Up the Chimney Christmas Play Third Scene
Up the Chimney Christmas Play - Third Scene
Written by: Shepherd Knapp
When the curtain opens you can see nothing at all at first, for the room is all dark, just as Mother left it, you remember, when she went out and took the light with her. But after a moment you can hear something—the sleighbells far away. Nearer and nearer they come; then there is a stamping sound on the roof; then a sort of scrambling sound in the place where you know the chimney is; and then Santa Claus, who by this time is crouching down in the fire-place, turns the light of his lantern into the room. He steps out carrying his pack, and then down the chimney come Jack and Polly.
Hush! says SANTA CLAUS, with his finger at his lips. Off to bed with you both! And don't you dare to open your eyes until the day-light comes. It won't be long.
On tiptoes Polly and Jack go out at the door. Then Santa Claus turns to his work. First he reads Polly's letter by the light of his lantern, and fills Polly's stocking and Mother's; then he reads Jack's letter and fills Jack's stocking and Father's; then he puts out the light so that the room is all dark again. You hear him climbing up the chimney, then there is a jingling of sleigh bells on the roof, which grows fainter and fainter, and then all is still once more.
After a little while you notice that you can see faintly through the window at the back, because it is beginning to be daylight. Very, very slowly it grows brighter. Then the door, that Jack and Polly went out by, opens, and in come the two children in their wrappers.
Is it daylight now? asks JACK, but he is looking toward the fire-place instead of toward the window.
Yes, I think it is, says POLLY, and she is looking in the same direction.
Then they go on tiptoe to the door of the other room, where Father and Mother sleep; they open the door and shout:
Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!
Two rather sleepy voices, from MOTHER first and then from FATHER, answer: Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. And MOTHER continues, All right, children; we'll be there in a moment, as soon as we have put our wrappers on.
The children go over to the fire-place, and feel the lumpy stockings; and then in come Father and Mother in wrappers and nightcaps.
Oh, says FATHER, old Santa Claus hasn't forgotten us, has he? And candy canes are still in fashion, I see; I'm glad of that. Bring Mother her stocking, Polly; and Jack, get mine for me. We'll sit down and take our time about it.
No fair, Jack, cries POLLY. You're peeking into your stocking. I've only felt of mine.
But my thing is in a box, says JACK, so that I can't see anything anyway. Oh, let's begin quick.
All right, says FATHER, and ladies first. Mother, you lead off.
Shall I? says MOTHER, feeling her stocking. Oh, I know what this round thing is: it's an orange. No, it isn't either: it's a ball of knitting cotton. Just what I want, and the very kind I use. Now, Polly, it's your turn to see what is in the top of yours.
I'm sure I know what mine is, says POLLY, and then as she draws it out. Yes, it is: it's a doll.
Why, Polly, cries JACK, it's the very same doll that we—
Hush! says POLLY quickly. Yes, it's the very same kind of a doll I asked for. See, Mother, she has a pink sash. Isn't she lovely?
Now, Jack, says FATHER, I think it is your turn next. What is in that box of yours? Slate pencils, probably.
Slate pencils! says JACK, indignantly. You know I didn't want slate pencils.
But are you sure you will get just what you want? asks FATHER.
Yes, indeed I am, answers JACK, pulling out the box and opening it, and there it is—a soldier. I knew it would be that, because I saw it when—
Hush! says POLLY quickly. Father, it is now your turn at last.
And I know all about mine, says FATHER. It is soft and squashy, so of course it's a sponge. Now why do you suppose Santa Claus brought me a sponge? for my old one is quite good enough.
But it isn't a sponge at all, cries JACK, who has been peeking into the little bundle.
Not a sponge? says FATHER. But what is it, then? He opens the paper. A pair of warm gloves, I declare—just what I need. Well, Santa Claus is a great old fellow, and no mistake.
Mother has been turning her head toward the window, as though she were listening to something, and now she says:
Hush! Is that singing that I hear, far away?
They all listen, and sure enough from some distance can be heard the sound of singing voices. The children, nodding their heads, show that they hear it.
What can it be? says MOTHER. Why, I know; it's the Christmas Waits, of course, singing carols from house to house.
Oh, I wish they would sing in our street, cries POLLY, and runs to the window. Then she exclaims, There they are: they are coming around the corner.
The others all go toward the window, and JACK says delightedly. One of them has a fiddle. Oh, I do hope they will stop here.
Then outside the window the Christmas Waits can be seen, all in warm caps and mittens and mufflers. They stop just in front of the window, hold up their music before them, and begin to sing the dear old carol, called:
THE CAROL OF CHRISTMAS MORNING
God rest you merry, gentlemen,
Let nothing you dismay.
Remember Christ our Saviour
Was born on Christmas Day.
When the carol is finished, POLLY and JACK and MOTHER and FATHER wave to the Waits, and cry, Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!
And the WAITS wave back and cry: Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!
And that is the end of the Play!
AFTER THE FINAL CURTAIN
If gifts or candies are to be distributed, Mother Goose may enter again immediately after the final curtain, and say something like this:
Well, my dear children, it is all over, and I hope it has pleased you. I heard you laugh once or twice, and that makes me think that you must have liked it. But there is one more thing to tell you, and this you are sure to like very much indeed.
You will remember that they had only looked at the first things, in the very top of their stockings. Well, after the curtain closed, they had time to look at what was left. And what do you suppose Father found in the bottom of his stocking, down in the very toe of it?
A little note from Santa Claus, telling him that if he would look into the fire-place he would find there some boxes of candy, one for every child in this audience: And sure enough, there they were: and if you will sit very still, the curtain will open again, and they will be brought out and given to you.
And so, my dears, as I bid you Good-night, I wish you all (or, I hope you have had) a very Merry Christmas and (wish you) a Happy New Year!