A Perfect Christmas

A Perfect Christmas


Music by Andrew Gerle

Book and Lyrics by
Maryrose Wood

based on the stories
of O. Henry

visit the Sheet Music page to purchase PDFs
of the sheet music from A Perfect Christmas


A Perfect Christmas was a finalist for the 2000 Richard Rodgers Award. It was presented in a workshop production in the winter of 2001 at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

Cast & Songs


Mme. Zozo / Miss Sofronie
Jeweler / Grandfather


Prologue / A Perfect Christmas
Just As It Is
Sleep, Little Child
Katie Mahorner
Twenty a Week
All For a Nickel
I Bought You Something / Act I Finale
The Man With the Crooked Nose
Quartet (excerpts)
Mrs. Santa
The Friend of Me Friend Tobin
With You
A Perfect Christmas (Finale)

A Perfect Christmas is available with orchestrations up to seven pieces.


Set during Christmas week, 1905, A Perfect Christmas re-imagines O. Henry’s classic holiday tale, ‘The Gift of the Magi’, as a tender, funny, and bittersweet meditation on the nature of love. Young newlyweds Jim and Della are so besotted with the idea of their ‘perfect’ love that their life together is governed by fantasy. Only after each sacrifices the outward symbol of their illusions (Della’s long hair, Jim’s heirloom watch) do the young lovers give up their idealized relationship and begin a mature life’s journey together as real, all-too-human partners.

As counterpoint to Jim and Della, we follow the comic adventures of Danny Tobin and his friend John Malone, two young Irishmen who, with irresistible gullibility, spend Christmas week in a desperate, hilarious search, all because of the prediction of a Coney Island fortune teller. The gypsy reads good fortune in the palm of Tobin’s hand – if only he can find a man with a crooked nose. The search for the crooked-nosed man leads, naturally, to a very unexpected but deeply satisfying outcome, and Tobin is joyfully reunited with his long-lost love, Katie Mahorner.

The two intertwining plots are framed by the figure of the Toy Seller, a mysterious lad who introduces the characters of both stories as a collection of mechanical clockwork toys. As his ‘merchandise’ comes to life to enact their stories, the Toy Seller moves in and out of both tales as a free-spirited provocateur. In the end, the unifying theme of love as a journey, rather than a destination, is evoked by the Toy Seller as he presents his ‘toys’, Jim and Della, moving on to the next phase of the journey that Tobin and Katie Mahorner are just beginning.