A children’s Christmas Musical
Summary: Mary and Joseph are preparing to leave for Bethlehem. They stop into a rental shop to arrange transportation, and broker a unique deal with the proprietor:  a free, round-trip rental of a stubborn old mule in exchange for Mary and Joseph escorting the shop owner’s children to Bethlehem. Along the way the children discover that Mary is going to give birth to Jesus, and by the time the trip is finished they will have come to understand that the trip they took would be the greatest experience of their lives, and would change their future forever!
Style: Lighthearted.  Duration:  60min??
Actors: 8M, 3F +C

Mary – mother of Jesus
Joseph – engaged to be married to Mary
Nagreb – shop owner, Nazareth Travel
Marian – daughter of Nagreb
Gideon – son of Nagreb
Simon – son of Nagreb, twin brother to Nathan
Nathan – son of Nagreb, twin brother to Simon
Breenan, - youngest daughter of Nagreb
Shepherd 1
Shepherd 2
Shepherd 3


Scene 1: The Rental Shop
(Mary and Joseph enter a small shop and are greeted by a man behind the counter.)
Nagreb, like a typical used car salesman:  “Greetings, travelers! How can we be of assistance to you this fine day? Looking to buy? Or perhaps you are here to rent?”
Joseph: “We couldn’t possibly afford to buy. No, we’re just looking to rent. We’ve got to go to Bethlehem for the census, and, well, as you can see, sir, my wife is in no condition to walk.”
Nagreb: “Ah, yes, I certainly can see that! What a blessed event! To be blessed with children! I myself have nine children .  . . and what joy they. . .
Joseph, interrupting: “I’m sure they’re a delight and joy and a tribute to your ancestors. But I really need to get a price on a rental. . .”
Nagreb: But of course! Let me suggest the deluxe camelback package. . . our finest camels with a canopy saddle that will keep the rain and the wind from making your journey miserable! You know how the weather is this time of year. . . one can’t be too careful.
Mary: “That sounds good, Joseph!”
Joseph, (aside to Mary, trying to be a real man), “Mary, let me handle the negotiations please!  Now, what will it cost me?
(Nagreb leans over and whispers the price in Joseph’s ear.)
Joseph: “Well OK then, now we know that’s out of the question! Have you got anything a little more, economical?”
Nagreb: “Ah! A careful businessman you are!  We have just the right thing for the business traveler.  Nothing extravagant, but certainly nothing to be ashamed of, either!
Joseph, excitedly: “Yes, that sounds good! What is it?”
Nagreb: “We call it our “econo-ox package.” A fine, young ox pulling a small wooden cart. Not only will the lady be off her feet, but you’ll have room for your luggage and necessities as well.”
Mary: “We will have to take supplies for the baby, Joseph.”
Joseph, through his teeth: “Mary, let me handle this. You know how these salespeople are! You’ve got to be as cunning as a fox!”   Then to Nagreb: “So what’s the daily rate on that package?”
Nagreb again leans over and whispers into Joseph’s ear. . .
Joseph: “Maybe we better try another rental agency. I just don’t think you have anything that’s, well, in our price category. Come on, Mary, there’s another vendor around the corner. Let’s go see what he’s got.” Joseph and Mary start to leave. . .
Nagreb, now frantic: “Wait, wait, wait! I cannot allow you to make such a mistake! That Zebulon, he’s a thief and a cheat! No, listen, I think I’ve got just the thing for you. We call it our “Express” package.”
Joseph: “Is it expensive?”
Nagreb: “Please sir, do not insult me! I am practically giving this away. And this particular package will have some extra ‘advantages’. As a matter-of-fact, this particular package is free.
Mary: “Free?”
Joseph, to Mary: “See! I told you to let me do this! Now I’ve got ‘em just where I want ‘em!”
Mary: “Excuse sir, but why is it free?”
Nagreb: “Yes! Yes! It is free! It is called our ‘Bethlehem Express’ package. Round trip to Bethlehem for free!”
Mary: “Nothing’s free. There’s got to be a catch.”
Joseph: “Mary, can’t you see my superior negotiating skills have worn him down?  If the man says it’s free then it’s free.  To Nagreb: “It is free, correct?”
Nagreb: “Correct!”
Joseph: “Sooooo, I’m not paying even a single denari, correct?”
Nagreb: “Correct!”
Joseph: “And there are no strings attached, correct?”
Nagreb: “Correc. . . . (doesn’t complete word) well, just one small condition. . .”
Mary: “A small condition?”
Joseph: “And what would that be?”
Nagreb: “Well, um, actually there are 5 small conditions. . .”
Mary: “Five!”
Joseph: “Five?”
Nagreb: “Yes, five small conditions. . .  Marian, Gideon, Nathan, Simon, and Breenan. “
Mary: “What in the world?”
Nagreb: “OK, OK, they are my five smallest children. I need to get them to Bethlehem to stay with their aunt Priscilla while I take my wife to visit her dying mother in Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee. So here’s what I’ll do. . . I’ll let you have Stubby the donkey to ride for free.”
Joseph: “Stubby. Is that because the donkey is small?”
Nagreb: “Not exactly. ..  we call him stubby because, well, he’s just a wee bit stubborn.”
Joseph: “Great. Five kids and a stubborn mule. This is some express!”
Nagreb: “CHILDREN!”  Five small children come running out from the back of the shop and crowd around Nagreb. Marian is the oldest of the five, and has that “mothering” instinct. . . Gideon comes next, and views himself as the “protector” of the group. Nathan and Simon are twins, concerned only with whatever mischief they can get themselves into, and Breenan is the “baby” of the family, a girl that gets spoiled and pampered by the rest of the kids.
 Nagreb: “Children, show these fine customers what a nice family you are. . . sing a song for them. . . just like we do at night when we sit out under the stars.”
(Children huddle for a minute and then break out into song: THE BETHLEHEM EXPRESS)
Nagreb: As the song ends  Nabreb claps his hands with pride over his brood. . . “Ah, children, you warm your father’s heart! May God give me three dozen grandchildren just like you!
Mary, aside to Joseph: “Sure, easy for him to say, he’s not the one that has to give birth to them all!”
Nagreb, still excited: “Didn’t I tell you! Aren’t they just, well, adorable?”
Mary: “They ARE adorable.”
Joseph: “Adorable?  Puppies are adorable!  But we’ve got a serious trip to make, and you’re just about ready to give birth, and then there’s the cooking, and getting five kids ready in the morning, and . . .
Mary, firmly: “They’re coming, Joseph!”
Joseph, meekly: “Yes, dear.”
Nagreb: “Wonderful! Gideon, go bring Stubby around! And PLEASE, don’t approach him from the rear! You remember what happened to Uncle Solomon last month!” The rest of you children, get ready to go, you’re going to Bethlehem!”
(The children all scamper around for about one minute, then all line up in order with full backpacks, walking sticks,  canteens, etc.)
Mary: “WOW, that was fast! How did you know. . . ?”
Nagreb: “Let’s just say an angel forewarned me this morning that this was going to be a special day. And believe me, any day alone with my wife is a very special day. Why, the last time the two of us got to take a vacation together was when Gideon was just three months old and my brother’s wife came to. . . “
Joseph, interrupting: “That’s really fascinating but we’ve got to get on the road. How will we know where your relatives live once we get to Bethlehem?”
Nagreb: “Don’t worry,  Aunt Priscilla and her husband own the only inn in town, so you’ll be heading right there anyway.”
Mary: “Joseph, isn’t this wonderful! And we’ll get to see what it’s like to have a big family.”
Joseph, grumbling: “Yeah, wonderful. . .”
(Children sing IT’S WONDERFUL)
This is only a portion of the script of this musical. The full script and music can be obtained from the author, Ray Lombardi, by visiting his website http://www.lorray.com/