Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

None the WISER

What if the three magi visited us now?

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In the spirit of Christmas tradition and goodwill to men, and in the interest of getting out of the office early and starting that shopping, we reprise a holiday standard.

And in the East there dwelt three wise men. And they beheld a great brightness in the sky and they heard the sound of music in the air, and they were sore afraid and they trembled.

And they gathered up gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh, just in case. And they travelled for many days and many nights until they came to that place of music and light.

And they looked into the windows of many homes and they saw the multitudes watching television. And they were watching Roseanne's White Trash Christmas, and Hoops & Yoyo Ruin Christmas, and A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas. And they were confused and it reminded them of the time they spent Labour Day weekend in Goshen.

And they drew nearer to the place of brightness, and as they approached, they heard the sounds of children's voices, and it was a joyful noise. And when they got closer, they could hear a child singing of Mommy kissing Santa Claus. And they heard the sounds of chipmunks singing of Christmas gifts. And they heard the songs of snowmen and of reindeer with glowing noses and of tidings of great holly jolliness.

And they heard them again and again, yea unto the 100th hearing. And they were mightily irritated and they found themselves arguing about whose idea this was in the first place and where they had left the camel.

And they looked into the windows of the stores that were decorated with artificial snow and artificial trees and a Styrofoam Frosty the Snowman turning slowly on a turntable, and they saw the gifts therein that were fearfully and wonderfully made.

And they saw the wolf dwelling with the lamb, for they were both stuffed. And they saw the Lion lying with the Ram, for they were both on football jerseys.

And they saw a selection of natural or dyed mink, beaver, shearling lamb, fox, sable, chinchilla, raccoon and fur-trimmed outerwear, regularly $1,295 to $20,000, now only $645 to $9,995, guaranteed to bring tidings of comfort and joy to the wearer, and a pair of chandelier earrings in 18-carat rose gold with 4.21 ctw pavé-set diamonds, $39,650, perfect for Santa to slip under the tree, and 2013 recreational vehicles, power locks and heated mirrors included, no money down and nothing to pay until Easter. And they were sorely tempted, and they wished that they had brought more gold and less frankincense.

But a voice spake inside them, and it reminded them of the Ab Master that still sat unwrapped in the attic, and it turned their heads from temptation.

And they went past the multiplex wherein the people celebrated with shouts of astonishment that was greater than the noise of many waters. And they looked therein, and they saw it was Les Misérables, a musical set in the back alleys and bloody ramparts of revolutionary France about the hopeless lives of the poor, and Django Unchained, wherein men violently attacked one another in a bloody battle over the rights of some people to hold others in degrading slavery.

And they felt forsaken and they turned away. And they said, "Is there no balm in Gilead?" and someone directed them to a perfume shop.

And they said, "Is our faith not a pearl of great price?" and someone directed them to a jewelry store.

And they said, "Did He not overturn the table of the money-changers?" and someone directed them to a bank machine.

So they left that place and went back to the East just as fast as they could travel. And they dwelt there happily, yea unto the end of their days. And they never again looked into the western sky for brightness or music, and they never again were tempted to return, for they were three wise men indeed.

-- Postmedia News

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 23, 2012 A2

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