It's That Time of Year Again by Jim Schwarzbauer | Script Revolution

It's That Time of Year Again

In a world where a couple’s holiday is ruined when forced to host Christmas, surviving family becomes half the problem when dealing with nosey neighbors and a hostage situation.

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Page Count: 
100pp

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Jacob and Jennifer Cockburn, a middle-class couple are excitedly counting down the days until they fly to the Dominican to spend their Christmas holiday in paradise. Ready to escape the blistering, beer freezing Wisconsin winter; they endure one last obligatory work party before they make their escape. The couples beach dreams quickly turn into a nightmare as Jacob’s intolerable mother, Phyllis; injures herself and requires provisional care. Instead of basking in the warm tropical sun for seven days, they unwillingly decide to stay home to watch over the cantankerous woman.

From the moment Jacob picks up his mother from the hospital; her raspy voice and crude behavior makes his skin crawl. Jacob encourages Jennifer to invite her family over to help diffuse some of the tension. After all, misery loves company. Jennifer is hesitant because her mother’s controlling personality and mentally challenged brother will only add more chaos to a zoo of pubescent chimps.

Despite her fear, Jennifer invites her family over with high hopes that the presence of family will bring everyone together and provide an atmosphere of Christmas cheer. Her hopes are crushed when her mother, Shirley arrives and immediately ridicules her for being too thin. Instead of sitting down and relaxing, Shirley drags her daughter into the kitchen to start baking. Tension increases as her overbearing personality kicks into full gear with her husband, Kurt taking on the brunt of the verbal abuse. Kurt is simple-minded and unfazed with Shirley’s unsensitive behavior. The two have a love hate relationship, bound by a mentally challenged child, Corey.

As the family begins to settle into the newly found chaos, the doorbell rings. Uninvited, Jacob’s father, sister, and her lesbian lover enter in and make themselves comfortable. The “Scissor Sisters” thought that since Phyllis isn’t well, they should stop by. With everyone’s diverse energy, Jennifer’s positivity breaks and she tells Jacob take some of them for a ride in his new Jeep. Nothing brings a family together more than a joy ride on icy roads with open intoxicants. Not paying attention to the road, they hit a pedestrian dressed as Santa Claus. The group realizes quickly that this fat man isn’t out spreading Christmas cheer. When they check on him to see if he is alive, Santa pulls out a gun and takes the group hostage.

Back at the Cockburn estate and no way out, Santa’s master plan begins to unravel at the seams. Frustrated with the chaotic Cockburn family, Santa shoots a bullet into the ceiling to gain control, but only causes panic when he believes he shot a boy bathing in the tub directly upstairs. Shortly after investigating, they realize the boy is unharmed.
The relief of finding out that Corey is safe and the realization of how far Santa has strayed from his original plan, leads him to his breaking point. He tries to make his amends by offering the family some of the stolen money for any damages to the home. It’s then that he confides in the Cockburn family, that he was recently laid off and his wife is due to deliver their baby any day. With no money and doctor bills piling up, he robbed a local ATM machine out of desperation to provide for his family. The down on one’s luck story warms the Cockburn’s hearts, so when Santa receives a call that his wife is in labor, they work together to keep him out of handcuffs and on his way to the hospital.

The next morning as the family celebrates Christmas day Corey finds an unmarked present under the couch. To everyone’s amazement the gift is unwrapped to reveal a large sum of money as Jennifer reads aloud a heartfelt note from their newfound friend, Santa. Jacob and Jennifer may not have gotten their dream vacation, but they did end up with their very Merry Chaotic Christmas after all.

Submitted: March 31, 2021
Last Updated: March 31, 2021

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Jim Schwarzbauer's picture

The Writer: Jim Schwarzbauer

As a child I dreamed of becoming an actor and made home movies with my cousins. By the time I hit high school I had developed acne that deterred me from wanting to follow my dream. Instead, I went to college for 6 years and came out with a bachelors in drinking. What better to do than drink beer in Wisconsin? I now have a good job, but it doesn’t fulfill my creative bone. So, my supportive girlfriend, Jesica and I started writing a screenplay. We are new at it, but it helps fulfill the imaginative void from sitting at a particleboard desk and banging my head repeatedly against it from all the monotonous spreadsheets I comb through on a daily basis. We know it isn’t an easy road, but if we... Go to bio

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