When my oldest son was about five years old, we went to a “Happy Birthday, Jesus!” party at the church we were attending. The pastor’s wife read the book My Birthday, Jesus’ Birthday by Holly Davis. It was the first time I had heard the story, but I really liked it at the time.
A couple of years later, we were traveling to visit family when we stopped for a break at a shopping center with outlet stores. In one of those stores, I found that same book on sale and purchased it for our family. And it’s been one of my favorite Christmas books ever since.
The story is actually a comparison between “my” birthday and Jesus’ birthday, or Christmas. On the left side of each spread, the narrator tells about the time she was born; for example, on one page she talks about how her parents carefully thought about and chose her name. The right side of the spread, then, compares it with the time when Jesus was born, as God told Mary and Joseph what the baby’s name would be. The narrator was born in a hospital; Jesus was born in a stable. The narrator’s grandparents came to visit when she was born; the shepherds came to visit the new baby Jesus.
The book continues in this way to the last page, which features a big birthday cake with the words “Happy Birthday, Jesus!” on it. The text, the layout, and the illustrations all make this an ideal book for teaching little ones about Christmas. We’ve used ours so much over the years that some of the pages are coming out.
So today I searched the Internet for another copy, and sadly realized…My Birthday, Jesus’ Birthday is out of print! The only ones I found for sale were way over-priced. I did find it at a few libraries, however; even if your library doesn’t carry it, you could probably get a copy from an inter-library loan service. Perhaps Zondervan (the original publisher) will print it again, but until they do, I’ll be keeping an eye out for a used copy. This book really is a great find!