Discovering Christmas

Need some holiday cheer? Then read on. Wizbang! Alien Theater presents . . .

I saw a camel recently, and seeing it greatly surprised me. A camel in a zoo or in the Sahara Desert would not be surprising. This particular camel, however, was being led into a building.

I thought that I had stumbled upon an event common on my home planet of Melmac:

A camel spitting contest.

So, I went inside the building to watch the contest.  What I saw inside surprised me, too.  There was no spitting field. There were no concession stands, either.  I was confused, and so I found the man who was in charge.

I asked the man, “Where is the camel spitting contest going to be held?”

The man looked at me like this:

“A camel spitting contest?” he replied.  “This is a church, not a carnival. What planet are you from?”  “Melmac,” I replied.

I asked, “So, if there is no camel spitting contest, then why is there a camel inside this building?”

He replied, “The camel is going to be used in tonight’s Nativity play.”

“Nativity play? What is that?” I inquired.

He replied, “It is a play that tells the story of what Christmas is all about.”

“Is there going to be a concession stand?” I asked.

Again the man looked at me like this:

“What planet did you say you were from?” he said.

“Melmac,” I replied, “Why do you ask?”

Anyway, I was really curious, and so later that evening I returned to the building to watch the play.  It was amazing to me.

The play was about the birth of a human boy.

He was not born in a palace or a hospital.  Instead he was born in a cave being used as a

He was not surrounded by servants. Instead he was surrounded by farm animals.

He was not visited by local politicians. Instead he was visited by local shepherds who smelled like sheep.

He was born into poverty, and yet he was visited by wealthy men who gave him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Gold is a gift befitting a king.  Frankincense is a gift befitting a priest.  Myrrh is supposed to be used to embalm someone who has died.

I began asking, “What is Christmas all about?”

Then a little boy gave the answer:


What is Santa up to?
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