Reflections by the Sea: Happy Birthday, Jesus

Published 6:31 am Sunday, December 25, 2022

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By Betsy Ore Glass

Excerpt from newest book release “Christmas Traditions” 

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. – Luke 2:11 ESV

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In an attempt to balance all of the Santa Claus hype at Christmas, I made an effort to bring in Jesus. My young grandson was taking note and from Santa wrapping paper, TV, movies and more he was being inundated with images of that “Jolly Old Man!” What could I do to move his attention to Jesus and the “Reason for the Season?”

When our family gets together on the holidays, it is Christmas Eve dinner at my house and then we rotate to other homes so everyone gets to host a portion of the celebration. “What if,” I thought, “I ordered a ‘Happy Birthday Jesus’ cake and we would sing Happy Birthday at dinner? This would surly show our little person that Jesus was worth celebrating and was all important.”

So a few weeks before Christmas I was diligent in calling the bakery, being specific in the size and color of the cake, carefully attending to every detail. I was so pleased that for a little person who was barely in preschool, he would see that our family loved and celebrated Jesus … and yes, Santa too. It was a beginning.

The days leading up to Christmas were hectic that year, as I recall, and time got away from me. The menu was planned, table was set, presents wrapped, house was Christmas clean. You get the idea. The evening of our Christmas Eve dinner I was so happy that I had seemed to think of everything and the evening would be just as I had hoped. Our little Jack came dressed in a dinosaur tie to match his little dress shirt. He was filled with awe and excitement. A wonder-filled night was to unfold. The meal was superb and we started serving desserts. Something was missing. What was it? And then it dawned on me.

I had forgotten to pick up the cake from the bakery and now it was closed. Oh no! No one but me knew of my mistake, but the rest of the evening I muttered to myself “… so now I am THAT person that forgets Jesus!! … at Christmas no less!!” Well the bakery must have had a chuckle over that and after Christmas I called to say how sorry I was. The lady on the other end of the phone said “no worries.” All the desserts that had not been picked up had been given to staff to take home to share and enjoy. I offered to pay and she said no. How could I make this right? The fact was I couldn’t! So now, in subsequent years, we might forget a lot of things, but our little tribute to Jesus and his birthday cake is front and center and never to be forgotten again. P.S. My grandson Jack now understands the meaning of Christmas and expects and enjoys our little cake and singing. He gets to blow out the candle. Mission accomplished … but oh my, I am still THAT person!

Wishing you and your family a very merry and blessed Christmas.

Betsy Ore Glass has long-standing ties to the Outer Banks. From Virginia Beach, her family bought a vacation cottage in the 60s and her love of the area began. Later in the 90s, Betsy and her husband bought a weekend cottage and introduced the area to their children. Then Betsy’s parents retired to KDH where the family gathered often. Reach her at To learn more about her books, visit