On the 24th of December, the Christkind goes around different houses to distribute gifts to children here in Germany. Yes, it is not the Santa Claus who gives the gifts, as the tradition with other countries. Here, the Santa Claus, or the St. Nicholas arrives earlier, on the 6th of December.
As tradition goes, they usually trim the trees on the 23th of December and the gifts would be left under the tree on the 24th of December.
Who is the Christkind? The Christkind is the representation of the Baby Jesus.
According to staylace.com
In German lore, the Christkind, or Christmas Angel leaves presents under the tree on Christmas Eve.
The Christkind was originally introduced in the 16th century by religious reformer Martin Luther; until then, it was always Saint Nicholas who brought gifts on December 6th. But as Protestants can’t have saints, Luther needed a new Christmas tradition for his followers. Luther wanted to move the gift-giving away from the Catholic holiday on December 6th, so he reinvented the tradition for Protestants by moving it to Christmas Eve and making the Christkind – really, the baby Jesus – the person who brought the gifts.
It was under the rule of the National Socialists that the image of today’s Christkind was ultimately anchored in the collective German mind. They built on Nuremberg’s tradition of producing tinsel angels, and in 1933, had a young girl in an angel costume open the city’s Christmas Market for the first time. After the Second World War, Nuremberg’s tinsel angels became simply the Nuremberg Christkind, and the figures were sold nation-wide.
The kids dont usually see the Christkind because the gifts are simply sneaked as quietly as possible into the house and placed under the Christmas tree. In our household, the Papa goes out with the kids for a stroll outside while I bring out all the gifts. This year, after the Christmas mass, I walked home quickly while Papa and the kids take the long route. Back home, as the tradition goes, we sang some Christmas carols first before exchanging gifts. The kids had time to play with their gifts before Christmas dinner, of course.