Friday, October 31, 2014

The Princess and the Frog

Here's the official Halloween 2014 photo of the family - Mommy, the Princess, and the Frog.  Madison was elegant as always in her sparkly dress, and Daddy was actually quite warm tonight for the trick-or-treating.  The temperature did a plunge tonight, but thankfully, it only started to do a bit of sprinkling as we were on our way back to the house.  And what bliss to walk into a warm house with pleasant music and a roaring fire in the fireplace.  Mommy had things set up just right tonight for a perfect welcome back home.

Tonight, we were joined by Hannah, and another family:  Matthew, Ed and Christy-Anne from our church.  This was Matthew's first trick-or-treating experience, one he was anxious to try out.  "No," he told his parents earlier.  "I want to go from door to door and get candy that way."  And you should have seen him grin as he sprinted from lawn to lawn.  Madison was still running as well, hoisting her dress up like Cinderella when the clock strikes midnight.  Only Madison never changed from princess to housemaid.  She was as radiant as ever, beaming with delight at all the decorations and candy of the night.  The decorations were plenty as always, where neighbors set up elaborate inflatables and graveyards.  And there were some folks with plenty of candy to give away too.

We made our way down our street, and then the two main strips of our neighborhood - hitting jackpot after jackpot.  Lots of bonfires tonight, and lots of costumes.  There weren't that many creepy ones to contend with either, as there were mostly younger children in our neighborhood.  We finished our tour at the raptor - there's a life-sized raptor in our neighborhood each year.

Hannah is getting older, so she wasn't quite sprinting around like the others were, but she still had a great time.  And it is hard to argue with the results of all that candy!

We watched "Toy Story of Terror" together tonight, as yet another family joined us.  We invited Javier's family to stop by our driveway and use it as a basecamp for launching out for the candy raid. Mommy had hot tea there for us, and as the doorbell rang, all the kids in our house trampeled towards the door to give out candy to the visiting trick-or-treaters.

It was a really nice day, and once again the forecast of rain held off just long enough for all of us to enjoy the festivities.  Tonight, we've got the extra comforter on the bed, as that temperature is dropping down, down, down.  The wind is starting to howl, which is perfect atmosphere for this kind of night.

Madison has gone trick-or-treating three times this month.  And there is a metric ton of candy sill in the house.  Oh, what a terrible thing to have to endure together!

Tonight, we went to bed a bit later, but a happy sort of tired.  It was a perfect end to the October season, and we're quite ready for the next.  Bring on November!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Ghosts in the Neighborhood

Documented proof - right there, folks.  This was spotted in our neighborhood tonight as we were dropping by.  At first, we thought these apparitions were just a trick of the eye, but no, in fact they were there.  They're as real as my skull and they do exist!

Tonight we went on a ride through the neighborhood to check out the decorations, and surprisingly, there weren't as many as in past years.  Or, at least, there were only a few that were pretty elaborate.  Mostly skeletons this year - there must have been some sort of bulk rate somewhere, because there are skeletons all over our neighborhood.  There seems to be an infestation.  In one instance, they are crawling up the side of a house to get in a room.  I think there's a spray for that.  We don't have a skeleton problem.  We had ants this summer, but no skeletons.

We drove around, playing "Boo to You" and other seasonal songs, and Madison sat in the back seat with the iPad, snapping pictures.  She made us stop frequently to get the best shot each time, one of her photos being the one above.  It has this sort of documentary feel about it, actually, which is kind of fun.

This morning, Madison rose from bed like a vampire.  Her arms were crossed over her chest, and she rose up sort of like a vampire coming out of a coffin.  She was having fun with us.  We kept that theme the rest of the day - including a visit to the Haunted Mansion in Kinect Disneyland.  We also downloaded a seasonal theme for Minecraft, which Madison explored for a bit.

Of course, there was a bit of piano practice today as well.  Every day, pretty much.  And there's the homework too - Madison has been writing stories, and making new ones up as well.  She's really been exercising those creative muscles!

Daddy and Mommy did a bit of work today, facing the daunting task of changing a battery in a PT Cruiser.  This used to be such an easy task, changing a battery.  Not anymore.  We had to look it up on Youtube, and now are experts on changing batteries in PT Cruisers.  It's amazing what you can find on Youtube, now pretty much an encyclopedia on how to do pretty much anything.  As for the Cruiser, we don't exactly have high marks for this sort of vehicle.  Promptly later, it stalled in the middle of 400, which is a less-than-ideal place to stop.  Fortunately, Daddy got home a little later, pushing it to the side of the road in neutral, and desperately trying to get it started again.  There's a mystery problem with the Cruiser, one that even puzzles the official Chrysler dealership.  They seriously have NO IDEA what is wrong with the car.  Go figure!

Tonight, we went to bed with the Munsters.  It was time for bed, and we wanted to watch some more seasonal fun - something new for us.  And lo, there were sixty-something episodes of "The Munsters" on the computer!  Just the right prescription for next October, actually.  But tonight, we enjoyed watching that from our bed on that little computer - and went to sleep easily, having had a busy week so far.  But the week's not over yet, is it?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Meeting Elsa

Tonight was our Fall Festival at the church, and out of the last ten days or so - and forecasted over the next several days - the only rain we got was... today.  Can you believe that?  But the blessing is this - the rain came in, and left by about 1:00 pm.  So we stayed dry!

So Madison could go to the Fall Festival this year.  We usually don't like her not getting enough sleep, but this was a special occasion.  And it was made even more special by a few things - like a tall, tall slide.  And Queen Elsa.

This is our friend Camille.  She's just recently joined us at KidPak, and we had no idea how great of an Elsa she was.  She actually does this for parties on Saturdays, and for us at KidPak, she volunteered to take pictures with the children.  They were so excited to see her tonight!  Madison was too, as you can see in the photo above.  Although Madison sees a little of the behind the scenes at KidPak, she still knew that Camille here makes an excellent Elsa.  Madison even brought our autograph book so it could be signed.  Camille, or rather Elsa, happily signed it for her.  

As you can also see in the photo above, Madison wore her cowgirl outfit.  This was so she could go on all the rides and slides and inflatables there were, and still be comfortable.  That sort of activity doesn't work out so well in a princess dress.  

Amazingly, Madison first decided to conquer this 35 ft. slide.  This thing was really, really high.  It took a while just to climb the stairs to get to the top of this inflatable slide.  And she was pretty fearless going down it.  It's the kind of slide that is so high up that your stomach sort of drops as you fall the first ten feet or so.  And you don't feel like you're quite on the slide so much, but rather instead falling downward.  It's that sort of slide, and yet Madison was wanting to do it a second time.  Again, she was fearless!

We did other games, like trying to knock each other off inflatable pedestals with huge foam poles.  Madison won that contest, of course.  And she got to do pretty much all there is to do at a typical Fall Festival, jumping in obstacle courses, throwing footballs and sliding down towering slides.  She had a blast, and then it was time to head to the rooms, where there was free candy.  And lots of it.  We give away so much free candy at each of these events - it's amazing!

As you could imagine, the remainder of the day involved planning such an event, setting things up and so forth.  In fact, planning takes place weeks before - today was just a lot of lugging around of pumpkins and hay bales and decor, including that decorative backdrop Daddy had commissioned for the Elsa photo shoot.  We had hundreds of photos with Elsa and that backdrop. 

But there was plenty of other things to do, such as hay rides, dance parties and general chaos.

Madison loved it.  She got there earlier, as Daddy was here as well to set things up.  Therefore, Madison had early access to a lot of the slides and inflatables.  She ran around, ready to take them all on.  She was pretty excited!

We got home pretty late, and everyone was ready for bed.  It was a great evening, although we had a few hiccups here and there.  All in all, it was great though.  We learned some more lessons towards next year, and everyone walked away with free candy and a good time on the field.  What's not to love?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


Tuesday.  It's a day of piano practice - Madison caught up this week, and has done rather well there.  She's chosen as her recital song "Oh, Susanna," which is actually a bit more difficult than it seems at first. The finger work for her there is a bit challenging.  But class was fun as always.  Things are really picking up lately, but the kids are up to the challenge.

Here's a snap Daddy took during class.  We've been taking the iPad with us to class lately, and it has turned out to be immensely helpful.  We're recording songs and how they should sound, so that when we play them we have somewhat of a goal.  There is a music CD, but it is a little more difficult to match.  But with the recording, we have Mrs. Pam right there in the house to show us the melody.

Tonight was part two of our auditions for the play, so Daddy missed "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." with Mommy.  She watched it on her own.  Actually, Daddy missed a lot of time with Madison too.  The auditions took a while, but we have our cast largely nailed down.  We just have one or two players left to cast, and we're done with that.  

Madison had homework, and watched some "Monsters High" on DVD.  She's in for a surprise at Christmas with this theme - actually there's a lot going on with that theme from her cousin Hannah.  There's a lot of dolls coming Madison's way, which is exciting to see.

But now, it's time for some rest.  We've got a big day tomorrow.  We've been listening to "Boo to You" each morning on the way to school, and other songs like "The Monster Mash," but soon that will change to Christmas music - because Halloween is almost here, and when it's over at midnight, we suddenly start singing Christmas carols!

Speaking of Christmas, here's the amazingly rough draft of the Christmas drama that Daddy wrote last week.  It's not too bad to start out with, and pitched "as is," it seemed to fit the bill for what was needed.  


Big start to the production:  "It's a Hard Knock Life"

After choreographed musical routine, music still remains, and focus shifts to one of three montages:


Cut away to ribbon cutting ceremony.  Flash cameras take pictures of MARV and BLANCHE.  She is holding a big pair of scissors, about to cut a red ribbon hanging in between two stanchions.  MARV steps up to microphone.

MARV:  "We want to thank you all for being here..."

BLANCHE butts in.

BLANCHE:  "...because without your precious donations, this shiny, sparkly new orphanage wouldn't be here."

MARV:  "Yes.  And we are so proud..."

BLANCHE:  " take more donations!  It's the Christmas season, so why not think of the least of these, those poor orphans!"

MARV:  (to BLANCHE, away from microphone) "Don't push it too far, Blanche."

BLANCHE:  (to MARV) "Shut your howling screamer, Marv.  It's the season of giving, and our season of taking!  The only thing shiny and sparkly around here will be all the jewelry you can buy me when we sell those donations!"

BLANCHE laughs

PRESS CORPS:  "Oh, just look how happy she is for those orphans."

BLANCHE stops a moment, and looks at the PRESS CORP person oddly.

BLANCHE:  "Orphans?"


BLANCHE:  "I LOVE orphans!"

BLANCHE laughs some more as cameras take flash photos, and lights fade to next montage.


SECRETARY and STEVE are standing there, with SECRETARY straightening his tie.

SECRETARY:  "Sir, the dedication of the new orphanage is going on right now."

STEVE:  "Here I go, late again.  Whoever said this was the most wonderful time of the year was way off - it's the most BUSY time of the year."

SECRETARY:  "Sir, just a thought, but perhaps next time you should leave earlier."

STEVE:  "Perhaps you could tell me to leave a little earlier."

SECRETARY:  "Perhaps I did, sir?"

STEVE:  "Perhaps you should be a little more forceful then."

SECRETARY:  (flashing anger) "Then perhaps you should get your bottom in gear right now, sir!

STEVE looks at SECRETARY, slightly shocked.

SECRETARY:  "Something like that, sir?  Was that okay?"

STEVE (stunned):  "Uh... yes.  That's just right."

STEVE reaches into jacket pocket, and pulls out a golden watch, gazing at it a moment.

STEVE:  "Catherine, this has great value, but I'll be glad to donate it to a good cause.  Still, I will miss it terribly."

SECRETARY:  "I know what it means to you sir.  Letting go can be tough.  Now move."

STEVE:  "What?"


SECRETARY pushes STEVE along, out of spotlight, ending montage #2.


HOLLY and SABLE are at a church.  Maybe in front of a pew with a podium nearby?

SABLE:  "Christmas time is almost here!"

HOLLY:  "You're right, but I don't know.  Something's missing."

SABLE:  "What are you talking about?"

HOLLY:  "Well we've already done everything you're supposed to do at Christmas time."

SABLE:  "You saw the lights at Lake Lanier?"

HOLLY:  "Yeah, and we saw that living Christmas tree production too."

SABLE:  "Did you see the Christmas Village with all that fake snow?"

HOLLY:  "We even rode on the Pink Pig at Lenox!  I don't know.  This year, I'm just not feeling it."

SABLE:  "Well maybe it will snow this year.  That will cheer you up!"

HOLLY:  "No, the snow would just shut things down.  Nobody can drive anywhere!"

SABLE:  "Don't be silly.  Georgia is always ready to handle snow here!"

END MONTAGE #3, wrap up song?


SCENE 1B, after song dramatically concludes.

BLANCHE:  "Break it up you little worms!"

CLUTCH:  "But we were just taking a little break."

BLANCHE:  "Do I pay you to sit around all day and sing catchy little songs?"

SCOUT:  "No.  You don't pay us at all."

BLANCHE:  "Exactly.  Now get back to work!"

TUBBS:  "But we're hungry."

DIZZY:  "And I'm tired."

XEROX:  "Yeah, me too!"

PRINCESS:  "And I'm a little princess!"

BLANCHE:  "Yes.  You know that part in Cinderella where she has to do all that scrubbing and cleaning and all that hard work?"


BLANCHE:  "That's my favorite part too!  Now get moving!"

BLANCHE grabs a broom and starts threatening the ORPHANS with it.  ORPHANS all get busy working, wrapping presents, as MARV enters, holding golden watch.

MARV:  "Check out this donation we just got!"

BLANCHE:  "Give me that!"

BLANCHE gazes at it with pure joy.

BLANCHE:  "This will pay for that Hawaii vacation!  Just think, we sell all these donations, gift wrapping them for a special Christmas delivery ..."

MARV:  "And then ALO-HA!"


MARV does the hula.  ORPHANS laugh at how ridiculous he looks.


BLANCHE:  "Okay, that's enough of that!  Who wants dinner?"

ORPHANS rejoice.

TUBBS:  “I’m hungry!”

XEROX:  “Me too!”

BLANCHE:  "Well now you'll have to wait two more hours!"  

ORPHANS groan.

BLANCHE:  "Quit your bellyaching, or nobody's getting a visit from Chef Ramen."

BLANCHE exits STAGE RIGHT, but she drops the watch.  MARV does not notice, and he moves to STAGE LEFT, texting someone.

TUBBS:  "Aw, man!  Ramen noodles again?"

DIZZY:  "I thought she was going to cook something new."

SCOUT:  "No, she said she was going to cook us Ratatouille."

CLUTCH:  "That sounds good."

SCOUT:  "Not with the ingredients she uses.  Think about it."

CAST sighs.

PRINCESS:  "I don't like it here.  I want to live in a castle."

SCOUT:  "Don't we all, princess."

(An idea strikes SCOUT, who lights up a moment.)

SCOUT:  "Hey, I got an idea!"

TUBBS:  "Does it involve food?"

CLUTCH:  "Quiet, Tubbs."

(SCOUT whispers to CLUTCH, TUBBS, IZZY and DIZZY, who each nod enthusiastically.  They are clearly conspiring something together.  SCOUT grabs a bottle of some clear liquid.)

TUBBS:  "Mister Marv sir?

MARV:  "What do you want?"

MARV joins others on STAGE CENTER.

DIZZY:  "You left something on the ground there."

XEROX:  "Yeah, something on the ground there!”

MARV:  "Oh, we can't have that, can we?"

MARV reaches down to pick up the watch, and isn't paying attention to the following question fully.

SCOUT:  "Oh, and you'll want to use hand sanitizer, sir.  Don't know where that's been do we?"

MARV:  "Thank you."

MARV grabs bottle, and uses hand sanitizer.  Only it is not hand sanitizer, it is crazy glue.

MARV:  "This doesn't feel like hand sanitizer.  Wait a minute... it feels like... glue!  Not again!"

MARV slaps his forehead in anguish, but realizes this was a foolish thing to do, as his hand is now stuck to his forehead.

MARV:  "You are so much trouble."

MARV rushes across stage to open door there, with one hand stuck to his forehead.  He reaches for the knob.  But his other hand gets stuck to the doorknob.  He desperately attempts to escape, to no avail.

ORPHANS point and laugh.

MARV:  "A little help here?"

MARV pulls a section of the door off, his hand still stuck to doorknob.



SABLE and HOLLY stand together

SABLE:  "So... why not just call him or text him or whatever?"

HOLLY:  "He doesn't answer.  Maybe he just doesn't care."

SABLE:  "Or maybe he's too busy right now?"

HOLLY:  "It's the same thing.  But we'll get him this time, I'm sure.  It's an ambush!  He always comes by this way to get a coffee."

SABLE:  "How do you know?"

HOLLY:  "Hello?  He's my dad.  And everyone calls him Daddy Starbucks!"

STEVE enters STAGE LEFT at a brisk pace, followed by an entourage of assistants, male and female, including his SECRETARY.

STEVE:  (to entourage taking notes) "And make sure we look good for the cameras - it's all about appearances you know."

HOLLY:  "Dad!"

STEVE stops short, causing a domino effect with his entourage also stopping short, running into each other.

STEVE:  "Holly!  What are you doing here?"

HOLLY:  "I want to ask you a favor."

STEVE:  "You know I'm working, sweetie."

HOLLY:  "But we've been working on this Christmas musical, and..."

STEVE:  "I told you, darling.  I'm terribly busy this time of year."

HOLLY:  "Which is why I thought it would be a great idea if you..."

STEVE:  "I can't right now."

HOLLY:  "You can't ever.  You never have time for me."

STEVE:  "What?"

HOLLY:  "You never have time for me!"

HOLLY quickly steps off STAGE LEFT, with SABLE chasing behind.

STEVE remains standing there, contemplating what just happened, and then begins to walk towards STAGE RIGHT, a little slower paced than the entry.

SECRETARY:  "Your coffee sir?  Sir?"

STEVE is too deep in thought to hear the question.  STEVE keeps walking on the path he was.  The entourage quickly catches up, following STEVE off STAGE RIGHT.

As STEVE and entourage exit STAGE RIGHT, HOLLY enters STAGE LEFT

HOLLY:  "I used to think this was the most wonderful time of the year...I guess Santa is a little too busy this year."

This begins musical sequence WHEN CHRISTMAS COMES TO TOWN, with HOLLY on one side of stage singing, and the scene at the right opening up to reveal the kids in the orphanage also singing as they prepare presents for someone other than themselves.

When song concludes, HOLLY sadly walks off STAGE LEFT, orphans remain on their side in light.

CLUTCH:  "Hey, what do you want for Christmas?"

DIZZY:  "I want a bicycle."

XEROX:  "Me too!"

TUBBS:  "I want a sandwich."

PRINCESS:  "I want a mommy and daddy."

ORPHANS think about this, and agree.

SCOUT:  "Well don't get your hopes too high."

CLUTCH:  "It's only dreaming, Scout.  What do you want?"

SCOUT appears to be about to say something meaningful, but stops short.

SCOUT:  "A good night's rest.  Now no more talking, okay?"

PRINCESS:  "But we need to say our prayers."

SCOUT:  "It's not going to do us much good, I mean..."


ORPHANS see a very real threat, and immediately drop to their knees in prayer as lights fade.


MARV and BLANCHE enter STAGE LEFT.  BLANCHE is holding a shopping bag.  MARV possibly has a doorknob still stuck to his hand.


The two sing a cynical version of the Christmas song, this time with lyrics that celebrate pretty much all the things that people do wrong at Christmas.  The song is about them getting rich.  Song concludes.

STEVE enters STAGE LEFT, alone.

BLANCHE:  "Well, Merry Christmas!  Almost done with your shopping?"

STEVE:  "Almost.  I just have to find something for my daughter.  Something... special."

BLANCHE:  "Well, good luck with that.  We just want to thank you so much for your donation to the orphanage."

MARV:  "We were so happy, we wanted to do a little dance!"

MARV begins to do the hula dance, but is stopped when BLANCHE hits him with her shopping bag.

BLANCHE:  "Stop playing around."

STEVE:  "Well, I'm glad that donation is getting put to good use."

MARV:  "That watch you gave the orphanage has a lot of value.  And there's no better gift than the gift of time."

STEVE:  "Excuse me?"

MARV:  "There's no better gift than the gift of time!"

STEVE is struck by this thought.

STEVE:  "Yes, you're right.  Look, you seem like nice people.  I had a thought: my little girl has been wanting me to come to see her Christmas performance.  But what if we do something even better?  What if we made arrangements to have that performance done at the orphanage?"

BLANCHE:  "Oh, but there's so much going on this season already."

STEVE:  "True."

BLANCHE:  "And you have all those plans, and the calendar is so full with lots of little dates and appointments.  I don't know how you do it!"

STEVE:  (conceding) "Yes, you're right."

BLANCHE:  "Yes, yes.  You never have time for that."

STEVE:  "What did you just say?"

BLANCHE:  "I simply said you never have time for that."

STEVE is struck to the core.

STEVE:  "You know something?  Not long ago, my own daughter just said the very same thing to me."

MARV:  "Kids.  What can you do?"

BLANCHE, suddenly worried, strikes MARV with her shopping bag.

BLANCHE:  "Don't you worry your busy little mind about us!"

STEVE:  "NO.  This year will be different."

MARV:  "What?"

STEVE:  (happy) "Thank you!  Thank you both.  You have given me an incredible gift!"

BLANCHE:  "We have?"

STEVE:  "Yes!  This year, I'm going to give the best gift I can:  my time.  I'll arrange for the church choir to come to your orphanage."

BLANCHE:  "No, you don't have to do that."

STEVE:  "It's no problem at all, my dear!  I'm going to spend time with my daughter.  And I just want to bless your socks off!"

BLANCHE:  "But..."

STEVE:  "No buts!  I am going to give the two of you a Christmas you'll never forget!"

STEVE joyously marches off stage.

BLANCHE and MARV are left horrified, and do a REPRISE of IT'S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR, with lyrics filled with worry and grief.   Possibly in a minor key.



Afterwards, SABLE and HOLLY walk in.

SABLE:  "Practice seems to be going well.  Hey, even the flying snow angels haven't knocked anything down tonight.  But are you okay, Holly?"

HOLLY:  "Of course I'm okay.  What makes you think I'm not okay?"

SABLE:  "Well, there's the crying.  And the throwing things.  Oh, yeah:  and the breathing fire."

HOLLY catches on.

HOLLY:  "I'm sorry, Sable.  Christmas and I aren't just working out this year.  I'm just not feeling it."

SABLE:  "You said that already.  Maybe it'll help if you get your mind off of those other things.  Just focus on making this Christmas show the best it can be."

HOLLY thinks on this.

HOLLY:  "You're right.  Christmas is about what we do for others, not what we do for ourselves."

SABLE:  "You got it.  Besides, it's not like your dad is going to come storming in to say Merry Christmas!"

STEVE storms in.

STEVE:  "Merry Christmas everybody!"

HOLLY:  "Dad?  Dad!  What are you doing here?"

STEVE:  "I'm so sorry I've been too busy for you lately.  But I'm going to give you the best present I can possibly give."

HOLLY:  "You know Dad, I don't want any more stuff for Christmas."

STEVE:  "I know.  That's why I'm giving you ...myself.  Let's spend some more time together."

HOLLY:  "You really mean that?"

STEVE:  " Of course I mean that.  And I'd like to do something new and different this year.  Why not take our production to the new orphanage?"

HOLLY: "Dad, that's a great idea!  Wow!  This is going to be the best Christmas pageant ever!"

SABLE:  "Uh... look over there, Holly.  It looks like Kevin the Snow Angel flew into the side of the snow castle again."

HOLLY:  (undeterred) "I take that back.  But it's still going to be a wonderful Christmas!"



ORPHANS are scurrying, hiding presents they've been wrapping as MARV and BLANCHE bark orders.  Others are sweeping, polishing, dusting, and picking up piles of clutter that are strewn about.

BLANCHE:  "Hurry up!  We need to make this place so clean you can eat off the floors!"

TUBBS:  "But I don't see any food on the floor."

BLANCHE:  "You'll never see food again if you don't move it!"

ORPHANS continue putting presents in hiding places, but one present at side does not get put away.

MARV:  "He could be here any moment!  What are we going to do?"

BLANCHE looks around quickly, and sees presents are all hidden - she does not notice one at STAGE LEFT that did not get hidden.

BLANCHE:  "We're almost there.  We can stall him a little.  I mean, it's not like he's going to barge in here and scream Merry Christmas."

STEVE happily barges in, behind him marching in SABLE and HOLLY, MINISTER, and the CHURCH CHOIR.

STEVE:  "Merry Christmas!"

MARV:  "Oh, chestnuts."

ORPHANS are surprised.  STEVE looks around, a bit perplexed.

STEVE:  "Is this the right orphanage?  What about all that money you've been raising?"

BLANCHE:  "Oh, you are going to just LOVE what we'll be doing with it.  We've ordered all new furniture, new clothes, and new cleaning supplies too.  (whispering to STEVE with excitement)  We should get it just in time for Christmas!"

STEVE sees her enthusiasm, yet looks slightly concerned.

STEVE:  "Well I see you've got your work cut out for you.  Which is all the better reason for me to surprise your kids with a wonderful little Christmas presentation!"

STEVE gestures at choir setting up.

BLANCHE:  "How delightful.  You shouldn't have!”

STEVE:  "But it's our pleasure!"

MARV:  (muttering) "No, really.  You shouldn't have."

On the other side of STAGE, HOLLY and SABLE speak.

HOLLY:  "This is it!"

SABLE:  "This is what?"

HOLLY:  "This is what was missing.  We always get so busy having fun with our own Christmas plans that we sometimes miss out on the obvious!"

SABLE:  "Which is?"

HOLLY:  "Christmas is about love, and giving to others!  And that's what these children need more than ever."

SABLE:  "Yes, and they can't find a place to stay.  Doesn’t that remind you of anyone else this time of year?"

SABLE gestures towards STAGE LEFT, where MARY and JESUS are walking in.


MARY sings, CHOIR DIRECTOR sings, CHOIR sings

While song plays, Nativity characters walk up to makeshift stable, posing in Nativity set.  STEVE joins SABLE and HOLLY at once side.


After song, time for "minister" to present a mini-sermonette.

MINISTER:  "The definition of an orphan is a child whose parents are gone, a child who has been abandoned.  And this Christmas, there are many who feel that way - unwanted, lost, and left behind.  

Nearly two thousand years ago, a small baby named Jesus was experiencing something similar to what you’re living with.  Nobody wanted him in their lives:  there was no room in the inn, and no place for Jesus to stay in Bethlehem.  So, he stayed in an animal stable with his family.  

You know the story:  a star shone bright, shepherds marveled and angels sang.  And as Jesus grew, he began to share the good news of love:  peace on earth and good will towards man. They called him Emmanuel - 'God with us.'  

And he is still with us, even until the very end.  He knows where you are.  And He knows how you feel.

Let this season serve as a reminder:  we have a Heavenly Father who is not dead.  And He certainly has not abandoned us.  He is alive, and with us always.  And His love for us was so great and wonderful... that he sent His only Son.  

This Christmas, remember that you are not an orphan.  You are not abandoned.  You a child of the living king."


PRINCESS:  "So I AM a princess!"

CAST laughs as MINISTER smiles

MINISTER:  "And everyone said…"

CAST:  “Amen.”

SABLE (to HOLLY):  "So, are you feeling it now?"

HOLLY looks at STEVE - they both smile.

HOLLY:  "Yes.  Yes I am.  Merry Christmas!"


BLANCHE:  "Well, we're all just so grateful.  I don't know how we can every show how thankful we really are!"

SCOUT:  "I know!  Why not give him one of our gifts?"

SCOUT picks up lone present at RIGHT SIDE OF STAGE, marching towards STEVE.

MARV:  "Where'd you get that present?'

DIZZY:  "With the others."

XEROX:  "Yeah, the others!"

BLANCHE:  "Uh... wait.  That's something we were planning on saving for later!"

BLANCHE desperately tries to get over to SCOUT, but DIZZY, XEROX, CLUTCH and TUBBS are in the way.  SCOUT gets to STEVE.

SCOUT:  "Now's as good a time as any, right?  Here you go, sir!"

SCOUT hands STEVE the present, and BLANCHE is out of ideas.  BLANCHE and MARV nervously start creeping towards STAGE RIGHT, behind CAST.

STEVE:  (friendly and smiling) "A gift?  For me?  You shouldn't have!"

CLUTCH:  "Open it!  Open it!"

STEVE:  "Okay, if you insist!"

STEVE quickly opens present, and pulls out... his watch.

STEVE:  "My watch?  (looking for BLANCHE and MARV) I thought you said you were selling these to raise money for the orphanage."

BLANCHE:  "We are!  We just wrapped that one because it will be a special delivery.  Soon.  And we wrapped it really nice, see?"

CLUTCH:  "Yeah, just like the hundreds of other presents you just made us all hide!  (oblivious to what he's giving away)  You should just see 'em!"

STEVE quickly turns to BLANCHE and MARV, anger in his eyes.  ENTIRE CAST looks at BLANCHE and MARV.

STEVE:  "Do you have anything to say for yourselves?"

BLANCHE looks at audience.

BLANCHE:  "Exit stage right!"

BLANCHE and MARV flee off STAGE RIGHT, as ORPHANS celebrate.

HOLLY:  "But who will take care of them now, Dad?  Who will take care of the orphanage?"

STEVE:  "You heard the pastor.  No one is abandoned."

STEVE gathers ORPHANS around him.

STEVE:  "I'll take care of them."

ORPHANS again celebrate.

SCOUT:  "This calls for a party!"

TUBBS:  "With lots of food!"

PRINCESS:  "And more singing!"

HOLLY:  "You're right.  And I know just the number."

HOLLY points to choir director, who nods as the song JOY TO THE WORLD begins (with new arrangement).