The hope of the Christmas story is Emmanuel: God with us. In this word we see that God ‘took on flesh and dwelt among us’ (John 1:14).
A simple way to share this theology with littles is throwing a Birthday Party for Jesus! What toddler is not obsessed with their birthday? My kids start talking about their next birthday the minute their last one ended, and they keep talking about it all year long. A beautiful way to share the truth that God came and lived a life just like us is sharing that Jesus had a birthday.
You can make your birthday party for Jesus as simple or elaborate as you want. Invite all your friends, or simply have a family party. But keep reading to see what we did, and maybe it will inspire some party planning in your future.
I wanted some bilingual decorations for our party, so ended up making my own. You can find my decoration kit, full of cupcake toppers, party hats, a banner, invitations, and more at the link below:
I then simply ran to dollar tree and grabbed paperware that matched the rest of our decorations.
Clearly birthday cake is the number one food item needed for a happy birthday. I made a simple box mix we picked up on a grocery run. Most kids don’t care. They just know it’s cake! If food allergies are a concern I highly recommend Simple Mills Cake Mix and Simple Mills Frosting. They are both gluten, dairy, and corn free, plus are delicious making them an easy solution when expecting friends with food allergies. An inclusive option like this makes it easy for everyone to participate without worry or feeling othered.
You could also choose to make a snack mix. Our Nativity Snack Mix is on theme and delicious.
For a festive drink, make star punch. Mix 1 part ginger ale with 1 part apple cider. Garnish with orange slices, cinnamon sticks, and star anise.
What birthday is complete without presents? And in this case the gifts are for Christ. We asked all of our friends to bring a gift to donate to Christmas with Dignity, and organization our family supports every year. However, it is always more fun to join with friends when prepping donations. Other ‘gifts for Jesus’ could be:
- Have everyone bring a gift to donate to Toys for Tots or another organization looking for toy donations this time of year.
- Go Christmas caroling at a local nursing home.
- Pack Baby Care Kits for Convoy of Hope.
- Pack Welcome Kits for Border Perspective.
- Collect non-perishable food items and hygiene supplies for your local food bank.
- Have everyone bring a pack of diapers to donate to the National Diaper Bank.
- Deliver Poinsettias to friends you know could use some holiday cheer.
- Together make a meal for new parents in your community. Have everyone bring part of the meal.
- Have everyone bring a brand new pair of pajamas to donate to The Pajama Project.
Fun and Games
If you decide to do a service project like making a meal or packing kits, that will probably take up most of your time. However, if everyone brings gifts to donate, you may want to plan a few games.
- Piñata: Piñatas are a classic birthday party game in Mexico, and they are also often used at Christmas time. At Christmas time, when we break open the piñata we remember our blessings from above, and the most precious blessing: Jesus.
- Coloring Table: Wrap a card table with Coloring Wrapping Paper. Then set out crayons for littles to decorate the paper.
- Pin the Star on the Nativity: In our Birthday Pack, we included a ‘Pin the Star on the Nativity’ game. Simply print, and play like ‘pin the tail on the donkey.’
- Bingo: Bingo is always a winner over here, and this Christmas Bingo just looks perfect for playing with a group of littles.
- The Star: Who doesn’t love watching a holiday movie? The Star would be perfect for watching at a Birthday Party for Jesus.
- How Do You Wish Jesus A Happy Birthday: You may choose to have a storytime. How Do You Wish Jesus A Happy Birthday is a fun story answering the big question. For us it was a great tie-in as we prayed for the items we donated.
I love a good party favor. For our party, I picked up some color your-own nativity stickers, a Christmas ornament, a pack of crayons, and a Happy Birthday Jesus cup for each friend. However here are some other ideas that would be fun:
- 3 Kings Bath Bombs
- Color your-own nativity stickers
- Mini Nativity Playdough Kits
- Happy Birthday Jesus ornament craft
- Happy Birthday Jesus Fruit Snacks
- Happy Birthday Jesus Activity Pads
- Happy Birthday Jesus cups
- Candy Canes with a Legend of the Candy Cane Tag
- Piñata Candy
We had a blast at our party. If you give this a try, let me know how it goes.