many people know that centuries ago, European countries,
and parts of
Russia, had a female version of Santa Claus? Judith's
Gift Givers" were the very focus of the 1999 "Better
Homes and Gardens Santa Claus" issue. These benevolent ladies
went by a
variety of names depending on their country's folklore.
For example, in
Italy she is called "La Befana", and in Russia she
female gift givers have their own heart-warming history.
grandmotherly characters were generally said to roam the
searching for the Christ Child. As they search,
they give gifts to
children hoping that one would be the elusive
baby Jesus. Each sculpture
comes with the history and story
behind this benevolent lady.