My favorite Christmas story just happens to be about traveling. Kinda. Convenient, as this means it is an acceptable thing for me to write about here. My favorite book is not traditionally thought of as a Christmas tale. It is not read out loud by families on Christmas Eve (or ever). It is not displayed on Barnes & Noble’s holiday table. However, when I place the book between branches of my parent’s Christmas tree, it looks much more festive.

But my favorite Christopher Moore book really is Christmas-y! Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal,” is my go-to-gospel even though it’s not really a gospel or in the Bible and liberally uses the word “fuckstick.” The premise of this book is that Biff has been resurrected by an angel in the year 2000 to write another gospel, this one about Christ’s life starting at age seven. While the angel watches soap operas, professional wrestling matches, and MTV, Biff writes his gospel. He tells about how he and Jesus (called Joshua in the book) TRAVELED through Asia (see, traveling) to find the three magi that followed the star to attend his birth in Bethlehem. They then return to Jerusalem to round up the disciples. An excerpt, if I may:

             “What can we do?” said Andrew. “We’re only fishermen.”

            “Come with me and I’ll make you fishers of men.”

            Andrew looked at his brother who was still standing in the water. Peter shrugged and shook his head. Andrew looked at me, shrugged and shook his head.

            “They don’t get it,” I said to Joshua.


            Thus, after Joshua had some food and a nap and explained what in the hell he meant by “fishers of men,” we became seven.


             We came to another small village and Peter pointed out two brothers who were fitting a new oarlock into the gunwale of a fishing boat.


             “Come with us,” I said, “and we will make you oarlock makers of men.”

            “What?” said Joshua.

            “That’s what they were doing when we came up. Making an oarlock. Now you see how stupid that sounds?”

It is hands down the funniest and most thought-provoking book I’ve ever read. Although some would describe it as sacrilegious, I actually feel more spiritual and okay with Christianity after reading it.

Although most of the story is made up, the setting, events, and characters are meticulously researched. There are many references to the Bible in the story, some of which are real Bible verses and some of which are made up (from the books of Amphibians and Excretions for example). Author Christopher Moore has this to say on the subject:

…if the reader knows the Bible well enough to recognize the real references, there’s a good chance that he or she has decided not to read this book. [We]…advise those who are not familiar with the Bible to find someone who is, sit them down, read them the passages in question, then say, “That one real? How ‘bout that one?” If you don’t know someone who is familiar with the Bible, just wait, someone will come to your door eventually. Keep extra copies of Lamb on hand so they can take one with them.  

I often want to go look up this and that in the Bible after reading Lamb. I’d been re-reading Lamb last Christmas and hadn’t had a Bible handy in some time to look things up. That Christmas Eve, my brother, father, and I were drunkenly headed to midnight mass after a lively family dinner. We rolled up late, ignored warning glares from my mother in the choir, and found a pew. Then my brother and I had the following exchange:

 Me: “Where are all the Bibles around here?

Jay: “They don’t have Bibles in church.”

Me: “Why not? I want to look up something questionable.”

Jay: “That’s exactly why they don’t put them in church.”

This was extra hilarious after several glasses of wine. We couldn’t look at each other for the rest of the service without laughing. It should be mentioned here that Jay and I are loud and not discreet even in sober circumstances.

My parents were so glad that we’d come to church with them.

A final Lamb quote:

“Nobody’s perfect…Well, there was this one guy, but we killed him.”

 Merry Christmas!

Purchasing Lamb via the affiliate link in this post will earn me a bit of money, so thank you!

Okay, I know most people go to the fair to ride rides and eat food. And I definitely consumed my fair share of fried cheese curds. However, the best part of the day was checking out the animals. Particularly the baby ones. I’m not exactly a hard-core animal lover, but come on, how can you not love these little guys?


The ten pigs were born at the fair the day we were there. We watched mama pig go into labor in the morning and returned a few hours later to check out her offspring. Prego-animals of all types give birth for oohhing and awing crowds in the “Miracle of Life” barn. In case you can’t get close enough to the action, a big TV shows instant replays of all the gory details. Although all the newbies were pretty cute, the lambs were definitely my favorites. They brought back some memories…


Twenty-something years ago my family was taking a walk along a country road near my parents friends’ home in Mt. Vernon, WA. We stopped to check out a sheep and her new babies when my dad suddenly hopped the fence and barged into the barn. Wielding a stick to keep the mom away, Dad whipped off his coat and soon had a lamb nestled in his arms.

Apparently the mother sheep had been stepping on her baby with the intent of rejecting it. Nice, huh? Dad was playing the part of Child Protective Services by removing the lamb from its dysfunctional family situation.

Farmer Dad made some calls and we were soon bottle feeding “Lambchops” and getting him settled with his new foster parents. Despite protests from my then-two-year-old brother and me, Lambchops didn’t get to live in our house in the suburbs but had to stay with my parent’s friends (shout out to Rick and Rutheia! Thanks you guys!)

Lambchops did get to go to preschool with me, as a nifty show-and-tell item. I still remember my mom chasing him around the neighborhood, trying to wrangle him into the back of the Datsun. Lambchops unfortunately lived a short life, as he consumed a poisonous plant a few months later and died. At least that’s the story I was given as a child. My dad really likes rack of lamb, so I remain suspicious.

If you want to see baby farm animals for yourself, I recommend you check out a state fair. If you want to steal one from your neighbor, you are on your own. My dad appears to be in animal-rescue-retirement. The Minnesota State Fair is in St. Paul each year. It takes place during the last weeks in August until Labor Day.