"Jack Sprat could eat no fat and his wife could eat no lean,
between the two of them they licked the platter clean."
Remember the kind of pictures they had to that nursery rhyme? Mr. Sprat was always this real thin guy and his wife this enormous mama like you'd expect to come out of a Ryan Steak House.
As a kid I always thought that was wrong. I figured that the reason that Lady Sprat had to eat the fat was that she a skinny boni macaroni would waste away if she ate the lean.
Likewise, Mr. Sprat: he was as fat as Mr. Creosote and would simply explode if he ate anything but the leanest meanest lean.
Now, what about the picture we have to the "Away in a manger..."?
I think it's a bunch of crap about the poor little baby Jesus having to sleep in the hay with no crib for his bed because the mean old innkeeper wouldn't give his poor dad and mom a room for the night and sneeringly told them to take their ass over to the barn and sleep with it there.
First of all, the manger was probably not all that bad place at all for the baby to be born -- the inn was full of noise and carrying on and people stumbling drunkenly off to their rooms for the night, going in the wrong door and all that sort of thing.
The manger was quiet, the light was dim, it was warm with body heat of the animals and the soft smell of cow farts. A perfect ambiance in which to birth a perfect baby.
Finally, the baby's father was not a poor man -- he was a skilled and respected artisan -- by the way, the word for "carpenter" in the tongue of his people also means "magician" -- because the master carpenter could do wonders with wood?