The Best Christmas Gift

Introduction

An adaptation of “The Best Christmas Gift,” a Christmas story about a little cat named Boris who gets so caught up in all the holiday excitement that he forgets to get a Christmas gift for his parents. Noel, an angel, helps him understand that the best Christmas gift is always love. A very special Christmas play for kids of all ages.

 

The Best Christmas Gift
Story by Harrison Woodard
Adapted for stage (with permission) by: Jennifer M. Snowman

CHARACTERS

Boris:
Noel:
Gideon:
Donkey:
Sheep:
Geese: (2 characters)
Dogs: (2 characters)
Puppies: several young children
Camels: (3 characters)
Songbirds: (2 characters)
Cart Pony:
Boy:
Girls: (2 characters)
Mary:
Joseph:
Mom:

SET

Stage is divided into three sections. To the far right a living room is set up with a rocking chair, decorated tree with presents underneath, and a small table with a nativity (this must be to the left of the living room scene). The center of the stage is set up as a nativity stable (using VBS marketplace setting, with a curtain running behind to the floor leaving a small backstage area). The far left is set up as a bedroom with thick plush blankets and pillows.

 

Act I

Scene 1

Scene opens with Boris, boy and girls playfully talking and laughing, occasionally poking at the presents under the tree. Boris is weaving in between the children and batting at tissue paper wrappings and ornaments.

Mom: (from offstage) Children! It’s really late! We have a long day tomorrow, after all it’s Christmas! Come to bed.

Kids: Ok Mom we’re coming. Good night Boris, Merry Christmas! Girl 1 then helps Boy and Girl 2 backstage after everyone says goodnight to Boris

As children are leaving, Boris looks after them and meows.

 

Scene 2

Boris: I just love Christmas time! The lights, the tree, the decorations, oh and best of all…the gifts on Christmas morning!! He walks over to the tree and paws some gifts. All of the gifts are so beautiful, but I think mine are definitely the best!! Purrrrr. As Boris continues to paw the gifts he pauses, sits up and realizes Oh how could I? I can’t believe this…and on Christmas Eve too! Oh what am I going to do? The children all chose special gifts for me, but I forgot to get them anything. Oh what am I going to do, and at this time of night…frustrated, Boris looks toward the nativity. I see sheep, the donkey, camels, geese, the work pony, even dogs and some songbirds, but no cats. Boris takes another close look and shakes his head. There are definitely no cats in this first Christmas scene.

At this time, someone flashes the lights in the sanctuary on and off really fast (like a strobe) while this is happening Noel removes the angel from the nativity and comes to stand beside it.

Noel: Is something bothering you, kind Boris?

Boris: Whoa, where did you come from?

Noel: I’m an angel sent to help you!

Boris: Well, it’s just that my family is so wonderful. They take care of me and love me. They give me anything I could want or need. They have even given me gifts under this Christmas tree. I have not even remembered to get them anything for Christmas. Could you help me find a gift for them even as late as this?

Noel: Boris, I will help you, but first let me tell you a story about another cat. A cat named Gideon and how he celebrated his most special Christmas. The very first Christmas.

 

Act II

Scene 1

Scene opens with the main focus on nativity scene with characters showing small movement appropriate to their character. Perhaps some soft animal sounds. Noel and Boris are standing to the right side of the nativity scene watching. Boris occasionally licks his paws during scene. Geese begin the dialogue. Gideon is watching scene nervously from the left side of the scene. He is shy, but still wants to know what excitement is going on. He occasionally shivers and acts like he is cold.

Goose 1: Well dearie, I’ve never seen such a night in all my years.

Goose 2: A human baby born in our stable. And there’s talk that He is the chosen One we’ve been waiting for all these years!

Sheep: It’s true! I’ve just seen angels singing of the Savior’s birth!! I just had to come here and see for myself and give Him my gift!

Goose 1: Aye now, that’s the ticket. We humble animals in the presence of the King!!

Goose 2: and even we have gifts to give the babe. It’s a miracle it is!

Cart Pony: We certainly have been blessed here tonight. I’ve been around a long long time and have never seen anything as wonderful as this birth of the baby. What were they calling Him again?

Dog 2: Jesus. They called Him Jesus.

Dogs: grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Dog 1: Do you smell that?

Puppies: cat cat cat cat cat cat cat

Gideon comes around into the stable.

Gideon: Please don’t bite. It’s so cold outside and I just feel as if there is something special about this place. I, I’m Gideon.

Songbird 1: (rudely) You mean he doesn’t know??

Songbird 2: I thought EVERYONE had heard by now.

Gideon: What? What’s going on? I don’t understand.

Songbird 1: (condescendingly) Well, you’re just a simple cat. How would you understand?

Cart Pony: (kindly) Hold on now, maybe he really doesn’t know.

Goose 1: The Savior that everyone has been waiting for has come and believe it or not..

Goose 2: He was born in this very stable!! It’s a miracle it is!

Gideon: Wow, that is a miracle!! I knew something was wonderful and even holy about this stable tonight!

Donkey: What of it?? We all earned our place in this hallowed stable tonight.

Camel 2: Here, here

Camel 1: He’s right you know. Each one of us has given something of ourselves to the Holy baby.

Camel 2: You’re just a simple cat.

Camel 1: What do you have to give?

Gideon: Oh well, I guess I don’t know if I have anything to give. What did all of you give?

Songbirds: la la la la la la la. We’ll go first if you please. Soft grunts from some of the animals.

Songbird 2: (sings) Yes yes yes yes

Songbird 1: Our songs comforted the lovely mother Mary.

Songbird 2: Yes, and as soon as the tiny babe was born, we flew to tell all of our forest friends the blessed news.

Songbird 1: Perhaps you’d like to hear our song?

Gideon: Well, I…

Songbird 2: We thought so

Music starts immediately before anyone can protest. Songbirds sing “Heaven’s Child”

Goose 1: Well since our gift was most luxurious I think we’ll go next.

Goose 2: Yes, yes quite so. Nothing is so sweet as a goose down pillow.

Goose 1: Yes, yes quite quite.

Goose 2: It’s a miracle it is.

Cart Pony: Much use your down pillows would be without the beds of straw. Why only yesterday our human knew we would have many visitors what with the census happening. He took me straight to the field to pull the cart with the very hay that our wee Master lays in as we speak.

Sheep: I gave my thick warm wool for Jesus’ blankets. Babies have to stay warm.

Dog 1: grrrrrrrrrrrr We stand watch over the little baby. Since he is a young king many people could want to hurt Him while he is still little. We warn Mary and Joseph of any oncoming danger.

Dogs: woof woof woof woof woof woof woof

Camel 1: We camels have given the best gift to Jesus. We have traveled for many many miles.

Camel 3: Yes our humans studied the stars. They are wise men who followed the star above this place to find this newborn King.

Camel 2: We carried gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Camel 1: Very special gifts for the holy baby.

Donkey: Well, none of you would be here if I had not carried Jesus’ mother Mary on my back for the long journey from Nazareth to this blessed city of Bethlehem. (rubs his back like it’s sore)

Gideon: Wow. After hearing of all those wonderful gifts I don’t know what I could give. I guess I am just a simple, silly, good for nothing cat. Gideon shyly walks toward Mary, Joseph and the baby. He looks down in shame for having nothing to give.

Song: Girl 1 comes out to living room set to sing “Who would imagine a King?”

 

Scene 2

Gideon: (in embarrassment) I’m sorry Ms. Mary, but I don’t have anything to give. I’m just a simple, silly cat.

Mary: Oh Gideon, you have already given the best gift.

Joseph: Yes, you have given Jesus your love. What greater gift could you give?

Gideon: (disappointed) I do very much love Jesus, but I still wish I could give something more.

Mary: Well, Jesus is getting a little restless. Gideon, come here. (Gideon comes next to the baby)

Gideon: But, but I don’t understand.

Joseph: I think you’ll know just what to do.

Gideon timidly curls up next to Jesus, and after a moment slowly begins to purr.

Scene ends with cast becoming still again as Noel’s story ends.

 

Act III

Scene 1

On left side of stage (bedroom) kids are in bed (but not moving or talking) just waiting for scene 2. On right side of stage (living room) Noel and Boris are talking.

Noel: So you see Boris, Gideon, gave a gift of his love. It was beautiful and exactly what Jesus needed. No one else could take Gideon’s place. Gideon’s gift was a lot like God’s greatest gift itself! God gave us His only Son Jesus for His love of us. The Son that would die on a cross to take the blame for our sins so that someday, if we accept His sacrifice, we could be forgiven and spend an eternity with our God and Savior! That’s why we give gifts at Christmas time.

Boris: (excitedly) Yes, yes, I know exactly what I will do now!! Thank you Noel, for everything! And Merry Christmas!

Noel: Merry Christmas to you to Boris!!

Noel steps back quietly and replaces angel on nativity in living room. Boris goes behind curtain.

 

Scene 2

Scene emphasis is on the bedroom. Kids are snuggled in the bed, but sitting up propped up by a lot of pillows. Mom is kneeling beside the blankets (left side). Kids each pray a quick goodnight prayer then Mom kisses each on the head as she walks behind them to exit the scene.

Mom: Goodnight children, merry Christmas!

Kids: Goodnight, Mom! We love you! Merry Christmas!

Boris enters from behind curtain. He comes in shyly and snuggles at the foot of the bed. Once he is in place he begins purring.

Boy: (who is in the middle) sits up and reaches down and pets Boris. Goodnight, Boris.

Boris: purrs.

 

THE END

PROPS

Christmas tree with decorations
Presents for under the tree
Ball of yarn (BIG)
Manger/basket
Lots of big fluffy pillows
Big fluffy comforter
Baby to be Jesus with swaddling
Stuffed animals/dolls for the kids
Rocking chair
Small table
Nativity set

SET

Wood frame set up from VBS market place in center stage with curtain hanging down to the floor behind to create a small backstage area. Wood fireplace if we still have it for the nativity.

COSTUMES

Kids: pajamas and socks
Mom: whatever
Boris: black pants, black shirt (with no markings) some kind of black tail, black mittens, black socks, ears
Gideon: cat colored matching pants and shirt (brown maybe?) brown socks brown mittens, tail, ears. Gideon needs to look a little scruffy, after all he is a stray
Noel: all white
Donkey: Gray pants and shirt, tail, donkey ears, black socks and mittens
Sheep: white pants and shirt white socks and mittens, sheep ears
Geese: white pants and shirt or dress or skirt. Orange tights/socks white mittens, pinafore or apron, maybe a shawl, old fashioned type bonnets.
Dogs/Puppies: any dog colored pants or shirts with matching mittens and socks, tails, puppy ears. These dogs are barn mutts and don’t need to match
Camels: Brown pants and shirts, brown socks/mittens, colorful vests for saddles (or maybe just put them in robes that we already have earth tones).
Songbirds: These ladies have to be decked out. They do not need to match each other. Lots of sparkle costume jewelry, dresses. They are birds they NEED feather boas.
Cart Pony: Any matching horse type color pants and shirt black socks and mittens, tail, ears
Mary: Bible time robe, sandals, (maybe a sash for head?)
Joseph: Bible time robe, sandals 

 

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© Harrison Woodard Illustrations © Donna Rosin All rights reserved. No reproduction or retransmission by any means allowed without the express written consent of the author and illustrator. See Legal Info for details.

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