- Holidays and Celebrations
Happy Birthday Jesus Cupcakes - Our Christmas Tradition
The only Christmas tradition I really remember from when I was younger was having homemade pizza on on Christmas eve - the night we opened gifts. Since getting married and having my own family, I really haven't stuck to that tradition - mainly because my homemade pizza never turned out! And since getting married, it seems like our Christmases have lacked tradition as they have been different every year.
Our first Christmas together, we drove from North Daktoa to Toronto, Ontario to be with my husband's family. It was a long trip - driving about 3,600 miles in all in my husband's Ford Probe in the dead of winter.
The next year, our daughter had been born in October. Since she was born two and a half months early, she was in the NICU over the Holidays and we celebrated Christmas at the local Ronald McDonald House.
Since then, we've celebrated Christmas in three different apartments. And one of those years we traveled to Canada, this time by plane. It was tough traveling with our daughter who had a wheelchair and needed her car seat to sit upright on the plane. I don't think we'll ever do that again!
A New Tradition
Just last year my daughter came up with something that I believe will be our Christmas tradition through the years. One day as Christmas was approaching I asked her what she wanted for Christmas. My daughter exclaimed, "Happy Birthday cupcakes!" Perfect, I thought. After all, we were celebrating the birth of Christ.
It saddens me that Christmas has gotten so commercialized and that oftentimes what is supposed to be a joyous season, is one of stress and anxiety. So many people forget the true meaning of Christmas and "the reason for the season" which is why I just love our new tradition of making Happy Birthday Jesus cupcakes!
Before last year, I always found little gifts to hand out to Faith's caretakers, therapists, respite care providers, anyone that had an important role in her life during the year. We didn't have a lot of extra money to spend last year and really, making cupcakes was pretty inexpensive. Plus, I found some very cute little containers at the dollar store in which to put the cupcakes.
Faith loves to bake and she loves cupcakes so this traditiion is perfect. The funnest part for her is to help stir the ingredients in the bowl and of course to eat some of the frosting! I think last year we made a total of three dozen cupcakes.
After the cupcakes are all made, it's time to package each cupcake into our very cute Christmas containers. Then, on the lid we make a little label. Last year, I wrote "Merry Christmas! We hope you enjoy this Happy Birthday Jesus cupcake!"
We then passed them out wherever we went. It really was amazing the response we got from people after they read the label and realized what was inside. Everyone smiled but some even had tears in their eyes. I do hope that we helped them to remember, even if it was for just a moment, why we celebrate Christmas. It's not about the gifts, the tree, the dinner, the lights...it's about a Savior who came into this world to be with us and I hope as we continue this tradition, my daughter will remember that above all else.
I love our new tradition and I can't wait to do make Happy Birthday Jesus cupcakes again this year and the next and the next...
- The Nativity Story
The movie, The Nativity Story, does what historical fiction does best - it brings to life an event from our past and reads between the lines. In this particular movie, it shows how God used ordinary people for extraordinary purposes.
The Christmas Story From the Book of Luke
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed,who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear.
And the angel said to them,
“Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another,
“Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”
And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb. Luke 2:1-21