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  December 09, 2023
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Mr. St. Nicholas

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Home > Holidays > Christmas > Plays and Skits > Mr. St. Nicholas

Mr. St. Nicholas

The characters are Old-fashioned Santa Claus, dressed in the traditional costume of fur, white beard, and a Christmas pack; Mr. St. Nicholas, in evening dress with silk hat; Dora, Katie, Maggie, and little Bess; Harry, Charlie, Tom, and John in ordinary school clothes.

The scene opens with a large fireplace arranged at the center of the platform, a dark curtain drawn before the opening to conceal Santa Claus. The accompaniment to "Nancy Lee" is heard, and the eight children march in, carrying their stockings.

Oh, Christmas time has come again,
Tra la la la, tra la la la;
We welcome it with glad refrain,
Tra la la la la la.

Of all the happy holidays this year
There's none so joyous, none so dear,
Then sing we all our song of festive glee,
Of Santa Claus and Christmas tree.

Chorus.—Oh, ring the bells, the merry Christmas bells, Their music all our pleasure tells. (Repeat, singing tra la la whenever necessary to give the rhythm. They pause in groups in center, right, and left; some sit, others stand, and change their positions during the dialogue)

Harry: Oh dear, the same old thing again this year, I suppose! "Hang up the baby's stocking, be sure you don't forget."

Charlie: This baby's stocking is the biggest bicycle hose I could buy. (Pins it at one side of the chimney.) I don't think old Santa could miss it if he tried.

Dora: I made mine to suit the occasion, for I hope Santa Claus will fit a zither into it. (Displays a large, fantastically shaped stocking of striking color, and fastens it beside Charlie's.)

Harry: You ought to take a prize, Dora, for designing the most—ahem!—unexpected-looking stocking. Generous sized, too! Here goes my contribution to the chimney. (Hangs up a sock.) It's big enough to hold a coin of gold that will buy me a new bicycle. I don't care for any knick-knacks.

Katie: I must confess that I'm rather tired of this old custom of hanging up our stockings on Christmas eve and crawling out of bed in the cold dawn to see what is in them. I wish some one would invent a new way.

Maggie: Just what I thought, Katie, last winter, though I never spoke of it. But if you've hung your stocking up, I must have mine there too. (Goes to chimney.)

John: Well, I refuse to fall in line this year. I'm tired of the whole plan. It seems absurd for an old chap to come tumbling down the fireplace and load up our stockings.

Tom: I agree with you, John! What we want is a new-fashioned Christmas. A real, up-to-date Santa Claus, and no more of this children's nonsense.

Bess: Not have Santa Claus any more? Isn't he coming to-night? (Cries.)

John: Oh yes, he'll remember you if you're a good little girl and stop crying. Dora, help Bess to fasten up her stocking.

(After the stocking is fixed, Bess faces the audience and recites.)

Bess:                  I do hope dear old Santa
Will come this way to-night,
And come here to my stocking,
To fill it nice and tight.

I'd like to watch and see him,
But I know I must wait
Till shines the Christmas sunshine
I hope he won't be late.

Tom: Let Bess have her old-fashioned Santa Claus, but the rest of us vote for something different.

Harry: I used to think Santa a pretty jolly old duffer, who made lots of sport for the infants, but I'm ready for a change myself.

Dora: Don't count me in to help out your majority; Santa Claus seems to me the kindly spirit of Christmas appearing mysteriously to give us greater pleasure.

Katie: Well, I'll side with the boys this time and see if there is any improvement in holiday matters.

Charlie: You'll think me a baby to stick to the old style. I won't venture an opinion at all.

Tom: Then we are agreed that of Santa Claus we have no need.

John: } Kate: } Tis what we all concede. Harry: } Maggie: }

(All sing to the tune of "Maryland, My Maryland.")

Old Santa Claus is such a bore,
Of him we've had too much and more;
Now what we want is something new,
But what is there for us to do?
A new St. Nick would be the thing,
Who would our Christmas presents bring.

(Electric bell sounds, the door opens, and Mr. St. Nicholas comes on the stage. He bows and takes off his hat.)

Mr. St. N.: Good evening, young people! I see you are at your old-time tricks of hanging up your stockings. This won't do. Don't you know it's gone out of fashion? (Goes toward fireplace; the boys rush to protect their property.)

John: Who are you, sir? And how dare you interfere with our fun?

Mr. St. N.: I am the new, up-to-the-times Santa Claus. My proper name is Mr. St. Nicholas. I am on my rounds to take the names of all the young people who deserve a remembrance at Christmas time. I haven't a moment to lose. My telephones are overburdened with messages, my men are distracted with the work to be done between now and daylight. (Pulls out a book and pencil and prepares to write while he addresses Tom and speaks rapidly without waiting for a reply.) Your name, young man? Your age, birthplace, parents' names? Residence? Attendant at what school? What specific tastes? List of last year's presents. Make haste, time is money.

Katie: But Santa—I mean Mr. St. Nicholas—here are our stockings.

Mr. St. N.: Christmas stockings! trash and nonsense. They belong to the dark ages.

Harry: Pray, how do you bestow your gifts?

Mr. St. N.: By district messenger service, of course! Next boy (to Charlie), give me your name, age, birthplace, parents' names, residence, school, specific tastes, last year's presents.

Charlie: How did you come here, Mr. St. Nicholas? I heard no sleigh-bells at the door.

Mr. St. N. (scornfully): More nonsense to explain. I came down from the north pole in an air-ship of the latest pattern. Come, now, here are these girls waiting to be classified. (To Dora.) Name, age—

Dora: I won't be put in statistics, even if it is Christmas and you are the patron saint.

Charlie: Nor I. I didn't vote for any improvements. Take them away.

John: You seem a trifle ahead of the age, Mr. St. Nicholas, or else we made a great mistake in being discontented with our old-fashioned Christmas.

Tom: Allow me to call down your air-ship.

(Mr. St. Nicholas is ushered to the door. The others turn back at the sound of sleigh-bells. Santa Claus appears at the fireplace.)

Children (greeting him with enthusiasm): Jolly old Saint Nicholas!

Santa Claus: Oh! ho! ha! ha! Are you really glad to see such an old-fashioned specimen as I am?

John: Indeed we are! We have just shown your usurper the door.

Bess (clasping S.C.'s hand): You are the real Santa Claus.

Santa Claus: Yes, I am the real Santa Claus, and I cannot get to work until you children are fast asleep. So scurry away as fast as you can, and a merry, merry Christmas when you awake!

Children (singing to the tune of "Nancy Lee," end at the end leaving the stage):

Oh! Christmas time has come again,
Tra la la la, tra la la la.
We welcome it with glad refrain,
Tra la la la la la.
Of all the happy holidays this year,
There's none so joyous, none so dear,
Then sing we all our song of festive glee,
Of Santa Claus and Christmas tree.

Chorus.—O ring the bells, the merry Christmas bells, Their music all out pleasure tells. (Repeat.)

(Santa Claus unpacks his goods, and as he fills the stockings he performs various antics, holds up the objects, and dances about. Any local expressions that will create amusement he can bring in with running commentaries. The piano is heard softly till he is through, and then bursts out loudly as the curtain is drawn.)



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