Pastor ???: We have a special guest today. He asked me to give him a wake-up call. Here goes, wake up Mr Bear. Hmmm... Maybe I need more help to wake him up. Children, shout with me... wake up Mr Bear. Nope. Ok, everybody, wake up Mr Bear...
Huge yawn as if waking up. Enter from the hallway. Scratch myself and stretch arms, suppressed yawn.
Good morning everybody. What time is it?
Get watch from pocket and open it.
Seven days to Christmas. Good, I got up in time.
Go into kids room (or off stage) and take bag containing gifts. Go to front of stage.
Oh, hi kids. Isn't it a beautiful day? Are you going to celebrate Christmas?
Wait for response.
Do you know that we bears also celebrate Christmas in our own way? Yup, we sure do. How about I tell you the story as my paw told it to me?
A long time ago we bears used to live in a beautiful garden. There were all kinds of animals... we bears were nicest people around. The gardener of this place was called Adam and his wife's name was Eve. Things were going pretty good until the snake showed up. He tricked the gardener and his wife into doing something wrong. Well I tell you, God wasn't too pleased with them. God said he was going to fix things up but he first had to send them out of the garden. Well my great great grand paw, Beary, liked the gardener so much he took the whole family and moved out with him. It wasn't easy living outside of the garden but we knew that God would fix things up and make the whole world a garden some day.
Now my great grand paw, Hezekiah bear, was barely a prophet, yet everything he said eventually came true. He was on the Ark with Noah. He said that a miracle baby would be born in Bethlehem that will make things ok between God and the gardener's children... that's you and us bears... that's me. Yup, that baby was going to be God's gift to the whole world. That miracle baby will make everything all right.
One day my grand paw was out on the hills of Bethlehem watching the sheep sleeping in the pasture. Then an amazing thing happened. The sky got brighter and brighter and he heard some lovely singing and some angels showed up. They were so beautiful. My grand paw's eyes weren't too good but he thought they were covered in the most beautiful white fur he ever saw. They looked like very happy grizzly bears with wings. We sing a song about them: "Hark the Hairy angels sing glory to the new born king..." Well they told the shepherds who were guarding the sheep that the miracle baby was born in a stable. Well they got up and went to see the miracle baby and my grand paw followed them.
When my grand paw got there he peeked through the window and saw the most beautiful baby he ever saw lying in a feeding box. The baby's mom and dad were there with many other animals. When the shepherds saw the baby they began to laugh with joy because the miracle baby was born. It was such good news they left and told everyone they saw about God's gift being born. There was much happiness.
All of a sudden there was this light above my grand paw's head. He looked up. It was a star and boy, it sure did shine. He blinked and he blinked and he blinked. It shined so brightly that when he looked back into the stable he could barely see inside. He noticed that there were three others that were in the stable now. They might have been bears, maybe not, but they sure did look like they were smart... I think their names were Yogi, Smokey and Booboo. Each of them had a gift and they gave those gifts to the baby. Then they bowed down and worshipped the miracle baby... then they also left. We sing a song about them too: "We three bears of orient are, bearing gifts we traverse afar..."
Well my grand paw was very happy to see God's gift, the miracle baby, that when he went home he started a tradition. Yup, it was my grand paw that started Christmas, or so I was told. Every year, just after winter starts, my grand paw would celebrate that baby's birthday by giving three gifts to the poor. Why the poor? Because when you give a gift to the poor you give a gift to God. It is our way of saying thank you God for the miracle baby.
See this bag, it has the very same gifts we bears think were given to the baby when he was born.
Gold... en honey. Frank's... incense. Myrrh... tle's perfume.
I take it to a place I know the poor will get it, like this church. Yup, that's the spirit of Christmas, saying thanks to God for the miracle baby.
Place gift bag on stage or at tree or cross.
Yawn... There. now that is done. I guess it is time for me to go back to bed. I'll set my alarm to go off in spring. Perhaps I'll see you at a picnic. Well goodbye kids, it was fun talking with you...
Start to walk away, turn around...
bear: Oh by the way, Pastor ???... can you tell me the name of that miracle baby?
Pastor ???: Jesus
bear: And can you children tell me the name of that miracle baby?
Children should respond: Jesus
bear: Can everyone tell me the name of that miracle baby?
People should respond: Jesus
Yep, Jesus is the sweetest name I know.
Have a Bear-y Merry Christmas everyone.
Sing "And he's just the same, as his lovely name. turn around and leave, song trails off to a snore when off stage. That's the reason why I love him so. For Jesus is the sweetest name I know." zzzzz...
Note: If being performed with children seated in front of you they will interact right from the start. Be prepared to answer some of their question or respond to their comments. Not all of them of course or the play may never end... Kids : )
author: Joseph Raymond
first performance: 18 December 2005
at Crossfire Assembly
Hamilton Ontario, Canada