Summary: Santa has lost his reindeer and his enthusiasm for the job so he has nothing to give to a group of children coming to see him. But his helper suggests he reads them the true Christmas story, one which he has not heard before.
Style: Dramatic. Duration: 12-15min
Actors: (Speaking) 1M, 1M/F, 4C; (non-speaking) 4M, 4+M/F
Mary & Joseph
Three Wise Men
Production note: The interaction between Santa, Santa’s Helper and the four children needs to take place in front of the stage leaving room behind them on stage for a tableau of a nativity scene. If a curtain is available keep it pulled across hiding the stable which could contain farm animals (toys) and a manger. When the time comes for Santa to read the story of Jesus the curtain needs to be pulled back to show the stable ready for the nativity scene to be formed. (Adapt this to suit the structure of the hall and stage area that you are using.)
(As the play begins Santa is sitting alone with his head in his hands. He looks dejected. His seemingly empty toy sack is beside him. The sack actually contains a very small book - the story of Jesus birth. (This little book could be made up using the words Santa will read - unless you have a tiny book with a simple version of the story of the birth of Christ.)
There is a pile of letters at Santa’s side.)
Santa: (speaking in a deflated voice) Ho Ho Ho, I am so tired. Nothing is going right today. I haven’t finished my rounds but I have run out of presents. (He picks up his toy sack.) Look, my toy bag is empty. I don’t like being Santa. (He puts his head down on his hands)
(Santa’s helper appears. She can see that Santa is upset and she goes over to him.)
Santa’s Helper: What is the matter Santa.? Why are you not out delivering presents?
Santa: (In a grumpy voice) I am not out delivering presents because I have run out of presents. Look, my bag is empty. Anyway, being Santa is too hard. I’m tired.
Santa’s Helper: That is not like you. You usually love to bring children their presents. Come on. Cheer up. I will help you get the parcels ready and pack them on the reindeer.
Santa: It is no use I tell you. I haven’t got any more parcels and my reindeer have run away.
Santa’s Helper: Your reindeer have run away? I can’t understand why that would happen. I will call them. They must be close by. (Calling) Dasher, Dancer.
Santa: (interrupts) I tell you it, is a waste of time calling them. I guess I was too grumpy with them. And they were bored when we had no more presents to give out. Anyway, a really plump happy Santa came along and off they all went with him. They didn’t even stop to say goodbye.
Santa’s Helper: Look here, Santa. Even if your reindeer are gone you can’t just sit there and refuse to give out any more Christmas presents. (She picks up the bundle of letters) Look at all these letters. These children have written to you asking for parcels. What are you going to do about them?
Santa: I am not doing anything about them. Read the letters for yourself and you will understand why I can’t do anything about them. They are full of impossible requests.
Santa’s Helper (picking up some letters and reading) Dear Santa, My Dad said I could have any pet I liked so I said I wanted an elephant. Now he says I can’t have an elephant. You will bring me an elephant, won’t you Santa? Please. Love from David.
Dear Santa, Last year you brought me a bike but it was stolen. Please bring it back. I don’t want another bike. I want the one you gave me last year. I know you can do it. I will leave some sweets out for you. Love from Tessa.
Dear Santa, Please bring me a new teacher. The one I have got won’t let me play with my football in the classroom. Please bring me one that will. Love from Sam.
(Santa’s Helper stops reading and puts the letters down) You are right about those letters. You can’t give those children what they are asking for. Why do some children ask for such impossible things?
Santa: That is part of the reason why I am tired of being Santa. I want them to be happy but some children are so difficult and there is no pleasing them. (Pauses) But I must admit that not all children are difficult. Some are really nice. I have got some lovely children coming to see me tonight and I did want to have something special for them but I have got no gifts left. They will be so disappointed. I don’t know what to do.
Santa’s Helper: Let’s think for a minute. There must be something we can do. (She shakes the sack) Wait a minute. There is something in the bottom of this sack. (She puts in her hand and brings out a little book) Look - a little book. I wonder what it is about.
Santa: What good is one little book among four children. I told you it was hopeless. What is the book called?
Santa’s Helper: (Holding up the book) It is called “Jesus is Born”, Christmas is all about Jesus being born, so it's a Christmas book.
Santa: Who is Jesus? I thought Christmas is all about presents and Santa. (Thinks) OK. If that is all that is left in the bag, I will read the children the story. Maybe it will be interesting. I don’t know who Jesus is but I have seen his name written on signs outside some churches.
Santa’s Helper: You must have heard some of the songs people sing at Christmas. Songs like Silent Night and Little Town of Bethlehem. Lots of the songs that are sung at Christmas are about Jesus.
Santa (taking the book) I have heard the songs you mention but I didn’t know much about the words. I thought it was all pretend, like fairies. This book might be interesting. Yes, I will read it to the children. I would like to know about Jesus, too.
Santa’s Helper: Listen. You had better get ready. I can hear the children coming.
(Four children enter and speak together.)
Children: Hullo Santa Happy Christmas
Santa: (trying to speak brightly) Hullo, children. Ho Ho Ho. Happy Christmas to you too. (he points towards his toy bag and speaks dejectedly) I am sorry children but my toy bag is empty. (he puts his head in his hands) I am not a good Santa. I feel so sad. I didn’t want to disappoint you.
1st Child : Don’t worry Santa. It is all right. We are OK.
2nd Child: No. Don’t worry. We don’t really need any more presents.
3rd Child: We have got lots already.
4th child: (pointing at the little book) What is that little book?
Santa: I nearly forgot about the book. It is all I have left in my toy bag. Shall I read it to you?
Children together: Yes, yes Santa. Please read it to us.
(If there is a curtain pulled across the stage this needs to be pulled back at this time.)
Santa: (reading) In a dark stable, many years ago, Jesus was born. Overhead shone the Christmas star which was to guide the Wise Men. Jesus the Son of God and Saviour of the world was to be born and this is how it happened.
In those days there lived a priest named Zechariah, and his wife Elizabeth. The angel Gabriel came to Zechariah and told him they would have a son and they must call him John. John was to be very important. He would have to prepare the people to receive Jesus.
The angel Gabriel had another visit to make. This time it was to Mary, who was shortly to marry Joseph. They lived in Nazareth.
“Mary”, said Gabriel, “You are very special indeed. You have been chosen to have a baby who will be called Jesus. He will be the Son of God.”
Shortly before the baby was to be born, Mary and Joseph had to make a long journey to Bethlehem. They looked for somewhere to stay but Bethlehem was packed with people so that everywhere they went the innkeepers said “No room.” Mary and Joseph had to sleep in a stable and that night Jesus was born. ( Joseph and Mary enter. Mary is carrying Jesus and they begin to form a tableau of the Nativity Scene.)
Out on the hills some shepherds were looking after their sheep. Suddenly an angel appeared and said, “Don’t be afraid. I bring you good tidings of great joy. Unto you this day is born a Saviour who is Christ the Lord.” (Shepherds and angels take their place in the tableau saying together, “Glory be to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”)
Hundreds of miles away in the east some very wise men spotted a new star shining in the sky. They knew that meant someone special had been born into the world. They set out and followed the star and it led them to Bethlehem where they found Jesus and gave Him presents of gold, frankincense and myrrh. (The wise men join the tableau.)
This is how Jesus the Son of God and Saviour of the world was born.
Santa continues: (brightly and happily) What a beautiful story. I didn’t know about all this before. I didn’t know that Christmas was all about Jesus.
1st Child: Maybe no one told you about him.
2nd Child: Maybe your Mummy didn’t tell you.
3rd Child Or your teachers.
4th Child: Maybe you didn’t listen.
Santa: Did you children already know about Jesus?
Children: Yes, we did. We have heard the real Christmas story every year. We love it. Come on, let's sing one of the songs about Christmas. (They sing a Christmas Carol and the audience joins in.)
Santa: That’s a great song. Thank you for singing it. But tell me something else. If Christmas is all about Jesus, what on earth has Santa to do with it?
Santa’s Helper: I think I know. I once read about a man named Saint Nicholas who lived a long time ago. At Christmas time he used to give gifts to poor people secretly, especially children. The people liked that idea and from there the idea of Santa started. Sometimes Santa is called Saint Nicholas.
Santa: (really excited) Ho Ho Ho. So I am a real part of Christmas. That is nice. But it is not so good if people only know the Santa part. Everyone needs to know about Jesus. I am going to tell everyone I know about Him. I now know for sure that Santa needs Jesus, too. Let’s sing some more songs about Christmas. (Santa, Santa’s Helper and the four children join the nativity scene and the play’s producer comes forward and leads some more Christmas carols.)
(c) Copyright Marjorie Kennedy, all rights reserved.