It's been a while, guys. It's been a loooong while. But it's finally time. You all have been such good readers, you deserve to hear about the True Meaning Of Christmas, and you deserve to hear it from someone with a fading, old lady memory. If you're new to the concept of me attempting to recall Bible stories, check out the first one here.
Now here we go. Christmas!
The story starts with an adorable young couple, Mary and Joseph. They're engaged, it's wonderful. Until one night, an angel named Gabriel visits Mary and tells her, "SURPRISE!--you're preggo, and the father is NO ONE. Or, well, it's God. And He's also the mother. But you're kind of the mother. I think. Look, your story's a little iffy and it's going to get RULL awkward over in Europe in a few years about it, so why don't you be a nice girl, take this iron supplement and go back to bed."
So when Mary woke up, she had the wonderful job of letting her fiance know that she was pregnant and he was not the father. Let's just say, it did NOT go like this:
In fact, it was probably a little more like "SNAP. Now stand still, I'm going to have to stone you." Luckily, Gabriel stepped in, explained the whole thing to Joseph, and it was all cool. And from then on, little children everywhere playing Joseph in the Nativity play were befuddled as to what any of their lines were implying.
Now, according to the Bible, the Roman emperor, Caesar Augustus decided that he wanted a head count. And he thought the best way to do that was to make everyone go back to the town of their ancestors so they could do a census. AND! Everyone did it! I have to say, WOW are we lazy. We even have people come up to our front doors during our censuses, and we still refuse to answer a few questions just because we have to put on pants to do it.
So apparently Joseph and Mary have to hike their sandal-wearing butts all the way to Bethlehem, because Joseph's ancestor is the famous David (and as we all know, everyone only has one ancestor.) Of course, Mary is like one dilated centimeter away from popping Jesus out, so by the time they get there it is GO TIME. They get to the inn, but all of David's other brethren have booked the place solid. Luckily, the innkeeper is super nice and gives them shelter...in the barn out back.
TIME OUT. I'm sorry. This tiny little woman is about to give birth. She is doing her lamaze breathing and screaming that she wants the pills after all. And instead of taking one look at her and kicking out the schmuck in room 202 and giving the clean bed to the woman with a PERSON coming out of her, you lay her in a pile of manure and wish her good day. LOVELY.
So, fine. Luckily, God is on their side and he makes sure Jesus comes out all pink and sparkly and painlessly. A star appears above Jesus' first resting point. Mary swaddles him and lays him in a manger which is a fancy word for wooden trough. I'm not sure why she couldn't just hang onto him, but I guess it's part of the mystique of Jesus. Maybe his halo was making him too hot.
So Jesus is born and everyone is FREAKING OUT. First of all, we've got the angels with their trumpets and their proclamations. These guys are seriously excited. They're so excited, they go tell the nearby shepherds about the latest. It's kind of like when something awesome happens to you but none of your friends are around, so you just kind of turn to the nearest person who knows your name and blurt out how happy you are because you just found out you're getting an iPod and OMG OMG OMG!!!1
That's the angels. There's so many of them, they are no longer a pair, nor a group, nor even a herd. Nay, they are a "host" of angels. That is a lot of angels. And they boom down from heaven in a voice I imagine is a lot more like The Great And Powerful Oz and a lot less like the Hallelujah Chorus, because the shepherds nearly poop their pants out of fear. But once they figure out what's going on, they manage to follow the shepherd's direction, which is something like "second star to the right and straight on til morning" until they get to the barn and the Jesus and the manger and the everything. And according to my childhood nativity figurines, one of the shepherds even came by carrying a little lamb over his shoulders. You know, as one does.
So that's the shepherds. Next the story gets DASTARDLY! Because somewhere in the world is a king named King Herod. And, if you remember the story of Moses you will be very surprised to know he has a thing against baby boys. Well, specifically he has a thing against Jesus. Er, let me back up.
Somehow, a bunch of foreigners from the east (aka, terrorists) hear about Jesus. I assume from angels. The Bible calls the foreigners "magi" which I think just means they are royalty, or they're so rich they are royalty-LIKE and either way they would have made for a KILLER episode of Cribs. But I guess they didn't get all the info. All they heard was that a king had been born to save everyone. So they pack up the best gifts they can find: gold, frankincense and myrrh. The latter two are perfumes. Because back then people couldn't bathe too much, so smelling good was a commodity. No one really knows how many magi there were, but people simplify it by saying there were three because they brought 3 gifts. But who knows? There could have been 6 and they all just went halfsies.
So these magi make it to King Herod, assuming the new baby king was there. Of course, King Herod gets more riled up than a chipmunk on Ritalin and orders all children under the age of two DEAD. Luckily, the star above Jesus leads the magi to him much quicker than Herod, so they're able to bestow their gifts AND warn the family of impending doom, and they take off.
The problem here is, there's not really a good ending to the story. People usually just sing a little "Away In A Manger" and everyone claps and goes home. So I don't know what else to tell you about this one.
Merry Christmas everybody! And thanks for following and spreading the word!