IS it too much to ask for a nativity story that the financially comfortable can relate to? No. Let’s imagine the birth of Jesus if Mary and Joseph had arts degrees:
Shepherds patronised by night
Mary and Joseph, an interior designer and artisanal carpenter respectively, would struggle to make conversation with rual workers. Nonetheless they’d welcome them into the stable, apologising for the mess, and ask if they’d considered keeping alpacas instead. Unwilling to waste his craft beers, Joseph would nip out to buy Heineken.
Kath Kidston swaddling cloth
As the Messiah, Jesus obviously needs a 240 thread-count organic-cotton swaddling cloth by fabrics designer Ella Winstone-Hughes who drew her inspiration from flowering plants of the Levant. Unfortunately not much chance to show it off to the other yummy mummies because of the Massacre of the Innocents. Herod! Grrr!
A labradoodle instead of a donkey
A labradoodle rather than a donkey would obviously have been the middle-class pet of choice, and would have been given a pretentious non-dog name like Hugo, Artemis or Clive.
A Moneylenders in the Temple playset made of sustainable wood
A little too old for Jesus, but babies are learning from the instant they’re born. Given by Caspar of the Wise Men, features hand-painted moneylenders, fully poseable adult Jesus and a flippable table for hours of usury-decrying fun.
A tour of the extension
No middle-class family can stay in a property without deciding they need more space, so on arrival in Bethlehem the Holy Family contracted a local builder to add a home office and utility room. The tour is compulsory, and the Wise Men will politely feign interest in a windowless room with a tumble dryer and four bikes in it.
A middle-class gathering is not complete without nibbles, and historical evidence does exist for this: ‘Lo, Mary did bring forth a multitude of tempura prawns, cocktail sausages and sliders, and they were good’, according to the lesser-known Gospel of St Michael.
An interminable discussion of primary schools in Nazareth
The Son of God not even a day old, his parents subject everyone to achingly tedious ruminations about Nazarene schools and whether they should move to Haifa to get into a better catchment. A remark by Mary about half the pupils at the local primary ‘not even speaking Hebrew’ is deftly defused by Balthazar opening another bottle of rioja.