The custom of gift giving has always been associated with Christmas celebrations. And there are many legendary gift bearing figures who occupy a special position in the Yuletide celebrations, especially in the hearts of children. In fact, all regions have their own gift bearing characters whose legends pass from one generation to the other. From Basil of Caesarea and Santa Claus to Julmanden, all Christmas gift bearers hold special significance in different traditions, whose enchanting stories have been recounted since ages, during the Christmas. One such popular gift-bearer is Baboushka, meaning 'grandmother' in Russian. Prior to the Russian Revolution of 1917, this character was immensely popular in Russia. It is also believed that this popular figure actually started the age old custom of gift-giving during the Christmas. Scroll down and learn how a lonely, old Russian woman embarked on her journey to find baby Jesus after being visited by the Three Wise Men.
Story Of Babushka
Baboushka, meaning 'grandmother' in Russian, was a lonely old woman who used to live in solitude in a huge house. It is said that it was Baboushka who started the tradition of gift-giving on Christmas. She was a kind-hearted woman and often provided food and refuge to weary travelers.
On one winter night, three noblemen came to visit her. She welcomed them and asked them to spend the night at her house. While she was serving a small feast for them at her house, she came to know that they were traveling to a small town far east where baby Jesus was about to be born. Overwhelmed by Baboushka's hospitality, the three noblemen offered her to travel with them. They told her, "We are traveling to Bethlehem to find the Child who is born a King". Won't you please come with us to find Him?" But Baboushka, reluctant to leave her warm house, declined their proposal. The three wise men bid farewell and continued on their quest. Later that night, when she thought about the three noblemen and the child who they were talking about, she grew sad and repented her decision. She then decided to leave immediately in their search. She gathered whatever trinkets she could lay her hands on and set off on her journey to find the child whom the noblemen addressed as the King. But, despite traveling far and wide, the old woman unfortunately could neither find the boy king nor the three travelers. According to popular legend, the old lady is looking for the boy king even to this day and thus, whenever she meets any children on her way, she offers them toys. It is said that Baboushka initiated the custom of giving gifts to children on Christmas.
Once much popular, the legend of Baboushka has gradually passed into obscurity, in the last century. Read the above lines and know how the tradition of gift-giving during Christmas started.