One of our family traditions for Christmas, is to have a birthday cake for Jesus. We started this when our children were younger, and have continued it through the years. This is a way to focus on the real reason that we celebrate Christmas, which is the birth of Christ. No matter how many desserts we have, one of them is always a birthday cake.
1. Incorporate Christian symbols into the cake such as:
You can also share the story of Christ's birth by reading Luke 2:1-20.
2. Keep it simple
Don't get overwhelmed trying to make a perfect cake. Whether it is homemade or store bought, just pick your favorite cake, and put "Happy Birthday Jesus" on it. The kind of cake you have is not as important as the memories that you are making and what you are teaching your children. Be sure to include them in the decorating.
Source: Ambrosia Bakery
My children decorated this cake all by themselves! They had a lot of fun doing it. As you can see, they ran out of room, and had to put Jesus's name on the side of the cake. There was a lesson to be learned from that also. (Always have room for Jesus!) :)
No matter where we spend Christmas, we always bring a birthday cake, and sing "Happy Birthday to Jesus"!
What are your family Christmas traditions?
"For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a savior, which is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:11 KVJ
What comes to mind when you think of Thanksgiving?
Pumpkin pie, turkey with all the trimmings, and spending time with family?
But,Thanksgiving is more than food, family, and fun.
It's about giving thanks to God!
When the Pilgrims first arrived in America, they endured many hardships. Yet, they still set aside a time to celebrate and give thanks to God. Among the things that they were grateful for were a bountiful harvest, new friendships, and the freedom to practice their Christian faith.
Often at Thanksgiving, we can get so focused on the planning, the cooking, and the busyness surrounding the holiday, that we don't take time to thank God. This year make a deliberate effort to focus on the true meaning of Thanksgiving.
Here are some simple and fun ways to keep Christ in Thanksgiving!
1. Pray - Our family tradition is to stand in a circle, holding hands, and pray together before we eat.
2. Scripture - Have each person read a Scripture out loud about thanks.
3. Thanking - Incorporate some thanking ideas like these:
Have each guest write on a piece of paper what they are thankful for. Then when you sit at the table, have them pass around the jar and read one out loud.
What you'll need: pumpkin and marker
Write your thanks on a pumpkin. Start writing on it before Thanksgiving. Each day, add a few things to the list. Just turn the pumpkin and write them down one after the other. This is fun for kids to do.
Thanksgiving memory book
Each year have guests write in the book, including their name and what they are thankful for. Put a group picture of everyone that was there. You will enjoy looking back through the years.
Supplies: tablecloth and markers
Have each guest sitting at the table write their name, the year, and what they are thankful for. The younger children can even draw pictures of what they are grateful for. Use it each year and have memories of who was there.
Thanksgiving blessing mix
What you'll need: treat bags and candies
Give your guests a blessing bag full of treats. Include a card with the symbolic meaning for each item. You can download and print this label card at ihavenogreaterjoy .
4. Read a book together which tells the true reason that we celebrate Thanksgiving.
5. Movies - Watch a movie that tells the Thanksgiving story.
6. Share the love of Christ - Invite someone who doesn't have family to join your celebration. (college student, co-worker, neighbor). Bring food to a homebound person. Volunteer at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter.
This year as you celebrate Thanksgiving, take time to thank God for your blessings.
I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart;
I will tell of all Your marvelous works. Psalm 9:1 NKJV
What are some Thanksgiving traditions that you have?
related link: Thanksgiving word puzzles
How should Christians handle Halloween? Should we participate at all?
Halloween provides a unique opportunity to reach the lost with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Many of the kids (and parents) who come to your door on Halloween, may never have heard about Jesus. They may never have read the Bible or gone to church. We should be using this opportunity to tell them about Christ!
1.) Pray in advance for God to give you the right words to say, and for Him to open the hearts and minds of unbelievers, so that they are receptive to God's word.
2.) Tell them about Christ - Even if you only have a short time to talk to them, you may be planting a seed. Do this with gentleness and respect.
3.) Scripture - The Bible says that God's word will not return void.
Isaiah 55:11 " ... it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."
-Have a sign by your door with a Bible verse on it.
-In addition to candy, hand out pieces of paper with Scripture on them.
4.) Include Bible tracts with the candy that you give them. (Put them together in a little treat bag or rubber band the Bible tract around the candy.)
5.) Better yet, don't wait for them to come to your door. Go out to the streets to meet them. Tell them about Christ! Invite them to your church!
In Mark 16:15 Jesus said, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature."
This would be a great way to start!
Here is an example of a Bible tract.
The inside tells a short story about salvation. You could also include crayons for them to color the booklet.
This isn’t about putting up Halloween decorations, taking your children trick or treating, or promoting Halloween in anyway. This is about whether or not we should answer the doorbell when it rings on Halloween night. We can either turn the lights out and not engage them, or we can reach out to tell them about Christ! There is a difference between participating in Halloween, and recognizing that it is a mission field. If we don’t tell them about Christ, who will?
Pray and ask God what to do. There are many ways that He can use us!
-He may call some to go on the streets and preach the Gospel.
-Others to open the door and give out Christian literature.
-Others to keep the door closed and pray. We need mighty prayer warriors!
-Others to abstain from Halloween, altogether. Perhaps they have a history of dabbling in the occult, and it would be too great of a temptation for them.
Remember, this may be the only opportunity that some of these people have to hear about salvation through Jesus Christ.
Instead of turning the porch light off this Halloween, shine the light of Jesus!
Jesus said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few…” Matt. 9:37-38
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes..." Romans 1:16
Thanksgiving is not very far away!
Have fun with these free Thanksgiving word puzzles!
Click here to print them.