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All I Want for Christmas


It is Christmas Eve and Stephanie Fleming is in a crowded mall. She sees a couple moving in her direction. The man, Jack, is Stephanie’s ex, the blonde on his arm, her replacement. Stephanie lowers her head, rushes into a nearby restaurant, and barrels into Robert Manners. He turns and is inexplicably taken with her. Confronted with only one available table, Robert suggests they share.

Stephanie reveals that she is spending the holiday with a college roommate, and Robert discloses that he will be with his sister and her family. Neither realizes that they are both bound for the same home.

That evening Stephanie is comfortably ensconced in the Chandler family, comprised of Candice, her husband Brad, and their children, Jonathan and Katherine. All are surprised by an unexpected visitor, Santa Claus (RJ Manning), who is bearing gifts for everyone. It isn’t until after Santa’s visit, when Robert returns as himself, that Stephanie realizes that her lunch partner Robert is actually Candice’s brother, RJ.

While a mutual attraction is apparent and holiday plans should work to make them a couple, various roadblocks keep popping up. When memories of his past life are triggered, Robert’s mood turns grim, pushing Stephanie away. When calm appears to return, Stephanie accepts an invitation from her ex to have coffee, devastating Robert.

But fun and games and personalities are at work. All are uplifted by holiday dinners, caroling, sledding, and ice-skating. A most powerful elixir comes in the form of Robert’s niece. Called upon to say grace at Christmas Eve dinner, Katherine adds “…and Lord, could you ask Baby Jesus to help find some children for Uncle Bob…?”

Christmas evening, after Katherine wangles to have Robert and Stephanie read her a bedtime story, she concludes their session with a request for a “group hug!”

Skating on the Chandler’s pond the day after Christmas, Stephanie and Robert playfully warm to each other. But, later that day, when Robert reveals he booked two seats on his return flight to Denver, Stephanie scolds him for his presumptuousness and storms off.

Finding that Stephanie had not returned to the Chandlers, Robert rushes out to look for her, fearing an accident on the snowy roads. But Stephanie returns, telling the Chandlers that she had decided to accompany Robert to Denver. He soon returns safely and a joyous reunion ensues. Alone with Stephanie later that evening, Robert proposes. The story ends with more rejoicing and Stephanie employing a tactic learned from the 5-year-old… “Group Hug!”

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