The First Christmas or Why God Forgot to Turn out the Light

Billy had grown up.

So had XY (God). They were on better terms, but Billy was still a bit of an antagonist. So when he found God staring dreamily into the enchanted mirror at a hottie down on Earth, Billy smiled.

“Whatcha doin’?”

“Nothing! Nothing, I was just, I–I didn’t–” God quickly switched off the mirror.

“God, God, God, I know how you feel. I remember when I was your age! There was this girl over by Mercury and man she was hot–”

“Wasn’t that the time you burned off your eyebrows?”

Billy scowled, “Okay, never mind if you’re going to be a smart ass.”

“Sorry, I’m sorry.” God wanted to get along with Billy, but he was a little embarassed by his crush on the human girl.

“Look, it’s not that hard. Go down, visit her, do what humans do, then come back up.”

“‘Do what humans do–?'”

Billy rolled his eyes. “You created them.”

“I know,” God said, “but it looks so ridiculous…”


“And the noises and faces they make–”

“I hear ya, buddy.”

“They do talk about me a lot when they do it…”

“Right! And it must be fun or they wouldn’t like it so much.”

“But what if she doesn’t like me?”

“Oh brother…”

“What? She’s sorta dating that Joseph guy.”

“Okay, remember when you had that idea to send down that cool dude, what was his name?”


“Yeah yeah…him.”

“There have been others, like Mithras and–”

“I know. So do it again. Only this time, make him part of you. Literally.”

“Billy, there is a part of me in all of them. They are me, in a way…”

“Yeah, yeah. Look, I’m just trying to get you laid.”


So XY pondered on it and decided to send one of his buddies down to see if Mary, the hottie he’d been eyeing, liked him.

“So you want me to what, ask her if she likes you?”

“Yeah, you know, just feel out the situation for me.”

“And why are you doing this again?”

“Come on Gabriel. I like her and I want to have someone to carry the message of how to be happy–the message of peace, love, tolerance. And she’s so pretty…”

“You’ve tried getting that idea across before.”

God sighed heavily, “I know.”

“So this isn’t just about you getting laid, is it?”


“Methinks the XY doth protest too much….”

“Stop it Gabe.”

“Okay. I’ll be up in a couple of hours.”

Gabriel went down to Earth and was suddenly confounded.

“How in the hockypants am I supposed to ask this girl if she likes XY? She’s never met him, doesn’t really know he exists, and she’s got a boyfriend.”

Gabriel, always the drama king, decided to up the ante. He felt that if he used their current mythology and made it work for him, he could get this Mary girl to acquiesce to XY’s proposal and let her keep Joseph. Gabriel was sort of a romantic that way.

He appeared to Mary in a burst of glittery light.

“Look, you are chosen by God to, uh, bear a child by God so that he can….well the kid’s going to be special, okay?”

“Special?” Mary looked worried.

“Not the ‘short bus’ kind of special…”

“The what?”

“Forget it. Look, he’s going to be groovy and teach about love, forgiveness and not judging others and…”

Mary still looked puzzled. “Forgiveness? But what about an ‘eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth?”

Gabriel sighed. Another complete list of ways to be happy FUBARed by humans.

“An eye for an eye is going to be history. It makes no sense. Well, at least to more evolved beings like myself it makes no sense.” Cheesy smile from Gabriel. She was sorta cute.

Mary batted her eyelashes. Gabriel ‘ehemed’ and continued. “Look, you’re going to have this kid and I’ll go talk to Joseph, tell him it’s cool. I’ll tell him that you’re all his for the rest of your lives together, but first you have to go through this thing.”

“For what purpose?”

“Ah, intelligent question from the hot girl of Nazareth! Look, X–er, God, wants all of you to be happy and have a good run here. In order to do that you’ve got to be more chill. Stop all the ruckus, killing, maiming, stoning, whatever else you weirdos do to each other down here, in his name, by the way–how f****d up is that? Anyway, your baby’s going to be totally chill. He’s going to be smart, funny–really funny, although most people won’t get his jokes, and he’ll teach them a lot of cool stuff.”

Gabriel was a talker.

“How will he know all of this “cool stuff”.”

“Oh, easy. It’ll be all right in here,” he pointed to his halo adorned head. “Most everyone is born with the sense of how to be happy and what to do. But then we get into that whole nature-nurture thing, and parents screw it all up with…anyway,” Gabriel smiled broadly. “Trust me.”

“Oh one more thing,” Gabriel said, ” a good name for him would be–ouch! Jeez Zeus, watch where you throw those thunderbolts! Jerk.”

Zeus had had his eye on Mary, too. He was a bit jealous, but it was all in good fun.

Gabriel returned to God and told him what had happened. Sort of.

“So she–she likes me?”

“Well yeah, I mean, she likes the idea of you. Look, go see her, make something beautiful happen and let her go. it would never work on a long-term basis with her anyway.”

God visited Mary and after, she awoke and knew something felt different. And she felt like puking.

“You could have at least spared me the whole ‘morning sickness’ thing, you know.”

“Sorry,” God said, “it’s kinda this bet I had with Eve…”

“Well whatever, it sucks.”

God was sort of disenchanted with Mary–she become very hormonal and pissy. Joseph, however, was very chill and handled her with aplomb.

But God was committed to making sure she was comfortable when the baby was to be born.

Caesar made a declaration and Mary and Joseph had to ride to a small town called Bethlehem. Mary cussed the whole way–she was even trying Joseph’s patience.

“Let’s see you ride this thing with an 8-lbs. kid kicking your uterus. I mean, you bawled like a baby when you hit your hand with the hammer–”

“Hey that hurt, Mary.”

“The point is, Joseph, I need to frickin’ lie down!”

They went to an Inn–sold out. Every decent place was sold out. Mary looked up heavenward, eyes mere slits.

“Nice. Real nice.”

“Look, this guy over here said he has a place we can go.”

“It better have water, Joseph.”

“Well he said there’s a pond nearby. I think it’s closed for the season though.”

“Ugh, whatever, let’s just get there. I think I–oh! Oh ouch! Are you kidding me? It’s going to hurt too?”

God winced. There really was only so much even God could do. When an 8-lbs thingy comes out of something…smaller, it’s bound to hurt.

God became fascinated with the whole process of birth. He watched and felt very guilty he had caused poor Mary this much pain.

Then God heard something. His mother stood angrily in his doorway.

“XY! What is wrong with you. Do you think money grows on trees? You left Earth’s light on all night long!”

“Sorry mom, I forgot. I’m watching this birth-thing and it’s cool.”

“Well turn it off when you’re done.”

“I will…”

“And don’t make me come up here again.”

“I won’t.”

Mary brought forth a son and named him after Gabriel’s suggestion–Jeezeus. She and Joseph decided that teachers would hate figuring out that spelling and pronunciation, so they went for the more phonetically friendly “Jesus”.

Mary held Jesus and smiled. “Hi there, I’m your mommy. Listen, your dad and I are going to teach you some things that are going to be–”

“Mary, look!”

Outside the cave where she lay with her son, a huge congregation of people gathered. Joseph stepped out of the cave and looked around. One man, a shepherd, spoke up.

“Is this the tryouts for Middle East Idol?”

“What? Uh, no, we’re just having a baby in here actually.” Joseph shielded his eyes from the bright sky.

The shepherd produced a flyer on parchment paper, “‘Cause it says here it’s tonight and the star up there looked like the outdoor searchlight…”

No, this isn’t it. Sorry.”

The crowd dispersed, some of them leaving small bribery gifts for the Idol judges in their wake.

Mary complained, “When’s God going to turn off that damn light? Me and the baby need some sleep.”

God smiled at the two of them in the enchanted mirror and sighed. The baby was going to kick some serious butt. He was, after all, God’s kid.

Billy appeared and smiled, placing his hand on XY’s shoulder. “So I’m an uncle, huh?”

“Yeah. I guess. I wonder what’s in store for the little guy.”

“Dunno. I guess the way you’ve got it set up, that’s up to him.”

“Yeah. I hope the humans get it right this time.” God looked worried.

“They probably will,” Billy reasoned. “There’s only so much hatred humans can espouse before they figure it out, huh?”

“Well that religion thing you did didn’t help much, Billy.”

“Jesus will get rid of that, I’ll bet you anything. You’ll see.”

And Billy hoped with all of his might that he was right. He’d grown fond of the humans, too and wanted to see them happy.

“I do trust you, Billy.” God said.

“Good. Now let’s go shoot some hoops. Let those guys do their stuff. I believe in them.”

God smiled, “I believe in them too. Love always wins.”

Billy patted God on the back with a slight worried glance behind him.

“Hey Billy,” God called back, “hit the lights, will ya?”


About Natalie R. Collins

Natalie has more than 30 years writing, editing, proofreading and design experience. She has written 20 books (and counting), has worked for the Sundance Film Festival, and as an investigative journalist, editor, and proofreader. She embraces her gypsy-heart and is following her new free-thinking journey through life. Follow her as she starts over and learns a bunch of life's lessons--some the hard way.
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4 Responses to The First Christmas or Why God Forgot to Turn out the Light

  1. You’ve got a serious way with storytelling, my friend. I’m loving this stuff! Excellent. 🙂


  2. Erin Hunter says:

    Jeez Zeus! This gave me a good Friday laugh. Thanks!


  3. azteclady says:

    “There’s only so much hatred humans can espouse before they figure it out, huh?”

    Well… Sometimes I wonder if we could substitute stupidity for hatred on these two:

    Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain–Franz Schiller


    Two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity–and I’m not sure about the universe…–Albert Einstein


  4. Denise in Las Vegas says:

    I love it! Thanks for the laugh. I anticipate some upset people responding though. I’m going to sit back and enjoy the show.


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