Flock watching shepherds were cursing their luck after leaving empty handed once again from the annual Secret Santa draw which was held at Bethlehem’s Premier No Room Inn. ‘I felt sure this was going to be our year,’ said the third shepherd, who, in keeping with tradition wasn’t named, ‘but for the umpteenth year in a row, we missed out.’
‘All we are asking for is a fair draw for the presents,’ continued the shepherd. ‘It’s the same story every year. We’re minding our own business, and the sheep, when we are woken by a golden host of angels telling us to ‘fear not’ and promising us ‘glad tidings’ if we go and visit a baby.'
'So we wrap up a lamb, struggle down the green hillside (which is quite far away I can tell you) and make out way to the Inn. Then we stick our secret Santa present under the manger, which serves as a makeshift Christmas tree, and invariably, we end up leaving with nothing other than some cow crap on our Jesus sandals.’
The shepherds are not the only participants to complain. Three gentile men arrived fashionably late carrying their seasonal contributions and found themselves leaving with nothing several hours later, older and wiser for their experience. ‘Do you know how much myrrh costs per litre these days?’ said one. ‘As usual we got nothing in return; not even that rather badly wrapped package that seemed to be baaing. I don’t know how we let ourselves get taken in every year. Next time, I’m just going to send them a Christmas card.’
Exactly what happened to all the Secret Santa presents remains something of a mystery. As the shepherds and wiser men appear to have been overlooked in the secret draw, the finger of suspicion seems to point to the father of the baby, one Joseph. ‘After all,’ commented the third shepherd, ‘it would be some kind of miracle if the baby had nicked the gifts.’