Here in North America, it's Santa who delivers the presents. When I was little, back in Germany, it was all different. On Christmas Eve, in the late afternoon, us children were sent to our rooms, not come out until we were called. Baby Jesus was on his way, and a loud noise, a nosey look would scare him away. While we were waiting in our rooms, my parents would put up the tree in the living room. They'd decorate it with glass ornaments, real tinsel and lots of candles. Then they'd put the presents under the tree, and my dad, stepping out into the corridor and ring a little bell. That was the signal that Baby Jesus had just come! We'd come out of our rooms and creep up the stairs, not to scare him away, and when we stepped into the living room, it was all so beautiful! The tree all aglow, Christmas music playing, and the presents laying there for us! Oh, the magic!
Then, when we were older and the secret of Baby Jesus was lifted, we would help decorate the tree on December 23rd. And on Christmas Eve, we'd go to church, and then have dinner, and only then, after dinner, we were allowed to open the presents. When it was time for bed, I'd take my toys into my room with me and put them next to my bed, and I would keep looking at them until I'd fall asleep, smiling.
Now I have my own child, and here in North America, there is no Baby Jesus. Santa brings the presents in the night, when we're sleeping. But the magic of Christmas is still strongest for me on Christmas Eve, after the sun goes down. When the tree is lit, and the Christmas music is playing, then I know that Baby Jesus is coming, delivering presents. They're not toys or electronics. He gives me memories, moments of times long gone, when I was little, when I believed. And it's then when I can feel his presence, when Christmas Eve is again magical, more magical than any other night of the year.
I wish for the good memories in your heart to come alive for you this Christmas. Enjoy the time you spend with your family, your friends, or even by yourself. Christmas is magical, and if you let it, it always will be.