An Evangelistic Birthday Party for Jesus

Written by Darlene Schneider

What child doesn’t enjoy a birthday party? And whose birthday is more important than that of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ? Reaching children with the gospel involves meeting them on their level – speaking in terms they understand. By giving a fun and factual birthday party for Jesus, you can help children begin to understand the true meaning of Christmas.

Invitations

Who: Invite neighborhood children or your child’s classmates from school

When: Anytime in December before Christmas.

How:

  1. Party invitations can be just a note inserted in a Christmas card.
  2. Ornament invitations – Children will enjoy making ornament invitations by cutting out a round piece of paper decorated with crayons, sequins, stickers or old cut-up Christmas cards. The party information can be written on the back.
  3. Candy cane invitations – Have the children cut white paper into a wide candy cane shape. Color in the red stripes and write party information on the alternating white stripes.
  4. Christmas trees, stockings or gingerbread people can also be cut out of colored paper and decorated by you or your child.

Games

  1. Musical chairs
    Place chairs in a circle with their backs facing in. have one less chair than the number of people playing. Begin playing Christmas music and without watching the children, stop the music. Once the music stops each child finds a chair and sits down. The one left without a chair is out of the game. Remove one more chair and continue to play the game until there is one person left – the winner.
    Alternative:
    Pile on musical chairs. Play the same way as the traditional game but instead of the child being out, they find a lap to sit on. Children pile higher and higher as chairs are removed. End the game before piles get dangerously high. Children love this unique twist to the game and nobody gets left out.
  2. Charades
    Have the children act out parts of the Christmas story OR have them act out the symbols of the season (e.g. lighting a candle, wrapping a present etc.) Take turns pulling an act out of a hat with everyone guessing each item.
  3. Pin the candle on the cake
    Place a large picture of a birthday cake on the wall. Write “HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS” on the cake and pass out pre-cut candles to the children. Have them write their names on the candles. Blindfold one child at a time and spin them around a couple of times. Make sure they are faces towards the cake and have them pin the candle on the cake. The child with the candle closest to the cake’s center is the winner.
  4. Musical presents
    Before the party wrap a small present in ten or more layers of paper fastening each layer with masking tape. Sit the children in a circle and as you play Christmas music, have the children pass the gift along to the person on their left. When the music stops, the child holding the gift unwraps one layer. The child who unwraps the final layer of paper wins the gift.
    Alternative:
    Wrap a gift that can be shared (e.g. candy, stickers etc.) Then the person who unwraps the final layer can hand out a treat to each child.
  5. Ornament odyssey
    Hide Christmas ornaments around the party area. Give each child a box or bag and set a timer for five minutes. Have the children search for the hidden ornaments, placing the ones they find in their box. At the end of the game, the children can decorate a tree at the party or take their ornaments home to decorate their own tree.
    Alternative: Hide chocolate Christmas balls which they can take home in a goodie bag.

Activities

  1. Act out the Christmas story
    Pick the children to be different characters and have props ready for them. Have them act out the story as you tell it simply in your own words, read it from the Bible or read it from a Christmas storybook.
  2. Watch the Christmas story on video
    The Nativity by Hanna Barbera or Superbook’s Christmas videos are excellent choices. These can be rented from Christian bookstores.
  3. Use an object lesson to present the gospel through the symbols of the season:
    A yellow star for God’s love.
    A dark ornament for sin
    A red cross for Jesus’ death on the cross
    A snowflake for the clean life Jesus gives
    A green Christmas tree for growth
  4. Sing Christmas carols with the kids.

Gifts

  1. You could have children bring a small gift for a gift exchange or bring canned goods or a toy for a needy family in the area or for the food bank.
  2. Have a special kind of gift exchange where each child thinks of something he or she would like to do for Jesus by helping another person. Examples could be helping to dry the dishes, lending a favorite toy to a brother or sister, sending a card to a shut-in etc. Help the children write the idea on a slip of paper and wrap it in a small box. They can then be given to the person for whom the special deed will be done.

Refreshments

  1. Birthday cake for Jesus
    One idea is to make an Angel food cake in a Bundt pan. Then place a tall, fat candle inside the hole in the center of the cake. Light the candle and sing “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” to Jesus.
  2. Cupcakes with sprinkles and a green birthday candle in each. Place it on a red doily for serving OR arrange them in the shape of a Christmas tree on a large cookie sheet.
  3. Fun finger food
    Cut the shapes of the symbols of the season out of slices of cheese, luncheon meats, bread etc. for the children to enjoy.
  4. Red or green jello
    Put into 5 oz. Paper cups and refrigerate. Before serving, top with whipped cream.

Ending the party

  1. Have everyone pick a shepherd’s staff (candy cane) from your tree. Explain to them that the shepherds were the first to come visit the Baby Jesus. Candy canes so prominent in our holiday season were originally meant to be shepherds’ staffs. The colors of the candy cane have a biblical meaning. White stands for the holiness and purity of the Baby, red symbolizes the blood of Jesus shed for us in His death and green pictures the new life we have in Christ.
  2. Include a kids’ tract with a goodie bag to give to the children as they leave.

You can find kids’ tracts and other evangelistic tools for children here.

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9 Responses to “An Evangelistic Birthday Party for Jesus”

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    That is great T Reese. What are some of the things that you guys have done that have been meaningful?

  • T Reese says:

    This is the 6th year my family is having a birthday party for Jesus. There is an open invitation and it is so much fun. My sister is stationed in Nebraska this year and is having a party on base. I have sent her your ideas, your ideas are very helpful and useful. Thanks

  • John, well the article doesn’t mention anything about decorating your tree with silver and gold. But more importantly, in this case the tree is not being used as an idol. The point of the Jeremiah passage is don’t worship idols. The practice of decorating a tree is something that was (is?) used for pagan rituals which Christians attempted to redeem for good purposes instead. A tree is just a tree, what makes it meaningful is how we use it.

  • John says:

    Potentially helpful if only you could very kindly solve the dichotomy presented by Jeremiah Chapter 10 a propos the specific command not to learn the way of the heathen (specifically, putting a tree inside the house and decorating it with silver and gold).

  • Brittany says:

    Thanks so much for the great ideas!! I procrastinated this year and didn’t look for outside “ideas” until the last minute (the party is tomorrow morning :( ) I’m going to do what I can, but I’m saving this page so I can use these ideas next year.

  • Dana says:

    I found your ideas very helpful in that I am planning a get together for the children of our house church, and we will have some of their friends coming. As Believers and Followers of Christ, any opportunities we have to share Christ and His Gospel should be taken advantage of.
    And Siva Ones, if you truly did read the Word you would have stated “When Jesus was on the Earth” rather than “if Jesus did exist.” I pretty much discounted anything you had to say after reading that as you presented your stance quite clearly.

  • Amanda says:

    December 25th just happens to be when the holiday is celebrated in our country (and others I believe). So, it seems reasonable to celebrate the birth of Jesus during this time when the hype is otherwise going on. It seems this would help the kids more easily make the connection between what you’re telling them and what they’re hearing about at school, etc. I’m sure you mean well but remember the heart of the idea. It’s celebrating Jesus’ birth. If you want to do that in April, or June or October I don’t think God really cares as long as you’re teaching truth about His son in love with the desire to help your child(ren) come to know HIm… wouldn’t you agree?

  • Most Christians are well aware of the fact that Jesus was not actually born on December 25. In fact we have an article on our site on exactly that topic: “Was Jesus Born on December 25?” The answer of course is probably no. Early Christians chose the date of the winter solstice on purpose because of a) Symbolism of new light of the winter solstice festival, and b) To provide a Christian alternative (replacement) to the old pagan festivals.

    However, regardless of when Jesus’ literal birth date was (sometime between 6BC and 4BC as you’ve noted) popular culture (Christian or not) celebrates it in December. In contrast to the materialist celebrations that normally occur at this time (even among Christians) this article presents an alternative for children that allows them to participate in the excitement of the holiday season while putting the emphasis back on the person of Jesus where it belongs.

  • Siva Ones says:

    “By giving a fun and factual birthday party for Jesus, you can help children begin to understand the true meaning of Christmas.”
    Right out the gate your not practicing what you preach, if Jesus did exist he would have been born in 4BC around April. Any biblical expert could tell you that. Dec. 25th is the winter solstice, celebrated by many pre Christianity “pagan” cultures. Learn your religion and actually read the bible word for word before celebrating or preaching falsely.

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