cozy cottage + earthenware mugs bright stars + caramel fudge
There is, in Russian folklore, a Christmas story of an old Grandmother, or Babushka, who meets the 3 Kings as they journeyed to find the Christ child. This Babushka lived in a small Russian village where her gardening, housekeeping and culinary skills were well known and celebrated. Her daily hard work was rewarded when the 3 Magi stopped at her dwelling to request food and lodging before resuming their journey to follow the star in the East. Though awed by the royal trio, Babushka offered her trademark hospitality to provide solace and rest for the weary travelers. The Kings were duly impressed by the tidy cottage and the excellent repast she prepared. They regaled her with the story of their mission and even invited her to journey east with them.
Though this Grandmother was intrigued, she felt ill-prepared to make such a pilgrimage, opting instead to clean after her guests had gone. Besides, she had no gift of value to give a new King that could compare to gold, frankincense, and myrrh!
When the star appeared again that night, the 3 Kings bid Babushka farewell and thanked her for all she had provided. All the next day as she cleaned she felt more and more compelled to see this newborn King. She suddenly remembered the toys, packed away for years, that had been for her infant son. Cleaning the dusty toys took several days and delayed her effort to follow the Magi.