Summary: It’s the day after Christmas Day, and a typical suburban family struggle to deal with the aftermath, all but one missing the real point of Christmas.
Style: Dramatic. Duration: 12min
Actors: 4M, 4F
Characters: Bill, Lilly, Mick, Bruce, Diana, Steve, Christina, Aunt Maude
Setting: The lounge of a typical suburban home. A long table is covered with a large Christmas table cloth and there are assorted items of Christmas food on either end of the table. There is also a large teapot and some cups at one end. This is the kitchen table at which all characters come for breakfast and there are kitchen stools arranged behind the table. All characters come to the table dressed in their dressing gowns and slippers, except Christina.
(Bill enters the kitchen muttering angrily to himself. He is holding a calculator and a large number of receipts. He notices the food and is repelled by it. He then sits down and starts going through the receipts and entering the amounts into the calculator.)
Bill: $112 for a stuffed toy? What a waste! I’d expect a robot that would service the car, for that price. (Enters figure into the calculator and moves onto the next receipt.) Since when does a scarf cost $85!! What was she thinking? I could have bought presents for the entire family for $85! (Enters figure into the calculator and moves onto the next receipt.) At this rate I’ll have to kiss the boys’ weekend goodbye, and work overtime instead, just to get us out of this hole. (Looks at next receipt in horror.) $210 for a Barbie! Gold Digger Barbie - just what we needed.
(Lilly enters sleepily, stands and pours herself a cup of tea.)
Lilly: (Cheerfully.) Merry Christmas.
Bill: Christmas is over and it wasn’t that merry if you ask me.
Lilly: Come on. We can keep the Christmas spirit alive for weeks if we really try.
Bill: Since I’m not coming into any money that I’m aware of, I don’t think we can afford to do that.
Lilly: Don’t be so grumpy. It’s a time for peace and goodwill. Where’s all your Christmas cheer gone?
Bill: (Picks up receipts and looks through them) It went to Myer, David Jones, Harris Scarf, Thomas the Jeweller …
Lilly: We can’t have Christmas without presents. It’s as simple as that.
Bill: I’m beginning to think you’re as simple as Christina.
Lilly: That’s a horrid thing to say. Why are you being so silly?
Bill: I’m not being silly. I’m being angry. What on earth possessed you to throw so much money away on presents for people we don’t even like.
(Mick enters, he’s obviously suffering from a headache. He makes his way in slowly. He looks at the food and is almost sick.)
Lilly: You can’t be practical at this time of year. It spoils the whole meaning of Christmas.
Bill: (Starts getting heated.) So forcing me to work overtime all year is the meaning of Christmas, is it?
Lilly: You’re such a Scrooge!! I don’t know how I put up with you. All I want is a traditional Christmas with a few gifts for our family and friends …
Bill: A few gifts!! I could buy a small country for the price you paid for these.
Mick: Will you two shut up!! Nobody wants to hear this again. I know it’s a Christmas tradition to have this argument, but if you don’t put a sock in it, I’ll put a boot in it.
Lilly: You’re right. We should be enjoying Christmas, not fighting. He just doesn’t know how to enjoy Christmas.
(Lilly retreats to rear while Mick pours himself a cup of coffee.)
Bill: (Noticing Mick’s sore head, asks sarcastically) So, how did you enjoy Christmas?
Mick: (Thinks to himself for a moment, then smiles.) Actually, I had a great Christmas. Hung out with the boys from footy and had a laugh. Then later we kicked on to the family do. It was really good. (Suddenly realises something and looks worried.) Although, I may have called Lisa a brainless bimbo and told her to get lost.
Bill: (Smiling, enjoying Mick’s misery) Who’s Lisa?
Lilly: Isn’t she your new girlfriend?
Bill: Sounds like she’s your new ex-girlfriend.
Mick: (Continuing to look worried, starts to rub his forearm.) I vaguely remember bit of pushing and shoving and someone crashing into the rose bush. (Shakes his head and dismisses the thought.) I’m sure nobody really got hurt.
(Bruce enters nursing an injured wrist and sporting an assortment of bandaids on his many cuts. He stands and glares at Mick.)
Mick: (Smiling) Of course, I could be wrong about that. (Looks at him for a few seconds.) Sorry about that (points to injury). I didn’t mean to hurt you, I guess I just didn’t see you there.
Bruce: You saw me alright!
Mick: (Changes his tone.) In that case, you must have deserved it.
(Bruce gets extremely angry and is about to speak when Bill starts speaking.)
Bill: He did deserve it. Idiot. Teasing your Grandmother and Aunt Maude like that. Next time you feel the need to torment a relative, make it Christina.
Bruce: It was just a bit of fun.
Bill: Fun!! You call taking your grandmother’s walking frame and using it as a skateboard ramp fun? The thing’s completely buckled. What’s she supposed to do now?
Bruce: That’s nothing. Judy took a handful of trifle and put inside Uncle Tony’s shoe. But, nobody pushed her into a rose bush, did they?
Lilly: (As if missing the point.) But Judy’s four years old …
Bill: You’re an idiot. I’m going to find somewhere quiet to work out my bankruptcy arrangements.
(As Bill leaves, Aunt Maude enters muttering to herself and not appearing to notice anybody else. She makes herself a cup of tea.)
Aunt Maude: (To herself as she pours the tea.) I hope they used the good tea. At least it’s real tea. Not those dreadful tea bags. (Pulls a face.) All that jiggling and dangling damages the leaves.
Lilly: How are you this morning, Aunt Maude?
Aunt Maude: No, there’s no need to mow the lawn, dear. (Then to herself as she sits at C1) Goodness! It’s Boxing Day. No need for any gardening today.
Mick: (Looks menacingly at Bruce and hits his fist against his other hand) Bruce, guess what I like doing on Boxing Day?
Bruce: Very funny.
Aunt Maude: (Noticing Bruce’s injuries) What happened to you? Fall off the swing?
Bruce: Whatever! (Stomps out.)
(Lilly is uncomfortable with the conflict and moves to the table, and rearranges the food. Diana enters holding a necklace and looking unhappy. She stands and addresses Lilly.)
Diana: Didn’t you tell him what I wanted for Christmas?
Lilly: I told him you wanted jewellery – the more expensive the better – just like you said.
Diana: Look at this. I thought they were diamonds when he gave it to me last night, but now that I’m looking at them in daylight I can see they’re just cubic zirconia. I can’t believe it! I thought he really loved me.
Lilly: Maybe he thought they were diamonds. It’s hard to tell the difference.
Diana: (Glaring at Lilly) Somehow I think the price might have given it away.
Aunt Maude: (Noticing the necklace.) Oh, that’s lovely, dear. Is it from your Christmas bonbon?
Diana: Might as well be! (Sighs angrily.) This has ruined my whole Christmas.
Lilly: No. Don’t say that. I’m sure we just need some Christmassy activities to bring back that goodwill and cheer. We could play pin the nose on the reindeer and Christmas monopoly.
Diana: (Sarcastically) What a good idea. Why don’t you get those activities ready for everyone in the family room.
Lilly: (Excitedly) Okay. (To herself as she’s leaving) I wonder where I put that piñata.
(Diana sits and studies the necklace. Steve enters, yawning profusely.)
Steve: Man, it’s hard to sleep with all this racket.
Mick: Yeah. You look pretty wrecked.
Steve: I didn’t sleep at all Christmas Eve. I had to wait for the girls to fall asleep before I could start on the doll’s house. And the stupid thing came flat packed with instructions in Chinese. It took hours. The moment I fell into bed, they came running through the door and started jumping all over me.
Diana: Nobody’s interested in that. (Stands for effect) We’re all still reeling from this. (Holds up the necklace).
Aunt Maude: Yes, very nice bonbon trinket.
Mick: (Stands for effect) Give it a rest, Diana. You wanted jewellery and you got it. Next time he should just get you a sparkler from the Two Dollar Shop.
Diana: I don’t think you’re in a position to comment about what couples do for each other, Mick. Not after seeing Lisa leave in tears last night.
Mick: She’ll be back.
Aunt Maude: What’s a fact?
Mick: (Away from Aunt Maude so she can’t hear.) It’s a fact that you’re driving us all crazy. Where is your hearing aide?
Steve: So, what’s wrong with the necklace? Is it broken?
Diana: No, it’s a fake.
Steve: (Touches the necklace) It looks like a real necklace to me.
Diana: The diamonds are fake!!
Steve: So? It looks just as good to me and he didn’t have to sell a kidney to buy it.
Diana: You just don’t understand!
Steve: You got that right!
(Steve and Diana sit. Christina enters.)
Christina: Hi everyone.
Mick: (Scowls then grunts.) I’ll be going then. (As he leaves he pushes Christina out of the way). Sorry, I guess I just didn’t see you there.
Christina: (After recovering) I have something for you, Aunt Maude.
(Christina takes something out of her pocket and gives it to Aunt Maude.)
Aunt Maude: (Unwraps the object.) I’ve been looking everywhere for this. Where did you find it, Christina?
Christina: I found it on the ground when I was leaving last night. It had rose petals and mud on it so I thought I’d clean it before I gave it back to you.
Aunt Maude: Yes, dear I’ll clean it, but I don’t think I should use petrol. No, I’ll scrub it with vinegar.
(Aunt Maude leaves carrying the hearing aide. Christina takes a chair and sits.)
Christina: (To Steve) You look exhausted! What have you been doing?
(Diana lifts up her necklace to show Christina.)
Diana: (Sarcastically) Look what “he” got me for Christmas.
Christina: It’s gorgeous. I can see they’re not real diamonds, but it’s lovely. Isn’t it great when someone picks out something especially for you. The thought and effort alone makes it valuable.
(Diana snatches he necklace away from Christina and puts it in the pocket of her dressing gown.)
Diana: (Sounding completely sarcastic) So, how was your Christmas?
Christina: Great. Thinking about the Christmas story always fills me with awe.
Diana: (Sarcastically) Father Christmas and his flying reindeer fill you with awe? You need to get a life.
Christina: (Smiling) That’s not the real Christmas story.
Steve: Yeah. The message of Christmas is “batteries not included”.
Christina: (Scene of Mary & Joseph in the stable when Jesus is born is shown on screen without any sound, and continues until Steve, Christina and Diana sit in silence.) No. Really. Have you ever thought about what it must have been like for Mary? An angel actually appeared to her and told her she would give birth to God’s son. Her baby didn’t have a human father. When it was time to give birth, the country was in the middle of a census and Mary and Joseph had to travel to Bethlehem so they could register. With so many visitors, the town just didn’t have room for them. There were no vacancies in any of the hotels. Though the child was God’s son, they ended up in a barn with the animals. And there in that modest setting - Jesus was born. But not too far away there was a far more appropriate fanfare. Masses of angels appeared to some shepherds to announce that something incredible had happened. God had come to earth in human form. Jesus, the Saviour, was born.
Steve: When you put it like that, I guess it does sound kind of awesome.
Christina: It is.
Steve: If Christmas is really about Jesus coming into the world, why do we eat and drink so much, stress out over presents, and generally make ourselves pretty miserable?
Christina: I don’t know, but you don’t have to do that. You can celebrate the real meaning of Christmas without reducing it to just gifts and parties.
Steve: I never thought about choosing how to celebrate Christmas. I’ve always thought of it as something that knocks you over and pulverises you - like a Sherman tank.
(They sit in silence for a while thinking, while the scene continues to play. The scene fades away, then there is a loud smash and the sound of Aunt Maude’s scream.)
Christina: What was that?
Diana: Sounds like Aunt Maude dropped the vinegar bottle on her foot.
Steve: I’ll get the antiseptic and bandages.
Christina: I’ll get the mop.
Diana: I’ll get Aunt Maude.
(All leave to help Aunt Maude.)
© Copyright Lynette Morgan, all rights reserved. The script may not be reproduced, translated or copied in any medium, including books, CDs and on the Internet, without written permission of the author.