12 Moms of Christmas

“Happy Birthday Jesus” by: Tiffany Gurken

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The following is apart of the Guest Post Series entitled, “The 12 Moms of Christmas: How we Cultivate Healing Tradition and Advent Throughout the Season.” 

The 2018 series invites you to follow along as 12 moms share how as mothers they each are cultivating a home in which they strive to bring joy, peace, and healing to their families during the time of year that often is busy, chaotic, and stressful. Enjoy the stories, devotionals, and heart talk as you reflect on this time of year. 

Birthdays in our home are filled with lots of joy and celebration, as is typical in most homes.  Our most celebrated tradition for birthdays is decorating the cake! It’s interesting how this tradition started and expanded in our family. 

Initially, we started making birthday cakes to save money, but it has become a tradition the kids look forward to just as much as their presents.  As a homeschooling family of five kids we needed to save money on birthday cakes. I had gotten caught up with buying birthday cakes from the bakery, and just thought that was the only option.  However, when my twin boys were born and I had to buy two birthday cakes at the same time it hit me that I needed to find a cheaper way to celebrate.  So I bought the cake ingredients, frosting, and food coloring. I baked the cake but was running late and asked my husband to frost it.  When I came back to the kitchen he had finished frosting both cakes. One cake was decorated with a baseball game and the other was decorated with a football field. Thus, the cake decorating challenge began!


Our baking and decorating duo has grown into a birthday tradition the kids look forward to.  Just like they tell us what they want for presents, they tell us what they want on their cake.  My husband has mastered decorating cakes with mermaids, pokeman, sports and many other ideas for the last 7 years.


It was another light bulb five years ago when my oldest child asked why we didn’t make Jesus a birthday cake. Afterall, it is his birthday! We LOVE and celebrate his birth, but had never thought about celebrating with a birthday cake, nonetheless signing Him, “Happy Birthday.”  And so, the tradition of making Jesus’ birthday cake and singing Him, “Happy Birthday,” began!! The twist is, the kids decorate the cake!!!  Even if we are out of town, the kids insist on bringing the cake batter and frosting to make Him a cake.


The birth of Jesus is an incredible gift to us!  Christ continues to gives us gifts in all sizes, big and small.  It’s beautiful to reflect on some of the gifts we have received, especially the accidental blessings He has in store for us.  As you approach the birth of Jesus, may your blessings be rich in all sizes and may you sing loudly, “Happy Birthday,” to Jesus!

About Tiffany Gerken

Tiffany is a home school mom of five kids! She worked the corporate life as a paralegal with hopes of one day staying home and homeschooling. Her dream came true when she had twins, number 4 & 5! She feels blessed to have a large family and be able to home-school. Her families home-school philosophy is faith, family & academics. They reside in Chaska, MN but are Iowa Hawkeye residents at heart!


With such a large family she’s had many seasons of motherhood challenges and joys. She currently loves being able to specialize school to the strengths of her children. She finds that this is bittersweet because it creates more work for her as their teacher. because not one size of schooling fits all of her children. A child that loves audio contradicts the special needs child that has low muscle tone. Ultimately she finds delight in encouraging her children in their strengths and weaknesses