Santa Claus Clebrations

A Christmas Reunion
Written by: M.D. Sterling

CHARACTERS REPRESENTED:
Father Christmas, a large boy dressed in long belted robe; he carries a staff, and wears a white wig and beard. Mother Goose, a tall girl wearing a peaked soft hat tied over an old lady's frilled cap; also neck-kerchief and apron, spectacles on nose, and a broom of twigs, such as street-cleaners use, complete her costume. Mother Goose's son Jack and her Children may be costumed according to the pictures in any good illustrated copy of "Mother Goose." The Children of the Nations are sufficiently represented by boys and girls each carrying one of the flags of all nations, but elaborate costumes in keeping with the national character may be used, if desired. Thanksgiving and Happy New Year, large girls in white Grecian dresses, flowing sleeves; their children, Peace and Plenty, Good Resolutions and Hope are represented by smaller girls in white, Peace carrying an olive branch. Plenty a cornucopia, Good Resolutions a diary and pen, and Hope wearing a wreath of golden stars and carrying a gilt anchor (cut from heavy cardboard); Santa Claus, a stout, roly-poly boy, if possible, wearing a long overcoat flaked with cotton (to represent snow) and a round fur cap and mittens; an empty pack should hang carelessly from one shoulder.

(Enter Father Christmas and Mother Goose, arm in arm. While conversing, they walk up and down the platform. At the end of Mother Goose's second speech, they seat themselves in two large arm-chairs, which should be ready in middle of platform.)

Mother Goose:

Well, well, Father Christmas, I'll do as you say,
And put off my trip for the frolic to-day.
Your thought of a Christmas reunion is fine
For all of our relatives - yours, sir, and mine;
So, though greatly disposed at this season to wander
Afloat in the air on my very fine gander,
Instead of such exercise, wholesome and hearty,
I've come with great pleasure to your Christmas party.


Father Christmas (bowing):

Thanks, thanks, Mother Goose, for the honor you pay
To me your old friend now this many a day;
Tho' we may not, of course, on all questions agree,
We're alike in our love for the children, you see:
To give them delight is our greatest of pleasures,
And freely we share with them best of our treasures;
Our energies each of us constantly bends
To keep our loved title "The Children's Two Friends."


Mother Goose:

Ah, yes, Father Christmas, my jingles and rhymes,
The boys and girls know in far separate climes,
And sometimes I think that your son Santa Claus
Earns me more than my share of the children's applause;
For wherever he goes with his wonderful pack
Santa always has some of my books on his back;
When from Christmas-eve dreams children's eyelids unloose
Oft they find in their stockings my book, "Mother Goose."


Father Christmas:

Tis true, my dear madam, that I and my son
Respect most profoundly the work you have done.
The boys from our store-rooms in Christmas-tree Land,
Get the bonbons we make on the Sugar-loaf Strand;
The children enjoy them, I cannot deny it,
But still need your writings as part of their diet;
Your rhymes, wise and witty, their minds will retain
When their toys and their candy are done, that is plain.


(Enter Jack, the son of Mother Goose. He carries a large golden egg.)

Jack: Oh, there you are, Mother Goose, hobnobbing with Father Christmas! My goose must have known there was going to be a reunion of the Goose and Christmas families! She was so obliging as to lay another egg in honor of the occasion. You shall have it, Father Christmas, and may good luck go with it. (Hands egg.)

Father Christmas: Thank you, Jack. That's a present worth having! I wish my son Santa Claus had as fine a gift to put in every poor body's stocking. He is out on his rounds now, but expects to be back, as he said, "before the fun begins."

Jack: Santa's always ready for fun!

Mother Goose (taking Jack's hand, as he stands beside her):

"This, my son Jack,
Is a smart-looking lad;
He is not very good,
Nor yet very bad."


(Sound of voices outside.)

Jack: Dear me, mother! I can't stir without those young ones following me! (Sound of voices and knocking.)

Children (outside): Jack! Jack!

Jack (calling): All right. Come in. I'm here, and Mother Goose and Father Christmas, too. Surprise us all by being good, won't you?

(Enter, two by two, Little Bo-Peep with a bundle of lamb's wool suspended from a shepherdess crook; Little Jack Horner, carrying carefully a deep pan covered with paper pie crust; Little Miss Muffett, carrying a bowl and spoon; Peter Pumpkin Eater, with a pumpkin under his arm; Curly Locks, with a piece of needlework; Little Boy Blue, with a Christmas horn; Contrary Mary, with a string of bells for bracelets, and carrying shells; Little Tommy Tucker, with a sheet of music; Jack and Jill, carrying a pail; Simple Simon, finger in mouth, looking as idiotic as possible; Polly Flinders, in a torn dress, sprinkled with ashes. The children march and countermarch to music around Mother Goose and Father Christmas, bowing as they pass them. When Mother Goose claps her hands the children group themselves on her side of platform, not in a stiff row, but as naturally as possible. As one after another comes forward for his or her speech, the others appear to be conversing among themselves, making the by-play in keeping with their characters.)


Mother Goose: Tell Father Christmas your names now, my pretty ones, and give him the presents you have brought in his honor.

Little Bo-Peep (coming forward): I'm little Bo-Peep who lost her sheep. I bring you some fine lamb's wool to keep you warm, Father Christmas.

(Father Christmas receives with a gracious air this gift and those that follow, handing them afterward to Jack Goose, who puts them into a large box or basket previously provided for the purpose.)

Jack Horner: I'm little Jack Horner who sat in a corner, eating a Christmas pie. I've brought you one just like it, Father Christmas. This pie is full of plums, and I haven't put in my thumb to pull out one! (Goes back to place after handing pie.)

Miss Muffet: I'm little Miss Muffet, sir. I sat on a tuffet, eating some curds and whey; but there came a big spider, and I was frightened away. Do you like curds and whey, Father Christmas? I hope so, for here are some in a bowl. (Hands gift, and returns to place.)

Peter Pumpkin Eater: Here come I, Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater. But I've saved a nice pumpkin for you, Father Christmas, and here it is. (Returns to place.)

Curly Locks: Just little Curly Locks who sits on a cushion and sews a fine seam, and feeds upon strawberries, sugar, and cream! Here's some of my sewing, Father Christmas. (Presents needlework, and returns to place.)

Little Boy Blue (blowing several blasts on his horn as he comes forward): Here's Little Boy Blue! I blow my horn when sheep's in the meadow and cow's in the corn. I've brought you my very best horn for a present, Father Christmas. It's a good one, I can tell you! (Blows again, and hands to Father Christmas, who smilingly tries the horn before handing on to Jack.)

Contrary Mary: "Mary, Mary, quite contrary," they call me, Father Christmas. I'm not contrary at all. Don't you believe it. Only I don't like to do just the same as other folks. That's the reason I'm not going to give you one of my silver bells or my pretty shells. I'll keep them myself for the present. Perhaps when it's Fourth of July, or some other time when nobody else is thinking about giving you anything, you'll hear from Contrary Mary. (Flounces herself away to place.)

Mother Goose: Fie, fie, my child! Give your presents to Father Christmas as you should. This contrariness grows upon you apace, and must be checked at once. (Mary obeys Mother Goose reluctantly, pouting and muttering to herself.)

Little Tommy Tucker: I am only little Tommy Tucker who sings for his supper. All I can give you is a song, Father Christmas.

TOMMY TUCKER'S SONG.

(Air: "Ben Bolt.")

Oh, don't you remember when children were old,
And money grew up on the trees,
How we lived upon nothing but cake and ice-cream.
And had none but our own selves to please?
We went to bed late every night of our lives,
And we played every day all day long;
And we never did sums, and could spell anyhow,
And nobody said it was wrong!

Oh, don't you remember the naughty child grew,
The good one was good all in vain,
Till dear Father Christmas and Mother Goose, too,
To children their duty made plain?
So now we can cipher and spell with a will,
And at nine we are snug in our beds,
With good Father Christmas in all of our dreams,
And Mother Goose songs in our heads!


Father Christmas: Bravo, Tom Tucker! Be sure you shall have the supper for which you have sung so well. Bless my eyes! Who comes here?

Jack and Jill (together): We are Jack and Jill, Father Christmas. And here's a pail for you. It is the one that we had when "Jack fell down and broke his crown, and Jill came tumbling after." (Hands a pail.)

Simple Simon (drawling): Simple Simon, I am. I met a pieman going to the fair. Says Simple Simon to the pieman, "Let me taste your fare." Says the pieman to Simple Simon, "Show me first your penny." Says Simple Simon to the pieman, "Indeed, I have not any."

Father Christmas: So you did not get the pie? My boy, let it be a lesson to you that in this world nobody can have something for nothing.

Polly Flinders (sobbing): I don't look fit to come to a party, Father Christmas, for I burnt my best dress sitting among the cinders. Please excuse me this time, and let me stay, though I have no gift.

Father Christmas: Certainly, my dear, certainly.

Mother Goose (severely}: You are entirely too indulgent, Father Christmas! Polly Flinders, who sat among the cinders, ought to have stayed at home. (Polly begins to cry.)

Father Christmas: Oh, we must overlook her appearance this time, Mother Goose. Christmas is no time for tears. Go back among your brothers and sisters. Polly. Mother Goose and I will let you stay, but don't sit again among the cinders, Polly Flinders!

(Sound of singing outside. Children of All Nations enter, waving: flags. At the conclusion of their song they stand in a semi-circle behind Father Christmas and Mother Goose.)


SONG OF ALL NATIONS.

Dear Father Christmas, you we greet,
Tra la la, tra la la,
And Mother Goose, his friend so meet,
Tra la la, la la.
From every nation on the earth
We hail you both with Christmas mirth.

Chorus. Merry, merry Christmas, all.
Christmas gay, happy day!
Merry, merry Christmas, all!
Merry Christmas day!


(Pointing to Mother Goose and Father Christmas.)

"The Children's Friends" their name is known,
Tra la la, tra la la;
Oh, long may they that title own,
Tra la la, la la.
Wherever in the whole wide world
The flag of childhood is unfurled. Cho.


(Taking places.)

Above our two most loving friends,
Tra la la, tra la la,
The banner of each nation bends,
Tra la la, la la.
Hurrah for Father Christmas dear!
And also Mother Goose we'll cheer! Cho.


(Enter Thanksgiving, carrying a basket of fruit, and accompanied by her children, Peace and Plenty.)

Father Christmas: Why, here's my dear niece Thanksgiving, with her two fine youngsters, Peace and Plenty! Thanksgiving, my dear, permit me to present you to Mother Goose, her son Jack, and all the rest of her family. (Mutual recognitions.} Also, to the Children of All Nations. (Bows.)

Thanksgiving:

With Peace and with Plenty, my children, I bring
To good Father Christmas our small offering.


(Presents basket.)

Peace and Plenty (together):

Long live Father Christmas and Mother Goose, too!
Their fame is world-wide, and their friends not a few.


(Thanksgiving, Peace, and Plenty now take places near Father Christmas, while Happy New Year enters, carrying a bunch of keys. She is accompanied by two children, Hope and Good Resolutions.)

Father Christmas (rising to greet her): My dear daughter Happy New Year, we are glad to see you, with Hope and Good Resolutions looking so bright and well. Permit me to introduce my guests. (Mutual recognitions.)

Happy New Year:

With Good Resolutions quite close to my side,
And sweet little Hope with me whate'er betide,
I bring Father Christmas the bright golden keys
That will open my door '98 with ease.


Hope and Good Resolutions (together): Good cheer, Mother Goose! Father Christmas, good cheer! We wish each and all of you happy New Year!

(Happy New Year and her children group themselves next to Thanksgiving. Enter Santa Claus, bustling about and shaking hands with everybody while speaking.)

Santa Claus:

What ho, Father Christmas! What ho, Mother Goose!
At last from my Christmas-eve duties I'm loose.
Not a stocking from north pole to south but I've filled,
Books, candies, and toys by each mantlepiece spilled.
My pack is quite empty, my reindeer done out,
But on Christmas morning there'll be such a shout
From the east to the west, from the south to the north,
When their gifts from their stockings the children pull forth,
That it's worth all my trouble—that hearty good cheer,
"Hurrah! In the night Santa Claus has been here!"
But, folks, I am hungry, I freely confess,
So on to the dining-room now I will press.
Roast turkey and cranberry sauce and mince pie
Are there on the table, I saw passing by.


Father Christmas:

Now Santa has come, let the banquet be shared
That for our reunion I've ordered prepared.
To the diningroom we will adjourn, Mother Goose;
(Takes her arm)
Come, all the rest, follow - I'll take no excuse.
Santa Claus, lead Thanksgiving; Jack, Happy New Year;
Away now, my friends, to our good Christmas cheer!


(All go out, two by two, singing the following stanza to the air of "Upidee.")

All together:

Come to the Christmas feast so gay,
Tra la la, tra la la;
Good Father Christmas leads the way,
Tra la la, la la.
Come, children, he'll "take no excuse;"
Come, follow him and Mother Goose.

Merry, merry Christmas, all!
Christmas gay, happy day!
Merry, merry Christmas, all,
Merry Christmas day.
 

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