Raymond Island Season 4 Episode 6 - Not An Old-Fashioned Christmas

Raymond Island Season 4, Episode 6
Not An Old-Fashioned Christmas

Gretchen is in her office.

Susana (singing) Rockin’ around the Christmas tree, at the Christmas party hop.

Carol: What on earth are you so excited about?

Susana: The Christmas tree is here!

Gretchen: Not yet. We’ve still got three hours, it’s coming at noon.

Susana: Still exciting!

Carol: I’m awaiting this year’s annual Christmas scandal. I’m sure the Republicans will find something.

Gretchen: Wasn’t Samantha the one who melted down about me calling it a “holiday tree” in 2020?

Carol: She’s not too far off from being a Republican.

Gretchen: There is no way anyone can find offense in this year’s Christmas tree.

Carol: I’m sure one of the ornaments will be too “woke” for the right-wing news. Or maybe it’ll just be too expensive. Or you won’t say “Merry Christmas” enough during your speech. The possibilities are endless.

Susana: I don’t understand how anyone can stress so much about a Christmas tree.

Carol: When you get ripped to shreds over everything, you just start to dread her doing things like this where she voluntarily opens herself up to criticism. Who has to respond to that criticism? Not her, me!

Susana: Why are you more concerned this year than any other year?

Carol: Gretchen, want to tell her your executive decision?

Gretchen: I feel judged now. You’re acting like a real Samantha.

Susana: I’m wearing elf socks. I promise you, I have no leg to stand on in terms of judging anyone!

Gretchen: I wanted to cut annual costs, so in the name of fiscal responsibility -

Susana: Since when do we care about that?

Gretchen: I ordered a reusable plastic tree this year.

Susana: Oh. I thought it was going to be really bad. I thought you were going to say the tree was from Connecticut.

Gretchen: Lord, no! That would be impeachable!

Carol: No, she got one that has a “Made in China” label instead.

Susan: Is it at least tall? It’s not like six foot, is it? Like the one in the office?

Gretchen: It’s twenty feet. A real beaut, if I do say so myself.

Carol: I think the tree is gorgeous. I just worry that people have gotten used to the tradition of buying a genuine tree from a local Rhode Island farm. People get so sensitive about tradition.

Gretchen: I understand the concern. The tree lighting special is watched by millions of people each year.

Carol: Thousands. Maybe only hundreds.

Gretchen: Anyway, it’s a tradition for people, and I don’t want to ruin that tradition. I don’t see how anyone could ever care about whether or not the tree is real. Especially when this will save us so much money!

Carol: You’re probably right, I’m just overreacting. It’s not like tradition says we have to go cut down a massive tree ourselves and bring it back here like the Griswolds in Christmas Vacation. It just says there has to be A tree. And there is one. Just, please, call it a Christmas tree this time.

Gretchen: You think I’d voluntarily go through that nonsense again? It’s a Christmas tree. I can light a menorah to prove I care about Hanukkah, too. 

Susana: What about Kwanzaa?

Gretchen: Find out what it is that they have for Kwanzaa, and I’ll set that out, too.

Carol: Doesn’t Hank celebrate it?

Gretchen: Yeah, we’re not asking him. Not when Google is free.

Susana: It’ll be free as long as Elon Musk doesn’t buy it.

Gretchen: Good, so we have another few months of free Google usage. Kwanzaa tree, look it up.

Carol: What about Festivus?

Gretchen: I got a lot of problems with you people.

Carol: Boxing Day?

Gretchen: Keep naming holidays and I will call it a holiday tree!

Carol: I’m done. Mouth shut.

Three hours later…

Susana: The tree is here! It. Is. Here!

Gretchen: How are you this excited for a Christmas tree? It’s not like it’ll be anywhere near decorated today.

Susana: There’s a deeper meaning. It signifies that the holiday season has arrived. It sets the whole thing off.

Carol: Don’t let her fool you. She’s been watching Christmas movies since November 1st. It’s nauseating.

Susana: What is nauseating about celebrating joy?

Carol: I’ve seen Elf three times this year. It’s December 2nd. I shouldn’t have seen Elf once yet.

Susana: Are we going to have to do a Christmas Carol on you again?

Carol: What?

Susana: Nothing!

Gretchen: Come on, girls. Let’s stop bickering and go see this beautiful white pine.

Carol: Plastic white pine.

Gretchen: Even better, all the beauty of a pine without the needles!

In the lobby of the state house…

Samantha: I was told that the tree had arrived. Where is the tree?

Jeanne: There’s a giant box. Why’s the tree in a box, Gretchen?

Samantha: Give it a chance, it could be beautiful.

Jeanne: Christmas trees are supposed to be delivered in horse-drawn carriages amidst a light snowfall in the pale moonlight.

Samantha: What?

Hank (singing): Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell ro- Where is the tree?

Jeanne: It’s in a box.

Hank: Did she have it shipped from Connecticut? I’ll draw the impeachment papers.

Gretchen: Boys, can you set it up, please?

Hank: Are you talking to me?

Gretchen: No, I was talking to the workers who delivered it. They have upper body strength.

Hank: You are cruel.

Gretchen: Not as cruel as reality.

Susana: I’m going to grab my phone, we need some holiday music to listen to while they deck the halls.

Jeanne: Just what we need, overplayed Christmas music. Hope you’ve got Mariah Carey, I don’t hear that song nearly enough on my way to work!

Samantha: Are you allergic to kindness?

Jeanne: I’m nice! I just can’t believe what I’m witnessing.

Gretchen: What are you witnessing? Besides a bunch of government employees abandoning their responsibilities to watch people put up a Christmas tree.

Jeanne: Oh my god. Hank, get me a seat. I’m gonna collapse.

Hank: I’m not your servant.

Jeanne: Samantha, get me a seat.

Samantha: Stop being overdramatic.

Jeanne: The tree, which came in a box, is hocked up into segments!

Hank: Aren’t all trees?

Samantha: All the ones I’ve ever bought as Home Depot are.

Jeanne: Oh my god. Oh my god.

Carol: Is she having a stroke?

Gretchen: No comment.

Jeanne: The tree is fake!

Hank: Oh, the humanity!

Jeanne: I can’t even believe what I’m witnessing right now. A fake tree in the Rhode Island State House? I thought this was America.

Gretchen: Is there something un-American about a plastic Christmas tree?

Jeanne: It’s tradition to have a genuine Rhode Island-raised tree in the state house. This is not that.

Gretchen: It’ll save money. It’s good for all of us.

Susana rushes back into the lobby.

Susana: Darlene Love can put anyone in the Christmas spirit!

Jeanne: I can’t believe you would disrespect Christmas like this!

Susana: Like what?

Gretchen: Oh, does the plastic insult Jesus? I don’t think he cares, Jeanne!

Hank: It’s not a big deal. It’s different but that’s okay.

Jeanne: It’s blasphemous. We have a holiday budget, it’s allowed in the annual budget every year. Where’s the excess money going if this “saves money” as she claims?

Gretchen: It will be left over and can be diverted to something else. No biggie.

Jeanne: This thing is ugly!

Samantha: It’s not even up yet.

Jeanne: I can see it already. And I miss the smell of pine!

Gretchen: We’ll get you an air freshener. Now shut up. Girls, we’re going back to this office, she’s giving me a headache. Where’s the Tylenol?

Carol: I told you something would go wrong. It’s a holiday tradition as honored as watching White Christmas.

Later that night…

Lucinda: What did you do?

Gretchen: Lovely to see you as well, mother. To answer your question, I had a busy day today. I met with the legislative leaders, appeared a-

Lucinda: The news is covering the plastic tree.

Gretchen: They’ve covering it? Like, putting a sheet over it?

Christina: They are clutching their pearls over it. You basically just did the tree version of Watergate in the eyes of these people.

Gretchen: It looks the same!

Lucinda: People know it’s plastic, so they’re at a predisposition to hate it. Someone had to tell you this along the way.

Gretchen: How is the local media even talking about this already? The tree lighting isn’t for another four days.

Anthony: They filmed the arrival and saw it come in a box. The speculation grew from there.

Gretchen: Does so little happen in this state that the arrival of the capitol tree is a story for the five o’clock news?

Lucinda: Most of the stories they talk about on the news are about Boston.

Christina: It’s a pretty sleepy state. It’s like if the town from a Hallmark movie was a whole state.

Lucinda: That’s why Gretchen is qualified to be governor, nothing ever happens here.

Gretchen: What exactly did the news say about the tree? You guys made it sound like I’m in serious trouble over it.

Christina: They did do an interview with Jeanne Rivero about it.

Anthony: That woman is beyond bitter. She’s managed to get the media talking about a Christmas tree as if it’s a major scandal.

Gretchen: What did she say?

Christina: I can show you. It’s pretty funny.

Gretchen: Will I find it funny?

Christina: You’re so serious, probably not.

Christina pulls her laptop out and shows Jeanne’s interview to Gretchen.

Reporter: We’ve heard mixed response to the new artificial capitol tree. Leader Rivero, what are your thoughts on it?

Jeanne: Well, I think it’s an embarrassment. This is the one time of year we have to honor our Rhode Island farmers and the governor stomped all over their efforts and chose to buy a plastic abomination made in China.

Reporter: Some harsh words for the governor.

Jeanne: Of course. It really, it just raises that question of who does she stand with, China or our farmers? She says this is to cut costs, which is really her way of bragging about taking money out of the pockets of our hard-working tree farmers. She calls herself the small business governor. I’m not seeing it.

Gretchen: So she can allot money in the budget for an annual Christmas tree but not for  healthcare? Okay…

Christina: Oh, it gets better. 

Reporter: So you think this is the governor trying to attack small businesses?

Jeanne: Not only small businesses, but this is an attack on Christianity.

Reporter: How so?

Gretchen: What? I go to church every week!’

Jeanne: This is not what Mary and Joseph intended, there was never supposed to be artificial trees used to celebrate the birth of Christ.

Gretchen: She sounds like a lunatic.

Christina: As us kids say, she has lost the plot.

Gretchen: It’s good to know that this “scandal” is nothing more than pure comedy.

Anthony: I’m fairly certain that her primary loss broke her brain. What was that interview?

Gretchen: As Smokey Robinson says, sad, sad tears of a clown.

Anthony: I don’t think this is a controversy to anyone outside of the local news and Jeanne Rivero. Let’s go drink some hot cocoa and watch a movie to forget about this.

Gretchen: I’m the governor, I have many important things to do.

Anthony: You’re that swamped?

Gretchen: God, no. My top priority right now is a Christmas tree, I am not mbusy at all. Let’s go watch a movie.

Lucinda: We better watch something good, a classic. Miracle on 34th Street, maybe?

Christina: What about a new Netflix Christmas movie?

Lucinda: You better be joking.

The next day…

Lucinda: Gretchen, you’re getting a call.

Gretchen: It’s Saturday. I don’t want to take any calls. I want to sleep.

Lucinda: You’re the governor. You signed up for this.

Gretchen: Is there an emergency?

Lucinda: How am I supposed to know?

Lucinda tosses the phone onto Gretchen’s bed.

Carol: Gretchen! You there?

Gretchen: Yeah, Carol. What’s going on?

Carol: Have you heard about the petition?

Gretchen: This better not be about that godd-

Carol: It’s about the tree.

Gretchen: At seven in the morning?

Carol: It’s been weighing on me.

Anthony: Honey, what’s been going on?

Gretchen: It’s about the damn Christmas tree!

Anthony: Are you kidding me?

Gretchen: What is this petition about?

Carol: They want to force you to change it to a real tree.

Gretchen: Have these people considered focusing their time on real issues that matter? I bet they could do a lot of good if they care this much about a tree!

Carol: Jeanne’s really leading the charge here.

Gretchen: Now there’s a surprise. What do you want me to do about it?

Carol: Nothing, I suppose. I just thought you should know.

Gretchen: They already started decorating it and preparing it for Tuesday’s lighting. Sorry pine purists, you’ve lost this battle.

Carol: I think maybe you should wear a bulletproof vest for the lighting. Or get a bodyguard.

Gretchen: I don’t think they’re going to take me out, Carol.

Carol: You never know!

Gretchen: I know. And now, I’m going to go back to sleep, and then I’m going to watch Christmas movies in my Christmas pajamas.

Carol: It’s much too early for that. Give me another week.

Gretchen: You’ve been watching them for weeks!

Carol: Not voluntarily!

Three days later, at the capitol…

Toby: Mom, when are you plugging in the tree?

Gretchen: Very soon!

Toby: Good, I want to see it lit.

Christina: He keeps talking about seeing it lit.

Anthony: In his defense, your grandmother never lets us turn on our own Christmas tree.

Lucinda: The glare on the TV is too much, I can’t see it from the kitchen!

Christina: Can we just put her in the home?

Carol: Gretchen, they’re here.

Christina: Who is this mythical “they?”

Carol: The council of evil.

Hank: Hello, Governor Raymond!

Gretchen: Ah!

Hank: Merry Christmas.

Jeanne: Are we still allowed to say that here?

Samantha: I think the tree looks beautiful, Gretchen.

Jeanne: That’s not a tree, that’s a plastic catastrophe. Trees are alive!

Samantha: Can you stop? Why even come if you’re going to be so negative?

Jeanne: I had to see the disaster with my own eyes.

Susana: Gretchen, the media is ready. We‘ve got a half-hour slot for this and twenty-five minutes of it is for musical performances.

Gretchen Okay, let’s light this candle!

Jeanne: Aren’t you afraid the lights will melt it?

Hank: I hate Gretchen as much as anyone, but aren’t you going a bit overboard?

Samantha: Yeah, I barely even remembered we put a tree up in here. I’m certainly not concerned enough for this sort of a reaction.

Jeanne: Some of us love Christmas more than others, I guess.
Gretchen: Everyone, thank you all for coming to the annual Rhode Island Capitol Tree Lighting! I know some of you are concerned that we’ve deviated from tradition with an artificial tree this year. I can assure all of you, it has not interfered with the majestic quality of the tree display. This year’s display honors the holiday traditions of all cultures here in the state, and honors the beloved landmarks that our state is known for. Christmas is a special time, and it’s a time to focus on what we have and what we love. That’s what this tree represents and what it honors. I think you all for coming here today and for celebrating this incredible season with us. Now, it’s time to light the tree. Here to sing O Christmas Tree as we light the tree is the Providence Elementary School Choir!

Samantha: So, Jeanne, what do you think?

Jeanne: It’s pretty for a fraudulent tree.

Gretchen: Ha! You admitted it! I win!

Jeanne: How can you hear me? Aren't you supposed to be listening to your choir?

Gretchen: I had to rub the beauty of my tree in your face.

Jeanne: It's not that great, don't pat yourself on the back too much.

Gretchen: Call off your army of loons, by the way. YOu like it, you have to tell them to stop protesting this tree.

Jeanne: Nah.

Lucinda: I think you did a good job, honey.

Anthony: Grab my hand, I know you’re about to faint.

Gretchen: Wow, I can’t stop winning.

Anthony: Don’t you have to go host the tree lighting? Don’t let them distract you.

Gretchen: I wanted to see Jeanne eat crow!

Jeanne: Jesus would not want you to be vengeful on his birthday.

Gretchen: Oh, stick a candy cane up your -

Carol: Gretchen, the kids are done.

Gretchen: I love my Christmas tree!

Carol: We know. We know.

What did you think of Raymond Island holiday special? Let us know in the comments, and make sure to read the Frances in the Kitchen Christmas special next week!

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