Jēsus and Santa
 
            Jēsus Krist had long bēn konsern۔d θat fōr θe Kristmas selebrāxun ov his birθ·dā on planet Erθ, hē had a rīval.  A rīval hē wuz lūz۔ing ground tū.
            Dū۔d Santa Kloz represent θe devil?  Erθ-resīdent ānjel۔s wuz dispaq۔ing bak miks۔ē yet disturb۔ē mesaj۔s.  Al warn۔d θat Santa's inflūens wuz inkrēs۔ing.  Θerfōr Jēsus, az θe twū-milenēum۔s birθ·dā ov his mōrtal līf on θat planet aprōq۔d, desīd۔d tū gō sē fōr hiself.
            Sins his first sōjorn on Erθ, θe planet’s hyūman popyūlāxun had inkrēs۔d from a fyū hundred milyon۔s tū mōr θan siks bilyon۔s, wīel teknolojē had advans۔d from metal plow۔s and sōrd۔s tū moon·walks and sitē-incinerat۔y roket bom۔s.  Mēnwīel Jēsus' tēq۔ins had bēkum θe bāsis ov θe mōst popyūlar rēlijon, θat ov mōr θan won-θird ov al pēpel۔s, hūz mān rēlijus holidā wuz Kristmas.  Hū, θen, wuz θe upstart Santa Kloz, and wut wuz his rīval filosofē θat wuz sō kompel۔ē?
            Jēsus qūz۔d tū matērēalīz on Kristmas Ēv dur θe yēr ov his dee۔2,000 birθ·dā.  It dint hurt his fēel۔ins θat pēpel۔s selebrāt۔d it on θe rong dā, but hē wud hav prefer۔d won oθer θan 25 Dēsember, θe year۔ē festiv dā ov Miθraism, a popyūlar pāgan rēlijon θen.  Hē qūz۔d θe town ov Midelberg, wiθ 45,461 resīdent۔s, θe senter ov a farm۔in komyūnitē lōkāt۔d slīt۔bē souθ۔ward ov Grāt Lāk۔s in ēst·sentral Norθ Amerika – θe hart ov Santa۔land.
            Θerfōr, mid۔afternūn on 24 Dēsember Jēsus matērēalīz۔d bī θe alter ov Midelberg Krist Qurq (dezert۔t at θe tīm), nēr θe senter ov town, az a man 33 yēr۔s ōld (his āj wen pēpel۔s kil۔d hē dur his first inkarnāxun).  Klōθ۔t in θe faxun ov θe tīm·plās (brown trouser۔s and wīt xirt bēnēθ a long tan wul kōt), his skin tan۔ix brown, his θik brown slīt۔bē kurl۔ē hed×hār۔s kut۔d xōrt, bērd and mustax frex۔lē xāv۔t.  Hē rēsembel۔d les a karpentōr θan, fōreks, a lōkal farm ekwipment sāels۔man.
            Wen frex۔lē inkarnāt۔t Jēsus walk۔d out ov θe litel red-brik۔ē wīt-stēpel۔ē qurq, snō·flāk۔s wuz fal۔ing.  A glisen۔ing wīt mantel kover۔d evrēθin – strēt and sīdwalk۔s, rūf۔s, kar-top۔s, hat۔s.  Θe fōur-lāns۔ē plus twū park۔in-lāns۔ē strēt wuz jam۔d wiθ kar۔s, θe sīdwalk۔s klog۔d wiθ fast-walk۔ing pēpel۔s weār۔ing hevē kōt۔s, mōst karē۔ing bundel۔s.
            Jēsus aprōq۔d a krowd wāt۔ing tū kros θe strēt and ask۔d in England۔ēz wiθ Ohio provins langwijaksent, “Wut iz evrēbodē dū۔ing?”
            Several hed۔s turn۔d tū lōokstār.  Won mid۔āj۔ē man fīnal۔lē sā۔d, “Purqas۔ing Kristmas gift۔s.”
            “How nīs!”
Pēpel۔s rux۔d in and out ov stōr۔s θat twinkel۔d wiθ flax۔ing kolorful (mōst often red and grēn) sīn۔s advertīz۔ing, "Eksmas sāel", "Bāk۔in turkē۔s", "Pōst-Eksmas Sāel Dēsember dee۔26”, "Santa Bekon", "Eksmas Diner fōr 4, ōnlē $99.99", “Eksmas Ēv Eksmas Kard Sāel”.  From hīd۔t mīk۔s sound۔d myūzik hūz lirik۔s glōrēfī۔d θe kom۔in ov Santa Kloz, Jēsus' rīval.  A park·landlot kontān۔ing a fōrest ov ampyūtāt۔t (rūt۔les) pīn trē۔s fētūr۔d a jīant sīn, "Eksmas Trē۔s".
            "Eksmas", fōr θe nūkomōr, rēmān۔d a puzel.  "Wut dū X mēn?" hē ask۔d az pasbī۔or, a tēnājōr ov non۔determin۔abel jender, hū xrug۔d tā's xōlder۔s, muter۔ing, "Ī dōnt no," and lōok۔d at Jēsus askans.  Anoθer yung man dint no ēθer, and a mid۔āj۔ē woman sēm۔d tyū muq in a hurē tū rēspond.  But an ōld man stop۔d and anser۔d.  "Eks ēkwal Krist."  At Jēsus’ kontinyū۔d puzel۔d eksprexun hē ad۔d, "Eksmas yūs۔s les spās and iz θus kwik۔er tū rīt, fōreks if yū iz print۔ing a big sīn ōr skribel۔ing manē Kristmas kard۔s;” hē poz۔d, ī۔ing θe strangort klōs۔lē az θō first tīm; "Wār hav bēn?  iz yū?"  Θe first kwestyon sēm۔d tū Jēsus tyū difikult tū eksplān, θus hē anser۔d θe sekond:  “Dub mē Eks."
            Jēsus kontinyū۔d tū ask kwestyon۔s (ignōr۔ing lōokstar۔s, along wiθ pōr۔lē konsēal۔d rēakxun۔s rānj۔ing from puzelment tū kyurēositē tū pitē tū ānger), az θe anser۔s gradūal۔lē eksplān۔d θe sitūāxun:  pēpel۔s wuz folō۔ing a ritūal in wiq evrēbodē wuz obligāt۔t tū giv evrēbodē θā kār۔d about -- familē, gōod frend۔s, valyū۔t servis pēpel۔s, kustomōr۔s – atlēst won gift.  Jeneral۔lē, how muq monē, tīm, and efōrt spend۔d on θe gift rēflekt۔d θe degrē ov kār۔ing.  Konsider۔ing pēpel۔s natūral tendensē tū prōkrastināt, θat akount۔d fōr θe dā-bēfōr-Kristmas purqas۔in frenzē.            Furθer along, on won ov Midelberg's mān strēt۔s, a grūp ov qīld۔s stand۔d bī a klōz stōr windō sing۔ing Kristmas karol۔s.  Jēsus strōl۔d ōver tū lisen.  "Jingel bel۔s", θā sing۔d, θen "Santa Kloz iz kom۔ing tū town", θen "Rūdolf θe red-nōz Rāndēr", folō۔d bī “Hēr kom Santa Kloz.”  Fīnal۔lē, vēer۔ing awā from θe mān subjekt, "Ī×iz drēm۔ing ov a wīt Kristmas", and "Qestnut۔s rōst۔ing on an ōpen fīer".
            Wen θā poz۔d, Jēsus walk۔d up and ask۔d θā, "Wut dū Kristmas mēn tū yū, kid۔s?"
            "Tōē۔s!"  "Gift۔s!"  "Nō skūol!"  "Grandma kom۔ing!  Turkē!”  “Pī wiθ īskrēm!”  “Tōē۔s!  Santa Kloz!
            “Wut about Eks?” Jēsus jōk۔d.
            “Wut?”  “Hū?”
            Honk!  Honk!  Honk!  A vēhikel drive۔ōrt, un۔pāxent at stal۔t trafik, tiltlēn۔d on his kar hōrn.  Out ov θe kar ahed ov hē, alsō obvēus۔lē non۔abel tū mūv bēkuz ov θe stop۔t kar in front ov it, apēr۔d an arm xāk۔ing a fist at θe hōrn honk۔ōrt.
            A woman lōd۔d wiθ θrē big pakaj۔s slox۔d along θe sīdwalk and bump۔d Jēsus, fōrs۔ing hē tū step wiθ bōθ kloθ xū۔s intū a snō pīel.  Manē stōr windō۔s displā۔d Kristmas trē۔s drāp۔t wiθ silver۔ē tinsel, and lās۔t wiθ kolorful līt۔s and fist-siz۔ē xīn۔ē ōrnament۔s, wiθ kolorful۔lē koverrap۔t gift۔s skater۔t at θā’s bās۔s.  Mōst displā۔s kontān۔d dro۔ins ov a fat wīt-bērd۔ē ōld man weār۔ing a flop۔ē red kap and a red kōt and trouser۔s trim۔t wiθ wīt fur, his fās, wiθ red qēk۔s, jolē.
            Jēsus ī۔d θe imaj ov his rīval, wonder۔ing how suq an obvēus۔bē gōodnātūr۔ē man link۔d (in wā۔s Jēsus had yet tū dētermin) sō muq gift-give۔in kud posibel۔lē bē a θret.
            Sō far, not a hint ov Santa’s tēq۔ins.
            Ding, a-ling, a-ling.  Ding, a-ling, a-ling.
            A ring۔ing bel kaptūr۔d Jēsus’ atenxun.  Θen Jēsus sē۔d hē:  θe jolē man hiself, ēzē۔lē rekognīz۔abel in his red and wīt yūnifōrm prōtrūd۔ing out۔ward tū akomodāt۔ē his bulj۔ē belē, weār۔ing his hyūmorus kap, his fās red from kōld, but smīl۔ing wīd۔lē az hē ring۔d a bras hand-hōld۔d bel.
            "Grēt۔ins, Santa.  Ī×iz Jēsus."
            "Nīs tū mēt yū, Jēsus," rēspond۔d θe ōld man, his laf-līn۔s dēpen۔ing.  "Kristmas gift koverap۔in haf-prīs tūdā," hē ad۔d.
            "Ī nōtis yū iz kwīt popyūlar around hēr," Jēsus kontinyū۔d.
            "Tūdā and tomorō, Santa iz θe mōst popyūlar pēpel on θis planet."
            "Selebrāt۔ing Santa's birθ·dā tomorō, iz wē?" Jēsus prōb۔d.
            "Santa iz sertin۔lē θe star ov θe xō."
            “Wut about Jēsus?”
            “Wut about hē?”
            “Tomorō iz mī birθ·dā, after al.”
            “Xur.  But yū iz not gō۔ing tū sē pēpel kyū۔d fōr a qans tū spēk tū Jēsus, nō indēd.  Fyū wil ēven tāk θe tīm – bētwēn dis۔coverrap۔ing gift۔s and gobel۔ing down turkē۔s – tū gō tū qurq.”
            Jēsus ponder۔d θat anser, θen ask۔d, “Wut iz yōr tēq۔ins, Santa?”
            “Mī tēq۔ins?”  Θe man laf۔d.  “Lōok, az won impersonāt۔ōr tū anoθer...”  Hē poz۔d.
            “Yū iz·not θe rēal Santa?” Jēsus ask۔d in surpriz.
            "Iz yū jōk۔ing?" Θe man lōok۔d at hē az if hē wuz krāzē.  “Midelberg Xop۔in Mal pā mē tū stand hēr and ring θis bel and kōks pēpel tū gō insīd.  Ī×iz not θe rēal Santa anē mōr θan yū iz θe rēal Jēsus."
            Disapōint۔d, Jēsus ask۔d, "Θen wār kan Ī fīnd θe rēal Santa?"
            "Hō, hō, hō!" rēspond۔d θe man wiθ a jolē konversāxun-end۔ing tōn.  "Tūnīt, lōok up in θe skī!"
            Lāter θe skī darken۔d.  Θe strēt۔s emptē۔d, until fīnal۔lē al θe stōr۔s xut۔d.  Jēsus wander۔d out ov town, tū farm kountrē wiθ wīd wīt snō-kover۔t hil۔s, and intū an ōpen barn xelter۔ing blak kow۔s – a signifikant upgrād from θe stābel in wiq dur his first inkarnāxun in Erθ hē had bēn birθ۔t.  Θer, in an emptē hōrs stal līn۔d wiθ hā, hē pul۔d his kōt ōver hē, and pas۔d tū slēp.
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            Hē wuz awāk۔t bī θe sound ov bel۔s.  It wuz stil nīt, blak dark, wen hē stand۔d, streq۔d, xiver۔d, koverrap۔d his kōt mōr tīt۔lē around hē, and ventūr۔d outsīd.  Θe snō had stop۔d fal۔ing and θe skī had almōst klēr۔d:  star-strū۔t, lās۔t wiθ a fyū puf۔ē kloud۔s, won brīten۔t bī θe obskyur۔t mūn, ilūmināt۔ing θe snō kover۔ing θe farm.
            Suden۔lē, in θe skī, hē nōtis۔d fīv pār۔s ov rāndēr۔s, led۔d bī won wiθ a red nōz, jōint۔lē pul۔ing a snōslā, lōd۔d wiθ wīt bundel۔s, bēhīnd wiq wuz sēt۔d nun oθer θan klēr۔bē rekognīz۔abel jolē red-klōθ۔t Santa hiself.  Kom۔ing from θe direkxun ov town, θe rāndēr۔s-pul۔ing θe snōslā dēsend۔d tōward θe smōk۔les red-brik qimnē ov θe farm·hous nekst tū Jēsus' barn.
            Θe snōslā and θe līt-foot۔y rāndēr۔s tuqland۔d on θe snō۔ē rūf.  Santa jump۔d of, grab۔d a wīt pilō-sīz bundel, walk۔d prekārēus۔lē tōward θe qimnē (slip۔ing but kaq۔ing hiself), θen suk۔d in his ponq and jump۔d down.  Θe bundel, however, bēkum۔d wej۔t, wigel۔d, fīnal۔lē disapēr۔d down۔ward alsō.
            Lōyaltē brīb۔s, Jēsus suspekt۔d.
            “Hō, hō, hō!” ekō۔d up۔ward, it’s tōn won ov dēlīt, and mōment۔s lāter Santa klīm۔d bak out ov θe qimnē.  Wiθ his glov۔s dust۔d of blak karbonsūt, bēfōr klīm۔ing bak ontū his snōslā.
            Stand۔ing at θe rēr ov θe hous, Jēsus kup۔d his glov۔klad hand۔s around his mouth and kal۔d up, "Santa!  Santa!  Wē nēd tū talk."
            "Jēsus," θe jolē gōod felō kurs۔d.  "Kant yū sē Ī iz bizē?"
            "How dū۔d yū no it wuz mē?" Jēsus ask۔d, rēalīz۔ing θat θe spiritūal power۔s ov his rīval kud bē mōr fōrmid۔abel θan θe ānjel۔s had ases۔d.
            Santa, anōē۔ē, kontinyū۔d, "Tūnīt iz mī big nīt.  Dū yū hav anē īdēa how manē hous۔s Ī must visit bēfōr sunrīz?"  In a frend۔ēer tōn hē ad۔d, "Kom up tū θe Norθpōl and sē mē.  Anē tīm after Kristmas."  Hē turn۔d.  “Rūdolf:  awā!”
            Rāndēr۔s mūv۔d θā’s hūf۔s az θō prans۔ing in ār, az θe snōslā lift۔d from θe rūf and akselerāt۔d tōward a kloud.  Santa rāz۔d his red-klōθ۔t arm wiθ a wāv gōodbī, az his "Hō, hō, hō!" trāil۔d in θe qil۔ē wind.
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            Dur Kristmas mōrnin, az snō·flāk۔s fal۔d, distant qurq bel۔s ring۔d, instil۔ing in Jēsus hōp.  Θe jeneral rūel fōr spērit matērēalīzāxun wuz:  ōnlē wen nesesārē, θen az non۔konsipyūus az posibel.  But Jēsus nēd۔d tū diskover az muq az hē kud bēfōr Kristmas end۔d.  Θus hē walk۔d bak tōward θe sitē, and wen pas۔ing θrū a suburb selekt۔d a tipikal hous (won flōr×level tal, rektāngyūlar, wiθ a smal front fens۔t yard), render۔d hiself non۔visibel, pas۔d θrū a wōod۔ē wal, and establix۔d hiself in θe familē sit·rūm, in θe kōrner bēhīnd θe Kristmas trē.  A brown mut aprōq۔d and snif۔d , θen trot۔d awā.
            At don a yung kupel weār۔ing pajama۔s tiptō۔d down θe stār۔s karē۔ing pakaj۔s – koverrap۔d in kolorful pāper dekōrāt۔t wiθ imaj۔s ov bel۔s, slā۔s, holē (red berēfrūt۔s flank۔t wiθ grēn lēf۔s), and, mōst prominent۔lē, īdolatrus imaj۔s ov Santa Kloz – wiq θā spred۔d bēnēθ θe Kristmas trē.  Arm۔ful after arm۔ful θā bring۔d in, pīel۔ing sō manē gift۔s bēnēθ θe trē θat Jēsus had tū rīz tū θe sēil۔in and observ from θer.  Fīnal۔lē, gift۔s inplas, θe kupel tiptō۔d bak up·stār۔s.
            Lāter Kristmas mōrnin, wen sun۔līt xīn۔d θrū lēf۔les trē۔s and intū θe familē sit·rūm, twū litel qīld۔s, a bōē and his yung۔er sister, bōθ stil weār۔ing pajama۔s, walk۔d slēp۔ēlē down·stār۔s, and ēmit۔d krī۔s ov jōē.  "Santa wuz hēr!"  "Lōok wut Santa bring۔d wē!"
            Parent۔s folō۔d, al eksqānj۔d hug۔s, and θe qīld۔s tār۔d ōpen θe pakaj۔s wiθ praktis۔d deksteritē, wīel θā's faθer sit۔d in an ēzē qār rīt۔ing hū giv۔d wut tū hū.  Wīld eksklāmāxun۔s folō۔d θe dis۔koverap۔in ov ēq gift. "Not anoθer nektī!"  "Lōok, a tōē kar alīk Alfonsō’s!"  "Pink pajama۔s!"  "Hū iz θe boks ov qokolat۔s from?"  "A tōē gun and hōlster!"  “A tōē pēanō!”  Θe man ōpen۔d a boks kontān۔ing a sweter, and θe woman a muq smal۔er boks kontān۔ing a pendant, θen husband and wīf kis۔d.
            Nekst, inixēāt۔d bī θe woman, klēn-up ensū۔d, θe man’s nū task bēing tū qek ēq emptē boks and pakaj tū bē sertin it wuz emptē bēfōr kramstuf۔ing it in a dark-grēn garbaj bag.  Az θe qīld۔s plā۔d wiθ θā's nū tōē۔s, θe woman in θe kitqen insert۔d a turkē intū θe oven and bēgin۔d pēl۔ing skin۔s from potātō۔s, wīel in θe man karē۔d mōr qār۔s intū θe dīn·rūm.
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            Jēsus, hapē wiθ θe gift-giv۔ing ritūal, and frex۔lē stimyūlāt۔d bī θe renew۔t sound ov qurq bel۔s, eksit۔d θe hous θrū θe xut۔d front dōr, rē۔materēalīz۔d, walk۔d on pak۔t snō past θe lōok۔alīk hous۔s, kontinyū۔ing bak tōward θe komerxal distrikt. 
In town al θe stōr۔s wuz xut۔t.  kar۔s drīv۔d on θe snō۔ē strēt۔s, and ōnlē won oθer pedestrēan (an ōld man) brāv۔d θe kōld – in xarp kontrast tū θe ēvenin bēfōr.  Jēsus ekspērēens۔d a wāv ov lōnlē۔nes.  Hē walk۔d bak tū Midelberg Krist Qurq, glad tū sē θat bōθ it’s tal front dōr wuz ōpen۔d wīd, and pēpel۔s wuz enter۔ing – but ōnlē a fyū, mōst wiθ wiθer۔ē skin and grā hār۔s.  Jēsus folō۔d θā in.  Wen θe servis bēgin۔d, ōnlē θe front θrē pyū۔s, out ov 27, wuz okyūpī۔t, and θōs skant۔lē.
            Θe servis bēgin۔d wiθ a līv۔ē song bī θe kwīer, tū a bakground ov ōrgan myūzik:  "Ō Kom Al Yē Fāθful," wiq invigorāt۔d Jēsus.  Θen θe parixinōr۔s, som rēd۔ing from pampflet۔s, qant۔d afirmaxun۔s ov θā's bēlēf۔s, mōst jeneral۔lē trū, Jēsus juj۔d, alθō θā sēm۔d tū bēlēv θat hē wuz God’s won and ōnlē qīld.  Anoθer himsong, "A Litel Town ov Beθlehem", θe hamlet ov Jēsus' first-inkarnāxun birθ, tuq۔d Jēsus wiθ nostalja.  Θen θe minister۔ōr upstep۔d θe θrē step۔s ov θe pulpit and prēq۔d a sermon about Jēsus’ birθ in a stābel, and θe θrē king۔s hū folō۔d star۔s and bring۔d gift۔s.  `Not eksakt۔lē θe wā mom and dad tel۔d it,’ rēmember۔d Jēsus, `but klōs enuf.’  Θe servis end۔d wiθ jōēful sing۔ing ov “Jōē tū θe world, θe Lord hav kom.”
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            Wen θe servis end۔d, Jēsus, strōl۔ing θrū θe town, fēel۔d būēyant.  Apārant۔lē fyū pēpel۔s go۔dqurq Kristmas mōrnin, but som go۔d, and Jēsus had never advōkāt۔d qurq ōr sinagog, alθō hē grātful۔lē aknolej۔d θat wiθout ōrganīz۔t rēlijon his kōr mesaj wud not hav survīv۔d.
            Hē pas۔d a resturant suround wiθ kar۔s, advertīz۔t wiθ flax۔ing līt۔s, a red and grēn nēon sīn flax۔ing Ōpen Eksmas, wīel an amp blast۔d pre۔rēkōrd۔t Jingel Bel۔s.
            Far۔er along, az hē walk۔d past a rō ov modest hous۔s, a dōr ōpen۔d, and a man kal۔d, “Frend, hav yū won tū ēt Kristmas diner wiθ?”
            Jēsus turn۔d.  A fat man wiθ nō kōt stand۔d in his dōr·wā. 
            “Aktūal۔lē, nō,” Jēsus admit۔d.
            “Θen yū must xār wiθ wē.  Kom, welkom.”  Hē mōxun۔d Jēsus fōrward. 
            “Θank yū!” kal۔d bak Jēsus, and step۔d fōrward.
            Insīd θe hous, smal and modest۔lē furnix۔t, smel۔t ov rōst turkē.  Intrōdukxun۔s sēm۔d akward, bēkuz Jēsus intrōdūs۔d hiself simpel az “Jēsus”, a personal·nām not yūtilīz۔d norθ ov river Rio Grand, alθō komon souθ ov it.  Bēsīd θe hōst, Bob Lyon, and his wīf Marθa, wuz θā's θrē tēnāj qīld۔s and θe yungstōr۔s’ fōur grandparent۔s.  “Wē yūsūal۔lē invīt sombodē wiθ nōbodē tū spend Kristmas diner wiθ,” Bob eksplān۔d, “but θis yēr nōbodē turn۔d up...  Until yū.  Perfekt!”
            “Sertin۔lē hapē tū mēt yū۔s,” rēspond۔d Jēsus smīl۔ing brod۔lē, “and glad bē part ov yōr Kristmas selebrāxun.”  Not tū menxun Kristmas diner:  Jēsus wuz hungr۔ē.
            Θe θrē woman۔s walk۔d intū θe kitqen, wīel θe qīld۔s plā۔d wiθ θā's tōē۔s around θe Kristmas trē, wiq blink۔d qērē۔lē, az Kristmas karol۔s, som fētūr۔ing Jēsus, som Santa, plā۔d on a rēkōrd۔in maxēn.
            “Diner iz redē!” kal۔d out Marθa.
            Spred۔d on θe ēlongāt۔t tābel, klōθ۔d wiθ a lās۔ē table·cloth, on a wīd silver dix lā۔d a ded turkē, up-sīd-down wiθ it’s leg۔s jut۔ing up۔ward, rōst۔d tū gōlden brown kolor, suround bī big bōl۔s ov wīt wip۔t potātō۔s, grēn grēnpē۔s, tan grāvē, and skarlet kranberē sos.  Bob karē۔d in a tal piqer ov wīt kow’s milk.  Jēsus, az hē lōok۔d on, ekspērēens۔d his adopt۔t bodē's tāst gland۔s water۔ing.
            Wen evrēbodē wuz sēt۔d θā al bow۔d θā's hed۔s, az Bob sā۔d, “Θank yū, God, fōr bring۔ing wē altogeθer fōr anoθer Kristmas.  Plēz bles our familē, θe strānjōr in our midst, and al Kristēan۔s.  Hapē birθ·dā, Jēsus!”
            “Θank yū!” krī۔d out Jēsus in a spasm ov emōxun.  “God bles yū۔s!”
            Bob stand۔d hōld۔ing θe karv nīf.  “Lādē۔s first, plēz pas yōr dix۔s.”
            Ēt۔in wuz mōst۔lē in sīlens, wiθ skater۔d koment۔s about how yum۔ē θe tāst, and dix۔s pas۔d fōr mōr.  Θen θe woman۔s serv۔d pumpkin pī۔s, top۔d wiθ wip۔t krēm. 
            Erlē ēvenin, al nīn membōr۔s ov θe familē plus Jēsus jōin۔d oθer۔s walk۔ing from hous tū hous, stand۔ing outsīd ēq front dōr sing۔ing Kristmas karol۔s, mōst۔lē, eksept wen qīld۔s wuz prominent, song۔s wiθ rēlijus θēm۔s.  Jēsus lisen۔d θe word۔s, and hum۔d θe tūn۔s, fīnal۔lē depart۔ing amid hart۔ē gōodbī۔s.
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Not fansē۔ing anoθer frēz۔ē nīt in a barn, and in θe spērit world θer bēing nō tīm, Jēsus transfer۔d hiself tū θe folō۔in mōrnin.  In θe riq۔est nāxun θe bizē۔est xop۔in dā ov θe yēr wuz θe dā after Kristmas, wen milyon۔s pēpel۔s eksqānj۔d θā's gift۔s fōr somθin θat fit۔d beter ōr θat θā want۔d mōr.  Midelberg's mān strēt۔s bēkum۔d ēven mōr klog۔d wiθ pēpel۔s slox۔ing θrū dirt۔ē snō lug۔ing pakaj۔s, in wut apēr۔d tū bē an afterxok ov grēd, but wuz rēalē, Jēsus dētermin۔d after observ۔ing it al mōrnin, an intelijent rē۔alōkāxun ov limit۔ē rēsors۔s.
Work holidā, giv۔ing gift۔s, prār۔s, qaritē, fēst۔ing wiθ familē and frend۔s – sēm۔d tū Jēsus a grāt wā tū selebrāt his dee۔2,000 birθ·dā.   Θe spērit ov Kristmas sēm۔d entīer۔lē aprōprēat.  Dur θe fīnal gift-purchase۔in frenzē wiθ hundred۔s ov strānjōr۔s krowd۔d tūgeθer wiθ limit۔ē tīm, almōst evrēbodē wuz konsiderāt.  Θe komerxalīzāxun ov Kristmas dint boθer hē:  θe nū۔lē welθ۔ē wuz ekspekt۔t tū ōver-indulj (komon evrēhwār in θe yūnivers), and merqant۔s wuz ekspekt۔t tū eksplōit θe gift obligāxun – alθō hē hiself wud hav prefer۔d tū bē ēkwāt۔d wiθ an alfabet leter oθer θan X; J, fōreks.  Jēsus fēel۔d hapē, and nōlonger konser۔d θat a rīval doktrin wuz sīdlīn۔ing his mesaj ov yūniversal luv.
            But, bēfōr depart۔ing Erθ, hē stil had kwestyon۔s fōr Santa.  Θerfōr hē desīd۔d tū aksept θe jolē man’s invītāxun tū visit.  Akord۔lē, bēkuz hē dint hav monē and tū sāv Erθ۔ē tīm, Jēsus rē-matērēalīz۔d on planet Erθ’s Norθpōl – an īs·xēt bēnēθ a blak skī ablāz wiθ star۔s.  Weār۔ing a warm kōt, and snō·xū۔s, hē wadel۔d tōward tū a nērbī ilūmināt۔t īs-blok kompleks, and strōl۔d under an īs arq engrāv۔t wiθ word۔s in 87 langwij۔s "Santa's Workxop".  In θe administrātiv ofis an elf (haf θe hīt ov Ohioans), despīt bēing non۔abel tū konfirm Jēsus' īdentitē, after send۔ing a mesajōr tū verifī θat hē had indēd bēn invīt۔t, and grumbel۔ing θat 26 Dēsember wuz Santa's dā ov wel-ern۔t rest – uxer۔d hē in, uter۔ing an intrōdukxun.
            “Santa, Jēsus.”
            Θā twū mēt۔d in a raθer smal rūm xāp۔t alīk θe top haf ov a glōb.  Santa wuz dres۔d in his yūsūal red sūt līn۔d wiθ wut, up klōs, Jēsus konfirm۔d wuz wīt polar·bearmammal fur.  Respektful۔lē, Santa rēmūv۔d his red kap – rēvēl۔ing θat hē wuz bald.  His qēk۔s wuz rōz۔ē, and his fās fētūr۔d a wīd smīl and twinkel۔ing ī۔s – prompt۔ing Jēsus tū θank God fōr send۔ing hē suq a jōvēal rīval.  Santa’s ī۔s, Jēsus nōtis۔d, dū۔d sēm wērē – ekspekt۔t after a long nīt ov dax۔ing around θe planet dispens۔ing gift۔s.
Θe twū man warm۔lē xāk۔d rītsīd hand۔s, Norθ Amerikan stīl, after wiq Santa apolojīz۔d fōr not hav۔ing anē īs۔les qār۔s. 
Az θā sit۔d, θe hōst deklār۔d, “Ī no iz notē and hū iz nīs.  Yū, Ī nōtis۔d imēdēat۔lē, iz vārē vārē nīs – wiq iz wī Ī giv۔d yū θe mōst kovet۔t gift ov al?”
            Jēsus’ eksprexun fōrm۔d a kwestyon.
            “An invītāxun tū Santa’s worxip.’
            “A wonderful gift.  Θank yū indēd!”  Jēsus lōer۔d his hed
.  “Hēr Ī iz, θe inspīrāxun fōr Kristmas, arīv۔ing wiθout a singel gift.”
            “Θat iz aktrōl,” sā۔d Santa wiθ a jolē vōis.  “Manē fōlk۔s kant aford gift۔s, but evrēbodē kan rīt a leter and send it tū Santa.  Mēr۔lē ask, and if yū wuz gōod θrūout θe yēr, yū wil rēsēv.”
            “Gox!” Jēsus eksklām۔d in hapē surpriz.  “Θat iz klōs tū mī mesaj!”
            “Yōr mesaj iz yūniversal.”  Santa qukel۔d.  “Mīn iz a bit nēr۔er tū hōm.  Hens popyūlar.”
            “Wē iz sā۔ing θe sām θing,” Jēsus rēson۔d outloud, “from diferent perspektiv۔s:  yours matērēalistik, mīn spiritūal.”  Hē poz۔d.   “Wē iz komplimentarē.”
            Santa smīl۔d wīd۔lē, θen his fās bēkum۔d serēus.  “Az pēpel bēkum akustom۔d tū hav۔ing wutever θā want, θā wil fēel les kompulxun tū kolekt θing۔s, and θe pendūlum wil swing bak tōward θe spiritūal.”
            “Wīz,” kompliment Jēsus, nod۔ing in agrēment.  “Sām patern evrēhwār in θe yūnivers.”  Hē poz۔d.  “Ī had not ērhēr۔d yū wuz suq an intelektūal.”
            “Trend۔s qānj.  Θe elf۔s must bē prepār۔t.
            “After a sīlens Jēsus sā۔d, “Korekt mē if Ī iz rong, Santa.  Yū bring al θe gift۔s, but mōst gift۔s lēv۔d bēnēθ familē Kristmas trē۔s iz from kin tū kin.”  Hē poz۔d.  “Dōnt anēbodē wonder how a gift from, sā, θā's parent۔s, wuz bring۔d down θe qimnē in yōr bag?”
            “Litel qīld۔s dū not, nō.”
            “And – if Ī mā pōz θe kwestyon – dū nō won kwestyon how a Santa wiθ a wonderful girθ manē tīm۔s θik۔er θan a qimnē hōl kan slīd up and down sō kwik۔lē?”  Bēfōr hē kud anser Jēsus kontinyū۔d.  “Ōr how yū galop θrū θe skī?  Ōr how yū visit hundred۔s ov milyon۔s ov hous۔s in a singel nīt?”
            “Hō, hō!”  Az Santa laf۔d his belē xāk۔d.  “Al part ov θe majik ov Kristmas.”
            Jēsus smīl۔d admīer۔lē at Santa’s ixyū-disolv۔ing anser.
             “Īronik,” ad۔d Santa.  “Yūsūal۔lē after about fīv ōr siks yēr۔s, qīld۔s sēs bēlēv۔ing in mē.  Almōst nō adult۔s dū.  Ōnlē θe litel won۔s bēlēv Ī iz rēal.”  Hē pōint۔d tū his qest.  “Yet hēr Ī iz.”
            “Yū apēr wons a yēr,” koment۔d Jēsus, “wīel Ī hav not bēn hēr dur twū milenēum۔s.”
            Santa nod۔d.  “Yet bilyon۔s ov pēpel۔s bēlēv in yū.”
            At θe diskrepansē, Jēsus qukel۔d.
            Santa's eksprexun wīden۔d intū a jolē pōz.  "Hō, hō, hō!"
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