Let us consider the song “Little Drummer Boy,” in which a young man is whisked off to see the baby Jesus and told to bring a gift. Being poor, he has no money for a present, so he offers to play his drum for the baby instead, that being his only talent and the only thing he has to give.
Here is what I would say if I were Joseph: Wow, thanks, kid, that’s sweet of you. But you know what? No thanks. No thanks on the drumming right here in the stable where my wife just gave birth and our baby is sleeping. We’re all a little tired, frankly, what with having just had a baby on a pile of straw in a filthy barn. Why don’t you go ahead and not play the drum, OK?
Sigh. All right, I understand it’s your only gift. Seriously, it’s the thought that counts, right? I get that. You totally get the brownie points, or whatever. Just don’t play the — what did I just tell you?! KNOCK IT OFF! Quiet, or you’ll wake the Lord! We just got him to sleep, and now you’re — oh, look, see, now you’ve done it. You woke up the baby. You made baby Jesus cry. Is that what you wanted? Are you happy now? It wasn’t bad enough with the herald angels singing, now you have to come in here and play the drums. That’s great. That’s just great.