Wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” Subsequently, a fourth wise man from the East came, exasperated, apologizing:

Oh, Mary, I am so sorry I’m late. I know, I know, typical me. The other Magi were constantly reminding me: “We’re astronomers, Ramin. We study the night sky. We’re expecting His arrival. We shopped for Him. You must be prepared to leave at any moment because you never know when you’re going to see His star. Capeesh?”

Well, I didn’t see His star. I mean, I didn’t notice His particular star. Truth be told, I’d had more than a few martinis with my friend, Nadia, whom I was attempting to cheer up, as she’d once again been passed over for prophet. Standard misogyny. So, after pouring Nadia onto a donkey, I glanced at the stars and they seemed to all look the same. I am, of course, not saying that all stars look alike. I’m not a racist. But you must understand that I was viewing the night sky through a thick gin haze.

Mary, let me just say, I absolutely love this manger. It’s rustic, unpretentious, utterly goyish. The hay and the earth tones, the distressed wood, it’s all very Ralph Lauren, but a bit too raw. Have you considered a worn leather club chair with a matching ottoman? That’s what Casper should have brought you, instead of frankincense. Yes, I get it, frankincense is reverence and devotion, but wouldn’t you rather put your feet up? I shouldn't diss Casper's gift. Enjoy the resin.

Naturally, I brought a few offerings, not just one, since this is major. I had no idea God wanted children. Quite frankly, we’re all supposed to be God’s children, so this is sort of redundant. Are the two of you planning to have more? You may want to save the gold Melchior brought, so you can pay for college, although I’m sure your Son will get a full scholarship because what university wouldn’t want the slogan: “Walk Into Your Future. On Water.” But enough about the Son. I have a gift for you, as well, Miss Mommy. Voila! This delicate crystal bottle contains a new fragrance designed specifically for you at the insistence of renowned couturier Coco Shamel. It’s called Virgin Noir. I love the tagline: “Follow desire. Now stop.”

Okay, okay, more gifts, gifts for Him, for the divine infant. This one is my favorite: a plush camel. How cute is this! Why are you making a face? All right, Mary, all right, I also brought Him a rattle, six bibs, two onesies, and a Herod the Great teether toy. Compare all of that—to myrrh. When I was told that Balthasar was bringing myrrh, I had to ask my friend, Bijan, “What’s myrrh?” Bijan told me that myrrh is a resin used to remedy toothaches and leprosy. What’s with my colleagues and resin? Was there a sale? I would not be a bit surprised if someone had given that myrrh to Balthasar and he was like, “I have to wait for a toothache or leprosy to use this?” And Balthasar decided to be cheap and regift it. But God sees everything, right?

Hey, where’s Joseph? I have something for him too. It’s nothing. A tee-shirt, on the back of which says, “I didn’t get laid…,” on the front of which says, “…and somehow I got this lousy kid.” I thought he could use a laugh. Joseph must be very anxious, wondering, “How am I supposed to discipline God’s Son?” I mean, if Joseph scolds Him for not doing His chores, will He lash out? Will He say something hurtful, like: “You’re not my Father! My Father is all-powerful! My Father created the world in six days! It took you three weeks to build that hutch! Loser!”

By the way, Mary, will you and God share custody? Will your Son spend every other week in Heaven? What about child support? Are you and Joseph expected to pay for everything, including therapy? Because you know He’s going to have Daddy issues and a God complex.

Also, have you chosen a name? Personally, I love “Ethan.” The teachings of Ethan. Or, maybe, it’s better to go with something more literal, like—“God Junior,” “God the Second,” “Li’l God.” Whatever His name, your Son is half God, so He has exceptional genes. I’m sure He’ll excel at everything, even dying. I don’t know why I said that. Mazel tov!


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