Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas to the letter

I'm sitting here at work on Christmas Eve. The weather is calm and the building is eerily quiet. I came upon this article in the East Valley Tribune penned by Michael Grady. Being Christmas Eve and all, I thought it fitting to throw up on my blog. So do enjoy, and I hope each and everyone of you have a Merry Christmas.

Christmas to the letter

Dear Friends and Family:

Sorry our seasonal letter is late. But our trip to Bethlehem, to register for Caesar Augustus’ tax, was more eventful than planned. (Sure glad this “tax” thing doesn’t happen every year!)

The good news is: We have a beautiful boy! Born under difficult circumstances, but little Jesus is doing quite well. (That’s Mary’s name for him. I prefer Dwayne, so this is still under discussion.) Travel advice: 1) Never bring a pregnant woman on a business trip, and 2) If you must do No. 1, DON’T PUT HER ON THE DONKEY! It aggravates the situation in ways I won’t explain.

Our accommodations? … well, the less said, the better. Bethlehem has lovely homes and prosperous people. But come in from another country, and they treat you like you’re some kind of threat. (And if you look or sound poor? God help you.) We found a place just in time — our roommates were not hygienic, but at least they weren’t judgmental. And, later, we milked one.

So, Mary had the baby ... then people started showing up. It wasn’t the most convenient time, to be honest. But these things happen when you don’t have a door. We got shepherds, who were very nice. They just wanted to look at the baby. It was a little awkward, but one of their kids was pretty good on the drum. (It spooked our roommates. But, fortunately, professionals were there to herd them.) Then three fancy-hat guys showed up. They were kings, or so they said. (The shepherds were like: “Yeah, kings. Whatever. Can I try your hat?”) They LOVED the baby! (The goats and drum solos? Not so much.) Everybody kept kneeling, so I kept running out for more chairs. But no one used them, except the shepherd boy, who thought I was expanding his drum set.

First Fancy-Hat Guy gave us gold as a gift. The other two were like, “Uh, gifts! Sure! We brought some!” One handed over some incense, and the other gave us myrrh (a stinky perfume, but Jesus/Dwayne likes to play with the bottle). I shouldn’t complain. It was a nice gesture, and they didn’t have our sizes.

All in all, a lovely evening. (Though, in the future, Mary doesn’t want us to entertain on nights she gives birth.) The only sour moment came when they started arguing about what the birth “meant.” Everybody thought it was important. But some had very precise reasons why, and got upset when the others wouldn’t agree, word for word.

“Look,” I told ’em. “He came, and he’s healthy and here with us now. The rest is just talk.” Then Jesus/Dwayne started crying and they all settled down.

It seemed silly, bickering about words, on a night so blessed with stars.


Blogger tony sheng said...

Merry Christmas Keith!

9:44 PM  

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