Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Times Three


Last night was beautiful. We all sat on the couch reading Christmas stories and my son then volunteered to tell Chloe and myself about the Russian Christmas figure, Babushka (literally translated as Grandmother).

I knew little about Babushka prior to this and so was fascinated to listen to him recount the tales he remembers being told by his Mother.

"Babushka," he began, "was supposed to go and see Jesus with the three wise men. But the weather was really bad and cold so she decided not to go."

I had never heard this tale before, for all my reading up of Russian festivities.

"But then she felt sorry that she hasn't gone," he continued, "So she tried to catch them up and find him. On the way she gathered lots of presents for Baby Jesus. But she didn't find him. And that's why she first gave presents to all the children in Russia. Because she had Jesus' presents and couldn't find him. And now she comes back every year and gives presents out in Russia."

"And Santa too?" Chloe asked

"No in Russia Santa doesn't come. That's where Babushka works."

"I see," Chloe continued.

"But she comes later than Santa, on 7th January," he told her.

"What's about Russian children who don't live in Russia?" Chloe furthered.

"Well, last year the Three Kings left presents on 6th January and Babushka too on the 7th January."

He's right. We do observe all three. Santa, Three Kings (Argentine) and Babushka. My son gets no more presents than he would if we were only celebrating the one day. But they are split out. He will get the bulk on Christmas morning (25th December) but will then get a couple of gifts on 6th and 7th Jan respectively as we observe the Argentine and Russian traditions of our respective heritages.

"Because," my son continued with his tale, "Babushka, the Kings and Santa know that I am from 3 different places really, so they share the work for me."

I like his outlook.

No comments: