Here’s a wonderful comedy that’s sure to charm audiences of all ages. When pre-teen brats Jimmy Pate and his cousin Brianne don’t get the gifts they think they deserve, they pray to God and ask for no more Christmas. The next year as the holiday fails to materialize, the two kids are the only ones who notice, in hilarious and heart-wrenching ways, that it’s missing. The store owner doesn’t have a clue about Christmas displays, the cable company operator never heard of Christmas movies, and even Jimmy’s older sister thinks the only holiday in December is New Year’s. Distraught, Jimmy and Brianne finally make their way to church on what is supposed to be Christmas Eve. There, with the help of their minister, they come to terms with their selfishness that led them to make such a foolish request and discover God’s limitless power and love. Performance time: About 75 minutes. One main setting. Several others suggested.
PLAYWRIGHT ROLLIE ANDERSON TALKS ABOUT HIS PLAY
“THE CHRISTMAS THAT ALMOST WASN’T”
Q: WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS PLAY?
A: Several years ago I was employed in an office that played Christmas carols non-stop throughout the holiday season. Ever in search of a new writing project, at one point in my daydreaming I wondered what it would be like if there was no Christmas and the seed of the play’s theme was planted in my mind. While forming the basic plot outline it occurred to me that relatively few of the most popular Christmas stories have a strong gospel message to proclaim, and I wanted to make sure that the good news about Jesus Christ was a big part of what I was creating.
Q: WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART OR LINE IN THE PLAY? WHY?
A: When Rev. Riley tells Jimmy and Brianne that God doesn’t want us to offer up apologies for our sins as much as he wants us to change our ways and rise above our sinful nature. The Bible makes it very clear that repentance is essential in our quest to be more like our Lord and I believe it’s a tenet we should be made aware of early and often in our lives. The whole concept of being born again hinges on our willingness to turn away from our selfish human desires and strive to be a more righteous, love-filled person.
Q: WHERE DID THE CHARACTERS COME FROM? ARE THEY BASED ON PEOPLE YOU KNOW?
A: For the most part they came directly out of my imagination but one of the central characters, Jimmy, is based on a personal memory. When I was 9 or 10 years old I complained to my father at our family’s Christmas Eve party that “I didn’t get anything good.” Dad was the epitome of gentleness and patience but the indignant look on his face and the terse words he used that night in telling me that I was being ungrateful made an indelible impression. I never forgot his disappointment in me and I used it as the cornerstone of the play.
Q: WHAT DID YOU TRY TO ACHIEVE WITH THIS PLAY?
A: I wanted to provide the audience with a funny, lighthearted theater experience that would also give them something to think about. It was my aim to write a play that could be produced on a small or large scale and contain elements that would appeal to all age groups. Something the entire family could enjoy again and again.
Q: DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE TO ADD?
A: I want to express gratitude to my talented friends Eric, Richard and Barbara. Their encouraging belief in the story has been invaluable.