By Lydia Kaiser
We know that Christmas is supposed to be a celebration of Jesus’ birthday, but sometimes the real meaning of Christmas takes a back seat no matter how hard we try. Today I’ll share four ideas with you to help make Christmas day more like a birthday party for Jesus. I’m assuming you read the Christmas story the night before. I’d encourage you to do these next things first thing in the morning, to set the tone for the day.
OK, first, what do we do when celebrating the birthday of anyone else? One thing that’s normally done is a birthday cake. At my home, for many years, we’ve made a special birthday cake for Jesus. Using a rectangular white cake, I cut three small pieces out to leave the shape of a sitting lamb. Then I use white frosting and swirl it around to add features of folded legs and an ear on the head. A chocolate chip works for the eye. The lamb cake represents the spotless, perfect, sacrificial lamb of God who came to give himself in order to take away the sin of the world. We put a candle in the cake and sing the traditional Happy Birthday song to Jesus. The kids blow the candle out. We have a picture of the kids with the lamb cake from each Christmas and it’s a wonderful tradition for them.
What else do we do when we celebrate someone’s birthday? We give them a gift of course. I suggest two gifts. The first one is worship. Often children won’t realize that worship is a gift, so you’ll want to make a point to say “our first gift to Jesus today is our worship.” Make a Christmas playlist for the day that worships Jesus rather than extolling other things. Choose at least two songs that are easy to sing along to, and have the words on sheets of paper.
Your second gift can be a tangible, wrapped gift. My family has given to worthy causes for Christmas but we never thought to put the gift itself or a symbol of it in a wrapped box under the tree. I recently learned of a family who has used the same box year after year and it’s become special to them. The lid is wrapped separately from the bottom, so family members can put their offering to Jesus in it over the month. The family decides together where Jesus’ gift is going. In this family, their grown children, without solicitation, continued to send their Christmas gift to Jesus back to Mom and Dad’s house so it could be combined and sent together. Eventually, their own children were old enough to start the tradition at their house. Sometimes visitors to their houses would slip their own gift into the box.
My last idea is for your family to hold a Christmas Party Club for children who need to know the real meaning of Christmas. It can be held in your home for children in your neighborhood, at your child’s elementary school, or at a public building or park. Party Club kits can be purchased from CEF Press.com, or your local CEF chapter director can provide a teacher with the kit.
This year during COVID, many party clubs are being held online, and you can help organize those too. One that I saw pictures of was taking place in France. All the children on the screen had towels on their heads to role play shepherds, and were engaged in investigating the birth of Jesus. Another picture taken by a mom showed her daughter with head bowed in prayer in front of the computer as she asked Jesus to be her Lord and Savior after the club with the counselor. When children experience a party club, they are more likely to sign up to attend a Good News Club the next semester and be discipled in God’s Word. Your family Christmas can include testimonies from Christmas outreaches like this. It helps to emphasize what Christmas is really about, that Jesus came in the flesh to save us from our sin.
May your Christmas be very blessed!