Christmas - New Beginnings

  • Cast Number: 4
  • Run-time: 20 minutes
  • Bible Reference: Luke 2
Post-Civil War time frame. Three women who have lost everything in the war travel on Christmas Eve to pick up the last remaining male member of their family from army hospital.

Cast:
teen pregnant woman – MaryJane mother – Rebecca
mother-in-law – Elizabeth
Innkeeper – Esther

Set: very minimal, should appear to be a road, with a building on which there is a worn sign, “Rooms To Let”

Sound and Lighting: standard

Costumes: Period costumes for working class from mid 1800’s

Script:

Rebecca and Elizabeth slowly come on stage supporting MaryJane
MaryJane: I can’t do it. I can’t go another step.
Rebecca: You must, MaryJane, we can’t stop here, dear.
MaryJane: I you only knew how much this hurts, you wouldn’t talk about going a little further.
Rebecca: MaryJane, I am your mother. I gave birth to you, remember. I know first hand how painful childbirth is. And don’t believe them when they say it gets easier with each pregnancy. You were my youngest of six. I want to tell you that your birth was not a walk in the park.
MaryJane: Sorry, Mother, it’s just that I . . . How much further?
Elizabeth: It’s not far at all dear, just down the road. Here, lean on me. We will rest here a minute, catch your breath. We can make it.
MaryJane: Yes, I know we can Mother Ellsworth. Will you look at me, here I am complaining, and I am blessed to have both my mother and mother-in-law along to help me.
Rebecca: You are a stubborn woman, daughter of mine! When the wagon wheel was broken going through that creek bed, there was no convincing you to ride on old Nell, was there?
MaryJane: Mother, of all the locations I may fear for my first child to be born, the worst would be sitting on that old bay mare somewhere in the middle of Smith County, Texas!
Elizabeth: I could have cried for you when that wagon wheel broke. I have always loved and admired you, dear one, ever since my son brought you home as his bride. But never have I been more proud of your courage than when I saw how well you took the news that we would have to leave the wagon behind.
MaryJane, starts to laugh: Well, Mother Ellsworth, perhaps you will admire me less when I tell you that it was my heartfelt prayer to God which brought about the broken wagon wheel.
Elizabeth: Prayer? For a broken wagon wheel?
MaryJane: The very thought of travelling one more circumference of that steel wagon wheel was more than I could possibly bear. So, yes, I prayed God would place a rock at just the right spot to crack that hateful wagon wheel. In this day and age when man has the sophistication to travel half way around the world and populate this land, surely he should also have the ability to construct a more forgiving compound than steel for the wheels of conveyances.
Rebecca, laughing: Oh, MaryJane, what devious kind of child did I give birth to?
Elizabeth: I can answer that. You, Rebecca, gave birth to this very special child, my daughter-in-law, MaryJane Ellsworth, who I love dearly, as I know you do. I am so blessed that my son Joseph had the good sense to find her and wed her, before going off to this fool war.
MaryJane: You know that Joseph felt strongly about the issues in this conflict, he had to do what he had to do.
Elizabeth: Man’s ideals! Where did it get that headstrong son of mine? In an infirmary hospital down the road here in Pinetree, Texas, that’s where!
MaryJane: Joseph felt passionately about his beliefs.
Elizabeth: Yes, and now he lies fighting for his life, far from home. The war may indeed be over, but not for my son, and not for any of us here. Joseph, he is the only man of our family left as a result of this asinine war that has pitted brother against brother! (crying) Oh Joseph, my son, my baby!
Rebecca: It will all be fine, Elizabeth. We will find a place to rest tonight, then tomorrow we will go to the hospital and collect Joseph, and bring him back home where he can best gain his strength.

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