Christmas at the Mall


Theme: Christmas is most meaningful when you celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

Synopsis: Several mini-stories merge in this comedy where the characters present different perspectives on Christmas. Two sisters, two homeless women, two security guards and a married couple.

Running Time: 20-25 minutes

Setting: The Concourse at a Shopping Mall. Three benches form a U with a square, area rug in the middle. Some floor plants along with a Christmas tree with lights and decorations give it the feel of a living room. There’s also a small stage nearby with 4 microphones. A venue for entertainment.

John & Judy —Pass through shoppers that pantomime
Cathy —homeless woman who believes Christmas is about joy and sharing
Pam –Mischievous, homeless woman with a secret who believes Christmas is about spending it together with someone
Dave –goofy security guard that takes things literally
Jay —serious security guard who is all about control
Beth—happy go lucky shopper
Jenn—a get there shopper—Christmas is about surviving commercialism
A Capella quartet

CHRISTMAS MUSIC UP as JOHN and JUDY ENTER. As the music continues, they stop for a pantomime discussion about shopping. It’s clear Judy is looking forward to it and John dreads it. He pulls several credit cards from his wallet and fans them like a deck of cards for Judy. She carefully picks one card, but stops him as he begins to put the rest back. She grabs them and gives him her one card. She indicates it’s time to go and EXITS. John follows in reluctance, shoving his hands in his pockets with a sour look on his face.

MUSIC FADES OUT as JAY and DAVE ENTER. They’re dressed in khaki pants and dark shirts with the words SECURITY printed on the front.

Jay: The closer it is to Christmas the crazier things get around here. So stay on your toes.
(Dave starts walking on his toes.)
Jay: I was speaking figuratively.
Dave: Oh. (nods at the stage) What’s the stage for?
Jay pontificates and completely ignores Dave, who begins to fiddle with a mic on the stage.
Jay: Different groups come in and perform throughout the Christmas holidays. Touchy feely, holiday good cheer and all.
Dave: And you prefer Bah, Humbug.
Jay: Exactly. Makes our job hard because we’re constantly chasing away all the American Idol wannabes playing Karaoke. This mall would practically shut down if we didn’t look out for it. Yeah—
Dave: (hits mic) Testing, one two three…testing…testing—
(Jay grabs the mic out of his hand)
Jay: Would you put a sock in it?
(Dave sits on the bench and pulls off his shoe and sock. He holds the sock out, looking at it with distaste.)
Jay: I mean, shoppers are insane at Christmas. And they act like animals. Which turns this place into a zoo. But nothing’s going down on my watch. You see it’s all about control.
(Dave steels himself and begins to put the sock in his mouth. Jay grabs it from his hand at the last minute.)
Jay: I was speaking figuratively.
Dave: Probably time to put them in the wash.
Jay: You’ve been wearing the same pair all week. I’d say so.
Dave: Quite a few shoppers here already. It’s going to be a busy day.
Jay: Yes it is. So we better patrol the mall. I’ll start at the south end, you start at the north, and let’s work our way back and meet here at eleven hundred hours.
Dave: Right.
(He starts away but turns back towards, Jay puzzled.)
Jay: That’s eleven o’clock.
(Dave nods and turns to leave, then turns back with another question.)
Jay: A.M. And keep a look out for the rift raft. They all swarm in this time of year to get in out of the cold.
(Dave puts his hand like a visor over his eyes to mimic a look out.)
(Jay walks up close to him as Dave slowly and carefully scans around. Dave turns and ends up with his face right in Jay’s stomach. He slowly stands up with his hand still a visor. He carefully turns it and gives Jay a salute.)
Dave: You were speaking figuratively?
Jay: Yeah.
(Dave nods and leaves)
Jay: (shakes his head and EXITS) Good thing I didn’t tell him to keep his eyes peeled.

(The QUARTET enters, takes the stage and sings song #1 a Capella: JOY TO THE WORLD. They exit and Jenn and Beth enter)

Jenn: You have your list.
Beth: I have my list.
Jenn: It includes the names of everyone in our family—
(Beth carefully studies her list)
Beth: Looks like everyone.
Jenn: Next to each name I’ve written the gift they want—
Beth: The gift they want.
Jenn: And the store where you’ll find it.
Beth: The store.
Jenn: You got it?
Beth: Uh…maybe we should color code it?
Jenn: We’re not going to color code it. It’s simple enough. Name…gift…store.
Beth: Name…gift…store.
Jenn: Good. Say it again so you can lock it in your brain.
Beth: (Repeats it to get it down) Name…gift…store. Name…gift…store. (starts swaying to the rhythm.) Name…gift…store. Name…gift…store—
Jenn: Please don’t. Now…some gifts are sold at more than one store. So check at all of them and buy at the one that’s having a sale.
Beth: On sale…Let me write that down.
(She takes out a pen and writes.)
Beth: Sale. (spelling it) S.A.I.L…Is there a silent E on the end?
Jenn: I really do not get Christmas. It’s the same thing every year. Make a list…go to the mall…shop all day and—
Beth: Check it twice.
Jenn: What?
Beth: The list. (sings it) He’s making a list and checking it twice. Gonna find out who’s naughty or nice—
Jenn: Please don’t.
Beth: Sounds to me like you need a little Christmas spirit.
Jenn: No I don’t.
Beth: Yes you do.
Jenn: No I don’t.
Beth: How about a hug?
Jenn: No! I just…want to get this done okay? And I need a sister that can focus. It would be an extra bonus if she could spell. Just keep to the list and let’s get out of here as fast as possible.

(They EXIT and Pam and Cathy ENTER. They both look obviously homeless. Pam wears a bulky coat, knit hat, and thick glasses. Cathy also wears old clothes and pulls a wagon full of personal items.)

Cathy: The mall is full of shoppers at Christmas, so it’s a little easier to blend in with the crowd. And the security officers are usually busy with other things. But they’ll kick you out if they catch you. So I keep a low profile.
Pam: And how long have you been homeless?
Cathy: (shrugs) I’ve lost track. How about you?
Pam: Not long.
Cathy: (pulls out a rope) In that case, I’ll show you the ropes. Rule number one…
Pam: There are rules?
Cathy: Absolutely. And the most important rule at the mall is…security rules.
Pam: And the others?
Cathy: Just one…avoid security. The best way is to keep on the move and spot them before they spot you. But right now, my feet are killing me. I need to sit for a few minutes.

(They sit opposite one another on the benches as the QUARTET ENTERS and sings Silent Night. The quartet EXITS and John and Judy ENTER. John carries a large shopping bag in one hand and a smaller bag in the other. He and Judy sit opposite one another on the benches next to Cathy and Pam.)

Cathy: One of the perks of hanging at the mall during Christmas is they have some really nice shows.
Pam: That song has a great message to it. Jesus Christ…the savior is born. And because of him our lives can be changed.
Cathy: No offense, but I don’t see it from where I live.
Pam: What do you mean?
Cathy: Look, I come to this mall, Christmas after Christmas just to stay warm. The only ones who say anything to me are the security officers…and that’s “Get Out.” People come and put on their Christmas programs. They smile and sing beautiful songs… and when the mall closes, they go to their nice, warm homes and I go back to the street. So if you want me to believe in salvation…start with a warm bed. (nods in opposite direction) Security.
(Cathy and Pam quickly duck behind the bench where Judy sits as Dave ENTERS. He looks things over like he’s carefully inspecting, then satisfied, begins to sit on the bench. Pam places a whoopee cushion on the bench underneath him and he sits on it. Judy stands indignant. Dave stands to defend himself

Dave: That wasn’t me…I didn’t…
(Pam grabs the whoopee cushion and she and Cathy quickly EXIT laughing, as Dave fumbles for an explanation.)
Dave: I…uh…
(Judy motions for John to leave. John smiles and gives Dave a thumbs up as they EXIT and Jay ENTERS.)
Jay: Just got a rift raft report. This way.
(They EXIT as Jenn and Beth ENTER carrying shopping bags. They both sit, exhausted.)
Jenn: How are you doing so far?
Beth: Halfway there. I stopped by the book store to look for a family Bible for Mom. (She hands Jenn a Bible) What do you think?
Jenn: I think she’ll like it.
Beth: Reads a little funny though.
Jenn: What do you mean?
Beth: The begats.
(Jenn looks at her confused so Beth opens up to Matthew 1 and reads.)
Beth: Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas. And there’s this whole long list of names and begats.
Jenn: Oh, that’s because you have the King James.
Beth: No. It says right here…Holy Bible.
Jenn: The King James translation of the Holy Bible. And the first chapter of Matthew is a historical record. It lists the fathers and sons from Abraham down to Jesus.
Beth: And it’s a long list too.
Jenn: I know.
Beth: Which says those people were pretty busy. Shows you what happens when there’s no TV to watch.
Jenn: I don’t think you understand. Tracing the birth lineage of the Messiah is a very important part of the Christian faith. The first chapter of Matthew is about his genealogy.
Beth: Wow, that’s amazing!
Jenn: Yes it is.
Beth: I didn’t know he was a genie. (imitates a genie) You get 3 wishes, Master!
Jenn: Genealogy as in ancestry. You know, his heritage.
(Beth still doesn’t get it.)
Jenn: Let’s just finish shopping.
Beth: Good idea.
(They stand and collect their things.)
Jenn: You still got your list.
Beth: Still got my list. (starts to sing) And checking it—
(She stops at Jenn’s hard stare)
Jenn: Meet me back here when you’re done.
(They start to leave and Beth pauses)
Beth: Hey Jenn?
Jenn: What?
Beth: You know all that genealogy stuff?
Jenn: Yeah?
Beth: What if Jesus’ name wasn’t at the end of the list?
Jenn: Then I guess we wouldn’t be doing this Christmas shopping.
(They start to leave and Beth turns again)
Beth: Would that be a good thing or bad thing?
(Jenn reflects for a moment.)
Jenn: I’m not sure.
(Jenn and Beth exit and the Quartet enters and sings song #3—Man Can Live Forever More Because of Christmas Day. They exit.)

(Judy and John enter. John now carries several large shopping bags. He collapses tiredly on one of the benches. Judy rummages through a shopping bag and pulls out an ugly looking sweater. She insists that John put on. He does and mockingly puts his finger in his mouth to indicate “gagging” as she pulls something else from the bag and isn’t looking at him. He smiles at her when she wraps an ugly scarf around his neck but makes another face as she pulls something else out of the bag. It’s an ugly hat that she puts on his head and stands back to admire. She then indicates it’s time for them to go. He follows her with a look of beaten subjection.)

(Jay and Dave enter)

Jay: North end is clear. How’s the south look?
Dave: Had some teenagers goofing off on the escalators. So I gave them the boot.
Jay: I love doing that. And catching shoplifters? Now there’s a rush. And they’ll be coming out of the woodwork today so step lively.
(Jay turns his back and continues talking as Dave begins taking some high steps, slowly at first, but then with more gusto.)
Jay: Yes sir. This job is about vigilance…duty…and power. I especially love the power. Keeping order is all about giving orders. And spit and polish.
(Jay turns as a now skipping Dave is right behind him and hawks up to spit. Jay holds up his hand for him to stop.)
Jay: I was speaking figuratively.
(Dave takes a huge gulp as Jay glances at his watch.)
Jay: Time for lunch. Let’s grab a bite to eat.
Dave: Okay. But all of the sudden, I feel pretty full.
Jay: Well I’m hungry. And tuck your shirt in will you? You look like a bum.
(Cathy and Pam enter.)
Cathy: Thanks for lunch. It’s been long time since I’ve eaten INSIDE a restaurant. I’m used to digging through the dumpster out back.
Pam: Every now and then I like to splurge.
Cathy: I have three dollars left. You want to split an ice cream cone later?
Pam: You’ll share your last three dollars with me?
Cathy: Sure. That is what Christmas is supposed to be about, right? Hey, did you notice the way that place cleared when we sat down?
Pam: (points to her nose) Skip bathing for a few weeks…and nobody wants to nose you.
Cathy: I call it odor management.
Pam: So what are your plans for Christmas this year?
Cathy: Gee, let me check my schedule.
(She pulls a etch-a-sketch from the wagon, shakes it, and holds up the blank screen)
Cathy: Mine’s clear. How about you?
Pam: Oh I thought I’d get together with a few friends. You interested?
Cathy: Sure thing. My refrigerator box or yours? Mine’s a Westinghouse.
Pam: I think you’ll find mine a little more comfortable.