The case of the thieving Wise Men.
So a few years ago, we purchased a Nativity Scene to plop under our Christmas tree. I had spent a few years before that incessantly whining about how we needed one because my parents have one, and that’s what we always did when I was growing up and we can’t mess with tradition (I’m Catholic when it’s convenient for me). So we drove to Target and bought one.
This made me happy. If I ever get around to buying a mini train track complete with a train to put around the tree, this would make the boy happy; but I keep forgetting to price that stuff out when it’s not the Christmas shopping season, because I’m a rotten wife and only think about my needs. But this story isn’t about a lousy train track, so let’s get back to the Nativity Scene.
So we bring it home and I remove it from the box and plop it under our tree, remembering to pull down one of the twinkling lights from the lowest strand to peek through the barn window. Because that’s the Star, you know, The Star, the one the Wise Men followed to find ol’ Baby Jesus hanging out with barn animals. Satisfied, I step back to observe my handiwork and bask in the glow of childhood memories. But something is not right.
Me: “Um, could you come here for a second and take a look at this?”
The Boy: “What?”
Me: “Just come over here… is it just me or are the Wise Men … stealing presents away from Baby Jesus?”
The Boy: “What the hell are you talking about?” (he comes over to take a look. Then...) “WOAH”.
Clearly I’m not making this up. I mean, I will admit that I have a vivid imagination, but I’m not making this up this time. Take a good look again at Wise Man #1:
|Don't think I don't see you, dude.|
So this one is all, “Hey Baby Jesus! Want my frankincense and myrrh?”, then waits until Baby Jesus is taking a nap before slowly backing out of the barn with his prezzies. Except now I caught him and he’s all, “WHAT, WOMAN?”
Let’s take a look at the other dude.
|Something strange is afoot at the Circle K.|
Take a good look at this. Joseph and Wise Man #3 are the only interested ones here. They’re looking adoringly at little Baby Jesus much like we were all told about in Catechism. Yes, I went to Catechism. Is that so hard to believe? I told you, I’m Catholic when it’s convenient for me.
Even Mary seems pretty dispassionate here. In her defense, I can see why. She just gave birth in a friggin’ barn surrounded by a cow and a donkey and a sheep. Then all these people show up including some really shiny and bright angels from the heavens, and she’s forced to be nice and accommodate their schedules. Poor woman is worn out and had to do this whole birth thing the old fashioned way because this was long before they gave you epidurals full of yummy numbing medicine. I don’t have kids yet, but you can damn well be sure when my time comes, I’m demanding the drugs. So Mary’s attitude here is totally excusable. She’s having the donkey babysit for a while so that she can catch up on some rest.
But Wise Man #2? Look at him, he’s even got a sly grin on his face, to match his goatee. Never trust a guy with an impeccably trimmed goatee, is all I’m saying. Dude supposedly hiked for weeks (or was it months? Catechism was sooo long ago) and shows up looking dapper and shiny. They should have known right away he was up to something.
For a brief moment, I thought about returning the Nativity Scene and exchanging it for a more accurate one, but then we decided against it. It’s too funny. Plus, I can imagine how that conversation would go at the Customer Service desk at Target.
Clerk: “And the reason for your exchange?”
Me: “Uh… the Wise Men are up to no good”.
Clerk: “Excuse me?”
Me: “Well take a look here, let’s pull it out of the box so that I can show you”.
The thieving rat bastards. I’M ON TO YOU.
Merry Christmas to all. Or Happy Hanukkah. Or whatever it is that you celebrate; hope you find joy and happiness in the little things like we do.