A Porcelain Christmas

The year was 1999, and Springtree was a publishing company licensing its nativity musical to churches. Many churches performed A Porcelain Christmas, and we considered it a success. Through a series of blessings, we quickly transitioned into a national provider of AV equipment, and A Porcelain Christmas has been sitting unused on our shelves. We would like to offer to you now, free of charge, to perform. Below, you can discover the music and story scene by scene. If wanting to perform the musical, fill out the contact form below and we will send you PDFs of the script, sheet music, the soundtrack, and the accompaniment track.

Experience The Story!

Cast List

Cast List

Mixed Choir

Present-day Christmas carolers, angels, and guests at the inn

Jim, Carol, Kyle, and Chloe

Father, mother, and their two children

George and Sally

Young husband and wife

Joseph and Mary

The Angel of the Lord

Two angels- One announcing the good news to Mary, the second confirming Mary’s story to Joseph

Keros

The innkeeper

Miriam

Keros’s mother-in-Law

Mary’s Friends

Two young girls

Roman Soldiers

Two soldiers- One announcing the census in Nazareth, the second an unwelcome visitor at Keros’s Inn

Three Shepherds

Wealthy Traveler

Table Of Contents

Table of Contents

Opening Song

“O Come Thou Long Expected Jesus”

Carolers outside the home of Jim and Carol

Scene 1 In the living room with Jim, Carol, Chloe and Kim

Scene 2 Carolers outside the home of Jim and Carol

Scene 3A In Nazareth,

“Mary’s in Love”

Scene 3B Angel Gabriel speaks to Mary

Scene 4 In the living room of Jim and Carol, Jim explains Joseph’s dilemma

Scene 5 Nazareth,

“How Could Mary do This?” and “Joseph’s angel”

Scene 6 In the living room of Jim and Carol, George’s doubt

Scene 7 In Nazareth,

“Everyday”, “The Census”, and “To Bethlehem”

Scene 8 In the living room of Jim and Carol – Cookie Break!

Scene 9 In Bethlehem

“Keros, The Innkeeper”

Scene 10 The shepherds in the field

“Glory to God in the Highest”

Scene 11 At the manger,

“A Cave for a Palace”, “Mary’s Affirmation”, and “Sally’s Confession”

Scene 12 In the living room, Jim and Carol’s conclusions

Scene 13 In Bethlehem

“A Cave for a Palace” Reprise

Scene 14 Forty years later, Sally reflects

Scene 15 The challenge

“Celebrate Christ Everyday”

Scene 1

Scene 1

Outside the home of Jim and Carol. Song 1 “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus”

Carol

 (applauding) That was wonderful!

Jim

 (applauding as well) Thank you and Merry Christmas!

Carolers

Merry Christmas!

The Carolers exit. Jim, Carol, Kyle and Chloe go inside

Jim

(To kids) I love Christmas Eve, carolers, and the smell of your mother’s wonderful cooking.

Carol:

Why, thanks, Jim!

Chloe

Mommy, why do people go around singing Christmas songs to strangers?

Carol

Because they want to spread a little cheer and goodwill.

Chloe

What is “cheer”?

Carol

Well, let’s see, cheer is to be happy. Like CHEERful.

Chloe

Mommy, why are they cheerful?

Carol

Honey, they are cheerful because God sent His Son into the world, you know, the baby Jesus.

Chloe

Mommy, why did God send His Son into the world?

Carol

Because He loved the world so much, darling.

Chloe

Why did he love…

Jim

(Interrupting) Chloe! Honey, why don’t you look under the Christmas tree for your presents. You can even shake them this time.

Carol

Jim!

Jim

(To Chloe) Carefully, okay?

Kyle

Me too?

Carol

(Looking at Jim somewhat unsure- to Chloe) Sure, why not?

Kyle and Chloe go to the tree and begin looking over the presents.

Carol

Well- Everything’s ready. The food is done, the tree is trimmed. All that’s missing is your brother and Sally.

Jim

They’ll be here soon enough. Besides, it gives us a little extra time of “cheer and goodwill”.

Carol

Jim!

Jim

I want to focus on what’s really important. To teach our kids that Christmas is about Christ and not the commercial extravaganza that it has become.

Carol

We can still teach them, (realizing) we are teaching them.

Jim

I know, but George makes it all the more difficult. To him Christmas equals profits. And the Christ child, well, the Christ child is the porcelain figure in the nativity scene which adds to his bottom line. I don’t know when we became so different. (Sarcastically) I think we had the same parents. We went to the same church, learned the same Bible stories… I know when!

Carol

When what, dear?

Jim

When George changed! When money became his God.

Carol

Jim, knock it off. You don’t know his heart and you shouldn’t say such things anyway. Have you ever thought of what a wonderful opportunity you have?

Jim

Opportunity? What opportunity?

Carol

To make a difference in your brother’s  life. What better night than tonight to share the Christmas story? Just think of the possibilities. 

Jim

I don’t know, Carol. He’s heard it all before. Every Christmas, growing up, dad would read the Christmas story before we opened the gifts. He would rise to his feet when he got to the part about the angels announcing the birth to the shepherds- his voice would thunder with emotion and his eyes welled up with tears. Those were great times. George has heard the story a million times. What would make him listen this time?

Carol

Make him listen, Jim. Be creative.

Jim

Creative? How?

Carol

Like at their wedding reception, when you raised your cup, you turned the toast into a prayer and blessing for them. Everybody listened.

Jim

I think you are confusing listening with guilt.

Carol

Guilt?

Jim

They had an open bar, remember? The upper crust of the business world were on their way to a drink when (sarcastically) what to their wandering ears should they hear, a prayer offered up to the Lord… (pause) while they sipped on their beer. Hey, that was pretty good, huh?

Carol

That’s not funny, Jim. It was a beautiful wedding and you’re wrong about the prayer. They did listen. (Smiling) Even if you did catch some people off guard.

Jim

Yes, I did do that. I felt so awkward at my own brother’s wedding. We must have stuck out so bad, like Ellie Mae and Jethro in Beverly Hills. Have you ever seen such opulence? What a show! And a waste of money if you ask me.

Carol

Well, no one asked you. It’s not Sally’s fault that her parents are wealthy. She’s their only girl, and so what if they choose to spend their money that way. It’s none of our business anyway. We are only accountable for what we have been given.

Jim

And we don’t have that much accountability.

Carol

Jim!!

Jim

Just kidding. I’m very thankful for all that we have.

Doorbell rings.

Carol

Jim, they’re here. Remember what I said. And be nice.

The kids run towards the door.

Tim/Chloe

They’re here!

Kyle

Uncle George is here!

Jim opens the door, George &Sally enter

George

Merry Christmas, kids. (To Kyle) And how’s my favorite nephew?

Kyle

I’m your only nephew, Uncle George.

George

That’s right. You know what that means, don’t you? MORE PRESENTS!

Chloe

For me too?

George

(Hugging Chloe) Of course!

Carol

Come on in. Sally, let me take your coat.

Sally

Thank you, Carol. Merry Christmas. (takes a deep breath) Mmmmmm… smells delicious! Oh, and the place looks wonderful, doesn’t it George?

George

Yes, wonderful.

Carol

It’s so good to see you. We’ve been looking forward to sharing Christmas Eve with you. Haven’t we Jim? Jim!

Jim

Yes, of course. Glad you could join us.

Carol

Make yourselves at home. If you’ll excuse me, I’ll see about getting dinner served.

Sally

Oh Carol, you can’t leave me alone with these two. I’ll help you serve.

Carol

(Surprised) You will? (Realizing) Oh, that would be wonderful.

Sally

(to George and Jim) That will give you boys some time to yourselves.

Sally, Carol and the kids exit

George

So, how’s my favorite brother?

Jim

I’m you’re only brother.

George

That’s right. But if you think that means more presents, forget it! (Laughs)

Jim

(Smiles patronizingly) You never change. Merry Christmas, little brother.

George

Yea, thanks. Same to you. (looking around) Listen, Jim. I could use a drink.

Jim

(Yelling offstage) Carol! Can you get George some hot apple cider?

George

No, no, Jim… I meant, something with a kick.

Jim

(Yelling offstage) With tabasco!

George

(Yelling offstage) Nevermind, Carol!

Carol

(In apron, somewhat confused) What are you two yelling about?

Jim

Oh, nothing. George was thirsty and couldn’t decide on a drink.

Carol

Jim, dear! You know where the kitchen is. I’m working on getting dinner served so please don’t be yelling for me unless the house is burning. (turns and exits)

Jim

Yes, dear.

George

(Mocking) Yes, dear. Are you sure you shouldn’t be wearing the apron?

Jim

Now, don’t start with me. Carol and I…

George

Whoa, Jim. I was kidding. (Short laughter) So tell me, what’s new with you?

Jim

Nothing much since your wedding. How ‘bout you?

George

Quite a lot! Profits are up 30% over last year and you know those nativity schemes I’ve been importing?

Jim

With the porcelain Jesus?

George

(Matter of fact) Yea, those. Well, sold out before December. Next year I’ll have to order even more. This season has been so good that I’m going to trade in my old car for a new one.

Jim

You mean the one you bought last year?

George

Yep! (Sniffing into the air) Lost the new car smell. Nothing like the smell of a new car. Right, Jim?

Jim

I wouldn’t know.

Carol

(From offstage) Dinner’s served, boys!

Jim

(Relieved) Oh good! Let’s eat. (Begins to exit)

George

Great! I’m starving. (joins Jim) Have I told you about the porcelain crucifix we’re importing for Easter?

Jim

No, you haven’t.

George

(they begin to walk offstage) Well, we should do just as well if not better…

Blackout

Scene 2

Jim, Carol, George, Sally and the children enter the living room.

George

Carol, that was one fine dinner. I am stuffed.

Sally

Delicious, Carol. Especially the stuffing. You don’t suppose I can get the recipe from you?

Carol

Of course, I’d be delighted but I had no idea that you liked to cook.

Sally

Oh, I don’t. It’s for Delores, our cook. I’m afraid I’d be lost in the kitchen.

Jim

Oh, really? (Carol gives jim a poke in his side) Ouch!

Chloe

Can we open our gifts now, can we?

Kyle

Yea, dad. Can we?

Carol

First, we’re going to listen to your dad tell the Christmas story.

George

Oh, I’ve heard this story a million times. The shepherds in the fields, the angels singing Gloria something or other, the three wise guys bringing gifts…

Sally

Don’t you mean wise MEN?

George

Yeah, whatever. And the manger and so forth. Same old story. You know, like those nativity scenes I import-

George/Jim

-with the porcelain Jesus.

George

Heard it a million times, you know.

Jim

Well, maybe I can tell it from a new perspective. Not as sterile as those nativity scenes you sell.

George

Come on, Jim, why make the kids suffer? We all know the story. Now let’s open the presents.

Kids

Yeah, dad.

Carol

CHILDREN!

Sally

I know I want to hear the story, Jim.

George

Sally?

Sally

GEORGE!

George

Yes, Jim. Let’s hear the story.

Jim pauses nervously

Carol

Go ahead, dear, we’re listening.

(Underscore- “Mary’s Dance”)

Jim

Imagine, if you will, a young girl in a small insignificant town. Insignificant, that is, until now.

Scene 3

Scene 3b

In Nazareth, Mary dances to Song 3 “Mary’s in Love”

Girl 2

Oh, Mary! You’re so blessed.

Mother

(From offstage) Rebecca, Sarah!

Girl 1

Coming, mother! (To Mary) Our chores won’t wait. Good day to you, Mary.

Girl 2

Good day, Mary.

Mary

And peace be with you.

Girl 2

And say hello to Joseph for us (giggles)

The girls exit. Mary places her basket down and begins to pick up clothes scattered on some rocks. She is suddenly surprised by the appearance of an angel. (Underscore- “Mary’s Angel”)

Gabriel

(To Mary) Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.

Mary falls to her knees and covers her face in fear.

Gabriel

Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a Son and you are to give Him the name Jesus. He will be called the Son of the Most High, the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; His kingdom will have no end.

Mary

How will this be since I am a virgin?

Gabriel

The Holy Spirit will come upon you, the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God.

Mary turns away, confused and doubting.

Gabriel

Even Elizabeth, your relative is going to have a child in her old age.

Mary

Elizabeth?

Gabriel

And she, who is said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.

Mary

I am the Lord’s servant. May it be done to me as you have said.

Lights dim in Nazareth and up in living room.

Scene 4

Scene 4

Living room.

Jim

After Mary had spoken those words, the angel Gabriel left.

Kyle

And then they went to Bethlehem, right daddy?

Jim

Eventually. But first Mary had to tell Joseph that she was going to have a baby and that he wasn’t the father.

George

Now, see here, Jim! This part I find hard to believe. How could Joseph believe such a story?

Jim

He didn’t. The bible says that he was planning to divorce her.

Sally

What do you mean, divorce? I thought you saud they were only engaged.

Jim

They were engaged! But back then, in that culture, an engagement was a legal binding contract. It wasn’t quite as simple as just calling off the wedding. Besides, this posed a serious dilemma for Joseph. The bible tells us that he was a righteous man and he cared about Mary’s reputation.

Fade out living room/ Light up in Nazareth

Scene 5

Scene 5

Mary tells Joseph that she is pregnant and that the angel of the Lord appeared to her. He becomes visibly distressed. Mary pleads for understanding…

Joseph

(Screams) NO!!!!

Joseph leaves Mary’s presence. She holds her hands to her face and begins to cry- Fade to black on Mary. Joseph center stage.

Song 4- “How Could Mary Do This?”

Fade to black.

Scene 6

Scene 6

Lights up in Living Room

George

All right, an angel appears, explains things, maybe I can understand why Joseph would believe her, but why would anyone else?

Jim

Have faith, little brother. There’s still much more to come.

Sally

Oh, don’t mind him. Go on, Jim. What happens next?

Jim

The bible tells us that Joseph took Mary to be his wife but had no union with her.

George

Now see here…

Sally

Hush! (To Jim) Go on Jim.

Jim

(Clears his throat) The days, the months went by. The time drew nearer for Mary to give birth.

Scene 7

Scene 7

To Nazareth- Mary, far along in her pregnancy, carries a wicker basket, trying to conceal her condition, passes several ladies on the way to market.

Song 6 “Everyday”

Song 7 “The Census”

Song 8 “To Bethlehem”

Mary and Joseph exit together- Fade to black in Nazareth.

Scene 8

Scene 8

Lights on in the living room.

Jim

So Joseph and Mary left for Bethlehem.

George

You’re making this stuff up!

Sally

You mean they didn’t go to Bethlehem?

George

I don’t mean that part, just a lot of the rest… it’s not told that way in the Bible and I don’t remember dad telling it that way.

Jim

When did you ever read the bible? And when-

Carol

COOKIE BREAK!! Who wants Christmas cookies and cider?

Chloe

I do, I do!

Kyle

I don’t! I want to open the presents.

Carol

Kyle! Cookie time.

Kyle

(To Jim) Aw, do I have to?

Jim

Go on, Kyle. We’ll get to the presents when you’re done.

Sally

(Getting up) I think I want some cookies too, Carol.

Sally, Carol and the children exit.

Jim

I didn’t make it up! The facts are facts. I’m simply filling in between parts with what most logically was going on in their minds. They were human like you and me. They weren’t made out of porcelain. They had feelings.

George

You don’t know what was going on in their minds. You are needlessly dragging out a short story and turning it into a novel.

Jim

I’m trying to break through! What has happened to you? We grew up together in church. Why is this so foreign to you?

George

It is not foreign to me. It is simply irrelevant! This event happened two thousand years ago and fine, a baby was born, angels appeared to shepherds, fine! That was then and this is now. Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas. It is the highlight of my year and-

Jim

(Interrupting) Of your business year!

George

That’s right! I make a lot of money this time of year! Which buys me the nice things I enjoy. The trips I take, the cars I drive. It’s better than this life of poverty you have chosen. (pauses in regret) Jim, I didn;t mean that. (Jim looks away silently) Jim!

Jim

This baby that is so irrelevant to you is everything to me. I have chosen this life. And about being poor, you’re so wrong. Carol and I have everything we need!

George

I know you do, I didn’t mean what I… maybe it’s best that we call it a night.

Jim

No, please stay. It would upset the kids if you weren’t here to open the presents with them.

The kids run in ahead of Carol and Sally.

Kyle

I got you a cookie, daddy.

Chloe

And I got one for you, Uncle George.

George

Thank you, sweetheart.

Chloe

What does your cookie say, Uncle George?

George

(reading the cookie) It says “Jesus is the reason”.

Chloe

For the season?

George

(Nervously pauses) No, I guess that part didn’t fit on the cookie.

Carol, followed by Sally, enters the room with some drinks.

Carol

We brought you boys some cider.

Jim

Thanks. Now, what do you say we open those presents! (heads for the tree)

Carol

Aren’t you going to finish the story?

Jim

We’ve all heard it all a million times.

Sally

Jim! I haven’t. Please finish the story.

George

Yes, Jim. We want you to finish the story.

Jim

Are you sure?

George

Go on.

Jim

Okay, where was I?

Sally

Mary and Joseph were on their way to Bethlehem.

Jim

That’s right. Mary and Joseph left for Bethlehem. Now Mary was likely in her ninth month and several days on a donkey without being pregnant was probably bad enough, but it must have been especially hard for Mary. When they arrived in Bethlehem, they found the already busy city even busier, full of travelers that had come to register for the census.

Sally

I think that it’s just horrible that the government would make her travel in her condition.

Jim

I’m not sure she really had to go.

Sally

What do you mean?

Jim

It was a man’s world back then and Joseph could have most likely taken care of the census for his family.

George

Then why would she go?

Jim

I could only imagine that the gossip and the rumors had gotten so bad that Mary would have gone anywhere rather than stay in Nazareth without Joseph. But more important, Old Testament prophecy said that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem.

Sally

This may seem like a dumb question, but what is the Old Testament?

Jim

The Old Test-?

Carol

(Interrupting Jim) That’s not a dumb question at all. The Old Testament is the part of the Bible written before Jesus was born. Throughout, it is filled with prophecies announcing the birth of Jesus.

Blackout in the living room

Scene 9

Scene 9

Lights up in the inn.

Joseph stands at the Innkeeper’s door.

Song 9, “Keros the Innkeeper”

Keros

(Seeing Joseph) Sorry. No more room! (turns back in)

Joseph

Please, sir! We have tried everywhere. You are our last hope.

Keros

I would offer you my own bed but it’s been rented too! I wish I could help. (Looking towards heaven) The Lord knows I don’t like to turn away paying customers- (looks at Joseph) I mean, needy travelers.

Mary

(Enters inn, groaning) Joseph, it’s time. (groan)

Keros

Wait! I didn’t realize… I do have a place, but it’s not even fit for animals.

Joseph

Where is it?

Keros

It’s where I keep my animals.

Mary

Joseph! (in a groan) Tell him we’ll take it.

Joseph

(anxious) We’ll take it! How much do I owe you?

Keros

(Walking outside, looking around) Keep it! Just don’t tell anybody, okay? Listen, do you have a midwife to help deliver the baby?

Joseph

No, we don’t.

Keros

Let me get you settled in then I’ll send Miriam, my mother-in-law to help.

Joseph

Thank you, kind sir, but I don’t want to be any more of a bother.

Keros

It’s no bother. I don’t think she was going to sleep well tonight anyway… knowing that your wife needed help. (Directs them) Come, this way.

Keros leads Joseph and Mary away as the lights fade to black. The sky is filled with stars.

Scene 10

Scene 10

Low spot on Jim in the living room.

Jim

(Reading from his bible) Mary gave birth to her first born son and she wrapped him in cloths and laid him in a manger. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, watching over their sheep by night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them.

Soft light on the shepherds tending their flock. Bright light on angel.

Song 10 “Glory to God in the Highest”

Shepherd 1

(Gathering up his bed roll) Let’s go into Bethlehem to see this thing that has happened.

A second shepherd also gathers his things.

Shepherd 3

Hey wait! What about the sheep?

Shepherd 2

(Returning) Now let’s see. (using his hand as scales) on one hand, we can stay here and watch the sleeping sheep. On this other hand, we can go to Bethlehem to see first hand the promised Messiah, the one that we, our fathers, grandfathers, their fathers before them and so on have been looking for. Um, tough choice. What do you think? (He exits following Shepherd 1)

Shepherd 3

(Weighing the options on his scales- grabs his things hastily) Hey, wait for me!!

Scene 11

Scene 11

Set turns to reveal the inside of a cave. Miriam is wrapping the baby in cloths and hands him to Mary. Joseph stands downstage, a bit removed.

Mary

(In a faint voice) Joseph! (To Miriam) Where’s Joseph?

Miriam

(Standing, walks towards Joseph) Joseph, sir. It’s a boy.

Joseph

(Exhausted, relieved) It’s a boy!

Miriam

Blessed be the Lord, it’s a boy! Mary is calling for you.

Joseph

Is she all right?

Miriam

She’s fine. Go to her. (Miriam exits)

Joseph comes to Mary. she shows him the baby. Joseph turns, somehow distressed. (Underscore- “A Cave for a Palace”)

Mary

Joseph, what’s wrong?

Song 11 “A Cave for a Palace, Mary’s Affirmation, Sally’s Confession”

Sally exits.

Scene 12

Scene 12

Lights up in the living room. Carol is picking up used wrapping paper. Jim enters.

Jim

They’re both out like a light. Chloe fell asleep before hitting the pillow. (begins to help Carol picking up trash)

Carol

What a wonderful evening. Everything went so well.

Jim

I have to admit, much better than I expected. Do you think it made a difference? For Sally and George, I mean.

Carol

I know it did. It was a little rough there for a while, but George came around. And did you see Sally?

Jim

No, what?

Carol

When you got to the part about the manger, her eyes were full of tears.

Jim

(Looking up) Thank you Lord! And thank you, Carol.

Carol

For what?

Jim

For convincing me to tell the Christmas story.

Carol

You’re welcome.

Jim

And one more thing.

Carol

What’s that?

Jim

(Pointing up) Mistletoe.

Carol

(Looking up) there’s no mistle-

BLACKOUT- Sound of a kiss is heard.

Carol

JIM!!

Jim

Merry Christmas, darling.

Carol

Merry Christmas!

Scene 13

Scene 13

Lights off in the living room. Lights up in Bethlehem. Entire cast (minus Jim, Carol, George, Sally and the kids)

Song 12 “A Cave for a Palace” Reprise

Scene 14

Scene 14

The Curtain closes- Sally, forty years later, walks out downstage and speaks to the audience.

Sally

I remember that night so well. It was the night that changed my life forever. You see, no matter what I did, how many things I owned, I could never fill that void. But God could fill it and He did. Now, it didn’t happen overnight, mind you. It took some time and I had a lot of questions, but Jim and Carol, they were always there for me. I have had a good life. Why, I even learned to cook. God has blessed me with two boys, several grandchildren, and, yes, I know I don’t look that old, but even one great grandchild. (pause) Oh, they didn’t belong to George. George died in an accident three months later. (Long pause) He was on a business trip. I remember he called me. I wasn’t home. He left a message on our voicemail. He said he had great news to tell me. I could only hope that the news was that he finally decided to give his life to Jesus. (begins to walk away- stops and turns to the audience) Oh, by the way… what will you do with Jesus?

Scene 15

Scene 15

Curtain opens- entire cast minus George

Song 13 “Celebrate Christ Everyday” (repeat for curtain call)