Advent Calendar for Grown-ups

by Paul Bommer

DECEMBER 9 Babushka


Illustration by Paul Bommer
Used by permission

Babushka is a traditional figure in Russian folklore who distributes presents to children around Christmas-time. Her name literally means 'Grandmother' (which makes you think, what was Kate Bush singing about?!). The legend is that she declined to go with the Wise Men, who stopped at her house for food and rest en route to Bethlehem, to see the baby Jesus—because of the cold weather, and because she had housework and baking to do.

However, after the Magi had left she began to regret not going with them and set off to try and catch up, filling her basket with presents and pastries. She never did catch up, nor find the baby Jesus, and it is said she wonders the earth 'til this day, visiting each house at Christmas and leaving toys and treats for good children.

The moral of this story? Don't put off 'til to-morrow what you can do to-day! And a clean house, its not all that!

I have a great old book entitled North Russian Architecture. It has a slip-case, a faux wood cover and hundreds of gorgeous photographs of log-cabins and shingled, onion-domed shrines and chapels. They provided the reference for the buildings behind her.

From Paul Bommer: Illustration, design & Print-making. Used by permission.

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