The First Christmas

It was late in December, and shoppers were busy finding last minute gifts for all of their friends and relatives. Mary, though, had no time for the seasonal bustle. She had to travel to the little town of Bethlehem for taxes or something. The weather forecast called for snow, and she was nine-months pregnant, but taxes don’t care about that kind of thing. So Mary, and her husband Joseph, got on their donkey and were driving to Bethlehem on Christmas Eve.

Of course, finding a hotel room on Christmas Eve proved tricky. Everyone’s out-of-town relatives were in for the holidays, and they had filled up every room, even at the shady-looking motel run by the Pakistani family. By then, the snow was starting to accumulate, and Mary’s water had broken. In desperation, they sought shelter in a barn with no front wall, a cow on one side, a horse on the other, and a manger in the middle. There was just enough space for one of them to stand on each side of the manger.

Out in the mountains, sheep were searching for grass in the snow. One of them said to the shepherd boy, “Do you see what I see?” The boy looked, and noticed a choir of angels, playing harps and singing Christmas carols. He asked what was going on, and they told him that Jesus was in Bethlehem. He got the other shepherds, and the sheep, and they went to the address the angels had given them.

Meanwhile, things were dicey at Herod’s castle. Three oriental kings had shown up and demanded to see baby Jesus, because they had heard about him from a star. The guards lowered the drawbridge and let them in, but no one could find Jesus anywhere in the castle. Finally, they asked some people who had paid attention when the Christmas story was read at church, and  they said that baby Jesus was supposed to be in Bethlehem.

The three kings got back on their camels and drove to Bethlehem. They had to drive slowly, due to all the snow, and so they arrived  after the shepherds and the little drummer boy. Fortunately, the star turned into a spotlight that pointed at Jesus, so they found him easily. They went in and saw baby Jesus in the manger. There was a glowing circle around his head that lit up the whole barn. By then, Mary had completely recovered from childbirth and was standing next  to the manger. The kings gave gold and some other stuff to baby Jesus. Then they all bowed down around the manger and prayed to him.

They stayed at the manger to watch the ball drop on New Year’s Eve, and then the shepherd went to tell it on the mountains, over the hills, and everywhere. And they all lived happily ever after.


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