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A Brief Excerpt from
"The First Christmas Present"
(We discover the main room of a small inn in the town of Bethlehem. The time is in the reign of King Herod, and the Emperor Augustus. Rachel and Jacob are tidying up. Rachel is sweeping with a broom. Jacob is re-arranging the furniture)
Rachel. (To Jacob) That chair belongs over there, my husband.
Jacob. (To Rachel) Where is it written that this chair must be there? Where in the scriptures does it say that? I think it should be here.
Rachel. Jacob, my husband, do you consider me a wise woman? (She warns him) Be careful how you answer.
Jacob. Rachel, my love, one of the wisest. (Under his breathe) What else can I say?
Rachel. What did you say?
Jacob. (Trapped) I was thanking God that he gave me such a wise wife.
Rachel. And does not the book of Proverbs say, “The wise woman builds her home,” my love?
Jacob. I am not a Rabbi. How should I know?
Rachel. Since you don’t know, then you’ll believe me when I tell you it does. So, put the chair over there, like I told you.
Jacob. Does, Proverbs say anything about the foolish woman.
Rachel. It says, in so many words, “she let’s her husband run the home.”
Sarah. (Entering. She is a teen-age girl) What do you want me to do now, mother?
Rachel. (To her daughter, Sarah) Did you clean up the table like I asked you, Sarah?
Sarah. Yes, and I mopped the floor around it.
Sarah. Very carefully. I know you too well. I figured you’d check.
Rachel. Then get a clay jar and draw water at the well.
Sarah. Clay jars are heavy.
Rachel. They were heavy when I was a girl, too. Get going. (Sarah exits) (To Jacob) You finish here; I’ve got to start dinner. (She exits)
Jacob. (To God in Heaven) Lord, you said in Proverbs, “A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.” What is a man to do with a woman who twists the scriptures to her own purpose? You heard what she said. Are your ears not offended?
Rachel. (From off stage) Are you talking to me?
Jacob. (To Rachel off stage) I was praying, my dear.
Rachel. Then pray softer. God isn’t deaf.
“THE FIRST CHRISTMAS PRESENT”
Rachel is a beautiful, but unhappy, woman who has married Jacob, a poor Bethlehem innkeeper.
It is the time of the census. Mary and Joseph have journeyed from Nazareth in obedience to the requirements of the law. The arrive late in the day at Jacob’s inn, looking for lodging for the night.
Mary is close to giving birth, but the inn is full. Rachel feels empathetic for Mary and gives the best she can under the circumstances, and is rewarded with the first Christmas present.
(Cast of 9. 5 M & 4 W)
Rachael The innkeeper’s unhappy wife
Jacob The innkeeper
Sarah The innkeepers teen-age daughter
Simon A traveler
Ruth The traveler’s wife
Isaac A wine merchant. Rachel’s brother
Joseph A traveler from Nazareth
Mary Joseph’s wife
Daniel A shepherd
A small in in Bethlehem. The first Christmas Eve.
Don’s Other Plays
Free previews of all of Don’s plays are available at his web site: http://www.osheasplays.com/
Don’s plays with other publishers can also be previewed as well as purchased at their websites:
Big Dog Plays http://www.bigdogplays.com/
Brooklyn Publishers https://www.brookpub.com/
Norman Maine Plays http://www.normanmaineplays.com/
Drama Source http://www.dramasource.com/
Pioneer Drama Service http://www.pioneerdrama.com
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