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Decorating Jesus’ birthday cake – a Smith family tradition
This poster image for the 2010 campaign, Baby Scan Jesus, is from ChurchAds.org
When I put this photo on my Facebook page and personal blog last year and this year, some readers thought that I was announcing that I have been blessed with another precious soul to add to the other 4 blessings sent from above.
While indeed our family and friends would be excited to welcome a new child into our hearts and home, this photo is announcing that a child more precious and more blessed than any that ever was born in the past, present, or future will soon be here. This child, Jesus Christ, came into the world to not only change history, but to change hearts.
In the Old Testament in Isaiah 9:6 it was prophesied that “for unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
In the New Testament, this prophecy was fulfilled with the Christmas story and the telling of Jesus’ birth (Matthew 1:18-25, Luke 2:1-14, Luke 2:15-20). According to many historians, Jesus’ birthday may not have been on Dec. 25, but our family doesn’t celebrate whether the birthdate is accurate or not, but rather we celebrate who this day is for.
This year, as in years past, I will look forward to celebrating Christmas (Old English: Crīstesmæsse, literally “Christ‘s Mass“) with my family by attending Christmas Eve Mass which is always so beautiful with all the sacred hymns, candles, and bright red poinsettias.
Another tradition we do as a family is make a birthday cake for Jesus and sing “Happy Birthday to Jesus!” My children love this tradition as they decorate the cake with lots of icing and multi-colored sprinkles.
The tradition of the birthday cake helps our children remember that beyond all the secularism of Christmas there is a deeper, more sacred meaning of Christmas which is the celebration of when “the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us” (Jn 1:14). It has been a joy to keep Christ in CHRISTmas by continuing this family tradition!
As Catholic Christians, our family is called to give to God’s son more than what can be found at a store or put into a package. Our faith calls us to give the greatest gift of all, our hearts.
Yes, the Son is on his way, the Prince of Peace, the Lord of Lords, the King of Kings, Emmanuel (“God with us”). After four weeks of lighting our Advent candles and preparing for the coming of our Lord born in a manger over 2,00o years ago, it is almost time to light birthday candles, celebrate the joy of the Christmas season, and announce to the world that the Son is here!