What's a Piffany?

A Children's Skit for Epiphany

by Deb Mechler

In order for audience members to understand the play on words in this skit, a sign with the title should be displayed. The characters can be played by people or by puppets. The "kids" are waiting at the bus stop before school, so they can carry simple props like books, lunch boxes, etc., although this is not necessary. Pastor Jim should wear exercise clothing.

Characters:

Jean
Mike
Murphy
Sally
Sam (Sally's older brother)
Pastor Jim

Props:

School books
Lunch boxes
Sign with illustration of school bus and words "School Bus Stop" written on it

(Jean and Mike are at center stage.)

Jean:

Boy, it sure is cold out here! Why is the bus always so slow?

Mike:

"Slow as molasses in January," my dad would say. He has so many of those sayings in his head.

Jean:

He must be smart.

Mike:

Hey, that reminds me. Dad said something this morning that I didn't understand. He was talking to Pastor Jim on the phone, and he said, "After Christmas we have a piffany."

Jean:

What's a piffany?

Mike:

How should I know? I said I didn't understand.

Jean:

Sounds like a party or something.

Mike:

Hmmm, maybe. That would be neat!

Jean:

Here comes Murphy. Maybe he knows.

(Murphy enters stage right.)

Mike:

Hey, Murph! Do you know what a piffany is?

Murphy:

A piffany? Hmmm... I think it's some kind of Christmas candy. You know—that fluffy kind my mom makes. It looks like shaving cream, only it's candy. It sorta melts in your mouth, and it's really good. 'Cept I ate too much of it last year and got kinda sick.

Mike:

I'm not surprised, Murph.

Sally:

(entering left stage) What are you guys talking about?

Jean:

We were just wondering—what's a piffany?

Sally:

Bless you.

Jean:

(puzzled) What?

Sally:

I said, "Bless you." Didn't you sneeze?

Jean:

No, no, no. I asked you, what-is-a-piffany?

Sally:

Oh, I dunno. Is it a new spelling word? I left my list at school.

Mike:

No, Sally. It's something my dad says that we have after Christmas. He was talking to our pastor about it.

Sally:

I'll bet Sam would know. He was right behind me when I left the house. He knows everything!

Jean:

Naah—he just thinks he does. (Sam enters stage left.) Hey, Sam, what's a piffany?

Sam:

You want to know what a piffany is? I'll tell you. A piffany is a little bird. Yeah, that's it. Piffanies are tiny birds that live in...Canada.

Murphy:

Are you sure?

Mike:

That can't be right. Then why would my dad say we have one right after Christmas? They'd be too small to eat.

Sam:

Well...they're very rich. You don't have to eat much. They really fill you up.

Jean:

Come on, Sam. Just admit you don't know.

Sam:

Okay, okay. But I had you fooled for a minute there, didn't I?

Sally:

Why don't you ask the pastor? Looks like he's jogging this way.

Jean:

Good. Now we can get to the bottom of this.

Pastor:

(jogging at stage right) Hi, kids! (puff, puff)

Mike:

Pastor Jim, stop! We gotta ask you a question.

Pastor:

(puff, puff) Nothing too tough, I hope. My brain's not awake yet.

Mike:

I heard my dad telling you that we have a piffany after Christmas. What's that?

Pastor:

Epiphany is twelve days after Christmas. That is a special day in the church to remember how the Magi came to bring gifts to the Christ child.

Murphy:

I thought that was on Christmas.

Pastor:

It fits in with the Christmas story so well that we do seem to get it confused. Actually, the Magi, or wise men, came to see Jesus some time after he was born, when his parents and he were staying in a house in Bethlehem. It doesn't matter that much when they came. What is important is that the Magi were among the first to recognize Jesus as the promised king. That's why they brought gifts to honor him.

Sally:

So why do they call it a-piffany?

Pastor:

"Epiphany" is one word, Sally. It comes from the Greek word for "showing' or "revealing." On that day and in the weeks following we remember the ways in which Jesus was revealed as God's Son in the Bible, God's Word. It's a good time to ask yourself what you really think about Jesus too.

Jean:

Thanks, Pastor Jim. See, Sam, it's not a bird!

Sam:

Oh well. You really did believe me at first though, didn't you?

Thank you to Deb Mechler, RCA pastor, for permission to include this skit on the website.