Myrtle, Frank And A Few Wise Guys


The Misunderstood Christmas

A Melodrama by Marie Parker


 A Christmas story where it's OK to bumble a bit. It seems the Narrator is the only one who has a clue as to what is supposed to happen and is surprised by the lack of understanding from the cast. A melodrama that should bring smiles and a very light festive atmosphere.




NARRATOR: Once upon a time, and this is a true story from Luke chapter 2 it came to pass, in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.

CAESAR: (Enters and passes out thumb tacks).

NARRATOR: No, no, not tacks, taxed like what we pay in April.

CAESAR: You mean this? (Holds up a 1040 form).

NARRATOR: Well kinda like that, except that they didn't have census takers back then so -- all went to be taxed, everyone to his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem -- because he was of the house and lineage of David.

JOSEPH: (Enters) That means King David was my great, great, great, great granddad. That's why he is so great!

NARRATOR: And Joseph also went with Mary, his espoused wife, being great with child.

(Enter Mary, not pregnant)

JOSEPH: Oh Mary! You are so great with children! I appreciate that about you so much! You've been doing some baby sitting haven't you?

NARRATOR: No, no, no, no, no Joseph. It means she was very pregnant.

JOSEPH AND MARY: (Unison) Oh! (Mary puts a basketball under the shirt and the couple walk off stage).

NARRATOR: Now, where were we? Oh yes, And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem.

(Joseph and Mary enter again with Mary riding on a donkey -- possibly a stick horse).

NARRATOR: They came to Bethlehem and tried to get a room.

INN KEEPER: (Chipper and professional) Holiday Inn -- I'm sorry, there are no vacancies, please try again sometime.

NARRATOR: Not the holiday Inn -- just inn.

INN KEEPER: (Disgruntled) Whatever -- still no, no rooms -- all full.

NARRATOR: There was no room for Joseph and Mary in the busy town.

INN KEEPER: Well, I do have a barn (Points to a manger).

(Joseph and Mary go over the manger).

NARRATOR: And so it was that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her first-born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

(Mary removes basketball and picks up a doll) Ok, but how exactly do you wrap him in swaddling clothes? What is the world is that?

NARRATOR: It was strips of cloth -- kind like a mummy -- That was their practice back then for newborns. It kept them warm and secure. We use soft blankets now. OK? Back to the story. And there were in the same country shepherd abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

(Enter shepherd and sheep -- sheep are baaing -- one shepherd wears a watch and yells out "It's 9:05 PM and all is well" another is singing "Abide With Me".)

NARRATOR: What ARE you doing?

SHEPHERD # 1: Keeping "watch" over our flock and it's night.

SHEPHERD # 2: I thought he said we were "abiding".

NARRATOR: (Sighs) And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them and the glory of the Lord shone round about them; and they were sore afraid.

(Angel enters crawling on the floor).

NARRATOR: What are you doing?

ANGEL: You said, "low, the angel of the Lord came", so I'm coming in low.

NARRATOR: No, no, no. Lo is an expression that means -- suddenly.

(Angel leaves and then comes back onto stage running).

NARRATOR: And suddenly the angel of the Lord came upon them and the glory of the Lord shone round about them; and they were sore afraid.

SHEPHERDS: (Moan and groan in unison).

NARRATOR: What's wrong now?

SHEPHERD # 1: We are sore and in pain -- probably from sitting on the hard ground.

NARRATOR: The word sore in this case is used to describe a feeling of being very frightened.

SHEPHERD # 2: Oh (Looks over at the other shepherd and draws in a deep breath as if startled). Uh (Lacking conviction) Oooo, scary.

NARRATOR: And the angel said unto them --

ANGEL: (Holds up two fingers in the old peace sign) Peace man.

NARRATOR: (Looks at the angel) Come here. (Angels comes over by the narrator and looks at the script) The line is Fear not; for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, (Looks at the angel in anticipation of their line.)

ANGEL: Peace man (Walks off stage).

NARRATOR: (Looks angry - but takes a deep breath and tries to stay calm) What they actually said was, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." That means that God sent His angels to shepherds to announce the birth of His Son. Now kings, not to Caesar but to  the common person -- to shepherds. (Now caught up in the story) The All-powerful Creator of the universe, became a man, born in a stable, announced by angels to the common people so that everyday ordinary people could know God personally. It is the greatest miracle of all!!! After the angels announcement -- the shepherds hurried into Bethlehem to find Jesus (The shepherds remain seated looking out at the audience with a silly grin). I said The shepherds hurried into Bethlehem to find Jesus.

SHEPHERDS: (Suddenly realize they missed their Que and get up quickly and run over to the manger as the angels leave)

NARRATOR: In Matthew chapter two, we read about wise men from the east coming to Jerusalem saying, "Where is he that is born King of the Jews. For we have seen his star in the east and we are come to worship him".

(Enter Wise men and star)

NARRATOR: Herod, the king, sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when you have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. When they had heard the king, they departed and lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.

(The star and wise men walk over to the manger with the star leading the way).

NARRATOR: And when they saw the young child with Mary, they fell down and worshiped him; and when they had opened their treasures, they presented him with gifts.

WISE MAN # 1: I brought you gold.

WISE MAN # 2: I brought you Frankenstein.

WISE MAN # 3: And I brought you Myrtle. (An old lady walks out with Frankenstein)

MYRTLE: I don't know what was so important you had to bring me all the way across the desert. I could have had five afgans knitted by now. I... (Looks at the baby). Oh, how precious. You know -- he really could use a blanket.

NARRATOR: No, no, no. The gifts were gold, frankincense and myrrh.

MYRTLE: (Angry) So you don't need me?


MYRTLE: (Looks at the wisemen) What are you, some kinda wise guys? (Walks off stage) Wait till I tell your mothers hear about this.

WISE MAN# 2: (Calls after her) Sorry, Myrtle! Can Frank come with you? (Frank walks off stage in the same direction as Myrtle).

NARRATOR: Gold was a gift for a king.  Incense, a gift for God. And myrrh, a spice used for embalming, a gift for someone who was to die. The wise men had traveled thousands of miles to worship God become man. The shepherds were common men, and the wise men or magi were people of obvious wealth since they were able to travel so far and bring such expensive gifts. Jesus is for everyone.

In Phil. 2:5 it says; "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being God made himself of no reputation, and looked upon himself the very form of a servant, and was made in human likeness." God became a man and he did it because He loves us. God gave us the gift of His Son. The wise men brought gifts to Jesus. What will you give to Him?

Copyright 2002 by Marie Parker.
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