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过了感恩节,就进入圣诞季节(Christmas Season or Christmas time)。人们在忙于内外装饰,笑脸相迎,采购礼品,一派庆祝节日的气氛。 无论是商店或是各家房前院落都用各式各样的彩灯装扮的五彩缤纷。今天出去吃饭,那家餐馆在一个窗户上用霓虹灯装饰有一个圣诞老人,还有一个窗户上是一只奔跑的鹿,在最后的那个窗户上是犹太人的灯节(Hanukah)用的九个烛座的烛台。在孩子们问及烛台一事时,我内心无限感慨。庆祝圣诞节的意义已经在人们的头脑中开始模糊混淆。圣诞节的设立是为庆祝主耶稣基督的,,我们在圣诞季节所做的一切预备都是冲着主耶稣基督的来临。餐馆的喇叭里播放着已被篡改了歌词的“圣诞歌曲”。我就和孩子们以此为题进行了深入的讨论。大女儿正在为她的主日学班写一个短剧,我就建议她用这个主题来写,以提醒人们圣诞节的主角是主耶稣基督,不是圣诞老人,不是奔跑的鹿,也不是马利亚,更不是犹太人的烛灯。

下面是她写的三幕短剧。

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Finding Christmas

CAST

(In Order of Appearance)

Chorus

Sofia Spencer, the psychiatrist

Rachel Mason, her secretary

Nicolas DeAngelis, a prominent lawyer

Anna DeAngelis, his wife

Scene One

(Chorus singing Silent Night is heard in the background. Lights are dimmed. The room is a psychiatrist’s office, with three chairs, a desk and a coat rack.)

LIGHTS UP

(Enter Sofia Spencer. She walks slowly into her office. She seems preoccupied with something. She takes off her coat, drops off her keys and sits down. She writes on a sheet of paper. Soon there is a knock on her door.)

Sofia. Come in.

Rachel. Good morning, Miss Spencer. It’s time for your 10:00 appointment.

Sofia. Thank you.

Rachel. Should I send them in?

Sofia. Yes, thank you.

(Enter Nicolas and Anna. They are very well dressed. Nicolas looks disgusted with the bare room, while Anna seems to be very upset. They both sit down in the chairs.)

Sofia. Nicolas and Anna DeAngelis? You’re here for marriage counselling?

Nicolas. She dragged me here.

Sofia. Alright. So, Anna, what seems to be the problem that you and Nicolas are having?

Anna. It’s all about the holidays. He wants a neighbourhood party; I want a party with all the relatives. He wants the icicle lights; I want the Christmas coloured lights. And then there’s last night. Our neighbour came over to ask us if we wanted to put up a nativity scene with them. I was glad to help, but Nick just stood up and refused them. I feel like there’s no more meaning in Christmas anymore!

Sofia. (Turns to Nicolas) Nicolas, what do you have to say about this?

Nicolas. It’s not true! She’s the one that doesn’t agree on anything that I say. Christmas doesn’t seem like the old Christmas anymore.

Anna. Well, you’re the one that wanted Santa on our lawn instead of the good old Christmas scene?

Nicolas. What, you want to go traditional? Come on!

Sofia. So both of you are giving up on Christmas?

(Anna looks at Nicolas)

Nicolas & Anna. Yes.

Sofia. Do you know what Christmas is really about? It’s not just about the lights and parties, you know.

Nicolas. We know that it’s not. But, look around town. How many houses do you see without lights? How many people don’t go to Christmas parties? Christmas has lost its true meaning in society, and we have to adapt.

Sofia. Maybe it’s time to refocus. Do you two regularly attend church?

Nicolas. Yes, we do. (Anna glares at him) I mean, we used to attend regularly.

Sofia. I see the problem. (Nicolas and Anna look up) You’ve drifted away from the real meaning of Christmas. We need to get you to understand, but that’s not my job.

Anna. Whose job is it?

LIGHTS OFF

Scene Two

(At the master bedroom, in the DeAngelis’ home. There is a bed, a table, a tissue box, a lamp and blankets.)

LIGHTS UP

(Enter Nicolas DeAngelis. He walks in quietly, with a Bible in his hand. Just as he was about to shut the door, he hears a shout.)

Anna. Nick, I’m going to read the new novel tonight, so don’t wait up for me.

Nicolas. Sure.

(Nicolas kneels beside the bed. He opens the Bible and starts reading. After awhile, he appears to be crying. Anna begins to enter room, but she stops to listen. Nicolas is unaware that Anna is outside the door.)

Nicolas. Our Father which art in… (Pauses, shakes his head) Dear Heavenly Father, I’m really sorry for all the things that I did in the past few weeks. I really hope that you will forgive me for arguing with Anna and not being the husband that she deserves. Also, I’m really sorry for not attending church for the past few months. Please, please forgive me. I need you, Father, in my life. Without you, I wouldn’t even be here today. Let me be able to be a decent person. Let me be able to understand Christmas the way you intended us to. I want to change. (Sobs) I need to… (Chokes) change. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

(Nicolas dries off his tears with a tissue. Anna walks into the room)

Anna. Ahem.

Nicolas. (Startled) Whoa! (Shyly) You heard me, didn’t you?

Anna. Yeah, I did. (Pause) I think I need some forgiveness too. I’m sorry for the past few weeks.

Nicolas. Me too. (Sighs)

Anna. How about we…

Nicolas. How about we…

Anna. Sorry, go on.

Nicolas. How about we keep Christmas simple this year? Let’s have some of our friends from church together for some fellowship, and just a couple of decorations.

Anna. (Smiles) Sure, Nick.

Nicolas. Let’s pray together.

Nicolas & Anna. (Gradually fading) Dear Father, we really need your help in our lives right now…

(Gradually fade into the chorus singing Silent Night.)

LIGHTS OFF

Scene Three

(At church. Chorus is scattered and talking around the church. Nicolas and Anna are talking with an elderly lady.)

LIGHTS UP

(Enter Sofia Spencer. She looks around, and then spots Nicolas and Anna. She walks over to them and taps Anna on the shoulder.)

Anna. (Turning around) Hi!

Sofia. Hey! I never knew you two went to this church too.

Anna. We haven’t been here in awhile.

Sofia. Well, I’m sure glad you’re here. Have you two changed your opinions on Christmas yet?

Nicolas. We’re learning, and thanks again for reminding us to focus on the spiritual side of Christmas instead of the material side.

Sofia. Don’t thank me, thank the Lord.

Anna. (Smiles) We’ve decided to host a fellowship activity on Christmas night. Will you be able to be there?

Sofia. Count on it. So, did you two finally agree on the decorations yet?

Nicolas. (Smiles at Anna) Well, we decided to make a compromise. We’re going to use the icicle lights, and have the nativity scene on our lawn. It’s a good way to show others what Christmas is really about.

Anna. Love, family, hope, wonder, a second chance, and most importantly, Jesus Christ.

Sofia. Looks like you two won’t be coming to my office again anytime soon.

(Anna, Nicolas & Sofia laugh together, lights gradually gets dimmer, chorus singing Silent Night gradually gets louder)

LIGHTS OFF

CURTAIN

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