Raise your hand if you are among the unfortunate ones who have a December birthday. Those of you born in the other eleven months don’t have a clue. Who else gets “combination birthday/Christmas presents?” Nope, that is reserved for us December babies. I can give you a list of such combo-presents: every bike I ever received, a fancy cowgirl outfit (with boots), a black and white TV for my teenage bedroom….yes, my parents would do the combo thing when they were debating a somewhat expensive present that they were struggling to afford. Bless them!!
On the other hand, I do share a birthday with Walt Disney. I found that out when I was in High School, and have always loved it. It makes me happy to share a birthday with a man of his creative genius and genuine expertise in story telling. Happy birthday to us, Walt!
The most important birthday in December of course is Jesus’ birthday. I had a childhood practice of either staying up past midnight on Christmas Eve or waking up early on Christmas morning to sing Happy Birthday to Jesus before the day began. I would look out the window from my bed at 5 Chatham Rd. and see the street light shining in the dark, and sing to baby Jesus. More often than not, I could see the snow falling on Christmas morning in that light, and snow on Christmas was EVERYTHING. This is possibly the only benefit of growing up in New Jersey.
I wonder what Christmas would look like if we had kept it as just a birthday party for Jesus, instead of the giftpalooza-partypalooza-spendtoomuchpalooza-shoptillyoudroppalooza that it has become. Imagine it: we would wake up, talk about how wonderful Jesus is, plan a nice meal, bake a birthday cake, have the celebration, blow out the candles, and call it a day. And it would truly be just about him.
How can we make Christmas just about Jesus again?
First, we can care about the things that he cares about. The widow, the orphan, the children crying for their parents at our country’s border…he cares about that. Giving to the needy and sharing our abundance is something he cares about. He cares about the people who are ill, in hospital beds, or nursing homes. He cares about things that are lost: souls, marriages, teenagers, car keys, runaway pets, and your will to resist temptation. He cares about the planet his father created. He cares about YOU.
Micah 6:8 Amplified Bible (AMP)
8 He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
Except to be just, and to love and to diligently practice kindness (compassion),
And to walk humbly with your God, setting aside any overblown sense of
importance or self-righteousness?
This Christmas, let us focus on getting Jesus the perfect birthday present. Let us dive deep into his word and grow closer in our relationship with him. Let us stand up for justice, diligently practice kindness, love one another, offer compassion, and be humble before him. Or, as Christina Rossetti once wrote:
What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a Shepherd
I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man
I would do my part,
Yet what I can I give Him,
Give my heart. (In the Bleak Midwinter)
Happy Birthday, Jesus!
Mountain Snow by Mary Anne Mong Cramer.
Thank you, Betsy for another great message ❤. Hope you had a wonderful birthday! I did-mine was the third 😁
Hi, Betsy, I can relate! Even though I was born in July, nowhere near Christmas, Being a twin also qualified us sisters the “one present for two” option: SHARE. one bike between us, one stereo, one bed, One birthday cake. Actually the cake was for three of us and we had cake on his, our brother’s birthday, which was 4 days before ours. So, while these weren’t combination presents, it really was like half presents! 🤣. But on the other hand, sharing a birthday with a sister is very cool, especially as we celebrate as adults! I was fortunate to grow up in a family that celebrated the birthday of our Christ. And we made sure we celebrated that above all else. It’s a great idea you mentioned about a birthday cake! I think I will make a cake this year for Jesus’ birthday and we all will sing to him! Thank you for your inspiring devotional! Sharon
Sent from my iPhone
What a wonderful memory, and how blessed you are to share everything with a sister. Let me know if you end up making that birthday cake. I would love to see a picture of it!
Bless your heart Betsy! You are love on two legs! I will say August ain’t bad cause Jesus is so easy to find on a bright day with a fishing pole in your hand being in beautiful world that God created.
August ain’t bad at all!
Raising hand. Entered this world 12/24/58.
And here’s Christina again. Love to her, too.
Love to you all.