Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Very Unitarian Universalist Christmas

Fade In

INTERIOR HOME – EVENING

Father and two sons are decorating the Christmas tree. A fire is lit in the fireplace and Christmas music plays. The father has just finished putting the string of lights on tree and turns them on.

ALL
Yeah!

FATHER
Yeah, not bad if I do say so. Now that we have the tree up and with lights, we can put up the ornaments

Adam, the older son, takes ornaments out of a large box, and examines them, one at a time, then hands them, alternately to the younger son, his brother, Bryan, and to their father.

ADAM
Yeah! I want to put the angel on top.

BRYAN
No, you did it last year.

ADAM
Na-ha, you did!

BRYAN
No way! You did!

ADAM
How do you remember that?

BRYAN
You always get to put the angel up

ADAM
No, sometimes Dad does because he’s tallest, but anyway I called it first.

BRYAN
No fair!

FATHER
Guys, let’s just focus on the other ornaments and worry about the angel later

Silence. And the three go about putting ornaments on the tree. After a few moments, Bryan starts to talk.

BRYAN
Dad, who invented Christmas.

ADAM
The Christians.

BRYAN
Who’s that?

FATHER
Well, those are people who believe Jesus Christ is the son of God. And, well, part of God.

BRYAN
Do you believe that?

FATHER
I believe that Jesus was a great man who brought an important message about love to all of us.

ADAM
Like Ghandi or Martin Luther King?

FATHER
Sort of.

BRYAN
But why did they invent Christmas?

ADAM
[Sighs] Really? It’s the day he was born. It’s his birthday. Geesh.

BRYAN
Well I didn’t know.

FATHER
Adam, be nice. [To Bryan] Well, he is right. Christians believe that Christmas day is the day that Jesus was born. So we celebrate that day like a birthday.

BRYAN
Dad?

FATHER
Yes?

BRYAN
Dad, so, but, so why is his birthday such a big deal? I mean why can’t we have Christmas for other famous people?

ADAM
[Dramatically] Because Jesus was killed. [Points his fingers like a gun] Bang! Bang! Bang!

BRYAN
Really?

FATHER
Yes, it’s true, but, um, not with a gun. He was crucified. By the Romans a long time ago.

BRYAN
Why'd they do that?

FATHER
Well, basically, the Romans were afraid of Jesus. Jesus said a lot of things about love and peace that, believe it or not, made the Romans nervous. Many thought Jesus would challenge the Romans so they put him to death.

BRYAN
Oh.

ADAM
But because he was God it took him three whole days for the Romans to kill him.

FATHER
Well, he actually died that first day, but on the third day he rose from the dead and up to heaven. At least that is what Christians believe.

BRYAN
Wow! Really?

ADAM
Yeah, it’s totally true. Jesus rose up from the dead and became a Zombie.

BRYAN
Really? Dad is that true? Is Jesus really a Zombie?

FATHER
[exasperated] Yes it’s true. I mean no! What I mean is, Jesus is not a Zombie. But the Christians believe, well, that he is not a Zombie but that he did rise from the dead as a miracle. Anyway, that is the Easter story, not the Christmas story. We can talk about Easter in April.

Let’s get these ornaments up.

The three go back to decorating the tree. After a quiet moment the younger son starts with another question.

BRYAN
Dad? So, is Santa Claus also Jesus?

FATHER
No. Santa is different.

BRYAN
So, where did Santa come from?

ADAM
Santa is creepy!

BRYAN
What? Nuh-uh.

ADAM
Yeah-huh! Think about it. He is a stalker. What does the song say? He knows when your sleeping and when you are awake.

BRYAN
Really?

ADAM
Yeah. It’s totally true. It’s like he is following us around wherever we go. It’s weird.

FATHER
Adam, that’s about enough.

Bryan stops for a moment, takes the next ornament and stares at it. Father and Adam continue decorating.

BRYAN
Dad?

FATHER
Yes?

BRYAN
Dad, does that mean Santa can he see me when I get out of the shower?

Fade Out



Monday, December 16, 2013

Woolworth Madonna

I discovered this little gem in a book I recently checked out of the library:

Shopping in Woolworth's, in the turbulent days, we saw a little boy put his hand inquiringly on a ten-cent Christ child, part of a creche. "What is this?" he asked his mother, who had him by the hand. "C'mon, C'mon," replied the harassed woman, "you don't want that!" She dragged him grimly away - a Woolworth Madonna, her mind dark with gift-thoughts, following a star of her own devising.

E. B. White - Writings from the New Yorker 1927 - 1976. Editor: Rebecca M. Dale. Harper Collins Publishers 1990.