RJ Marshall is the modern Ebenezer Scrooge. He has time for his money but that's about it. There is a family. There is a church. But in RJ 's thinking, they are all put to his benefit, not the other way around.
RJ is joined by wife Emily, son Ronald Jr., secretary Nancy and Pastor Collins. We see a family and a friend of the past, including a former army companion, Al.
In this army scene, we explain why RJ has to walk with a slight limp.
from there to the past, present and future. No ghosts in this story, and for the one redeemed by Christ, the story presented to us will seem even more familiar than the Dickens classic.
Marshall Industries then, office of the founder and C.E. RJ Marshall. It's a very busy day towards the end of the Christmas season
(Note: History written in 1974, slightly revised in 2003)
The office of RJ Marshall. Many phones are ringing. People in the waiting room with secretary Nancy.
RJ: Nancy, will you come here! There are at least ten lighted lines, I can not do it all by myself!
Nancy: Sir, it's not like we're reading a magazine. We arrive at phone calls as quickly as possible.
Oh, and there is someone here in person who needs to see you.
RJ: Is not it ridiculous? A man earns some money, and everyone in town assumes that it belongs to the community.
Nancy: No need to take it into account, sir, I am sure that other companies are solicited. . It's Christmas. It's a happy moment. People want to give, they want to share.
RJ: Christmas! They want to give and share my money! Let them give and share theirs! Why do they have to come to me?
Nancy: You have been blessed, sir.
RJ: Please, do not talk about religion at the moment. ] Nancy: All I said was "blessed". You have been given and they sincerely believe that you want to share it.
RJ: Well, I really disagree with them. Authentic! There is nothing "authentic" about this holiday! This is only the excuse of all to give gifts that they can not afford to impress people that they do not like. It does not make sense, and it has always been.
Nancy : Still? It seems to me that you've already told me about a merry Christmas you had …
RJ: Oh, yes … this one … c & Was a long time ago, Nancy, and away from here. .. far in many ways …
The office scene is blackened and placed next to it appears. We are at Marshall House and RJ is now 9 years old. It's Christmas and the house is slightly decorated. There are other children, and under the tree there is a gift for every child.
Mother (Entering) : OK, children, gather around the tree about the first Christmas! (All except RJ appear and assemble as indicated.)
Mother: RJ … RJ!
Father: Out for a minute. He just started snowing … (The father is interrupted by the opening of the front door.RJ arrives accompanied by a smaller boy.)  Mother (rushing to RJ): Ronald! (She takes the smallest boy and lays him on the couch, as all gather.)
RJ (embracing his mother crying): in the snow , alone …
Father (looking out the window): Well, it's out of the question that someone comes to 20 miles in the country one night like this … especially on Christmas Eve … That means, the children (he begins to smile) that we have a special guest this Christmas. (children react with happiness)
Father (seeking the Bible): Well, let's have history (they all gather). You know, it's probably in a dark and lonely night that God has let his own Son be born. It seemed that he could be misplaced for a while. Born in a pile of hay, in a small village … almost nobody knew anything about him. But God knew. God had a special plan for this baby … and later there were kings who came and gave him gifts, when they found out how special he was. They gave him money and many other things that kings give.
RJ: And if you are not a king and want to give a gift to Jesus? Do you have to be rich? And does he go down and take the gift and make it disappear?
Father (laughing a little): No, not exactly. You see, Jesus said that when you give something to someone, it's as if you give it to him. He tries to make us love this way.
RJ: (hesitant, with increasing understanding): You mean, if I give my gift to our special guest, it would be like giving it to Jesus?
RJ (dramatically going to the tree, picking up his present and laying it at the feet of the little stranger)): Daddy, you know, it's the Christmas the more fun than I've ever had! Back to the office
RJ: Yeah, we all had a gift each at that time … and I gave mine to a little boy that I do not did not even know . (changes abruptly from nostalgic to official) Now, do not talk to me about these days … they left. It is today and it is a crazy world. The rich continue to enrich, the poor, the poor … I am just one of the rich.
Nancy: Are you right?
RJ: Yeah … well, I guess I started early … was forced to …
SCENE 3  RJ is a teenage girl in the same house we saw on stage 2. He begs his mother.
RJ: Come on, mom, all the kids are leaving! It's the annual Christmas party. It will not cost more than $ 5.00 each.
Mother: I know, RJ, but we can not extend the budget so far. When your father had his accident, we lost all our regular income. And even with my work, it's almost impossible to make ends meet. In addition, Christmas, Christmas is not only holidays, it is Jesus born in the world … and especially in our hearts.
RJ: I know, mom, but hey … we did not have to give ten percent of our income to the Lord, we could do some other things, like maybe even go at a Christmas party.
Mother: RJ! The Lord gives us everything we have. A tithe is the least we can give of our money. Some give a lot more. Do not forget the widow who gave EVERYTHING she had.
RJ: Yes, of course, mom. It's ok for widows. But there are no widows in our family. We are people who have things to do with our money. Or we would have things to do if the man in the sky did not eat 10% a week! (He goes out slamming the door behind him.)
Return to the Presidency
Nancy: So you started your own way to the glory and fortune?
RJ: Yeah … I left home as soon as I finished high school, I had a good job, I got am even married and I had a child … everything I had before 20 years old … so Uncle Sam said that he needed me and that I spent a Another ugly Christmas … in the war.
a reception room is held on Christmas Eve … the drinks are flowing … the men are having fun … all but one in the corner.
Al (approaching RJ): What's wrong with RJ?
RJ: Sorry. I have never loved Christmas … especially in an air-raid shelter, thousands of miles from my family, death in front of the door.
AL (drunk): you might as well eat, drink and be happy … tomorrow you will die (he laughs).
RJ: I KNOW that it's wrong, Al, but somehow I do not remember why …
AL: Oh, come on, RJ, grab a drink or something …
Voice loudspeaker) Now listen! Now, listen to that! The bombing against this area has been lifted. Report to your regular fire station. (repeated)
Al (suddenly sobering) : It does not look like anyone.
RJ move): So, do you know all the radio men in Asia?
Al: No, but there are only a few in this area …. You know, this thing could have been transmitted by the enemy.
RJ: Maybe, but who knows? I'm sure I will not stay here until I get rotten while you play "Name this advertiser". And then, you ate and drank, and you seemed very happy a minute ago … why wait until tomorrow to die?
Al: (He makes a weak salute.)
RJ (signaling the men to follow him in. They come out of the door and we hear beating Al and RJ come back … RJ is hurt and speaks with great pain) : Well, Al, that does not look right at all … you have fun, eat, drink … and I must die.
Al  (Examining) : You will not die … but you will not walk very well …
RJ: Eh Well, another wonderful Christmas this year .. My son has a worthless father, my wife has a disabled husband and my present is another ugly year to live … if they ever come out of here .
Al: could be worse, RJ.
RJ: Oh yes, Christmas could come every day …
back to the charge
Nancy: So, embittered by all your losses, when they finally took you out and sent you home, you launched an individual campaign against life.
RJ: That becomes pretty obvious, is not it? Yes, I had a few breaks and I started to move. It was difficult, but I did it. And nobody can take it away!
Nancy (looking up) : Nobody?
RJ: Agree, agree. I have never left this religion, you know. In fact, it's good to belong to a good-sized church. But Nancy, I learned that faith simply does not pay bills, does not advance you, does not give you the "good life". Yeah, I go to church, but I guess I have never felt so comfortable.
A religious service. RJ is sitting at the back, showing great annoyance. Suddenly, he is called to pray and do it like the ancient Pharisees.
RJ (coughing to cover the surprise): Lord, we thank you for this beautiful building, and these beautiful people. We thank you for not loving other members of this community, rioters, lazy, dirty … Thank you for our great wealth and especially, thank you that we were born in America free. Amen.
Pastor Collins (standing to convey a message to the assembled audience): Christmas is back with all its delights and traps. And tonight, I do not want to tell you about Christmas in Judea that night. You know this story well. I want to try to help you live Christmas today. Jesus repeatedly warned us to look for the visible things of life first, instead of letting us supply them. He promised to take care of our needs, if we seek INVISIBLE things. He told us to build our lives on him and not on the sands of material pleasures. He taught us that if we are willing to deny ourselves here, he has great things in store for us, but if we are unwilling to share our wealth now, the rewards of eternity will be closed to us. Listen to this cut from a major newspaper:
"John Elzy, Grand Eagle Department Storekeeper, did the tour last night.The body of a man was pushed under the counter. famine, and suffered several bruises and scars, obviously in the hands of other customers.It crawled under the counter, it seems, for protection.But the officials are unable to account for what seems to be nails in his The police are investigating. "
Now, just when we all realized that it was not really happening, we all realized that it was happening, and it happens every day. In our minds, we reject this precious Savior from our thoughts, our plans, our dreams … and then we wonder why life is so frustrating.
This year, do more than "keep Christ at Christmas." This year, keep Christ in you, all the rest will follow.
I end with another solemn warning: Jesus spoke of a man who had a savings account that would not be abandoned.He was secure.But God called him a fool because he had not made that first investment in the kingdom of heaven. (Hearing this, RJ is disgusted and leaving the church.) Let's Talk to God
O Lord, we are unworthy sinners, be merciful to us, thank you for sending Jesus because that's all we really need. (The congregation / the public sings, it has everything I need)
Back in the chair
Nancy: The man who wants to see you.It is your pastor.He spent all that time in the office outside.
(The following comments about the pastor are pronounced with a lightness of heart, but the underlying bitterness can not be hidden.)
RJ: Oh no, it's my money or my life. Send it. (As pastor Collins …) Hello, (he offers to sit down) What's bothering you today? hui?
Pastor: Well, actually, I have a little bit of a burden, RJ: it's you.
RJ: Oh, it's gone … I know I missed the three sermons and Sunday offerings, and you're here to deliver the six messages in person .
Pastor: Well, if you want …
RJ: I do not …
Pastor: D & # 39 okay, let's talk about you …
RJ: Interesting subject.
] Pastor: Who?
RJ: Oh, many people, especially at this time of the year.
Pastor: RJ, are you interesting to you?
RJ: Oh, come on, Pastor, say what you think. I had a difficult day. I do not want to be rude, but I am not in the mood for word games today. All day I have been on this phone talking to church leaders who want my money. Listen, if that is why you came, you can forget it as well.
Pastor: Sorry I caught you in this arrangement. But I had a contribution in mind.
RJ (Looking up) : You're laughing.
Pastor: No, the Lord wants a contribution from you, RJ. He wants your heart.
RJ: Ah laid off. I am a member in good standing. I tithe. I come when I can. Do not preach with me.
Pastor: I think you changed the subject. We speak of your heart. I do not want to offend you, RJ, but I think that the way you go, with all your emphasis on this life, can only bring you frustration here, and possible …
RJ: The hell? Is that what you came to tell me, Collins? Let me tell you. I've already gone through hell. I have never planned to go back there. If you came here to scare me a few dollars more, you just lost. I've known you for a long time, Collins, but you've never pulled one like that before. Why do not you go back to your sheltered temple and leave me frustrated?
Pastor (calm) : Agreement, RJ. But I will pray for you. In one way or another, you must know that not everyone is aware of your money (exit).
RJ (still hot, talking on the walls): I bet he'll pray. His church needs new carpets. He probably wants me to buy him a new building! And what business did he bring here like that, make statements about my life, my frustrations, what he knows all the same … surely no one told him about things at home …
The scene moves to Marshall's current home, a typical school morning. Emily is RJ's wife.
Emily: Ronald Junior, hurry up and get ready to go to school. Do not forget, mom is going to do the Christmas shopping today. RJ, are you still up? RJ!
RJ (slow entrance, wet towel on the head) : Do not scream, woman, I have ears. I also had a big hangover. (side) And a noisy woman.
Emily: Hmph! RJ, this bottle is going to be the end of you. And in the meantime, it will destroy this family. Ronald, HURRY! Where is this child?
RJ: Why is not he upright?
Emily: Oh, there was film last night … or 3.
RJ: 2 or 3, huh? This television is going to be the end of IT!
Emily: Ronald !!!
RJ: And this cry will be the end of your life! (shaking, but not threatening)
Emily (indifferent): Well, we're all going to finish all together. (Ronald finally appears and, while Emily and Emily leave 🙂 Go son.
RJ (shouting after them): You know, Emily, sometimes ..
Blackout. When the lights come back, RJ is sitting at a desk adding some numbers, Emily is hooking.
RJ: Emily! How much did you spend on Christmas presents? If this figure is correct, maybe I should create another apparel industry.
Emily: Ha! You're a little too old for that …
RJ (ignoring his comment) : Look at that! $ 300.00 for a bedspread, $ 25.00 for stockings, $ 1000.00 for a dress! What is it made of? Silk, with diamond buttons?
Emily: Oh, you always exaggerate. In any case I had it on sale. This is an original Gauvenchy.
RJ: Well, this price is just a bit too original for me.
Emily: But what will people think if we do not give them something nice?
RJ: They might think that we finally became honest with them.
Emily: You mean our friends do not deserve good gifts?
RJ: I mean, most of our friends are not worthy of the title "friends".
RJ: Do not "RJ" me. You know as well as I do that these people want our money.
Emily: Oh, I think you're sick!
RJ: I think I'll be sick if you keep going out and spending every dollar I make on insignificant gifts!
Emily: Oh, I'm sure that they make sense for someone. And anyway I do not spend all your money.
RJ: Yes, you leave me a small allowance. You are such a great person.
Emily: Thank you, my dear. By the way, when are we going to start decorating the trees and the yard? There are only 6 weeks left before Christmas.
RJ: Let's wait a bit this year. Energy crisis, you know.
Emily: Oh, that's it for the others – we are the MARSHALLS!
RJ (In his face) : We are the Marshalls, we are the Marshalls. Oh, so that's it. Let's go back to basics for a moment: I'm the Marshalls, you came for the ride.
EMILY (unshakeable, in his face) : Well, I must say that the ride has become very bumpy lately, Lord Marshall. And let me tell you something. I am a woman and I am proud of it. Things have changed, dear Master, women are no longer the slaves they were. Do not think for a minute that I could not do so well alone. So, if you look at me that way, you can just get another servant!
RJ: Why not, help is not expensive nowadays
at this time, Ronald Jr. appears from a hiding place behind the couch.
RJ and EMILY: RONALD!
Ronald back) : I always had to listen to the top. I thought I would have a closer view tonight. Well, I'll see you later. I go to church. I think the lesson of the group of young people tonight is about the respect of your parents … (exit)
back to function
RJ : Collins could not have known. Unless Emily calls her … or Ronald. But it does not really matter. I know what's going on. I have to live with her every day. I have to catch the stock report. (he goes to the radio)
Radio Preacher: Although you tried to run away from God, he is still after you. He loves you. He loves you. Whoever you are listening to today, God loves you. And oh, how God's love can be real at this time of year when even the hardest feel impelled to give, as God gave
RJ (hijacking the radio) : How in the world did I turn on a Christian radio station when I never listen to Christian radio? Someone try to tell me something? But I am not the "hardest of people". (He turns to the radio) And I do not feel "pushed to give" !!! I do not! Oh, look at me screaming on the radio. (He breaks.) Is there a way out of this prison? Could it be? Could life REALLY be meaningful? I wonder what it would be like …
When the lights come up, we are again in Marshall's house. Emily, noticeably softer, is on the phone.
Emily: Hello. Oh, hello darling … well … Ronnie just went back to school for the afternoon … yes, he's fine. Ron, this change made the difference. His notes are up. He does not even turn on that television, he's so involved in church. And you! Ron, I love you … I know you do it … This Jesus is not wonderful? … What? … You laugh … But the industry … It's wonderful … week! … Yes, Ron will start the winter break on Monday … Oh Ron, a full week of us, together … OK, see you tonight … (she kisses the phone.)
Back to the office
RJ: Is this possible? Could it be? Could I have the same joy of giving as me as a little boy? I almost have the impression that I could. And if this preacher is right, a change will now affect me even after I leave this world. (Black office areas, projectors on RJ only)
Off voice: Ronald, you have been faithful in many ways, I will make you dominate many. Enter the joys of your Lord.
RJ: But Lord, I am not worthy.
Voice: But Ronald, I am. And that day you gave me your heart, I started living at home. Come in.
Switches back. RJ seems to wake up.
RJ: Come in … Come … Come … Yes, I'll do it. Right here and now. O my God, bring me back, forgive me. Thank you Lord. (He begins to be very happy) Praise God! All is finished! The frustration is gone! Alleluia! So that's why they say Hallelujah!
Nancy (entering): Sir, are you all right?
RJ: ANY RIGHT? Never been higher in my life!
Nancy: Yes, sir, that's what I meant …
RJ: Do not worry, Nancy, I m not sick. I am alive. I am awake! You know, you started to think. I have only been an old Scrooge. But today, without all those ghosts that he had to cross, I was visited by my life as it was, as it is and as it was. ;she will.
Nancy: Praise the Lord!
RJ (starting to speak then showing his surprise): Nancy! You mean you are …
Nancy: Sure. Even a humble secretary can be in touch with God.
RJ: Ha! A humble secretary. Well from next week, you can count yourself $ 25.00 a week less humble.
Nancy: Why Mr. Marshall!
RJ (severely) : moreover! (Nancy is tense) Merry Christmas, Nancy.
Nancy: Thank you RJ. You too.
RJ : Nancy, call Emily, tell her I'm going home … and do not whisper a word about it.
Nancy: Good! (as she begins to call, RJ quits)
Again, the Marshall House
RJ  (opening the door, speaking roughly): Emily, I'm home. (He hides flowers and candy at the door on the outside As Emily appears 🙂 Dinner about?
Emily: Yes, I had the phone call. Merci pour l'avertissement. La prochaine fois, un peu plus en avance, s'il vous plaît.
RJ: Emily, vous demandez trop à un vieil homme. La prochaine chose, vous exigerez des fleurs et des bonbons chaque fois que je franchis le seuil.
Emily: Croyez-moi, je ne m'attendrai jamais à cela.
RJ ( avec prétendue colère) : Et pourquoi pas? (Tandis qu'elle regarde curieusement, il va à la porte et récupère des cadeaux.)
Emily (comme elle reçoit des cadeaux): Pourquoi, Ron, que c'est gentil… merci
RJ: Vous ne savez pas quoi dire, n'est-ce pas?
Emily: Eh bien, ça fait un moment.
RJ: Ce ne sera plus jamais si longtemps. Emily, Dieu est entré dans cet homme, et il est tout neuf à l'intérieur. Cette famille va être différente.
Emily: Vous savez, je vous crois.
Ronald Jr. (passant par): Oh, salut papa. 19659002] RJ: Bonjour, fils. Je-je ne sais pas comment vous dire à ce sujet, mais quelque chose est arrivé à votre vieil homme … en fait, il est un nouvel homme. J'étais au bureau aujourd'hui, et bien, j'ai prié …
Ronald (interrompant): Oh, vous voulez dire que vous avez été sauvé aujourd'hui? Eh bien, il est temps, papa. Nous avons prié pour vous à l'église depuis environ 2 mois maintenant. Toutes nos félicitations! (Ils s'étreignent)
RJ: Merci, fils. (À Emily) Dites, pourquoi ne pas surprendre la couronne de houx du pasteur Collins et nous présenter au service en milieu de semaine ce soir?
Emily: Je pourrai le prendre.
La scène s'ouvre à l'église, qui est vraiment le public. Le pasteur Collins dirige le groupe dans les chants de Noël. Les Marshalls entrent pendant ce temps. Collins montre ses émotions en voyant RJ et sa famille ensemble. À la fin de l'hymne …
Pasteur: Quelque chose me dit que ce serait le bon moment pour faire quelques témoignages.
RJ: Vous l'avez deviné, pasteur! (Toute la famille Marshall se lève et va devant la congrégation. Emily et Ronald sont de chaque côté, RJ parle 🙂 Je pense que cela semble étrange de me voir dans ce bâtiment un mercredi soir. Je n'ai jamais eu beaucoup de temps pour vous, sauf si vous aidiez mes affaires ou mon prestige. Eh bien, d'après ce que j'ai compris du bon livre, tout est derrière moi maintenant. Aujourd'hui, dans mon bureau, j'ai demandé à Dieu de me pardonner. Je veux que tu saches que quelque chose s'est passé. Je suis différent. (Saupoudré amen et louange au Seigneur)
Je pense que j'ai vraiment eu un mauvais pressentiment à propos de Noël. J'ai vu beaucoup de gens pousser et essayer de faire de bonnes affaires, même des chrétiens. Essayer d’impressionner les gens, et même pas connaître le meilleur cadeau qui ait jamais été donné. Eh bien, c'est mauvais, mais je n'ai pas à être comme ça, plus maintenant. Maintenant, Dieu m'a donné tout un paquet d'argent, et je veux que vous sachiez que j'ai l'intention de prier vraiment pour savoir quoi en faire. Pendant ce temps, je suis le gars le plus heureux qui soit, et je veux vous remercier, notre pasteur, ma famille, de m'avoir accompagné, de m'aimer. Et cette année, je vais laisser Jésus dicter mes projets de Noël, pas ma carte bancaire ni mes soi-disant amis. Jésus est celui dont tout se passe, alors je pense que He oughta sera en charge. J'ai assez dit. Peut-être y en a-t-il d'autres qui doivent faire des aveux ou des louanges. Thank you.
Collins: C'est une bonne idée, RJ … y en a-t-il d'autres? (À partir de là, le drame se transforme en véritable temps de témoignage. Il n'y a pas "d'appel de rideau" ou de fin officielle à la pièce.