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Happy Birthday Jesus

January 1st, 2007 · No Comments


Christmas took a back seat this December to other excitement. That’s okay. It’s not a sacred day, and it’s hard to compete with a visit from a favorite uncle, an amazing wedding and a record power outage, the three weekends prior to the holiday. So my reflections this year are simple and short.

Speaking of Christmas songs, I associate Happy Birthday Jesus (performed by Brooklyn Tabernacle children’s choir), with the first person I heard sing it, one of Ted’s cousins’s kids. At that holiday season, S. must have been about five years old as she sang the solo in her church. Newlyweds, Ted and I went with his parents to see her perform.

It seems like yesterday but it must have been quite a few years ago. For now this cousin, S., is in college. A card came this year with a picture of her with her boyfriend at school. Remembering the little girl I saw singing, I feel old.

Each holiday season, the cards come with pictures, and I realize my mind is frozen in time. Babies are now in high school. Little kids are now in college. People who were parents when I was a kid are now grandparents. A few times over. And some of us young’uns even have gray hair.

This season I was struck by the juxtaposition in the celebrations here in our American holiday. Christmas is Jesus’ birthday or so we say. Our family makes him a cake. This year was Abigail’s turn and due to a busy weekend, it was a simple dessert with MnM decoration.

Yet as we wish Jesus a happy birthday, we are all getting older, marking time with another Christmas, and soon the new year. The kids that once were babies now decorate cakes. And sadly, some are losing loved ones, as we did years ago when my brother died during the holidays.

We mark our mortality, sending photos and cards, documenting the passage of time. All while we are celebrating the birth of someone Immortal.

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