Raph al Guul
Note that I am known for a rather negative attitude towards both Christmas and Christianity. The following story expresses these sentiments to some extent and if you fear that this might offend you, I suggest you do not read on. You have been warned.
It was a cold night on earth; snow was gently trickling from the sky. The world would have been a gleaming white beauty if it hadn’t been for time having already surpassed dusk. Even in the big cities, there was an air of calm and silence in the stone-empty streets. No cars, no crowds, not even a cat. Only silent snowflakes feebly floating in the darkness of the night. It was Christmas eve, the serenest of nights, the birth day of Christ, and a time of joy and love. That’s how it was on earth, anyway.
In heaven, on the other hand, things were quite different. First of all, since heaven was ever so slightly above the atmosphere of planet earth, there was no actual weather. And no time of day, either. Heaven was a rather dull place; it always looked like it was exactly 15:03. No one could ever say why it was that particular time and no one would ever ask – that’s how convincing it was. There was plenty of light, of course. One easily underestimates the amount of light your average halo emits. And, as another contrast to the earthly scene previously described, heaven was actually pretty crowded. Since the dawn of time, people had been arriving here, claiming territories, building houses, etc. Some conspiracy theorists among the saints inhabiting the place had assumed that the over-population of heaven was being combated by giving Satan some more lee-way down on earth so that they would get fewer newcomers up here. You know… for the time being and until buildings 576894256-576894312 would finally be finished.
At this time (which, as already mentioned, was 15:03), heaven was also much busier than earth. It was the birthday of Jesus, after all. Jesus didn’t visit heaven too often, anymore. He spent most of his time on earth, messing with people. Sometimes, for example, he’d randomly appear on people’s breakfast just to vanish by the time they could get their cameras out. But once an earth-year, on Christmas, he usually showed up in heaven for the cake and the booze. And after all, he was still the coolest dude around these parts. Not even Saint Elvis could top Jesus’s coolness. So everybody was looking forward to the big party and the divine speech that he would give each time they celebrated the son of god’s earthly birth. In Building One, where Jesus’s family lived, however, the mood was less optimistic.
“What if he’s not coming?” asked Mary, mother of god, wife of the father of god (who was also god for some mysterious reason).
Her husband looked at her slightly annoyed, but also infinitely benevolent (he had the tendency to be benevolent) and said: “Don’t you worry. He’s coming. He always comes. That’s actually kind of his thing. He’s just cutting it close. Like always. You know how he likes to wait for the moment right before it’s too late.”
Mary was walking up and down the spacious white hallway of Building One. She was nervous. “But he hasn’t called! Not once. What if something happened?”
“Mary! He’s god, okay? Nothing happens to god. God happens to everything-” he paused for a moment, trying to figure out if he was still making sense, “I mean… he’s 2000 years old, for my sake. He can take care of himself.”
Mary stopped and gave him the evil eye. The father of god didn’t like that, because it had the word “evil” in it. She said: “Pff. I mean what if something happened that he finds more interesting? Have you thought about that? He has become pretty unpredictable these days, hasn’t he?”
He hovered over to her, putting his ethereal arm around her similarly ethereal shoulders: “Maybe. But trust me. He’s gonna be here soon.”
Mary shrugged: “I don’t know. Has trusting you ever worked for anyone?”
Now her husband was visibly offended (= there was a thunderstorm over the Pacific Ocean): “Hey! Watch it, woman. I work in mysterious ways, okay? But I’m still god. I’d hate to pull rank, but don’t you ever forget that.”
Rolling her eyes, Mary muttered: “Ugh. That’s what you get with patriarchal religion: male gods drunk with power.”
“I heard that.”
“I know,” she made a face at him.
As the father of god tried to think of a decent way to reaffirm his authority, the door opened. Cool music echoed from the halls and a scent of some fancy men’s perfume irritated the father of god’s incredibly sensitive ethereal nose.
“Jesus Christ!” Mary exclaimed.
“Yo, Mum, what’s up,” Jesus responded as he took off his sunglasses.
Mary shook her head: “No, I mean- Jesus Christ. Like… in vain, you know?”
While he squinted at the bright interior of Building One, thinking about whether or not he should put the glasses back on, he answered, distantly: “I know everything, remember? I just wasn’t paying attention. What exactly were you saying?”
His father joined the conversation: “Dear me, son, don’t you even remember my- our commandments? Jesus!” (He added that last part because Jesus was clearly distracted by the pressing issue concerning the sunglasses.)
Mary added: “Listen to your father when he’s talking to you!”
Jesus put on his glasses and listened, indicating that by saying: “Yeah, yeah. What?”
The father of god commenced: “We have been over this. Your mother and I don’t want you playing this horrible noise inside the house. If you want to listen to this, fine, but use headphones or go outside. Or, hey, you’re god. Just play it in your head. I know it’s possible, I am god, too. Anything else is just rude.”
The entire time, Mary had been nodding vehemently at everything her husband had been saying. Now they were both staring at Jesus to see what he would respond to the serious issues that had been raised. Their son snapped his fingers and the music faded instantly (a process so contradictory, it is only possible in heaven, where some of the most illogical shit goes down anyway): “Whatever. And you wonder why I hardly ever show up. Can’t even listen to my own choice of music up here. But fine. Have it your way. But don’t expect me to stay overnight.”
Mary looked at the father of god, grinned, and answered: “Really? We’re gonna hold you to that, you know? Good luck finding a place to stay, drunk as you tend to get at these things.”
Jesus stared at Mary defiantly: “Meh. I’m Jesus-fucking-Christ. But speaking of drunk: when’s the party starting?”
His mother immediately noticed her window for adding more complaints: “We were all waiting for you. You could’ve called, you know? Anyway, now that you’re here, we can start. But I’m serious, I expect you to call in the future. A mother has a right to-” then she realized that Jesus had already left for the party.
It was a wild night of heavenly excess (the only permissible kind of excess, according to the father of god – convenient, isn’t it?). From 15:03 to 15:03, all of heaven turned into a gigantic dance floor. Angels flew all over the place, completely wasted on eggnog and expensive strong beers. Peter and John were dancing shirtless next to the slightly cannibalistic buffet (no one ever really found that weird; neither that the saints were shirtless, nor that the buffet was cannibalistic). And Jesus? Jesus played his music as loudly as possible, jugging down an ocean of whiskey through a funnel, Saint Elvis rocking out next to him, surrounded by two dozens of heavenly chicks (although it wasn’t quite clear if they were there because Saint Elvis was, well, Elvis, or because Jesus was, well, Jesus).
The father of god and Mary first wanted to stay away from the party, just to make a divine/mother-of-god-ish point. But when they heard that there was a corner of heaven where they only played Enya, they couldn’t resist. And they couldn’t stay mad, anyway. Mary because she was a mother, and the father of god, of course, because he was generally rather inconsequent. After a couple of bottles of red wine, the two knew that when Jesus would come knocking at the door of Building One later, they’d let him in like every year. It was his birthday, after all. And maybe there really was something to being “Jesus-fucking-Christ”, Mary thought. Then she went back to making out with her husband. 2000 years and a pregnancy, and she still had it!
Before it was time to cut the birthday cake, Jesus snapped his fingers and a microphone materialized in his hand. It wasn’t connected to anything, but it carried the voice of god to the far ends of heaven; it was time for his speech. But he was pretty drunk, so all he said was: “Merry Me-mas. Hihihi… I stll- still dun get it,” he snorted and added, right before he tripped over his own godly feet: “You… You’re all awesum…”