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written by
Julie Miller Gorman

My long brown piggy-tails swung back and forth across my shoulders as I quietly snuck behind our Christmas tree, picking up the small, plastic mold of baby Jesus and cried, “Jesus, I’m so sorry I didn’t get you a present. Today is your birthday and I didn’t get you anything.” Tears flowed strongly, as my tender little heart yearned to do something special for Him. I know what I can do. I thought. And, without hesitation I began to softly sing…Happy Birthday to you…Happy Birthday to you…Happy Birthday dear Jesus…Happy Birthday to you.

Ahhhh, if only I could have the innocence of being six years old again.

As I reflect on that endearing Christmas memory, I think how precious I must have appeared to God. So many years have passed since that Christmas morning and unfortunately my passion often wanes by my needs, wants, and wishes. I often find myself asking, interceding, and longing for God to intervene on my behalf and forget to sing Him a simple melody of praise.

Yet, as Christmas Day approaches, somewhere inside me, lays the same tender heart of that six year old little girl who longs to honor God and offer Him a song….a song of thanks, a song of surrender, a song of dedication, a song of humility.

How about you? What are you preoccupied with?

Friend, as we prepare to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior…the day Jesus, “Immanuel, God with us” came in the flesh, let’s not miss our chance to offer God thanks. Let’s replace our worries, our what if’s, and our endless list of needs with a simple song of thanks.

“I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. My soul will boast in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together.”
Psalm 43:1-3
God longs for our affection. He longs to hear our song of love. So, will you join me? Let’s take a moment to GIVE THANKS for the wonderful hope He’s given us in Jesus.

Julie is the Executive Director of Women Inspired. She writes, produces, and hosts a weekly National Blog-Talk Radio Broadcast with CWA, one of the fastest growing women's networks on-line. Her transparent story-telling is sought after both nationally and internationally, inspiring women across the
world to "Discover, Develop, and Do Their God-given Purpose". Julie graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor's Degree in Bible. She is the author of What I Wish My Mother had Told Me about Marriage and has written articles for Proverbs 31 Magazine, Max Lucado's On-line Community Faithful Feet, Evangel, Light and Life, and several others. Julie's the founder and CEO of His Love Extended Ministries. Learn more about Julie, at:

Julie, thank you so much, dear friend. Your words bless my heart as I know they do my readers. It is always a gift to have you join me at my Nest. What precious memories and what beautiful words for us to tuck inside our hearts this time of year. May we keep our focus upon Him. Blessings to you.


LissaLou said…
What a sweet memory.

Having grown up in a home where Christmas was about Santa and gifts and Jesus only came in via Christmas songs on the record player (yep, that just dated me) or through a message in a Christmas cartoon such as Little Drummer Boy, I never really stopped to think about Christmas as a Christian holiday very much. It wasn't until about 4 years ago or so that through a similar story told by a co-worker that I understood that Christmas isn't just that Hallmark holiday. At an office Christmas luncheon we did a "round table" where everyone (about 50 of us) told one special holiday memory or tradition. A lot of people mentioned a favorite gift received, or the family gathering around the dinner table, some told of the first Christmas as they started their own family. I can't recall what I said, but I remember the tradition my friend Kent shared. Kent and his family celebrate like the rest of us do with a tree and songs, a special morning of opening gifts with their children. But after gifts are exchanged and the living room tidied up a bit, the family makes their way to the kitchen to bake a cake. Each year they bake a cake, decorate it and after lunch they celebrate Jesus' birthday by singing Happy Birthday, offering gifts of praise and sharing in a piece of cake made by the loving hands of their family.

That year upon hearing Kent tell his story, I realized that Christmas isn't just about Rudolph and Frosty. It isn't just about that new electric gadget that was purchased as a 40% discount while being irked on Black Friday. It's about something more simple and pure. It's something that is free, timeless and does not discriminate.

So if I were to tell of one special memory today, it would be of that day when my friend Kent gave me a gift without knowing it.
Robin Prater said…
Melissa, thank you for sharing your heart with my readers. I love that. This year we will have a cake for Jesus!!

As you well know, my Christmas memories are the same as yours really. No Jesus, no Christmas story to ponder over and no prayers.

Some have had the gift of living their entire lives surrounded by a family of faith. I will never take for granted what I have surrounding me now and the memories of faith for our Children to hold on to.

This year can be a new year, a new beginning, with new traditions to be made.


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