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A Christmas Gift Sent Special Delivery

A Christmas Program for Children and Youth

By Leona Plymate

(This program can be done in a small church with a limited number of children of different ages, and with a limited amount of space, and materials)


Characters:

Mr. Grey

Mrs. Grey

(Grey children can be limited to number of children available & can range in age)

Carrie Grey (the oldest)

Johnny Grey (the middle child)

Little Joey Grey (the youngest)

Mr. Phipps

Carolers

(As many as you have available, adults from the Church could also participate as Carolers.)

Letter Readers

Letter Reader #1 - Matthew (asking that God help his classmates, especially Johnny)

Letter Reader #2 (asking for good weather so that his big brother can come home for Christmas)

Letter Reader #3 (asking for a place to live)

Mr. Grey (asking that his family would come to know what Christmas really means)

Scenery:

There is not a lot of scenery necessary. The setting is in the Grey's family room. A Christmas tree, packages & 2 or 3 chairs are required. A door, window, table, or furnishings can be used, or just imagined.

Costumes:

As with the scenery, not a lot of costuming is necessary. The Gray children should wear pajamas. Mr. Phipps should dress in winter coat, hat, & gloves, as should the carolers. Mrs. Grey should wear a dress & apron. Letter Reader #1 (Matthew) who asks for help for the kids at school, should be on crutches. The little boy/girl (Letter Reader #2) who asks for good weather can be dressed any way. The poor little boy/girl (Letter Reader #3) should be dressed in rags. Mr. Grey should be dressed the way he was when he left home.


Scene 1

(The scene opens with Mr. Grey gathering groceries to take to his parents for their Christmas dinner, while the Gray children are complaining about not being able to open their presents yet, and the fact that, since Mr. Grey had been laid off, the packages under the tree were fewer than in previous year.)

Mrs. Grey: I've put everything in the grocery bag that they should need.

I wish they would have felt like coming over, but this should be enough for them to have a nice dinner.

(She places the last item, a loaf of bread, into the grocery bag, as Johnny & Joey Grey walk over to their parents. Carrie is sitting in a chair, reading.

Joey: When are we gonna get to open our presents? (pouting) I want to open my presents. Why can't we open our presents?

Johnny: I don't know why you're in such a hurry. Because Dad retired there're not very many presents under the tree. (Very Sarcastically)

Mrs. Grey: Johnny, that's enough. Your dad didn't retire; he was laid off. Now, go sit down with your sister. I'll be there in a minute, and you can open your presents when your dad returns from grandma and Grandpa's.

(As the children turn, Johnny slaps the back of Joey's head. Johnny goes to the window; Joey lays down on the floor by the Christmas tree, and begins to mess with the gifts)

Mrs. Grey: You be careful & give your parents my love. We'll wait until you return, and then we'll let the kids open their gifts.

(Mr. Grey looks into his wife's eyes, but remains silent....Mrs. Grey continues)

Are you okay? You've been so quiet this morning. Don't let, what Johnny said, bother you.

Mr. Grey: It's not that. There's something that I want to talk to all of you about. When I get back, we'll sit down together, and I will explain. I will see you soon.


Scene 2

(Opens as the Grey children are sitting around the tree. Joey lying on the floor, continues to play with the gifts)

Joey: What does retire mean?

Carrie: Joey, that's when someone works some where for a long time, and then gets old enough to retire, to quit their job.

Joey: I wish Santa Claus didn't retire. (pouting)

Carrie: What makes you think Santa Clause retired?

Joey: 'Cuz Johnny told me.

Johnny: I didn't say Santa retired, stupid. I said, "Santa was retarded!"

(Joey sticks his tongue out at Johnny)


Scene 3

(Mrs. Grey joins the children, sits down in a chair, and begins to crochet. Joey is still lying down, and looking at the packages under the tree. Carrie is looking at a book. Johnny is still looking out the window)

Johnny: I wish it would snow. Why doesn't it ever snow, anymore? If we're not going to get good presents, at least if it snowed, we could build a snowman. This is not going to be a very good Christmas.

(Carrie continues to read, Joey continues to look at the packages under the tree, Mrs. Grey looks up from her crochet.)

Mrs. Grey: Johnny, I wish you would quit saying that it's not going to be a good Christmas. You act as though it's our fault that your Dad was laid off from his job.

Joey: Johnny's mean. He said Santa Claus was (a) retarded.

Johnny: I wish you and Daddy would have saved your money. You know how much I wanted a bike for Christmas. If you wouldn't have bought all those action figures and all those other toys last Christmas, you would still have some money this year. I don't even play with them anymore. I want a bike.

Mrs. Grey: You wanted those toys last year, as badly as you want a bike this year. We told you that if Dad hadn't been laid off, we would have gotten you a bike, but things are going to be tight for awhile. Dad will get another job before long, and then things will get back to normal.

Johnny: Yea, right!

Joey: When are we gonna open the presents. I want to open the presents.

Mrs. Grey: Your Dad acts like something is troubling him. He said he wanted to talk with all of us when he returns from Grandma and Grandpa's.


Scene 4

(The doorbell rings, and Mrs. Grey gets up to open the door. The Grey children all stop what they're doing and look up. It is Mr. Phipps carrying a small parcel of letters.)

Mrs. Grey: Yes, may I help you?

Mr. Phipps: Hello, Mrs. Grey. (Mr. Phipps steps inside the door on the opposite side of the stage than where Mr. Grey left)

I'm Mr. Phipps. I hated to bother you on Christmas morning, but, I have been with your husband at the Post Office all the years that he has worked there. We sure hated to see him go. One of the things that Mr. Grey enjoyed the most about his job was reading the letters that the children would write and mail during the Christmas holidays. I've brought the letters that the children mailed to God this Christmas. I thought He would enjoy reading them one more time.

Johnny: Writing letters to God. Yea, right! Maybe that's what I should have done. Wrote a letter to God. Maybe then I'd got a bike.

(Mrs. Grey turns, and gives Johnny an irritated look of disapproval)

Carrie: I want to look at the letters.

(Carrie jumps up, and goes to Mr. Phipps. Mr. Phipps hands Carrie the letters, and she turns, and goes back to sit down, and taking the first letter, begins to read it.)

Mrs. Grey: That was so considerate of you, Mr. Phipps. You know I don't ever recall meeting you before. (There is a hesitation, but Mr. Phipps ignores the comment) Won't you please come in, and have a seat. My husband has gone over to his parents for a short visit. He should be back in a little while. (Mr. Phipps takes a seat)

Johnny: (Very sarcastically) Yea, and then we get to open our presents. (Almost a whisper, adds) What few of them there are!


Scene 5

(As Mr. Phipps takes his seat, Carolers begin to sing outside the Grey home. Johnny is still at the window. Carrie is looking over the first letter. Joey is still lying down, looking at the presents under the tree.)

Carolers sing: BORN TO BE OUR KING

Mrs. Grey: Oh, how pleasant. I haven't heard carolers since I was a little girl. I wonder why they've stopped out front.

Johnny: What are they doing, anyway? Don't they have anything else to do on Christmas? Their dads must have been laid off, too.

(Mrs. Grey irritably looks at Johnny)

Mr. Phipps: They're singing about the Jesus, the best Christmas gift ever given, Johnny.

Johnny: I wanted a bike.

Mrs. Grey: Johnny, that's enough.

Carrie: Mom, look, it's a letter from that little crippled boy, Matthew, that's in Johnny's class at school. Do you want to hear it?

Johnny: Oh, the retard! He can't even play sports. He's deformed or something.

Mrs. Grey: Johnny!

(As Carrie moves over closer to her mom and Mr. Phipps, Reader #1 enters at the side of the stage, and approaches the microphone. Matthew reads his own letter while Carrie pretends to be reading it.)

Reader #1: Dear God,

I just wanted to write, and thank you for sending your Son. I wanted to ask you to do something for me. Will you help the kids in my class? Some of them make fun of me, but I really like them. There's one boy named Johnny. I heard him tell the other kids that his daddy had lost his job, and that he wasn't going to get much for Christmas. Dear God, would you help him, and his family. I'm glad he has a daddy. I miss mine. Help Johnny, to see that even if he doesn't get very many presents, he really should be happy, because you love him, and you sent Jesus for him, too.

(Reader #1 remains at the microphone. Joey has gotten up from the tree, and is sitting with the others; Johnny turns to listen to the letter, but turns back to the window when Matthew mentions his name)

Joey: Mommy, who's Jesus?

Mrs. Grey: (hesitantly) Joey, Jesus was, uh, God's son. That's what Christmas is. It's, uh, well, it's, uh, Jesus' birthday.

(The choir and Matthew begin to sing.)

CHRISTMAS IS YOUR BIRTHDAY LORD

(The Grey family and Mr. Phipps continue as if they're reading the letter.)

Mr. Phipps: Joey, there's more to it than a baby being born in a manger. Jesus was, and is, the Son of God. He came for a purpose.

(Carolers sing:) MORE THAN A CHILD


Scene 6

Joey: Read another letter, Carrie

Carrie: Okay, Joey. (Carrie reaches for another letter.)

(Reader #2 walks up to a mike on the side of stage, as Carrie pretends to be reading the letter)

Reader #2: Dear God,

I am writing this letter to ask you to make the weather nice. I haven't seen my big brother in a long time, and mommy says that if the weather isn't bad, he will get to come home for Christmas. Please don't let it snow, or we won't get to see him. Thank you, and thank you for Christmas.

Joey: (angrily) Johnny, you wanted it to snow!

Johnny: (apologetically) How did I know?

(Carrie begins to read another letter)

Carrie: Listen to this one.

(Reader #3, dressed in rags, takes his place at the microphone, and begins to read his/her letter.)

Reader #3: Dear God,

Could you help me, and my family? We don't have a place to live. We've been living in the car, and it's getting colder. Could you help us find a house? Thank you, and Happy Birthday, Jesus!

(Carolers, and child #2 sing:)

WHEN THE HERALD ANGELS SING

Carrie: (Frustrated) Johnny, did you hear that? They don't even have a place to live and you're complaining about not getting a bike.

(There is no response from Johnny, as he continues to look out the window)

Joey: Read another one, Carrie.

Carrie: Okay, Joey, one more.

(Mr. Grey walks to the mike, as Carrie pretends to read the letter)

Mr. Grey: Dear God,

I feel a little foolish writing this letter. Today is my last day at work. I just cleaned out my desk, and am sitting here for the last time. I have been laid off. One of my co-workers came by today, and talked with me. He said that he had wanted to talk to me for some time, but had to before I left. He told me about your love, about your Son, Jesus, and I asked Jesus into my heart. One of the things that I will miss when I leave this job, is reading the letters that the children write. I thought before I went home to my family that I would write to you. It may seem silly, but I just wanted to. The children sometimes would ask you to help them. I need you to help me. I'm sorry that I didn't know about you sooner. I haven't taught my family about you. They don't know the true meaning of Christmas. Will you help me? I want them to understand what you did when you sent Jesus. I want them to understand what Christmas really is, and what it means. Thank you for helping me, and thank you for saving me, and making me a Christian.

Sincerely Yours,

James Grey

Joey: Hey, that's Daddy's letter.

(Johnny leaves the window, and walks over by Carrie to see the letter)

Mrs. Grey: (Wiping the tears from her eyes) That must be what James wanted to talk to us about. He wanted us to know what had happened with him, and to make sure we understand what the true meaning of Christmas should be.

(Mr. Grey, and carolers sing:)

A GIFT FOR ALL

Johnny: Mr. Phipps, would you tell us more about Jesus?

Mrs. Grey: Yes, please, could you tell us more?

Carrie: I want to know Jesus.

Joey: I want to be a Christian, too.

Mr. Phipps: It would be my pleasure.

(The Greys move in closer to Mr. Phipps. As Mr. Phipps talks with Mrs. Grey, and the children)

(The Carolers sing:)

SENT FROM THE HEART OF GOD

Johnny: I want Jesus to come into my heart.

Mrs. Grey: (In unison with Carrie) I do, too!

Carrie: (In unison with Mrs. Grey) I do, too!

Joey: I want to be a Christian, too!

(As Mr. Phipps and the Greys kneel to pray, the carolers sing:)

HE SHALL BE CALLED

Mr. Phipps: I am very happy for each one of you. I need to be going, but I know that Mr. Grey will be very happy to hear the news that his entire family has asked Jesus into their hearts.

Mrs. Grey: I wish you could stay, but I want to thank you so much for coming.

Carrie: Thank you for bringing the letters.

Johnny: Thank you for telling us about Jesus.

Joey: Thank you for helping me be a Christian, too.

Mr. Phipps: You're welcome, Joey, but we need to thank God for making it possible.

(Each member of the Grey family shakes hands with Mr. Phipps, and he leaves one way, as Mr. Grey comes in the other.


SCENE 7

The Grey children and Mrs. Grey all begin to hurriedly try and tell Mr. Grey what has taken place, but each one is talking, and Mr. Grey can't understand them.)

Mr. Grey: Slow down, guys. Someone tell me what's going on.

(Johnny & Carolers sing:)

JESUS WAS BORN IN MY HEART

Mrs. Grey: James, after you left, Mr. Phipps, from the post office, came by.

Mr. Grey: Who?

Carrie: He brought the letters that had been sent to God.

Johnny: He told us about Jesus.

Joey: We asked Jesus into our hearts.

Mr. Grey: (wiping the tears from his eyes) That's what I wanted to talk to all of you about. That's what I wanted to tell you. I have become a Christian, too.

Carrie: We know, Daddy. We read your letter to God.

Mrs. Grey: James, would you mind if we prayed together as a family?

Joey: And can we light some candles for Jesus Birthday?

Johnny: I want to talk to God. I want to thank him for the best present I've ever had.

Mr. Grey: I think that would be good. There's something I need to thank God for, too, Johnny.

Carrie: I think we should all thank Him.

(As Johnny sets up the candles, the Greys all kneel around them, and Mr. Grey lights candles, the carolers sing:)

(The Grey family & Carolers sing)

ADVENT CANDLES


FINALE

Johnny: This has been the best Christmas ever.

Carrie: It sure has been, Johnny.

Johnny: Daddy, do you think we might could help those people living in their car?

Mr. Grey: I sure think we should try.

Joey: I bet Mr. Phipps would help. I like Mr. Phipps.

Mrs. Grey: Do you know, James, as long as you worked at the post office, I don't ever remember meeting Mr. Phipps.

Mr. Grey: I don't either. We never had a Mr. Phipps that worked at the post office.

(As each member of the Grey family look at each other, others pass handouts to the congregation, and the rest of the cast, and carolers, all enter the stage area, and everyone sings:)

BEHOLD, A MIRACLE

(End of play)

"A Christmas Gift Sent Special Delivery", Copyright © 1999 Leona Plymate

Over 400 songs in 17 languages. Four musicals. Over 700 images.

Everything is freely available for non-profit use.

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