SETTING: Have leader in the front of the room. Turn off all lights possible. Leader reads the Legend with the aid of a small flashlight.
NARRATOR: This is the legend of the Christmas Scout. It was told to me by a small boy whose faith in the story was absolute. He showed me a toy airplane and said emphatically that it came from the Christmas Scout.
A Boy Scout was returning on Christmas Eve from a party of his relatives where he had received all of his gifts. He had a sled full of presents, just the things he had been hoping for; and although it was cold, he was warm because he was wearing the new plaid jacket for which he had been hinting. It was his favorite gift.
In spite of everything, he was not happy. This was because it was to be his first Christmas without his brother, whom had, during the year, been the tragic victim of a reckless driver. His brother had been a good Scout and a fine example to him.
The Boy Scout had taken a short cut through the Flats, hoping he might meet his Patrol Leader who lived there with his widowed mother. This was a section of town in which many of the poor lived. His Patrol Leader, one of the best Scouts in the Troop, had to work hard. Not that the Boy Scout was rich. His family was just one step above the Flats.
As he hiked down the street, the Scout caught glimpses of the trees and decorations in many of the homes. He had no intentions of prying, but suddenly, in one glimpse, he had seen a shabby room with two limp stockings hanging above an empty fireplace and a woman seated near them weeping. The stockings reminded him of the way he and his brother had always found them the next morning, full to brimming. Then, he remembered that he had not done his Good Turn for the Day.
He Knocked at the door. "Yes?", the sad voice of the woman inquired. "May I come in? I am a Boy Scout." "You are very welcome", she said, "but I can not help you. I have nothing for my own children."
"That is why I am here", he replied. "You are to choose whatever you need from this sled." "God bless you!", she answered gratefully. "My little boys will be very happy." She took some candies and a game, the toy airplane, and a puzzle.
Then, as she took the new official flashlight, the Scout almost cried out. But he did not. He saw that the stockings were filled and then turned to go. "Won't you tell me your name?", the lady asked. "Just call me the Christmas Scout," he replied.
He was glad to have done the Good Turn, but he was not really happier. He had seen that his sorrow was not the only sorrow in the world, and before he got out of the Flats that night, he had given the remainder of his toys away. The plaid jacket had gone to a boy whom had none at all.
He trudged homeward, cold and disconsolate. He had given his presents away and he could think of no explanation he could give his family that would seem reasonable. He wondered how he could make them understand. His parents tried to be patient. His father was firm. "You made your choice, son. You know we can not afford to give you any more presents."
The Christmas Scout realized he had seemed foolish in the eyes of his parents and even, to a degree, in his own. His brother gone, his family disappointed, he suddenly felt alone. He hadn't thought to be rewarded for his generosity, for in the wisdom of his young grief, he knew that a good deed should always be its own reward. It would be tarnished otherwise. He didn't want his gifts back. The boy thought of his brother and cried himself to sleep.
The next morning, he came down to find his parents listening to the Christmas music on the TV. Then the announcer spoke. "Merry Christmas everybody. The nicest Christmas story we have this morning comes from the Flats. It appears that a crippled boy down there has a new sled this morning, another youngster has a fine plaid jacket, and several families have reported that their children have been made happy by the visitation of a Boy Scout who gave no name, but simply referred to himself as the Christmas Scout. The boy with the jacket declared that the Scout gave it off his own back. No one can identify him, but the children of the Flats are claiming that the Christmas Scout was a personal representative of old Santa Clause himself."
The Christmas Scout felt his father's arms go around his shoulders and saw his mother smiling at him through her tears. "We are proud of you, son." The Christmas Scout caught his breath. "Mother, Father!" he cried. "This is a happy Christmas after all!"
The carols came over the air again filling the room with music. "And praises sing to God the King, and peace to men on earth."