The birthday cake made its first appearance when our children were young. I got the idea from a Christmas devotional I had been reading. The author was writing about her family's Christmas traditions, and the idea for the birthday cake was tucked in among the others. Every Christmas she baked a birthday cake for Jesus - a reminder to her young children of what we are celebrating.
That Christmas, after all the Christmas cookies had been safely stored away in tins awaiting the big day, I baked the birthday cake. Double layer - frosted in creamy chocolate. On Christmas Day, after the tumult of gift giving and feasting on the traditional lasagna dinner I slipped into the kitchen and put the candles on the cake.
A hush settled over the dining room as I walked in. We dimmed the lights and struck a match to light the candles. In the soft glow we sang "Happy Birthday dear Jesus."
It seemed such a simple thing - not very "spiritual" in comparison to some Advent traditions - but it did something to our hearts as we gazed at the brightly lit cake and sang a birthday song to the One who had given so much for us.
These days it is the youngest grandchildren who blow out the candles. There are more voices joining together to sing birthday wishes to the King of kings. And I am filled with gratitude - for each one, from the seven year old to the one who is in his nineties, holds Him in their heart. He has given us the most precious of gifts.
Happy Birthday Jesus!
linking to the High Calling writing project at Charity's blog
photo: courtesy of photobucket