2016Nov Angela
At the November General Meeting some groups displayed their work over the year. The Creative Writing Group presented a brief Christmas tale.


Any resemblance to real persons or events in the story, is purely coincidental.

The Christmas Play
By ©Angela Dold

Two members of the U3A Christmas Play Sub-Committee had differing opinions. Jean, its convenor, waited as they fought it out, but her patience was now hanging on with a thread.

“There’s only one reindeer, Peter.”

“No, Ken. There are two.!“ He looked over at Jean. "You said two, didn’’t you, Jean? Two reindeer?” In the play?

Before she could answer Ken interrupted. “No. Last week Jean said one. You did say one, didn’t you Jean? And you said I could be that reindeer.”

Jean sighed and wondered why she had been stupid enough to volunteer for.this.

“I don’t think I said that; and for your information Ken and Peter I haven’t chosen anybody yet or decided how many reindeer.”

They started to argue, this time with Jean, but just then another voice chimed in.

“You know, if the reindeer wore a really big red nose everyone would know it was Rudolph pulling the sleigh?”

This gem of illogical logic immediately stopped the discussion.

“But Rudolph isn’t pulling the sleigh,” Jean explained.

“Yes, I’m sure he is,” Liz said “You told me last week.

Jean wondered if a lookalike was going round handing out parts in the play. “No, sorry,Liz. Rudolph is only singing in the Finale. He doesn’t pull the sleigh.”

Liz was not giving in. “I’m sure you said Rudolph. Look I’ve made a beautiful red nose for him.

She produced half a tennis ball she’d painted red and threaded with elastic, and put It on her nose. Jean tried not to laugh, but it was impossible. Everyone at the table fell over laughing. Liz tried to say “It has to be big so the audience can see it,” but it stopped her opening her mouth and the words came out garbled. That created more laughter. Jean had to grab hold of the bell and shake it so hard the clapper nearly fell off.

It deafened everyone but it did stop the laughter.

“I’m sorry Liz. Rudolph does not pull the sleigh , and with regard to the number of reindeer, Cynthia, our very capable wardrobe mistress, is having a problem so we may have to cut them out altogether.…. Cynthia, would you explain?”

“Yes. I’m afraid the reindeer antlers won’t stand up. They keep drooping over. They’re not stiff enough. I can’t figure out how to make them stay up so if anyone can come up with a helpful suggestion, let me know.”

Jean could see David and the other men getting ready to make some not–so- helpful suggestions so she quickly continued, “I know you’ll work it out, Cyn. You’re a whizz at that sort of thing. Remember the Rugby World Cup Christmas party and the thing you did with the balls? They looked absolutely marvellous hanging down between the black and white balloons!”

Loud laughter again took over the meeting. Jean immediately knew she should have been more careful with her words. The bell clanged again.

She referred to the agenda. “What’s happening with the sleigh, Brian?”

“Well, someone has suggested I put wheels on a garden chair so Santa can be pulled across the stage ,by, perhaps, the hiking group.”

“The hiking group?” Jean knew the group went up and down mountains singing ‘I love to go a-wandering’, but pulling chairs with ropes across stages? They may have big muscles with all that walking and backpack carrying but Jean wasn’t convinced.

Brian wasn’t convinced, either. “The group might get lost in the bush or stuck up a mountain and can’t get home in time, so I’ve asked Alan if we can borrow his mother’s motorised wheelchair. I can cut out a cardboard sleigh. The chair will be hidden behind it, and our Santa would be able to drive it cross the stage, the reindeer galloping in front.

Jean could see one major problem. “Can Santa learn how to drive the chair so it doesn’t go careering across the stage at full speed and drag the reindeer with it?”

Ken sat straight up when heard the words ‘galloping’ and ‘dragged’ and his enthusiasm for the reindeer part in the play disappeared. He made a suggestion. “It’s Alan’s mother’s chair. She knows how to drive it. Perhaps she could dress up as Santa.”

“I’m sorry to say, Ken, but Alan’s mum can’t be trusted to drive straight. We don’t want her driving off the stage. It would ruin the play.” Jean failed to mention the possible injury to cast members and even the audience.”

She made an Executive Decision. “We’ll go with the motorised wheelchair and Alan can help his mum give Santa driving lessons.”

“Now. Last question. How much do we charge to see the play? I thought $10 and include a mince pie and cuppa afterwards.” She expected an argument, but the fight had gone out of them. They all nodded, started shuffling papers into folders, looking for car keys, eager to get home.

She ticked off the last item on the agenda. “Right. Anything else?

Vivienne had one last query.

“Have we got any not very tall members who could play the children?” “We can’t ask real children to play real children, can we?”

Jean closed her eyes and because it was Christmas, kindly asked the Lord for help.