All I Want for Christmas is to Know JESUS

by Joseph Burke Contact Me

Brief Summary:

Using the well thought out music from the play, Meet Me at The Manger (offered by Word Music), this story gives a practical lesson about a serious situation that is robbing congregations of their flock.

Specifically, Bill Game, the lead character and his family, are enamored with the things of this world (the path that leads to destruction). With the help of music director, Miss O'Malley, a slightly eccentric pastor named Ernie, and a lost dog, Mr. Game learns that God needs to come first in his life.

This is a lesson that congregations across the country need reinforced.

Running Time: 30 minutes

Scene 1

CHARACTERS: Miss O’Malley Bill Game, Choir

Music begins to “Born To Shop

Child A: READS LINES (page 6 of MEET ME AT THE MANGER-choral book)

Miss O’Malley: READS LINES from original play(page 8)

CHOIR sings: “Celebrate The King of Kings

Bill Game: (jumps out of the pew, runs to the stage of church) Hold it right there! Please stop the play!

Choir: (Responds in disbelief – shaking heads and lifting hands as if to say with hand motions, What’s going on?) What’s happening? Who is he?

Miss O’Malley: (in her ever friendly tone of voice—She is not fazed one bit by his brusque behavior) What is wrong, sir? How can I help you?

Bill Game: Lady, look. I’ve been to Christmas plays like this before and it’s always the same old thing. Yea, there’s always some sort of feel good message about God, but I’m never impressed. I get the story. Jesus was born on Christmas day to Joseph and Mary. Three wise men go the nativity and then when they get there they offer gifts and worship Him. Then there is Joy. I feel like my family is missing something. Please give it straight to me ma’am.

Miss O’Malley: Well, we are certainly, pleased to see you at Southwood Baptist Church. My name is Miss O’Malley. And may I ask what is yours?

Bill Game: Game’s the name. Bill Game. Glad to meet your acquaintance. Miss O’Malley don’t get me wrong. I pray when my kids play soccer and need a big W, but just between you, and me the big guy doesn’t always come through for me.

Miss O’Malley: What’s a big W?

Choir: A Big Win!

Miss O’Malley: (she giggles) Oh thank you, children. You’re always so insightful. (Pinches the cheek of the nearest child).

Bill Game: So, I guess you see my point. I just feel like we’re missing something. Maybe that why my kids' soccer team has a losing record this year. My wife’s been itching for a new car and I’d like a bigger house, but we just don’t have the bucks I need! I just want things to be better.

Miss O’Malley: Oh, Mr. Game, it’s not at all about winning games and buying material things. Children, let’s help Mr. Game understand whom Jesus is!.

Choir sings: “IN YOUR PRESENCE”

Scene 2

Characters: Miss O’Malley, Bill Game, Mrs. Sweeten, Stephanie, Princess, Choir

Bill Game: Wow! You kids really sing nice. Miss O’Malley, I think something is starting to click but I gotta tell you, I’m not there, yet.

(Just then Mrs. Sweeten of the “Rescue Mission” arrives - pushing her sick child in a wheelchair).

Miss O’Malley: Hello, Mrs. Sweeten. Hi Stephanie. It’s such a pleasure to see you. This is Mr. Game.

Bill Game: Glad to meet your acquaintance. (looks over to Miss O’Malley and speaks quietly). And I thought I could use some improvements in my life. Look at her and that poor kid.

Mrs Sweeten: Hello Mr Game. This is my daughter, Stephanie and our dog, Princess. (dog barks—Mrs. Sweeten, then looks up and speaks to choir) Hi Children!

Choir: Hi, Mrs. Sweeten, and Stephanie!

Miss O’Malley: How are things at the Rescue Mission?

Mrs Sweeten: It’s been a little difficult this year. Quite frankly, we don’t have enough volunteers to help feed the homeless people. People just don’t seem to want to help anymore.

Miss O’Malley: God will work out it. Just keep praying!

Mrs Sweeten: Thank you for those words of comfort. I know God will work it out. Sometimes though I am overcome with emotion when I see so much suffering in our local community (pauses and then looks at choir) Oh, Miss O’Malley, I hope I didn’t miss anything. Has the Christmas Presentation started?

Miss O’Malley: Well, yes and no, but the best is yet to come (giggles).

Bill Game: What’s wrong with your daughter?

(dog barks)

Mrs Sweeten: She has Lyme disease. Unfortunately, the diagnosis was made late. Our doctor has told us that she might need antibiotic treatment for many years but he believes she’ll be able to walk again, someday maybe.

Bill Game: You must be pretty mad at God for letting this happen to her.

Mrs Sweeten: Oh, no, no. Of course not, Mr Game, you see, God is in control. We’re just grateful for every day he has given her life on this earth. He could cure her in an instant if He desires but that apparently is not His plan.

Stephanie: Mommy, I don’t feel so good. Can I lie down?

Mrs Sweeten: Stephanie, here let me lay you down on the pew. (Hugs child, lifts her up out of wheelchair, and puts her in pew). (dog barks—repeat—he’s running away but no one sees it).

Bill Game: (realizes the affection this woman has for all those suffering, even while attending to a very sick child…Her Christian love beams like a bright light in the darkness) Lady, you’ve got a “Heart Of Gold”!

Choir sings: HEART OF GOLD

Scene 3

Characters: Mrs. Sweeten, Miss O’Malley, Mike, Tracy, Stephanie, Bill Game

Mrs. Sweeten: Oh no, Princess is gone! She must have ran away while I was attending to my daughter.

Miss O’Malley: Children (looks at choir), where did she go (members of choir point in all different directions- each child has one arm outstretched- including one child who points upward)? (Miss O’Malley realizing that more needs to be done then says:) Can someone go look for Stephanie’s dog?

Mike: I’ll look for her!

Tracy: I’ll find Princess faster, can I look for the dog?

Miss O’Malley: You both can go! Hurry back and be sure to keep away from strangers.

Mike: Don’t worry about us, Miss O’Malley. We’ll find her!

Stephanie: (sad) Mommy do you think they will find her?

Mrs. Sweeten: We’ll leave it in God’s hands. Father in heaven, we ask that Princess would be found safe and unharmed. In Jesus name we pray.

Everyone: Amen!

Bill Game: I’m sorry your dog ran away. Later on, after my kids’ soccer game, we will look for Princess, too.

Mrs. Sweeten: Thank you for the offer of help, Mr. Game.

Miss O’Malley: Everything will work out just fine. I believe Princess will be found safe and sound.

Bill Game: Yea, don’t worry, Mrs. Sweeten, your dog probably just went running after a cat. (pauses and then turns to Miss O’Malley) You know, Miss O’Malley, I always thought if I needed something, all I had to do was be good and pray to God and then he would grant me my wish. It doesn’t always work out that way. Does it?

Miss O’Malley: Ah, yes, Mr Game. You are learning!

Choir: Amen!

Miss O’Malley: Mr. Game, We’ve got something for you. Ernie roll the film!

Choir sings: “DYING TO LIVE” while video plays… Using large screen projector (if possible), present video of people from the church doing good works for the Lord (working at a soup kitchen, teaching Sunday School, practicing for the play, etc.) For our performance this was definitely one of the highlights of the play.

Scene 4

Characters: Stephanie, Bill Game, Choir, Miss O’Malley, Youth Pastor Ernie, Maggie, Lindsey, Mrs Sweeten, Princess

Stephanie: Mommy I just want to live for Jesus! Just hearing the words to that song makes me feel better even if the pain doesn’t go away. Isn’t Jesus the best?

Mrs. Sweeten: He certainly is!

Bill Game: God doesn’t serve me. I serve Him! Jesus is the light!

Choir (NOTE: flashlights hidden from view until now--choir points flashlights in air, at crucifix or other appropriate spot).

Bill Game: That’s it…. Jesus is our light! I am so happy (Jumps up and down). I want everyone to meet my kids. Lindsey, Maggie come on up!

(Characters greet each other- Bill’s kids dressed in soccer uniforms)

Miss O’Malley: You have two lovely daughters! Oh, I see you like sports.

Lindsey: We live for sports!

Maggie: We give all the praise and glory to Donovan McNabb!

Lindsey: Monica Seles !

Maggie: Alan Iverson !

Lindsey: Lizzie McGuire !

Maggie: Hey, wait, she’s not an athlete!

Lindsey: Yes, but she’s great and she made it with no one else’s help. I want to be just like her when I grow up!

Maggie: COOL!

Bill Game: (looks down – sad - pauses then speaks quietly & slowly) Now I get it. (now - speaks at normal pitch) Maybe you girls could help the other kids look for Princess for a little while. I need to talk to Miss O’Malley about something personal.

(kids leave – look for Princess)

Miss O’Malley; I think I know what you’re going to say. Let me get our Youth Pastor Ernie who happens to be here tonight (or today) (looks out into audience) Yoo Hoo Pastor Ernie, would you take it from here?

Ernie: (appears from a seat in the audience then runs up on stage) How are you going to change the minds of your children? That’s the question, right?

Bill Game: Sort of... (pauses for a second--as if in deep thought) I need direction and help!

Ernie: First, you need to put God before everything else. Sports, movies, video games, everything. Read the Bible. Make the kids aware of how you felt on Sept 11th.

Bill Game: Oh, yea, we were really mad that the N’Sync concert that was scheduled for the 11th was canceled. My kids had front row tickets, but..

Ernie: (interrupts) Bill, didn’t the tragedy of 9/11 make you wonder about where you would go if you were to die?

Bill Game: I was about to say, I’m seeing things differently now. Way different… Like you said, I need to put Jesus first!

Ernie: You got it! At anytime, God can take anyone of us from this earth and if one is not prepared that is, if he has not asked Jesus to be His Savior then, he’s going to hell. The Bible tells us there are many people who think they are getting into heaven but the truth is, if they live to please their own selfish desires there is no place for them in heaven.

Bill Game: (looks at watch while Ernie is talking) That’s deep, man! I really do get it, but I gotta go. Kids gotta game. We’ll talk next week. See you in church!

(runs out)

Ernie: I thought it worked out well, until he left. Oh well, care for a Crickety Christmas Chocolate (reveals small box of candy he is holding)?

Miss O’Malley: Why, Ernie, you know I love chocolates. Thank you! ……Mmmmnnnnn,! Soft yet crunchy.. definitely Rice Krispies in the center. I don’t think I ever tasted anything like this before. (Pauses then looks at Ernie) Ernie, I was just thinking. Do you remember the time you brought in a tray of barbecued locusts with honey for the Potluck dinner and the Pastor’s wife fainted? I’m sure glad you’re eating more sensibly. You don’t have to eat like John The Baptist to be like him. Now, who did you say made these chocolates? Crikee’s?

Ernie: Crickety refers to what’s inside the candy. They’re made from crickets. That gives em’ a crunchy taste. Aren’t they...

Miss O’Malley: Water, water!…….(gets a glass of water from Mrs. Sweeten while she also attempts to spit out the cricket---takes a little while to regain composure--.. NOTE: this could easily be the funniest moment in the play)…Oh, no I actually ate an insect and enjoyed it… Ernie, you are a character, but I forgive you (Miss O’Malley is still a little out of sorts)!

Ernie: Sorry. (pauses, then finishes chomping down on another cricket). I thought Mr. Game was coming around, but I just don’t know.

Miss O’Malley: Oh, I think everything will be just fine. He just needs time to think about what he’s heard today. In the meantime, we should pray that God would continue to open his heart.

Ernie: Well nothing like the present. Let’s pray. Father, we ask that you would continue to open the heart of Bill Game. That today would truly be a new beginning for him. We thank you for the opportunity…..

(Bill Game returns (running) with Princess, his children and 2 choir kids who were looking for the dog).

Bill Game: (interrupts prayer) I found the dog! I found the dog! Here she is!

Mrs. Sweeten & Stephanie: Oh thank you!

Bill Game: I stopped her just before she was about to run onto the highway. She was definitely heading in the wrong direction.

(Mrs. Sweeten and Stephanie hug Princess, others express sigh of relief that Princess has been returned)

Miss O’Malley: Thank you again. Mr. Game, I guess you must be leaving now.

Bill Game: Oh no, this is more important! It’s ok if we will miss the game. You see, we were heading in the wrong direction too! (Children then hug their dad).

Ernie: WOW, God must have our prayer on the fast track! (everyone then laughs)

Bill Game: (kneels while looking at cross) Jesus, I don’t know what to say, just that I love you with all my heart. Please forgive me for living my life to serve my own needs. I now understand why you came to this world and why Christmas is so special. Please guide me so that I may serve you all the days of my life. Amen.

NEW: Child Reads: Luke 2:8 -14

Choir sings: Wise Men Still Follow You Today

Note: While child is performing the reading portion of “Wise Men Still Follow You Today” featured at the beginning of the song, a small child in the choir along with Lindsay, and Maggie help Stephanie stand up. She then carefully walks onstage with the choir while being assisted by the children (dog accompanies them)… AMAZINGLY, the dog stands prior to the singing of the very last verse and sings with the choir the words, “Wise Men Still Follow You Today”. Also: Bill Game sings these words from Wise Man Still Follow You Today, "How foolish I would be to turn away, for wise man still follow you today"

---Song Ends--
Stephanie: (surprised that Princess can sing- puts her hands up in the air - turns to Princess who is standing on her hind legs) Princess, I didn’t know you could sing!

Princess: You never asked.

Bill Game: (Looks at congregation & apologizes) Oh, I just realized, I ruined your play. I am so sorry. Can you people ever forgive me?

Miss O’Malley: Mr. Game, don’t worry, we’ll just do it next year. (Winks to the audience)

----------------------------Curtain Call------------- play : “Celebrate the Kings of Kings” (Finale)

The Characters:
Bill Game, Miss O’Malley, Mrs. Sweeten, Stephanie, Princess (played by child in dog outfit), Mike, Tracy, Youth Pastor Ernie, Maggie, Lindsey

Background:
Use the same store background for beginning of play as is suggested in Meet Me at The Manger. After scene one, switch to manger scene background. Please note, there is no need to make the original store scene very elaborate as you will be switching the background to a more traditional background. We painted our manger scene on particle board and gave it a bright, heavenly appearance using various shades of yellow. Recommendation of white lights, hay, etc. will make scene stand out more.

A Success:God truly blessed our production! We had a fantastic turn-out for both performances and were able to reach those who don't normally attend church. To encourage attendance, we held a bake-off following the second performance. We plan the same for this year along with hosting an "Ice Cream Sunday" event.

Special Note: The music for this play can be purchased online. Search "Meet Me at the Manger" using the Yahoo search engine and you will find a variety of sources offering the music. I recommend purchasing the split track CD and song books. You can also purchase the music directly by calling Word Music at 1 888-324-9673.

If you decide to perform "All I Want for Christmas is to Know Jesus", please tell us and our church family will pray for you. Additionally, if you would consider sending us a video copy of your performance, we would appreciate it. The video would be presented to various church ministries at Southwood and would be used to encourage particpation in theater and related programs. Address: Joseph Burke, Children's Ministries c/o Southwood Baptist Church, 11 Griscom Lane, Woodbury, NJ 08096
phone: (856) 848-8887 or reach me at LIFT FM, the Christian Radio Station Network at (856) 497-4200.

If you have any production questions whatsoever, please write to me and provide me with a phone number where I can reach you. I look forward to helping you as needed.

You can listen to the prerecorded music for "Meet Me at the Manger" at:

http://www.wordmusic.com/products/book.cfm?UPC=080689712173&CFID=595962&CFTOKEN=97555929

We recommend that you buy the split track CD or cassette, a preview pak, and as many choral books as you desire. However, if you decide to lead with piano instead of the prerecorded background music, I would recommend that you only purchase as many choral books as you need and omit the split track CD(the choral music has music and words to all the songs).

Please note that "Meet Me at the Manger" is a fully copyrighted production. You may use the music but need to abide by all applicable copyright rules or you may use alternative applicable music.

We are truly grateful to God for the wisdom and guidance He provided in producing this play.

Thank you for your interest in "All I Want for Christmas is to Know JESUS".


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