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Monday, November 29, 2021  

Happy Birthday, JesusPublished 12/22/2004

I smiled as I heard the song, ‘Silent Night’ play softly on the stereo. Christmas was only two weeks away, and this was my favorite season of all. The lights on the Christmas tree twinkled as I admired each ornament, looking at each heirloom as though seeing it for the first time. For a moment, I was caught up in a world of wonder.

Suddenly, my thoughts were taken elsewhere, as my three children came running into the room. With outstretched arms, each child held a piece of notebook paper. Written in Crayon, were their Christmas lists. "Mommy, let me read my Christmas list to you," my daughter said, waving the paper in front of me. "Me first," shouted my son.

"Oh dear," I thought to myself as I listened to the long lists. Expensive gifts, name brand clothes, a computer….the list went on. It was then, that I felt a tug at my heart, and wondered if they had forgotten the real meaning of Christmas. Oh no, they couldn’t have! Yet, their longs lists made me wonder. Why, we had always had a wonderful fellowship on Christmas day, sitting in front of the fireplace, reading the story of the birth of Jesus.

"Kids, since when do you give us a list?" I asked. "But, mommy.....this is the coolest game....and everyone has this kind of jeans, and....." my daughter beamed with excitement! I found myself interrupting her. "Well, you better not expect any of those things from your list," I answered back, with a hint of anger in my voice. "Kids, don’t forget the real meaning of Christmas." They turned around, and slowly walked out of the room, leaving their lists behind.

Christmas day arrived. We gathered in front of the fireplace, and listened reverently as my husband opened his Bible, and read from Luke, Chapter 2. We gave thanks as we reflected upon the message.

Afterwards, my husband and I gave each of the children one gift. The surprise came, when our children gave us their gifts in return. Our oldest daughter stood in the center of the room, reciting a poem that she had written. The words were gentle and soothing. Our other daughter played her viola, as the music flowed with a joyous tune. Our son held a beautiful picture, displaying his artwork. The love that was present throughout the room was overflowing, for they had given a gift from their heart. Followed by tight hugs and wet kisses, the children led us into the kitchen. On the center of the table, was a home-made, lop-sided cake. On white frosting, in bold pink letters, was the message, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS."

Time moves forward. Now, the children are grown but the memory lives on. Through the years, I never received any more ‘Christmas lists’ from the children, yet, they continued to bake a birthday cake for Jesus, each year thereafter. To this day, we continue to bake a birthday cake to celebrate the most important birthday of all. Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

Psalm 107:1 (NIV)

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