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Summary: A family out Christmas shopping discover there are parallels between the Christmas story and today's world.
Style: Dramatic.   Duration: 7min
Actors: 3M, 5F

Characters
Sally & Jack (brother and sister)
Mum
Dad
Mary
Joseph
Abigail (innkeeper's wife)
Rachel (2nd innkeeper)

Script


Jack
How much longer are we going to be?  We’ve been in town all day. It’s cold and wet and we never go into any good shops.

Sally
You mean we never go into any shops that sell PS4 games. Stop moaning. It is Christmas you know. It’s good to exchange presents.

Jack
Why? You should see some of the things people gave me last year – hankies with my initials on them, and socks in horrible colours.

Sally
You shouldn’t be so ungrateful. Lots of people in the world – and even some here in Glasgow – don’t get anything.

Jack
I’ve got a drawer full of socks they can have, if they like.

Mum
Stop fighting, you two, I’m not enjoying this any more than you are. There’s not that much shopping left to do.

Dad
Good, ‘cos I’ve got that rehearsal at 6 for the watchnight service. (sings loudly) “Hark the herald angels sing, glory to the new born King”.

Jack
That’s another thing, why do we have to go to church so much at this time of year? It’s bad enough going every Sunday. What’s the point of Christmas, apart from presents of course? Tell me that Sally, if you’re so smart.

Sally
You see that guy over there selling the Big Issue? He’s probably got nowhere to sleep tonight.

Jack
So he’s homeless? So what? What’s that got to do with Christmas?


Mary
Joseph, I’m exhausted. It’s been a long journey and I’m sure the baby’s coming soon. Are you sure there’s no vacancies anywhere? Where are we going to sleep tonight?

Joseph
Oh Mary, we’ve already tried a dozen or more places. Why you can’t register for the poll tax at your own home town, I’ll never know. Look here’s a door we haven’t been to yet.

Abigail
Can I help you?

Mary

We’re looking for a bed for the night. We’re desperate. Have you got anything, anything at all?

Abigail
I’m sorry dear, I’ve got ‘em sleeping in the restaurant, it’s so busy. You could try Rachel Jacobson’s place. It’s up the back lane over there – not much passing trade. She just might be able to squeeze you in. (looks at Mary) You expecting a happy event?

Mary
Yes, our son will be born soon – that’s why we’re so desperate to find a place to rest.

Abigail
 
Your son? I wouldn’t get your hopes up dear - it could just as easily be a girl after all.

Joseph
Er … anyway, thanks for all your trouble. We’ll try your friend. Come on Mary. Goodbye.


Mum
I can’t believe I’ve reached the end of the list – Uncle Frank. I say uncle..., but he’s not a real uncle, of course. More of a friend of the family.
 
Jack
Who is this Uncle Frank anyway? Isn’t he that funny guy we saw at your anniversary party last year Mum?

Mum
He’s not funny – Frank’s just a little bit eccentric.

Jack
So what are we getting him? Why not something connected to one of his hobbies – that would be the sensible option in my humble opinion!

Dad
Frank and “sense” just don’t go together, that’s the problem.

Sally
They do you know!! That’s really funny.

Mum
What do you mean, dear?

Sally
Don’t you get it, Jack?

Jack
Mum, I think all this shopping’s made her delirious. Get what?

Sally
What Dad said – Frank ‘n’ sense. That’s why we give presents. Because they did.

Jack
(exasperated) Who!

Sally
The wise men of course. They brought presents to Jesus– gold, frankincense and myrrh. That’s why we give presents. And I suppose it must be something to do with Jesus being God’s present to us.
 
Jack
That makes some sense, I suppose. But it was a very long time ago.  It’s hard to imagine what it must have been like. The Middle East today’s not a very friendly place.

Sally
I don’t think it was back then either …


Joseph
Excuse me, are you Rachel?

Rachel
Yes, that’s me – what can I do for you? You look worn out.

Joseph
We’re desperate for some shelter. Your friend across the road said you might have something.

Mary
We were hoping you could help us. You see, my baby’s about to be born.

Rachel
Well, in the circumstances, I might have something. (thinks for a second)  No, it’s too smelly and dirty.

Mary
What is it? We’ll take anything.

Rachel
It’s just the shed where I keep the animals. It’s not great but you can’t have the baby on the street.

Joseph
Certainly not this baby.

Rachel
Eh? It’s just through this passage way ...... here. I’ll leave you to it. If you need help, just give me a shout. Goodnight.

Joseph
It’s not very nice dear, is it?

Mary
It’ll be perfect.

Joseph
Perfect? For an ordinary child perhaps, but not for this chosen child. There should be trumpets and queues of royalty paying their respects.

Mary
We don’t have any choice. Anyway, maybe God has provided this place for his own reasons. Maybe this place will be important for our grandchildren and their grandchildren.

Joseph
This dump?

Mary
I don’t mean as a place. I mean it might be important for them to know that God’s chosen one was born in an ordinary place around ordinary people. Not in a palace. I’ve a feeling his whole life will be spent in helping ordinary people. It’s good that he should start out this way.

Joseph
Anyway, you try to get some rest– I’ve a feeling you’ll need it.


Sally
Jack, mum says have you finished hanging up your stocking – or should I say 2 metre bin bag?
 
Jack
Tell her I’m just coming. I’m just checking out something.

Sally
That’s your bible! When did you last open that?

Jack
Never mind. I just thought I’d check out some things the minister said at that service tonight. It’s made me think.

Sally
How do you mean?

Jack
Well – I always used to think Jesus was just a baby in a stable 2,000 years ago and not much to do with me.

Sally
And have you changed your mind?

Jack
Well, I just think it would be a bit weird if all these celebrations all over the world every year were only based on a bit of meaningless ancient history. There’s got to be more to it and I mean to find out what!

 

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© Copyright Dougie Paton, 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.
This play may be performed free of charge, on the condition that copies are not sold for profit in any medium, nor any entrance fee charged. In exchange for free performance, the author would appreciate being notified of when and for what purpose the play is performed. He may be contacted at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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