Happy Thanksgiving

By Joanne Miller

Summary

A daughter and her husband are preparing to celebrate Thanksgiving with her parents.  The daughter has also invited her Uncle Charlie, her motherís brother.  Her mother is not aware of this invitation.  The mother and her brother have not spoken for 7 years.  The daughter is hoping to bring about a reconciliation, however she has been unable to reach her uncle by phone to confirm that he will come.  The parents arrive and the daughter reveals that she wants to do something the family used to do.  Each person draws a name of someone else who is present and says something nice about that person.  Just as they are about to begin the doorbell rings and Uncle Charlie arrives.  There is a reconciliation, and then they all draw names again.

Characters

Mary Ė married daughter
Ron  - Maryís husband 
Judy Ė Maryís mother
Dave Ė Maryís father
Charlie Ė Judyís brother and Maryís uncle

Script

(Scene opens with Mary on the phone but talking to Ron who is in the room.)

Mary: Itís still just ringing.  I canít understand it.  Iíve tried for 5 days now to call him.

Ron: Mary, why donít you just forget it?  Youíve done all you can do.

Mary: (hangs up phone) I guess youíre right.  I really donít know what else to do.  I sent him an invitation with a note.  Iíve tried and tried to call him but Iíve never gotten an answer.  Do you think I have the right phone number?

Ron: Iím sure you do.  Youíve checked with information 3 times already.  Now listen, honey, it was a nice idea but it just didnít work out.  Letís have a good Thanksgiving with your folks.  OK?

Mary: OK.  I just wanted to get them together.  After all, 7 years of not speaking to your own brother is just far too long.

Ron: I agree, but your mother is the one who should be doing something about it, or your Uncle Charlie, not you.

Mary: I know.  Itís just that theyíre both so stubborn.  I figured if I could get them in the same room theyíd make up.

Ron: Maybe they wouldnít, though.  Maybe itís all for the best that you couldnít reach Uncle Charlie.

Mary: Maybe.  (Doorbell rings and Mary goes to the door)

Judy: Hi, Mary.  Happy Thanksgiving.  (Mary, Ron, Judy and Dave exchange greetings)

Ron: Oh, wow, look at that pie!  Iíll take that and put it in the kitchen.  Itís still warm and it smells delicious.

Judy: I hope it tastes delicious.
Dave: Talk about delicious.  I can smell that turkey.  That smells wonderful too.  I hope itís not too long until dinnertime.  Iím starving!

Mary: It shouldnít be too long, Dad.

Judy: Now, honey, donít pay any attention to your dad.  You know he can wait.

Dave: Iíve been waiting since last Thanksgiving!  And then the smell of that pie in the car as we drove over here was torture.  I wanted to stop and eat it on the way, but your mother wouldnít let me.

Mary: Iím glad for that.  I want some of it too!

(Ron returns from the kitchen.)

Ron: Can I get something for you to drink?  Coffee, soda?

Judy: Not for me thanks.  Iím saving my appetite for dinner.

Dave: Mary says it wonít be long, so Iíll wait too.

Mary: As a matter of fact everything is ready, but I wanted to do something before we ate.

Judy: Whatís that, sweetheart?

Mary: Mom, do you remember when Brian and I were little and we used to do the ďnamesĒ?

Judy: Of course I do.  Is that what you want to do now?

Ron: The ďnamesĒ?  What are you talking about?

Mary: When we were little, just before we ate Mom would put all of our names in a bowl and weíd each draw one.  If you got your own everyone had to put them all back and draw again until each of us had a name that was not our own.

Ron: Then what?

Dave: Then we each had to say something nice about the person whose name we had drawn.  It really got interesting when Brian or Mary got each otherís.  It can be hard to say something nice about your brother or sister when youíre little.

Judy: So you want to do that now, Mary?

Mary: Yes. (She brings a bowl with 4 slips of paper in it and they all draw one.)
Judy:  Who wants to go first? (Doorbell rings and Mary answers it)

Mary: Uncle Charlie!  You came!  Happy Thanksgiving! (She hugs him and draws him into the room)

Charlie: Happy Thanksgiving, Mary.  Happy Thanksgiving, Ron. (Shakes Ronís hand)  Happy Thanksgiving, Dave. (Shakes Daveís hand) (They should all take a bit of time to greet each other with Judy staying distant from the rest of them and finally Charlie approaches Judy)  Happy Thanksgiving, Judy. (Heís not sure what to do with Judy.  He canít shake her hand but is afraid to try to hug her.)

Judy:  Hello Charlie.  Itís been a long time.

Charlie: Yes, it has.  Itís been too long, Judy.

Judy: I believe youíre right Charlie. (They embrace, tentatively at first then with feeling.)

Charlie: Iím sorry, Judy.

Judy:  Iím sorry too, Charlie.  Happy Thanksgiving.

Mary: Uncle Charlie, sit down right here.  Ok, everyone has to give the names back.  I have another one right here.

Charlie: Are we doing what I think weíre doing?

Judy: Yes, Charlie.  You pick a name and then you have to say something nice about the person whose name you have.

Charlie: I remember this.  We used to do this as kids.

Judy:  Yes, and then my kids did it as children.  (Everyone picks a name)

Mary:  Who wants to go first?

Ron: I will.  I got your name Mary.  I just want to thank you for being the best wife a guy could ask for.  Youíre such a kind and caring person.  I must admit I wasnít too sure about this idea of a surprise reconciliation attempt but it was sheer genius, and Iím glad you didnít listen to me.

Mary: Thanks, honey.  Dad, I got your name.  Thanks for being the kind of dad a girl can always look up to and admire.  Iím very proud of you.

Dave: Thanks, Sweetheart.  Ron, I got your name.  Iíd just like to say that I wasnít too sure you were good enough for my daughter but youíve proven yourself by making her very happy, and Iím glad to have you in the family.

Ron:  Thanks, Dad.

Charlie: I guess you all know that I drew Judyís name.  I just want to say that for 7 years Iíve been foolish enough to let a little quarrel keep me from the most wonderful sister a little brother ever had.  If I could go back and change that I would but I canít, so I make a solemn pledge right here and now to never be so foolish again.  Judy, I remember all the little things you did for me when we were kids.  You used to tie my sneakers, and wipe my nose, and protect me from Butch, the neighborhood bully.  I remember the day I forgot my lunch and you shared yours with me at school.  I love you, Judy.

Judy: I love you too, Charlie.  Iíve missed you so much and all your funny little jokes that can just lift me out of a funk.  Iím so glad you came today and I, too, pledge to never let a misunderstanding come between us again.  Thank you, Mary, for giving me back my little brother.

Dave:  Can we eat now?

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Copyright John & Joanne Miller, all rights reserved.
This script may be performed free of charge, provided no charge is made for entrance or for programmes. In return, the authors would like to be notified of any performance. For further information regarding performance rights, they may be contacted at: NIJWMiller@aol.com.