by Glenn A. Hascall
An older man is left to contemplate his first Christmas following the death of his lifelong spouse. Discover the difficulties he faces in coming to terms with his loneliness.
(Could easily be recast as a woman with the alteration of some obvious lines)
MAN - Mostly acting with very few lines
NARRATOR - Off stage
SETTING & PROPS: A living room with a mantle clock mic’ed to accentuate the sounds of the old clock. The MAN simply acts out what the NARRATOR describes.
NARRATOR: He listened intently to his cherished mantle clock and was momentarily lost in the seemingly incessant ticking and equally expected, tocking. It was ridiculous to wonder which came first, the tick or the tock, but it was a much needed distraction. He had gotten up early; out of habit mostly. He was finding it hard to sleep as much as he used too. However, this morning his mind would not focus very well. He had tried to pray. He had tried to read his Bible. Then he clicked through the television listings but decided to pass over the old Mr. Magoo Christmas Carol and It's A Wonderful Life. There had been a time when he loved those shows. He would anxiously wait for them and share them with family. But that seemed such a long time ago. He chuckled slightly as he thought of his punctual school teacher, marking off those absent from the day's lesson. And in his own mind he made those things absent from this day; there was no sizzle of sausage in the kitchen, no pancakes would be waiting, no smell of homemade maple syrup would greet him, the restaurants were closed and he was left with the drone of family clock. It seemed to keep time with a myriad of thoughts he contemplated. Wife's gone - tick-tock - No kids - tick-tock - no food - tick-tock.
MAN: Oh, bother. This is ridiculous.
NARRATOR: The man walked to the window and watched the neighbors greeting their grandchildren on this holy morning. There was nothing to do, no one to see and no visitors to expect. Tick-tock... Why couldn't that stupid clock just be quiet for a while. Why couldn’t he think clearly? Tick-tock... That’s when he noticed one corner of the living room, this was the corner he would always drag the Christmas tree to on December 15th, and not a day sooner.
He smiled as he remembered telling his family that this special date had to do with minimizing dry trees and pine needles. And while this thought had merit, he enjoyed his children's expectation in waiting to find the perfect tree in the middle of the year's last month. In his mind's eye, there stood a majestic fir, donned with a garland of cranberries and popcorn. A corn husk angel stood sentry atop the tree in anticipation of the Christ Child's arrival. Handmade ornaments from his children's primary years, perfect in their imperfection, hung from sturdy branches. Gifts would grow under that tree until this old house had been transformed into a picture postcard under the tutelage of his blessed wife.
Then there were the smells of turkey that floated through the home as sounds of metal spoon on ceramic bowl carried a report of cheerful home cooking in the kitchen. Stockings hung full by the fireplace, a testimony of a father's indulgence. The windows would ice over in a valiant effort to keep the cold out and the warm in. He remembered children’s names and snowmen etched in ice that had once greeted carolers through those lighted windows. The man smiled, for the memories were glorious! Tick-tock...
But that was then... His wife had passed away the previous spring and the kids were grown and had families of their own and lived too far away to visit this year. All he had was the tick-tock of a rather annoying clock telling him that time was passing him by. He was not an emotional man, but suddenly the tears of those joyous Christmas remembered began their waterfall course down wrinkled cheeks as he contemplated the severe contrast of his Christmas - present. Tick-tock... This was not the first Christmas he had spent alone. However, he always had the reassurance that his family would be coming home soon. Now he was faced with the bleak reality that there would be no one coming through that door and no one to sit down with who was content just to be there. The hours pass in fitful silence. Concentrating on very little, yet fully aware of all he was missing.
MAN: "Lord," NARRATOR: He began in prayer,
MAN: "You know I'm not much of a complaining man. But today, well today I'm missing my family. This day has always been spent with my wife and kids and, well, I'm lonely. I know this holiday isn't about me - it's about You! Maybe you could understand what it's like to be all alone feeling completely forgotten."
NARRATOR: The man stopped, remembering the scene of a cross and the loneliness his Savior felt as He hung there alone. But there was a homecoming party waiting, and Jesus would be the guest of honor. This was a season for giving and the man marveled at his forgetfulness. He had received a gift that far exceeded his ability to understand and he had failed to begin his day with any expression of gratitude. Of course Jesus understood what it was like to feel completely alone. Yet He faced that loneliness and emerged the Victor. Tick-tock... Perhaps there were better days to come. Perhaps he wouldn’t always feel this lonely. Perhaps, even at his age, he could learn from the God of all comfort. He pondered all these things in his heart and would return to them often. Tick-tock... Suddenly the clock seemed almost melodic. The man suddenly knew that it was possible to rest in the arms of the God of lonely men and discovered that there really could be, "Peace on earth, good will toward men." (Fade to black)
Copyright 2001 by Glenn A. Hascall & CMI Publishing
If you use any of these scripts would you please be so kind as to let us know? glenn.hascall<a>gmail.com