A week before Christmas

A story for Christmas


1. A week before Christmas

It was a week before Christmas and Joanne Carpenter turned her car into the car park of St. Mary’s Junior & Infant Primary school. She looked skyward at the deep filled overcast clouds, she knew in her bones that it was going to snow. The car shuddered and coughed in the cold air. “I have to get a new one!” she thought as she slammed the driver’s door shut. The mini almost rolled with the force as a small single snowflake fell from the darkening sky.  Joanne sighed as she entered the school and checked her pigeon hole for letters and memos. “Hi Miriam,” said Sarah Brookfields, one of her colleagues, who always seemed to say her second name. She rubbed a tiny tear from her face as she remembered her late husband. She shook her head and continued with her post. Gaining all she could she walked to her class, ready for the day’s teaching. She stopped for a moment remembering how she had come to Britain and took many qualifications to be a teacher in Britain. She was good with children and with the pushing of friends made the giant jump to be a teacher at a primary school. She coughed and looked out of the nearest window, it was snowing now, and children were already in the play ground. She smiled as she saw her class as a snowball fight was in full flight. Miriam looked at her text books, it was about Christmas today. “Good timing,” she thought. “A week before the big day and the nativity later in the day.” The head had given her the nativity to do this year as she was new to the school and she liked the way she sort of knew the story so well. “You don't get much RE teachers’ nowadays with all these other celebrations going on!”  Miriam had recently left Israel; she didn’t like it there now, since her son died and the strange blue flash had changed everything she saw. She sighed and continued to teach her class about Christmas. This new computer and white board was something to get used to. She was in her fifties, and machines like this weren’t even made in her time. Luckily she was a fast learner and quickly got up to date with the software, which she didn’t quite grasp. There was nothing soft about it, there were discs, or on a SD card full of photos, and a USB port. She was only used to a real port where you caught a ship or boat. The plane was a terrifying prospect, it had metal wings with seats inside, and up in the air, someone said up to 50,000 feet. She almost fainted at the thought of it.  Suddenly her classes were over for the day and the ‘nativity’ was coming up. She had made a moving star on some very thin cotton so no-one could see. The Christmas play began with the Romans demanding the census of everyone and the long, long walk to Bethlehem with Joseph, and ‘Boney M’s Mary’s boy child Jesus Christ was born on Christmas day’ playing in the background. Miriam had made the stable in the form of a natural cave next to the inn. “More natural!” said the head as she sat next to her RE teacher with a smile. Miriam sighed and hoped the play would run smoothly. “There is no room in the inn,” said Tommy Baxter a tall, blonde boy with a voice that boomed across the hall. “But, I’ve got a stable!” It wasn’t exactly in the script, but it worked. Sighs and laughter echoed around as the parents clapped with joy. Suddenly Joseph and Mary were in the stable with Jesus in the manger. Miriam had gone to a toy shop and bought a very baby looking doll. “The twenty-first century!” she exclaimed as she paid at the counter. The girl on the checkout looked blankly at her like she was something out of this world, as she quickly glanced at her Blackberry phone, just popping out of her pocket. Miriam blinked and the shepherds came to visit after the angel Gabriel high in the sky proclaimed that a saviour had been born. Then before she knew it the three wise men appeared with the three gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. “It was two years after Jesus was born,” Miriam said to her head teacher, who nodded in agreement and relief that she hadn’t had to do it. “The gold didn’t last long,” she put in. Sarah Windom, the head just smiled and didn’t hear what she had said. Miriam shed a tear as the play ended with a few Christmas carols and the thought that she was there when Jesus was born, died and raised again. After all she was the mother of Jesus. The End.  

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