The Christmas Letter—A One Act Play
Setting: A house in
D: A Silver Fox in his mid-forties. Tall and athletically built, he wears sweat pants and a red crewneck sweatshirt.
M: Energetic & tightly wound brunette in her mid-thirties with a coffee addiction.
T: Eight-year-old boy with a penchant for fantastic daydreams involving technology and monsters.
B: Five-year-old boy with messy hair and food-stained face. He runs, jumps and performs acrobatics in constant attempts for attention and praise.
G: Three-year-old boy with a high-pitched voice and white-blonde hair. Caught in the tender time between toddlerhood and boyhood, he laughs and cries readily.
M (seated at computer): Guys! Who’s got ideas for this year’s Christmas letter?
D (watching football game with a Sudoku book on his lap): Woman, I work all week at HBS so you can write and play and spend money and now you expect me to write the family Christmas letter? Do I have to do everything around here?
T: Dad! Dad! Watch this! (He performs a series of karate moves)
D: That’s great buddy. Go show your mother.
B (wielding a light saber at G): You be Star Wars and I’ll be Batman, okay?
G (wearing a black cape and cowboy hat): I am Batman! I shoot dose bad guys! (Grabs a laser gun off the floor and starts shooting back at B)
B: Mom! G won’t let me be Batman!
M: You can both be Batman. Great kicks, T. Come on, I need some help with this letter.
T: I’ll help. (Goes to stand by M and looks at the computer)
B: I want to do it!
G: No! No! I wanna do it!
D: Why don’t all of you work on it in the basement so I can watch this game—come on! (Yelling at the TV) Go! Go! (Stands and whoops) Yeah baby! Go Hawks!
B: Did the good team score, Dad?
D: The good team scored, buddy.
B: I can catch the football, too. Wanna see? (Grabs ball and throws it up)
G: I can do it too. Watch me!
M: Seriously, guys, what do you want to put in this year’s Christmas letter?
D: Why don’t you just do Fun Facts like you did last year? Everyone liked that.
M: Because if you do Fun Facts every year it gets boring. You have to mix it up and keep it fresh.
B: I want a Batman computer for Christmas. And cookies and toys, and guitar like T.
G: I want a Batman computen too. I yike Christmas trees and cookies and Batman toys …
D: Just put in the usual stuff.
M: Like what? (sarcastically) T is eight and enjoys karate and guitar lessons. He tests for his Black Belt in April. B is in preschool and enjoys karate and swimming and Cubbies. G likes swimming, story hour and is potty trained now.
D (wrinkles his face in disgust): You can do better than that. You’re a writer.
M: Okay. (Continuing in a sing-song voice) And M keep busy reading and gardening and working on yet another unpublished novel.
D: I’m not talking to you anymore. Just do this. Or don’t. I really don’t care.
T: Oh, say that I am inventing a robot that can shoot lasers and fly. And I’m starting a band.
B: Mom, can you make me some chocolate milk?
G: I want chocolate milk too.
M: You can have chocolate milk with dinner. (Raising her voice) So what? You just want me to write that you work at HBS still?
D: And that I coached baseball and yeah, whatever else you want. Write about our new pool.
T: Say how we hit with the baseball players every Monday night.
B: I want chocolate milk! I want chocolate milk!
G loses interest. He heads Offstage, stripping off his cape and cowboy hat.
T: Write about Violet.
D: Look, whatever you want to do. I don’t care. I just want to watch—yeah! What a catch!
T(running back by his father) What happened?
M (to herself): Fine. We’ll just wish everyone a Merry Christmas. And pray for peace, love, goodwill and a new administration in 2008. (She crosses Stage Left to the kitchen sink and switches on a portable radio sitting on the window sill)
GARRISON KEILLOR from a broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion: The greatest danger of Christmas is that we may be too dull, too dopey, too stuffed, to get joy out of it, and Christmas will be wasted on us. It is a magical day, though, and among the old customs, the foods, the music, is something that has the power to open our hearts. Some simple thing that can surprise us.
Green Girl hopes your Christmas is chock-full of surprises and blessings, gratitude and love.