"Happy Birthday, dear Jesus, Happy Birthday to You," the children sang enthusiastically. We had played Pin-the-Tail on Mary's Donkey and taken turns trying to break the pinata with a stick.
We have had birthday parties for Jesus as long as I can remember.
When the children were little we invited a few of their friends over and then went to town decorating the house with red and green streamers. We ordered a birthday cake from Sam's and used red and green plates and napkins. We always hung a pinata from the big tree in the front yard and made sure we had a blindfold for everyone who wanted to take a turn whacking it. After playing party games with Christmasy names, we sang happy birthday to Jesus and blew out the candles together.
Now candles were a big deal. There's no way to put 2,000 or so candles on a cake, but we did fit on as many as we could. After all, Jesus IS the Light of the World.
As my children grew up, we started having a Christmas party for Jesus at church each year. We continued the tradition of the games, but exchanged the pinata for ornament making. After all, it's hard to hang a pinata inside a church.
The Christmas Story
We also added a fun way to tell the Christmas story.
We dressed up and acted it out. A few angel wings from Oriental Trading company, some bathrobes, and imagination and we soon transformed children into people from the Christmas story in the Bible.
The children loved the drama and costumes, especially if they were glittery and sparkly.
Another thing I did to make the Christmas story more memorable was to attach sound effects and motions with certain key words. I would read directly from the Bible, but, of course, there was a twist. When I said the word "angel" everyone had to stand up and flag their angel wings (arms). When I said the word "shepherds" everyone had to look for their sheep and pretend to hold on to their shepherd's crook. When I said the word "sheep" everyone had to kneel on the ground and say, "Baa-baa" When I said the word "Jesus" or "baby" everyone had to rock back and forth and pretend to hold a baby. When I said the word "Bethlehem" everyone had to run around all the seats and sit back down.
This made the Christmas story fun, chaotic, and wonderful. We laughed so hard and had such a good time.
Happy Birthday Cinnamon Rolls
No matter what happens with birthday parties for Jesus each year, we have a family tradition that started the year we were married (1984).
I make homemade cinnamon rolls and frost them with cream cheese icing. After our Christmas morning devotions, I get them out, put candles in, and light them. The whole family sings "Happy Birthday" to Jesus and then the youngest family member blows out the candles.
There is lots of laughing and joy and fun as we celebrate the birthday of our Lord. There are also many serious times during our birthday celebrations where we worship, pray, and dig into the Word of God.
The bottom line is that all our festivities are part of a grand Birthday Celebration for Jesus! It's all about Him after all and we take that seriously. We sit in quiet wonder and rejoice in glorious joy. After all, it's the birthday of a King!
God bless you and Merry Christmas!
Love, love, love,