One of my greatest blessings was to be raised in a Christian home. Both of my parents (God bless them), devoted themselves to bringing up their children with the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Even as a young child I remember the many methods my parents used to show my siblings and me the love of Jesus. Whether a simple warm embrace or a significant lesson in grace, my parents managed to point to Jesus.
Like all children, my siblings and I loved to give and receive gifts on Christmas morning. It brought an overwhelming amount of joy and excitement into our home for the entire month of December. So, my parents thought of a clever way to teach us that Christmas was not about the gifts under the tree - but the gift of Jesus Christ. As long as I can remember, my family honored a Christmas tradition to help keep the holiday Christ-centered instead of self-centered. Every Christmas Eve, my family baked a very special birthday cake for a very special person. This was no ordinary birthday cake. My parents gave us full reign to decorate the cake with an assortment of frostings, sprinkles, and candles. Imagine the thrill of throwing a party for Jesus: We were giddy with joy. Early Christmas morning, before any gifts were opened, we sang "Happy Birthday" to Jesus, blew out the candles, praised Jesus for new life through His ultimate sacrifice, and thanked Him for the many blessings we would receive. This simple but fun tradition helped my siblings and I understand that Christmas was not about Santa Claus, presents under the tree, or getting what we want. It was the celebration of Jesus' birth.
I share this CHRISTmas tradition to encourage each of you to redirect your focus from the craziness of the season and back on the reason for the holiday - Jesus Christ.
"For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6).
I pray you all have a very Merry Christmas. Please join my family as we celebrate the life of Jesus Christ with His own personal birthday party - or by discover your own unique family tradition to honor our Lord on this special day!
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