Christmas Dinner

A screenplay.

Ext. Front steps of a condo in Florida. Christmas, p.m., after dark.

Exterior of houses are all cheesily decorated with bright lights and tacky waving santa clauses (etc.). The houses are all tightly squeezed together because they are condos. A family of five (mother, father, little boy, high school aged girl, and a college aged boy) are on the front steps of a condo. The father rings the doorbell.

Girl

(Whines)
Dad, why do we have to go to Christmas dinner here?

Dad

Because we're almost never in Florida, and we should visit them.
They'll get insulted if we don't come to Christmas dinner.

College Boy

They're Jewish.

Dad

Yes, but-

The dad is interrupted when the door is opened suddenly by a very plump woman, the children's aunt. She has oven mitts and an apron on, and is also wearing a very pleased expression. She looks about fifty.

Aunt

(squeals) Oooh, I haven't seen you in such a long time! Wow, look how
big everyone is! I want a hug from everyone!

The aunt proceeds to hug everyone, starting with the father, then the mother, who grimaces. She then hugs the college aged boy who pats her on the back, the girl, who imitates her mother with a half-smile half-grimace, and then the little boy, who sticks out his tongue and blows a raspberry. The aunt pinches his cheeks and says, "Oh couldn't I just eat you!"), and the little boy bares his teeth and growls.

Aunt

(laughs) Well, come in, come in! We're just starting dinner, we'll
find some space for you guys.

Int. Christmas, p.m., after dark, Florida.

It is the inside of a small condo. Walking in and down a few carpeted steps, couches are seen. Beyond that, a big table is set up, squished into a corner. At the table there is a great uncle, a great aunt, some sort of distant relation, two random elderly ladies, a great-grandmother, and six empty chairs (for the five family members and the aunt). The family walks in and nods hello to everyone then attempts to sit down.

Great-Aunt

(In a "Jewish New Yorker" accent)
What do you think you're doing? I want a hug!

The great aunt gets up and squeezes the children in a life threateningly tight hug. None of them are full of enough air to pull any faces. She sits back down.

Great-uncle

(At the top of his lungs, also with an accent)
I HAVEN'T SEEN ANY OF YOU IN THE LONGEST TIME! COME GIVE YOUR UNCLE
LOU A BIG HUG! ALL OF YOU!

He then hugs all the family in huge hugs and then hugs the aunt, who beams.

Dad

Well, why don't we all give grandma Edith a hug? (Gestures towards
the great grandmother)

No one looks pleased, including the grandmother, who is very small with a bent back and sitting on a padded wheelchair. She is 100 years old.

Great-grandmother

(With same New Yorker accent)
Don't hug me, I'm frail!

The family gets seated, but the aunt adjusts her oven mitts.

Aunt

(Gesturing) And this is your cousin once, no, twice.removed.well,
maybe three times.Anyways, this is Michael. And these are your great-
aunt's two close friends since elementary school! (Nods to make it
seem impressive)

Great-uncle

Wow, that was a really long time ago! (chuckles) I don't think I was
alive back then!

Great-aunt

(Smacks great-uncle, insulted)
Shut up Lou, you're older than me!

Great-uncle

(Unfazed; chuckles)
WHERE'S DINNER? I'M STARVIN'!

Aunt

Oh, it's in the kitchen! Let me grab your plates so I can serve it.
(Exits to kitchen)

There is an awkward silence for a moment, but everyone starts to try and make conversation. The father turns to the great-grandmother.

Dad

So, grandma. How are you?

G. Grandmother

(At the top of her lungs)
WHAT?

Dad

(Raising his voice)
HOW HAVE YOU BEEN?

G. Grandmother

How do I. OH, NO! I DON'T SWIM! I'M TOO OLD, YOU KNOW THAT!

Dad

YES, YES I DO KNOW THAT.

G. Uncle

(bangs fists on the table)
Moo.

The aunt comes back in holding many plates filled with lasagna. She runs back into the kitchen and comes back with a large tray of garlic bread that was obviously once packaged and frozen.

The family starts to eat, having random bits of conversation.

Old lady #1

(To the college-aged boy) So.what do you do?

C.-A. Boy

Oh, I go to college. I'm actually in the University of California,
which wasn't my first choice school.But I'm majoring in-

The boy pauses, noticing that after nodding blankly for a few seconds, the old lady has turned to talk to the person next to her.

The second old lady is having a conversation with the girl. The girl is nodding, uninterested, while the woman is talking without stopping. The girl smiles a sweet, fake smile, but polite enough so that the lady can't tell it's fake.

Old lady #2

You have the prettiest smile.

Girl

Oh.thank you. (Tries not to show another fake smile)

Michael

(To girl)
So have you seen Harry Potter?

Girl

Um.yeah. I have.

Michael

I could see that over and over again. Couldn't you? I loved the
special effects. I really like that guy.what's his name.(pretends to
seem to forget the character's name so as to seem more adult-like)

Little boy

(interrupts) MALFOY IS BETTER!

Girl

(Nudges her brother; whispers/hisses)
Shut up!

Little boy
(Screeches) NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! The boy flings peas around and continues to howl. He starts to pound rythmically on his plate and wail. The great-uncle imitates him.

No one at the table seems to notice; people are too crazy anyway.

G. Uncle

WOW! IT'S EIGHT O CLOCK! IT'S WAY PAST MY BEDTIME! (chuckles)

The great uncle puts his head on the table and starts to snore very loudly and fakely. Time goes by. The two eldest children are slouching in their chairs, and the young boy is sitting on his chair on his hind legs and rolling clumps of meat around his plate. The aunt gets up once again.

Aunt

(Cheerily) Who wants dessert?!?!

G. Uncle

Ooooh ooh, I DO!

Aunt

Alright then, Lou, you can go take the garbage out.

G. Uncle

(Narrows eyes and mutters, suspicious)
I'll have to take it far away. Don't want people going through my
stuff and knowing my business.

The entire family sighs. The aunt comes back, sets down a few trays of cookies, and sits back down just as the great uncle gets back up, muttering to himself again.

G. Aunt

(Turns to the mother)
(whispering) Don't listen to Lou, he's very depressed.

Aunt

(Turns to the mother)
(whispering) Don't listen to her, she's very depressed. Ever since
she died.

Conversation continues, with everyone mostly paying attention to the great- uncle.

G. Uncle

I'm telling you, the IRS is after me! Just last week they were
banging on my door, demanding to tax my chickens, which, I might add,
I do not own!

The college-aged boy and the girl snicker.

G. Uncle

I also know the cure for cancer. It's easy as 1 2 3. Take a little
pill, then BAM! You're cured for life.

The whole family starts talking to each other again. Snippets of conversation can be heard ("Yes, and ever since then I've been constipated." "Oh, no, I don't write books. I read them." "I swear, that's the cure for cancer!" "I never thought nudist colonies would be so much fun."). The entire time, the great uncle can be heard chanting, "I scream for ice cream! I scream for ice cream!"

Close up on: Crumbs being spilled on a plate. Wine being poured in a glass. Some of the adults laughing, opening their mouth very wide (no sound).

Close up on: The eyes of the three siblings glancing at each other.

Super: The end.