Christmas Surprises

A radio special starring the family from Over the Falls in a Suitcase by Kathleen Vincenz in a tale inspired by The Aldrich Family Christmas

Copyright 2016 Squirrels at the Door

ANNOUNCER:      Twas the week before Christmas and all through the Rydell house, everyone was stirring and all at once! Not a present had been bought, wrapped or hidden, and so to the mall they were to be driven—but not before secrets from Mom and Dad.

JENNA:      Gwen. Look. Look.


GWEN:      Stop poking me. I have an essay to finish before we go to the mall. And keep your dog of the too long name quiet.

JENNA:     But I want to show you something. I printed this article about what I want for Christmas. I’m going to hide it in Mom’s purse. Then when she opens it, she’ll know what I want.

GWEN:     Oh, Jenna. That’s so Red-rider BB-gun old. Mom will know you want it and then think of reasons not to get it. Instead, you should provide her and Dad with a set of clues so they are fooled into thinking that they thought of it. People always like their own ideas the best. It’s psychology.

JENNA:     It seems a lot of work, as much work as spelling psychology.

GWEN:     Well, you want to secure your heart’s desire for Christmas, don’t you?

JENNA:     Oh, I most preciously, wonderfully do.


GWEN:     Then, use your brain. Not that you have any.

JENNA:     Me not have a brain? Try this. Ask Lindsey what she wants for Christmas.

GWEN:     Lindsey!

JENNA:     You can never get Lindsey’s attention like that. She’s reading. LINDSEY! LINDSEY RYDELL!


LINDSEY:     What? Did you want something? I only have a few more pages to read. This book is Daddy Long Legs like the movie with Fred Astaire and Leslie Caron. Only it’s good.

GWEN:     Lindsey, did you hear anything we said?

LINDSEY:     I, no …

GWEN:     Have you told Mom and Dad what you want for Christmas?

LINDSEY:     I can’t decide …

JENNA:     I told you, Miss Gwen Bossy-heartless, I wasn’t the one without brains.

GWEN:     You’re right. Dearest Lindsey is the brainless wonder. I’ll fill you in with our plan, Lindsey. To ensure that we get what we want, we’re going to pepper Mom and Dad with clues for our Christmas presents so they think they’ve figured out what we want.

JENNA:     Of course, you have to decide what you want …

GWEN:     And soon. Here comes Mom.

MOM:     What are you girls whispering about? We’re ready to go to the mall.

JENNA:     Hello, my darlingist queenly Mother, I hope you aren’t cold. You know cold. Hats, scarfs, and fur coats. Let me get yours for you.

MOM:     Why, thank you dear. That is sweet of you but I don’t have a fur coat.

GWEN:     I’ll me get your coat for you, Mother. I’m all about getting to the mall on time. You know time. Hours, seconds, and minutes.

LINDSEY:     But I’m already at the closet, Gwen. So I’ll get it for Mom. I finished my book. You know books. Covers, pages, and bookmarks. But I’m all for one for many. Yes, one for many.

JENNA:     Get out of my way, dear wonderful never-make-up-her-mind sister, so I can get Mom’s coat.

LINDSEY:     Stop pinching me, lovely, sweet sister of mine, Jenna, or I’ll start punching.

MOM:     Girls! Stop. It’s Christmas.

GWEN:     Not really Mom. No one knows when Christ was born. They only chose December 25.

MOM:     Yes, thank you, Gwen.

DAD:     Time to go. I see you all are getting your coats.

Several minutes later:

MOM:     Here we are at Lacy’s. You girls stay together, and your father and I will go shopping.

GWEN:     Oh, we’ll stay here at Lacy’s alright, because we know how much Lindsey loves it. Want to buy eye makeup, Linds?

JENNA:     Yes, perhaps a nice shade of purple?

LINDSEY:     I thought it was Christmas—I thought you had to be nice.

JENNA:     And, I thought you knew we don’t know when Christmas really is.

DAD:     Alright, that’s enough. We’ll meet you girls at the Starbright café at 2:00. Bye.

MOM:     Let’s go over by the shoes, Joe.

JENNA:     Are you sure, Mom? I think you more efficiently get through the store if you go through the fur department.

MOM:     The fur department? Stores don’t have fur departments. What old movie were you watching last night?

JENNA:     Miracle on 34th Street.

DAD:     What is up with those girls, Ellen?

MOM:     Christmas is a week away, Joe. Only a week … And we have so much to buy …

[Sound of their conversation fades.]

JENNA:     Good bye, wonderful handsome Dad of mine!

GWEN:     Jenna, people are looking.

JENNA: I     don’t care. He is. But look, Gwen, there’s my present.

GWEN:     What has that got to do with cold?

JENNA:     Well, I changed my mind. I want that. Let me call Mom. Oh, Mom! Hello, it’s me, Jenna. You recognized my voice? I just wanted to tell you that I’m warm now. I really don’t need anything to keep me warm. No, cold would be good. You know cold. Chilly, freezing, icicles.

GWEN:     It’s obvious. We are doomed for our presents.

LINDSEY:     So, um, Gwen. If you really liked a person, what would you get them?

GWEN:     Oh, Lindsey. That’s so nice. You mean like a watch.

LINDSEY:     A watch?

GWEN:     Yes, watches are the latest thing. And would keep me on time.

LINDSEY:     You?

GWEN:     I mean the person you are getting it for.

LINDSEY:     Yes, for the person. I’m going over to the jewelry.

DAD:     What are you doing here, Lindsey?

LINDSEY:     Oh, Dad! Where’s Mom?

DAD:     We split up for a while. You’re looking at watches?

LINDSEY:     Yes, watches. For someone, you know, special.

DAD:     Oh, Lindsey, that is so sweet.

LINDSEY:     Why are you winking, Dad?

DAD:     See you later, Lindsey.


GWEN:     Jenna, Lindsey is getting me a watch.

JENNA:     Are you sure? She doesn’t even like you.

GWEN:     But she does–she just doesn’t show it. I must get her something nicer than I got her.

JENNA:     What did you get her?

GWEN:     An atlas.

And meanwhile:

DAD:     Ellen, Lindsey is getting me a watch.

MOM:     A watch? Does she have the money?

DAD:     She must have saved up. Maybe we should really figure out what they been telling us so we get them what they want.

MOM: W     ell, let’s see, Jenna said cold, then she called and said hot. I’m assuming socks.

DAD:     Really?

MOM:     And Gwen said on time. So, a calendar.

DAD:     Are you sure?

MOM:     And Lindsey said one of many so she wants a rock collection.

DAD:     Ellen, I think that’s a bit mundane for our girls, There has to be more to it. Let me think. I know. Lindsey is telling us that they want something that has all of those characteristics but is different for each. And, I’m going to get it!

Meanwhile back with Lindsey and her sisters:

Ring! Ring!

JENNA:     Your cell phone is ringing, Lindsey. Is it for me?

LINDSEY:     Oh, Jenna. It’s my phone. Hello, this is Lindsey. Oh, hi, Josh.

JENNA:     Lindsey is getting a call from a boy!

LINDSEY:     Shh, Jenna. I’m sorry, Josh, I didn’t hear you … We’re not exchanging gifts? The school said we couldn’t. It’s against policy for a club to exchange gifts. Oh, sure, neither do I. Well, I—Merry Christmas, Josh.

GWEN:     That’s the person she wanted to get the watch for? Not me? Oh, bother, come on Jenna, we’re returning what we bought.

JENNA:     Yeah, she doesn’t care about us.

Lindsey heads back to the jewelry department:

LINDSEY:     I need to return this.

CLERK:     Already? We usually don’t get returns until after Christmas or until someone leaves the store.

LINDSEY:     I know but something suddenly came up.

CLERK:     You can’t return it. You had it engraved.

LINDSEY:     I know. But it doesn’t say anything that a million people wouldn’t say.

CLERK:     Well, you can’t.

LINDSEY:     Please! I used all my money. Oh, Dad and Gwen, what are you doing here?

DAD:     Hi, Lindsey. You’re still here getting my, I mean, the watch.

GWEN:     Oh, Lindsey. I was wrong. You did get my watch!

DAD:     Your watch, Gwen? I thought it was for me.

CLERK:     Well, is it for someone? Someone special?

LINDSEY:     Yes, it’s, it’s for Gwen. Yes, Gwen.

GWEN:     Oh, Linds. It’s just what I wanted. My clue was the best. And you had it engraved with, “To someone special.” Aw, Linds. I got you a Kindle. I couldn’t return it even when I wanted to.

LINDSEY:     It’s just what I wanted.

MOM:     What’s going on? You’ve got a crowd started. I bought the presents.

JENNA:     Let me see!

MOM:     Jenna, you’re not supposed to look.

JENNA:     Well, Gwen saw her watch and Lindsey her Kindle.

[Sound of riffling through bags.]

JENNA:     Mom! This is horrid. Socks, a calendar, and a rock collection! That’s not what we wanted!

DAD:     I know what you wanted. These! Necklaces with a single pearl, a different color for each. A cold, timeless stone with inner warmth, with one for many.

JENNA:     Oh, Dad. You’re the most awesome Dad.

LINDSEY:     It is so, so Jane Powell and Elizabeth Taylor.

GWEN:     So, A Date with Judy.

JENNA, LINDSEY, and GWEN:     So perfect! We didn’t know we wanted them!

MOM:     And since we’re telling surprises. We’ll tell one more. You’re going to have a baby brother in June.

JENNA:     A boy! I get to name him! Roscoe Arthur Fred Spencer the fourth!


MOM:     You brought Meredith-and-all those other names to the store?

JENNA:     Yes, I hid her in the fur hat that I bought for warmth.