Christmas in ‘Nam: An Alternative Pageant Narrative
The Christmas Pageant play is a staple in churches around the world. While the second greatest story ever told (naturally deferring to the original Star Wars trilogy) certainly deserves such widespread attention, I thought a modern update might be appropriate for children to perform this Christmas. Enjoy!
Narrator: December 24th, 1974. Joseph, an American journalist, leads Mary, a pregnant nurse, away from the swamps of Saigon, where U.S. forces are under siege from the Viet Cong. Mary fled her company once for fear of punishment and for the safety of her unborn child and found Joseph, whose anti-war sentiments lead him to be cast away from the company he was covering. Fearing the birth is nearing, Mary and Joseph trudge through the swamps in search of shelter.
Mary: Joseph, it’s dangerous here. Are you sure you know where you’re going?
Joseph: Yes, we trudged through this area a couple of weeks ago. I remember it vividly. There’s an abandoned camp somewhere around here. We should be able to find shelter and maybe a MRE if we’re lucky. Those things last forever you know.
Mary: And what if we’re captured?
Joseph: What would the enemy want with a reporter and a pregnant nurse? It’s the Americans we should be worried about. They’ll spin this somehow. Say I knocked you up and hang me.
Mary: Oh Joseph, you can’t think like that. You’ll be a hero when we get home. Everyone will know it.
Joseph: Yea that’ll be the day. Look, up ahead. A tent. Maybe someone will help.
Joseph approaches the tent. An old Vietnamese man appears.
Joseph: Excuse me. My wife and I are traveling and need shelter for the night. Is there room in your tent for us?
Old Man: No. No room.
Joseph: Please, she’s pregnant. I’ll help you forage for food and firewood. Just let us stay.
Old man pulls out a gun
Old Man: I said no room. Go away American scum.
Mary: What did he say?
Joseph: He said he was having people over to watch M*A*S*H later and doesn’t have any room for us.
Mary: Oh dear. I don’t think I can go on much longer.
Joseph: We’ll find something Mary. I know we will.
Joseph and Mary walk for a few steps until they see a makeshift campsite.
Mary: Joseph, I think I see something up ahead. It looks like a campsite of sorts.
Joseph: It looks too disorganized to be the work of the army. Unless something happened. I don’t like the looks of it.
Mary: We have to try. The baby is coming soon. I have a good feeling about it.
They approach the campsite. An army officer appears from a tent.
Soldier: Civilians? What are you doing out here? It’s dangerous.
Joseph: Please, my wife is pregnant and we need shelter. Do you have any room in your tent?
Solider: This is a warzone. The Viet Cong could show up at any moment. An outpost is no place for a pregnant woman.
Joseph: We have nowhere else to go. Please. We’re tired and hungry.
Soldier: Well all right. There’s room under the tarp for two more. It’s not much, but it’ll keep you dry.
Narrator: Mary gave birth in the middle of the night to a baby boy. Joseph, the soldiers, and various wildlife gathered to celebrate the joyous occasion. Danger lurked as the Vietcong approached.
Scout: Sir. The enemy is approaching.
Soldier: Load up men. Let’s do what God put us here to do. Wait until they’re out of the swamp.
Splashes in the swamp are heard as the Vietcong approach
Solider: Fire on my mark.
The Vietcong cry out
Angel: Don’t shoot. I bring you tidings of great joy. The boy that was born here tonight, the baby to be known as Jesus. He is the savior that will end this war and all wars after it. Lay down your weapons and share the good news.
Solider: We must go to command and tell them what we have seen.
The Vietcong nod in agreement. A rustling in the bush is heard. Three men appear.
Red Cross Volunteers: Don’t worry. The Angel guided us to you. We bring the gifts of Playboy magazines, MREs, and toilet paper.
Mary: Hosanna in the highest!
The cast sings, “Light my Fire” by The Doors