“I think it is more important to celebrate a birthday than a successful exam, a promotion, or a victory. Because to celebrate a birthday means to say to someone: Thank you for being you. Celebrating a birthday is exalting life and being glad for it. On a birthday we do not say: Thanks for what you did, or said, or accomplished. No, we say: Thank you for being born and being among us.

Henri  Nouwen, Here and Now

birthday cake

My sister-in-law had a birthday this weekend. We all went out to eat together, kids gathered on one end with crayons and cups with lids. After the meal, we went back to her house, piled on couches in their living room, offered her gifts and listened to stories.

We didn’t make a whole day of it or go over the top with decoration. But we did get together. And there was definitely singing.

We do this same type of simple gathering for every birthday in the family, from the littles to the bigs, both on my husband’s side of the family as well as on mine. Every time we sing Happy Birthday, I tear up. I can’t help it. And now, after reading Henri Nouwen, I understand a little more of why.

You are here. You are you. Thank you for being among us.

It’s the second Tuesday in December, and that means we’re unwrapping the lovely, the messy, and the unexpected.

This is your life, where you are right now, the things you hold in your hand. Whether you are in a season of work or rest, celebration or grief, take a moment to see where you are, who you’re with, and what might be worth unwrapping. Will you take a moment and unwrap your moments here with us? Need help linking up? This post should answer your questions.

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