What is Christmas really a celebration of? It might take you a second to get the answer right. With all the holiday glitter and holiday gift frenzy, many people have forgotten why the holiday season was originally celebrated at all.
The day is meant to be a celebration of the birth of the Savior. Not ham or turkey, not presents.
This year, you may want to start a new tradition with your family. Welcome baby Jesus into the world every year with a special birthday cake! Children will remember the care you took to do this every year.
Why not start the tradition this year? Gather friends and children around to bake for the Lord. You can have fun planning the details and collecting all the ingredients.
You can give everyone a special job and play holiday music as you prepare the batter. While the cake is baking in the oven, you might choose to have someone read from the nativity story from the Bible and refresh why you are baking the special treat in the first place!
Sure, you can go out and purchase a cake if you're short on time. It's the thought behind it that matters. Take the time to host a little celebration for the Son amidst the holiday chaos. Young children especially love parties and this gives them another reason to celebrate before the big day arrives.
The party should focus on Jesus and not on holiday gift sets. This is an optimal time to teach children to be thankful for Jesus and that he is the real reason there is even a celebration at all.
You can even point out that the word Christmas contains the word Christ and that it's a time to honor him.
Your scrumptious dessert might include something like a manger scene. These can be fun to make out of marzipan or fondant.
You can roll individual balls of either and create animals like the donkey that Mary rode into Bethlehem on. You can make fencing and rocks for the manger cave. Make a Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus by shaping them and adding in eyes with a pencil point.
Sprinkle coconut on the manger floor for hay or if your supplies are limited, just use broken strands of dry spaghetti. Let kids use icing in different colors to make clothes for the people. Don't forget to add shepherds and sheep as well. A good resource for your manger scene might be to look on Google for a manger scene and base your scenery around that.
If you don't have the time to do an elaborate manger scene (although it's not hard and tons of fun), why not shape the cake like a baby? Use one round circular pan for the head and one square pan for the body.
When the pastries come out of the oven, let them cool and then place them on a big tray with the circle at the top and the square below it. Frost and decorate circular desserts as baby Jesus' face. Decorate the square ones as a blanket. You can do this with any icing colors found at any baking department in the supermarket. Or go to craft stores and visit the candy making aisle. They'll have every pan and icing color you could ever need. Colors have gotten so rich and lush these days that it's easy to create flesh tones and just about any shade that you desire.
It's fun to start a new tradition. And this is one that your children will remember and carry into their own families some day.
If you don't want to make a birthday cake, but you want to get the same idea across, there are plenty of other birthday treats that you can make.
Consider treats like cupcakes, a large cookie treat, rice krispy treats, brownies or even an ice cream dessert! The options are definitely out there for exploring if you want to go that route.
Just don't forget to add candles or some sort of birthday theme to your treats to make it special!
Every year when I was little, my mom would host her side of the family at our house for the holidays. And each year, my aunt would make a special birthday cake just for Jesus.
It was a really fun tradition that we carried on for years. Not only did we have the confection, but we'd also sing Happy Birthday as well! The candles would be lit, and everyone would celebrate the day.
It was a big deal, and for good reason!
Not big on sweets or baking? That's okay too. You don't have to bake to celebrate. There are plenty of other things you can do!
A few other ways to celebrate might be:
No matter how you choose to celebrate, as long as you are making a point to remember the reason for the season, your holiday efforts will be a success.
If you want to take this new family tradition even further, you can add another tradition along to it. What is a party without gifts? After you finish off your delicious cake, it's time to move on and open one of Jesus' gifts.
This is the second part of the tradition. You can have the gift be a meaningful ornament, or a devotional, even a Bible-based movie! Whatever you choose it to be, remember that it's going to carry on to next year, and the next year, and the next year, so make it something that you'll enjoy (and the kids will enjoy) for years to come.
There are so many different kinds of birthday confections out there, it can be confusing when it comes down to what kind you should make! Well don't over-think it.
There are plenty of simple recipes out there that everyone is sure to love! Here are a few of the most popular kinds:
And many more. If you're really concerned about picky eaters, it's okay to take a poll before you start baking. Then at least everyone will be happy with the end result! If all else fails, there's nothing against lots of little different types on hand!