright.
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
Thy candles shine out brightly!

The carolers move off.  No words are exchanged and no comments are made.  The top of the tree remains bare.  They sit down on opposite ends of the couch and direct their attention towards the TV and an episode of Star Trek.  The tree, the debate, the carolers are all but forgotten.  Each boy has a somber and far-off expression on his face.

Freeze Frame on the two boys and the tree.

Cut back to David's apartment

K1:  Recognize those two boys?

David:  So?

K3:  Don't see any presents under that tree.

K2:  Why did you bother to decorate it?   

David:  I … I don't … It was Christmas.

K2:  Look at those faces … enough to break your heart.

K1: When was this, Mr. Addison?

David:  (looking at the set)  I suppose it was a year or two after Mom ---.

K3:  Why did you leave the treetop bare?

David:  I don't know --- didn't seem important.

K1:  Where was your Dad?

David:  Out - he was always OUT.

K3:  Didn't your mother always put the Angel on the top of the tree?

David:  So?

K1:  Wasn't that song the one she sang every time she saw a tree that was decorated?

David:  What's your point?


K2:  Hold it - if we give him the answers, he'll never learn.

David:  If I click my heels together and say "There is no place like home," will I wind up back in Kansas?

K1:  (shaking his head) OK, lets see some place a little closer to home.  (To the ceiling) Hal - sorry Mel?  Scene 3.

Cut to the Wrapping Party at Blue Moon on Saturday.  The office is strewn with packages and boxes, wrapping paper and ribbons.  Carols - old and new alike - blare out of the boom box on Agnes's desk.  The table-top tree that Agnes has put in the "waiting area" (OK work with us people .. assume there was a waiting area and a tree was there) is further dwarfed by the number of presents that have been wrapped and stacked near it pending the trek to the Children's Hospital.  

The staff is working quickly.  Lots of hustle and bustle - very unlike our Blue Moon crew.  Agnes is flitting from desk to desk replenishing cookies, coffee, tape, ribbon, bows and paper.  McGillicuddy and Burt are each constantly glancing back at the other one - keeping a wary eye.  It would seem that there is a contest going on between them.  McGillicuddy runs and places his last present on the pile on the right, picks up a Scrabble Jr. game and rushes back to his desk.  Burt rushes up after him and puts his present on the pile on the left.  The two piles are nearly even.  Burt picks up the last present that McGillicuddy has just put down.

Burt:  McGillicuddy!  What is this? Have you ever actually wrapped a present?

McGillicuddy:  I am the KING of wrapping - little man.

Burt:  There is almost no tape on this at all - the paper will fall off with a strong gust of wind.

McGillicuddy: Then you better shut your trap.

Agnes:  BOYS … this is not a contest, and that is not in the spirit of Christmas.

Burt:  But Agnes - he is---

Agnes gave him a scolding look and Burt skulks quickly back to his desk with two toys under each arm.

Jaime:  TAPE!  I Need Tape!

McGillicuddy:  That is the way every tree should look.

Burt:  Meaning?

McGillicuddy:  Meaning that there should always be TONS of presents under a Christmas tree.

Agnes:  Christmas is not about presents - it is about being with the people you love.

Burt:  I gotta go with McGillicuddy on this one, Agnes - kids should always have presents - lots of them - Christmas is for kids.

Agnes:  I am surprised at you, Burt, and you too, McGillicuddy.  

McGillicuddy:  Me?  What did I say?

Agnes:  Any kid would love to have presents - but if it were a choice between presents and spending time with their family, I bet every kid would pick the family - or friends or anyone other than just a toy.

Burt:  I don't know about that.

Agnes:  Well I do - Cassie and Doug.

McGillicuddy:  Who? ( To Burt) What?

Burt:  You'll get used to this … just give her a minute.

Agnes:  Cassie and Doug Davison.  Their father worked three jobs - he wanted his kids to have everything he never had.  He was a nice man.  They always had a ton of toys under their tree - the coolest stuff too --- but Mr. Davison was never home for Christmas.  Mrs. Davison?  Well my mother used to tell me that their mother had a DELICATE condition … she drank -- plain and simple - a lot.  Cassie and Doug spent every Christmas with us from the time I could remember until Cassie went off to college and Doug joined the air force.  Christmas is not about presents.

McGillicuddy:  Then what are we doing collecting and wrapping all this junk for?

Burt:  Oh jeeez - I'm stepping back.

Agnes:  Because KIDS need presents - but they need attention more.   The kids at the hospital may not see the next Christmas - they don't care if they get a GI Joe or a Scrabble game - they want to share it with some one.

Burt:  Hence the party?

Agnes:  Hence the party!

McGillicuddy:  Well I understand the party and the presents - but no kid is gonna buy Viola here as Santa Claus.

The whole office groans - this debate has been beaten to death.  Agnes goes into Maddie's office, leaving the boys to sort it out.

Burt:  I beat you fair and square, Rudolph.

McGillicuddy:  Did not.

Burt:  Did too.

McGillicuddy:  I'll wear the antlers - but that NOSE is OUT!

From the hallway, Marge Logan walks in.

Cut back to David's Apartment:

K1:  Freeze it right there, Mel.

The scene is a long shot of the office.  All the employees are laughing and wrapping and working. It is the most productive we have ever seen this group.

K1: Tell me what you see, Mr. Addison.

David:  What?  It is the staff wrapping presents for the kids at LA Children's Hospital.

K3:  Weren't you supposed to be there?

David:  I had a party to plan.

K2:  We are leaving that … fiasco alone.

K3:  Thank you Jesus.

K1:  Isn't this their first day of vacation?  A day off?  

David:  Yeah - I suppose.

K1: So they are doing this without pay and for no other reason than those kids - those sick kids -- need a Christmas.

K2:  You know of course, that they collected all these presents on their own time and paid for the wrapping paper and ribbons.  It did not come out of Blue Moon's budget.  Miss Hayes, of course, picked up the tab --- personally -- for the food for the party as well as the party on Christmas Eve at the hospital.

David:  Maddie?  Miss Yes-Virginia-There-Is-A-Santa-Claus?  Sure --- she is generous to a fault - MY fault.

K1:  Which brings us to the woman standing in the doorway?  Ever seen her before?

David:  NO - should I have?

K3:  She works in your building.

K2:  She has a number of nieces and nephews.

K1:  You saw a picture of her recently……


K3:  Who were you expecting … Charles Manson?

David:  Well no, but … I don't know.  

K1:  Mel?  Scene 15, no 16.

Maddie:  Have a seat, Miss Logan.

Marge:  Miss Hayes, I've been up all night.  I need to tell you again how sorry I am.  I must have lost my mind to do what I did.

Maddie:  Well, Miss Logan, I lost a little sleep myself over your situation, and its repercussions in both of our lives.

Marge:  I know I have a lot of nerve asking this, Miss Hayes, but is there any way we can work out a deal?  I could pay you a bit from my check each week.  I know that it would take a long time, but the credit card company would get a payment each month.

Maddie:  Miss Logan, this is an American Express card.  The bill needs to be paid in full.  I guess you didn't read the payment requirements when you filled out the application.

Marge's face falls.

Marge:  Well then, I guess there is nothing we can do.  I don't have twenty nine hundred dollars.  You may as well call the credit card company, or the police, or whoever you have to call.  I guess they'll take back all the kids' gifts…..

Maddie:  Miss Logan, I've thought long and hard on this.  I totally disapprove of what you've done.  Dishonesty is never the answer - no matter what bad fortune befalls you.

Marge:  You're absolutely right.  It was very wrong of me.

Maddie:  I looked at your picture - at all of those bright and shining faces, and I can sympathize with what you wanted to do.  You and your family have done a great thing - taking on the responsibility for those kids.  You wouldn't want them growing up not appreciating the difference between right and wrong.  

Marge:  I promise, that won't ever happen.

Maddie:  And you wouldn't want them growing up feeling it was because of them that their aunt had broken the law.

Marge:  Never……I didn't think of that.

Maddie speaks matter-of-factly.

Maddie:  Here is what we will do.  I find myself in the position to be able to take care of the American Express bill.  Of course, there are conditions………….

Marge is dumbfounded.

Marge:  You're going to pay the bill?

Maddie:  With conditions.

Marge:  Anything.  I'll pay you back each week.  I'll do whatever you say.

Maddie:  I don't want you to pay me back.  But I do want you to pay back.  I would like to get your support in our campaign for L.A. Children's Hospital.

Marge:  Of course.  I already brought some toys.

Maddie:  Not that kind of support.  I mean, I would like you to enter into an agreement with me - that, twice a month, you and those lucky kids in the picture will visit the Children's Hospital, and spend some time with the kids there - visiting, playing, making them feel better.

Marge looks at Maddie and smiles.

Marge:  That's an arrangement I'd be very happy to agree to.

Maddie:  For at least the next two years?

Marge:  Absolutely!  Would you like me to sign something?

Maddie:  No, I'll take your word.  Of course, sometimes, I might just want to go with you.

Marge:  Miss Hayes, you are an absolute angel…..a godsend.

Maddie:  No, I'm not.  I'm just a very lucky person who could afford to help you out of your predicament.

Marge:  I can't tell you how much I appreciate it.

Maddie:  Just keep reminding yourself of how easy it is - that a single circumstance can change your life, for the worse or for the better.

Marge:  Thank you, I'll remember that.  And I hope you'll keep our picture - so you remember how you've affected those lives - I'll always remember, and be grateful.

Maddie:  Just remember your promise…and have a happy holiday.

Marge:  Thanks, Miss Hayes.  OK if I stay around and help wrap some packages?

Maddie smiles.

Maddie:  Sure, we'd appreciate it.  Go see Agnes, she'll put you to work.

Marge exits into the outer office, while Maddie sits, staring after her.  She speaks to herself.

Maddie:  I should feel better……..why don't I feel better?

She pounds her hand on her desk.

Maddie:  Damn it, David!

K2:  What a woman!  Beautiful and sweet and generous.

K3:  This is the woman that you call yours and you are barking about a damn Christmas present?  You need to sit down and count your lucky stars, buddy.  She is something else.

K1:  Here she made a wonderful, generous, magnanimous gesture to a woman in need.  She helped the woman, her sister and brother in law and their 8 children - 5 of which are foster children who would otherwise be in an institution right now if it were not for the Kellys.  She should feel good about herself - she should feel like singing from the nearest mountain.  But instead she is thinking about how she disappointed you.  

David:  (insincerely) All right … I'm a scum … she is a QUEEN among philanthropists.

K2:  (to K1) We need it - HE needs Scene 35.

K1:  You think?

K3:  Oh yeah --- 35 will do it.

K1:  Mel - queue up 35 and let it roll.

Cut to a small kitchen in the Valley.  It is Sunday night.  Two women are sitting at the table with coffee cups and some cookies.  One of the women is Marge Logan.  She is looking very humble and very penitent.  The other woman - who is younger than Marge by a few years but looks a lot like her - is looking nervous and disappointed.  The other woman is Beatrice Kelly - Marge's sister.

Beatrice:  I can't believe this - this is crazy.

Marge:  I know.  I can hardly believe it myself.

Beatrice:  What were you thinking?  ---- NEVER MIND … you were thinking of the kids.  If I find out that you got anything for me or Patrick on that card, I am going to kill you.

Marge:  No - I didn't.

Beatrice:  But the kids did?  (Shaking her head.)  We could have been visiting you in jail tonight.

Marge:  I know … I know … It was stupid … really stupid.

Beatrice:  Stupid just scratches the surface … it was idiotic, foolish, reckless, unwise, imprudent, rash, risky, dangerous …

Marge:  OK, OK … I got it!  It was DUMB.

Beatrice:  It was dumb. --- Why do you think she let you go?  Why do you think she paid the bill?

Marge:  I am not sure --- I got the feeling that she was doing the PAY BACK, well PAY FORWARD thing.  You know like someone once did her a good turn when she was in a bad spot so in order to pay that person back … so to speak … she helped me.

Beatrice:  Maybe she is just rich and twenty nine hundred bucks means nothing to her.  She was a model … she must be rich.

Marge:  Then what the heck is she doing running a detective agency?

Beatrice:  Boredom?

Marge:  I don't think so… I think she is working class just like the rest of us … well, all right, it's a different tax bracket, but I don't think that she has stacks of money lying around her house … I think that her paying this bill put her in a tough spot.  She'll make the mortgage and she won't be eating Top Ramen for the next 6 months, but I think it really messed up some plans of hers.

Beatrice:  Well you know what Granny always said …

Marge and Beatrice together:  It ain't giving if it don't hurt.

Just then a boy - THE boy - the one that reminded Maddie of David - comes limping into the room.  His jeans are torn at the knee and he is bloody from an obvious fall.  He is not crying…. in fact he is being very nonchalant.  He has a bottle of iodine in his hand and a washcloth.  The boy's name is Tim.

Tim:  Mom!

She immediately gets up from the table and meets him in the middle of the kitchen.  Marge is at the sink running water into a bowl and pulling ice from the freezer.  The rest of the kids trickle in, taking cookies off the table and water out of the fridge.  They are all talking amongst themselves about Tim's accident.

Beatrice:  Timothy Patrick Kelly … what happened to you?  

Tim:  I was racing down suicide hill and I hit a patch of sand.  I'm OK - but I think you need to … you know … do the "MOM" thing.

Beatrice:  What's that?  Kiss it and make it better?

They all laugh.

Tim:  How `bout just stop the bleeding so I can get back out there and beat the Parker Twins.  They said they would give me a rematch.

Older Girl:  The Parkers said that you are a baby …

Tim:  I'm a baby?  

He starts to get up from the chair, but the mother holds him back.

Beatrice:  That will have to wait for another day.  You're done for the night.

Time:  MOM!  Come on!  It's Sunday … NO SCHOOL tomorrow --- it's Christmas Eve.

Marge:  Hey - how `bout you come with me tomorrow - all of you.

The Kids:  Where - where are you going, Auntie M?

Marge:  I am going to the best Christmas party in town - tons of food --- lots of people and a lot of fun.

The Kids:  Where?  Can we really come?

Marge:  It's at the LA Children's Hospital.

The grumbling is deafening.

Beatrice:  HEY!  Your Auntie is doing a good thing.

The Kids:  Come on Mom.  It is Christmas Eve.  Do we have to go?  It will be boring.  Can't we stay here?

Marge:  You don't have to go --- but this is the type of thing that Santa looks at when he is doing his Naughty and Nice thing every year.

Tim:  That is blackmail if I have ever heard it.

Marge:  Blackmail?  Maybe … but it will be fun too.

Tim:  All right --- I'll go  --- you sure about the food?

The rest of the kids agree and Marge and Beatrice share a very proud moment.  Tim pulls off his baseball cap and scratches his head - revealing a very BAD haircut.

Marge:  What happened to your hair?

Tim:  Jackie cut it.

The entire room turns to a thirteen year old boy with a HUGE grin on his face.

Marge:  Don't quit your day job, Jackie.

They laugh.  Freeze frame on the family.

K1: So?

David:  So?  It is a good cause.  She did a good thing.  I suppose I would have done the exact same thing in her place.

K2:  He still thinks that this cost her only money.

K3:  We gotta go to # 29 ---

K1:  29?  The fight?

K3:  The phone call.

K1:  That is 33.

Mel (voice over):  Kings?  It is 18 … can we roll it … got things to do myself today.

K1: Roll it Mel.

It is Sunday morning around 11AM.  Maddie is dressed in her pajamas and a robe and is finishing putting away the ornaments that she had taken out on Friday night.  The phone rings.  She is reluctant to answer it.

Maddie:  Hello?

Alex Hayes:  How's my beautiful girl this beautiful morning?

Maddie:  Hi Daddy.

Alex:  You don't sound so good.

Maddie:  I am fine --- why aren't you and Mom out brunching with the Anderson's?

Alex:  Because we have a little surprise for you.  We aren't in Chicago.

Maddie:  You said something about a cruise … the Bahamas?

Alex:  No … you inspired us … we are staying at the Westin Hawaii Prince Waikiki.  SURPRISE!

Maddie:  You and Mom are in Hawaii.

Alex:  Don't worry … we know that you two want time to be alone .. so we aren't even staying on the same island … so if we want to meet for an occasional dinner or lunch - it will have to be planned in advance.

Maddie:  Oh Daddy … I'm sorry … I had to cancel the trip  … something came up.  I wish you would have told me.

Alex:  Then it wouldn't have been a surprise.  So what came up?  Work?  Big case that can't wait until after the holidays?

Maddie:  No, nothing like that.  I needed to use the money for something else.

Alex:  Need a new roof on the house?

Maddie:  No --- never mind.  I'm sorry you two flew all the way there.

Alex:  Don't be silly - your mother has been trying to get me to Hawaii for the last 15 years.  So, what? --- if it is the money, I would be happy to ---

Maddie:  No, Daddy.  Thank you … really.  I appreciate it … but  -- no.

Alex:  Well - I can't say I am not disappointed - but I know you and trust that you made the best decision for everyone involved.

Maddie:  (smiling proudly)  Thank you, Daddy - that is one of the nicest things you have ever said to me.  I wish David felt the same way.

Alex:  Deep down, baby --- I'll bet he does.  Your mother wants to talk to you.  I love you, honey.

Maddie:  I love you too, Daddy.

Virginia:  Maddie?  What is going on?  Did you and David have a fight?

Maddie:  Yes and no --- not about the trip … he never knew about it.  I had to use the money for a … pretty worthy cause.  At least I saw it that way.

Virginia:  Something tells me David didn't.

Maddie:  No. --- No, he didn't.

Virginia: So?  He'll come around.

Maddie:  Probably … I mean, sure he will --- but I wanted SOOOO much for this holiday to be special.  Something that we would look back on and remember for years to come.

Virginia:  You can have that in LA as well as Hawaii.

Maddie:  I know … It's just that we have been through so much and things were going so great.

Virginia:  Holidays have a strange effect on people … it took your father and I many years before we got in sync on the holidays.

Maddie laughed.

Maddie:  It has taken more than seven years for David and I to get in sync on any given day  --- make that sixty minutes together -- and we still aren't, most of the time.  I wanted to give David the kind of Christmas that I had as a kid.  His memories - you can imagine - are not Hallmark.  We always had great holidays.  Good food and great conversation and the little things - stringing popcorn and cranberries for the tree, reading the Christmas stories by the fire … you know.

Virginia:  I know, honey, I know.  

Maddie:  David acts like Christmas is about presents and things and parties.  I just don't get it.

Virginia:  You are not thinking….  you haven't changed your mind about…?

Maddie: About David?  No --- no Mom, not at all.  That man can infuriate me like nobody's business.  But --- no.   I am not ready to have his toothbrush positioned permanently next to mine … but he is the end of the line for me.  Don't tell him I said this … but he is the only man I have ever pictured myself with in 30 years.  How the hell we are going to get from today to 30 years from today is anyone's guess but …

Virginia:  Well honey - there is nothing I can say - no piece of motherly wisdom - other than follow your heart and trust that David will follow his.

Maddie:  Yeah - hey … you two have a wonderful time.  If you are flying through LA on the way back …

Virginia:  We'll stop in.  I love you.

Maddie:  I love you too, Mom.  Merry Christmas.

ô ôôôôôôôôôôô

David emerges from the shower shortly after 6AM, feeling great.  It is a beautiful morning.  The air is clear and crisp and the sun is shining --- just another day in LA LA Land.  He pulls his phone book from the side table by the bed and dials.  He is humming/singing a Christmas carol that he cannot get out of his head.

David:  Star of wonder Star of night, star with  … Mr. Hawkins?  Hi, It's David Addison …. No the son.  … Hello … Merry Christmas to you, too. … I am sorry about Mrs. Hawkins.  She was the best English teacher I ever had. … No, I was not her favorite … I learned a lot in her class. (laughing) … detention helped … Right … Oh, well I was looking for DeeDee and I don't have her new number. … No, sir … No, sir … California … Los Angeles … Private Investigator … I am a partner at the agency … Yes … I understand … of course not … you're absolutely right … OK … Thank You … Can I call her there?  (writing the number down) … thank you Mr. Hawkins. … No, Sir. Just want to wish her a Merry Christmas. … Thank you.  … Happy New Year.

David hangs up and lets out a huge breath.  He shakes his head and dials the number he was given.

David: (in an Monty Python accent)  I didn't expect a kind of Spanish Inquisition …. No One Expects the Spanish Inq---

Voice:  Happy Holidays, Strawbridge's.   How may I help you?

David:  Men's Department.

Voice:  One moment please.

DeeDee:  Men's Department.  This is DeeDee.  How may I help you?

David:  DeeDee DeMarco - you ought to know better than to ask a question like that.

DeeDee:  David "The Octopus" Addison - how the heck are you?  Are you in town?

David:  Nah - calling from Sunny California … what's the weather like back there?

DeeDee:  Let's just say a bottle of 1800 under the boardwalk is out tonight … not without frostbite in areas I am sure you don't want cut off.

David:  What's that, you say??  We generated some HOT TIMES in our day --- or should I say night?

DeeDee:  There were a few HOT afternoons too … but heck that was summer and we were a lot younger - and stupider -- then.

David:  Ah, Tequila - the great equalizer.  … three's a crowd anyway.  How is ol' Vinny "the Horse" ?

DeeDee:  Vinny?  You have been away too long, Addison.  THE HORSE is out to pasture - hell he is out your way … Arizona, I think.  Owes me close to 40k in child support so if you run into him …

David: Uncle Vito let him get away with that?

DeeDee:  He owes Uncle V a lot more than that … old news … so how'd you find me?

David:  Your Dad.  Still hates me, I see?

DeeDee:  You broke his little girl's heart - how's he supposed to forgive you?

David:  Me?  I broke your---?    You dropped me in hot NEW YORK minute the second you laid eyes on Vinny and his '67 Mustang.

DeeDee:  Always was a sucker for a fast man with a fast car.  What are you driving these days?

David:  About 175 yards.

DeeDee:  You need new material, Addison.  So what do you want … the store opens in about 30 minutes and I gotta give a pep talk to the temps.

David:  What makes you think I want anything?

DeeDee:  Come off it Addison --- you didn't call 3000 miles at 9am  - 6 your time -  to wish me a Merry Christmas and reminisce about the days of wine and roses … well, tequila and beach sand ….

David:  That's what I love about you, DeeDee … right to the chase …

DeeDee:  Spill it, David.  This is going to be one hell of a day … Christmas Eve in retail … I have to be out of my mind.  So …

David:  I was hoping you could drop something by my Dad's house.

DeeDee:  Pick something up too, I suppose?

David:  Well … yeah … but it shouldn't be out of your way.

DeeDee:  I know this isn't in the spirit of the season but … what do I get?

David:  My undying love and gratitude?

DeeDee:  Already got that …

David:  You do indeed.

DeeDee:  (Laughing) … What is it?

David:  You're the best, DeeDee … if I were 3000 miles closer …

DeeDee:  You would still be in love with your cover-girl partner.

David:  What the ..?  How did …?  … Am I on TV ….?

DeeDee:  Stephanie --- she's great and keeps me informed on the Addison Boys' doings ….  I'm happy for you David … try to make it work this time.

David: You know me.  It ain't easy.

DeeDee:  I know you … and fast car or not … you're still quite a catch … the one I let get away.

David:  You'd throw me back, just like you did 15 some years ago.  You're too good for me … always were.

DeeDee:  Hey … I said I would do it … you don't need to butter me up anymore.  So what is it?

ë  ë  ë  

David makes his request to DeeDee.  He is laughing and happy and checks his watch every few minutes.  He finally hangs up, flips though the pages of his phone book again and dials.

David:  Norm? … David …  Did I wake you? … 6:30 … yes, in the morning. … It's Christmas Eve, man.  Get up and greet the day. … Hey, I got a favor to ask you. … You and Mandy are spending the holidays with her folks in San Diego, right?  … San Francisco … whatever … you won't be using your cabin?  … Yeah, I was thinking about an impromptu holiday get away … No, just me and my lady … no party, well a private party … Richie went back a week ago Saturday … the whole week if you don't have plans for it … exactly the way I found it … what do you want? … I'll give you my Sam Cooke record collection as collateral … sure, check with Mandy … I'll hang on … what she's not sleeping with you? (laughs) …. (singing) Star with royal beauty bright, Westward leading, still proceeding, Guide us to thy perfect … yeah, hi … singing … it was me … It's Christmas, man … I'm happy. … no, no ghosts …. Past, present or future… Yeah, Yeah … thank you, Tiny Tim … SO? …. Hey, that's great.  Thank you.  Thank you both.  … I promise … just like I found it … better … I owe you man … I owe you BIG  … I'll carry your ball for you for the next 6 months and polish your shoes. … Thanks … Be by later to pick up the key.  Merry Christmas.

David hangs up the phone.  He claps his hands together and rubs them briskly.

David:  So much to do … in so little time.

ô ôôôôôôôôôôô

Maddie is sleeping in her bed.  The clock reads 7:13.  Miss Me's tail starts wagging uncontrollably and she whines a little.  A hand reaches over and turns off the alarm before it can go off.  It is David.  He kneels down next to the bed and watches Maddie sleep for a moment or two.  His face is soft and loving.

David:  (Softly) What in God's name are you doing with me?

A smile slowly breaks across Maddie's face.  She is not asleep.

Maddie:  I ask myself that same question every day.

Her eyes open and she reaches up to caress his face.

David:  And what answer do you get?

Maddie:  It is always different but always the same … don't look a gift horse in the mouth.

David:  Are you saying I've got cavities?

Maddie:  I'm saying that when the gods smile on you … be grateful.

David:  OK … (pulling at the blankets) what have you done with Maddie Hayes?

Maddie:  Addison, if you're not in this bed in 3 seconds …

David leaps over her and spoons up behind her - on TOP of the covers.

Maddie:  Better … not what I had in mind.

David:  Blondie … if I got any closer … we wouldn't see the light of day - hell we wouldn't see the light of Friday.

Maddie:  And that would be bad?

David:  Oh Baby … you are making it hard for me to stay focused.  

Maddie:  I like to see you struggle.  

She rolls over, wraps her arms around him and starts kissing his neck.

David:  Mmmmm … (fighting the urge to return her affections and pushing her gently away).  Baby … Honey … Maddie --- I need the car.

Maddie:  (She stops) Huh?

David:  And I need you at the office by 3 o'clock --- the latest. … make no plans after 3.

Maddie: What happens at 3 o'clock?

David:  It's Christmas --- no questions.

Maddie:  David.

David:  Maddie.

Maddie:  Did you actually go home last night?

David:  Home and back again --- just filled with HOLIDAY cheer.

Maddie:  You're full of something.

David:  The Dickens ….

Maddie:  What's going on?

David:  Trust me.  

Maddie:  Me?  Trust you?  -- Are you serious?  --- What happened to you?

David:  I was KINGED, baby.  I was kinged.

Maddie:  What does that mean?  

David:  Makes no never mind … come on baby --- you've got a party to get to.

Maddie:  We're still agreed  --- NO Presents right?

David:  That's a gimme….no pun intended, of course……--- YOU said no presents, so … I am not spending one thin dime on you.  How do you like them apples?

Maddie:  But David ---.

David:  Oh so now you're changing your mind, eh?  You think Christmas is about presents?  (He laughs happily and she joins him.)  The only thing that's important is you and me … and some good ol' fashioned Christmas cheer … and I'm in charge - and we are doing it without any expense.  If you've got a problem with that - you'll need to take it up with THE SANTA MAN himself.

David grins and Maddie smiles up at him.

Maddie:  You have to promise me one thing.

David:  If I can.

Maddie:  We have seen the last of those 12 Days of Christmas Rockettes.

David:  You should have stayed, one of the Leaping Lords left his number for you last night.

Maddie:  Not interested -.

He smiles and kisses her tenderly.

David:  That's one more for the NICE column.

Maddie:  I can do NAUGHTY too.

David:  That side counts double.  

She pulls him down to her and kisses him deeply.  After a long minute, David pulls away.

David:  (Grinning) You missed me last night, didn't you?

Maddie:  The last couple of nights … I am getting used to you being …

Maddie's expression changes and she becomes serious.

Maddie:  David - I just --- I'm ----

David:  No-don't --- I know … I know all about it … It is the same for me  … Come on … let's go … get up … get a move on … you got sick kids waiting on a visit from Mrs. Claus and her elves.

Maddie gets up slowly.

Maddie:  We could sure use a Mr. Claus - the costume is too tall for Burt.

David:  I would love to - but I got things to do … next week, month, year … whatever  …  Go … get dressed … I'll call you a cab.

Maddie slowly walks to the bathroom.

Maddie:  Call me a cab??

David:  You're a cab … move it … we're burning daylight ---.

ë  ë  ë  

David is standing in the doorway waving at the cab driver.

David:  She'll be right there … (turning back to the house)  …Hey MAAA-day … this guy is charging by the minute … let's get a move on.
Maddie comes out from her bedroom casually dressed in pants and a sweater, with a Christmas pin in a holiday scarf tied at her neck.  She looks happy - really happy - happier than David has seen her in a long, long time. David likes knowing that he was able to put that smile on her face.

David:  Mrs. Claus --- You are one gorgeous hunk of mistletoe.  Come here.

He walks to her and pulls her into an embrace at the bottom of the stairs.  They kiss a loving warm kiss.

Maddie:  David -- come with me … the kids would love it - and you'd have a great time.

David:  I would … you know I would … but too much to do today … 3 o'clock, don't be late.

He kisses her quickly.

Maddie:  I wish I had a clue what you were up to … you are making me nervous.

David:  Nothing to be nervous about … this won't hurt a bit.  Go --- you got good cheer to spread - spread some for me.

Maddie walks out reluctantly.  She gets only a few steps away and turns back.

Maddie:  David?

David:  Yeah … me too … Merry Christmas Eve.

Maddie:  Yeah … Merry Christmas Eve.  See you later.

ë  ë ë  ë  ë   

The cab drives away and David turns back towards the house.  He starts making a list of the things he needs.

David:  (pulling keys out of his pocket) … I got the keys … he says there is wood and all the snow stuff anyone could need … so all we'll need is …  the tree … in the garage … and a stand … garage too …  the decorations and lights … in the living room … food and wine …. kitchen and freezer …. What else? … what else? … Music … got to have music … what else? … Oh - I guess she'll want clothes … such a stick in the mud (he grins and bolts up the stairs taking them two at a time).

ë  ë ë  ë

Cut to the driveway outside Maddie's house.  The Christmas tree has been tied to the top of the BM'er.  The trunk is open and we see several Christmas boxes, the ones from the living room that hold the Christmas decorations.  David emerges from the house with two bags of groceries and positions them in the trunk.

David:  (Surveying his work)  I guess that is everything.  (Checks his watch) and in record time too.  … Oh damn the music.  (He looked up, embarrassed.)  Ooops .. sorry … DARN.

David bolts back into the house and starts sifting through Maddie's CD's.  He pulls about 10 to 15 out and starts for the door.  A small box on the coffee table catches his eye - the box marked with his name. He opens it and pulls out the crystal moon ornament.  He smiles sweetly and shakes his head as he watches the moon spin on the end of its string.  He likes it.

David:  You are something else, Maddie Hayes … something else … and I am gonna make it work this time … well, I am going to give it my best shot … better than my best shot.

Carefully, he tucks the ornament back in the box and puts it on top of the CD's.

David:  One more phone call and I am outta here.

ë  ë ë  ë  ë    

Maddie got back to the office just after one o'clock.  She left the kids playing with Burt and McGullicuddy and the rest of the staff.  She had never seen any group of people have so much fun.  The light in the kids' eyes was all that Maddie needed to see.  

Marge, her sister, brother-in-law and the nieces and nephews had shown up too.  Marge's sister, Bernice, made a special effort to catch Maddie in private.

Beatrice:  Miss Hayes I don't know how to thank you.  It wouldn't have been Christmas without Marge.  The kids would have been miserable - they love her so much.

Maddie:  I was happy to be in a position to help.

Beatrice: We can't ever repay your kindness - not in money and not in any amount of volunteering … but you have my word … we will be here every Saturday.  I am not sure who get more out of it … my kids … the ones in the hospital… or me.

Maddie:  I am glad to hear it.  Merry Christmas.

Beatrice:  Merry Christmas to you.  I hope all your Christmas prayers are answered - you are truly an angel on earth.

Maddie watched the children playing and laughing and singing.  Most of the presents were left off to the side.  After a while, it was hard to tell the difference between Marge's nieces and nephews and the kids from the hospital … with the possible exception of the clothes that they were wearing.  Maddie was in charge of refreshments and handing out cookies and punch.  A young man - around 10 --- our boy Tim - came limping up to the table asking for punch.  He was out of breath.  Maddie realized that he was Marge's nephew - the one that reminded her of David.  He drank down two glasses as he tried to catch his breath.

Tim: This is the best --- I thought this was going to be a real drag - Can I get a cup for Johnny? You got anything without sugar?  He can't have sugar.

Maddie handed him a cup from a different bowl.  

Maddie:  I am glad you are having a good time.

Tim:  Yeah - can't wait till next week … Leroy is getting his cast off and they are going to let me help him do phys - phys?

Maddie: Physical therapy?

Tim:  That's it … I am going to teach him how to throw a baseball.  Thanks, lady.

With that, the boy ran back to his new friends.

Maddie smiled at the room of happy people.  

Maddie:  This was worth every penny.

She missed David but she felt truly great.


It is close to 4:30.  The sun is setting in the West and David and Maddie are in the car headed east on I-10.

Maddie:  David --- where are we going?

David:  Patience is not a virtue you seem to possess.

Maddie:  We have been driving away from LA for nearly 2 hours … it is late … we need to get home … decorate the tree .. feed the dog?  And I had a few other …. ideas I wanted to run past you.

David:  Forget all that - well, not ALL that … not that last part - you're in my hands now, lady, and in just under 30 minutes, you WILL BE IN MY HANDS.  

David grins and pulls her hand to her lips.

David:  Come on, Angel.  Slide over.  Sit by me.

Maddie:  Like we're in high school?

David:  If you're good … I'll take you to lover's lane and let you have your way with me.

Maddie:  You were always easy.

David:  But never cheap.

Maddie slides over.  David wraps his arm around her and she leans her head on his shoulder.

ë  ë ë  ë  ë   

About 45 minutes later ,they are nearly at the top of the mountain in the hills around San Bernadino --- the Lake Arrowhead community.  Maddie had fallen asleep on David's shoulder and did not wake at all during all the twisting and turning that he had done to get up the mountain.   

David pulls into a driveway of an elegant home on the north shore of the lake.  It is a tri-level home set deep in the woods above the lake.  There is not another house to be seen.  There are some lights on in the house, but when David pulls up, they quickly go off.  Three teenagers, a girl and two boys, sneak out the back door with Miss Me on a leash.  They wave quickly to David before jetting off into the woods.

David:  Hey --- Sleeping Beauty ….

He kisses her lightly on the lips and strokes her cheek to wake her.  She wakes slowly.

Maddie:  Mmmmm - where are we?

David:  Here - we're here?

She rubs her eyes and stretches.

Maddie:  Where is here?

She opens her eyes and is shocked to see trees and darkness.  It is calming just looking out the window.

Maddie:  David?

David:  Merry Christmas, Maddie.

Maddie:  What is this place?

David:  This is ours … all of it ….yours and mine for the next ten days.

Maddie:  I don't understand.

David:  Come on, let me show you around.

They get out of the car and the cold mountain air sends a quick shiver through Maddie's body.  David wraps his arm around her and leads her to the house.  They enter on the first floor.  There is a family room to the right and a couple of bedrooms to the left, but just beyond and in front of them is a circular room that is rimmed with windows, and a Jacuzzi spa steaming up the windows.  The only light comes from inside the spa and it makes a soft blue/green glow.  Maddie walks towards the spa and scoops the water up with her hand. It is warm … more than warm…it is hot.  She looks back at David and smiles.  He reaches out his hand and leads her up the circular staircase to the next level, the main floor.  The very modern kitchen is to the right and the dining area to the left.  Beyond is again a circular room that is rimmed in windows, and speckled with overstuffed furniture.  A fireplace is lit and fills the room with a soft orange glow and the smell of warm apple.  Maddie cannot really make out much more than that.  David never lets go of her hand and leads her to the third floor.  The only room on the third floor is the master bedroom.  A king sized bed is set amidst the windows.  Again, a fireplace is lit and fills the room with a warm apple smell.  David leans over and flicks the switch and the widows light up with twinkling Christmas lights that have been strung around.

Maddie:  Oh David - how beautiful.

David leads her back down to the second level.  On the table in the living area is a bottle of champagne on ice, glasses and a little spread of crackers and cheese.  David pops the cork on the wine and pours them each a glass.  He looks at her in the firelight's glow and his eyes shine like stars.  Maddie is nearly in tears herself.

David:  Merry Christmas, Maddie.

Maddie:  Merry Christmas, David.

They touch their glasses together and then their lips, gently at first but with a slowly increasing passion.  David pulls away first.

David:  I almost forgot.  

He takes a sip from his glass and sets it down.  He walks over to the wall and flips the switch.  A tree - THE tree --- THEIR tree lights up in the corner.  The lights have been strung, but no ornaments are on it, save one near the top.  It is the crystal moon that Maddie had gotten for David and had tossed aside on Friday night.  Maddie's ornament boxes are sitting near the tree.  Maddie lets out a grateful gasp.  The moment, the scene, the whole setting takes her breath away.  She needs to sit down on the hearth.  David goes to her and kneels down in front of her.

David:  Maddie?  Are you OK?

Maddie:  (She smiles at him sweetly and strokes his cheek.)  You don't even really know what you have done, do you?

David:  What?  You wanted a quiet Christmas with just the two of us and a Christmas tree … I did good? … right?

Maddie:  Oh Addison --- you did so much more than good.  It is perfect .. absolutely perfect.

Maddie leans down and kisses him, then pulls him into a tight embrace.  

Maddie:  You beat my plans all to hell.

David:  So you're happy?

Maddie:  I don't know if I am ever going to be able to keep up with how your mind works --- but yes, this is … perfect.

They kiss again.

Maddie: Have just a couple of questions about logistics.

David:  Logistics?

Maddie:  How long do we have this place for?

David:  A week at least, but if you are good - we could stretch it to two.

Maddie:  How did you find this place?

David:  Norm and Mandy Lakersheim --- bowling buddy.

Maddie:  The dog?

David:  At the moment she is at the neighbors - about three quarters of a mile away, but she should be here in the morning.

Maddie:  I didn't pack anything - clothes etc.

David:  I took care of that too.

Maddie:  You?

David:  What?  I got your toothbrush and dental floss … what else do you need?

David grins and Maddie smiles.

David:  I brought some other things too - but you don't have to worry about your shoes matching your bag because we are not leaving this house for at least seven days.

Maddie:  I can only imagine what you packed.

David:  Don't worry, I have enough imagination for the both of us.

They kiss again.  David picks up a remote, clicks it and sets it back down on the mantle.  Out of the speakers comes the voice of Harry Connick Jr.

FADE TO BLACK … Well, Red and Green.

Sleigh bells ring
Are you listening
In the lane
Snow is glistening
A beautiful sight
We're happy tonight
Walking in a winter wonderland

Gone away is the bluebird
Here to stay is a new bird
He sings a love song
As we go along
Walking in a winter wonderland

In the meadow we can build a snowman
Then pretend that he is Parson Brown
He'll say: Are you married?
We'll say: No man
But you can do the job
When you're in town

Later on
We'll conspire
As we dream by the fire
To face unafraid
The plans that we've made
Walking in a winter wonderland

In the meadow we can build a snowman
And pretend that he's a circus clown
We'll have lots of fun with mister snowman
Until the alligators knock him down

When it snows
Ain't it thrilling
Though your nose gets a chilling
We'll frolic and play
The Eskimo way
Walking in a winter wonderland

Walking in a winter wonderland
Walking in a winter wonderland

From Lizzie:

We wish to thank Santa, the Kings, and Dickens for the inspiration for this episode.  Oh yeah…..Cybill, Bruce and Glen….you guys did "good" too.

The music………..inspirational in and of itself.

This was great fun, and I hope Diane can say the same.  Writing long distance is hard…..hell, writing period is hard.  Hope you all had fun.

Happy holidays……here's to 2002…..may it be good to all of us!