This is the sixth annual posting of the Christmas Story, from a mother's point of view.As I've wallowed in Christmas music the last couple of weeks, I've pondered the traditions of the Christmas story; and I've come to a conclusion.
And since kos has made the War on Christmas an official part of Daily Kos, and since I was declared the top anti-Christian on the internets by one group for last year's posting, please consider this part of the War on Christmas Fundraiser.
Because I am such a horrible person, I will be giving one lucky commenter -- whoever whines the most -- a subscription to Daily Kos, and encourage those who are able to subscribe if you are not a subscriber, to give someone else a subscription, or to donate to Daily Kos. Of course, Hunter says it best -- we are waging war on the non-existent war on Christmas. Plus, as a subscriber, you get to download the ebook of the Chronicles of Mitt.
Mary was shafted.
There she is, 8+ months pregnant, having been dragged all over Israel on the back of a fucking donkey. I know that when I was 8 months pregnant, I had a hard time riding for two hours in a car to attend my father-in-law's funeral.
And men just do not understand how often one has to pee when there's a baby sitting on one's bladder, especially when one is being jiggled by travel. Do you think Joseph cheerfully stopped every 15 minutes for a potty break, heaving Mary on and off the donkey with nary a complaint? I mean, he didn't even get the fun of the conception. That had to have had an effect on his equanimity during the pregnancy.
So they pull into Bethlehem, and Joseph can't even come up with a room at a Motel 6. Mary must have felt as if her damned back was breaking, even before she went into labor.
And let's think about that for a little bit, shall we? Mary was a first-time mother. Her labor would have lasted a long, long time. I went for 23 hours between my water breaking and the delivery of my eldest child, so I'm guessing Mary was in labor for 12 hours at least — with no option for an epidural.
Yeah, I suppose God could have given Mary a short and pain-free labor. After all, she was doing him a pretty damned big favor, being a surrogate mother and all. But were that the case, I'm pretty sure that would have been mentioned as one of the miracles of the miraculous birth. Besides, this is a male God. He wouldn't have thought of giving Mary a break. You know, it's one of those "wimmin things".
And speaking of "wimmin things", who helped deliver Baby Jesus? There's no mention of any women being around. Did Joseph run for a midwife and, if so, why don't we know about it? We do know that Joseph couldn't assist. For one thing, he didn't know nothing about birthing no babies. Mary was a first time mother, but Joseph wasn't even a first-time father. Besides, according to the Jewish laws concerning niddah at the point when labor became really, really painful, Mary was a yoledet, a woman giving birth and unclean. Not Joseph, nor the innkeeper, nor the shepherds, nor any other Jewish man could touch her: she was on her own.
Beyond that, what was Mary using for a bed? We know all about the Little Lord Jesus being tucked away in a manger after-the-fact, but what did Mary labor upon? I doubt that the innkeeper kept a birthing stool handy, especially not in the barn, so I'm guessing our poor girl was relegated to a pile of straw. In a cow barn, full of fodder and cowshit.
Do you think Mary suffered it all in stoic silence? If Mary was like most women she likely was cursing the Male who got her in that condition, and that position, especially since He had it in His power to spare her the entire ordeal. Jesus was born of a woman, that was the whole idea of God made Man, wasn't it? And a real woman would have been screaming her head off, cursing Father, Son and Holy Ghost for good measure.
So here we have Mary, who had jogged around the countryside on a donkey, not getting a decent night's sleep in weeks; having labored mightily to bring for the Child with no assistance from a knowledgeable woman; bedded down in stable, lying on poking, scratchy straw amongst the oxen and cows and ducks and sheep and all the effluvia which comes from livestock — the poor girl just needs some rest. I know that after I gave birth, the last thing I wanted was a parade of visitors; all I wanted was some goddamned sleep.
But poor Mary — what happened to her? Why, a veritable convention broke out! First there were the animals already in the barn — "the cattle are lowing, the poor Baby wakes".
Then the shepherds arrived with their flocks — you don't think they left them out in the pastures unguarded, do you? Those sheep were the only wealth they had, they wouldn't just leave them there.
It was those damned Angels with their trumpets, and their harps of gold, bending near the earth to sing "hark! Glory to the newborn King!"; oh, yeah, the Angels did a great fucking job. By the time they were finished singing on high, with the mountains echoing the "joyful strains" to "come to Bethlehem and see", heaven and nature singing and repeating the sounding joy and the song high above the trees with a voice as big as the seas, everyone and their brother — but no sisters to tend to Mary — had been called to traipse through the cow barn and stare at the Baby.
There was no consideration at all of what Mary needed: the wise men show up with gold, frankincense and myrrh for Jesus — they could have at least have brought a pacifier to keep the baby quiet, and Mary could really have used a fluffy down comforter or some nice bath salts (although the frankincense would have been useful for covering up the stench of the cow shit).
Shit, they even end up referring to Jesus as the Son of Man when there was no man involved in the whole process — just a Godhead and a woman.
By the time the Little Drummer Boy arrived, Mary probably grabbed a shepherd's crook and beat the kid with it, and then broke the fucking drum and waled shit on the shepherds, the wise men, the angels, the sheep and Joseph for good measure.
It would have been the only way she could get a Silent Fucking Night.