Full or Thankful?
by Betty Jo Mathis
A Thanksgiving lesson in contrasts. See Thanksgiving through the eyes of
a hurried, harried family - then through the eyes of a poor but grateful
Scene # 1:
Teen (boy if possible)
Girl (8-10 if possible)
Boy (9-11 is possible)
Poorly dressed man
GIRL: Hey, Grampa and Gramma are here.
TEEN: Well, it's about time! Can we eat now?
DAD: Well, go to the door! Don't just let 'em stand out there in the
GIRL: Hi, Grampa and Gramma.
GRANDPARENTS: (Unison) Hi everyone. It's good to see you.
DAD: Here, Sis, take your Gramma's coat. (Girl takes the coat, but
GRAMPA: Well, pick it up kid! Don't let that new fur coat drag on the
BOY: You got a new car, Grampa? Man that's a doozey!
DAD: How much did pay for that, Dad?
GRAMPA: Plenty! Gold caddies don't come cheap.
GRAMMA: Oh yes! That's why we're late. He didn't want to drive over
per hour -- afraid he'd get something on his new car! I thought we'd
never get here!
BOY: How soon are we gonna eat?
MOM: We're nearly ready. Gramma brought the rolls and everything is
GRAMMA: I sure hope these rolls are better than the last ones I bought.
GRAMPA: I told you not to get them at that new delicatessen.
MOM: We can set the turkey here. Put the gravy there by the potatoes
(To TEEN) Quit picking at the salad.
TEEN: Well, I'm hungry!
MOM: Let's sit down. If I forgot something I can get it later.
DAD: Knowing you, you forgot something.
GRAMPA: Let's hurry. Don't want to miss the game.
TEEN: Hey, Ma, can I take my plate in the TV room?
MOM: No, we'll all eat together for once.
BOY: (Pounds plate with spoon) Hey, I wanna drum stick!
MOM: Would you please quit pounding on your plate. We're going to pray
before we eat.
BOY: Pray? How come?
GRAMMA: Because it's Thanksgiving and we should be thankful.
TEEN: Pray? That's a good one! Here let me get the drapes. I don't
want anyone watchin' ME pray.
MOM: Sit down!
TEEN: But Ma.
DAD: SIT DOWN!
MOM: Now, who wants to say grace?
GRAMPA: Grace! Now let's eat.
MOM: I'm serious! Now who wants to pray?
GIRL: Gramma can.
GRAMMA: Oh, no honey. Why don't you pray? That would be nice.
GIRL: Me? I don't know what to say.
GRAMMA: Just say what you hear your mama say when she talks to the
GIRL: Should I Mom?
MOM: Go ahead, dear. Let's bow our heads.
TEEN: Bow our heads? We all look like a bunch of geeks! (Everyone looks
the teen) Ah, all right, go ahead.
GRAMMA: Go ahead, Honey. Say a prayer. Say what you hear your Mama
GIRL: (Hesitates and the begins to pray) Oh Lord, why did I plan this
big Thanksgiving dinner when I was so exhausted? Amen.
MOM: That's not what I had in mind.
TEEN: C'mon, let's eat! Pass the potatoes!
BOY: Yuk, I hate dressing!
DAD: How come there aren't any oysters in the dressing?
MOM: They're just too expensive. This meal already ruined my budget
DAD: What do you know about budgets?
MOM: Well, you're not too hot when it comes to making ends meet either.
GRAMMA: Your Dad's the same way -- always griping about how I spend
GRAMPA: She seems to think it grows on trees. Pass the salt.
MOM: Anyone for cranberries.
GIRL: Yuk. Those things are gross.
GRAMPA: Man, these rolls are hard.
TEEN: Give 'em to the dog - he'll eat anything.
DAD: Say, have you eaten at the new steakhouse on fifth avenue?
GRAMPA: Went there last Sunday.
DAD: Got a steak so big, I couldn't eat it all. Had to bring it home
GRAMPA: That dog needs to go on a diet.
MOM: With my picky kids, Shep is the best fed dog in town.
BOY: Ma, I hate this stuff. Can I have a peanut butter sandwich?
TEEN: (Slides chair away from table) Later. I'm gonna go shoot
DAD: Aren't you gonna finish that chunk of ham?
TEEN: Nah, I'm full.
MOM: Don't you want any dessert?
TEEN: Whatcha got?
MOM: Pumpkin pie.
TEEN: (In disgust) You have got to be kidding? (Leaves stage)
GRAMPA: Awww, I ate too much. I gotta let out my belt.
GRAMMA: I sure hope you didn't spill any gravy on your new $40 tie.
BOY: (Pounds table) I want a peanut butter sandwich!!!
(Fade to black)
Background music of "Great is Thy Faithfulness". Poorly dressed man
enters with a loaf of bred and knife.
As he unwraps the bread from its napkin he slices it.
There is no turkey on my table, no pie upon my plate,
No rich gourmet for me today, for wealth is not my fate.
No fam'ly members come my way; they've projects of their own.
The house is still and silent now, but I am not alone. (Sits down)
Life is better, Scripture says, if You have blessed my life,
Than coffers full of silver, if they're mingled, Lord with strife.
Remind me Father, every day, that little's much with you;
The best is yet to come for me; so keep me staunch and true.
(Music blends into "Break Thou the Bread of Life" and third verse only
sung as a background solo as the old man continues a prayerful pose.)
(Fade to Black)
Copyright 2001 by Betty Jo Mathis
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