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Aunt Emily's Ornaments
by Kim Kovac (kimandfriends@yahoo.com)

Rated: G   Genre: Drama   User Review:

A lonely woman's solitary life is interrupted at Christmas time when a storm crashes into her kitchen. Soon the neighbors join together to help her though she is all too unwilling to be helped. Aunt Emily and her box of ornaments touch everyone's lives.

This screenplay is copyrighted to its author. All rights reserved. This screenplay may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of the author.



ELIZABETH (Age 25) walks down sidewalk, dark clouds are in
the distance. Houses along the street are starting to glow
with Christmas lights. She clutches her bag nervously.
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
Christmas time, Ah, what a special
time of year, filled with crisp
cold air, the smell of evergreens
and fireplaces ablaze. The season
of miracles, for afterall that is
how it all began, with the miracle
of a virgin birth. And from that
one miracle, countless lives have
been changed. This is Elizabeth
Katherine Green. Simple, but far
from ordinary. Proficient is
definitely the one word that best
defines who she is. Some would
call her plain, with her white
face, mousey brown hair, always
pinned into a tight bun and plain
clothes, uncommon for the modern
times. She wore no ribbons or
bows, no color or fancy buttons.
No, Elizabeth would never adorn
herself with such foolishness.
Instead, all matter of things must
be useful or she would have
nothing to do with it. Her life
is order and duty. All that is
about to change but first, let me
give you a peek at the early years
of her life.
Little ELIZABETH (age 6)is sitting at her desk, hands in her
lap. Teacher is at her desk, looking at ELIZABETH with
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
During her childhood, she was a
serious student; never late on her
assignments. Matter of fact,
every paper was completed in the
most impressive penmanship. The


                       AUNT EMILY (cont'd)
other children in her classes were
sloppy and late but not competent
Elizabeth. With obvious pride,
she would be the first to turn in
her assignments and return to her
desk to quietly await further
Teacher holds Elizabeth's paper, perfect penmenship. She
takes red pen and writes "A+ Perfect!" at the top.
Children play. LITTLE ELIZABETH (Age 6)sits on a wooden
bench, reading a book.
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
While the other children would
laugh and play, Elizabeth spent
all her time sitting
straight-backed on a bench.
Three teachers stop talking, look at her, frown and continue
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
All of her teachers agreed that
she was a model student yet
secretly they spoke of her as a
sad child. They worried about the
silent little girl yet made no
effort to affect a change.
Three little girls walk over to LITTLE ELIZABETH and try to
get her to join them. One girl places a ball on the book.
LITTLE ELIZABETH picks it up, frowning and hands it back to
one girl. The girl gives the other two an impish grin and
tosses the ball into LITTLE ELIZABETH'S lap. Elizabeth never
stops reading as she throws it into the playground. The
girls giggle and run away.
Mr. and Mrs. Green are reading books in their chairs.
Elizabeth Katherine Green is sitting on floor at coffee
table reading a book. Both parents look at her and return to


                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
Elizabeth's parents were from a
strict religious background. Their
house was functional but not the
least bit cheerful. It had no
decoration or color just like the
clothes they wore. They raised
their only child to be a mirror of
themselves. When looking at their
dutiful daughter, pride was never
apparent on their somber faces,
which showed no familiarity with
joy or good cheer.
Simple church santuary with wooden benches. Morning service
has ended and many people in plain clothes are leaving the
santuary. LITTLE ELIZABETH is walking behind her parents.
                       LITTLE ELIZABETH
Mother, if God is everywhere like
Pastor says then why must we come
here to talk to him?
MOTHER and FATHER turn quickly, giving a stern look. A lady
standing close by laughs.
It is our duty to be in church. We
are commanded to be here.
                       LITTLE ELIZABETH
But God is everywhere. We don't
have to be here to talk to him.
Several people laugh. MOTHER grabs LITTLE ELIZABETH'S hand,
jerking her roughly.
We do not question God. Now hush,
child. You are speaking out of
MOTHER pulls LITTLE ELIZABETH out of the building. FATHER
walks behind them looking at several people showing obvious


LITTLE ELIZABETH sits in a chair facing a corner. Her back
is straight as she tries to keep two large books balanced on
her head. Tears run down her face.
                       MOTHER (VO)
Don't you let those books fall.
You sit still without a word as
you should when in the House of
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
Elizabeth learned very early that
it was not wise to question
Elizabeth (Age 18) sits in a chair with five children on the
floor in front of her. She is holding up a picturebook then
reads a few lines and holds it up again for them to see.
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
Yes, Elizabeth Katherine Green was
a serious child who into a serious
young lady. Taught many things
about the Bible, she mimicked the
motions of belief, though she knew
not the Lord. The belief was that
in order to ever gain acceptance
into the Kingdom of Heaven, you
must follow the rules; do your
duty and hope that you would be
deemed worthy.
Elizabeth (Age 20) sits on a chair in a sterile room between
two hospital beds, reading a magazine, occasionally she
looks up at each of her sleeping parents.
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
At age 20, her parents were put
into the hospital suffering with
influenza. Elizabeth spent endless
days and nights at her parents'
Nurse enters room and stops at doorway to watch. Mr. Green
stops breathing. Elizabeth puts magazine down, rises from


her chair and covers his face with the sheet. She caresses
his covered head. Mrs. Green raises her hand towards
Elizabeth for a second and then lets it drop. Elizabeth
turns at the sound as Mrs. Green stops breathing. Elizabeth
reaches for her mother's hand, as if to hold it but places
it quickly under the sheet. She looks intently at her
mother, as one small tear escapes. She covers her mouth,
sighs heavily while wiping the tear away. The nurse steps
forward. Elizabeth hears her and quickly covers Mrs. Green's
face with the sheet. Nurse walks forward to comfort but
Elizabeth walks quickly out of the room.
Elizabeth (Age 20)walks down hall with bookbag, plain black
skirt, white blouse and her secured bun of hair. She looks
straight ahead confidently. Several students pass, all
talking cheerfully among themselves, a few giving her a
cursory glance.
Elizabeth enters classroom, sits at desk with hands in her
lap waiting patiently.
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
A sizable inheritance had been
left the orphaned teen. She had
been impressed with the sterile
and orderly atmosphere of the
hospital. She decided to go to
college to pursue a career in
Physical Therapy.
Stage with podium. Professor in gown stands behind it.
Several professors in gowns are seated on the stage.
Elizabeth walks to podium and accepts diploma. Professor
smiles and shakes her hand. Elizabeth (Age 24) gives a small
smile and leaves the stage.
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
At the age of 24, she graduated
the top of her class. It was her
finest day.


Several graduates are greeted by family members and friends.
Several people hugging each other. Elizabeth walks by with
her diploma cradled against her chest.
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
Yet as she left to start her new
life, the strangest thing
occurred. Deep within her chest,
an ache began to grow. Clutching
her diploma, the sensation grew as
she passed each group of
well-wishers until her pale blue
eyes stung with unshed tears.
Elizabeth runs across the college yard and out the front
gate. When she reaches the bus stop, she leans against the
pole to catch her breath. Wiping her eyes, she straightens
her back and allows her face to go blank.
Several therapists attending patients. Elizabeth (Age
25)works with a man on a mat. Elizabeth disapproves of what
the man is doing. She frowns and then corrects his movement,
while another therapist watches with obvious regret.
Elizabeth leaves the man and consults a doctor while two
therapist talk together, looking over at her. They quickly
part when she returns to assist the male patient.
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
She went on to secure a position
in the same hospital where her
parents had died. Perhaps this
gave her some small comfort. She
quickly established herself as an
excellent therapist. She followed
all the techniques completely, was
punctual, skilled and most of all,
End of flashbacks.
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
She was utterly alone in a life
that didn't vary from week to


Present day: ELIZABETH walks down sidewalk. She clutches her
bag nervously to the sound of distant thunder. She looks
behind her at the gathering clouds.
A woman walking dog. Elizabeth turns, the dog jumps up.
Elizabeth jumps in fright. The woman pulls dog, giving
backward glances.
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
Did she yearn for more?
Elizabeth stops. Several children are playing while parents
watch from a park bench. Elizabeth watches the children for
a moment and then clutches her chest with one hand.
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
Spellbound by their laughter; the
strange ache returned.
Several children stop playing. One little girl (Megan)
smiles and waves. Elizabeth is frozen. Suddenly, her face
softens and she begins to raise her hand to return the wave.
                       MOTHER (VO)
Elizabeth! Stop dawdling, child.
Elizabeth's face darkens. The parents gather the children.
She turns away, the ache inside growing deeper.
                       MOTHER (VO)
Girl, get moving! Don't you hear
that thunder? Dawdling there will
only get you caught in the rain.
Move on, child! There are things
to tend to at home.
Elizabeth runs, clutching her chest, fighting tears as
lightening streaks across the darkened sky behind her.
                                         SIDEWALK IN FRONT OF
Elizabeth stops to wipe her eyes. Thunder and lightening
send her racing to her front door.


                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
Powerful forces gathered. Life was
about to change for the competent
Elizabeth Katherine Green.
Sound of thunder and flashes of light as Elizabeth opens her
door, enter house, slamming the door. She still has one hand
on her chest. She looks at a brass urn with two certificates
propped on each side. Lightening streaks. The room gets
                       MOTHER (vo)
Well, child, don't just sit there.
You have chores to do.
Elizabeth stands in front of brass urn. She picks up paper,
a death certificate. Sighing, she puts it back.
Yes, Mother.
at a table reading a magazine. One light occasionally
flickers. She looks up at window, shadows of swaying tree
Yes, Mother, I know. I checked the
                       MOTHER (VO)
Are you sure? You know that one
I know. I know. I checked it.
Wind and snow hit the window. The howling wind shakes the
                       MOTHER (VO)
Elizabeth, God must be angry
tonight. What did you do?


Elizabeth screams, jumps up and runs out of kitchen.
Elizabeth is frightened when she sees a face as she enters
the room. She screams feeling along wall for light switch.
Light comes on, she screams again at her reflection in the
Okay, it's okay. Deep breaths.
Elizabeth jumps, covers her mouth to stop a scream.
                       FRED (VO)
      (From outside)
Hey, everything okay? Hey, Lady!
                       JOYCE (VO)
Fred, just kick down the door, she
could be hurt.
Elizabeth looks to the bookcase at the brass urn and then
back at the door.
                       MOTHER (VO)
Women never answer a door at
Mother, please.
                       FRED (VO)
Hey, lady? I heard her. Hello! Are
Elizabeth Katherine Green, stop
right there! Ladies, do not...
Elizabeth jumps looking around as if Mother will appear.
Hesitates and opens door. Fred and Joyce step close, trying
to look. Elizabeth holds door to block them.


What happened?
Thank you for your concern. I am
quite all right, really. Now if
Joyce straining on tiptoes to look. Neighbor's gather.
                       MALE (VO)
What did she say?
She said that she's fine. Rather
rudely, if you ask me.
Nobody did, woman.
I'm okay!
                       FEMALE (VO)
Fred? What happened?
                       ANNE (VO)
It's freezing cold out here, lady!
At least let us in!
Fred steps closer. Elizabeth blocks him.
We just wanted to help. What
Forget about it, Fred. She doesn't
want help. Let's go home.
                       ANNE (VO)
Is she going to invite us in or
not? I'm cold!
Really, I appreciate your concern,
but as you can see, I am fine.
There was some damage done by a
tree limb. I can handle this,
really. Now if you'll excuse me.
Elizabeth closes door, bolts it. She falls into chair as
voices of the neighbors can be heard.


                       FM2 (VO)
How rude!
                       FRED (VO)
Man, that was some wind!
                       JOYCE (VO)
Did she say tree branch? I bet it
was that old dead one back there.
I've told you to tell her to cut
it down many times. Now didn't I,
Fred! But no! You couldn't be
Yes, Joyce. Okay, you were right.
Are ya happy now?
Elizabeth looks at door, sighs then looks at the urn as if
for guidance. Looks through door into kitchen. Snow is
blowing. She leans in enough to grab a kitchen towel, shuts
door and stuffs it under door.
What are you doing? We don't use
towels in that manner. We clean up
our messes right away.
Elizabeth takes a lace doillie and covers the urn.
Mother! Please!
      (On phone)
I'm sorry but it can't be helped.
(pause, look at brass urn on
bookcase) Yes, I plan on being
there tomorrow. I should find
someone today. (pause) Christmas?
Oh, right, it may be hard to find
someone to work this close. I
didn't think of that. (pause)
Thanks. I hope so too.
Hanging up the phone, Elizabeth sighs. She grabs the phone
book and sits on the couch. Turning pages, she frowns.


                       MOTHER (VO)
I can't believe that you are
missing work. Your Father never
missed a day of work. Never!
                       MOTHER (VO)
Elizabeth! Ladies, don't speak...
      (looking defiant)
Well, Mother! How am I going to
find someone at this time of year?
Darn, foolish Christmas!
KNOCK-KNOCK on front door
                       MOTHER (VO)
We must never talk to strangers,
What now?
Elizabeth opens door. Joe, holding tool box, stands smiling.
Hello, ma'am. I live across the
street. I heard about the damage
and I...Well, I'm a carpenter sort
of and I thought I may be of
help...being neighbors and all...
I'm sorry, Mister...
      (Extends hand)
Just call me, Joe.
      (ignoring hand)
Mister Joseph.
No, just Joe.
Mister Joseph, I appreciate your
offer but...


Joe quickly enters, pulls up towel and opens kitchen door.
                       MOTHER (VO)
Elizabeth Katerine Green, a lady
never lets a man into her house!
Mister Joseph, who do you think
you are coming into my home as if
you own it! Mister!
Joe puts tool box down and inspects damage.
      (muttering to
Wow, a mess...need to get, let's
see...should take a few days to
get it finished...should at least
get it closed off, though.
Elizabeth enters room, fists clenched at her sides.
Oh, there you are. Yes, I think
that I can at least get it closed
off before the next storm
hits.Okay, Iíll need to make a
list. Yes, a pencil and paper
would be nice. I need to make a
few notes.
Elizabeth reaches into a drawer, pulls out notepad and
What? Notes? You have a lot of
nerve. What makes you think that
I would hire you? There are many
carpenters in this town who know
their place and donít act
Familiar? How old are you?
Old? Old! Why I?
Joe takes the notepad and pencil with a grin.


Thanks, Miss...
Elizabeth Green
Nice to meet cha, Beth.
Beth! I..I
Elizabeth stamps her foot and huffs loudly.
My name is not Beth, it is Miss
Elizabeth Katherine Green. I am
not a Beth nor will I ever be. Now
Mister Joseph, kindly leave.
Ah, Beth, you are way too serious
for such a young lady. Now, we
both know that you're not going to
find anyone during the holidays.
Okay! I need to go get some
supplies so we can get the outside
closed up before another snow
storm comes through.
Joe puts pad in pocket, pick up toolbox, walking away.
                                         LIVING ROOM
Joe stops looking room, frowns and shakes his head.
Real eye for decor. Don't worry
about the money, Beth.
Worry about money? Iíll have you
know that I have more stuffed in
my coat pocket than you see in a
month of woodworking, Mister
      (Sarcastic grin)
Sure, you do! Bye.


Joseph leaves house, walks across street, looking back once.
Elizabeth watches from doorway. Joe goes to his house.
Elizabeth stamps her foot and turns back inside.
Mother, please be quiet!
Joe enters, puts tool box down and walks to kitchen.
Joy to the World, the Lord has
come, let earth receive her King.
Let every heart...
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
      (Singing from
       other room.)
prepare him room and heaven and
nature sing...
Joe picks up a meat mallet and pounds steaks left on
counter. Aunt Emily enters, grabs the mallet from him.
                       AUNT EMILY
      (pounding steaks)
And Heaven and heaven and nature
      (singing with Aunt
And Heaven and heaven and nature
Joe and Aunt Emily hug. Aunt Emily puts down mallet. Joe
gets a glass of water at sink.
                       AUNT EMILY
So how is that poor girl across
the street? Elizabeth is what her
name is, right?
Joe shakes his head, yes, as he drinks.


                       AUNT EMILY
The dear lass seems so alone. I
see her every morning leave her
house wearing that uniform and the
same expression on her face. Lost
hope, I tell ya, laddy. It is lost
hope that I see.
Yes, I've seen her too but I don't
think she has ever noticed me.
Always meant to say hello but she
darts off afraid someone will talk
to her. Strange, isn't it? She had
a huge tree limb come right
through her kitchen window. It did
quite a bit of damage, too.
What is really weird is there are
no trees on her property on either
side. Where did that limb come
from? Anyway, she was not very
happy with my appearance but I
knew that I was supposed to be
there. Yeah! The right thing to
                       AUNT EMILY
Yes, Joseph, youíre right. The
good Lord has need of our help
with that lassie. I hope she was
not injured.
      (short laugh)
Oh, no. She was fine physically,
but her disposition seemed a
little bruised. Aunt Emily, she
has no Christmas decorations or
any decorations at all. It's like
stepping back in time when you
enter the house. The kitchen was,
well even without the damage, I
could tell it was cheerless,
without any warmth. The living
room was dark, musky and the
furniture was older than the
hills. And I think I saw an urn.
Ya know, one of those things that
people keep the ashes of
relatives? It was right on the
bookcase. Morbid, don't you
think?...(shiver) Oh, it was
depressing (sigh) so sad to be


                       JOE (cont'd)
alone at Christmas time.
                       AUNT EMILY
Yes, what that girl needs is the
Lord, Laddie.
      (Walks to doorway)
Yes, well, she has some material
needs to attend to first, then we
will worry about her soul. Iím off
to the lumberyard so I can cover
that hole in her house. See ya
Elizabeth is working with a broom to clean up mess. She is
frantically trying to keep busy but her mind kept returning
to Joe.
                       JOE (VO)
Ah, Beth, you are way too serious
for such a young lady.
                       MOTHER (VO)
That man was rude. Your Father
would not approve of him.
I know, I know Mother.
                       MOTHER (VO)
Your Father would have put him in
his place.
Elizabeth drops the dustpan. Dust flies into the air.
Darn it! My life was just fine.
Now this...
Bending down, she sweeps the mess again. Suddenly, Simon's
head appears in the open space of the damage. Elizabeth
jumps rising and hitting her head.
What in the...May I help you?
Simon's hands appear, as he crawls into the kitchen.


Hey, boy. What are you doing?
Didnít your parents ever teach you
that it was rude to enter
someoneís home without permission?
Simon ignores her so she leans over, low to the floor.
Excuse me! Can I help you?
Sure, Lady! (more)
Simon reaches out and Elizabeth helps him off the floor.
Wow, what a mess! Mommy said you
had accident. Boy, if I had this
accident, my butt would get
      (Hand on hip)
I didnít have an accident, the
tree did. (more)
Simon points and laughs. Elizabeth is covered in white dust.
      (Hands on hips)
Young man, do your parents know
where you are?
My name is Simon, not yogman. You
look like a ghost.
Elizabeth sighs, slaps her hand against her side. A puff of
dust flies. She fans air, coughs and walks to doorway. Simon
follows and passes her into the front room.
Why is it so dark in here?
Elizabeth flips on light.


There, it isnít anymore. Now,
what do you want?
It is dark in here. Do you not
like the sun? (more)
Elizabeth walks to window, moving curtain aside. Elizabeth
closes her eyes and turns from the sunlight.
See, you donít like the sun! I
never known sumone who not like
the sun, Ďcept vampires. You
hardly ever come outside. Are you
one of those?
Of course not, donít be silly. I
like the sun. I do! Itís
just...never mind. Young man, it
is time for you to go home. I
have a lot of work to do.
I told ya, nameís Simon. I five
years old. (more)
Simon lifts arm, flexes his muscle.
Iím strong. My Daddy said so. I
came here to help you move that
tree. K?
Simon touching things as he speaks. Elizabeth follows
nervously He pulls out a dusty book.
      (grabbing book)
I appreciate your offer,
But I want to help. Pastor says
that we are to help each other
cause that's what Jesus do. I
want to do what Jesus do!
Simon notices the brass urn, reaches but Elizabeth blocks
him with the book. He quickly darts underneath and tries to


grab the urn. The urn is knocked slightly and Elizabeth
drops book and snatches up urn.
Hey! What is that?
None of your business! Don't you
have any manners? It is not polite
to touch things that are not
You sound like Mommy. She always
says that I touch everything. What
is it? Hmmmm, what?
Elizabeth keeps the urn above his reach. He jumps repeating,
"What". Outside the window, Joseph is seen walking up. He
stops and watches. Simon jumps again and touches the urn,
Joseph laughs. Simon picks up book from the floor and offers
to trade. Elizabeth balances urn with one hand to reach for
the book. Simon drops book and grabs urn. Joseph is
laughing. Elizabeth and Simon struggle until the urn is back
in Elizabeth's arms, cradled tightly against her side,
though Simon continues to jump. Elizabeth turns quickly and
opens door. Simon stops. Joseph waits.
Simon, time to go. Please! (under
breath) Leave me alone.
      (walking to door)
I want to help and you yell at me.
You talk mean for such a pretty
Simon stomps. Elizabeth returns the urn. She wipes her hands
on her skirt, then clutches her chest a moment. She walks to
mirror gazes at herself. The brass urn seems to glow.
      (wiping her eyes)
Sorry, Mother...Father...Oh, I'm
such a mess!
Joe appears, watching her. He clears his throat.


Iím sorry, I didnít mean to
startle you, but the door was wide
Yes, well, I had something in my
eye and I...
Sure, Beth. That Simon is a
handful. I just wanted to let you
know that I was back.
Joe enters house, walks past Elizabeth and to Kitchen.
I should have the outside covered
in no time. Of course, I have to
remove that limb. I could ask
Fred, or maybe Justin.
Elizabeth looks at the brass urn and walks to kitchen
Beth? I'm not Beth! Oh, He is
rude, presumptuous, and... rude!
      (calling from
No need to thank me.
Elizabeth stomps her foot, clamps her mouth shut as she
glances at the urn again. She stomps her foot again, turns
and notices her angry reflection in mirror.
Pretty Lady, huh?
Behind Elizabeth's reflection, a transparent figure of
frowning mother appears, seeing the brass urn through her.
                       MOTHER (VO)
Why the nerve of that...
      (Waving at the
Not now, Mother!


Elizabeth is on floor scrubbing furiuosly. The tree is gone
from hole. There is hammering and male voices just outside.
Each pounding of the hammer causes her to work harder.
                       JOE (VO)
That's it, Fred, hold it steady.
                       FRED (VO)
Yeah, I got it. So Joe, how is the
                       JOE (VO)
Disagreeable. Ungrateful. But
Simon got the best of her. What a
Elizabeth stops scrubbing, getting off the floor and throws
cloth in anger, then leaves kitchen into front room.
Elizabeth enters front room, looking over it, uncertain.
                       MOTHER (VO)
There's something wrong here,
Curtains open and sunlight flowing into room. Elzabeth
notices a brown sack sitting next to the front door. She
walks over and picks it up. She looks around again, then
places it on the coffee table, opening it up.
How did this get here? Who put it
                       MOTHER (VO)
Young lady, see what happens? You
open the curtains to the world.
You don't know what that is! We do
not touch things that aren't ours!
Elizabeth pulls food containers out of the bag, opening each
one. Looking around the room again and puts the food back
into the bag, carrying it to the Kitchen.
                       MOTHER (VO)


I am hungry.
                                         GREEN KITCHEN
                       MOTHER (VO)
We don't accept charity, child. We
take care of ourselves that way we
are never beholdened to anyone.
      (shaking head)
Mother, why can't you be quiet...
just be gone?
Joe and Fred's voices and hammering are heard outside.
Elizabeth places bag on table, gathers dish and utensils and
sits down. She dishes out food onto plate. A slip of paper
falls off the bottom of a container.
                       FRED (VO)
So Joyce is going on about the
bills and...
      (Picking up paper
       and reading)
Ask and it will be given, seek and
you will find, knock and it will
be opened to you. For everyone
who asks receives, and he who
seeks finds, and to him who knocks
it will be opened.
                       JOE (VO)
Shush, Did you hear that?
                       FRED (VO)
                       JOE (VO)
Never mind. Let's get this done.
Elizabeth puts the note on the table and begins eating her
food. After a moment, she picks up the paper and reads it to
herself, frowning.
What does it mean? Who...


Knock on front door. Elizabeth leaves kitchen.
                                         GREEN FRONT ROOM
Elizabeth opens front door. A young lady, Anne is standing,
holding Simon on her hip.
You yell at my kid?
Excuse me?
      (putting Simon
I will not! He came home crying
earlier. Said that you yelled at
him. Whatís wrong with you? Heís
just a little boy!
That little boy crawled into my
kitchen without my invitation.
Just where were YOU when he was
outside all alone? I would
suggest that you watch him closer
in the future or you may find
yourself with one less mouth to
Anne grabs Simons arm, yelling as she leaves.
Donít you tell me how to take care
of my kid when you have none of
your own. And donít ever raise
your voice to my son again or Iíll
make you sorry.
                       SIMON (VO)
Mommy, youíre hurting my arm.
                       ANNE (VO)
Who is she but some dried up olí
Maid with nothing...come on,
Simon... and no-one. Trying to
tell me how to...Olí spinster!


                       MOTHER (VO)
See what happens Elizabeth, when
you start opening your door to
                                         FRONT PORCH
Elizabeth steps outside frowning, watching Anne and Simon
walking down the sidewalk. Joe and Fred appear from the side
of the house, carrying tool boxes. Part at the sidewalk. Joe
crosses to his house and Fred walks in opposite direction of
Anne. Elizabeth looks away from Anne and stops to stare when
she sees Joe's house across the street. Aunt Emily is on the
front porch of Joe's house watering a plant. Aunt Emily
waves at Elizabeth. Elizabeth looks embaressed, turns away
and goes back into the house. Aunt Emily sighs and shakes
her head sadly.
                                         JOE'S PORCH
      (Stepping onto the
She's quick with the tongue.
                       AUNT EMILY
      (patting Joe's arm)
Donít give up on the lass. God
can do amazing things to the
hardest heart
Yes, well even I will be impressed
if God turns that oneís heart.
Aunt Emily gives Joe a disapproving look. He shrugs his
shoulders, smiles and gives her a quick kiss on the cheek.
      (Picking up a box
       from a table)
Well, I just needed to get this.
I'll go finish covering that hole
for her Highness then I'm off to
the church for the Singleís group.
Want to come along? After all,
you are single.
                       AUNT EMILY
      (laugh and wink)
Get on with you, Joseph. Iíll be
fine here. The Lordís got me
working on something. Besides, an
old woman you don't need but there


                       AUNT EMILY (cont'd)
is a young lady across the street
you could invite.
      (stepping off
       porch, calling
       back at her.)
I don't think so, Aunt Emily, but
nice try!
Joe picks up tools and put in his box, steps back to admire
his work.
Well, what do you think, Lord?
                                         GREEN KITCHEN
                       MOTHER (VO)
Elizabeth, you missed a day of
work and what have you manage to
Yes, yes, I know that Father would
not have approved but I have kept
busy all day.
                                         OUTSIDE GREEN
Who is she talking to?
Joe leans towards the house to hear better.
She's talking to herself.
                                         GREEN KITCHEN
Elizabeth walks over to the table, notices the slip of paper
and picks it up again. Reading it, she pauses when she hears
Joe's voice.
                                         OUTSIDE GREEN


                       JOE (VO)
Oh well, Lord...Not bad for short
notice, huh?
                                         GREEN KITCHEN
Who is he talking to?
                       MOTHER (VO)
You never mind that man, young
lady. You have work to do.
                                         OUTSIDE KITCHEN
What a great piece of work!...I
know, I know! I donít have any
modesty sometimes. What can I
say, Lord, you made me this way?
                                         GREEN KITCHEN
Elizabeth walks to damaged area, leaning in to hear.
Joseph? He's talking to himself?
                                         OUTSIDE KITCHEN
      (cleaning up mess)
So whatís next? Do I go ahead and
do the remodeling inside or should
I just tell Miss Cheerful to hire
someone else?
                                         GREEN KITCHEN
Elizabeth reacts to his words then leans in further.
                                         OUTSIDE KITCHEN
I did the right thing and got the
hole patched so she wonít freeze!
Isnít that enough?
He pauses to stand still and listen a beat or two.


Lord, she hasnít been the nicest
person! She doesnít even
appreciate what Iíve done.
                                         GREEN KITCHEN
      (leaning closer)
What? I do too.
                                         OUTSIDE KITCHEN
      (Looking up)
Yes, I shouldnít be doing your
work expecting something in
return. ĎTo each of these you do
also to meí, I remember. I will
try harder.
Taking his tool chest, he walks to back door and knocks.
Sighing deeply, he puts on a big fake smile.
                                         GREEN KITCHEN
Elizabeth turns quickly from the damaged area when she
realizes that he has moved toward the back door. When he
knocks, she jumps and sighs deeply, putting on a fake smile.
      (opening door)
Hello, Joseph.
Well, that should hold ya for now.
      (Fidgeting with
       her hands)
I appreciate your help.
Elizabeth walks over and opens the fridge door, nervous. Joe
stands watching her. She pulls out a carrot, clearing her
throat and gives him a side glance.
As I said, thanks for the help.
Have a good night.


Joe continues to watch her, quietly with a smile. Elizabeth
is nervous and finally turns to him.
W-Who were you speaking too a
moment ago?
He is watching her with a smile at her discomfort. Elizabeth
is holding the carrot midway to her mouth.
Well, I was talking to God.
Elizabeth eyes widened. She crosses her arms, closing
herself off from him and propelling the carrot across the
room to rest at Josephís feet.
      (eyes focused on
       the carrot,
God? Do you do that often?
      (ignoring the
Yes, we converse on a regular
basis. How about you?
Me? Talk to God? Well...I... I go
to church every Sunday. My parents
raised me to have respect for God.
Yes, but that is not what I asked.
Do you talk to Him? (more)
Elizabeth is agitated, looking away and brushing her hair
back. Joe leans over quickly to pick up the carrot and
walks to back door opening it. Elizabeth turns back to him
at the sound of the door.
Talk to him?
I didnít mean to pry. Iíll be on
my way. I have a singleís group
to attend at my church. (more)


Joe takes a few steps out the door then stops to look back.
Elizabeth is trying to appear composed, but what he sees is
a fleeting glimpse of a little girl, frightfully afraid of
being unloved and alone. His face softens and he steps
toward her.
Would you like to come? We have a
potluck and play a few games and
      (stepping away)
      (step forward)
Why are you so... Beth, you are
so young and life is ahead of you.
Why do you surround yourself in
      (stepping away,
I donít know what youíre talking
about. My life was just fine
until last night and you...I mean,
the tree limb crashed. I was
fine!And whatís more, my name is
not Beth!
Ah, Beth. The good Lord took a
lot of love and effort to create
you and you insult Him by living
this life of isolation. You were
fearfully and wonderfully made.
Elizabeth stands firm and her hands ball into fist at her
side. Joe reaches out his hand. She looks at it, then at his
face, steps back against the fridge, looking frightened.
I don't need...
Come with me. It'll be fun. You
know, fun? That thing that people
do to make life better? Come on.
Elizabeth hesitates, takes a step forward, then freezes.


                       MOTHER (VO)
Elizabeth Katherine Green! Men
are the devilís pawns out to tempt
you into sin.
Elizabeth's face darkens and her body became rigid. Joeís
hand falls to his side.
Okay, Beth. Calm down. I'm
going. Maybe another time.
Joe turns to leave, stops looking down at his hand. He turns
around, walks to Elizabeth. She backs into the fridge,
frightened as Joe reaches out.
      (smiling, he drops
       carrot into her
Just a carrot, Beth. Usually
harmless...It's a shame, really,
that you hide the beauty God gave
you. (more)
Elizabeth pulls away from his touch as if burned. He steps
If you change your mind, the
meeting is at 776 2nd Street. Good
night, Beth.
Joe walks out door, takes his toolbox and leaves. Elizabeth
unconiously touches her palm where Joe had touched her,
dropping the carrot. She clutches her chest where the ache
has returned. Unsteady, she sits in a chair.
Little Elizabeth runs into front room holding a picture.
Mother is sitting and cross-stitching. She hands the picture
to Mother, who looks at it with disinterest and places it on
the sidetable.
Father enters from front door carrying his briefcase. Little
Elizabeth is sitting on floor reading a book. She stands up
to speak and Father walks past her without a word.


Elizabeth walks into front room, sits in the chair,
clutching her chest.
Invisible. I was always
invisible...alone. Is that why I
feel this?
A tear falls from her eye and she quickly wipes it, looking
at the urn. She looks away and notices that the slip of
paper has fallen to the floor just under the doorway to the
kitchen. She picks it up, looking nervously at the urn and
back at the paper.
      (reading aloud)
Ask and it will be given, seek and
you will find, knock and it will
be opened to you. For everyone
who asks, receives and he who
seeks, finds, and to him who
knocks, it will be opened.
It hits her out of the blue. She jumps up and looks through
the books on the shelves. Finding what she was seeking, she
pulls out a book and sits on the couch. Touching the cover
with respect and awe, she runs a finger over the gold raised
words, ďHoly BibleĒ.
Elizabeth leaves house in her work uniform carrying her
briefcase. She walks down walkway to sidewalk and heads
toward bus stop.
Anne is at her counter, taking cookies off a baking sheet
and putting them on a plate. Simon is in the background
playing at the table, eating breakfast.
Simon, put down the toy and eat
your breakfast, dear.
Phone rings. Anne picks up the phone. Behind her through the
thin curtains of her window, Elizabeth is walking down the


                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
Good morning, Anne. Look out of
your window.
      (pulling curtain
Okay. Whatís going...Are you
talking about that spinster-lady?
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
Geeze, Aunt Emily, I'm sorry. And
here I am making cookies as a
peace offering. Forgive me.
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
I'm not the one you should be
asking forgiveness from, lass.
That's why I called. I heard the
yelling yesterday.
Yes, I feel bad about that. The
whole neighborhood probably heard
me. I was just so mad!
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
It is time for everyone to come
together and take care of one of
our own. She has lived in that
house since her birth and suffered
a life of loneliness and all of us
have turned a blind eye to it. Now
God has given us an opportunity to
redeem our shame.
Okay, I'm in!
Aunt Emily is on the phone. Joe walks in, grabs a cookie
from the cookie jar, eyeing her, curiously. He stands to
listen for a moment while her back is to him.


                       AUNT EMILY
She is gone to work so we have all
Aunt Emily stops talking when she turns and sees Joe. He
smiles weakly and leaves the room with a wave.
                       AUNT EMILY
Here's what I'm thinking. You
Joyce Miller is on the phone. Fred enters and kisses her
cheek and leaves for work.
That sounds like a great idea,
Anne. I'd love to help. I'll call
the others and we'll meet at noon.
Joe is working outside the kitchen. He hears voices from
inside and stops to listen.
                       ANNE (VO)
Where should I put this, Aunt
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
Right there next to the crockpot,
Shaking his head, Joe walks to the back door and opens it,
popping his head inside.
Aunt Emily, what are you up to?
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
You just tend to your own work,
Joseph and let me tend to mine.
Out with ya, Lad.
Joe laughs and shuts the door.


Lord, are ya seeing this? I hope
they arenít stirring up trouble.
Elizabeth steps off the bus, shoulders hunched and face
tired She is preoccupied as she walks down the sidewalk.
Suddenly her eyes are drawn to the building across the
street. It is a red brick building with a wooden cross. She
crosses the street to stand next to a telephone pole. The
front door opens and a woman and a little girl leave(Sarah
and Megan).
776? Where have I heard that?
Sarah and her child, Megan are chatting. Megan is holding a
handmade star covered in silver foil and sprinkles of
glitter. Sarah laughs and picks up Megan, hugging her close.
Then she swings Megan around as the girl laughs. Elizabeth
leans against the pole clutching her chest.
      (looking at
      (to Elizabeth)
Are you okay?
Are you sick?
Elizabeth runs away, holding her chest. She slows down as
she gets close to her house, breathless. Stopping, she looks
at her dark house.
Something's not right.
Suddenly, Simon appears, pulling on her skirt. She yelps and
pulls away.
      (sing-song voice)
Angels watching over me.


Simon, you scared me.
Come on, lady. It's all for you.
Simon grabs Elizabeth hand and pulls her toward her front
door. She resists, looking worried. Simon laughs and pulls
harder. Elizabeth allows him to lead her to the door. She
Go ahead. Open it. Are ya scared?
Of course not. Don't be silly. I'm
Opens door and claps his hands.
Close your eyes.
Elizabeth closes her eyes tightly, frowning. Simon goes
behind her and pushes her inside.
Room is dark for a few beats, then suddenly lights of many
colors shine bright on Elizabeth face.
      (cheerful yell)
Surprize! Merry Christmas!
The front room is full of neighbors clapping and cheering.
There are Christmas lights and greenery everywhere. A quick
glance to the Urn which has holly leaves along the shelf and
small white twinkling lights. An evergreen tree sits in
front of the bay window.
Wh-What are you people doing in my
house? (more)
Walking into middle of the room, pointing at tree.


What is that?
                       AUNT EMILY
Why itís a Christmas tree, lass.
      (Stomping foot)
I know it is a Christmas tree.
What is it doing in my house? What
are you people doing in my parlor?
Kitchen door opens and Joe enters.
YOU! This is your doing!
      (laughs, shaking
Oh, no! I'm not to blame for this,
I find that hard to believe,
Mister Joseph. And stop calling
me, Beth. My name is Elizabeth
Katherine Green. Miss Green, to
Joe stops smiling and looks at Elizabeth intently. Many of
the neighbors start complaining and heading for the door.
Several neighbors leave.
You know, I've just about had it
with your attitude, Miss Green.
I knew this was a mistake.
What an ungrateful little...
      (looking at Joe)
You...attitude? My attitude? You
come into my house...


How rude!
      (walks closer to
Yeah, attitude! These people came
here to do a good thing and you
act like they've robbed you. Not
that anyone would want anything
from this...this prison of yours.
      (steps toward Joe)
Prison! This is my home.
      (covers his ears)
Why eveeryone mad?
                       AUNT EMILY
      (steps between
       Elizabeth and Joe)
Joseph, that's enough! Aw, lassie,
we meant no harm.
Aunt Emily gently pushes Joe away from Elizabeth. Elizabeth
rushes to the Urn and pulls the holly away, throwing it onto
the floor. Sarah and Megan enter. Sarah is carrying a plate
of cookies and Megan is carrying a hand-made star.
Elizabeth's mouth drops at the sight of more visitors.
Sorry, we're late. But...
Fred and Joyce pass Sarah and Megan and head out the door.
Sarah looks around confused while Megan points her star at
We're leaving. Come on, honey.
Hey, you that sick lady by the
Boy, did I pick a bad day to be
late. What is going on?


Miss Ungrateful is showing her
usual friendly nature.
                       AUNT EMILY
      (Clapping hands)
Okay, everyone. Fred,
Joyce...please come back in. Let's
be calm about this.
Fred and Joyce return as everyone becomes quiet. Aunt Emily
smiles at Elizabeth while Joe is still angry.
                       AUNT EMILY
Thank you, everyone. Now,
Elizabeth, we just wanted to bring
you some holiday cheer.
      (tearing down more
Who asked you?
                       AUNT EMILY
When the tree limb damaged your
kitchen, we wanted to help you.
Maybe we should have left her
alone! It's obviously a mistake!
                       AUNT EMILY
Joseph has a heart of gold and the
hands of Jesus with wood, so
naturally he wanted to help. When
we found out that you had lost
most of your food in those
cabinets and...It's Christmas Eve
and there were no decorations...
And you all thought, poor little
girl all alone must not be able to
afford it, right? (more)
Elizabeth walks into middle of the room, holding a string of
holly, glancing at Joe several times. Unaware, she is
clutching her heart with her free hand as the holly string
bouces with her angry words; her voice gets louder and


I have lived here for over 20
years and not once did you worry
about my lack of decorations
before. What is wrong with you
                       AUNT EMILY
No, it wasn't like...
You think that you can just come
into my life and make it a replica
of yours? That my life is somehow
lacking because it is different
from yours? I donít have
decorations or a tree because I
donít celebrate Christmas. My
clothes are not plain and old
because I canít afford new ones.
Iíll have you know that my parents
left me a sizable inheritance and
I donít work because I have to.
Facing Joe, Elizabeth points at him. They both step closer
with each exchange of words until they are face to face.
Joseph, you thought that I was
covering up or rather, lying, when
I told you that I had money,
didnít you? You looked at my
plain house and thought, poor
girl. Well, I donít need your
pity. I have everything I need
and money to buy anything I ever
You're right, Beth. We did see
your life as different from ours.
I'm guilty of gossip because I
expressed my regret that you had
no decorations and that your home
was so dark and dreary. Everyone
here thought that you could use a
little cheering up. All of your
neighbor's came here in the spirit
of goodwill to set things right
with you. To show you that
despite your obvious unfriendly
nature, we care about you. That
shouldn't be cause for anger, but
for gratitude. (grabs holly string


                       JOE (cont'd)
from her) Everyone here did
something good and selfless for
another person. I'm sorry that
you don't see it that way.
Elizabeth tries to grab the holly string. Joe pulls it away.
I'm tired of listening to this.
Elizabeth lunges and pulls the holly from his grip, throwing
it up into the air with anger.
You people need to leave now. I
have better things to do than...
Joe moves to the bookcase as he responds.
Better things? Like what, Beth?
Clean your spotless house? Read a
medical journal? Look at all those
books, not a single romance, not
one adventure. And what's this?
Your parents?
Elizabeth jumps to the bookcase and pushes Joe away from the
Urn. She shields it with her body. Joe starts pulling down
decorations in anger as he continues to speak. Greenery
flies through the air as he tosses it.
You don't want decorations? Fine!
You want us to leave? Fine! We'll
leave so you can hide from the
world. Do you think that this is
what God wants? You do nothing
for the pure joy of it! What kind
of life is that, Beth?
One sprig of holly lands on Elizabeth shoulder and she grabs
it tightly, with a red face she throws it at Joe as she
raises her voice.
      (throwing greenery
       with each angry
You think that you are
so...soo..better than me! You
probably had a nice Mommy and


                       ELIZABETH (cont'd)
daddy who showered you with
attention, hugs and kisses. I bet
every Christmas, you got a
stocking full of treats and
presents and laughter...Well,
that's where we are different.
Where you had it all...I had
Everyone is quiet and looking down to hide their sadness.
Elizabeth covers her face as she weeps. Joe takes a breath
and looks up a moment, closes his eyes, taking another
breath to calm down. He drops a sprig of holly he still
holds and puts one arm around Elizabeth.
I understand that, Beth, but you
canít allow the past or your
parents to rob you of the joy that
God offers. You canít change the
past, but you can change yourself.
Change? What gives you the right
to tell me that I need to change?
I just want to be left alone!
Aw, Beth.
Leave me alone, please. I'm not
hurting anyone. I donít indulge
in anything that would be
considered sinful. I follow the
Elizabeth weeps as she holds her hand against her aching
chest. Aunt Emily walks forward and hugs her close while
directing her to the couch. Two more neighbors leave
quietly. Fred and Joyce head to the door. Sarah grabs
Megan's hand to leave. Anne tries to take Simon's arm but he
walks away to sit on the couch next to Elizabeth's head is
bowed as she weeps. Simon pats her arm. Aunt Emily waves at
everyone to come over.
                       AUNT EMILY
Please, everyone. Don't leave.
Come over and find a place to sit.
Come on.


Aunt Emily, maybe we should...she
asked us to leave. She's right! We
shouldn't have assumed that she
needed help.
                       AUNT EMILY
I want to share something with
everyone. Let me do this, Joseph.
then we'll leave, okay?
Joyce motions to couple who had just left and they return to
the doorway. Joyce motions for them to come in. Everyone
finds a place to sit. Megan crawls into Sarah's lap. Aunt
Emily sits Joe down next to Simon on the couch and hands
Elizabeth a tissue from her pocket. Elizabeth wipes her eyes
and allows Simon to hold her hand, then he grabs Joe's hand
as well.
Okay, Aunt Emily. We're ready.
Aunt Emily picks up the Bible from the bookshelf and opens
                       AUNT EMILY
      (reading aloud)
In those days, Caesar Augustus
issued a decree that a census
should be taken of the entire
Roman world. And everyone went to
his own town to register. So
Joseph also went up from the town
of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea to
Bethlehem the town of David,
because he belonged to the house
and line of David. He went there
to register with Mary, who was
expecting a child. While they
were there, the time came for the
baby to be born, and she gave
birth to her firstborn, a son. She
wrapped him in cloths and placed
him in a manger, because there was
no room for them in the inn. That
is how it is written in Luke, but
there is more to tell you about
that story.
Aunt Emily lays the Bible on the sidetable and walks to the
tree. She picks up a wooden box and places it on the coffee
table, opening it up.


                       AUNT EMILY
In the stable, that night, as the
star of Bethlehem shone bright
upon the couple holding their son,
there was another visitor that
wasnít mentioned in the Bible.
A stableboy, Eli is crouched in a stall, peeking out,
watching Joseph and Mary sitting on the straw. Mary is
holding Jesus.
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
In the stable, that night, as the
star of Bethlehem shone bright
upon the couple holding their son,
there was another visitor, a young
stableboy hiding among the stalls.
What shall we wrap him in?
Eli goes to his sleeping area, grabs his blanket and turns
to go back but stops, hestitating a moment and then reaches
into the straw and pulls out an object the quickly returns
and to Mary.
                       AUNT EMILY
He heard Mary, so he ran to the
back of the stable to his little
sleeping area and grabbed his
blanket and a small wooden object.
It was all he had left from his
parents who had died less than a
year earlier. He made himself
known to the little family. He
gave the Hebrew cloth to Mary,
holding the wooden object behind
his back.
Thank you, young man. What is
your name?
                       YOUNG ELI
Elijah Ben Jahar, son of Kubahar,
though he is dead. The innkeeper
has kindly given me this job so I
can sleep here.


Come closer, Elijah.
Eli walks closer and kneels on the straw in front of her.
This is a lovely gift. And what do
you have hidden behind your back,
ELIJAH pulls out his arm, extends his hand out to her,
opening his fingers to reveal a small wooden donkey. Mary
gasps her pleasure and takes it to admire.
                       YOUNG ELI
My father was a carpenter. He
worked wood like magic. This was
the last piece he carved. It was
meant to be the top of a walking
stick but he nevered finished
      (touching his
God will bless you for this,
Mary wraps Jesus in the cloth and places him in the manger
then she lovingly tucks the wooden donkey at his feet. Eli
gets off his knees, smiling with the deepest pride and walks
back to his stall to watch. Shepherds appear at opening to
stable. (one shepherd, Bohab wears a blue sash) They enter
one at a time to kneel and look at the baby.
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
Suddenly, the opening to the
stable was filled with shepherds
asking to worship the newborn
King. They were welcomed. A light
shone around the baby's head.
                       AUNT EMILY
      (pulling out
       silver ball)
This is Eli's ornament. It has
the lovely strips of Hebrew cloth
tied around the base with a small
wooden donkey on the one side to
show how his selfless gift bonded


                       AUNT EMILY (cont'd)
him forever to the one who was
wrapped in it. On other side is a
lovely river scene, flowing with
the cool water of eternal life.
Those who drink from this river
will never thirst again. Eli will
see the realization of God's plan
here at the river.
Aunt Emily hands the ornament to Elizabeth. She looks at it
in awe at its beauty then passes it to Joe. It is passed to
everyone and the last person hands it to Aunt Emily.
There is a crowd of people along the river bank. John the
Baptist is in the water, baptising people as the Adult
Elijah is walking towards them. Rae is seen in the crowd,
looking older and surrounded by several children and a man
is standing beside her.
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
Inspired by the Christ-child born
in a stable and eager to
understand the scriptures, Eli had
risen from stableboy to the
assistant for the Rabbi Lukas.
Many people had heard him tell his
tale about the Messiahís birth and
many laughed at him. When he heard
of John the Baptist preaching at
the river, he went to hear him
John the Baptist speaks to the crowd. Elijah steps to the
river bank.
      (arms raised)
Ask for forgiveness of your sins!
Come into the water dark with sin
and God will wash you clean.
Eli walks into the water. John takes his hand and holding
his back, he baptises him.
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
That day, he heard the message of
repentance and rebirth. He went
into the River Jordan, a sinner in
need of forgiveness and was
baptized into the family of God, a


                       AUNT EMILY (cont'd)
new man.
Eli leaves the water joyous. Talking to people and hugging a
few. Suddenly the crowd parts and Jesus walks through and
into the water.
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
Suddenly, the crowd parted like
the Red Sea and a man walked
through. John the Baptistís face
filled with awe and he fell to his
I need to be baptized by you and
yet you come to me?
John the Baptist falls to his knees in the water before
Jesus. Jesus helps him up and leans in to whisper to him.
John the Baptist holds his hand and places his other hand
behind his back and baptises Jesus. The heavens shine down
and a dove flies down and lands on Jesus' shoulder.
                       GOD (VO)
This is my son with whom I am well
All the people on the banks fall to their knees and bow
their heads. Elijah lays his body on the ground. Jesus
leaves the water; pauses as Rae stands. She reaches for him.
Jesus takes her hands, speaks a few soft words and hugs her
as the children hug him. He pulls apart as the man, her
husband steps forward. Jesus pats him on the shoulder and He
walks away to stand in front of Elijah. Eli looks up at him.
Jesus smiles at him and then walks out of the crowd. Eli
stands and watches Jesus walk away, in awe.
                       AUNT EMILY
With one look into Jesus's eyes,
Eli knew him. John preached about
Jesus and what his message of hope
and life would mean to us all. Eli
stored all that he heard in his
heart and wrote it all down as
soon as he got back to the temple.
He told everyone who would listen
about Jesus and even took many to
see him speak.


Everyone else looks at Elizabeth a moment to see her
reaction. Elizabeth smiles at Megan and joins her clapping.
Everyone else laughs and claps too as Aunt Emily places the
ornament on the tree.
      (picking up bible
       and reading)
And there were shepherds living
out in the fields nearby, keeping
watch over their flocks at night.
An angel of the Lord appeared to
them and the glory of the Lord
shone around them and they were
terrified. But the angel of the
Lord said to them, 'Do not be
afraid. I bring you good news of
great joy that will be for all the
people. Today in the city of
David a savior has been born to
you; he is Christ, the Lord. This
will be a sign to you: You will
find the baby wrapped in cloths
and lying in a manger.' Suddenly,
a great company of the heavenly
host appeared with the angel,
praising God and saying, 'Glory to
God in the highest and on earth
peace to men on whom His favor
rests.' When the angels left
them, the shepherds said to one
another, 'Let's go to Bethlehem
and see this thing that has
happened, which the Lord has told
us about." (NIV Luke 2:8-15)
Mary and Joseph kneel at the manger where Jesus lays. Young
Eli is standing next to Mary. He retreats further back into
the stable when he hears the sounds of people entering the
stable. Three shepherds enter, Bohab wears the blue shash
and is carrying a walking stick. They stop and look for an
invitation. Mary motions for them to come closer. They go to
the manger and kneel.
We are honored. How did you know?


A great host of angels visited us
as we watched over our sheep. They
told us where to find the Christ
child. It is us who are honored.
What a wonderful walking stick,
young shephard. Did you carve it
Yes. I do not know why, but I had
a dream of a man riding a donkey
with a crowd waving palm branches,
so I carved it into my stick to
BOHAB hands the stick to Joseph who admires it, showing it
to Mary. Mary brings out the Eli's wooden carving. It fits
perfectly on top of the walking stick.
It fits perfectly. Surely, he will
be the great shepherd, leading his
people out of bondage. I
understand now why God gave me the
talent to carve it. It was meant
for him.
Bohab and the Shepherds leave, joyous. They can be heard
telling people along the street what they have seen. YOUNG
ELI is seen watching them leave.
Aunt Emily reachs into the box and pulls out another glass
ornament and passes to Elizabeth.
                       AUNT EMILY
This is the Shepherd's ornament.
It has on one side the image of
the angels who proclaimed the
birth of Christ, not to the rich
but to the plain and humble worker
in the field. The other side shows
the beautiful walking stick, a
gift that will later serve in
Jesus plan of redemtion. This
ornament reminds us that the
Savior came to save all mankind.
The glass ball is green to
represent the green fields of


                       AUNT EMILY (cont'd)
plenty and God's promise to
provide for those who obey him.
The ornament is given back to Aunt Emily and she places it
on the tree.
                       AUNT EMILY
This ornament also reminds us that
the Lord is our shepherd, that He
will do whatever it takes to find
us, His lost sheep and bring us
home to Him. It reminds us that
like the Shepherds, considered the
lowest, we are precious to Him, no
matter who we are.
I am a lost sheep.
                       AUNT EMILY
True, lass. We all are His sheep
in need of a Shepherd. God sees
into the heart of everyone,
knowing their needs before they
do. All we are required to do is
ask and it will be given.
      (jumping up)
The note!
Elizabeth starts looking everywhere. Finally, she finds the
slip of paper, holding it up for everyone to see.
Ask and it will be given, seek and
you will find, knock and it will
be opened to you. For everyone
who asks, receives and he who
seeks, finds and to him who
knocks, it will be opened.
That's one of my favorite verses.
It was left in a paper bag of food
for me yesterday.


I have strayed so far away from
God these past few years. I
really must change that.
      (looking at Aunt
Did you leave me the food with
this verse?
                       AUNT EMILY
Not guilty. I think that you have
a Guardian Angel to thank for
Angels? You don't really think?
Come on! An angel leaving me food?
Yeah, right.
Yes, there are angels, right,
Anne clears her throat, getting Elizabeth's attention.
I have to apologize to you,
Elizabeth. I was insensitive and
to be honest, ashamed that I had
lost sight of Simon. I should
have been more careful. Will you
forgive me?
Elizabeth looks at Anne, shocked and speechless. She can
only nod her acceptance.
                       AUNT EMILY
Joseph, Mary and Jesus lived in
Bethlehem for awhile during his
A line of people wait outside the stable to see the Baby
Jesus. Three men (Priest #1, Priest #2 & Priest #3) enter
the street pushing & pulling the prostitute, Rae. Several
people from the line leave to surround them. The men are
yelling at Rae, holding stones.


                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
Word travelled through out the
city about the Christ Child born
in the stable and people came to
visit. One day, there was a line
waiting to see Jesus, when four
men entered the street, dragging a
woman. Her name was Rae and she
was being accused of adultry.
Joseph pushes through the crowd and confronts the priest.
Stop! Why do you do this here?
Have you no respect for the Christ
                       PRIEST #3
      (raising stone to
It is the law! This woman is an
adultress. She was caught with a
married man! She must be stoned to
Mary leaves the stable, carrying Jesus. The crowd becomes
quiet and parts for her to walk through and join Joseph. The
three men bow their heads and Rae stops weeping.
What manner of evil do I see? Why
do you torture this poor woman?
                       PRIEST #1
Forgive us, I pray. We have caught
this woman with a married man. She
is to be punished. Perhaps we
should have gone elsewhere.
      (Holding Jesus up
       for them to see)
There will be no bloodshed today.
Drop your stones and examine your
own sin. Leave this woman for God
to judge.
Priest #1 and #3 drop their stones and bow to her before
leaving. Priest #2 stands firm, tossing the stone and
catching it a few times with a defiant look at Mary. When
Rae begins to move away. He grabs her hair, holding the
stone up like a weapon. Joseph steps forward and Priest #2


releases her, throws the stone at the street close to her
before spitting his disgust and walking away. Rae rushes
forward and lands on her knees in front of Mary. She grabs a
piece of Mary's robe and cries face down in the dirt. Mary
bends over and strokes Rae's hair in a motherly fashion.
Cry no more, lady. Your sins are
great but the mercy of the Lord is
greater. Ask and forgiveness will
be granted.
Bless you, bless you! I am saved
from death though my sins are
great. Please ask God to forgive
my transgressions.
Rise up, child. Ask for yourself.
For here is God made flesh.
Rae rises and steps away in fear. The crowd has gathered
around them. Several gasp at the beauty of Jesus as Mary
sits him up on her arm. Jesus smiles.
I am not worthy to be near the
Christ Child. Please forgive me.
My hunger caused me to sin. I am
barren so my husband divorced me,
leaving me with nothing but the
house I live in. Show mercy!
Mary steps forward and stretches Jesus out to her. She steps
away again, hesitates and comes closer when Jesus smiles at
her. She reaches out her trembling hand and Jesus wraps his
little fingers around hers. Rae weeps.
Forgive me.
That is why he came, to make way
for all to receive eternal life.
Now you must sin no more. Put your
faith in Him and he will provide.
I am your servant, Rae.


Mary hugs Rae then guides her out of the crowded street into
the stable.
                       AUNT EMILY
And so a new life begins. Rae
invites the holy family to share
her home while they are in
Bethlehem. They accept her
kindness and move out of the
Many people are walking along the street. A few vendors with
carts of produce are selling as customers look over their
produce. Mary is carrying a basket, looking over fruit at a
cart. Rae appears on the street. People turn from her, cross
the street to avoid her. The men point at Rae in
disapproval. She quickly turns away and runs into Priest #2.
As she falls to the ground, Young Eli is seen running
towards Mary and Joseph. Mary and Joseph greet Young Eli who
pulls out a scroll.
      (trying to pull
       gently away)
I am sorry, sir. I didn't mean...
Horror fills her face when she sees him. Priest#2 roughly
picks her up and holds her arm tightly. Priest #2 looks her
up and down, smiling in an evil way. His grip tightens. She
understands his smile and pulls roughly away.
                       PRIEST #2
You act too proud for your own
sake, woman. I can offer you
silver for your cooperation.
I am not that woman any longer,
Priest. I do not wish to lay with
                       PRIEST #2
I do not wish to lay with you,
woman of dirt and filth. I offer
you silver for a simple service.
How can you refuse? It is obvious
that you need it.


      (backing away in
No, sir. I...I...
                       PRIEST #2
      (quickly grabbing
       her arm again)
Are you crazy? The silver I offer
would keep you in the finest of
silk. I mearly want you to inform
me of your houseguest. Just let me
know what they do, where they go
and when they leave. It is
ill-advise to refuse me! Afterall,
the wages for your sin is death
and I can certainly make sure of
Priest #2 pulls out his pouch, taking out a silver coin and
forces her to take it. Rae pulls away, tears in her eyes and
walks several steps away as he grins. Suddenly, she stops,
standing tall and proud, she throws the coin at him. It hits
him on the chest before falling to the ground. He is shocked
and before he can react, she runs away.
Rae is tending the fire. Mary walks into the room carrying
Jesus. She holds him out for Rae to take. Rae shakes her
head, 'No' but Mary smiles and places him into her arms,
kisses his cheek.
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
Each day, Mary would bring the
baby Jesus to Rae and ask her to
hold him. And each day Rae had
refused, feeling unworthy. That
night Mary forced her to take him.
As Rae held him, her heart healed
alittle more but she feared what
the Priest would do to her. Mary
could feel her fear and seemed to
know her pain.
Rae cuddles Jesus. Mary watches as Rae talks to him and
cries softly.
Mary, I've so much sin. Could God
really forgive me?


      (touching her arm,
Yes, Rae. You need only ask and it
will be given unto you.
Rae hugs Mary. Cradling Jesus, she sways side to side. Mary
watches the tender moment and leaves. Rae begins to dance
around the room, humming a gentle lullaby. Jesus laughs and
coos to her.
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
Mary and Joseph had treated her
with love and compassion,
something that she had not been
given by the people in her own
family. Her life no longer
mattered for she would gladly give
it in order to protect him.
As Rae continues to dance with the Baby, in the background
another scene plays on the walls.
The Palace room: King Herod is talking with his chief
priests and then sends several away.

Outside of Rae's house: Joseph hurries Mary and Jesus out of
the house where a donkey waits. He places Mary holding Jesus
on the donkey. Rae comes out, looking frantic and afraid.
Joseph hugs her as Mary holds Rae's hand. Then they leave
quickly down the street. Rae cries and looks around fearful.
In the distance, there is a shadow that comes forward into
the sunlight revealing the sneering evil face of Priest #2.
Rae stops dancing, looks behind her at the wall where the
scene has just frozen on the face of Priest #2. Tears well
up in her eyes, as she looks fearfully around the room. Baby
Jesus whimpers and she hugs him close.
Everyone is on the edge of their seats. Megan throws her
arms around Elizabeth's neck. Simon crawls into Joseph's lap
with wide eyes.
Oh no! The bad man is going to
hurt her.


I'm not scared...I just thought
Joseph was.
Everyone laughs.
So why did Joseph and Mary leave
in such a hurry?
                       AUNT EMILY
Ah, that will be revealed,
shortly. For now, we must finish
Rae's story.
Yes, yes, Aunt Emily. Please
Did the bad man get her?
As The Priest #2's face fades away, Rae begins to dance in a
sorrowful, grieving manner with the Baby. In the background
other scenes play on the walls. Rae becomes a shadow dancing
across the wall.
                                         SCENES PROJECTING ON
Next scene: Flash of King Herod angry, ordering guards, who
run out. Next scene: Soldiers riding horses into city. Next
scene: City street: People screaming, babies crying,
Soldiers coming out of doorways with babies and families
following, Guard #1 tears a baby from mother's arms; mother
fights to get baby back, Guard #1 pushes her to ground;
Guard #2 draws his sword to keep the family away. Mother is
on the ground, crying, wailing with arms reaching in the air
for her child. Fade-out
Fade-in. Priest #2 waits, hidden around a corner of a
building as Rae walks unaware down the street. As she
reaches the corner, Priest #2 grabs her and she struggles.
The Angry Priest raises his hand to strike her when a man
appears. Rae falls to the street. The man grabs the raised
hand, spinning the Priest around violently. Both men throw a


few punches and the Priest lands on the ground. When the
Priest starts to get up, the man threatens him with his fist
and the Priest cowers on the ground. The man extends his
hand to Rae, who smiles her graditude and accepts his help
getting up. They both stay locked in each other's eyes.
Aunt Emily turns the glass ball of pink showing the woman,
Rae surrounded by children, holding a baby in the air. It
was passed around as she continued.
                       AUNT EMILY
This is Raeís ornament. It
reminds us that God loves us no
matter what our past was. Rae was
a fallen woman abandoned by
everyone yet God accepted her. Rae
never returned to her past shame
but with a new strength, she
changed her life forever. God
sent her a wonderful husband who
loved her and protected her.
Though she was barren, God gave
her many children through the
years. Her home became a haven for
all in need. Many people came to
see the house that Jesus had lived
in. Many gave support to feed the
children and many couples adopted
them as their own. Rae lived a
long life being a mother to
hundreds of children, teaching
them all about the Lordís love and
the son He gave so that anyone
could find forgiveness.
Elizabeth was so touched by the story that she shed a tear.
Simon reached his hand up and touched her wet cheek and
jumped off the couch. He grabbed a tissue and handed it to
her. She smiled and wiped her eyes. Rae's ornament was seen
by everyone and given back to Aunt Emily and she placed it
on the tree. She picks up the Bible and reads.
                       AUNT EMILY
In Matthew, chapter 2 it is
written ĎAfter Jesus was born in
Bethlehem in Judea, during the


                       AUNT EMILY (cont'd)
reign of King Herod...
King Herod standing on a balcony, looking at the bright star
in the sky. There is a bright glow all around them. He is
showing fear as the three scribes point and talk about the
star with excitement.
                       SCRIBE #1
There are Magi seeking your
presense, my lord.
Send them to me. Quickly!
The scribe leaves. King Herod looks at the star, worried and
fearful, wiping his brow. The scribe returns with three
Magi. The Magi bow to King Herod.
You have traveled far, Magi. What
great importance causes you to
seek an audience with me?
                       MAGI #1
Yes, we have traveled far but it
is not you we seek. We are here to
find the birth of a King.
                       MAGI #2
Do you not see the Bright star? It
is there to annouce the birth. We
have followed it for a long time.
I have seen the star but know of
no such birth. I am the King. I am
the only one to appoint an heir.
                       SCRIBE #2
Excuse me, my lord, but the
scriptures do say that the Messiah
will be born in Bethlehem.
King Herod becomes very angry and waves them all to leave
him alone. The scribes and the Magi leave quickly. Priest
#1, #2, & #3 enter, bowing as King Herod paces worriedly. He
stops as the Priest are bowed and claps to get them to rise
up. Words are exchanged and they quickly leave the King.
Scribe quickly leaves the King. King Herod stands at the
balcony edge staring at the star.


The three Magi leave the city on their camels, toward the
star. Shortly, behind them Malifus rides quickly.
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
So it was, that Malifus, from the
tribe of Levy, was sent to
overtake the Magi and join them
poising as another wiseman seeking
the answer to the star.
                                         CAMP SITE
Three Magi sit around a fire drinking and eating. They hear
a noise and turn to see Malifus. They motion for him to join
them. Magi #1 gives him his food. Malifus sits and eats with
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
When they reached the city,
crowded with people, they noticed
that the star seem to stop and
shine brightly over a certain
Many people crowd the street looking at the Wisemen. Several
people call out to each other. Malifus backs away from the
Magi, fearful of a riot.
                       VOICE #1 (VO)
Hey, these are men of royal blood!
                       VOICE #2
They've come to see the Baby.
Surely he is who they say he is.
                       VOICE #3
But this is the house of the
prostitute, Rae.
Malifus inches along the front wall. The words of the crowd
worry him. Rae comes to the doorway and beakons the Magi to
enter. Malifus freezes in fear when Rae looks at him.
I...I...yes, thank you.
Rae enters the house. Malifus takes a few steps, hesitates
and starts to go inside when a woman stops him.


                       VOICE #3
That woman is filth! Why do you
soil your soul by entering her
A prostitute? That is where the
child lives? This can't be the
                       VOICE #2
I told them that the shepherds
were right. That is the
Christ-child. Why else would men
with royal clothes come to see the
child unless he is a King? Right?
He is the King.
      (pushing the man
He is but a child, liar. We
already have a king! Now stop
spreading falsehoods. Why would
the Messiah live in the house of
such a woman?
Malifus enters the house. Mary sits holding Jesus with
Joseph standing beside her. Magi #1 is bowed in front
holding a gift. Magi #2 and #3 both hold gifts as well.
Malifus searches his robes hoping to find something to give
but finds nothing. He keeps his back to the wall far away
from them.
Come forward and see the
Magi #2 goes forward, giving his gift. Magi#3 does the same.
When #3 moves away, Mary looks at Malifus and smiles.
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
Malifus couldnít go forward. His
heart was bursting with shame that
he was only there to spy and bring
about the death of this child. He
couldnít look at him. His palms
began to sweat and he silently
prayed to be released from his
duty. The other Magi were looking
at him with worry and concern.


                       AUNT EMILY (cont'd)
They each beckoned him to come
kneel but he couldnít. All the
words of the prophets swam around
in his mind and suddenly, they all
fell into place, ďSurely, this
canít be the Messiah. He hasnít
come the way I expected. His
birth wasnít in a palace like a
royal birth should be, yet it was
foretold to be in Bethlehem.
Mary beakons him again. Malifus shakes his head 'No' then
shows his empty hands.
You need no expensive gift to seek
God, Malifus. God knows your
heart. You are of great value to
How did you...?
Come here and see the
Christ-child. You need not wonder
Malifus moves forward. The child's face seems to glow.
Falling to his knees, he bows his head.
He is the truth, Malifus. Our Lord
knows the depth of your very soul.
Trying to follow the laws can
never bring you to Him, but this
baby can. All He asks of you is
to believe.
Yes, I believe.
King Herod sits on his throne. His advisors (Scribe #1, #2,
#3) stand to the side. Malifus enters and bows.


                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
As it is written, the Magi never
returned and told King Herod where
Jesus was living. God had sent
Malifus to be a witness.
The Lord, your God has spoken and
He warns you, King Herod not to
send anyone to do harm to the
child, for he will be protected.
King Herod, you will not be able
to find him.
The Scribes become angry and they called the guards. The
guards take Malifus away.
                       AUNT EMILY
King Herod didn't listen and sent
an army of soldiers to kill every
boy child two years old and
younger. The King put Malifus in
prison. Being the terrible king
that he was, he could have easily
killed the scribe but he was too
afraid of him. Malifus had spoken
as directly from God. For many
years, he suffered in prison but
he witnessed to all the prisoners
about the Christ-Child. Many
believed. Unfortunately, he became
very ill in the damp prison and
the sickness settled in his eyes,
putting him forever in the dark.
After Herod's death, the prisoners
were released. He spent his days
sittng outside the gate of the
city, begging for food and a
willing ear to listen to his
Oh, Aunt Emily, that is horrible.
He spends years in jail then he
loses his sight, yet still he
proclaims the Messiah? I don't
understand. It doesn't make sense.
I mean, he had a sense of duty! He
followed the laws of God, right?
If you follow God's laws, then
everything is supposed to turn out


                       ELIZABETH (cont'd)
Well, Beth...I'm sorry, Miss
Green...First thing, God never
promised that the right path would
be the easy one. And to answer
your second question...who amoung
us can say that we have never
broken one of God's laws? Think
about it. It is impossible to
follow it completely without ever
making a mistake. God knew that
and so He provided another way,
the ultimate sacrifice for our
Aunt Emily reaches into the box and brings out another
ornmament. It is a blue ball with a scribe's scroll and pen
painted on it. As she spins it around, it shows three black
drawings of crosses upon a hill.
                       AUNT EMILY
Yes, it can be hard to understand
when we see a faithful one suffer.
This is Malifus' ornament. It
will remind us that keeping the
laws but not having Jesus in your
heart will not bring you to God.
Only by giving yourself to Him and
believing will you ever reach the
Lord. 'For by grace are ye saved,
through faith, not by works, lest
any man should boast.'
Aunt Emily hands the ornament to Elizabeth. She holds it up
and shakes her head sadly before handing it to Joe.
Poor Malifus. He was faithful, yet
left alone to suffer.
                       AUNT EMILY
The Lord sees our suffering,
Elizabeth. He hears our cries and
feels the ache within us.
ELizabeth unconciously touches that place on her chest where
the ache had been. Joe passes the ornament on, looking at
her with concern.


What did Malifus get for all his
suffering but heartache, sadness,
hunger and blindness. Years
Outside the city gates, the shepherd, Bohab is camping along
the hillside. There is a small herd of sheep eating grass on
the hill. Next to the tent there are a few chickens
scratching the ground underneath a donkey that is tied to a
post. The shepherds are sitting outside the tent when Peter
& two disciples walk up the dirt road.
Hello, kind shepherd.
Bohab rises to greet the disciples. His sons stand firm with
him, defensive and worried.
      (returning wave)
Hello, strangers. Do you desire
assistance? I have very little to
share but share it I will.
Our Father, Jehovah will bless you
greatly for what we need requires
much of you.
The sons step forward, placing themselves between the
strangers and their father. Both have their hand on their
waist where a knife is carried. Both disciples step back and
bow. Bohab steps between the sons, waving them back.
Forgive my sons. They have
travelled days along the desert,
herding our meager numbers of
sheep here. We have lost most of
our herd to a strange sickness and
lost a few to thieves so they are
most protective. My name is Bohab,
son of Zachria. Come and sit with
us. Break bread and sip wine.
Come, come! (more)
They all sit and break bread and sip wine.


We have come to the city to sell
what sheep we can and buy food. It
has not been a good season for us.
I see you are Hebrew. You come for
the festival?
Yes, our Master wishes to
celebrate Passover in the Holy
City. We are sorry for your loss.
Our Master has sent us to find a
      (nervous look at
       his donkey)
A donkey?
                       SON #1
      (placing hand on
       his knife)
Father, be wise.
                       SON #2
      (frowning, nervous)
They mean to rob us!
                       DIS #1
Yes, though it is hard to believe.
We were told by our Master that we
would find a shepherd at the city
gates who would have a donkey.
                       DIS #2
And here you are just as He said.
The sons, once again become defensive, standing drawing
their knives. Bohab stands and holds out his arms in front
of them. The diciples rise, standing firm and unafraid.
We know how this must sound, but
have faith that what we say is
from God.
Bohab pushes his sons back and circles them with his arms.
They discuss the request, heatedly. Finally the Shepherd
turns to the disciples, bows and motions to his donkey.
As you have seen and heard, we
have very little. We fear that the
sickness will take what few sheep


                       BOHAB (cont'd)
we have left. Our donkey is of
great value to us. It is the one
thing that we were not to sell.
Now, strangers come to tell us
that Jehovah demands that we give
it up? Yes, very hard to believe.
None-the-less, I offer our most
valuable possession with faith.
Take him and go in peace.
The disciples bow to him. Peter extends his hand and places
an object in Bohab's hand. Bohab opens his hand. It is the
wooden carving that Eli gave to Baby Jesus. The sons look
confused and worried as Bohab eagerly hands the donkey to
the disciples and ushers them on their way.
Bohab and his sons are lying on their mats inside the tent,
when they hear shouting of many people. They come out of the
tent as voices are heard calling in excitement. They see
that a crowd of people have gathered at the gate and along
the dirt road. Bohab and sons run to the edge and look down
the road. Jesus is riding a donkey with his disciples
walking along side.
      (pointing, holding
       the wooden donkey)
Yes, it is him! There are the men
that took our donkey. It is the
Master sitting upon it's back.
The crowds are waving palm branches and calling out to Jesus
as he rides the donkey. Bohab steps out of the crowd & the
donkey stops in front of it's Master. Jesus reaches out his
hand and touches Bohab's shoulder. Immediately, Bohab
relaxes and a smile lights up his face as his sons watch,
You are the babe that was born in
the stable. I remember!
The Shepherd hugs his son to his sides and Jesus then
touches each son. Both sons smile. Jesus reaches along side
the donkey pulling out the walking stick and places it in
Bohab's hand, nods. Bohab pulls out the carved wooden donkey
and places it at the top of the stick where it fits
perfectly. Jesus whispers in Bohab's ears then continues
along. In the distance, the voice of Malifus can be heard.


                       MALIFUS (VO)
Jesus, have mercy on me, your
                       SON #1
What did he say father?
He said that the walking stick
comes back to me in a time of
                       SON #2
That was the one? The Christ-child
you've told us about? And the
walking stick you made?
Yes, my sons. You have been
touched by the hand of God! Come,
we have nothing to fear.
                       AUNT EMILY
What a sight it was! Bohab felt
the power of Jesus the moment that
he touched him. At that moment,
all of his worries about the
sickness, the loss of his donkey
or the future melted away.
Aunt Emily reaches into the box and pulls out another
ornament. It sparkles gold with a donkey painted on one side
and as she turns the ball, a herd of sheep surround it.
                       AUNT EMILY
This is the Bohab's ornament. Once
again, God chose a Shepherd. Bohab
was losing everything, yet gave
his one thing of value. It is a
reminder that even in our darkest
time, God is ever watchful. With
faith, we can face the future
knowing that it is in His hands.
One would think that was the end
of the story but not so. We go
back to the Gate outside
Jerusalem, where Malifus waits.


Blind Mailfus sits on his mat at the gates to Jerusalem,
where he spends most his days preaching and waiting. There
is a crowd of people walking towards the gate, surrounding
Jesus, Peter & the disiples. Along side Jesus, Bohab is
holding the walking stick.
                       VOICE #1 (VO)
Jesus! It's Jesus!
Jesus, son of David have mercy on
Malifus stands and waves. Several people in the crowd look
at him with disgust.
                       VOICE #2
Be quiet, old blind fool. He has
no time for the likes of you.
Jesus, have mercy on me, your
                       JESUS (VO)
Bring the blind man to me.
The crowd parts and Peter goes to Malifus and guides him to
Jesus. Malifus drops to his knees.
Master, I have waited 30 years.
What do you want from me?
My Lord, I prayed that I would see
the Messiah again.
      (placing hands on
       Malifus's eyes)
Your faith has healed you. Open
your eyes and behold the one you


Malifus opened his eyes. He kissed Jesus's hands. He hugs
Peter & the disciples. The crowd cheers including Bohab and
his sons. Malifus kneels at Jesus' feet. Jesus motions to
Bohab, who helps Malifus up using the walking stick.
The ornaments have made it around the room and back to
Elizabeth. She smiles at Aunt Emily who motions for her to
place the ornaments on the tree. She hands one to Joe and
they both place one on the tree.
In the end Jesus healed him.
                       AUNT EMILY
Exactly. Malifus started his life
a deep believer in following the
laws of God. He thought that the
law would bring him to God. What
he learned was that Jesus came to
teach that we are saved by His
grace alone. We can live a good
life and still be lost. And what
is amazing is that Malifus became
a powerful witness for Christ
because of his suffering and
faithfulness. Malifus and Bohab,
unlikely heros were truly blessed.
The next day, the donkey appeared
at their tent. Bohab took Malifus
into his family and cared for him.
God provided Malifus with a
family. The mysterious sickness
disappeared and the herd multipied
Most people would have turned
their backs on God at the first
sign of trouble. I mean, Malifus
lost everything yet he still
proclaimed the Messiah. I don't
know if I could have been so
Ain't that the truth. I don't
think any of us is that strong. I
know I'm not.


      (laughs, raising
Several more neighbors raise their hands, calling out
"guilty" and the last one to raise their hand is Megan and
      (raised hand)
I guilty too.
      (waving hand in
       the air)
Me too. Me too.
Everyone laughs. Megan frowns.
You are so cute! What is your
Megan. I'm four years old. I saw
you looking all sad today.
Megan! That's not nice.
No, it's okay. Megan, why do you
say that?
      (pointing at
       Elizabeth's chest)
You were hurting, right there. I
saw you!
Elizabeth unconsiously touches her chest as she nods 'yes'.
Don't be sad, no more, K?


                       AUNT EMILY
Don't worry, lass, the ache will
lessen as your heart heals. I
Perhaps we should break and get
refreshments. I know I could use
some of that punch Joyce made.
Ah, Joseph, you are too kind. Yes,
let's do that. I want to try those
cookies Sarah brought.
Joe, Joyce, Megan, Simon and Fred leave to the kitchen.
Others talk quietly. Elizabeth remains quiet on the couch,
still with her hand on her aching chest. Aunt Emily turns
and is thoughtfully looking into her wooden box.
More story, Aunt Emily, more!
Megan runs from the kitchen, the others return. Aunt Emily
is sadly touching an ornament inside the box. Elizabeth
notices and taps Joe on the arm, motioning for him to look.
He frowns and walks over, hugs her. She smiles and gently
pushes him away so he returns to the couch. Simon goes to
Elizabeth and crawls into her lap. She looks ready to reject
but smiles instead and allows him to get comfortable. Megan
decides to jump into Joe's lap and he tickles her a little.
                       AUNT EMILY
Forgive me, I tend to get alittle
emotional. You see, Christians are
forever in danger from the
beginning with Paul and two
thousand years after the death and
resurrection of our Savior, Jesus
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
The gospel was spread throughout
the world though evil prevailed.
Wars are a shameful stain on our
history. How sad God has been as
he watched his children
slaughtering each other using His
name to justify it. Wars started
by Christians and unbelievers as
well. One of the greatest evil,


                       AUNT EMILY (cont'd)
however was Adolf Hitler. His
armies destroyed the lives of
Jewish and Christian families. One
such family is the center of my
next story.
Scenes: german soldiers marching, huge guns firing into the
air, planes fighting, Natzi soldiers herding jews into
trains, Jews walking with stars sewn on their coats, a train
shows a young Emily traveling alone, looking out her window
at pretty scenery that is reflected in the glass as she
smiles. And the last scene: Benjamin riding a horse on a
farm. Family members come out of the house to greet him.
They hug and enter the house.
The family crowd around Ben to hear about his visit to town.
He smiles and pulls out of his coat pocket a small radio.
Everyone reacts excited. Sister tries to touch it and Ben
pulls it away.
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
Benjamin Holsh was a dashing young
man with jet-black hair and a
cheerful disposition. His brown
eyes seemed to sparkle with a
secret joy. He was a dedicated
eldest son yet he longed for
adventure away from his familyís
Dutch farm in Holland. The time
was the latter part of the 1930ís
and though Hitlerís 3rd Reich was
sending terror through out Europe,
the Dutch thought that they would
never be touched. Benjamin was
raised in a Christian home and had
worked along side many Dutch
brothers that were Jewish. Never
in their widest dreams, or rather
nightmares could the family have
been prepared for the horror to
Touchy, touchy, sis! This is far
too valuable for your little


I never get anything!
I never get anything!
Sister always gets something,
little baby!
I'm not a baby! Am I, Mam? I do
not get anything!
                       MS HOLSH
Now, sis, you know that is not
true. Just last week, I gave you a
peppermint and you know how hard
those are to come by in this day.
      (still pouting)
But Mam, a peppermint is eaten and
gone, but a radio is something to
cherish forever. I want to hear
                       MR HOLSH
Sister! That be all!
Brothers #1 and #2 laugh at Sister then immediately stop
when Mr. Holsh gives them a stern look. When Mr. Holsh looks
away, Brother #1 sticks out his tongue at Sister and Sister
returns with her own tongue. Brother #2 grabs Brother #1 and
pulls him out of the room.
      (pats sister's
There, there, sis! I will let you
listen with me tonight after
dinner. Okay? Now off with you.
Isn't there something that needs
your attention?


That's a grown-ups way of getting
rid of the kids so they can talk
serious. Okay, okay! I'll go feed
the horse. At least, he likes me
to be around.
Sis jumps off her chair and leaves the room, stomping loudly
her displeasure. Brother #1 and #2 enter laughing. Mr and
Mrs. Holsh nod at each other and laugh quietly. Then Ben
puts the radio on the table and pulls out batteries from his
pocket. The whole family sits in their chairs and wait for
Ben to talk. He sighs loudly as he pats the radio
That's all the batteries we have
so we must ration it's use. I
don't know if I can ever find
anymore, at least not until that
madness of Hitler ends.
                       MR HOLSH
It will end, son. Surely, people
will rise up against him.
I wish that I can be so certain.
Pap, it is not looking very good
for those poor jews in Germany.
I've heard horrible things. Now,
with this, at least we can hear
some news. We will use it only at
night after dinner for one hour.
                       MS HOLSH
I worry that it was not a good
idea to allow my cousin's daughter
to come afterall.
                       MR HOLSH
Ah, Mother, it will be alright.
The young girl needed a change of
scenery and we certainly have
plenty of that to offer. Do not
worry about that war. It will not
touch us.
A young red-headed Emily sits looking out the train window.


                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
In Ireland, there lived another
family related to Holsh's family.
Their daughter was frail with a
weak heart and never expected to
survive childhood. When she
reached her eighteenth year, they
rejoiced that God had kept her
alive and prayed that He would
help them keep her alive through
the winter months. Benjamin's
mother had sent a letter asking
that they send their ailing cousin
for a visit. Their farm was
prosperous and the Netherlands
weather had been wonderful. With
mixed feelings, they sent the
excited daughter to their Dutch
kin, hoping that the change would
strengthen her health.
Through the train window, a sign passes announcing that the
ride has come to an end. Young Emily gets her bag from under
her seat and holds it as the train slows down. Looking out
the window, the train station comes into view and she sees a
family standing on the platform. It is the Holsh family.
Young Emily smiles and jumps up waving through the window.
                                         TRAIN STATION
Young Emily steps off the train. There a few passengers
exiting the train and walking along the platform while
others greet them or others get on the train. The Holsh
family steps forward to greet Young Emily.
I'm so glad to have another girl
in the house.
Sister hugs and then grabs Young Emily's arm, holding on
                       MS HOLSH
Now, sis, let the poor girl go.
Sister pulls away as Young Emily laughs. Mr. Holsh starts to
grab her bag but it is quickly stolen by Ben with a sheepish


Hello....by mame is men....I
mean...Ben...yes, that's my
Young Emily looks at Ben for the first time, smiling. She
giggles and blushes from his stare. Ben blushes as well and
turns away quickly, walking away with her bag.
                       MR HOLSH
What in the world is wrong with
that boy?
                       MS HOLSH
I'll explain it you later, dear.
The Young Emily is feeding chickens on a cold morning. Snow
starts to fall and she delights as she tries to catch the
snowflakes in her mouth. Ben comes out of the barn and stops
to watch. He smiles, runs to the fence of the chicken coop
and laughs at her.
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
She could hardly contain her joy.
The air seemed clearer and her
heart beat lighter. Yes, the
change was having a positive
effect on the little Irish girl.
Her Dutch family welcomed her and
she became a part of the family
the moment she arrived. Benjamin,
her fourth cousin, was mesmerized.
Aunt Emily's voice was cracking with emotion. a tear had run
down her cheek. Suddenly, she couldn't speak as she tried to
clear her throat.
                       AUNT EMILY
      (clearing her
Benji loved everything...she made
him laugh...
Joe gently puts Megan next to Elizabeth and gets up to put
his arm around his aunt. Aunt Emily wipes her eyes and
clears her throat.


Maybe you should sit for a moment.
                       AUNT EMILY
No...Joseph...I want to get this
out...Ben would work hard to
finish his chores early so he
could spend time with her. She
blossomed everytime he walked into
the room. Aye, they were so in
Aunt Emily wipes her eyes and clears her throat.
      (whispering loudly)
Okay, Aunt Emly, we ready. Tell
more about the pretty red girl.
                       AUNT EMILY
She was a red-haired girl, Megan.
      (raising her hand)
Aunt Emily?
                       AUNT EMILY
This isn't school, Elizabeth, you
don't have to raise your hand.
Oh, sorry. I just wanted to ask a
                       AUNT EMILY
Are you the red-headed girl?
Everyone leans forward, eager to hear the answer. Aunt Emily
clears her throat again and clutches her chest a moment
before she replies.
                       AUNT EMILY
Yes, I used to be that sick young
girl but as you can see, the Lord
certainly gave me a lot of years
for a girl with a weak heart.


Ben and Young Emily riding horses together; Young Emily
reading a book and Ben coming up behind her to tinkle her
neck with a piece of straw. She jumps up and chases him out
of the house, across the yard into the barn and catches him
by pushing him into the hay. They wrestle in the hay a
moment until Ben has her pinned to the floor where he stops.
They both gaze into each others eyes, breathless for a
moment. Ben frowns and moves away, leaving her in the barn
alone; The family traveling in the wagon, pulling up to a
church. The family sitting in church where Young Emily and
Ben steal glances at each other; Ben and Young Emily walking
along the road in the snow where Ben reaches his hand out
and she takes it;
The Holsh family and Young Emily are finishing dinner.
Sister gets up and starts clearing the dishes.
Hey, I wasn't finished with that!
Yes, you are. You haven't touched
it for 15 minutes. You're too busy
Yeah, at Cousin Emily!
I have not!
Have too! Huh, Mam? Huh, Pa?
I was just deep in thought about
things. That's all!
Young Emily blushes and gets up to help clear the table. Mr
and Ms. Holsh give each other a knowing glance while the
brothers tease Ben. Sister takes dishes to the sink and
returns carrying the radio.


I'm tired of waiting for you to
finish, Benji. It's radio time!
Radio is turned on and a news reporter is talking. (An old
radio program should be played concerning the war.) Everyone
is quiet and the excitement leaves the room.
I don't think that we can pretend
any longer, Pap. The war is going
to come to Holland whether we like
it or not. We must be ready!
                       MR HOLSH
Ben, not in front of the girls.
Pap, why not? It is a fact that we
all have to realize.
                       MS HOLSH
Yes, perhaps Ben is right, dear.
I've already started storing food
under the barn. It will come in
handy, I think.
Good work, Mam. That's what I'm
talking about! What else should we
do, Pap?
                       MR HOLSH
This is not our war! The Dutch
people are peaceful people. We
have no reason to involve
ourselves. You need to stop this
fantasy of war, Benjamin.
Fantasy! Pap, I'm not the one
living in fantasy! You can't
ignore what is happening and think
it will go away!
                       MR HOLSH
      (slapping his hand
       on the table)
I refuse to believe that
this....this madman could ever
invade Holland! It is not going to


      (standing up)
Are you not listening to this
radio. Do you not hear?
Mr. Holsh leaves the room with his younger two sons
following behind him. Ms. Holsh goes into the kitchen.
Sister and Young Emily are quiet as Ben huffs his
frustration and leaves out the front door. Young Emily
hesitates and then follows him out into the cold night.
Ben is leaning against the fence. Young Emily stands beside
him and gently places her hand on his shoulder. They are
quiet. Suddenly, Ben takes her into his arms and hugs her
close. The front door of the house is open as the radio
begins to play:"_Insert old love song__" They dance the
waltz, gliding around the yard.
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
I'll never forget that night. We
danced under the starry sky with
the moon shining so bright. I
thought that my heart would burst
with happiness. It was as if all
the cross words that had just
happened in the dining room were a
million years ago. Now, it was
just Benji and me, dancing and
loving each other. Ah, it was my
first and last dance.
(singing)"song lyrics" We ended
our dance with our first kiss. It
was the best night of my life. But
it didn't last...soon the world
would come crashing down around us
and there was no time for being in
love...no time for dancing.
                       YOUNG EMILY
Benji? Your Dad will come around.
The music ends and they stand hugging each other a moment
until Ben suddenly pulls away. His face is dark as the
moonlight reflects off his tearry eyes. Ben is frustrated
and passionate. He can't find the words when he looks at
her. Young Emily doesn't understand so she moves closer to
him and strokes his hair. He grabs her hand and pulls it


You have to leave, Emily!
                       YOUNG EMILY
Yes, you have to go back home! You
can't stay here any more!
                       YOUNG EMILY
What are you saying? Ben?
Ben steps away from her. His eyes are grey with anger. He is
shaking with determination.
This is not the place for you.
Haven't you been listening? War
will come here. You must leave!
Ben storms away to the house, leaving Emily standing in the
I won't! I won't go, Benji! This
is my home now. I won't go!
Montage: Young Emily finding Ben alone in the barn. Pleading
with him while he argues and storms out; Ben coming to the
dinner table, quiet while the family talks. Young Emily
gazes at him with a tear in her eye; Ben leaving the corral
on a horse and Young Emily rushes out of the barn to grab
the reins. They exchange words and Ben kicks the horse and
rides quickly away. Young Emily walks to the fence, watching
him. Sister leaves the house and joins her, putting her arm
around her.
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
When the Nazi's came, it was
Show footage of Nazi soldiers, herding people, shooting
runners, etc.
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
Many farm people tried to help
hide the Jews. This was against
the law but we did it anyway as a
mission from God. The farms were


                       AUNT EMILY (cont'd)
the perfect place.
Show several scenes of night visits at farms. Jews being
hidden under barns, houses etc.
Young Emily enters the barn carrying a bucket. She puts the
bucket down, grabs a pitchfork and begins to clean out a
stall. Suddenly, the hay pile moves when her fork hits it.
Young Emily screams and jumps back, using the fork as a
weapon. A man pops out with his hands up. A gold star is
sewn on his jacket. Young Emily pushes him back into the
hay, looking out the doorway to be sure nobody sees.
                                         OUTSIDE BARN DOOR,
Night falls as Ben creeps back into the barn with a bucket.
The Jew comes out of the hay. Ben pulls out some bread and
cheese from the bucket.
Several Nazi soldiers are walking on each side of the
street. Two soldiers are detaining a Jewish man, shaking him
down. Ben is walking quickly with a friend. Both men have
their wool coat collars flipped up and hands in their
pockets to shield against the cold. As they walk along the
street, they pass two soldiers who stop and call out to
them. They stop with hands in the air. The two Nazi soldiers
pat each one down, pulling out papers. After inspecting the
papers, they roughly push them away and throw the papers at
them. Ben reaches over and grabs the papers, giving his
friend a wink and a nod. Quickly, they depart the street
into an alley.
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
We had lost so many friends during
those dark and evil months of war.
Starvation became the next
horror. In order to purchase
food, you had to have ration
cards. Feeding the hidden Jews
became very difficult. Sometimes,
we would have as many as 20 Jews
hidden in various places on the
farm. So Benjamin and other young
men became a part of the


Ben and Friend both wait against the alley walls, peeking
out to the street a few times. Suddenly, they both reach out
and grab a lone soldier, being careful to keep his back to
them so as not be identified, though they kept their faces
hidden with kerchiefs. The Friend pushes the soldier firmly
against the brick wall as Ben goes through the pockets,
pulling out ration cards. With a quick strength, the Friend
hits the soldier in the head with a knife handle, knocking
him out as they run off.
                                         FIELD OUTSIDE THE
Ben and Friend are running across the field.
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
It was very dangerous for death
was the reward if they got caught.
Each time they stole cards was
another brush with death. It kept
me on my knees praying everytime
Ben would leave the farm.
                                         A NEIGHBOR'S FARM
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
One of the neighbors was very good
at forging the cards and Ben would
give the cards out to neighbors
who had hidden Jews to feed.
Ben and Friend leave the farmhouse, looking all around,
nervously. They run into the fields again and part ways.
Young Emily sits in a chair at her window, looking into the
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
One day, he didn't come home. I
waited all night long, praying and
weeping as each hour passed
without his return.
                                         SUN RISES
Young Emily is sleeping in her chair when the morning
sunlight wakes her up. She bolts out of her chair and grabs
her robe. Taking a look out the window for some sign that
Ben had returned, she frowns and leaves the room.


                                         HOLSH KITCHEN
Young Emily enters the kitchen where Ms Holsh is at the
stove. They look at each other and Ms Holsh shakes her head
sadly. Young Emily covers her mouth as tears well-up. She
falls into the chair at the table and cries with her head in
her hands.
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
When he hadnít returned by the
next morning, we knew that he had
to have been arrested or even
worse, shot to death. We prayed
and cried and prayed some more.
Young Emily leaves the kitchen.
                                         YOUNG EMILY'S ROOM
Young Emily enters her room and falls into the bed, burying
her face in the pillow.
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
I felt my heart breaking as the
days turned into weeks. I knew
that I would never see my Benjamin
Young Emily crawls into the bed and curls into the fetal
position. Ms. Holsh enters, carrying a tray of food but
Young Emily will not respond. She leaves the tray on the
side table. The light from the window moves as the sun
crosses the sky. Sister enters the room to find the tray
untouched and Young Emily unresponsive. Sister takes the
tray and leaves in tears.
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
I spent days in bed, sorrow and my
weak heart left me drained of
energy. Months passed with no
word. My soul was dying. I blamed
God and even the Jews, feeling
nothing but hate. It put me into a
darkness that I had never known. I
stayed that way until Sasha came.
Young Emily is under her covers. Sister walks in holding the
Sasha's hand. Sister pulls the blanket from Young Emily and
shakes her awake.


Emily! Wake-up, Emily! Please! We
have no more room to hide them.
She must stay here. Come on!
The urgency of Sister's voice brings Young Emily out of her
silent prison and she sits up. The Jewish girl is about 19
years old and her clothing is torn and threadbare. She is
shivering from the cold, yet her face is set with a stubborn
stare. Her eyes are alive with blue light and Young Emily
couldn't resist them, though her hatred burned against the
                       YOUNG EMILY
You don't look like...
Like a what?
                       YOUNG EMILY
Like the others.
Yeah, like I haven't heard that a
million times! Look, I don't like
this any more than you do. You
stay out of my way and I'll stay
out of yours. All I need is a
Young Emily is looking out her window as Sasha feeds the
chickens. Both girls have a hard look on their faces. Sister
leaves the house carrying a basket of food and stops to
watch them. She sighs heavily. Sasha sticks her tongue out
at Young Emily before following Sister. Young Emily mouth
falls open in shock and anger.
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
I was very stubborn, using my weak
heart as an excuse to lay in my
bed. But then I couldn't resist
watching her out the window.
                                         YOUNG EMILY'S ROOM
Young Emily leaves the window and gets back into bed,
covering her eyes with her arm.
                                         LATER THAT NIGHT


Light from the window fades to black as time passes. Sasha
enters the room holding a candle and makes as much noise as
possible. Young Emily stirs and sits up.
                       YOUNG EMILY
Must you be so noisey, girl?
Yes, as a matter of fact. And I
have a name, Emily. Kindly use it
when addressing me. I am a person
despite what you may think.
                       YOUNG EMILY
What do you know what I think,
I know that you hate me because
Ben never came home. You blame me
though that is pretty stupid.
                       YOUNG EMILY
You know nothing. Leave me, alone.
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
I didn't know that Sasha prayed
for me and asked God to show her
how to reach me. I have no doubt
that is exactly what happened. God
formed a plan within that little
Jewish girl that saved my life.
Young Emily is sleeping when Sasha storms into the room
yelling her name. Young Emily sits up to see Sasha holding a
note out to her.
It just came, Emily. Look! It's a
Young Emily took the note and read it. Her face brightened
and she jumped out of bed.
                       YOUNG EMILY
Ben! Alive? Is this real, Sasha?
Where did it come from?


From a man who showed up last
night for refuge. He said that Ben
told him to seek your family's
farm for safe hiding.
                       YOUNG EMILY
To my family! I am alive and in
prison. With God's help, I will
survive. Please keep working for
the Lord just as I will while
here. All my love, Benjamin.
Tears of joy fall down Young Emily's cheeks as she dances
and hugs Sasha.
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
Well, I decided to take up the
cause just as Ben had done. I
wanted to make a difference in
this war and I felt such shame at
how I had allowed hatred to rule
my life...
Young Emily and Sasha crouched behind a tree. Young Emily
looks around and motions for Sasha to follow. They run along
the river a few yards and then walk across the river on a
fallen tree.
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
It was simple, really. Women were
unimportant so I could easily move
about. Sasha didn't look like a
Jew so she joined me and we
developed an amazing friendship.
She was fearless and had more grit
than most men I knew. We became a
great team. We moved Jews from
farm to farm in the middle of the
Young Emily whistles two long notes followed by three quick
bleeps. A return whistle is heard and the sound of rustling
leaves. Suddenly, five people join them and follow the girls
back across the tree.


Young Emily and Sasha walk arm in arm through town.
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
We would go to town and smuggle
food and documents. We had several
contacts. We would stop at a
coffee house and sit at a certain
                                         COFFEE HOUSE
Girls enter coffee house and sit at a back table. They order
coffee and chat a moment. Young Emily reaches under the
table and removes papers that are taped underneath. Sasha is
talking animated and blocks anyone's view as Young Emily
places the documents inside her coat lining.
Girls leave coffee house and walk down the street. A man
leaves the coffee house behind them and follows at a
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
We began to think that we were
invinsible. God had kept us safe
and given us success for months.
We made the mistake of becoming
complacent. We didn't notice the
man who appeared everywhere that
we went.
The man follows, steps into doorways whenever they stop to
look into windows. When the girls stop to talk to a local
woman, the man gets close enough to hear them. He shakes his
head and smiles, as he takes out a piece of paper, writes
and then places it back into his jacket. He walks past them
and disappears around a corner.
The girls are walking along the sidewalk when suddenly two
men step in front of them from a doorway. The blonde tall
one grabs Sasha's arm and when Young Emily turns to run, the
other man who is bald, trips her. She falls heavily to the
cement. Bald man places his foot on her back keeping her
from getting up. Sasha has her hands tyed behind her. Blonde
man motions for Bald man to get Young Emily up and he does.
Her hands are tyed and the men take the girls to a car and
drive off.


Young Emily is tyed to a chair. Her coat is hung on a nail
on the wall. There is one desk and two chairs. Sasha is gone
as well as the two SS agents.
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
I had never been more scared in my
life. These were SS men, the most
feared enemy goverment agents. I
sat there shivering from the cold
and praying that the men wouldn't
find the documents that I had
hidden in the lining of my coat.
Two men return with Sasha. They tye her to the chair and
talk softly in a corner. Both girls are making eye contact
and Sasha shakes her head, 'No' at the unspoken question in
Young Emily's eyes.
They were looking for two women
but they are beginning to think
that we are not the ones. One said
that we are too young. Just keep
quiet and I think they will set us
The men argue and the Blonde Agent grabs Young Emily's coat.
While they argue, Blonde agent walks over to the girls. Both
wide-eyed with fear as he looks the coat over. When he gets
close to the place that the documents are hidden, Bald Agent
calls to him and Blonde Agent throws the coat at Young
Emily, grabs Sasha's coat and throws it at her.
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
Another soldier arrived, looked us
over and asked a few questions.
Apparently they were satisfied
with our answers because they let
us go.
The Holsh Family are sitting at the table when Young emily
and Sasha enter. They all hug and cry. When they settled
down at the table, Mrs. Holsh begins serving coffee. Mr.
Holsh talks, several others respond and they argue with the
girls. Young Emily shakes her head, refusing to listen and
storms out of the room. Sasha follows her.


Young Emily shakes her head, refusing to listen and storms
out of the room. Sasha follows her.
                                         YOUNG EMILY'S ROOM
Young Emily grabs a suitcase from under her bed. Sasha
enters. Young Emily ignores her as she begins to pack
clothes. Sasha walks to the bed and grabs Young Emily's arm.
Stop! You're not thinking clearly.
We have to stop, Emily. Those men
know our faces. Don't you
understand how dangerous this is?
They will be watching our every
      (pull arm away)
So what? Then I'll have to be even
more careful. That's all. I'm not
going to stop!
Young Emily continues to pack things.
Stop it! Where are you going to
go? You can't leave! Please Emily!
Sasha begins taking clothes out of the suitcase. Young Emily
grabs the clothes from her and puts it back. Sasha takes
them out again and they struggle with the clothes.
                       YOUNG EMILY
Sasha, you can't stop me. I have
to leave now. They want me to just
sit idly by while this war
destroys everything we hold dear.
I can't do that. I must do all
that I can to help. The Jews need
The Jews? Are you sure that is
what this is about? Helping the
Jews? Or Ben. (more)
Young Emily throws more clothes, not bothering to be neat
anymore. Sasha grabs her, shaking her.


Nothing you do for the resistance
effects Ben. Nothing will change
the fact that he is gone, possibly
even dead.
Young Emily pushes Sasha away, snapping the suitcase closed.
                       YOUNG EMILY
Shut up! I'm not listening to you.
You're just trying to...
I'm trying to make you see reason,
Emily! It's not going to bring Ben
                       YOUNG EMILY
You don't know that! That man
brought the note from Ben. He's
I lied!
Young Emily froze at the door with her suitcase. Sasha sat
heavily on the bed, sighing loudly.
                       YOUNG EMILY
I'm so sorry, Emily, but you were
wasting away in that bed. You
needed a reason to get up each
morning so I gave you one.
                       YOUNG EMILY
I don't believe you. Ben sent a
note. He's alive in some prison.
I lied, Emily. I have no idea
where Ben is or if he's even
alive. I made it all up and it
worked. You would still be lying
in that bed if I hadn't...
                       YOUNG EMILY
You lied? How could you? All this
time...Oh my God, you made me
think...You lied to me!


Young Emily doesn't look back. She opens the door and leaves
Sasha crying on her bed.
                                         OUTSIDE-HOLSH FARM
Young Emily walks down the road with her suitcase. The
family watch her from the front yard.
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
I left. I was lost and alone. My
faith was shattered once again.
How could God do this to me again.
He took my Benji from me a second
time. But this time, I couldn't
crawl into bed. I had no bed. I
had nothing but the clothes in my
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
I didn't want to die this time.
Instead, I was even more
determined to keep working for the
resistance. They found me a little
apartment and a job with the
Young Emily is sitting at a small table reading. The phone
rings. She pantomines a conversation, agreeing with the
caller, hangs up the phone. She puts on her coat, grabs a
few papers from a drawer and stuffs it into her secret
pocket in the lining of her coat and leaves.
Office with multiple desks and workers. Young Emily is
sitting at one desk, typing. Young Emily stops typing, picks
up her overflowing wastebasket and walks out of the office.
                                         OUTSIDE GOV'T OFFICE
Young Emily walks out of a side door carrying the
wastebasket. She looks around and then emptys the trash into
a large bin. She looks around again and takes a few fake
passports out of her pocket and buries them in the trash.
With a smile, she takes her trashcan back into the building.
A moment passes and a man enters the alley, searches in the
bin and removes the passports and a few documents, hides
them within his coat and he walks away.


You were so brave!
Oh my! We have a real spy living
amoung us!
Impressive! One of the best
stories I've heard.
Aunt Emily? What about Ben? Did
you ever see him again?
Yes, what happened?
Aunt Emily gets up from the chair, pulls out another
ornament from her box and holds it up, smiling with wet
eyes. It is a little wooden box with a sparrow carved in the
lid. A brass ring has been fastened into the side so it can
hang from a hook. A small brass lock kept it closed. Aunt
Emily pulls out a locket from around her neck, opens it to
take out a little key which unlocks the box.
                       AUNT EMILY
Before Holland was liberated in
1945, starvation was the leading
cause of death. The Canadians
fought to free us and succeeded.
The most glorious day was when the
skies brought the planes, which
dropped food to the desperate
people. We would survive and it
was because of our faith in God
and our obedience to His will.
16,000 Jews were hidden and
therefore saved by the Dutch
farmers and the resistance. I had
made a difference even though I
had lost my Benjamin. It was
months before records were
available. I joined the family at
the farm, waiting for news of
Benjamin. When documentation
arrived showing that Benjamin had
been in three of the death camps
before dying, I thought that my
faith would die along with my
heart. I cried out to God, 'Why
would you do this to my Benjamin?


                       AUNT EMILY (cont'd)
Why several camps of torture and
then death?' I couldn't live with
the reality of his pointless
death. Why had I, the one with
the weak heart, the one meant to
die early, lived when Benjamin who
had so much to give, died?
Oh, Aunt Emily. It must have been
horrible. I am ashamed that I have
ever felt sorry for myself when
others have suffered far greater
than I.
So true.
But he died, murdered in a death
camp! How can you still have such
faith in God after that?
                       AUNT EMILY
That's a very good question,
Elizabeth. I was devastated and my
heart turned to stone. I left the
Holsh family again. I settled down
to a lonely isolated life. I went
to work and came home...day after
day. While others celebrated life
and the end of the war, I kept
silent and alone. I'm sure that
the devil, himself was delighted
for he's always glad for God to
lose a committed soul and I was
more than willing to be consumed
with his hatred. But...praise the
Lord, that all changed...
Through a window, Young Emily sees the mailman walk up and
place a large envelope into her box. She opens the door and
removes it. Looking it over several ways, she enters her
apartment, then goes to the kitchen to get scissors out of a
drawer. Carefully, she cuts it open and pulls out a letter
and a wooden box. She reads, pauses to gasp, cry a few
tears. Excited, she grabs the wooden box and letter, rushes
out the door.


                       AUNT EMILY
I ran the entire way to the farm.
Holsh family are gathered around Young Emily as she tries to
catch her breath. Finally, she hands Mr. Holsh the package.
                       YOUNG EMILY
Look! In there!
Mr. Holsh pulls out the box, the letter and turns the
package upside down so that several letters fall onto the
                       MS HOLSH
Oh yes, that package came here
earlier in the week so I just
forwarded it to you.
                       YOUNG EMILY
Oh, thank you, Mother Holsh for
sending it on to me. I have
behaved badly to you, to all of
you! I'm so sorry. Please, Papa
Holsh, read the letter to
Papa, hurry! Read it!
                       MR HOLSH
Yes, yes...okay...Dear Emily: You
don't know me but I feel like I
have always known you. After the
war, it took me many months to
find my way home. Then it took
many more to find the right
address to send this to you. You
see, I was in a death camp with
your Benjamin and he talked always
about you and his family. When he
left us, that fateful day, he made
me promise that if I came out of
the camps alive, that I would get
this box to you. I have finally
been able to fulfill that promise,
thanks to God. I want you to know
that Benjamin was a real warrior
for God. He brought many people,
including myself into the family
of God. Because of him, many of


                       MR HOLSH (cont'd)
our brothers and sisters were
saved before meeting their fate in
the gas chambers. This was the
third camp that Benjamin had been
in, so I know that he worked
tirelessly for the Lord in the
other two camps as well. There is
no telling how many lives he may
have saved before meeting his
fate. I pray that this will bring
you some measure of comfort. God
bless, Ian Trane.
Mr. Holsh puts the letter on the table and grabs his wife in
a hug. They pull Young Emily into the hug and soon the rest
of the family joins. Suddenly, the family pulls apart and
Sasha enters the room. Young Emily and Sasha look at each
other, hesitant. Sister runs to Sasha and pushes her towards
Young Emily. Finally, Young Emily wipes her tears and runs
to Sasha. The girls hug. Young Emily grabs the letter and
shows it to her.
                       AUNT EMILY
That letter was the beginning of
my healing but that wasn't the
only letter I got. There were four
others that Sasha brought along to
me over the next few months. With
Sasha's help, I healed more with
each letter. All were from
different people who had survived
the death camp. All of them had
become a Christian due to
What about the little box?
                       AUNT EMILY
Ah-ha! That was the true miracle.
Aunt Emily holds up the last ornament then she opens the box
with the key and pulls out a small folded piece of paper.
                       AUNT EMILY
This paper is very thin. I don't
know how he got the box or how he
was able to hold onto it through
three camps. That is a miracle.
Let me read it...My dearest Emily:


                       AUNT EMILY (cont'd)
I write this on the only thing
that I can find, so with a prayer,
hope that it reaches you some day.
You must realize by now that I
have been arrested. I write this
to you from a cattlecar on a train
headed for the camps. It is so
important that you hear what I
know to be true. Emily, you must
know that what I have done is
God's will. He is in control of
all that I do. He will use these
terrible times to accomplish His
goal. I don't regret for one
minute any day that I have spent.
Our days together nor the days
since the invasion. We have done
the Lord's work and even though it
has separated us, possibly
forever, be strong in the
knowledge that what we have done
was for our Lord, Jesus Christ. I
will always love you, my Emily.
God will bless you, always.
Forever Yours, Benjamin
Everyone is quiet as Aunt Emily folds the letter and places
it back into the box, locks it and hangs it on the tree.
Several of the ladies sniffle, wiping their noses and eyes
with tissue. Finally the silence is broken.
Don't cry, Aunt Emily. It's
Everyone laughs. Elizabeth hugs Simon and then Megan.
Thank you so much, Aunt Emily for
sharing this with us. I have never
heard such wonderful tales before.
I will never forget it.
Everyone agrees. Aunt Emily smiles and pulls out several
pieces of glittering ropes and candy canes. Elizabeth, Joe,
Joyce and Sarah each take some and place it on the tree.
Stepping back, they all admire it, then Megan picks up her
hand-made star, pulling on Joe's shirt. He picks her up and
she places it on top of the tree.


Most of the guests have left. Joyce and Fred are saying
goodbye and leaving out the door. Elizabeth is standing at
the open door waving to them. Aunt Emily and Joe stand next
to the tree.
                       AUNT EMILY
Well, laddie, I think that we've
overstayed our welcome. We must be
off as well.
Oh no, you don't have to go now,
do you? I've so enjoyed having you
Wow! I never thought I'd hear you
say that!
Elizabeth laughs and playfully walks over to pinch his arm.
Ouch! I see the sweet attitude has
worn off.
Touche', Joseph, I'm sure that I
deserve that.
                       AUNT EMILY
Ah, lassie, it takes the patience
of a saint to put up with that
man! Now, Joseph, would you escort
an old lady home?
      (extending his arm)
At your service, my lady.
Aunt Emily places her arm in his and they walk to the door.
Elizabeth looks very sad to see them going. Aunt Emily stops
and gives Elizabeth a quick hug.
                       AUNT EMILY
Merry Christmas, my dear.
Merry Christmas.
Joe stands looking embaressed and quickly ushers Aunt Emily
out the door. Elizabeth stands at the door watching them
walk across the street and into their house. She smiles and


waves, then closes the door. She looks around at all the
lights and walks to the tree to touch each ornament.
                       MOTHER (VO)
Look at this place...lights, a
tree with ornaments....I can't
Frowning a moment, she looks at the Urn. A firm defiance
appears on her face as she walks to the Urn, grabbing a
cloth from the back of the chair cushion and covers the Urn.
Finally settling on the couch, she pulls the blanket that is
draped on the couch back, covers herself and picks up the
Bible to read.
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
Christmas morning, the sun broke
through the snow clouds revealing
a brand new day and just like that
first Christmas morning, it was a
new beginning. Elizabeth threw
open the curtains on the first day
of her new life.
JOSEPH is stacking wood into a carrier, whistling "Silent
Night" Suddenly, he stops when he notices light from
Elizabeth's upstairs window. The curtains are pulled apart
to reveal ELIZABETH's smiling face. JOSEPH watches a moment
and walks quickly to his side door.
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
Yes, this was the start of
something wonderful for Elizabeth
Katherine Green. Her whole being
felt alive with excitement.
ELIZABETH throws open the curtains like an eager child. Snow
is falling and the outside is white with fresh snow.
She unconsciously hums and stops in shock when she notices
her reflection in the mirror over her dresser. She turns her
head from side to side, laughing with delight. Her hair had
found freedom falling in waves around her shoulders. She
gathers her hair and twists it into a bun; looking side to
side with a frown. Then with a giggle, she releases the bun
and shakes her head, letting it fall around her shoulders.
She walks to the window and pulls open the heavy drapes. The


snow has stopped and the sun peeks into the room. She runs
to the second window and pulls the drapes aside.
JOSEPH places his carrier of wood on the floor next to the
door and walks to the front window, gazing out.
      (yelling out)
Aunt Emily! Wake up and come see.
You are not going to believe
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
Joseph, bless his heart, will
rejoice in the miracle.
Looking out the window, as Joseph watches, Elizabeth can be
seen opening the drapes of another window, with her hair
fallen around her shoulders smiling at the snow. He looks
back toward Aunt Emily's doorway.
Aunt Emily...come on woman, you
got to see this. It's Beth. She
looks...so different,
so...beautiful! (more)
Joseph takes a few steps away from the window. Elizabeth's
house is lit up. Elizabeth's image is seen in parlor bay
window beside the sparkling Christmas tree. Her face is lit
up with color and smiling. He is drawn to stare in
amazement. Tearing himself away, he walks across the kitchen
towards Aunt Emily's room.
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
God bless you, lad. Be strong, my
nephew, because for every birth
there is...
Aunt Emily?
Elizabeth turns from the bay window to touch ornaments on
the tree, humming. She pulls the pink ornament of Rae off
the tree and looks at it as it turns in her hand. She
notices the greenery that Joe had throw around the room,
reaching over to pick a piece that had fallen on the floor.


She laughs as she puts the pink ornament back. Suddenly she
pauses, frowns and touches the wooden box ornament.
Aunt Emily.
Joseph frowns and fear darkens his face. He walks to Aunt
Emily's doorway, knocking. Pausing a moment and opens it
when he gets no response. He steps into the doorway.
                                         AUNT EMILY'S ROOM
Aunt Emily lays on her bed with a quilt pulled up to her
chin. She doesn't respond as Joseph enters the room, calling
her name. He goes to her bedside and gently shakes her
Aunt Emily! Please wake up.
Aunt Emily finally stirs. Joseph looks up and shakes his
prayerful hands at God, then drops to his knee at the
bedside. He pets her hair and she opens her eyes.
                       AUNT EMILY
      (struggled breath)
Yes, Aunt Emily, Iím here. You
scared me, something fierce! Now,
let me see those Irish greens.
                       AUNT EMILY
I'm still here, Lad.
Joseph helps Aunt Emily sit up, putting several pillows
behind her as he spoke. When he turns to walk away, Aunt
Emily grabs his hand and pulls him back.
                       AUNT EMILY
Laddie, you listen to me now! Get
Beth? You want to see Beth? Okay,
but first, I think that I should
call the doctor.


Aunt Emily shakes his hand in frustration.
                       AUNT EMILY
No, no...I'm fine. Just do as I
say, boy. (more)
Joseph shakes his head in disagreement. Aunt Emily pulls him
back to his knee and closer to her.
                       AUNT EMILY
      (stronger voice)
No, doctor, Joseph! You listen to
meÖthe Lord has given me every day
and He decides when my time is
finished in this world and when my
days of glory will begin with Him.
Now, I won't argue with you. Go
get that lass for me so I can
finish what got started.
Joseph shakes his head in agreement and leaves the room.
Elizabeth stands at the Christmas tree with the wooden box
in hand. She notices Joseph leaving his house in a run.
Alarmed, she replaces the box on the tree and opens the door
just as Joseph reaches the porch.
Joseph? What is wrong? Is she
She wants to see you.
Elizabeth rushes out the door past Joseph.
Elizabeth enters the room, stopping to look at the frail
Aunt Emily. She rushes to the bed and falls to the floor,
grabbing Aunt Emily's hand.
Aunt Emily, what is the matter?
How can I help?


                       AUNT EMILY
Oh, little lass everything is just
fine. What is it that you want to
ask me?
Are you feeling okay? You look
pale. What can I do?
Joseph enters quietly and hovers at the doorway.
                       AUNT EMILY
Just answer my question, lass.
ELIZABETH confused and unsure looks to Joseph.
Ask her, Beth. She has always had
the answers for me.
I don't know...I don't know! I
think I need to ask, is there
                       AUNT EMILY
To the ornaments? Yes, child,
there is. (more)
AUNT EMILY's body suddenly strengthens and her voice is no
longer weak.
                       AUNT EMILY
There is an important aspect to
the ornaments and their stories
that needs to be addressed. Itís
the most vital of all. Without
it, nothing else you do matters
Salvation? I was baptized as a
                       AUNT EMILY
Yes, yes Lassie. I have no doubt
of that but it doesn't save you.
Hear me, child! Life is just
another step to death which in
turn brings us to another life.
What we do with this life here on
earth will determine what the
other will be. We're all unworthy


                       AUNT EMILY (cont'd)
of the glory that can be.
Not you, Aunt Emily. You're a good
                       AUNT EMILY
Oh, no! No! I am a sinner! No
mistake about that. I have sinned
as thoroughly as any.
No, Aunt Emily. I've met nobody in
my life as good as you.
                       AUNT EMILY
You heard my story and I've
struggled all my life to be worthy
of every breath the Good Lord has
given me. I had hatred in my
heart, been selfish, thoughtless
and much more. You listen,
child...Being a good person is all
well and good but it doesn't mean
salvation is yours. You see, we
all have fallen short and have a
debt to pay for it. Death, eternal
death is the price. (more)
Aunt Emily tries to sit up more. Joseph quickly goes to her
aid and Elizabeth plumps up her pillows. Once Aunt Emily is
settled further over on the bed, she pats next to her and
Elizabeth hesitately sits. Aunt Emily tucks her arm around
Elizabeth's and holds her hand. Suddenly, Elizabeth appears
childlike in the embrace. Joseph pats and squeezes
Elizabeth's arm before walking back to the doorway where he
looks unsure about leaving.
                       AUNT EMILY
If you noticed, in many of the
stories of the ornaments, Jesus
was called Lord. That's
important. To make Jesus one's
Lord means starting a whole new
life with someone else in charge,
not yourself. He becomes your
Master and you are His servant.
Now I know that you're very
familiar with being a servant,
duty and all but this is
different. This is being a servant
out of love, not duty. I don't
have time to tiptoe around this.


                       AUNT EMILY (cont'd)
Every moment brings me closer to
Him. The only way that I can help
you, Elizabeth is to tell you like
it is. Salvation is a serious
matter and you need to understand.
Jesus came to this world and took
the punishment for all sin so that
we can be saved from paying that
price. We are made clean and given
eternal life with the Father. It
is a free gift. There came a time
when I had to decide whether I
would allow Him to be my Master or
not. It's a time that must come to
everyone. This is your time,
Elizabeth bows her head in deep thought. Joseph walks
quietly out of the room. Elizabeth opens her eyes and tears
fall. As she reaches up to wipe her face, she stops and
instead clasps her free hand over Aunt Emily's, allowing her
tears to fall unchecked.
Tell me, Aunt Emily, what must I
do? I don't want to be that person
I was yesterday. You made me see
that. I want more. I want what you
have found.
                       AUNT EMILY
I will lead you, okay. We must
pray, you just repeat after me,
child...Our Father,
Our Father...
                       AUNT EMILY
thank you for your saving grace...
thank you for your saving grace...
                                         OUTSIDE AUNT EMILY'S
                       AUNT EMILY (VO)
I know that I have not lived as
you would want me to...


Joseph leans against the wall, closing his eyes in prayer.
The voices of Aunt Emily and Elizabeth can be heard. Joseph
opens his eyes, with a smile when he hears the last words of
Elizabeth's prayer.
                       ELIZABETH (VO)
I want to be the person that you
intended me to be, Lord. I give my
life to you to do as you will.
                                         AUNT EMILY'S ROOM
Aunt Emily's strength is gone as she nods her head off to
the side. Alarmed, Elizabeth leans closer to her, caressing
her forhead. Joseph enters and checks that Aunt Emily is
still breathing. Elizabeth reacts to his closeness with a
blush and little smile. Unsure, she backs away and gets off
the bed. Suddenly, Aunt Emily opens her eyes, grabs Josephs
hand and then Elizabeth. She smiles determined and links
their hands together.
                       AUNT EMILY
You take care of our new sister,
Joseph. You hear? I must sleep
now. Very tired.
Aunt Emily nods off to sleep once again. Joseph and
Elizabeth both look at their clasped hands, then at each
other. Frozen in time, their eyes lock until Elizabeth
suddenly pulls away, blushing even more.
Welcome to the family of God,
Aunt Emily sleeps soundly with a relaxed look of peace on
her face.
Do you think she's okay?
I think so...I hope so. WEll, look
at her.


So peaceful...Thank God. I was so
scared that...
I was too. Come on. I think we
should let her sleep. She'll be
Joseph escorts Elizabeth to her front porch.
Thank you, Mr...I mean, Joseph.
For what? I did nothing. Aunt
Emily is...
Yes, she is...wonderful. But I
thank you as well. For the
Ok. Well, I'm sorry about the way
I acted...throwing the
holly...yelling.. .It was...
Oh no, it was...I
mean...understandable. I was
acting like a...a spoiled...
Both finish the sentence together and laugh.
At least we agree on something.
You should have seen how you
looked throwing that holly around.


Yeah, I do get a little hot-headed
sometimes. But, hey, you threw
your share of holly.
Joseph and Elizabeth laugh and then stop laughing suddenly,
avoiding eye contact. Both are unsure of what to say or do,
stealing glances at each other. Finally, Joseph clears his
So...I guess I should go.
Yes...I should...I need to...do...
I have to prepare for the service.
Joseph is slowly moving off the porch as Elizabeth moves to
her door. He stops when he notices Elizabeth's lost look.
She turns to face him.
Something...I guess...Service?
The Christmas service...
Oh yes, it is Christmas. I almost
Why don't you come? To the
service. I think that you would
enjoy it. Many of our neighbors
will be there. (more)
Elizabeth eyes widen at the mention of the neighbors. Joseph
steps further away with his hands up in defense.
That's right, you don't like being
around alot of people. It's ok,
Elizabeth...no need for panic.
Oh, no, Joseph. I'm...yes, usually
I hate crowds or being around
people but...


Joe is now smiling and looking at her with a soft
expression. Elizabeth notices and stops mid-sentence,
It's just that...what are you
smiling for?
Smiling? Oh, I'm sorry. It's just
that...I like when you say my
name. It sounds alot better than,
Mr. Joseph.
Both laugh then grow silent.
Okay, Joseph.
Yes, I would like very much to go
to service.
Really? Ok...great. Shall
I...could I escort...well, it's on
the way. I usually walk so you
could walk...with me...if you
Blushing, she agrees with a nod of her head. Opening her
door, she takes a step inside, hesitates and laughs warily.
      (looking at his
It's 7:45...Oh, you mean...Service
starts at 10 so I'll come by about
9:15...I need to arrive alittle
Oh, okay.


Help set up. So I'll collect you
Joseph nods and walks away. Elizabeth steps into her house
and begins to close the door. Joseph looks back and blushes
when she catches his gaze. Elizabeth smiles and shuts the
door. Walking quickly to the front window, she peeks around
the drapes, watching Joseph cross the street, bounce onto
the porch. He grabs the doorknob and turns to look toward
Elizabeth's house. She pulls away quickly. Joseph lingers
his gaze at her house and opens his door and disappears
inside. Elizabeth allows herself another look then smiles.
                       MOTHER (VO)
Elizabeth Katherine Green!
      (smile fades)
                       MOTHER (vo)
Where have you been? With that
It's not like that. He's
different. He's...
                       MOTHER (vo)
a man! A pawn of the devil to take
you into sin. Young lady, your
My father was a good man but just
a man! He was not God! No, Father
was cold and unfeeling. I used to
think it was because of me. That
for some reason I displeased him.
Mother, he was the only example
that I had as a child. But I'm not
a child anymore, Mother.
Elizabeth reaches the bookcase and snatches the cloth off
the Urn.
                       MOTHER (vo)
Elizabeth shakes her head, waving her hands in the air to
dismiss the voice. She walks to the mirror, looking at her


I'm not a child anymore. I am a
new person. I am alive. I want to
feel alive. (more)
Looking around the room, she smiles with determination.
Rushing to the bookcase, she picks up the brass urn, tucking
it under her arm.
I'm sorry, Mother. You're both
dead! These are your ashes! Dead
and gone. I'm not going to let you
rule my life any longer! It's time
for me to put you to rest and
reclaim my life!
Opening a closet, she places the urn inside and shuts the
Joseph is walking up the steps, his Bible tucked under one
arm and a little box in his other. Just as he reaches the
door, it swings open and Elizabeth steps out, running into
him, crushing the box between them. She starts to fall, when
Joe steadies her, the box falls to the floor.
Oh my! Joseph!
Sorry...I was just going to
knock...Did I hurt you? Are you
No, I'm fine. I didn't see you.
Oh, I've ruined your...
Both look down where the box lays open on its side and a red
ribbon peaks out the top. Joe bends down and picks the box
up, almost loses it again in his haste but manages to catch
it before it hits the floor, jerking it up. Suddenly, its
contents is released into the air between them.
It's just...oh, a little something


A pretty red Christmas carnation with festive ribbon lands
at Elizabeth's feet.
you...not exactly how I
Joe picks the flower up, tries to give it to her but pulls
it back. Unsure, he puts it into the box, starts to hand
that to her but again pulls back and takes it out. He stands
with the flower a moment undecided until Elizabeth takes it
with a smile.
How thoughtful, Joseph. It's
beautiful. Shall I put it in
      (reaching for the
Oh, it's a corsage...meant to be
worn...can I?
Oh, of course.
Joe takes the flower. Elizabeth holds out her arm,
nervously.. Shaking his head, he pulls a pin from the
ribbon, showing it to her; motions where it goes. Elizabeth
laughs and unbuttons her gray wool coat, stepping forward.
With a gentle touch, he pins the flower to her blouse.
Stepping back, he admires her and she blushes. He notices
that she is wearing a red ribbon as a belt with her usual
clothing and that her hair was allowed to fall naturally in
soft curls at her shoulders with a little sprig of holly
fastened just above her ear.
You look...different. I like the
belt and the holly...your hair
Thank you...How is Aunt Emily?
Good. She got up and we opened a
few presents. She made me this
Joe gestures to the scarf around his neck.


It's beautiful. So she was better?
Yes, but she still looked tired so
she went back to bed to rest. She
demanded that I stop fussing and
go to church.(using female voice)
"Joseph, lad, get on with it. Off
you go and leave me in peace. That
lassie is waiting." She was her
usual bossy self.
Bless her heart. I'm glad to hear
that. So, shall we go?
Buttoning her coat, she gestures to the street.
Oh, yes. Look at the time. We
should...right this way.
Joe offers his arm and Elizabeth places her arm through his.
They leave the porch and head down the street.
Joe and Elizbeth walk from sidewalk to porch. Elizabeth puts
her hand on the door, turning to speak. Joe lingers on the
Thank you so much for inviting me
and walking with me. The service
was beautiful.
You're welcome. Any time...
Joe pauses as Elizabeth opens her door. Both are nervous and
unsure about what to say. Joe takes a step up. Elizabeth
steps forward and holds out her hand. Joe gently shakes her
hand. Elizabeth blushes and pulls away.
I would like that. Going to
service again. Sometime...
yes, anytime, Beth, I mean


Elizabeth steps inside, pauses, then starts to close the
door, as Joe turns to leave the porch. Elizabeth pauses
again and Joe turns back as she steps back onto porch.
Aunt Emily...you know, if she
Oh, yeah, sure...I'll let you
know. Thanks.
Elizabeth smiles, gives a little wave and steps back inside
doorway. Joe gives return wave and walks down sidewalk.
Elizabeth is hesitating at the doorway, looking at Joe and
then quickly elsewhere when Joe turns to look at her. She
quickly closes her door. Joe takes a few steps and looks
back at her porch with smile.
Elizabeth takes off her coat, humming a Christmas song. The
Christmas lights are on in the parlor. The Christmas tree
lights are blinking. She hangs up her coat and starts
picking up the greenery that still laid around the room. She
hangs pieces in various places still humming.
Joe enters his kithen, humming a Christmas song. He opens
the refriderator, takes out a piece of cheese. He takes a
bite, continues to hum as he heads to Aunt Emily's room.