Green at Christmas

By Gabi Lautenbach


Zog, an alien, comes to earth at Christmas, and has difficulty discovering what the season is about. This play is designed to work around a church choir performance.


Choir, with one member willing to say a line
Zog - a stereotypical alien with a "High-speed Ideation Device," and a bag to put props in as he receives them.
Kit - average kid
Fran - frantic looking woman with various bags containing among other things a diary, cards and DVDs
Chris - a Christian carrying a Bible


{First Choir medley}

Zog: Is this the place? It should be around somewhere… Those people seem very excited about something. Excuse me, er - I'm Zog. What was that you're singing about?

Chorister: Christmas! The best time of the year! Here - see?

(Leaves him with a book about Christmas - perhaps "The Night Before Christmas")

Zog: Hmmm… Kismus… what's it about? Kismus.. kis… moos… Let's see, I remember from my pre-trip orientation that a moose is an animal with big horns and hooves. There are a lot of pictures in here of animals with horns and hooves pulling sleds - some of them have bright red noses - they must be mooses! And this is a festival in honor of them - a day to kiss your moose! No… on the other hand… they usually seem to be with this old man in red. There are a lot more pictures of him than of the mooses. He must be what it's about.

(Enter Kid)

Zog: Pardon me… could you tell me who this is?

Kid: That's Santa of course! Father Christmas! (Zog makes an "I knew it!" sort of gesture) He's going to bring me presents. I wrote him my letter already. I told him I'd like a computer game, and Bionicles, and Hotwheel cars, and a Batman T-shirt, and some comic books, and Legos, and a new watch, 'cause mine broke.

Zog: And he will bring you all of this?

Kid: Well, some of it. I have been good you know.

Zog: So, he only gives you these things if you have behaved well?

Kid: That's right. But he's very nice. He's always cheerful, and he loves children. He lives at the North Pole with elves. He only brings gifts to children, because grown-ups don't believe in him. I don't know why they don't because you can see guys that work for him in lots of shopping malls and department stores, especially in America. But it's OK. Grown-ups give each other gifts anyway. Everybody gets gifts. I love Christmas because I get lots of cool stuff!

Zog: Thank you for your help! (Exit Kid) So. It's a time for children to get gifts. And this Father Christmas is the Big Giver of Gifts. I suppose it's about giving, too, if everybody gives their friends and family gifts. I wonder what happens if you don't have friends or family… (He gets engrossed in the book)

{Second Choir medley (includes Oh Happy Day!)}

(Enter Frantic Woman with various bags and notepad/diary)

Fran: Oh, SHUT UP! (Her shout startles Zog out of his book, which he puts in his bag) Oh Happy Day indeed! Oh frantic day! I hate Christmas time! It gives me an ulcer! (Looks back at her 'To Do' list, looking harried) OK, I've baked the gingerbread for Timmy's class party tomorrow and the apple pie for Peter's party, I found a gift for Grandma and mailed it off, but I must still find something for Sandra's kids, not to mention gifts for Timmy and Jenny. Oh no! I was supposed to pick up the turkey yesterday! I wonder if they gave it to someone else? What will we do without a turkey, and Peter's brother coming to stay! I wish I didn't have to go to Peter's company Christmas party tonight - I must find time to write Christmas cards, but I haven't got a moment - I wonder if he'll notice if I'm not there… Of course he will. Aaaagh! There's just too much to do!

Zog: Excuse me for listening - why must you do all these things?

Fran: Because it's Christmas!

Zog: But who makes you do all of this?

Fran: It's traditional. It wouldn't be Christmas if I didn't do all of it.

Zog: Hmmm. So Christmas for grown-ups is about seeing how much you can get done in a month without suffering a nervous breakdown?

Fran: Oh, you can have the breakdown, as long as you wait till December 26th.

Zog: Hmmm.

Fran: No, I didn't really mean that, I suppose. Oh, I don't have time to explain what it's about. Here, look at these Christmas cards, they'll give you some idea. (She produces cards and DVDs from her bag.) Watch some movies too. Just return them to Blockbuster for me when you're done.

Zog: Thank you. (Becomes absorbed in cards as choir re-enters)

Fran: By the way, Halloween's over. You should get out of that Martian costume.

(Exit Fran)

{Third Choir medley}

Zog: (Looking confused) OK. I studied the cards. It would appear Christmas is rather complex. It's all about snow, bells, thorny red berries, shiny things, teddy bears, trees, and lots of food. How these things are related, I really don't know. Perhaps the bears climb the trees in the winter to find berries and people ring bells and hang lights to scare them away. But why celebrate that? Let's try these movies. (Puts cards in bag and retrieves CDs) I'll just put them in my High-speed Ideation Device. (He puts the CDs in a slot and puts a bowl over his head for a few seconds while the sound of high speed gibberish plays) Aha! Now I understand! Christmas is deeper than all that other stuff. It's about peace and love and family. I'm not sure why they only love their family once a year, and make war the rest of the time, and overload the occasion with symbols and traditions, so that they frequently forget to love their family because they are too busy spending money and having their nervous breakdowns, but that is what the movies say is the true spirit of the day. Love, joy, peace and family. And giving. Let's see if I've got it right.

(Enter Christian carrying a Bible)

Zog: Excuse me. I'm Zog. I've been investigating the meaning of Christmas and these are my conclusions. It is a day to celebrate what is good in life: love, joy, peace and family. You feel these concepts are too abstract for children to celebrate so you have an old man to give them gifts, so they will be happy too. Am I right?

Chris: Er - no. Well kind of, but you've missed the point. Christmas commemorates the birth of Jesus. Here, read the first couple of chapters of Luke and Matthew.

(Zog speed-reads with a humming noise)

Zog: So God, the mighty Creator of the Universe, became a human like you and lived among you so he could communicate with you more clearly? Now that would be something worth celebrating!

Chris: Yes it is! But not just to communicate - he eventually gave himself as a sacrifice for our sins, so we could become his friends forever. These concepts that the movies and sentimental, "warm-fuzzy" stories and so on pick up on about Christmas are all echoes of this story of Christ's birth. Like here, the angel says, "I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people" and "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." Jesus was born to make peace between God and mankind, who had rebelled against him. That's where the theme of peace comes from. And the central image of the nativity is Jesus as a baby with his earthly mother and father - a family. And family is important. But Jesus was about showing love to many more people than just your family. And love, and giving… here in 1 John 4 it says, "This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another." (Closes Bible) We give gifts to one another as an echo of this breathtaking gift from God. But the echo without the source is meaningless. Although it's a lot easier for people to understand and accept, it's lost its significance.

Zog: Yes. Yes I see. It makes sense now. And God is better than Santa, because Santa only gives you gifts if you're good. God gave his Gift, his Son, to people because they could not be good.

Chris: Yes, that's right. You've got it now. But you look lost. Can I help you find someplace?

Zog: (As they exit together) Well, I need to get my Alien Residence Certificate…

{Congregational singing}


Copyright Gabi Lautenbach, all rights reserved. This script may be used free of royalty, provided no charge is made for admission to the performance. In return, the author would like to be told of any performance. She may be contacted at