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The Christmas Play

By John Erickson

Note:  We purchased a set of very cute animal puppets to put on puppet shows for young children in our church.  They consist of two squirrels, Carl and Michaela, Oscar the turtle, Sly the fox and Blossom the skunk.  This play is intended to involve not only the puppeteers, but some of the young children to be participants in the manger scene. 


Narrator:    Well, boys and girls, Christmas time is getting near and our forest friends, Carl and Michaela the squirrels, Oscar the turtle, Blossom the skunk and Sly the fox are excited about being in the play about the birth of the baby Jesus in Bethlehem.  They are trying very hard to learn their parts.

Carl:    Let me try this line…And it came to pass that a degree went out from sneezer Augustus that all the world should get snacks.

Michaela:    Sneezer Augustus?  Where did you get sneezer Augustus?

Carl:    Maybe he had a bad cold.  Maybe he was allergic to Christmas trees.  I don’t know.  I wasn’t there.  I’m not as old as Marg and I didn’t write the story.

Oscar:        No, you just made some of it up.

Carl:        I’m just trying to make it more realistic and add a little
color to the story.

Oscar:        And where did “…all the world should get snacks”
come from?

Carl:        Well it says,”…all the world should be taxed.”  Must be
some kind of ancient after school food giveaway –
taxed.  I wonder what taxes taste like?  I figured the
others wouldn’t understand so I cleared it up.
Michaela:    You mean you made it up instead of cleared it up.

Blossom:    I think the real story is just great.

Sly:        I don’t know the story very well.  What does it really
say?



Oscar:        Basically it says there was an announcement from King
Caesar Augustus that everyone should go to the
hometown where they were born so they could be
counted.  He wanted to know how many people were in
his kingdom at the time.

Shy:        Why not just send everybody a letter in the mail and
ask them to fill it out like we do today?

Oscar:        I don’t think the post office was invented yet and it
would have been a lot of letters to chisel. 

Blossom:    So, Carl, this doesn’t sound at all like the story you
started to tell.

Carl:        It’s almost identical, weren’t you listening?

Sly:        I was.  Were you?

Carl:        I don’t need to listen to myself, I already know what
I’m going to say.  The story gets even better.  There
were shepherds abiding in the fields washing their
socks by night, and lo the angel of the Lord…..

Michaela:    Wait a minute, shepherds washing their socks by night? 
Don’t you mean shepherds watching their flocks by
night?

Carl:        Well it gets pretty boring watching flocks at night. 
They need to do something.  You don’t want them
wearing dirty socks do you?

Oscar:        Aren’t you getting a little crazy with your version of the
real story?

Carl:        Since I have so much acting experience, I thought I
would add a bit of flair to the story, but I guess if my
fans want me to tell it the way it is written I
suppose I can.  You know, I did star in the forest
jamboree pageant last year.

Michaela:    Your FANS????   So tell them, what did you do in this
brilliant acting
career?


Carl:        Michaela, you make it sound so trivial.  I was a very
important member of the cast.

Michaela:    Are you going to tell them what you did?

Carl:        I’m getting there.  Don’t rush me.

Michaela:    Oh brother.  Just tell them.

Carl:        (Trying to make it sound bigger than it was)  I stepped
out on the stage as the crowd roared.  I patiently waited
for the applause to die down then in clear beautiful
tones I said, “Heeeeerrrrreeee”s Johnny.”

Sly:        That’s it?

Oscar:        (Sounding bored)  I can’t tell you how impressed I am.

Michaela:    Good thing.


Carl:        You don’t see how important it was?  Without me the
show would never have even started.  It was amazing.

Blossom:    What’s amazing is how impressed you are with
yourself.

Carl:        Everyone’s a critic.  Go ahead, I can take it, (pause) I
think.  Why is it that Charlie the mule gets to carry
Mary every year?  Why not let someone else do it?

Oscar:        Like you, for instance?  Now there’s an interesting
picture, a pregnant woman riding on a squirrel.

Carl:        I guess you do have a point.

Narrator:    Everyone worked hard, especially Carl.  He wanted to
show the others just how good he was.  He lost track of
the story and started to think it was about him.  In fact,
he came to see himself as the one true star of the show.

(Carl wears dark glasses and a scarf around his neck and talks like he is above everyone else.)

Blossom:    Carl, what are you doing?

Carl:        I’m wearing dark glasses to hide from my public and
keep myself from being mobbed by my fans.

Michaela:    I did notice it was getting very WINDY in here.

Sly:        Yeah.  I also noticed a lot of HOT AIR all of the
sudden.

Carl:        I’ve already decided to give out my autographed picture
for Christmas presents this year signed with my official
paw print.

Blossom:    I think I might be getting sick.

Carl:        (Very dramatic) Some day, when I’m gone, they’ll
probably be worth millions.

Oscar:        Millions of what?

Carl:        I can tell I’m not appreciated for what I truly am.

Michaela:    We know what you truly are, but we appreciate you
anyway.

Carl:        My life is so difficult.

Sly:        I think I can see why.

Oscar:        What are friends for if you can’t abuse them from time
to time?

Narrator:    Our friends still love Carl, even when he is a bit full of
himself.  Sometimes you just have to love someone
where they are until God shows them the truth.  That
was the case with Carl.  Our friends all worked hard
to be able to share the story of Jesus’ birth with others
in the forest.  Oscar and Michaela had heard it all their
lives.  Blossom had learned about it last year and Sly
just heard the story for the first time a few weeks ago
when it changed his life.  Finally the day came for
everyone to join together to share the story

(Set up the manger scene in front of the puppet stage)
   


Announcer 1:    Hear yea!   Hear yea!  King Caesar Augustus
orders everyone to go to his city of birth to be
counted.

Announcer 2:    Mary and Joseph set off for Bethlehem, Joseph’s
home town.  Mary was very close to having a
baby.

Announcer 3:    When Mary and Joseph arrived in Bethlehem,
they could not find a room to stay in.  There was
only room in a stable.

Announcer 4:    Mary delivered her first child, a son, who they
named Jesus.

Announcer 5:    There were, at the same time as Jesus was being
born, shepherds tending their flocks in the pasture. 
An angel appeared to them and said:

Angel:        Don’t be afraid, for I bring you news of awesome
joy.  Today a child is born in Bethlehem that is
Christ the Lord.  He will save the world from
their sins.

Announcer 5:    And suddenly the shepherds were surrounded by
angels saying:

Angels:        Glory to God in the highest.  Peace and good will
toward men.

Shepherd:        Wow!  This is awesome.  Let’s go find this child.

Announcer 6:    There were also wise men studying the stars that
saw a special star that helped them understand
that the Christ had been born.  So they came to
Bethlehem to worship him.  They brought him
gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Announcer 7:    Everyone who came to the stable and saw Jesus
praised God and said:

Everyone:        Glory to God in the highest!

Announcer 8:    The little children praised the baby Jesus and said:

(Each child can be given a short phrase to say – one per child.  More can be added or deleted depending on the number of children.)

Child 1:        Jesus is our savior.

Child 2:        Jesus gives us hope.

Child 3:        Jesus gives us peace.

Child 4:        Jesus loves me.

Child 5:        Jesus loves you.

Announcer 8:    And an adult said it well:

Adult:        We celebrate the birth of the child, Jesus, the son
of God, because he has come to earth from heaven
to die for our sins if we admit that we are sinners,
believe that he died for our sins then ask him to
take away our sins and live in us and to be the
director of our lives forever. 

Everyone sings:  O come let us adore Him.

(Everyone leaves the stage – puppets remain)

Oscar:             I just LOVE to tell hear that story over and over again.

Michaela:    I never get tired of hearing it either.

Sly:        What an awesome idea, we could not reach God so He
came down to us.

Blossom:    Don’t you want everyone to know that?

Carl:        While we were doing the story I realized that we are
just decoration in the whole picture.  Perhaps I got a
little overenthusiastic about my role in the
story.

Michaela:    A LITTLE?????

Carl:        Some.

Oscar:        SOME????

Carl:        OK.  OK.  So I overdid it.  But don’t we do that at
Christmas time?  It’s about me.  What I want for
Christmas.  What I want to do.  Where I want
to go.  Christmas began with God reaching out to us.  Shouldn’t we reach out to others?

Michaela:    You should reach out to me, Carl.  A play station 3 (may substitute some
        other popular toy) would be a nice reach.  One like Blossom’s would be
great.

Oscar:        Yeah, and I’d love for you to give me guitar hero, Carl.

Sly:        Oh cool, and how about an IPad (or some other popular device)   for me.

Blossom:    Since I have all those things, I guess I don’t need
 anything for Christmas.

Carl, Michaela, Oscar and Sly:    YOU DO????!!!!

Michaela:    Girl, you rock.

Carl:        Wait a minute.  Wait a minute.  Didn’t we just talk
about Christmas not being about us?

Blossom:    No.  We talked about Christmas not being about you,
Carl.

Carl:        Oh.

Oscar:        Yeah.  You need to get away from the idea that you are
the most important one at Christmas.

Carl:        But I….

Sly:        It shouldn’t be just for you, Carl.

Carl:        That’s what I’ve been…..

Michaela:    You’ve got that right, Sly.  Carl thought he was the
important one in the play.

Carl:        Don’t you see, I understand that now?  I’m trying to get
us making Christmas about sharing God’s love.

Blossom:    We know, my friend.  We were just giving you a hard
time.

Oscar:        Yeah.  We knew what you were saying.

Michaela:    We love you, Carl

Sly:        Hey, you know what?  I know a family of chipmunks
that need a new place to live.  Let’s work together and
build them one so we can show that we know God
loves them too.

Carl:        Perfect.  Let’s think about this.  I’m sure we can make a
list of others that need God’s love.

Narrator:    And that’s exactly what they did.  In no time they had a
long list and the thought of sharing God’s love made
this Christmas the most wonderful time of the year. 
Sounds like an awesome concept, don’t you think?  May God’s love be in your hearts and work through your hands this Christmas.