The Weather Outside

By Glenn A. Hascall


A blizzard causes one family to really consider what it means to be 'family' at Christmas time - even when all you have to eat is Twinkies and Root Beer.


TARYN  & CALEB (both teenagers) 
and a few people to sing a carol off stage.


(Scene: A family living room)
DAD: (Walks in bundled up and rubs arms) Wow, is it cold out there.
DAD: So - what?
TARYN: Are we going?
MOM: Grandma does have everything ready for us.
DAD: (Begins taking his coat off) Does this answer your question?
MOM: (Disappointed) It can't be that bad.
DAD: Oh yes it can, and it is. The car started but the snow is too deep to get out of the driveway.
TARYN: What if we all worked together to clear out the snow? Then we could get on the road.
DAD: Maybe. But the guy on the radio said that most roads are closed - the snow plows aren't even running.
CALEB: Cool, I can play video games all day.
(Stage goes dark)
MOM: Maybe not.
CALEB: This is nuts.
DAD: Let's see, there's got to be some candles around here someplace. (Turns on a flashlight and finds the candles) Ah, here we go. (Sets them out around the stage and lights them).
MOM: This is a problem.
DAD: Now don't panic, I'm sure they'll get the power on soon.
TARYN: This has got to be the worst Christmas ever.
CALEB: What are we going to have for dinner?
DAD: Why don't you go look in the fridge and see what we have. (Hands the flashlight) Here take this - you'll need it.
CALEB: Thanks. (Walks off stage)
MOM: Well, I suppose I should get a few blankets down here. It doesn't look like the electric heater is going to do us much good.
DAD: A marvelous idea. (Mom walks off stage with a second flashlight)
CALEB: (Walks back in after Mom is off-stage) Well, I've got good news and bad news.
TARYN: What's the good news?
CALEB: We won't starve.
DAD: And the bad news?
CALEB: I hope you like Twinkies and Root Beer.
CALEB: Well, there are crackers and Ketchup, one egg and a questionable jar of pickles, oh and a small package of parmesan cheese from the pizza place.
MOM: (Walks back in bringing blankets) I'm afraid the shelves are pretty bare. I thought we'd be at Mom's for a few days so I planned to wait until we got back to go shopping.
DAD: (Trying to be enthusiastic) Well, you kids have always wanted junk food.
TARYN: Not on Christmas Day.
CALEB: (Joking around) Yeah, I was looking forward to the cranberry surprise and orange potatoes.
MOM: That's sweet potatoes, Caleb and it's a family tradition.
CALEB: One I will not be taking with me when I leave home.
DAD: (Looks off stage) Which may not happen any time soon.
TARYN: I'm cold.
MOM: Here, wrap yourself up (Hands her a blanket).
CALEB: Got one for me?
MOM: Here you go (Tosses one to Caleb, then to Dad).
(The family sits on the couch and waits for a few seconds)
CALEB: So now what do we do?
DAD: There's not much we can do, son.
MOM: Sure there is. How about telling stories.
CALEB: We're not exactly sitting around a campfire, mom.
DAD: We'll just pretend that the candles are the campfire.
TARYN: (Sounds doubtful) Oh yeah, I'm seeing it now.
MOM: (Undaunted) I remember one Christmas not so long ago when we had planned to go to Grandma's house. (Looks at her children) You two had been fighting and Dad had warned you that if it didn't stop we were heading home.
CALEB: That was when we were little kids.
TARYN: (Ignores Caleb) Caleb decided that he would tap me on the shoulder.
CALEB: I was just trying to show you the snow outside.
TARYN: But by doing so you placed a part of your body on my side of the car which is a direct violation of the do-not-touch-me clause of the sibling passenger handbook.
MOM: And you two started fighting again. (Slight chuckle) Oh, but it got real quiet when Dad turned the car around and headed home.
TARYN: I still can't believe you just drove home without a single word, Dad.
CALEB: I thought you were just trying to make a point. I figured when it got quiet enough, you'd turn around and go on.
MOM: Believe me, I wondered about that myself.
DAD: Well, I guess we all learned that day that I meant what I said.
CALEB: Didn't have much to eat that Christmas, either.
TARYN: At least it wasn't Twinkies and Root Beer.
(The family chuckle - then fall silent)
MOM: Caleb, do you remember the Christmas you almost didn't get a gift?
TARYN: What?
DAD: It's true! When Caleb was about four, he decided that he didn't like being called Caleb - so he picked out a new name for us to call him - Roy.
TARYN: Roy? (Chuckles)
CALEB: Except nobody would call me that.
MOM: Oh, he would correct us every time we called him Caleb - but Grandma had the cure.
DAD: She would call Caleb and Caleb would tell her that his name was Roy.
MOM: Then Grandma would say, "Oh my, I have a present here for Caleb. I'm afraid I don't have a gift for Roy."
CALEB: I've been Caleb ever since.
(The family chuckles again and then falls silent)
DAD: Hmm.
MOM: What, Dear?
DAD: I was just thinking - this may not really be so different from the first Christmas night.
TARYN: What do you mean?
DAD: Well, think about it - Mary and Joseph had to stay in a barn without any electricity and it probably wasn't any too warm.
MOM: And they probably didn't have a gourmet meal waiting for them.
TARYN: And no family to visit with.
CALEB: What about video games?
MOM, DAD, TARYN: Caleb!!!
CALEB:  I guess that would be a no.
(A short pause)
DAD: All things considered - we have it pretty good.
CALEB: Yeah, we could just have raw oysters and canned mandarin oranges for Christmas.
MOM: Say, that doesn't sound too bad.
CALEB: You're just saying that.
MOM: (Looks thoughtful) Yes, yes I am.
TARYN: Well, at least we'll have a new story to tell if this ever happens again.
DAD: You know what I'll miss from the feast this year?
MOM: What's that, dear?
DAD: Aunt Kim's butterscotch fudge.
CALEB: It's Grandma's peanut brittle for me.
MOM & TARYN: Turkey and stuffing.
DAD: We've got to cut this out - my stomach is growling.
MOM: We should just be grateful for what we do have. Taryn, why don't you go and get the Twinkies and Root Beer.
TARYN: But I'm so cold.
CALEB: That's okay, I'll get it.
DAD: Thank you son.
(CALEB leaves the stage as the sounds of carolers come from back stage)
DAD: Who could that be in this blizzard?
MOM: I don't know.
CALEB: (Excited) Dad. (Walks on stage with a man bundled up from the cold)
DAD: John.
JOHN: Hello. Just wanted you to know that you're invited to Christmas dinner.
(Family is excited)
DAD: Is the electricity on at your place?
JOHN: No, but some of the churches got together real quick and spoke with the mayor. The community building has a generator, so folks have been putting their food together and we're making it a town Christmas dinner.
TARYN: That's wonderful.
JOHN: You're welcome to take anything you'd like to contribute and hop on one of the snowmobiles outside. We'll take you over to the community building.
MOM: (Embarrassed) I'm afraid all we have is Twinkies
TARYN & CALEB: And Root Beer.
JOHN: Oh (embarrassed), well I guess you should probably just bring yourselves.  There'll be plenty.
CALEB: Come on let's go.
(TARYN, CALEB, DAD & JOHN walk off stage - Mom walks around and blows out each candle - stopping at the last one  she looks up)
MOM: Merry Christmas. (Blows out last candle)
Script copyright 2003 by Glenn A. Hascall
Should you use this script, would you be so kind as to let us know of its use? Email: glenn.hascall<a>