The First Christmas
You wanted to see me, Oh Ancient of
Yes, Gabriel, pull up a cloud. Its
about the messages youve been passing to the Holy Family on
Yes Lord. I told Mary that she was
blessed among women, and she would give birth to a son who would
be Christ the Lord.
That was fine. Its the messages
after Jesus was born that bother me. I dont remember asking
you to deliver any?
Ah.....Im sorry about that.....I
had a bit too much to drink at the Archangels Christmas
What possessed you to command Joseph
to construct a six cubit high representation of a fir tree from
the northern forests of Earth, and erect it in the stable?
Michael dared me. It seemed a bit of
fun at the time.
And what about the huge depictions of
a sleigh and snowman, illuminated by oil lamps, which dominated
the front of the Saviours Return?
The keeper of the Herods
Arms was pretty quick to cash-in on events with that name
Thats as may be, but did you
not consider all those lamps to be a fire hazard?
I didnt think about it until....
Exactly! And now theres even
less room at the Inn.
The Christmas parchments were a good
idea, though. Mary and Joseph were very keen to send one to all
their friends and relatives.
It was a nice sentiment to send
messages saying: Glad tidings, a new King is born.
Bad luck that Joseph sent one to Herod. Your suggestions about
Christmas messages didnt stop there though, did they?
I thought it would be really friendly
to send a duplicate letter to everyone Mary and Joseph had ever
met, describing their family exploits of the past year.
In defiance of my eleventh
Your eleventh commandment?
Thou shalt not send jolly, annual
letters describing thy holidays, and how well thy children are
doing at school, to dozens of people who dont give a
bugger, lest thou and all thy tedious kin be cast into the fiery
pits of Hell.
I dont remember that one?
No, Moses dropped it on the way down
Mount Sinai. A great shame as it would have been the most popular
commandment of the early twenty-first century.....And then there
were the presents from the Magi.
Now that was nothing to do with me.
How could I know they wouldnt give any thought to presents
until Christmas Eve and then buy useless and unsuitable gifts in
a panic at the late night market in Jerusalem?
OK, perhaps that wasnt your
fault. Mind you, I thought Mary was very gracious when she
assured them that gold, frankincense and myrrh were just what was
needed when you were trying to look after a new born baby in a
You didnt detect a note of
irony in her voice, then?
I got a bit distracted watching gangs
of locals singing half a verse of some song or other, before
demanding money from householders - all backlit by the burning
Inn. Quite honestly, I think the whole thing was a bloody
Oh, I dont know, Lord, I
thought it was all rather Christmassy.