The Voice of Christmas
Written by John Fenton Murray
Carol develops laryngitis just as she is to sing a solo on Christmas morning. Will she get her voice back by then? Be sure to find out.
CAST OF CHARACTERS
LITTLE BOY AT DEPARTMENT STORE
(The episode begins in the family room. Mike and Alice are wrapping a present and discussing how busy Carol has been during the yuletide season.)
Alice (singing): Tis the season to be jolly. Fa la la la la. there. How is that (the gift she had just wrapped) for a masterpiece, hmm?
Mike: Alice, you did such a beautiful job with that, I’m gonna let you help me with this one.
Alice: Oh, Mrs. Brady is going to be thrilled with that tape recorder.
Mike: Well, she’s been rehearsing her solo day and night for the church service on Christmas morning. I thought she’d get a kick out of putting her voice on tape.
Alice: I better get this wrapped before she gets back from choir practice.
Mike: She’s really thrilled about singing that solo. I hope they like her.
Alice: Are you kidding? She’s gonna knock that congregation right out of their pews.
Mike: You have a way of putting things, Alice.
Alice: I need your finger (Mike sets his finger for Alice to wrap) Press down hard right there, okay. I don’t know how Mrs. Brady does it, besides all that singing, she’s been addressing Christmas cards, shopping.
(His finger got stuck in the wrap)
Alice: I guess the singing gives her something to think about while she’s doing everything else. (She finishes wrapping and Mike’s finger gets stuck) Say, how’s that going to look.
Alice: Yes, Mr. Brady?
Mike: Alice, I hate to be a spoiled sport, but I need that finger.
Alice (laughing): Oh, I’m sorry. Hey, I gotta remember how I did that. One of these days, I may meet an eligible bachelor.
(Carol comes in, looking unhappy)
Alice: Oh, hi, Mrs. Brady.
Mike: Hi honey, what’s wrong?
Carol (whispering): I can’t talk.
Mike (getting up): You can’t talk, you lost your voice?
Alice: Oh, my. The Christmas service! How are you going to sing without a voice?
(Carol and Mike sadly hug each other)
(The next scene has Mike on the phone with the doctor. Carol has a towel over her head and is dunking her head in a steamer. She looks up to hear Mike.)
Mike: Yes, yes. yes doctor, she’s using it now. Any further results of those tests? (He turns to Carol) Get your head back under there. (He gets back on the phone) Yes, doctor. She has what? Laryngopharynx? More commonly referred to as laryngitis. Mmm, hmm, I see. Uh-huh, yes doctor, I’ll tell her. Thank you very much. Good-bye. (He goes to sit with Carol) The doctor says all that rehearsing has strained your vocal chords and if you want to sing Christmas morning (pointing his finger) you have to have complete rest and quiet.
Carol (whispering) But Mike, I have to decorate the tree and do my Christmas shopping and…
Mike (firmly): And do not try to talk!
Carol: Mike, there’s so much to do.
Mike: Will you relax, everything will get done. When the boys get back with the tree, we’ll all pitch in and decorate it. We’ll get the shopping done too, you take it easy and rest your voice. (She tries to speak) Ah, ah, ah, don’t try to talk. (He puts the towel back on her head) Aw, honey, I know you don’t like to baby yourself, but it’s doctors orders. This is the family’s first Christmas together and that’s the main thing, isn’t it. (Carol nods) Hmm, at a girl. (He hugs her). Now you just…
(The boys come in with the tree)
Greg: Take it easy.
Peter: Hurry up, will you?
Mike (to Carol): I better give them a hand. Now, listen you don’t go anywhere. You get back under your teepee. Pocahontas.
(Mike gets up to help the boys and Carol sticks her tongue out at him)
Greg: Hold it, hold it, you’re breaking the branches.
Peter: I told you not to buy such a big one.
Greg: Let’s swing it around.
(They go outside and try bringing the tree in the other way. Mike walks up to them and taps Greg)
Greg: Just a minute, Dad, we’re having a problem here. We’re trying to get the Christmas tree through the door.
(Mike opens the other door to give them more room)
Peter: Boy, are we dum-dums.
Mike: Don’t feel bad, fellas. They didn’t give me an architect’s degree for nothing.
(Mike helps the boys bring the Christmas tree into the living room)
Mike: Hey, now all we have to do is figure out where to put it. (Carol comes out to the living room) Honey, you shouldn’t be roaming around. (She points to her steamers, which she brought with her) Okay. (Carol sits down) The boys picked out a beauty, didn’t they?
Greg; I picked it out.
Peter: I pointed to it!
Bobby: I saw it first!
Mike: All right, there’s enough credit for everybody. (He turns to Carol) Where would you like it, honey? (She points to them to decide) Oh, you’re gonna leave it up to us? (She nods) Alrighty, let’s see. (He points to the left to the stairway) Hey, how about over there?
Greg: Looks great to me.
Mike: Let’s go (They pick the tree up) Alley oop. (They carry it over to the corner) Careful now, we don’t want to break the branches. Now let’s set it down here boys. Okay, Peter, Bobby, move the horse. Don’t drop it boys. (He moves the table out of the way) Let’s move this over here for the time being. (He moves it to the bottom of the steps) Okay, into the corner. There, how’s that?
Greg: Looks great.
Mike: Yeah, perfect, isn’t it? (Carol shakes her head no and points to the entry hall) You heard your mother, boys. She wants it in the entry hall. (They pick it up) Hop to it. (They move it) Okay, boys, put it down here. (They place it to the right of the front door) Hey, yeah. (to Carol) Hey, you’re right, that’s the only place for it.
(Carol shakes her head no and tries to decide)
Mike: Did you find a spot, honey?
(She points to the original spot, right by the staircase)
Peter: That’s the first place we put it!
Mike: You heard your mother boys, let’s go.
(They pick the tree up and bring it back as the scene fades out)
(The next scene has the girls and Alice coming down the steps with ornaments to decorate the tree, while Carol just put the star on top)
Alice: Careful, girls, don’t drop those boxes. We’ve got enough Christmas ornaments to decorate the whole neighborhood.
Marcia: That’s what happens when two families get together.
Jan: These are heavy, where should we put them, Mom?
(Carol points to the floor, below the tree)
Alice: Be careful with those ornaments kids, they’re fragile.
Cindy: What does that mean? Fragile?
(Alice trips over a box and a Christmas ball in her box breaks in half)
Alice: That’s fragile.
(The next scene has Mike in the kitchen with Alice, who is stirring a foul smelling remedy for Carol)
Mike: Uh, that smells terrible, Alice. I don’t think you’re gonna get Mrs. Brady to try it.
Alice: It may not smell like gardenia but the main thing is it’s a cure for laryngitis. (She checks it out) Ah, that needs more vinegar.
Mike: Vinegar! What else have you got in that witch’s brew?
Alice: Oil of camphor, tar pepper, mustard powder, my grandmother’s secret remedy.
Mike: How could she keep it a secret? You can smell it for 15 miles. (Mike smells it again) You’re gonna soak that cloth in that stuff and get Mrs. Brady to wear it around her neck?
Alice: That’s the idea.
Mike (grunting) Well, none of the other medicines have worked. In fact, I’m planning to exchange that tape recorder. (Alice gives him an incredulous look) Well, there’s no need to remind her she can’t sing now.
Alice: If this remedy works, she might get her voice back by Christmas.
Mike: Yeah, I hope you’re right. I think the best thing you can do with that concoction is pour it down the drain and hope it doesn’t wreck the plumbing.
Alice: Mr. Brady, many people have scoffed at this remedy.
(Greg comes in the kitchen)
Greg: Hi, Dad. We gonna go shopping soon?
Mike: Yeah, in a little while.
Alice: Before we go, I’m gonna fix lunch.
(Greg smells the concoction and scoffs)
Greg: Not for me, I just decided to go on a diet.
(He runs out of the kitchen and then Carol comes out to the living room, where Carol is decorating the tree and gives her the remedy)
Alice: Mrs. Brady, this is my grandmother’s secret remedy for curing laryngitis. stand still and let me wrap it around your neck. (Carol resists and holds her nose) I know it doesn’t smell very nice but you’ll get used to it in just a little while.
Carol (whispering and running away): Alice, no.
Alice (chasing after her): But you tried all the other medicines, Mrs. Brady, and they haven’t worked. Now, please give it a chance. Mrs. Brady, don’t you trust me.,
Carol (whispering): No.
Alice: Look, I’ll show you it’s not so bad to wear. (She wraps it around her own neck and inhales. She tries her hardest not to let go of her breath) See, I can hardly smell it at all. (She takes it off) Will you wear it? (Carol reluctantly agrees) You won’t be sorry, Mrs. Brady, you’ll be cured in 24 hours.
Carol (whispering) 24 hours?
Alice: 24 hours. Unless you break out in a rash, then you oughtta take it off.
Mike (walking in the living room): You’re wearing Grandma’s secret remedy, huh? Let’s hope it does the job. We’re going to go downtown and finish the shopping.
Alice: I’ll go round up the kids. (She walks away)
Mike: Who knows honey, it just might work, you know.
Carol (whispering): Does the smell bother you?
Mike: No, no, not too bad. We better get going, we won’t be too long.
(He reaches over to kiss her but instead blows her a kiss. She motion to him to come closer, he holds his nose and kisses her, then she leans backward while they take a dip)
(The next scene has Mike at the department store with Cindy. they get out of the elevator and see a department store Santa with a bunch of kids around him)
Mike: looks like we got here during the rush hour.
(We move over to Santa and the children)
Santa (to the girl on his lap) Now, you be a nice little girl and you’ll get that puppy for Christmas.
Cindy: I can wait by myself, Daddy.
Mike: Well, I did want to exchange this present. You sure you don’t mind waiting alone?
Cindy: Daddy, I’m six years old.
Mike: I keep forgetting. Now, I’ll be right back, you wait right here.
Cindy: Okay. (Mike gets into the elevator and Cindy gets online to see Santa. She starts talking to the little boy in front of her) Hi, I’m Cindy, what’s your name?
Boy (snottily): I hate girls.
(We move into the next scene, with the little boy on Santa’s lap reading his Christmas list)
Boy: A basketball, a BB gun, a four-speed bike with handbrakes, a dart game, a baseball mitt-lefty, a bow and arrow set, a…
Santa: All right, sonny, I’ll do all I can for you. Now you just run along and be a good boy.
Boy: I’m only half finished.
Santa; Well, I know, but I have to go and feed my reindeer and besides, there are a lot other children waiting. I’ll read this later.
Boy: You might forget.
Santa: Oh, I’ll never forget you sonny. Merry Christmas, ho, ho, ho, ho, ho, ho, ho, ho. (the boy gets down from Santa’s lap and he turns to Cindy) You’re next, little girl. (She gets on Santa’s lap) Well, my sakes. What’s your name?
Cindy: Cindy Brady.
Santa: My, but you are a pretty little girl. What toy would you like Santa to bring you?
Cindy: Well, I don’t want any toys.
Santa (surprised): No toys? Well, you must want something for Christmas.
Cindy: I do. I want my mommy to get her voice back.
Santa: Your mommy’s voice back?
Cindy: Mommy’s got laryngitis real bad.
Santa: Well, that is a shame.
Cindy: And she has to sing at church on Christmas.
Santa: Well, Cindy, I don’t think I can…
Cindy: Oh, please, Santa, it’s all I want for Christmas.
Santa: Well, you certainly are a sweet, unselfish little girl. I’m sure your mommy will get her voice back.
Cindy (pleased): Oh, thank you, Santa.
(She gives him a big hug and kiss on the cheek. She gets down and runs over to Mike, who has just returned)
Cindy (happy): Daddy! Daddy!
Mike: What are you so excited about, sweetie?
Cindy: Santa’s going to give Mommy her voice back for Christmas.
Mike: He’s what?
Cindy: He promised Mommy can sing on Christmas morning.
Mike: Oh, honey, how can he do that? He’s not a doctor.
Cindy: He’s better than a doctor, he’s Santa Claus.
(In the next scene, Mike confronts Santa about his promise to Cindy)
Mike: How could you make such a promise to a little girl?
Santa: Listen, this is Christmas, mister, and I’m Santa Claus.
Mike: You know, maybe it’s okay to promise material things like toys and dolls and bicycles, but not voices. How is Cindy gonna feel tomorrow morning, when her mother can’t even say Merry Christmas to her?
Santa: I’m sorry but that little kid is hard to resist, when she looks at you with those big baby blues, you just want to give her everything.
Mike: Not things you can’t deliver. Look, she believes in you, you know.
Santa: Honest, I only wanted to make her happy.
Mike: That’s great for now. What’s gonna make her happy Christmas day?
(The next scene has Cindy at home, hanging a stocking in the family room)
Cindy (to Carol): I can hardly wait for Christmas, Mommy.
Carol (raspy and low): Me too.
Cindy: And wait till you see what Santa’s bringing you.
Carol (same tone as before): Santa’s binging me something?
Cindy: Uh-huh, but it’s a secret so I can’t tell you what it is. (Carol fakes a bummed look) All right, I’ll tell. You’re going to get your voice back on Christmas. (Carol looks surprised) It’s true, Mommy. Santa promised me.
Carol (whispering); You asked Santa to give me my voice back?
Cindy: Uh-huh, I asked Santa today and he said he would.
(Carol gives Cindy a hug and Mike walks in)
Mike: Cindy, can I see you for a moment?
Cindy: Sure, Daddy. Be right back, Mommy. (to Mike) I told Mommy what Santa was bringing her.
(Carol looks on with delight as Mike and Cindy go outside. While out there, Mike is pacing back and forth)
Cindy: Daddy, did you bring me out here to watch you walk?
Mike: No, sweetheart. (He kneels down to explain to her) I have something to say to you, but I’m not sure how to say it.
Cindy: You’re gonna scold me?
Mike: No, of course not.
Cindy: I didn’t think so, you always know how to do that.
Mike: Cindy, I don’t want you to build your hopes up too high that your mother will get her voice back by Christmas.
Cindy: Oh, she will. Santa said so.
Mike: Well, maybe you misunderstood him. Now, he didn’t exactly promise, did he?
Cindy: Oh, yes Daddy, he did. Really he did. And he’s Santa Claus.
Mike: Cindy, I don’t want you to expect a miracle.
Cindy: Oh, I don’t expect a miracle. I just expect Mommy to sing good.
(Mike smiles as we move to the next scene)
(Marcia, Jan and Cindy are in their room with gifts to the boys)
Marcia: Now, where would be a good lace to hide the boys’ presents?
Cindy: Do we have to hide them?
Jan: It’s a surprise! They’ll never expect to be getting presents from us.
Marcia: How about in the closet?
Jan: No, that will be the first place they’ll look when they start snooping.
Marcia: What makes you think they’ll snoop?
Cindy: Well, we snoop, don’t we.
(Cut over to the boys’ room, where they’re sorting out gifts for the girls)
Greg: All right now, just make sure the girls don’t you catch you hiding these.
Bobby: If they catch me, should I eat the present?
(Greg gives a look of frustration)
Peter: Eat it! He’s been watching too many of those spy programs.
(In Mike and Carol’s bedroom, Alice is looking to hide a gift for Carol)
Alice: Mrs. Brady?
(She shuts the door behind then looks inside the closet, where many other presents are stowed. She checks the other closet with the same result. Then she decides to hide it under the bed. She sees Bobby down there hiding another gift. He puts his finger over his mouth, telling her to shush)
(Next, we’re in the boys room where Greg, Peter and Bobby are in bed. Greg, who is having trouble sleeping, has the radio on, reporting about the whereabouts of Santa. He gets out of bed, gets his robe and flashlight, then leaves the room and shuts the door behind him. Then he goes down the stairs and examines a few gifts, trying to find which ones are his. He sits at the bottom of the staircase and is soon joined by Marcia)
Marcia: Find one of yours? (Greg nods) What did it sound like?
Greg: Who cares? I started thinking about Mom losing her voice on Christmas.
Marcia: Yeah, just when she’s supposed to sing her solo.
Greg: It’s a bum deal. I thought for sure she’d have her voice back by now.
Peter (calling from top of the stairs): Me too.
Greg: Keep it down, would you. You’ll wake everybody up.
(Peter and Jan come down the stairs)
Jan: Who can sleep? (She and Peter join Greg and Marcia) Some Christmas, it’s no fun this year.
(Alice comes out and turns the lights on)
Alice: A-ha, I caught you in the act. Sneaking down trying to guess what the presents are, huh?
Greg: Nobody feels much like guessing presents.
Marcia: You know what I think, I think we oughtta postpone Christmas until Mom can talk again.
Greg: I’m for that.
Peter: Me too.
Jan: Let’s skip Christmas this year.
Alice: Okay, it’s numinous, we’ll cancel Christmas. We’ll take the tree down, take the presents back to the store, I’ll throw the turkey away. Of course, it might disappoint your mother a little. She had one tough break already. She and your Dad were looking forward to us having a wonderful first Christmas together. Well, why worry about how they feel?
Marcia: We don’t want to disappoint them.
Greg: Of course not.
Alice: Well, that’s exactly what you’d be doing.
Greg: It was your idea, Marcia!
Marcia: I only meant it because Mom can’t sing tomorrow.
Peter: You can’t throw away the turkey, Alice. It’s got my favorite dressing.
Alice: Don’t worry honey, I won’t. I just wanted you all to realize that you really didn’t mean what you were saying.
Peter: You sure scared me.
Alice: Okay, everybody off to bed now. Come on, back you go. Off Dancer, off Dasher, off Prancer.
Mike (at the top of the stairs): Off Vixen, Off Comet, on Cupid and Donner and Blitzen.
Greg: We were just going back to bed.
Mike: Good night, kids.
Alice: Mr. Brady, I didn’t know you were there.
Mike: Alice, I heard part of what you said to the kids. (He gives her the okay sign and goes off to bed, as well as Alice)
(The next morning,. Carol is humming ‘Oh Come, All Ye Faithful’ in her sleep)
Mike (waking up): Honey, honey, wake up. Sing.
Carol: Sing? At this hour, I can’t even talk. I just did. Mike, I’m not dreaming. I’m awake, I can talk.
Mike: Sing, honey, sing.
(Carol sings the first line of ‘O, Come, All Ye Faithful’. She sings the rest of the song at church later that morning, with the rest of the family watching. Jan and Bobby smile to each other admiringly, Peter and Marcia look on with delight, as well as Alice and Greg. Mike sees Cindy beaming and puts his arm around her and then the scene fades out)
(The final scene is in Cindy’s room that evening, where she is writing a thank you letter to Santa. Mike and Carol come in to say good night.)
Carol: Cindy, I think it’s time you went to bed, sweetheart.
Cindy: Just a minute, Mommy. I want to finish this thank you letter to Santa Claus.
Mike: Thank you letter. Aw, Santa’s gonna like that.
Carol: That’s very thoughtful of you.
Cindy (writing): Love, Cindy. There now, it’s all finished. (She looks up at her parents) I hope Santa can read first grade writing?
Carol: Oh, I’m sure he can.
Cindy (to Mike): Daddy, I told you Mommy would give Santa her voice back.
Mike: Yeah, well, you were right, sweetie. (He picks her up) Christmas is the season for miracles.
(He kisses Cindy good night and the scene fades out)