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Summary: A family with little understanding of Christmas beyond the commercial discover something of the true meaning through some interactive fairy tales.
Style: Light-hearted.  Duration: 10min
Actors: 2M, 1F, 4C, + Various

Characters
Mum & Dad
Children Michael and Katie (Katie slightly older the Michael)
Jack (Jack and the beanstalk)
Little Red Riding Hood
Dwarves (between 3 and 7)

Script

(It’s Christmas Eve.  The kids are in bed – supposedly – and mum and dad are sitting in the lounge quietly reading.  The sofa is on the left of the stage, a fireplace at the centre back, optionally a fire burning, and on the right side a Christmas tree.)

Mum: Did you see the kids left Santa a piece of cake and a beer?
Dad: Always a great idea.  However, I might just go and put a second beer out on the table, I’m sure Santa must get pretty thirsty working all night.
Mum: We don’t want him crashing the sleigh, you better make it a lite.

(Dad gets up and goes to get another beer from the kitchen.  When he’s out the kids appear at the door – trying not to be seen.  They are whispering…)

Michael: You go and ask mum
Katie: No, you go
Michael: You’re the oldest, you go.
Katie: You’re the cutest, you go.
Michael: You’re the smartest, you go.
Katie: Well you’re the fastest and if she starts yelling you can get back to bed quickest.

(And with that Katie, who’s standing behind Michael gives him a shove out into the open.)

Mum: Michael, what’s wrong honey?
Michael: Ahhhhh…..Ummmmmm…. (Quickly) Katie and I want to stay so we get to see a big fat man in a red suit and a bag of presents climb down our chimney without getting stuck.  (Stops briefly) But we don’t have a chimney!
Mum: Why don’t you come and sit up here.  Katie, (Who Mum still can’t see but knows is waiting behind the wall) why don’t you come and sit here too.

(Kids come and climb up beside Mum.  Dad comes back from kitchen with hot cocoa for all.)

Dad: Here you go, kids.  
Together: Thanks Dad.
Dad: So, are you kids excited about tomorrow?
Katie: Dad, we don’t have a chimney.  How will Santa get in?
Dad: We have a fireplace right there, there must be a chimney.
Katie: Daaadddd, that’s a gas fire.
Dad:(Vying for time) That’s a very good point, Katie.  Perhaps he will climb in a window.
Katie: But we have security screens on all the windows.
Dad: Good point.  Well, maybe he will just use the front door like regular folk.
Michael: Dad, the kids at school say Santa’s not real and Christmas is about some baby.
Dad: Yes, well, (Thinks for a bit and then checks watch) gosh is that the time, the rugby has just started – gotta go.  (Jumps up and runs off.)

[[ Alternate line for Dad:
Dad: Yes, well, (Thinks for a bit and then remembers) uh oh, I almost forgot.  I have to put the bows of holly up in the hallway!  (Jumps up and runs off humming)   ]]

Michael: Mum?
Mum: Let me see.  This reminds me of a story I heard when I was just a little girl, about Katie’s age.  Michael, you see that big story book over there, why don’t you run over and fetch it for me [[ alt: turn to the first page ]].
Michael: This big one with the Christmas tree [[ alt: whatever ]] on the front?
Mum: Lovely.  Once upon a time in a land far, far away there lived a young lad named Jack.  Jack’s family was very poor and his mother very sick.  Jack was sent into town to sell their only cow to buy medicines for his mother…

(Sound and lighting fades to the opposite side of the stage where Jack walks on carrying a basket of golden eggs singing the second verse of “O Christmas Tree”.  As he sings he can hang the golden eggs on the Christmas tree.  He seems very happy.)

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Much pleasure thou can'st give me;
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Much pleasure thou can'st give me;
How often has the Christmas tree
Afforded me the greatest glee!
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Much pleasure thou can'st give me.

(As he sings the last line Michael and Katie walk from the dark side of the stage toward Jack.)

Katie: Are you Jack?
Jack: To be sure, to be sure. (Maybe an English accent.)
Katie: How is your mother?
Jack: My mother?  My mother is fine.  (Calls loudly) Maaaaam.  There’s 2 children here asking after ya’.
Katie: But wasn’t your mother sick?
Jack: Aye, and that she was.  As sick as a dog and nearly dead when I was sent to town for medicines.  I met a man who took our cow in exchange for some magic beans.  ‘Twas a fool thing, the cow was near to dead.  But these magic beans held promise of great riches.  That night I had the strangest of dreams, I climbed a bean stalk and found a giant living on a cloud.  The giant wasn’t that clever so I helped myself to his riches.  When I awoke the next morning I found a goose and a harp under me bed.  
Katie: And what happened to your mother?
Jack: Well the goose popped a golden egg and the chemist was very keen to trade one for some Panadol.  Mother’s fine now.  Although I’m not sure she’s entirely happy with this house.
Katie: What do you mean?
Jack: Well, there’s only the two of us and I thought a nice 3 bedroom bungalow near the river would be swell.  Nah, she’s been looking up market.
Michael: Where’s that?
Jack: Well, it ain’t here in Logan.
Michael: Why do you have a Christmas tree?
Jack: Because it’s Christmas.
Michael: No.  Why do you cut down a tree and decorate it like this at Christmas time?
Jack: You see that angel up on top of the tree.  That reminds me of the angels that appeared to the shepherds when they were first told about the birth of Jesus.  And these golden eggs I’m hanging on the tree, they speak of new life, which (pause) is all tied up with Jesus.  And if you lie down on the ground like this and turn the Christmas tree lights on they look like the stars in the sky, and that reminds me of all that God made.
Michael: What about Santa Claus.  Is he real?
Jack: Santa reminds me that Christmas is about giving and caring.  Here, have a golden egg.
Michael: Thanks.
Katie: Come on Michael, the story is moving on.  Bye Jack.
Jack: Bye kids
Michael: Bye, and thanks again.

(The kids drift back into the darkness, and Jack picks up his basket and heads off stage as we hear Little Red Riding Hood (LRRH) singing “Joy to the world”.  LRRH comes enters from the back of the auditorium so she has plenty of time to skip down the aisle, across in front of the pews and finishing up on stage.)

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

(As she reaches the stage Michael and Katie walk from the dark side of the stage toward LRRH.  As the song finishes we slowly fade in some scary forest noises, wind, thunder and  lightening, shadows moving around.  The scary noise peaks at the end of the next four lines.)

Michael: You’re LRRH.
LRRH: That’s right, and you’re Michael.
Michael: How did you know that?
LRRH:  It was written in my script.

(It seems pretty scary now, Michael and Katie are a little bit afraid but LRRH is quite calm.)

Katie: Aren’t you supposed to be afraid of the forest?
LRRH: Not any more.

Fade scary noises

Katie: Not any more?  Why not?  
LRRH: Because I have this. (Holds up a bread roll)
Katie: Isn’t that a bread roll?
LRRH: Of course it is.  What did you think it was?
Michael: It looks like wholemeal bread.  And it smells like chicken and mayonnaise.  Suddenly I’m feeling hungry.
LRRH: Sorry, Michael.  This food is for my Grandma.
Katie: Hang on.  Why does chicken and mayo on a wholemeal roll make you feel safe?
LRRH: Because this is Grandma’s Christmas dinner and it’s a gift I’m giving to her.

(Michael and Katie look at each still puzzled.)

LRRH: Well, you know that Christmas reminds us of Jesus’ birth. Jesus was a gift from God for everybody on earth.  That means that God loves us, because we only give gifts to people we love. (pause to make sure Michael and Katie are still listening) Are you following me? Good.  Well, if God loves me then there is no need for me to be afraid of the forest or the wolf.  God will always look after me.
Katie: That’s deep.
Michael: (To Katie) Should we tell her?
Katie: (Turning to LRRH) LRRH.
LRRH: Yes.
Katie: We’ve got something to tell you, to warn you about.
LRRH: Stop!  Don’t tell me, you’ll ruin the end of the story for me.  I must go, Grandma is waiting.  Bye.
Kids: Bye, and be careful.


(LRRH skips off again humming joy to the world.  The music starts for Jingle Bell Rock and the dwarfs (as many as you can get) run on to the stage and straight into a cheerleading style dance routine. Maybe Michael and Katie can be part of this dance.  Ideally the dwarfs will have large name badges.)

We three kings of Orient are,
Bearing gifts we traverse afar,
Field and fountain, moor and mountain,
Following yonder Star.

(Chorus)
O, star of wonder, star of might,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to the perfect light.

[[ Add more verses as necessary for length ]]
[[ Alt: Any upbeat Christmas song ]]

(It was a great routine, the dwarfs are slapping each other on the back and generally congratulating each other.  They also thank Michael and Katie (if they take part).)

Dwarf 1: Hey, hey, let's do Grandma got run over by a reindeer.
Dwarf 2: Nah, we did that one for our warm up.
Dwarf 3: Has anybody got anything to eat?  I’m famished.  (Grumpy maybe)
Dwarf 4: You just ate.
Dwarf 3: That was at least 10 minutes ago and I happen to like food very much.

(One of the dwarfs has grabbed a guitar and begins to strum while the others gather around and they hum along to “Oh Holy night”.  This is quiet humming as a background to the following dialog. One dwarf stays with Michael and Katie, he may look a lot like their father.)

Katie: You must be “Doc”.
Doc: That’s great, you can read.
Katie: Sorry, I don’t think we’ve met before. (Holds hand out to shake.)
Doc: The pleasure is all mine. (He gives the kids a big hug.) Are you kids excited about Christmas?
Michael: I’ll say.  I have a zillion presents under the tree and can’t wait until tomorrow.
Katie: Why are you always singing and dancing, Mr Doc.
Doc: (Laughs) It’s just Doc, there’s no Mr required.  Because we like to sing and dance, that’s how we celebrate.
Katie: Are you celebrating that the witch is dead and that Snow White has fallen in love with the prince?
Doc: Well, you know there is talk that the witch survived the fall from the mountain and is in hiding deep in the forest.  Disney of course are planning a sequel, we’ll just have to wait for a call from the agent on that one.  And, yes, we did eventually celebrate with Snow White.  Did you know she is married now with 2 kids about your age?
Katie: I had no idea.
Doc: And did you hear that Britney Spears is divorcing Kevin Federline, they’re calling him Fed-EX.  [[ This line may need updating from time to time.]]
Katie: So, what are you celebrating Doc?
Doc: Because it’s Christmas and this is a time for peace and goodwill toward all people.  Because now more than any other time in the year people gather as families, they forget about work and money, they reach out to neighbours in need of company and care, they enjoy food and wine together, they sing together and play games and laugh a lot.  But most of all they remember the baby Jesus born all those years ago and how the angels sang and the shepherds found him in a stable.  The greatest gift of all.
Michael: Can we open our presents now?
Katie: No, we have to wait until morning.  

(Music begins fades during this next dialog.)

Doc: Did you have any other questions, Michael?
Michael: Is Santa real?
Doc: What does Santa remind you of Michael?
Michael: Well, I guess he reminds me about Christmas and presents.
Doc: But Christmas isn’t just about presents.  What else is Christmas about?
Michael: Yummy food.
Katie: And fizzy drinks.
Michael: And playing games together.
Katie: And visiting family.
Michael: And visiting other people on their own.
Katie: And smiling and saying hello to people.
Michael:  And singing Christmas carols.
Katie: And being warm and happy.
Doc: That’s right.  We do all these things at Christmas time and they all remind us of Jesus.  (Music begins to play, Away in a manger)  When we sing carols they remind us of how Jesus was born in a stable and laid in a manger.  When we smile and greet people we are reminding people of how much Jesus loved everyone.  When we sing and play it reminds us how the angels celebrated when Jesus was born.  When we eat and drink it reminds us that Jesus was born as a real baby.  And when we give presents we are reminded that Jesus was our gift from God.  
Katie: So Santa reminds us that Jesus was a gift from God.
Doc: That’s right Katie.  The greatest gift of all.

(They join in to sing Away in a manger.)

Michael: (Yawns)
Katie: Come on Michael, let’s go home.
Doc: Good bye kids, and happy Christmas.
Kids: Bye Doc, and thanks for everything.

(The kids walk back to their Mum who is still sitting in the chair and just finishing the book.)

Mum: And so the 7 [[ Alt: 3 ]] dwarfs sang on into the evening, celebrating the birth of Jesus, the king of kings.

(The kids are nodding off to sleep.)

Dad: (Who, may have been acting as Doc, has just made a quick change from his dwarf costume – depends if you are short of dwarves….lol.) Wanders in.  The holly is all up in the hallway.
Mum: Give me a hand here (indicating the sleeping children).

(They pick up a child each.)

Dad: Sounded like a great story.
Mum: Yes, it reminded of me of some things I had forgotten.

(They walk off carrying the children.)

....................................................................................

© Copyright Murray Collingwood, all rights reserved. The script may not be reproduced, translated or copied in any medium, including books, CDs and on the Internet, without written permission of the author.
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