Years ago, when my niece and two nephews were small, for the first time, I read the facts of the Christmas Story to them. It is found in Luke 2 of our Holy Bible. Well, I actually read it to our entire family who were gathered in our house for our Christmas Eve celebration. Believe me, every adult there needed to be reminded of the basis of what Christmas is all about, including me. Things just sort of push the Truth aside don't they? I was actually quite nervous about doing this because I didn't want them to think I thought I was Miss Super Spirituality. But I did do what I knew the Lord was urging me to do.
So, to get ready for this, I went to the bakery department of the grocery store and picked out a small pre-made cake from behind the glass counter. The girl (about age 20) asked if I wanted her to decorate it with words and I said "Yes, I want it to say Happy Birthday Jesus". She stared at me for a little while and said "Huh"? I repeated it - she still could not fathom it!! Why, I don't know. So I said, "Christmas is the Birthday of Jesus, you know". "Oh" was her reply. People, she was not from some strange foreign country - she lived right here in Texas!! And she didn't know this?!! But there's more. After she had gone in the back and decorated with the first two words, she came back to the counter and with puzzled expression on her face, said "Now how do you spell Jesus?" (Dear God, help us!!!) So I had to spell it for her - three times before she got it. I was amazed, shocked and saddened.
So, anyway, on Christmas Eve we all gathered in our living room and sang about a dozen carols which is one of my favorite traditions. And always, Silent Night, is the final one - it is so special and my favorite carol. Right before the final carol, I slipped in the kitchen and stuck birthday candles in the small cake (the whole box of candles) and lit them. I carried it to our group of family and those three kids' eyes got huge!! I had their attention and everyone's really because I'd not told anyone I was going to do this. I sat the glowing cake on the footstool and I sat down and opened the Bible to this precious section and told them I just wanted to read what we have all been celebrating all these years. I read, my voice was shaky because I was nervous. But all of them were engrossed. I had dimmed the lights as I had come back in the room so the candles truly were the center of attention. And those words on the Birthday cake. The three kids (3-6 yrs old) had gathered really close to me and the cake. As soon as I finished reading from the Bible (and I felt it was important to read directly from it rather than a sheet of paper so it would be impressed upon them that it came from the Truth, the Holy Bible), then I started leading them in singing the Happy Birthday Song to Jesus - they were really understanding now. Then I said "I think the three kids should blow out the candles on Jesus' cake". I didn't have to mention it twice. Those three sweeties blew at the same time and out they went. We then started singing Silent Night. It is one of my favorite memories of their childhood and my adulthood when I decided to care more of what God thought of me than what people thought of me. Sometimes families are harder to reach with the truth about Jesus than are strangers.
Perhaps, it would be a special tradition you could start in your family, even if little children are not in your get-together. I think it meant a lot to everyone there - it truly did focus our attention on our dear Savior's birth.
Happy Birthday, Sweet Jesus
A Blessed Christmas to you all....