The Short Humour Site

Home : Writers' Showcase : Submission Guidelines : A Man of a Few More Words : Links

A Man of Few Words - by Swan Morrison

The First Christmas

‘You wanted to see me, Oh Ancient of Days?’

‘Yes, Gabriel, pull up a cloud. It’s about the messages you’ve been passing to the Holy Family on my behalf.’

‘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. It’s the messages after Jesus was born that bother me. I don’t remember asking you to deliver any?’

‘Ah.....I’m sorry about that.....I had a bit too much to drink at the Archangels’ Christmas party.’

‘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 ‘Saviour’s Return’?’

‘The keeper of the ‘Herod’s Arms’ was pretty quick to cash-in on events with that name change.’

‘That’s as may be, but did you not consider all those lamps to be a fire hazard?’

‘I didn’t think about it until....’

‘Exactly! And now there’s 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 didn’t 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 commandment!!!!’

‘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 don’t give a bugger, lest thou and all thy tedious kin be cast into the fiery pits of Hell.’

‘I don’t 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 wouldn’t 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 wasn’t 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 draughty stable.’

‘You didn’t 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 disaster.’

‘Oh, I don’t know, Lord, I thought it was all rather Christmassy.’