It's Over So Quick

By Greg Springall

Summary

Christmas is a stressful time.  It has become a commercial event; with little thought for the reason it all began.  As three friends meet over coffee one is able to teach the others that Jesus is the reason for the season.

Characters

Janice - Calm, with an understanding of Christmas
Beth - Caught up in the consumerism of Christmas
Kathryn - Haggard with the pressure of the season.

Script

(Staging: A coffee shop, where the three women meet for a bit of rest during the busy Christmas Season. Janice is sitting at a table in the coffee shop; Kathryn enters with coffee in hand, looking like she is tired, stressed and ready to explode]
Janice: [Waving to Kathryn] Oh, Kathryn, Iím over here.
Kathryn: Iíve just got to sit downÖIím totally exhausted.  Iíve been running all morning trying to get the last minute things for Christmas.
Janice: Take a load off your feet and relax.  Beth should be here shortly.  So what has you so stressed this morning?
Kathryn: Bradís parents just told us they are coming from Toronto for the holidays and you know they have ďspecial diet requirementsĒ.  Iíve tried to get Brad to take some responsibility in getting things ready for this, but he doesnít seem to care if things are right or not.  I guess it will be up to me again.  So I am out trying to find low carb foods and make sure there is something under the tree for them.
Beth: [enters about halfway through the above, overloaded with shopping bags]  Hi there, can a weary soul join this table.
Janice: Sure, take a seat Beth.  It looks like you have had a successful morning so far.  Is there anything left on the store shelves for the rest of us?
Beth: What, this stuff?  This isnít even the half of it.  Iíve already made one trip to the car to drop bags off and I donít think I have everything I need yet.
Janice: Beth, what are you doing with all this stuff?  I thought you told me yesterday that you were finished with shopping and only had to pick up stocking stuffers for the kids and Jeff?
Beth: Thatís rightÖ.these are the stocking stuffers. You know, Christmas is such a wonderful time for shopping I just love all the sales that are on right now. And on Christmas morning it is a great way to show Ryan and Amy how much I love them.
Kathryn: Donít you think it is wrong to lavish so much on your children?
Beth: What do you mean?  Isnít that what Christmas is all about?
Kathryn: NO!  Christmas is about getting stressed beyond belief, putting in hours of work, and then experiencing a total let down!
Beth: whoooow there sister Ė how come youíre so miserable today.  Christmas is a time of joy and happiness.  Itís a time to give presents to family and friends to say Iím thinking about you and you are special to me.
Kathryn: You have got to be kidding right!?  Beth, wasnít it you who told me last August that you finally had your credit card debt paid off from last yearís Christmas?
Beth: Yeah, that was me.  Just in time to crank it up again.  So what does Christmas mean to you.
Kathryn: Christmas means stress, anxiety and a huge let down.
Beth: You canít mean that.
Kathryn: Sure I do.  I spend hundreds of hours and dollars making sure everyone has something just right under the tree and in the end Iím left with an empty feeling.
Beth: But donít you enjoy the way the stores are decorated and the Christmas music is wafting over the store speakers?
Kathryn: At this time of year it is not bad, but why do stores have to start it all in October?  I mean they donít even let Halloween be over before they start pummelling you with Christmas shopping advertising.  By the time Christmas finally arrives, most people who work in the stores are so sick and tired of the entire season they are ready to throttle the elves and destroy every Christmas CD in the store
Beth: But there sure are some great bargains to be had.
Kathryn: Right [very sarcastically].  Thatís what they want you to believe.  I might be too cynical, but I find that every store offering ďthe great blow out priceĒ, has actually cranked up the regular July price by 30% so they can tell you they are giving it to you for 25% off.  And for this privilege we get to fight crowds of people who have turned into shopping zombies and face store clerks who look like they have been run over by trucks.
Janice: Kathryn, I always thought you loved Christmas.  I mean your house is wonderfully decorated and you have the best Christmas baking I have ever tasted.
Kathryn: Thank you for saying that, but it is all so tiring. Take Christmas baking as an example.  Everyone tells me they love it. Brad and the kids all rave about it as they scarf it down like they havenít eaten for three weeks.  But not one of them ever offers to help in making.
Beth: So why donít you just not do the baking.  All the grocery stores sell pretty good stuff at this time of year.
Kathryn: But it is not just the baking.  There are the hours spent writing out Christmas cards to people you havenít talked to in years, but because they sent you a card last year, you have to return the favor.
Janice: Have you talked to Brad?  He is such a good guy, Iím sure he would help out.
Kathryn: It is frustrating to have to ask for help all the time.  Why canít he see what this involves and offer to help?  Then when I do ask Brad for help, like coming up with present ideas for the children or his family, he says ďIím not very good at coming up with ideas, why donít you handle it because youíre so good at it.Ē Then on Christmas morning, everyone scrambles out of bed early, rips through the presents in 15 minutes and leaves a mess of papers for me to clean up.  I put in enormous hours and effort to get things ready for Christmas and then it is all over so quickly. Then to add insult to injury, while the family takes a nap, because they got up so early, Iím expected to cook a huge turkey dinner so we can all gorge ourselves at night.  Please donít get me wrong, Iím not against Christmas, Iím just tired of it.  It is so much work and there is such little personal satisfaction.
Janice: Iím so sorry to hear that Kathryn.  Maybe you have to put this season into perspective.
Beth: What do you mean by that?
Janice: You have to remember ďThe Reason For The SeasonĒ
Kathryn: And what might that be?
Janice: Christmas is the celebration of our lord and saviorís birth.  So Jesus IS the reason for the season.
[Black out]
..............................
© Greg Springall, all rights reserved.
This play may be performed free of charge, provided no entrance fee is charged. In return for free performance, the author would appreciate being notified of any performance. He may be contacted at: gregoryt0958@rogers.com.