In search of the lost baby Jesus

It is Christmas Eve. 
More precisely, actually only “Heilig Mittag”. 
The two children sit on the sofa in the living room with shiny faces and freshly washed hair, drinking warm cocoa. 
Snowflakes dance outside the window, it smells wonderfully after Christmas and the fir-tree shines in its splendor: red-polished apple apples and fine straw stars adorn it, and delicate, glittering gold threads hang from the branches.

Under the tree stands the crib with all the familiar figures. 
Mary and Joseph, ox and donkey and the angel of the Annunciation. 
There are no shepherds, not even sheep, 
but three ancient kings who gracefully kneel before the infant in the manger. And in the manger it lies – – the baby Jesus. 
In his honor, we celebrate Christmas.

The two children, who have especially taken the little baby face into their hearts, know this: Jesus has a birthday today! 
Already in the morning they had solemnly put the baby Jesus in the red dump truck and were barking with him criss-cross through the apartment. Afterwards it had been a guest in the dollhouse to have breakfast with the puppet family living there, and to celebrate the day, the 
baby Jesus was allowed to fly around the Christmas tree in a Playmobil helicopter …. Huiii, that was fun! 
Until Mummy had entered the Christmas room and stopped the game. After all, the baby Jesus is still a baby and belongs to his parents. The two children had seen that.

And there it lies again in the crib, wrapped in diapers and patiently smiling. The two children on the sofa, however, can hardly wait. 
If it were up to them, then the Christ Child could come to the mess now! 
But – it’s just noon, ….. 
And it still takes three long hours to go to the nativity play in the church.

While Papi has retired with wrapping paper and tape into the bedroom (“… urgently needs something to work on the computer …..”) Mummy just jumped into the shower, of course, without exhorting the offspring before, quite to stay peaceful and kind. 
But that’s not so easy, on a day like this, when the clocks are already running much slower than usual, and you just do not know how to survive the coming hours.

Under the pretext of wanting to be particularly well-pleased today, the big one decides to once again suck the Christmas room and fetches the vacuum cleaner from the chamber for this purpose. Of course, the children are normally prohibited from unattended use of this device, but, she tells herself, it is certainly in Mamis sense, if the living room is sucked very thoroughly today. And doubly holds twice better, every kid knows that. With all the power of her four years, she heaves the heavy device into the room, puts the cable into the socket (- is also forbidden, but the purpose is known to sanctify the means …) and heissa, let’s go!
The little one claps his hands enthusiastically, for he too loves this device hot and heartfelt, and with great rejoicing and the admiring glances of his little brother, the big boy sweeps through the room with the vacuum cleaner.

Huiii, has one power …. 
…. already have the lower branches of the tree no more gold threads …. 
schwups …… are the stars, which had been scattered under the fir, 
disappeared, and there: 
Klirrr – schepper – sound …….. it happened …..! 
– a scream of sheer horror echoes through the apartment.

Within seconds, both parents rush into the living room, driven by the belief that they will find a bloodbath. But, thank God, the little one sits intact on the carpet, fascinated with one eye peering into the grommet of the vacuum cleaner, while the big one crouches next to it and howls heartbreakingly. 
And then the parents are already experiencing the cruel tragedy:

The evil vacuum cleaner has eaten the baby Jesus.

There they are, it is Christmas Eve, and the baby Jesus is gone. 
The empty manger stands accusingly in the stable, and Maria, too, seems to look a little wistier than usual.

How are the children supposed to explain this to Christ Child? 
That they were forcibly ridden through the Christmas room with the vacuum cleaner, sinking poor little Jesus into a garbage bag?

With a serious expression, the parents send their two offspring to the nursery.

It takes a very long time for the clock to strike three times and they go to the Nativity play together. But the thoughts wander home again and again. 
What if Christkind immediately notices the missing Savior and disappears passively? 
And how should they celebrate Christmas, if the baby Jesus is not among them, today on his birthday?

Without Jesus you can not celebrate Christmas, that’s for sure.

This realization does not cause a nice feeling in the stomach. And how could the baby Jesus be there if it is not tangible? 
No, that will not be a nice Christmas Eve.

The parents, on the other hand, pretend that nothing has happened. 
Singing, they walk with the two after the service through the streets. 
When they arrive home, they quietly enter the apartment and solemnly open the living room door, 
– as if rooted to the spot, the children remain standing on the threshold.

The candles on the Christmas tree are lit and colorful laced packages are under the tree. 
But in the crib, saved by Mary and Joseph, the baby Jesus lies and smiles. 
As if it had never been gone.