Millennium Party Time
This short item was written for the Millenium Celebrations, but hey! - it's Christmas again and the story is just as relevant every year.
I have imagined that the nativity took place in my native Yorkshire - and this is how the story might have been told.
Millenium Party Time
Millenium celebrations really started in t'year one BC, and whatever t'adverts in t' supermarkets and on tele might say, it's now getting just a bit late on to start thi preparations fo' t' party!
Let's go back and remember what 'appenned when it all started, two thousand years ago.
Well, it were a funny todo reight from t'start. Mary wo’ nobbut a lass and she were supposed to be marrying this Joseph. All were well until Mary declared to Joseph that she were ‘aving a babby - no wedding arranged or owt like that. She told Joseph that an Angel had been to visit her and told her that she would have this babby boy, even though her'n Joseph had never bin really close, physical like, but the angel said everything would be alreight, and not to worry.
Joseph was understandably a bit nonplussed, but the angel came to Joseph too 'n explained to him as well that God was sending His only son down to earth and Mary ‘ad been chosen to carry ‘im into the world.
Joseph was only a simple chap, and although e wasn't a big churchgoer 'imself, 'e got the message reight enough and thought, “Well, if that's the way God wants to play it, then who am I to say different, I'd better do what I can, 'n not let on to t'neighbours that I'm not t'youngster's real dad. Just, fancy though, ordinary folk like me and our lass being picked out by God to raise such an important kiddie.”
Pregnancy went just like any other I suppose, morning sickness, Mary craving Marmite or whatever the Hebrew equivalent was, Joseph getting into trouble because Mary's 'ormones were playing up, and Mary worrying about losing her figure and the cost of things fo' t’ babby.
As the time came fo’ Mary to have the babby, t’ powers that be introduced a blinking Poll Tax - aye, a Poll Tax with all t’ problems we know come wi that. In them days folk had to go back to where they came from to pay their taxes - probably to mek it easy fo’ t'clerks at t' Town Hall - there were no computers and such two thousand years ago.
So Joseph and Mary set off from Nazareth to travel to Bethlehem. They tried to get a lift in a cart but they were all booked up fo' t’ Christmas 'olidays, tekking folk away for a few days, away from all t' hassle and bussle. Joseph eventually got a donkey which could carry Mary ‘n t’ baggage, but poor old Joseph 'ad to walk.
When they arrived in Bethlehem it were getting late, but it were still like Westgate on a Saturday neet, folk pushing and shoving, some buying stuff in for t'holidays, others looking for digs just like them, and others celebrating the festive occasion in the usual way. T'Roman police were out 'n about wi' t' black chariot, tekking all t'drunks and them that were feighting to t'cells.
Mary needed somewhere to stay that were decent 'n 'ad facilities, ‘cos she thought that t’ babby weren’t reight far away, 'n apart from Joseph she'd nobdy to gi’er a hand when t’ time came.
Joseph tried everywhere. Knocking on hotel counters, trying all t' B 'n B's, but to no avail, they all said there was no room, what wi t’olidays 'n t' Poll Tax visitors, n' so forth. They were all very sorry, but there it was.
As a last resort Joseph tried one of the many pubs in Bethlehem to see if they had any rooms. 'E pushed 'is way through the crowded bar, full of revellers arguing, singing, n' supping Hebrew Guiness, until he found the landlord who gave him the same tale – “No room at the Inn".
As the sloughenned Joseph was leaving the landlord shouted him back, "Ay, just a minute lad, I know tha's in a bit of a spot, wi’ thi missis in that condition, ‘n ‘appen I can offer thee some'at. Down t'ginnell at t' side o’ t' pub there's a stable where I keep a few cows ‘n such. It's nowt to write home abaht, but if tha wants it, it's there for thee 'n t' missus fo' t’neet -'n I won't charge thee for it.”
Well, Joseph was in a spot, so e’ took it, even tho ‘e didn't fancy telling Mary that she would 'ave to 'ave t'babby in amongst t' cows and t' donkeys !
Mary didn't mind were she was -she only wanted to get off t' back of t'donkey and into somewhere warm and dry. Joseph carried their bags into the stable, the landlord's wife brought ‘em a lamp, and Mary soon had the place fettled as much as was possible under t’ circumstances.
Babby Jesus was born during the evening and was laid in t' manger to sleep, and the little family, surrounded bi all t' animals, settled down fo' t' neet, hoping that apart from feeding time, they would get some rest 'n a bit o peace, but as we now know, that wasn't to 'appen.
In t' fields not too far away, shepherds were tending their sheep when an angel appeared to them and told them abaht t' new babby, 'n how he was the Son of God, and said that they really ought to go 'n worship ‘ Im. So, leaving their sheep in t' fields they set off 'n soon found t'little family settled down reight cosy in t’ stable, wi all t' animals round ‘ em. It must 'ave bin a lovely sight - just like summat off a Christmas card!
About the same time there were three wise men - some reckon they were Kings but I can't bi sure, and they heard the same story about the new King and set off to find ‘im by following t’ star which lit the sky. I don't know why but on their way they called in to see King Herod who, sly old tinker that ‘e was, said that when they found this new king, to let ‘im know and e' too would go to worship ‘im. Herod was freetenned that this new King would be competition for 'imself 'n he really wanted to get shut of ‘im, one way or t'other.
The three kings didn't really believe Herod, so they continued on their journey and when they had seen Jesus 'n offered ‘Im their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrr, they left and went home another way wi'out telling Herod.
So that's what all this Millenium partying is abaht - it's a celebration of them events and a birthday party fo’ our Lord Jesus.
Preparations began two thousand years ago ‘n’ if thy plans ‘ave been made to celebrate wi’ out remembering what tha's really celebrating, then think again, and bring t’ Lord Jesus t’ top o’ thi list o’ guests, tha’ll not regret it.
Nobody ever ‘as.
3/4/99 Back to Index