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Permissions: This play is our Christmas gift to you. It is copyrighted and the songs are registered with Christian Copyright Licensing International. There is no fee required to use this play for non-commercial purposes. We do not require CCLI membership in order to use the songs. The songs and words contained herein are copyrighted by the various artists and may not be used for commercial purposes without the written consent of the author(s). They are freely available for non-profit use by churches and other organizations.
Note: Although there is no scriptural proof nor reference to Mary as a Grandmother, many Christians interpret scripture referring to Jesus' brothers and sisters as making this scenario possible. If our basic premise of Mary as a grandmother does not fit into your set of beliefs, please feel free to modify the play slightly. For example, instead of their grandmother, you might make Mary the aunt of Esther and Caleb.
Setup: If possible the stage should be on different levels. Mary and her grandchildren should be below and in front of the stage area for the scenes. If the church has a raised platform, they should be on the same level as the audience. This will help to create the illusion of a different time and place for Mary's flashbacks as she tells the story of Jesus birth. If a bi-level set is not possible, then all properties should be light and easily removed by the actors as they exit their scenes.
Staging: (the Narrator moves onto the stage from stage right, turns and speaks to the audience)
Narrator: Christmas is a time of families, gifts, traditions and most of all, gathering together as believers to celebrate the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ. This play is about Christ, the perfect gift. It is a story about families, their troubles and worries, and their triumphs. It is the story about Mary and Joseph and the events that led up to that wonderful birth of Christ.
Staging: (the Narrator moves to center stage, again turning to address the audience)
Narrator: We don't know a lot about Mary, Joseph and their children. We aren't even sure how long they both lived or how many children they had together. But our play is going to take you back in time to an imaginary encounter between Mary and her grandchildren. (points to the area of the stage where Mary and the children are seated)
Staging: (the Narrator moves to stage left, again turning to address the audience)
Narrator: So, sit back and imagine yourself looking on as Grandmother Mary tells her grandchildren about the wonder of her son, Jesus ..... the Perfect Gift.
Staging: (The narrator exits stage left, as the house dims to black, and a spotlight comes up on a teenage girl, seated on a bench, looking out an imaginary window.)
Esther: Grandma, do you think he'll come tonight? (puts an oil lamp on the stand in front of the window.) Grandma, can you hear me? (turning to call offstage) Do you think he'll come tonight? (even more insistent) Do you think tonight is the night?
Mary: (enters carrying a small ornate box) Esther! I don't know if your husband-to-be will come tonight. You must be patient, he won't come for you until his father is satisfied that everything is ready for your marriage. (strokes Esther's hair) Just make sure your lamp is filled and burning for him to see. (Mary sits on the bench beside Esther)
Esther: Why do we do this! (exasperated) Why must we endure this strange tradition! Why can't we just get married and be done with it?
Mary: (changing the subject, a slight laugh) Esther, you are such a beautiful grandchild! (giving the box to Esther) I want to give you something. Here is a gift for your dowry.
Esther: (delighted and surprised) Grandmother! It is so beautiful! (opening the lid) Wherever did you get this? It's filled with gold! (lifting up a small bottle) And what is this? Incense? (lifting another small bag and smelling it) Is this myrrh?
Mary: (lovingly watching her grandchild) Yes. Gold, frankincense and myrrh. Three gifts from some very important men to my oldest son, when he was born.
Esther: (quizzically) You mean, Jesus? Your son, Jesus?
Mary: (reflecting) Yes, Jesus ... (slight pause) But not just my son, He was the Son of God.
Esther: (still looking over the box) Grandma, you always say that, but I never understand it. (kissing Mary on the cheek) This is just the most perfect gift, thank you!
Mary: (hugging Esther) No, Esther this is not the perfect gift ..... Jesus is the Perfect Gift. (still holding Esther tightly)
Staging: (more children join the scene, sitting down and around Mary's feet)
Mary: Oh, my lovely grandchildren! Come and listen!
Esther: Grandmother, tell us about Jesus .... tell us about his birth again!
Caleb: Yes, Grandmother .... tell us about the angels, the shepherds and everything again!!
All Children: Yes! Tell us!! Please, tell us Grandmother!
Mary: Well .... it started one night ..... (stroking Esther’s hair) ..... I was about your age, Esther. (spotlight begins to fade) I was alone in my bed, dreaming about some wondrous things (lights go to blackout, as Mary's voice trails off) .... I wasn't sleeping well at all. Something was different, something was happening to me.....
Staging: (when the lights have gone completely black, the spotlight will come up on the next scene. Mary and the children will remain in their position "frozen in time".... as her story comes to life)
(end of scene)
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