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  June 22, 2018
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Home > Holidays > Christmas > Plays and Skits > Christmas Pictures

Christmas Pictures

This set of pictures is suggested by Mrs. Kate Douglas Wiggin's story of The Birds Christmas Carol. Each picture should be preceded by descriptions from the book; these are indicated by the number of the page in the volume.

DIRECTIONS.—A good reader must be chosen, who can bring out the light and shade in the story—one who can make the listeners feel the pathos of Carol's brief, helpful existence and the contrasting homely humor of "the Ruggleses in the rear." A reading-desk and lamp must stand below the platform, and the audience-room be left in darkness. The reader will give the signal for the opening and closing of the curtains, pausing long enough for a full recognition of the scene. As a repetition of a tableau is often more successful than its initial effort, the performers should be on the alert, prepared to give a second view.

The characters in the story call for six young people to represent Mr. Bird, Mrs. Bird, the Grandmother, Physician, Mrs. Ruggles, and Uncle Jack, and fourteen children to take the parts of Donald, Hugh, Paul, Carol, Sarah Maud, Peoria, Cornelius, Elly, Kitty, Peter, Clem, Larry, Susan, and the boy singer.

The first hymn, "Carol, Brothers, Carol," is to be sung behind the curtains, just before they are drawn for the second picture. A harp, violin, and triangle would assist the piano in making an orchestral effect. A solo voice supplies the closing air, "My Ain Countree." The piano may be played very softly whenever the reader pauses and the tableaux are shown.

It is important that the arrangements for each scene be made in absolute quietness, with systematic forethought, else the attention of the listeners will be distracted from the reading.

If a Christmas tree for the entire school is to close the entertainment, it should be in readiness at the rear of the platform, concealed by a curtain. In the sixth picture the tree appears, to illustrate the story, and remains lighted through the evening.)


"They were consulting about it in the nursery." (in The Birds Christmas Carol )

In this scene the children's belongings are scattered about: small chairs, a cradle, toys, and picture-books. Mr. Bird stands in the center of the platform holding a large doll dressed in infant's robes. Grandma is seated near, and Uncle Jack, Donald, Paul, and Hugh are discussing a name for the baby. The Christmas hymn is heard after the curtains are drawn and before the


"A famous physician had visited them."

Mr. and Mrs. Bird and the doctor are seated around a library-table in earnest conference.


Carol's "Circulating Library."

Carol is lying in an easy-chair beside a case filled with books. The description of her room should be carried out on the stage as far as practicable.


"The children took their places."

The nine Ruggles children are seated in a row facing the audience. Mrs. Ruggles stands before them, giving instructions about their behavior at Carol's dinner party. The costumes must be fantastic, following the description in the story—green glass breastpin, the purple necktie, and much-braided hair.


"The feast being over," etc.

Carol's room is shown again. The Ruggles children are seated around Carol, with Mr. Bird and Mrs. Bird and Uncle Jack in the background.


"There stood the brilliantly lighted tree."

The same characters that appeared in the preceding scene are shown in attitudes of delight and astonishment as the second curtain is drawn aside to show the Christmas tree.


"Softly, Uncle Jack."

The library is shown again. Mr. and Mrs. Bird, Uncle Jack, Donald, Hugh, and Paul are grouped as if listening attentively. At the right of the platform a leaded-window effect is made with a slender wood frame covered with black gauze. Behind this stands a small boy in choir vestments, holding a music book and singing "My Ain Countree" to organ accompaniment.


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May Teaching Activities & Worksheets

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Armed Forces Thematic Unit - Armed Forces Day
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