The soldier’s sister was looking forward to him seeing her in the Christmas musical, and Mom was planning to have a big family reunion on Christmas Day.
3 actors (father, mother and teenage daughter) very little set. 5 mins.
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A CHANGE IN PLANS
Written by Warren Sager
CAST OF CHARACTERS: MOM, DAD AND DENESE, (THE TEENAGE DAUGHTER)
The daughter is sitting in a chair looking at her script when the Mom enters with some groceries in a bag. She sets them down and approaches her daughter.
MOM: Honey, did your father tell you that the pastor wants our family to share our testimonies at the Christmas Eve. Service?
DENESE: Our testimonies? You mean how we got saved?
MOM: No, this was specifically about what Christmas means to us. I think he wants it to be personal. Like, what this year’s Christmas is going to be like for us, and stuff like that.
DENESE: Okay. It’ll be good practice for me. Danny will have no problem doing it.
MOM: I’m sure he will say something about joining the service.
DENESE: Is it okay if I talk about the play?
MOM: If that is what is important to you, then you should. I was just thinking that we should compare notes, so that we are not all saying the same thing. If you are going to focus on the play, then I can talk about the family coming for Christmas.
DENESE: I might mention something about that, because it means a lot to me, too. But I think my focus would be on getting the lead in the musical. That has really made this Christmas exciting. But I don’t want it to sound like I am bragging about my talent or anything like that.
MOM: Just don’t talk about yourself too much.
DENESE: I know! I will talk about how much I enjoyed seeing Danny as the lead in the musical 2 years ago, and how talented he is with a good voice and being a good actor. And talk about how he encouraged me to try out this year and helped me with my audition and then with my lines once I got the part. I really owe it all to him…and the Lord of course. So, what are you going to say, Mom?
MOM: Well, the family coming is going to be the highlight for me. I have not seen some of my sisters for a long time and knowing that everyone is going to be here is really making it extra special.
DENESE: Say something about the food.
MOM: Well, I can talk about how we are planning the menu and buying all sorts of food to prepare, and we have been having fun looking up recipes and things that we want to bake.
DENESE: And it has been fun decorating the house and making it look cheery and feel like Christmas. Oh! And I love to watch my little cousins open up their presents. They are so cute. This year we are having the perfect Christmas! It’ll be easy to talk about it.
MOM: I’ll ask your father what he thinks.
DENESE: You can ask him now. I just heard him open the front door.
MOM: Hon! We’re in here!
DAD: (Enters looking serious) How are my sweethearts?
DENESE: Fine Daddy. We are talking about our Christmas plans.
MOM: You forgot to tell Denese about the testimony on Christmas Eve. So we have been discussing what we will say. We thought we should plan it out a little so we don’t all say the same thing.
DAD: Oh, that’s a good idea.
DENESE: So, my focus is going to be on the play and Mom is going to talk about food and family…unless you want to talk about food? I know the food is your favorite part…
DAD: Who says? I don’t think food is my favorite part!
DENESE: Well, maybe you don’t want to admit it.
DAD: I think the family coming would be the highlight… I mean there is nothing better than having the family altogether…
MOM: But I was going to talk about that. I thought we should each have something different.
DAD: If it is a testimony… then it needs to be honest and from the heart….I’m sure whatever you say will be fine. We might not even do it.
MOM: I thought you told Pastor that we would.
DAD: I did. But it’s not written in stone or anything.
MOM: Well, I don’t see why we can’t do it. It’s what he wanted. Danny has no problem getting up and talking. I’m sure he will be okay with it.
DENESE: (Upbeat and almost chuckling) He might even be humorous. You know how funny he can be when he starts talking in front of people. That’s probably why the pastor asked us, so that we could have a few laughs.
DAD: I need to talk to the two of you.
MOM: Sure dear. What about?
DAD: About Danny. (They both suddenly realize that he is being serious.)
MOM: What’s going on?
DAD: Danny called me at the office today. His unit has been called…
DENESE: What does that mean?
DAD: They are being shipped out. His whole unit is leaving on a special mission.
DAD: In a few days.
MOM: In a few days!??
DENESE: Where to?
MOM: Oh no!
DENESE: That means he’ll be in Iraq for Christmas! How can they do that?
DAD: We are fighting a war. War doesn’t stop to take a holiday.
DENESE: So, he won’t be here. He won’t be here to see me in the musical! If there was one person that I wanted to be there… it was him!
DAD: I know, Honey.
MOM: And he won’t be here on Christmas Day either. The whole family was going to be together for the first time in years, and that just…(getting emotional) This is what I had feared. This is what happens when your son joins the service.
DENESE: This really stinks! This just ruins everything! Danny was so happy about me getting this part in the play and he has been helping me and he also has been playing his guitar with the band…
DAD: I know. He sounded real disappointed on the phone. I think we need to try to be an encouragement to him when he comes home tonight.
MOM: Oh… we’ll all bawl like babies and you know it!
DAD: Well, I think we should try to avoid that. We are just thinking about ourselves. We are thinking how this will effect OUR Christmas. We need to think about him. Christmas will go on. Everything will still happen…it will just be a little different without Danny here.
DENESE: It will be A LOT different.
DAD: It will be a lot different for him. We will still have Christmas with the family. We will still have all the food and all the fun and the family here. You will still be in the play and you will do a great job. Danny will be in Iraq. It won’t be at all like the kind of Christmas we will be having.
MOM: You put it like that, and I really will bawl like a baby.
DAD: Remember the Sunday School lesson last Sunday? How God is in control and He causes all things to work together for good? We have to trust God that He knows what He is doing and He will take good care of Danny. You know that old saying, “God works in mysterious ways…”
DENESE: It will be hard to see how any of this is good. Even though I know what you say is true. I know that God is in control. It’s still hard.
DAD: It is. But because of this happening, we need to draw even closer to God and trust in Him more deeply than ever before.
MOM: Oh! The testimonies! We can’t still do that!
DAD: Well, maybe by then, we will have something to say.
DENESE: You always know what to say, Daddy. I’ll try to say something, but I might need you to be standing next to me holding my hand. (He smiles and puts his arm around her/or both of them.)