Harry Hamilton, a local town council member, successfully persuades the council to eliminate the manger scene from the town square, only to discover that just a block away a local community church will host a living nativity. And guess who is chosen to be Joseph, Mary, and Baby Jesus? Harry’s son and daughter-in-law had become Christians during the previous year and are delighted when the pastor asks them and their new son to portray the holy family. Forced to visit the live nativity by his wife, the doting mother and grandmother, Harry at first appears to be bored with the choir’s music and activities. However, as he reads one of the distributed tracts explaining why Jesus came to earth, his Scrooge-like heart is touched and Harry finds himself actually kneeling at the manger. This drama can be combined with musical numbers for actual scenes or bridges between scenes. Ensemble or choir members can be utilized as extras. From 40 to 60 minutes, depending on music selected.
Playwright Vicki Lake Talks About Her Play
THE GIFT – WRAPPED IN LOVE
Q: WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS PLAY?
A: At the time when I wrote the play until present day, municipalities, schools, and even courthouses wrestle with being “politically correct” in the realm of separation of church and state. I had read where a town had actually refused to let the manger scene stand in its courthouse square. For thousands of years Satan has tried to squelch God’s miraculous message, but “greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4) I have tried to portray how Christians should respond in positive ways. Instead of reacting negatively, they simply moved the manger scene and made it better. Their actions impacted at least one life – the very person who had voted to forbid the manger scene on the town square. I enjoy irony!
Q: WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART OR LINE IN THE PLAY? WHY?
A: The last scene when Harry Hamilton reads the tract at the live nativity is my favorite. So many times we forget to look beyond a person’s actions to reasons why he or she may be responding in a negative way. In this scene we actually take a peek into Harry’s heart. When we understand, we can help that person truly see “Jesus” with clarity.
Q: WHERE DID THE CHARACTERS COME FROM?
ARE THEY BASED ON PEOPLE YOU KNOW?
A: It is difficult to create characters without thinking about nuances of people’s personalities whom I know. Like Jane, one of my friends watches "White Christmas" every year. The first choir scene is exactly the way a former choir director, Dean, would begin every practice. “Hey, choir!” And, the scenario that happened at the beginning of the tract with the mother and her little daughter putting away the Christmas decorations actually happened with my daughter Kim when she was a little girl.
Q: WHAT DID YOU TRY TO ACHIEVE WITH THIS PLAY?
A: I wanted to show how God can work through any difficult situation that comes our way. We need to trust Him for solutions that will be God-honoring. In the end, lives can be pointed to new life in and through Jesus Christ.