The Ratzinger home must really have been a little Nazareth. Wow!
Gift-giving is very much a part of Christmas celebrations around the globe, in memory of God’s gift of his Son to us on Christmas Day. Accompanying the tradition of giving gifts is the tradition of asking for them! And kids, especially, delight in this part.
However, in different parts of the world and in different eras of history, the person or persons who are petitioned are different.
So, for example, in Spain and much of Latin America, children ask their gifts of the Three Kings, reminiscent of the fact that it was the Kings who brought Baby Jesus his first gifts (unless you count the swaddling clothes).
While Santa Claus is the one petitioned in the United States, especially among Catholic families, it’s recalled that Santa Claus is really St. Nicholas, so letters are addressed to the saint.
And in some countries, it’s common to ask Christmas gifts of Baby Jesus himself.
This was the case in the 1930s in Germany, where young Joseph Ratzinger and his older brother and sister penned their Christmas requests to Baby Jesus on a single sheet of paper (no need to waste!).
Read what little 7-year-old Joseph was most desiring. The Ratzinger home really must been a little Nazareth. So amazing!
“Dear Baby Jesus, quickly come down to earth. You will bring joy to
children. Also bring me joy. I would like a Volks-Schott (a Mass prayers
book), green clothing for Mass (clerical clothing) and a heart of
Jesus. I will always be good. Greetings from Joseph Ratzinger.”
– 7-year-old Joseph Ratzinger’s letter to Jesus (1934)