CHRISTMAS PLAY
 

This play was created by Debbie Fleenor Handman and Jerry Alan 'Dusty' Sayers to be performed by the youth group of Downtown Christian Church in Johnson City, Tennessee in 1997.
It is not terribly original.

Please do not sue us.

If you are represent a church or other Christian group, and would like to use this script to produce your own performance, I would be delighted.  Simply give credit to Mrs Handman and myself and e-mail me to let me know that you will be using the script and under what circumstances.  I would not be adverse to a small cash gift as well, but am hardly in a position to insist.  Please do not hesitate to e-mail me about using this script if you are worried about money.    It was written for the physical layout of our own church basement; feel free to modify the stage directions and set descriptions to fit your own situation.

I can e-mail you the complete text in Microsoft Word 97 format if you would like it.

Downtown Christian Church Youth Christmas Play -- 1997
Christmas in Grimmburg

by Debby Fleenor & Dusty Sayers



Cast of Characters:

Father -- Our Narrator, who will tell Our Story to his Children.
Children [Child 1, Child 2, &c.  The Children are listed in order of age, i.e. Child 1 is the oldest] -- The offspring of the Father, who induce him to tell Our Story.

Nebuchadnezzar Grimm -- The Villain of Our Story, who lives atop the mountain above Grimmburg, where he owns most of the houses, which everyone must rent from him.
Hans -- The German butler of Nebuchadnezzar.  He is German because foreign accents are humourous, and we can produce a good German costume.

Townsfolk:
Charity -- The nicest lady in town, and our heroine.
The Mayor -- The Mayor of Grimmburg.
The Postman -- The Grimmburg Postman.
Sarah -- A cute li'l girl in Grimmburg.
James -- A li'l boy in Grimmburg. [Alternately Jamie, a li'l girl in Grimmburg.]
Henry -- Another kid in Grimmburg.


Sets:

Bedroom -- The area below the stage will be set up with a bed and perhaps other props to make it resemble a children's bedroom on Christmas Eve.

Grimmburg -- The main stage will be set up to look like the town of Grimmburg.  It requires three houses than can be entered.  We should also procure an artificial Christmas Tree for this scene.  We should decorate it.  There should also be a sign reading "Grimmburg  Population 6" (or whatever it is, if there are more or less cast members than that).

Mr Grimm's house -- Mr. Grimm's house on top of a mountain could be set up on the balcony.

Props:
German Costume  Mayor Costume  Postman Costume  Santa hat  a red coat  Accordion  backpack  saw  shovel or trowel sack of "money" gifts stockings  invitation letter book



  Act I

Scene 1 -- Bedroom

[The Children are playing in their room and will not settle down, even though it is Christmas Eve, and their Father wants them to go to sleep.]

Father:  Here!  Here!  Settle down.  It's time for bed.

Child 1:  But it's Christmas Eve!  I'm too excited to sleep!

Child 2:  Me too!  I wish it were Christmas now!

Father:  The sooner you get to sleep, the sooner Christmas will get here.

Child 2:  Tell us a story daddy!

Child 1:  Yeah, your stories always put us to sleep.

Father: [MILDLY OFFENDED BY THE IMPLICATION THAT HIS STORIES ARE BORING]  Then lie down and I'll tell you the story about one man who didn't WANT Christmas to come.  [AN ACCEPTABLE PROP WOULD BE A BOOK, IF THE FATHER REQUIRES HELP WITH HIS LINES]

Once there was a mean old man named Nebuchadnezzar Grimm.  He lived on top of a high mountain with his butler, Hans.

Mr Grimm:  [EMERGES FROM HIS HOUSE AND WALKS ABOUT ON THE BALCONY]

Father:  Nebuchadnezzar Grimm's mountain -- and it was his mountain, for he was terribly rich and owned the whole mountain -- was right next to a little town called Grimmburg.  It was called Grimmburg because Mr Grimm owned almost all the houses in the town, and everybody had to rent from him.

Some Townsfolk:  [COME ON STAGE AND WANDER AROUND, CHATTING SILENTLY]

Father:  Now one year, it was getting near to Christmas in Grimmburg, and everyone was very excited.  Everyone but Mr Grimm, that is...



Scene 2  -- Grimmburg

Townsfolk:  [WANDER AROUND ON STAGE.  ARRANGE DECORATIONS ON CHRISTMAS TREE, &C]

James:  Man, I can't wait!  It's only one more day 'till Christmas!

Henry:  I want a BB gun!  I hope I get one!

Sarah:  I hope I get a new doll.  One that talks and closes her eyes and wets herself!  I'll be the first girl in school to have one.

Charity:  You know, children, there's more to Christmas than just getting presents.

Henry:  That's right, Charity.  We get to eat a big supper too!  That's the best part of Christmas.  The whole family gets together around the big table and we all eat a huge dinner with turkey and potatoes and beans and corn and pie and cake and all sorts of good stuff you only get to eat at Christmastime.

Charity:  Well, yes, but there's more than that, too.

Sarah:  Yeah, we get to visit with relatives from out of town.  That's what I look forward to most.  All the aunts and uncles who you never get to see come in to visit, or sometimes you go and visit them.  That's always fun.  And there are cousins to play with, and sometimes there's a new baby to see.  Seeing family is my favourite thing about Christmas.

Charity:  That's true, but the most important thing about Christmas is...

James:  We get out of school!

Charity:  No, the MOST important thing about Christmas time is that we...

Mayor:  [INTERRUPTING CHARITY] Attention everyone!  Charity suggested to me that since times have been hard this year and there is not much to go around, we all get together on Christmas morning and open presents out here in front of our town Christmas Tree.  Then we can all go to my house to eat supper.

Townsfolk:   Cheer!  Yeah!

Charity:  We'll also sing Christmas carols and have a prayer of thanks together, too.

And anyone who wants to help us out in the town choir, be sure to let me know ahead of time.
[THIS SHOULD BE A GOOD-NATURED IMITATION OF CERTAIN MEMBERS OF THE CONGREGATION WHO SAY SOMETHING RATHER LIKE THIS EVERY SUNDAY]

Townsfolk:  Groan....

James:  Charity always wants us to sing and pray.

Mayor:  Right, Charity.  Sure.  We'll do that too.  Anyway -- I hope to see everyone here to-morrow.

Charity:  Shouldn't we send an invitation to Mr Grimm?

Sarah:  He's so mean.  He won't want to come.  He never wants to do anything fun.  One time we were all flying kites near his mountain, and he got mad and sent his butler out to chase us away.

Henry:  And besides, we don't want him to come anyway.

Charity:  That doesn't show much Christmas spirit, Henry.

Henry:  Sure it does.  He's so greedy he won't give anybody anything anyway.  So what good is it to have him come?

Charity:  Well, I think we should invite him.  Mr Postman!

[A BRAVE SOUL OFF STAGE MAY SING A RENDITION OF "MR POSTMAN"]

Charity:  Please take this invitation to Mr Grimm.  [PROFFERS INVITATION]

Postman:  I'll go through rain and snow and sleet and hail and dark of night, but I sure don't want to hike up that mountain on Christmas Eve to give an invitation to that mean old Nebuchadnezzar Grimm.  Besides... uh... he's in a different Zip code.

Charity:  Please, Mr Postman?

Postman:  Well, for you, Charity, I will.



Scene 3 -- Mr Grimm's house

Hans:  [PRACTISES "SILENT NIGHT" ON THE ACCORDION.]

Mr Grimm:  What's that infernal racket?  I'm trying to get some work done.

Hans:  I'm playing "Stille Nacht." [PRONOUNCED "STILL-UH KNOCKED"] I need some practise.  We always played it at home at Christmastime.

Mr Grimm:  Well, you're not at home now.  So quit it.  It's too loud and it bothers me.

Hans:  Sorry, Sir.  I just miss the Fatherland.  The whole family met and sang Christmas carols and we always had for dinner a very big carp.  No one here makes carp like Mutter made it.  No one here makes carp at all, in fact.

Mr Grimm:  Carp.  Hmmm... that's a good idea.  It ought to catch on.  Carp cannot be too expensive; they must taste dreadful.

Postman:  [STANDING AT THE BOTTOM OF THE LADDER]  Letter for Mr Grimm!

Mr Grimm:  Hans!  Retrieve that letter.

Hans:  [HE DOES SO, AND HANDS IT TO MR GRIMM]

Mr Grimm:  [TAKES THE INVITATION FROM HANS, READS IT]  A Christmas meeting, eh?  What nonsense is this.  I give everyone who works for me a whole day off, I can't do any business, and now they want me to come out, and probably want me to give the beggars presents, too.  Eh?

Postman:  Well, giving presents is the custom at Christmas, sir.

Mr Grimm:  I thought so.  Just a glorified excuse to pick a man's pocket.  Will there be singing too?

Postman:  Yes, sir.  We always sing at Christmas.

Mr Grimm:  I have better things to do than waste my time with such frivolities.  I have accounts to balance and stocks to consider, and many things you would not understand that I must see to.  If you had real responsibilities, you would understand that there is no time for such trivialities.

Hans:  But Sir, it might be fun.  Let us just go.  The fresh air might be good for you.

Mr Grimm:  Nonsense!  Now you are just trying to get a day off.  There is no time for such foolishness.  I will not come to your silly party, and I hope you will have the courtesy to keep the noise to a minimum.  In past years, your infernal singing has disturbed my accounting.

[READS THE INVITATION SOME MORE]  "Please respond!"  Humph!  Here's my response!  [TEARS UP INVITATION, FLINGS IT IN THE FACE OF THE POSTMAN]

Hans:  I take it we will not be attending, Sir?

Postman:  I will tell them you are not coming, Mr. Grimm.  I have one question, though.  Why do you have a German butler, instead of an Englishman?

Mr Grimm:  A German is cheaper, but follows orders even better.  Observe:  Hans!  Go into town and bring back one of my money sacks.  I will have plenty of time to-morrow to count it.

Hans:  But the sacks weigh many, many pounds!

Mr Grimm:  Hans...

Hans:  Jawohl, mein Herr!  [PRONOUNCED "YA-VOLE MINE HAIR"]
Postman & Hans:  [DESCEND LADDER, GO INTO TOWN.  HANS GOES TO GET THE MONEY SACK AND STARTS TO BRING IT BACK.]

Mr Grimm:  Christmas really is such a silly, outmoded holiday.  It's wasteful.  A whole day spent not working; in fact, people waste the money they get from working to give useless things to each other.  Besides, they fix a huge dinner that they cannot eat all of, which is wasteful.  And they always make that awful racket singing those stupid old songs.  It would be the biggest favour someone could do the world to just abolish Christmas.  Hmmm......

Hans:  [RETURNS WITH A HUGE SACK OF MONEY.  HE IS EXHAUSTED FROM CARRYING THAT GREAT WEIGHT UP THE MOUNTAIN.]  Here is the money, sir.  <pant ... pant>

Mr Grimm:  Oh, just put it down somewhere, Hans.  I have an even better plan than counting money.  <Laughs Evilly>

Hans:  [PUTS DOWN THE MONEY, FEELING THAT HIS HAULING EXPEDITION WAS A WASTE.]



 Act II

Scene 1 -- Bedroom

Child 1:  So what happened?  What'd Mr Grimm do?

Child 2:  No!  What did they do in the town when the Postman said Mr. Grimm wasn't coming.

Child 1:  I bet they were happy.  He's mean.

Child 2:  Is Hans home-sick, daddy?  He doesn't sound very happy.

Father:  If you would wait and listen, I'd tell you about all of that.  Settle down.

Now, as I was saying, the Postman made his way back into town just as it started to get dark.  You see, it had been a long hike up and down Mr Grimm's mountain....



Scene 2  -- Grimmburg

Townsfolk:  [WANDER AROUND ON STAGE.  ARRANGE DECORATIONS ON CHRISTMAS TREE, &C.]

Postman:  [APPROACHES CHARITY]  Mr Grimm isn't coming.  He says Christmas is silly.

James:  Good!  It wouldn't be any fun if he came.  I bet he just doesn't want to have to give anybody any presents.
 

Charity:  James, that's not very nice.  Doesn't anyone remember what Christmas is really about?  It's when we remember that Jesus came to save all of us.  It's when we get together because we are all one family in Christ, not because we want to get presents form each other.

Sarah:  Oh, I bet Mr Grimm is lonely.  He doesn't have any family.  Christmas wouldn't be any fun if you didn't get to see your relatives.

Charity:  That's why I asked him to come.  We have to remember that some people don't have a lot of family and friends to visit with, so we have to reach out to them at this time of year.  You see, Christmas is about love and sharing...

Henry:  [INTERRUPTING CHARITY] I love it when people share their presents with me!

Charity:  <Sighs in despair>  Let's just go home.  It's almost time for bed, and the sooner we get to sleep, the sooner Christmas will come.

Townsfolk:  [ALL EXIT]



Scene 3 -- Bedroom

Father:  Do you hear that, kids?

Child 1:  Sure, dad.  Now what happens?

Father:  Well, mean old Nebuchadnezzar Grimm told Hans his plan.  It was a terrible plan:  a plan to end Christmas for ever!

All God's Children:  Oh no!



Scene 4 -- Mr Grimm's house

Mr Grimm:  Now Hans, if we can just get them to stop having Christmas this time, by next year they will probably have forgotten about it, and we can be rid of this silliness.

Hans:  But sir!  How can we stop them from having Christmas?

Mr Grimm:  We will take all their little presents, and cut down that tree they wasted so much good working time to cover with those cheap decorations.

Hans:  But that is stealing!

Mr Grimm:  They live in my houses, and everything in my houses is practically mine.
 

Hans:  But what if they see you?  If they catch you, they will be outraged!

Mr Grimm:  Then we'll go in disguise.  I'll wear my red nightcap and coat -- see [HE PUTS ON SAID APPAREL] and I'll look just like that Santa Claus fellow.  You already look like an elf in that silly hat.

Hans:  My father gave me this hat... [HURT AND OFFENDED]

Mr Grimm:  Come on, it will be easy.  No one will ever suspect, and then to-morrow, there won't be any of that ridiculous singing to get in the way of real work.  Here -- get the tools and the sack.  [CLIMBS DOWN THE MOUNTAIN]

Hans:  [PUTS ON A BACKPACK WITH TOOLS IN IT -- ONE IS A SAW OF SOME KIND AND ANOTHER IS A SPADE OR TROWEL, AND CLIMBS DOWN THE MOUNTAIN AFTER MR GRIMM.  HE ALSO TAKES A BIG SACK.]



Scene 5 -- Grimmburg at night

Mr Grimm: [GOES INTO EACH HOUSE AND BRINGS OUT A FEW GIFT-WRAPPED PACKAGES AND FULL TOWNSEND STOCKINGS, WHICH HE DROPS IN THE SACK HANS IS HOLDING.]  Having the master key to all the houses certainly is handy to-night, eh, Hans?

Hans: [STILL HURTING FROM THE HAT COMMENT]  As you say, Sir.

Mr Grimm:  I say!  This house has a turkey and a big meal all laid out!  Bring that sack in here, and we'll fill it up!

Hans:  [GOES INTO THE MAYOR'S HOUSE, WHERE MR GRIMM IS.  THEY PUT SOMETHING BULKY IN THE SACK -- THE AUDIENCE CAN'T SEE IN, OF COURSE.  THEN THEY EXIT THE HOUSE.]

Mr Grimm:  Only one more house left. [HE ENTERS SARAH'S HOUSE.]  HE COMES OUT WITH AN ARMLOAD OF GIFTS, FOLLOWED BY SARAH IN A BATHROBE.  HE DOES NOT SEE HER.]

Sarah:  Santa Claus?  Is really that you?

Mr Grimm:  Well, of course.  Who else would I be?  The... uh.... [SNAPS HIS FINGERS, THINKING] ....the ....Easter Rabbit?

Sarah:  Well, aren't you a little thin to be Santa Claus?

Mr Grimm:  Uh.... I've been on a diet.  Eight tiny reindeer couldn't pull the sleigh until I lost a few pounds.

Sarah:  Well, where are you going with all our presents?

Mr Grimm:  Uhh.... Elfie and I have to take them back to the North Pole for uhh.... servicing.  Yes.  That's it.  We forgot to include batteries or instructions or something.  We'll have it all back in time for...[ASIDE TO HANS] *what DO they do with them?*

Hans:  They exchange them and open them in the morning, sir.

Mr Grimm:  ...in time to open them in the morning.

Sarah:  Isn't that a long way to go in just a few hours?

Mr Grimm:  Well... uh... we don't obey the speed limit.

Hans:  What policeman would give Santa Claus a speeding ticket?

Sarah:  Well, be careful Santa Claus.  You are so nice to make sure all the presents have batteries and everything.  I love you, Santa!  [HUGS MR GRIMM, WHO IS OBVIOUSLY DISTURBED BY IT, AND SORT OF SHOVES HER OFF]

Mr Grimm:  Er... yes.  Well, go to bed little girl.

Sarah:  Good night, Santa Claus.  [SHE GOES INSIDE]

* * *
Father:  See?  Nebuchadnezzar Grimm told HER to go to bed, and she went.  Quiet as a lamb.

Child 2:  But then what?
* * *

Mr Grimm:  Only one thing left:  getting rid of that tree.

Hans:  That is too much, sir.  Leave them their tree!  It was a German, Martin Luther, who first used one at Christmastime!  I cannot cut it down.

Mr Grimm:  That is an order, Hans.

Hans:  [SAD]  Jawohl, mein Herr!

[HE PRODUCES A SAW FROM HIS BACKPACK AND PROCEEDS TO PRETEND TO SAW THE TREE DOWN.  AFTER A TIME, HE UPROOTS THE ARTIFICIAL TREE, AND PUTS IT OVER HIS SHOULDER.]

There.  So.

Mr Grimm:  Good work, Hans. We can go now.  [THEY COLLECT THEIR BOOTY AND EXIT.  THEY LEAVE THEIR LOOT AT THE BASE OF THE LADDER AND GO BACK UP TO THEIR MOUNTAIN.]



 

 Act III

Scene 1 -- Bedroom

Child 1:  He took all their presents?

Father:  Yes, he did.

Child 2:  And he cut down their tree?

Father:  Yes.  He cut down the tree they spent all day decorating, just like you kids did when we brought in our Christmas tree.

Child 1:  How can they have Christmas without presents and a tree?

Father:  You'll see.  Just wait and settle down.  Hey, how much coca-cola did y'all drink before you went to bed?

Child 2:  Three cans!

Child 1:  I just had one...

Father:  Thank goodness.

Child 1: ...big slam Mountain Dew.

Father:  [BURIES HIS HEAD IN HIS HANDS FOR A MOMENT, THEN STARTS TO SPEAK AGAIN]  It was a sad morning in Grimmburg when the townsfolk awoke...



Scene 2 -- Grimmburg in the morning

Townspeople:  [RUSH OUTSIDE IN TERROR]

James:  All the presents!  They're gone!

Henry:  And my stocking is missing!

James:  Mine too!

Postman:  Even the packages marked "Do not open 'till Christmas" are gone!

Sarah:  [MATTER-OF-FACTLY]  Santa Claus came and took them.  He said he'd bring them back by morning.  Don't worry.  I'm sure he'll bring them back soon.  Then maybe you will all get to meet him too!  He's very nice.

James:  [IGNORING HER]  Even the tree?  Look!  It's gone, too!  We spent all day decorating it!
 

Mayor:  Even the meal for today has been stolen from my house.  My fellow townspeople, I declare a state of emergency!  Without the Christmas Tree, and Christmas presents, and Christmas dinner, how can we have Christmas?

[FULL OF MOCK SERIOUSNESS, BECAUSE WE ARE IMITATING WINSTON CHURCHILL HERE.]
I do not know, but we shall find a way. We shall go on to the end.  We shall not flag or fail.  We will defend our holiday, whatever the cost may be.  Our tree is gone!  The Christmas dinner is gone!  Everything I had to offer you as Mayor is gone!  All I have now to offer is my blood, toil, tears, and sweat.

Charity:  No, that is not the answer.  You all have forgotten why we have Christmas.  It is not about the presents, it is not about the Christmas tree, or even having a big dinner.

Henry:  It's not?

Sarah:  Then what IS Christmas about?

Charity:  Christmas is about the birth of Jesus, and what that means to us.  You see, we do not need to give each other gifts on Christmas, because Jesus already gave us, and still gives us, the greatest gift of all:  His love.  You see, whenever you feel lost, or alone, or like you have lost everything you hoped for, just like you all feel now, you just have to turn to that little baby who was born so many years ago to-day, and He will take care of you.

The big meal at Christmas is not as important as another meal Jesus wants us to eat.  And that is the meal of communion, when we remember what Jesus did for us in His life and His death.

And the Christmas tree, with all its pretty ornaments does not matter as much as another tree in Jerusalem nearly two thousand years ago.  That tree is the cross on which Jesus, who was born on this day, died, so that we might live.  That way, He gave us the greatest gift we could ever get:  His everlasting salvation.

Henry:  Gosh.  That's even better than a BB gun.

Charity:  Yes, it is.  And it lasts longer too.  And it doesn't even need batteries.

James:  Wow.

Sarah:  So what can we do about it?  Shouldn't we thank Him somehow?  I mean, we can't just send a thank you card, can we?

Postman:  He's not in this Zip code.
 

Charity:  Well, we can thank Him by all joining together to praise Him and remember what He did for us so long ago, and still does for us today and every day.  Let's all sing together.

Townsfolk:  [ALL GATHER AROUND WHERE THE CHRISTMAS TREE WAS IN A CIRCLE.  IF THERE ARE A FEW DROPPED ORNAMENTS THERE, THAT WOULD LOOK VERY NICE.]  <sing "Silent Night">



Scene 3 -- Mr Grimm's house

Mr Grimm:  [COMES OUTSIDE AS IF HE JUST WOKE UP.  HANS COMES OUT, TOO.]  Busy night, eh, Hans?

Hans:  [SLEEPY] Yes, sir.

* * *
Another verse of "Silent Night"
* * *

Mr Grimm:  What's that noise?

Hans:  The people in the town, sir.  They seem to be singing.

Mr Grimm:  What!?!?  We took all their confounded presents and cut down their tree.  What have they got to sing about?

Hans:  They have each other, sir.  And they have seem to have found Jesus.

Mr Grimm:  hmmm....

Hans:  They used to sing that same song in my village in the Fatherland.  The words were a little different of course.

Mr Grimm:  hmmm....

Hans:  You did say you would return the presents in time for them to open them.

Mr Grimm:  hmmm.... Why so I did.  Come, Hans.  We have a delivery to make.  [THEY CLIMB DOWN THE MOUNTAIN AND COLLECT THE CHRISTMAS GOODIES.]


Scene 4 -- Grimmburg

Mr Grimm & Hans: [ARRIVE WITH THE CHRISTMAS PRESENTS AND TREE.]

Sarah:  Look!  It's Nebuchadnezzar Grimm!  And his butler!  And they have our Christmas tree and our presents!

Charity:  See?  I said he could not be all bad.
 

Mr Grimm:  Good morning everyone!  You seem to have lost a few articles.  [HE DISTRIBUTES GIFTS AND STOCKINGS.]  Hans!  Dig a hole for that tree.

Hans:  [HAPPY]  Jawohl, mein Herr!  [HE GETS OUT HIS SHOVEL AND PRETENDS TO DIG A HOLE IN THE STAGE, THEN SETS THE TREE UPRIGHT.]

Townsfolk:  Cheer!  Yeah!

Postman:  Say, are you Hans?

Hans:  Yes.

Postman:  Hans Gutermannderheimwehhat? [PRONOUNCED GOOT-ER-MONN-DARE-HIME-VAY-HOT]

Hans:  Yes.

Postman:  Then I have a letter for you.  [HANDS HANS A LETTER.]

Hans:  [READS THE LETTER.]  It is from my family!  They are all well, and miss me!  They say hello to all my friends here!  And do you know what?  This is the first time I had friends here to say hello to.

Charity:  Come, friends:  let us welcome Mr Grimm into our town.  He has always owned it.  Now he belongs to it!  Let us ALL sing together!  [GESTURE TO INCLUDE ALL CAST AND AUDIENCE.]

All:  <sing "Silent Night">  [WHILE THEY SING, CHARITY WILL CHANGE THE GRIMMBURG POPULATION SIGN SO THAT THE POPULATION IS GREATER BY 2.  THEN CHARITY WILL JOIN IN THE SINGING.]



Scene 5 -- Bedroom

Child 1:  Wow.  So Mr Grimm turned out to be nice after all?

Father:  Yes.  After he found out that the most important thing in life was not money, but fellowship in Jesus.

And you know what else?  That tree that Hans planted?  It started to grow again, even though it didn't have any roots.  And it's still growing in Grimmburg to this day.

Child 2:  Daddy, I'm still awake.  Can we just open our presents now?

Father:  No, I'm afraid not.  If you like, I can tell you how we lost the battle of Sharpsburg.
You see, it all began in the Spring of 1862, when a lieutenant in the Army of Northern Virginia wrapped three cigars up in a very important order...

Child 1:  <yawn>  I'm sleepy Dad.  Good night.

Father:  [TO SELF]  It never fails.

Child 2:  Yeah.  Good night, Daddy.

[THE CHILDREN GO TO SLEEP.]

Father:  [TO CHILDREN]  Good night.
[TO AUDIENCE]  Yes.  A merry Christmas to all, and to all, a Good Night.
 
 
 
 
 
 

 End
 

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Upated Tuesday, 18 December, anno Domini 2001