By John McNeil
A narrator takes a journey of discovery into the true meaning of Christmas, with Easter in view. This play was designed as a vehicle for participation by all age groups of a Sunday School, who appear in sequence from youngest to oldest. There are 2 alternate versions of this script. The first is written for a Southern Hemisphere summer Christmas, the second for a Northern Hemisphere winter Christmas.
Narrator: What does Christmas mean to you? Is it a family get-together, a big feed, Father Christmas and all that? Or what? You know, we've inherited a lot of European customs in our Christmas, perhaps when we should have been developing our own style of things. So while picnicking in blazing sun on the beach, we still sing a song about a white Christmas, and hunt for mistletoe. Bit silly when you think about it, isn't it! And after all, if the middle of winter is the proper time for Christmas, then maybe that's when we should have ours!? It's a thought. Choir: (Starts singing in background)
Narrator: But there's always one thing you can count on at Christmas, and that's carols. Used to sing them myself once when I was a kid. How did they go? (Hums to himself.) Away in a manger, no crib for a bed. Yes, something like that. (Finishes off verse of carol.) Group of children: (Pre-schoolers; they wander on)
Narrator: Kids! I think kids were made for Christmas. It's really their time, with all the goodies we pile on them. Lots and lots of goodies. (Turns to group) What does Christmas mean to you? (Narrator asks several questions, such as, "What's the first thing you do Christmas morning?" "Where do you go for Christmas?" "Did you ask Santa for anything special?" etc. After they have given their answers, Narrator suggests they go and sit in a corner, and pretend they're opening their Christmas stocking, quietly acting out what they hope to find inside.) It's a bit like watching yourself, isn't it! You know, there's something else about Christmas I was going to mention to you, but it's slipped my mind for the moment. It'll come back to me. Singing!? Choir: (5-7 years; they file on, singing carol)
Narrator: (When they have finished singing, asks questions of some of the choir, such as, "Who are you singing about?" 'Who's he?" etc. Finishes with, "Where are you going now?) Choir: Off to church. Bye bye! (They file off.)
Narrator: (Turns to group still acting on floor.) Aren't you lot going to church too? Group: Yes. Come on, let's go. (They get up, look to see if anyone's watching, and run off playing with toys.) Narrator: I guess church is different things to different people. Jesus? I knew I'd heard the name before. His birthday or something. I wonder what sort of birthday he had. What would it have been like to be there then? Animals: (7-10 years. File on, chattering among themselves. Perhaps a donkey, cow, goat, sheep, dog, etc. They have just been in the manger when Jesus was born, and now they tell each other what they think of Jesus, looking at it from an animal's point of view.) Choir: (At rear, sing "Away in a Manger" quietly.)
Family: (Four children in congo line. When the animals have finished their discussion, the family comes on, honking, making other car noises, and comments such as: "Why can't we find a good place for a picnic?" "Did you bring your swimming costume?" "Mummy, can we have lunch now?" What are all these animals doing on the road?" etc. They tour the stage once, and then exit out front. As they go, one of the animals - a lamb - is knocked over, and it lies down crying.) Narrator: Hey, you've knocked over a lamb! Come back! (Goes over to the lamb, and picks it up, carries it down the aisle. Other animals file down in procession after.) Choir: (Enter singing. They do one verse or chorus only.)
Paper boy: (Enters, waving papers.) Paper! Extra! Read all about it! Jesus Christ born in Bethlehem. Hit and run driver wounds family pet! Read all about...