Meet our storytellers, Cosmo, Ursula and Meredith, three of Santa’s helpers and our guides round the new hi-tech set-up at the North Pole. Gone is the workshop where, in the past, elves would skilfully make toys and games. In its place is an internet-based customer service centre (song – ‘Hi-Tech Christmas Time’), where the elves now order items from online stores such as Amazon. Thankfully, these are still despatched in the traditional way (via Santa’s sleigh) but changes have been necessary to meet the demands of modern children, who are asking for a greater quantity and variety of Christmas presents! (song – ‘Gimme, Gimme, Gimme!’)
We are introduced to two such children, Chloe and Henry, who are bored with their array of gadgets and have sent Santa (by email of course) a ten page list of new things they want for Christmas! They have sent this list despite their suspicions that Santa might not be real and that the shadowy figure they saw putting presents under the tree last year may have been their dad in disguise! (song – ‘Santa Fancy Dress’)
Back at the North Pole things have reached crisis point! More Christmas-list emails have come in and they’re all really long! The customer service centre can’t cope with the quantity of presents being asked for, so Santa himself has to intervene. He declares that, with a week to go until Christmas Day, he is going to visit the greediest and most demanding of the children to make them see the error of their ways; he’s going to start with the worst offenders, the senders of the longest list, Chloe and Henry!
With a sprinkle of magic dust Santa appears to the two stunned children and sits between them on their sofa to teach them an important lesson, namely how to be grateful for their good fortune and for the blessed life they lead. He begins by showing them the children’s ward at the local hospital, where the patients want nothing more for Christmas than to be at home with their families. A surprise visit from ‘Cool’ Colin Curbishley, the worst ever hospital DJ with the worst ever jokes, only serves to increase their longing! (song – ‘A Silly Christmas Dream’). Santa then shows Chloe and Henry a family whose father is in the forces, posted overseas and absent from their Christmas celebrations. These children would gladly give up all their presents just to have their family complete at this special time of year.
(song – ‘Please Come Home’).
Finally, Chloe and Henry witness true hardship as Santa shows them the conditions in which a group of refugee children are living. Bitten by the cold winds of winter, they wonder if the season of goodwill being celebrated across the world will touch their lives and bring them some comfort. (song – ‘Open Your Hearts’).
*In an optional nativity scene, as a carol is led by a tableau of traditional characters, Santa reminds us that the greatest of all Christmas gifts was given to us by God.*
Chloe and Henry (and the audience we hope!) now understand that presents at Christmas mean very little unless we can share in the joy of giving and receiving them with the ones we love. When some consider themselves lucky to have just the bare essentials, we need to be grateful for, and not take for granted, all that we have; a sentiment summed up in the last rousing song, ‘What Matters Most’.