It's a Pokenberry Christmas, Part 1

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#385: “It's a Pokenberry Christmas, Part 1”
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James 1:17
17Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

Isaiah 41:10
10So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
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Chris Anthony
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Paul McCusker
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Amazing Grace
It's a Pokenberry Christmas, Part 1
“It's a Pokenberry Christmas, Part 1” is episode #385 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written and directed by Paul McCusker, and originally aired on December 13, 1997.


George Barclay and his family are having a hard time in Pokenberry Falls, so Whit and Eugene pay them a Christmas visit.


George and Eugene fall of the bridge

At a quiet Whit's End, Whit reads a letter from Mary Barclay that discusses how discouraged George Barclay is in Pokenberry Falls. Things are so bad he is considering quitting the pastorate. Whit and Eugene decide to visit the Barclays over the holidays as an encouragement to George. As his family, Mary, Donna, Jimmy, and Stewart Reed Barclay, plays in the snow, George attempts to justify his church budget to Barry Lionel, the sole financial supporter of the church. Mr. Lionel can't see the value of spending his money on the poor members of the congregation and tells George that he may have to close the church.

Discouraged, George stops at the church office and finds Ellis Birch, the church treasurer, frantically trying to find the deposit slip for the $800 he was supposed to deposit in the bank the previous week. Without the money, the church can't pay its bills. The two desperately try to find the money, but it's nowhere to be found.

George gets more and more frustrated and angry, especially when he hears that Stewart has injured himself falling off his bike. He visits with Stewart and agrees to fix the pedal from the bike while Stewart rests. Frustrated with the day and with life in general, George storms out of the house.

Meanwhile, Whit and Eugene have checked into a motel and, after calling Mary, decide to go look for George. George has gone to Mr. Lionel for help, but Mr. Lionel refuses, suggesting they just let the church die. Whit and Eugene find George on a bridge. Believing George is about to jump, Eugene runs to stop him and instead falls over the edge into the river himself. George jumps into the river to save Eugene. The story continues in part II...

This plot section is too short and should be expanded. »

Discussion Questions

  1. Why would Eugene assume the worst: that George Barclay was considering throwing himself into the water?
    • And though George denied it later, was there any truth to Eugene's assumption?
  2. Have you ever been in a position like George's, where God has called you to do something that would be impossible to carry out without Him?


Role Voice Actor
Barry Lionel Tom Williams
Donna Barclay Azure Janosky
Ellis Birch Howard Morris
Eugene Meltsner Will Ryan
George Barclay Chuck Bolte
Jimmy Barclay David Griffin
John Whittaker Paul Herlinger
Mary Barclay Carol Bilger
Stewart Reed Barclay Craig Miller
Mr. Welch Alan Young


  • The entire plot of this show is based on the movie "It's a Wonderful Life", with George Bailey as George Barclay and Clarence as Eugene. The miserly character of Barry Lionel is an obvious reference to Lionel Barrymore, the actor who played the miserly character of Mr. Potter in the 1946 film. Numerous other It’s a Wonderful Life References appear throughout AIO.



John Whittaker: That's no man, that's George Barclay!

Mary Barclay: George, do I have to give you a time out and send you to your room?

George Barclay: To you warped, frustrated, rich old man, they're sheep.

George Barclay: We gave up a nice situation in Odyssey to come to this...crummy, drafty old town.
Jimmy Barclay: You forgot measly, dad.
George Barclay: Crummy, drafty, measly old town.

Jimmy Barclay: You're just getting a big head 'cause you're getting a big college scholarship, and they're throwing a big party for you later. Big deal!