I Remember

.......I Remember.......

Written by Dorsey Clark

Original music by Deborah A. Capece

From an article published in the "Good News Publishers" several years ago.  Author of article unknown.  According to Good News Publishers, no author or copyright has ever been found and due to the age of the original article it is considered public domain.

There are two main stages:  One is the modern Florida living room at Grandmother's house.  One is the living room and kitchen area of the Mission home.

It would be good to have an area for the nativity scene.  Also, another area for the Angel/Mary scene, the Mary/Joseph scene and the Shepherd scene.

Characters

Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3

Grandmother Sarah - Mother Mary      

Bobby James - Father Joseph

Joy Ruthie                   Baby Jesus

Noel or Noelle Jimmy 3 Shepherds

Kelli Mark             4-6 Angels

Sheri Deacon White                (Note: Angels also

Laura Mrs. White          used in Scene 2)

Overview

The story is presented in two ways: narration and action.

Scene 1

Left Stage.  Grandmother overhearing grandchildren with a bad case of "the gimmes" attitude.  Grandmother wanting to teach them about their wrong attitudes, begins to tell a story

Scene 2

Right stage. Ruth is lying on sofa, sick. Jimmy and Mark are wrapped in  scanty quilts, sitting by fire.  Mother is in kitchen area preparing the meager breakfast.  We'll see Dad getting ready to leave for yet another daily trip.  We witness the lowness of their spirits and how they try to hide it from each other.

Characters:  Father, Mother, Jimmy, Mark, Ruth

Scene 3

Grandmother continues narration.

Scene 4

Kids are all excited about the presents they are sure they will receive in the morning.    Mother is quiet, oppressed, trying to warn them not to expect too much.  Not being able to bear their optimistic, excited attitudes, she tucks them in early, hearing their prayers.  Alone, she breaks down.  Jim returns and their true feelings are revealed to one another.

Scene 5

Grandmother's house with more narration and interchange with children.

Scene 6

Center stage. The sound of sleigh bells. Deacon White and Mrs. White have stopped by to deliver some food donations from the settlement and a box that had just arrived that day from the Mission.  The box is opened by the husband and he draws out a warm blanket from the very top.

Husband breaks down, followed quickly by Wife. They separate to different areas as they individually repent. As lights remain on Mother, we have a short narration of feelings from Grandmother.

Husband comes out and they thank God together.

Scene 7

Grandmother inadvertently reveals that the story is actually about her and Grandpa.

As Grandmother narrates, the couple search the box revealing the treasures.

Scene 8

Christmas morning

Scene 9

Grandmother emphasizes the true meaning of Christmas and begins the reading of the Christmas Story

Father picks up the reading on stage 2.

Narrator finishes the reading.

The nativity is acted out as it is read from the Scriptures.

.....I Remember.....

Scene 1

Florida Stage:  Lights come up and Grandmother is sitting in rocker, doing some needlework.  Two grandchildren are sitting on floor playing Monopoly.  Three granddaughters sitting on sofa, playing with their dolls.  Another grandchild sits studying a Christmas catalog.

Joy: (watching Bobby move piece)  "Aha!  You landed on my property.  It's going to cost you one hundred bucks.  Pay up LITTLE brother!" (holds hand out impatiently, with a big grin)

Bobby:  (handing over the play money)  "Okay, okay!  Just because you're two years older doesn't mean you have to get pushy.  And you don't have to be so happy about it either."

Joy: (putting money away)  "Why shouldn't I be happy.  I'm that much closer to buying a house for my property."  (picks up dice to take turn)

Laura: (looking superior)  "Must you be so blood thirsty, Joy? It is a game after all."

Joy: (making a face at Laura then throws dice and picks up conversation) " So Squirt, did you get your Christmas list done like Mom said?"

Bobby: "Of course!  I put down "Game Boy" and ‘Game Gear,’ a new baseball glove, and a ‘Star Trek’ video game for starters.  And if you don't stop calling me squirt, I won't let you play with them.  Did you get yours done?"

Joy: "Yeh, I got it done." (looking superior)" Of course mine is quite different. I want a microscope and all the stuff that goes with it so I can study all kinds of things like bugs and dirt real close up. Christmas is the greatest!"

Noel: (looking up from catalog)  "It sure is the greatest. I have my list almost done, too." (holds up long sheet of paper). "I can't wait to show it to Mommy when she gets back from the mall."

Laura: "Really Noel, you can't possibly believe Mother and Father will get you all of that (pointing at list).  After all, there are some others of us in the family.  I simply must have this gold pendant with the real diamond chip in it.”

Kelli: (looking over) " Well, I want a new cradle for my dolly and some dress up clothes and..."

Sheri: "Yeh, and a toy kitchen and an oven that really bakes."

"GIMME SONG"

(Rap portion done by game players, classical

portion done by 3 grandchildren on sofa)

Grandmother: (sliding her glasses down her nose as she looks at all the kids)  "It seems to me that you kids have a bad case of the "gimmes". I think perhaps you have all forgotten the real meaning of Christmas. Why don't you put those lists away and come over here. I have a story that I think you would really like to hear."

Sheri: (coming over)  "Yaaaay."

Laura: (looking at Grandmother) "That's a good idea, Nana. Some people need to get their priorities straight."

Kelli: (coming over and sitting on floor near rocker) "What kind of story is it?  Is it about princesses and frogs and stuff?"

Grandmother: "No, this is a story about a family that lived way out in the boon docks".

Noel: (comes over and climbs on Nana's lap) "What are boon socks, Nana?"

Grandmother: (laughing)  "Boon DOCKS.  That's a name for an area that is far away from any town or city. Often it's way up in the hills or mountains."

Noel: "Oh!" (thoughtfully) "But they DID have a McDonalds, right?"

Grandmother: (laughing) "I'm afraid not."

Bobby: "WOW! That was REALLY roughing it! "

Grandmother: (still chuckling)  "Let's get back to the story.  Once upon a time there was a Mommy named Sarah and a Daddy named James, a little girl named Ruthie and two little boys. One was named Jimmy and other was Mark. Well, this Mommy and Daddy almost forgot about the real meaning of Christmas too."

Kids: (surprised and loud) "They did?"

Grandmother: "Unfortunately, they did. It wasn't because they wanted so much (looks accusingly at kids, who respond by looking down)  but it was real hard times and it looked like there was not going to be much in the way of presents for the children."

Joy: (looking horrified) "No presents!  What did they do?"

Kelli: "Tell us about it Nana?"

Bobby: "Yes, please Nana?"

(all of the kids gather closer to Grandmother's chair.)

Grandmother: (leaning back in rocker, looking off as though seeing the whole incident)

"It was wintertime and the weather was nothing like these warm sunny Florida days that you have been enjoying. In fact it was a bitter cold season. Sarah and James were missionaries and their salary didn't really meet their needs and was not regularly paid.

James was away much of the time, traveling from one district to another."  (looking at Kelli and Sheri) "Little Ruthie was sick, and none of them were decently clothed. Sarah was at the point where she was patching patches. The water gave out in the well, and the wind blew through cracks in the floor. Their spirits were getting lower and lower.

The people in the parish were kind, and generous too; but the settlement was new and each family was struggling for itself.  Little by little, at the time they needed it most, their faith began to waiver...

Sarah thought she had learned her lesson well as to "who was her Fortress and Deliverer" but at this point a daily prayer for forgiveness was all she could offer."

Lights fade out and come up on Mission Stage.

Scene 2

Mission stage.

Ruth is lying on sofa, sick. The boys are wrapped in quilts, sitting by the fire. Mother walks over to children. She goes to Ruth first .

Mother: (feeling daughters forehead) "Oh, Sweetie. You still have a fever." (checking quilt) "Keep the blanket up close to your chin. I don't want you to get chilled."

Ruth: "My head doesn't feel so good, Mommy."

Mother: (sympathetic) "I know. It's because you still have a temperature.  How about some tea and toast?"

Ruth: "Can I have some oatmeal?  It would feel better on my throat."

Mother: "I'm sorry, Honey. The oatmeal is all gone, but if you dunk your bread in your tea, it will be nice and soft."

Mother goes to boys.

Mother:(determined to be happy sounding) "You fellas ready for some breakfast?"

Mark: "Yeah.  Can we have our eggs scrambled?"

Mother: (sadness creeping back into her tone) "I'm afraid we're all out of eggs. How about some nice tea and toast?"

Jimmy: "Again? That's what we had yesterday too."

Mother: "I know, Dear. Hopefully Daddy's check will come today and then I will be able to get some groceries."

Jimmy: " That's okay Mom. Tea and toast sounds great. Can we have it here by the fire?"

Mother: (forced cheerfulness) "That's a great idea. It's nice and cozy here."

Mother goes over to kitchen area. She puts the tea kettle on and arranges a tray with 3 mugs. She takes out a loaf of bread and begins to slice it.

Mother: (as she is slicing, grumbles in a forlorn fashion)  "The last loaf of bread. I have just enough flour to make one more batch. That check has to come soon.  James works so earnestly and heartily." (frustrated)  "He should at least be able to have a decent meal. For that matter, some decent clothing, made for this freezing weather shouldn't be too much to ask for." (hears James coming, so with a look of determination, she puts on a smile) "I will not add to his burdens... I will not let him know that I am angry and losing my hope."

Father: (enters with what seems a cheerful attitude. He goes over to wife and hugs her from behind and kisses cheek) "Good morning my sweet wife. Is breakfast almost ready?”

Mother: (looking up and speaking with forced cheerfulness) "Almost.”

Father: "Good. I need to get on my way. I have to go to Sweetwater today. You know what a distance that is."

Mother: (looking at him concerned)  "I wish you didn't have to go. It is so bitterly cold and your coat is so inadequate."

Father: (cheerfully) "Don't you fret now. I'll just walk fast and that will keep the blood warm."

Mother: (turning away so that he doesn't glimpse her forlorn expression)  "I’ll just take this bread and tea over to the children. It's so drafty this morning that I told them they could eat by the fire. You go ahead and sit down. I'll just be a minute."

(she takes the tray of food over to the children. Husband sits down at table that has 2 mugs and 2 small plates, a jar with a small amount of jelly and a knife. He sits with elbows on table looking deep in thought. He gives his full attention to his wife as she returns to grab the teapot and a plate holding 2 pieces of bread and sits down, placing a piece of bread on each plate)

Mother: "See, there is just enough of the huckleberry jam left for your bread. I know how much you love it."

Father: (glancing quickly at mother's plain bread) " Oh, I do indeed. But today I just want to enjoy the flavor of your homemade bread. No one makes bread like you."  (He closes his eyes and smells it) "Ummmmmm. The best."  (Pushes jam toward her)  "Go ahead.  I know your sweet tooth will thank you."

Mother: (trying to look cheerful)  "No, I'm kind of in the mood for the pure bread flavor too." (Putting lid on jar) "I'll just save it.”

Both bow their heads and father prays

Father: "Father, we thank you for your provision this day. Bless it to our bodily strength." (Using her knuckle, Mother wipes a tear from one eye)  "Be with our brothers and sisters in Sweetwater. Use me in their midst this day. Be with my family as I travel, especially little Ruthie. Help her to feel better soon. In Jesus Name, Amen."

Mother: (as they pick at their food)  "Since this is Christmas Eve, do you think you'll be back before the children go to bed?"

Father:(leaning back) "I'm not sure. It all depends on what needs I run into. I haven't been able to get back there for nearly a month. The last time Bertha Childs was not feeling very well. She had been coughing so much, her ribs hurt.  I'm not a Doctor, but she sure sounded like she might have had pneumonia. And then there is Addie. She must be pushing ninety five. I do wish I could get there more often. They just hunger so for ‘Jesus Stories’.” (sighing) "Being responsible for three different settlements makes it near impossible to meet all the needs."

Mother: "You work so very hard but there just aren't enough hours in a day. You really need some assistance."

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