(A beautiful woman with slightly wavy brown hair steps off a bus. She’s RACHEL, a corporate lawyer from The Big City.)

WOMAN ON BENCH (OLD): Shabbat Shalom!

RACHEL: And also with you!

WOMAN ON BENCH (OLD): Oh, dearie, you don’t look like you’re from around here.

RACHEL: I’m not, but my father is—I mean, was. He died this year.

(Public domain Klezmer music swells.)

RACHEL: I never knew him, but he used to own the town bakery. Apparently, his last wish was for me to reopen David’s Donuts and Matzah in time for the County Hanukkah Fair. I don’t think I can, though—I’m not really into all this holiday stuff.

WOMAN ON BENCH (OLD) (FULL OF WISDOM): My child, Hanukkah is the most important Jewish holiday, so important it happens eight times in a row! That’s why we call it “Long Blue Christmas.”

- - -


(RACHEL looks around the abandoned bakery. Cobwebs blanket every corner. She wipes a layer of dust away from the six-foot-tall menorah at the center of the room.)

RACHEL: How am I going to reopen this place in a week? It’ll take a miracle. Not that I believe in miracles.

(The door creaks open behind her. BEN enters. Think Paul Rudd meets Adam Brody meets Seth Rogen meets Adam Sandler meets Jesse Eisenberg meets Jeff Goldblum.)

BEN: How about… eight miracles?

(BEN places a potato on each branch of the menorah.)

BEN: The name’s Ben. I used to come here all the time as a kid.

RACHEL: I’m Rachel. My dad owned the place, but he’s dead now. Do you know how it looked back in the day?

BEN: You bet your latkes I do!

(RACHEL smiles Jewishly.)

- - -


(RACHEL walks past children playing. Her biological clock ticks loudly. She’s thirty, almost dead.)

LITTLE GIRL: Hello, lady. Are you excited for the County Hanukkah Fair?

RACHEL: Not really. I’m not super into Hanukkah, actually.

LITTLE GIRL: But it’s only the most wonderful time of the year. Tell her, daddy.

(Her dad walks over. It’s BEN.)

BEN: Well, look who it is. Miss Holiday Cheer herself. The County Hanukkah Fair is kind of a big deal.

RACHEL: And why is that?

BEN: It’s a 50,000-year-old Jewish tradition, full of wonder and light.

LITTLE GIRL: All the nice children get jam-filled donuts from the Old Testament Elves.

BEN: You can even get kissed under the statue of… Blue Santa.

(RACHEL blushes Jewishly.)

- - -


(It’s snowing sideways. A white Hanukkah portends a good harvest for Passover. The wind blows open the door, revealing BEN, covered in snow and holding a small coniferous plant.)

RACHEL: Jesus!

BEN: Who’s that?

(They both laugh, Jewishly.)

BEN: Well, he’s no Blue Santa, that’s for sure. He’d need a big white beard, a blue suit, and a sled pulled by camels.

RACHEL: Sounds handsome.

BEN: I brought you a Hanukkah shrub for the store. Here, I’ll show you what to do with it.

(BEN pours a cup of oil over the plant.)

BEN: It’s a 120,000-year-old Jewish tradition.

RACHEL: Maybe Hanukkah isn’t so silly after all.

- - -


(It’s the night of the County Hanukkah Fair. Townsfolk play dreidel, an ancient game that’s like football but everyone gets greased up latke-style and has to be spinning at all times. It’s very dangerous. RACHEL and BEN sip cocoa and watch from the bleachers.)

(RACHEL’s phone rings. It’s her boss from The Big City.)

RACHEL (on the phone): You WHAT? A BUSINESS emergency? At the OFFICE?

(RACHEL turns to BEN.)

RACHEL: I’m sorry, Ben. I have to go. Some things are just more important than Hanukkah.

- - -


(RACHEL gazes out the window, the small town receding into the distance. A young family across the aisle laughs in their Blue Santa hats. They’re singing “O Holy Nights, Plural,” an ancient Hebrew hymn. She wants what they have.)

MONTAGE (royalty-free wistful clarinet music in the background):

  • RACHEL and BEN pouring oil on the Hanukkah shrub.
  • BEN’S DAUGHTER giving RACHEL a drawing that says “ARE YOU MY NEW MOM?”
  • BEN renewing his Bar Mitzvah vows.

RACHEL: I have to go back! Turn this train around!!!

(The train does not turn around because it is a train. She takes a taxi at the next stop.)

- - -


(Alone at David’s Donuts and Matzah, BEN places a single candle into a jelly donut and lights it. He sighs and looks out at the townsfolk enjoying the fair under the watchful eye of the Blue Santa statue.)

BEN: It’s a four-million-year-old Jewish tradition…


RACHEL emerges from the kitchen in a blue and silver ball gown, wearing a tiara festooned with lit Hanukkah candles. Wax drips onto her hair and face, but she doesn’t care. She’s in love.

RACHEL: I was wrong. Life isn’t about big business meetings, or open floor plans, or lattes. It’s about Hanukkah. And Hanukkah is about love. And love is about you.

(They kiss.)

(Outside, the statue of Blue Santa winks, for it was WOMAN ON BENCH [OLD] [FULL OF WISDOM] [JEWISH] the whole time.)