It was also their Happy Birthday, Jesus! party. This is such a sweet celebration. The entire elementary school meets in Fellowship Hall. Each class has a birthday cake, scripture is read, carols are sung and the principal tells a story about the different symbols of Christmas. We end by singing Happy Birthday, Jesus and going off to our individual classrooms. Truly a sight to behold
Let's start with Jesus' birthday cake. There is significant symbolism involved in it. We started this tradition with our boys when they were little (well, they're still little - only 6 and 8!) and it now continues at their school. First you bake a chocolate cake. The dark cake represents our sin. Then you frost it with white icing. This represents the cleansing of sin through Jesus on the cross. Then we place red M&Ms on top in the shape of a cross representing His death and resurrection.
The cake is a bit "homemade" looking. Not all fancy, like a store bought cake. But I labored over it non-the-less! In fact the morning of the party, I'm driving the boys to school with the cake sitting on the armrest in the middle of the front seat. I stop at the stoplight and one of the boys backpacks falls forward and hits the armrest. I plainly told the boys (as calmly as I could) that heads would role if they messed up the cake! Oops! Sorry Jesus. Sorta lost sight of what we're celebrating! But it's okay...I'm back on track now!
Next, the teachers take turns reading the Christmas story from the Bible. Luke 2:1-20, Matthew 2:1-2 and Matthew 2:9-11.
Then the principal tells a story similar to this one.
Finally we light the birthday candle and sing Happy Birthday, Jesus.
If you've never heard this song before, you're in for a real treat. It chokes me up every time. Now imagine Pre-K through 5th grade kids singing this in a darkened room lit only by the candles on Jesus' birthday cake! Grab some tissues and press play.
This is such a wonderful tradition that really puts Christmas in the right perspective.
Here's wishing you and yours a blessed, Christ-centered Christmas!