Narrator: Our story is set in Bethlehem, Judea. Caesar Augustus has decreed that everyone should return to the town of their birth to be counted and taxed. The overworked Manager and employees of the overcrowded Bethlehem Inn and Spa are trying to cope with the rush of people. Join us as we listen to The Manager and Desk Clerk discussing their problems (Exits).
Manager: Phew! Iíve never seen this place so full. I donít know how we are going to handle all these people.
Desk Clerk: I know what you mean. After posting the No Vacancy Sign this morning I received a request from Triple ĖA, you know, the ďArabs And Associates Travel ClubĒ, requesting three King Sized Rooms. It seems that they had a touring group called the Magi coming to town and all the other places were booked. I had to turn them down. You know how those undesirable rock groups discourage the other guests.
Manager: (nodding): Tell me about it! And what about those Roman Soldiers with their carousing and carrying on? Iíve had nothing but complaints from them about our complimentary quick start breakfast. Youíd think goat cheese, gruel and matzo balls wasnít good enough for the likes of them (both nod in agreement).
Concierge: (Approaches desk hurriedly) I know youíre busy, but the Valet Parking Attendant just walked off the job. We have that huge caravan of VIPs arriving any time now and all of their camels are right hand drive models. Weíre not trained for that!
Manager: I never should have hired my Wifeís Nephew for that job. See if you can borrow that gardener, whatís his name? Oh yes, Bubbus. He works for that rich merchant who lives over on the hill. Heís from the southern part of the empire and does everything backwards already, just like those southerners always do! He should be happy to earn a few extra shekels.
Concierge: Great idea boss! Iíll fetch him right now (Begins to walk away).
Manager: (Shouts to Concierge as he is leaving) Oh, and donít forget to have him wipe of his smelly boots before he arrives. He walks around spreading manure on the plants all day and (holds his nose) the odor follows him like a cloud!
Spa Manager: (approaches the desk waving a card) We donít take Orient Express! Do we take Orient Express? I told her we didnít take Orient Express, but she insisted I talk to you.
Manager: What is the problem?
Spa Manager: Itís that ďJanusĒ person again. All she wants to do is strut around in her leotard and complain. Now she says if we donít give her what she wants she is going to develop her own exercise program and go into competition with our Spa.
Manager: Well, you better go ahead this time. No use creating enemies. She can get pretty ugly!
Spa Manager: Youíre telling me! The thinks sheís the Queen of Sheba! (Leaves shaking her head).
Chef: (Approaches) Thatís it! Iíve had it, Iím quitting!
Manager: Now what?
Chef: I sent that ďcretinĒ in Room #6 my prized smothered lamb chops via room service, like he ordered. He sent it back! He told the Bell Man ďThis lamb wasnít smothered, it was beaten to death and he could see the bruises through the wool.Ē I donít have to take that!
Manager: Now, Now. Remember he is our Guest. Besides, he is Caesarís 2nd. Cousin.
Chef: Very well. But one more time and Iím out of here like Moses out of Egypt. (Leaves).
Bell Man (Approaches the desk) Iíve got a problem!
Desk Clerk: So what else is new? Come on. Let me hear it.
Bell Man: A group from the Rotary meeting in our Nile Dining Room wants to rent transportation for a tour of the area. I contacted ďDromedaries Are UsĒ but not a single camel is available, one hump OR two. What should I do?
Guest Standing Nearby (overhears complaint and says) Hi! Iím Donkey Dave, the South Judea Donkey Dealer. I couldnít help overhearing your conversation. I have plenty of used transportation and if they are not right, Iíll make them right, Free! Thank you and hereĎs my address (Hands card to Bell Man who glances at it and hands it to the Manager).
Desk Clerk: Thanks, Dave. (Looks at Manager, sighs with relief and High 5ís Manager) Another problem solved!
Concierge: (Approaches desk again): Iíve got a ďluluĒ for you this time. Thereís a guy out back with an extremely pregnant wife and no cash. I donít think their donkey will make another mile. Heís asking for whatever room we have available.
Manager: Tell him there is no room in the Inn! I feel for him, but I couldnít squeeze another person in here if he was the Messiah himself come to save me.
Concierge: Okay boss. (Leaves talking to self) I really hate to turn him down though. Oh well!
Bell Man: (Returns from Donkey Davesí and again approaches the desk) On the way in, I noticed that the hotel limo needs a wash job.
Manager: Thereís always a group of shepherds abiding in the field next to the Inn. Take the chariot down there to them and have it detailed. And tell that little drummer boy to stop beating that thing underneath my window every night. Itís making me crazy!
Bell Man: Right, Boss (exits).
Concierge: (Returns and pleads with Manager) I know the house is full, but the guy with the pregnant wife is still here and really needs a room. Canít we do something for him?
Manager: Oh for crying out loud. Tell him they can bed down in the stable behind the Inn tonight, but I want them gone in the morning. The donkey stays there too. And take that bag full of old swaddling clothes with you (points to bag on floor). I donít think the person who left them in their room is coming back for them. Maybe the guy with the pregnant Wife will take them.
Concierge: Right Boss and Thanks! (Picks up bag and leaves).
Desk Clerk: Well, maybe things will settle down now for a while.
Manager: I sure hope so. Say, do you hear what I hear? Someone playing music? It sounds like it may be coming from out back. Listen. It sounds like a harp.
Desk Clerk: Yeah. And someone is singing. I canít make out the words, but I think I can make out ďNoelĒ.
Manager: Must be that rock group you turned away earlier. (Both nod in agreement). And there goes that little drummer boy again! (covering ears and grimacing).
Narrator: (Enters) And so the Lord Jesus, the Savior of the Jews, Gentiles and ultimately the world, was born in a stable in Bethlehem of Judea. At Christmas we celebrate his birth and his life. Now we await his return in glory from heaven. Have a blessed Christmas!