Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, or my personal favorite, Date Nut Bread Day (it’s today!), traditions abound during the holiday season.
Most traditions involve the gathering of family and friends at someone’s home and the consumption of mass quantities of food and, often, drink – sort of like a football game with religious overtones.
As a child, my Nana and I used to play a game of Who Can Tell the Biggest Lie and it’s in the spirit of that game and in remembrance of my late Nana (and not to offend anyone) that I tell you the story of The Fourth Wise Man as it was loosely told to me many years ago.
Once upon a time Mary and her husband, Joseph, were directed to return to their ancestral home to register for the Tax Cut and Jobs Act. Mary was pregnant and the idea of getting their $1,400 refundable child tax credit from Marco Rubio was enticing.
The couple booked a flight to Bethlehem out of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, but as luck would have it, they were stranded there for two days due to power outages and lost their hotel reservations.
Mary was exhausted after the flight, but little baby Jesus was coming fast so she sent Joseph down to JC Penney for some swaddling clothes. As soon has her contractions were three minutes apart, she pinged Joseph on his cell phone.
He came rushing back by Uber, upon which Mary gave birth on that cold, starry night in a shed that lacked central heating because all the Airbnbs in Bethlehem were full.
Meanwhile in the suburbs, some men were tending to their sheep (didn’t I tell you it was a cold night?) when they spotted a bright light in the sky. Lo and behold, it was an angel riding a unicorn and carrying a Bell and Howell Tac Light Lantern (As Seen On TV).
The shepherds looked at each other quizzically, but the angel said, “Fear not, for I have news of the birth of your Savior in Bethlehem – a child who will be king. And I’ve brought bacon.”
Then more angels came and chatted for a while and the shepherds, being good hosts, broke out a flacon of Prosecco to share with everyone before leaving for Bethlehem. There they found the baby lying in a manger and immediately tweeted out the news to their friends and posted a selfie with Mary and Joseph on Facebook.
In another land far, far away, wise men who were gathered at a meeting of the United Nations Security Council received the tweet on their iPhones. Suddenly, something bright shone the sky.
“It’s a bird,” cried Balthasar. “No, it’s a plane,” exclaimed Melchior. “I’m a scientist and I say it’s a star,” said Gaspar proudly. “Let’s check it out,” suggested Fred, the Fourth Wise Man, “but first, let’s stop at Neiman’s to pick up a baby gift.” So, they did.
Well, as luck would have it, en route to Bethlehem, they ran into King Roy Moore who was sitting astride his camel and blocking their path. “Hey, Roy,” said Fred. “Is that a pistol in your pocket or are you glad to see me?”
“Bless your heart, Fred,” replied Roy. “I see you’re wearing your gay apparel. Have you heard about the baby born in Bethlehem?” “Yes, answered Fred, “We’re on our way to meet him now as soon as we stop for brunch. Care to join us?”
“Nah, you guys go on ahead. Cash me outside, how bow dah?” said Roy who was actually plotting against the baby, so he could continue being king.
In Bethlehem, the wise guys presented their gifts to Baby Jesus.
“I offer you this photo of gold,” said Balthazar. “You can visit the real stuff at Fort Knox. Just call Steven Mnuchin so you can use his plane.”
“I offer you frankincense,” said Melchior. The baby sneezed.
“I offer you myrrh,” said Gaspar. Mary rolled her eyes at Joseph and whispered, “WTF is myrrh?”
“I’ve got this, guys,” said Fred. “I offer Baby Jesus a tuition-free, science-based college education so he can study ways to combat climate change, save the world and bring us peace on Earth.”
“You win,” said Joseph, “but we’d better hit the road. I hear King Roy Moore is coming for our children.”
So, they fled to Nazareth in the suburbs of Galilee, where Baby Jesus grew to be a man who wore gender-neutral clothing, celebrated diversity, ministered to the poor and the sick, and preached love and tolerance for all.
Way to go, Jesus!
Valerie M. Blake is a licensed Associate Broker in D.C., Maryland and Virginia and Director of Education & Mentorship at Real Living|At Home. Call or text her at 202-246-8602, email her at Valerie@DCHomeQuest.com, or follow her on Facebook at TheRealst8ofAffairs.