The opinions posted on the Pagan Perspective pages are those of individuals and are not neccessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
Posted: Sep. 8, 2002
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Your Gift, Craft and Holiday Celebration Ideas!
Over the last few weeks, TWV has tried to offer a balanced assortment of gift, craft and Yule/Solstice planning/celebration ideas. Gifts can be homegrown and homemade and some other ideas may send you off to "shop 'til you drop". We would now like to hear about YOUR gift giving ideas. Are you making some gifts or craft items this year? Would you like to share your favorite 'bargain spots on the web" secrets with us? Do you have any good projects for Pagan children or ideas for coven/group/family special 'traditions' that can help to make the Holidays especially meaningful or spiritual? C'mon! Give!
| Reponses: There are 43 responses posted to this question.
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| Gifts: Most Of The Time I Have Real Problems Finding Gifts For... ||Dec 11th. at 6:38:04 am EST|
|Skye Cat (Edinburgh, Scotland UK) ||Age: 27 - Email |
Most of the time I have real problems finding gifts for this people at this season, mostly because my family is lucky enough to not have any material needs. We rely on lists from people to get them something they like. So, one of things I have done is to fund a tree in the Caledonian Forest for each of my family, so they have something practical and permanent.
For those in the UK, the charity is called "Trees for Life" and they are based at the Findhorn Foundation.
P.S. Morningstar, you are right to be concerned. But I don't know whether the founders of Witchvox get time to look at the Perspectives section. I suggest you email Wren or Fritz directly so they can put this in the News pages. I'm sure they wouldn't consider it an imposition.
| We've Approached Yule Differently This Year Than Previously. First, We Told The... ||Dec 11th. at 8:06:15 am EST|
|Trish Telesco (Western, New York US) ||Age: 40 - Email |
We've approached Yule differently this year than previously. First, we told the majority of our friends and family NOT to shop for anyone other than the children if they so desired. Instead, we suggested they do something really special for themselves with that money -- get a massage, take a day off, purchase gourmet chocolates, or whatever. I don't know about anyone else, but I hate the hectic pace of this season, and this allows everyone to slow down a bit and enjoy themselves more (or such was the hope).
Second, it has been our custom for as long as I can remember to take in someone who cannot get home for the holidays, or who has no family of which to speak. That person or persons joins us for everything from opening the santa socks to Yule dinner. It's always a wonderful time, and celebrates the season with the gift of friendship.
For a few very special people in our lives, we went looking for wholly unique gifts -- often made by artisans in our community, or a gift that addressed a specific need. Since such items tend to be pricey, we worked overtime so that no one would feel like anything was taking away from the family budget (and told them so!). A gift that creates guilt or discomfort isn't a good gift!
We've also saved bunches of bread crumbs that will be scattered for the birds, and have a bag of nuts for the squirrls, for Yule morning. We will bless these and place wishes therein of peace and joy -- then let our furry and feathered friends spread the energy!
Finally, for those surfers in our lives we got online gift certificates -- that way you know for sure they'll pick out something they LOVE.
| This Is My First Yule Celebration Although Ive Been Studying For Awhile... ||Dec 11th. at 9:37:03 am EST|
|moondust b (canton, Ohio US) ||Age: 28 |
"This is my first yule celebration although ive been studying for awhile. i'm not a very crafty person, but im working on it, lol. i found my yule gifts at the less likely "magical" place- the mall! there is quite a few booths now that the season has kicked in, so i bumped into an indian reservation booth, and got my fiance a beautiful black homemade shirt they had made, for about 5 dollars cheaper than the magik shops. i went to a quant little booth and picked up my friend some homemadde jewlry, one necklace with a rope and stone frog at the end, and a stone frog although she's christian, i think she will love them, so. i suggest stop by the malls in your area and stop at their booths, you can find things that arnt made to br magical, but they still are :) for those of you in ohio, i went to canto centre mall in canton on tusc."
| Soap And Bath Salts Are Increadibly Easy. From The Serious, Oatmeal Soap... ||Dec 11th. at 12:08:04 pm EST|
|Nicole Mussen (Airsucker) (Walled Lake, Michigan US) ||Age: 27 - Email |
Soap and bath salts are increadibly easy. From the serious, oatmeal soap (good for skin) and kitchen soap with corn meal for an abrasive, to the silly whiskey sour soap with real whiskey that I finished yesterday. Melt and mold soap is easy to do, safe (low melting point) and can even be a good craft for children. It's even correct for giving to those vegan friends if you're not adding milk. Herbs and essential oils are often used. I recommend Naturally in the Novi, Michigan area (NW of metro Detroit), The "Melt and Mold Soap Crafting" book by C. Kaila Westerman (available at Borders, my employer) and Jane' Small Gifts, www.janessmallgifts.com, one of the websites recommended in the back of the book. Much cheaper than buying gift certificates for the relatives in my husband's rather large family and more personal too.
| My Boy Friend And I Each Have A Daughter From Previous Relationships... ||Dec 11th. at 12:51:11 pm EST|
|Terri Rich (Shimmer) (Gansevoort, New York US) ||Age: 31 - Email |
My Boy friend and I each have a daughter from previous relationships. My daughter is 5 and his is 8. This is our first year together for yule and we wanted to do thing with the children. So we made glitter coverd pine cones with to hang on the trees. First you string the pine cones, then roll them in glue on a plate, put the glitter in a zip lock bag and drop in the pine cone an shake. Its alittle messy but fun. We also made pipe cleaner snow flakes which also turned out to be very relaxing and creative for the girls, we ended up using some feather and beads. When we were done we had snow flakes, dreamcatchers, candy canes, wreaths, snowmen, hearts, all kinds of things. this was the best because we did it all together. Happy Yule to you and yours. Blessed be. Terri
| I Always Make Almost All Of My Gifts. With Two Large Families... ||Dec 11th. at 1:13:24 pm EST|
|Jamie (Seattle, Washington US) ||Age: 27 - Email |
I always make almost all of my gifts. With two large families, many friends, and a limited budget, it's the only way to remember everyone who is important to me without going bankrupt. Here's some of what's going out this year:
Blackberry cordial (Picked the blackberries all summer)
Blackberry pie filling (canned, with ready-made pie crust in a pie plate from the thrift store)
Calendar of my art (for my mom, stepmother, grandparents - printed from my computer then bound at Kinko's)
Soap - many varieties. A couple of herbal sets: peppermint (stimulating), chamomile (healing), lavendar (soothing) and oatmeal-honey (moisturizing). Also soap with toys in them for the kids, and little stacks of star-shaped soaps for people at work, etc.
Many, Many plates of cookies, including fudge and marzipan in fruit shapes
Preparing for the holildays takes me most of November and December, but I've learned to share some of these projects with friends and family. My best girlfriend and I will be doing all the cookie baking together, and a couple of our friends will be over, hanging out with us, while we do that. We'll have holiday music and old movies, and that's the real gift - time spent with loved ones just for the sake of spending time together.
This year, my close friends and I are having our own "christmas" on the 29th. I find it ironic that we still call it christmas, given that we're an eclectic group of wiccans, christians, agnostics and athiests. Regardless, we wanted to have a special time set aside to exchange gifts and be together. We reserve the 24th and 25th for our blood relations, but from Friday the 29th through Monday the 1st, we'll be with eachother. The party just keeps rolling through the whole extended weekend. I can't wait.
| I Have A Wood Shop, And Make Many Gifts For Yule. For... ||Dec 11th. at 1:31:40 pm EST|
|Wood Owl (Denton, Texas US) ||Age: 45 - Email |
I have a wood shop, and make many gifts for Yule. For all you pagan wood crafters out there, I've found the best place to get excellent pieces of wood for small-to-medium projects is at a local cabinetry shop. Many shops will throw out beautiful pieces of oak, ash, maple, and other normally expensive woods, as scrap, and many will let you pick through the scraps for free! If you have a bisquit jointer, you can even joint up the smaller pieces for larger projects.
This is an excellent way to make good use of something that would normally go into the local landfill.
| It Isn't Easy Havng A Big Heart And Being A Student With... ||Dec 11th. at 3:23:18 pm EST|
|Hunter (Peterborough, Ontario CA) ||Age: 23 - Email |
It isn't easy havng a big heart and being a student with a small bank account so each year I try to make new and interesting things to give as gifts
The fist Yule that my family knew I was a practicing Witch was a little different they knew what I said i was but really didn't understand it. They were often reluctant to ask for fear of what I might tell them. So as a gift I wanted to give them something that was tied in with my spirtual path to let them know that they were welcome to ask questons. After seeing something of the like in a local occult shope I set out to make "wiccan wreaths" for my family and friends for the holidays they were rather easy and really helped me in doing some of my first spell work
To make one you need:
a vein wreath
a hot glue gun
ribbon to make a bow with
a broom like the ones found at a craft store for decoration
some pretty rope about 1.5 meters
dryed flowers greens and herbs (I save all my roses and herbs year round and dry them but you can get them at a craft shope)
Start by threading the rope through the wreath to make the 5 pointed star for me this was the beginning of the spell... when your done tie it off but leave enough rope so it can be used to hang the wreath with. Next take the craft broom and hot glue it to one side of the wreath I normally do it on a slant with the handle at the top and the brushes half on and half off the wreath at the bottom. Once its on there good add your bow to the top part of the broom handle the decorate down the handle with dried followers. Then move to the wreat, I don't decortae all the way around but you could if you wanted. I start with the greens eucaliptus, rosemarry, boxwood, by putting them in the holes of the wreath make sure its all glued down good then I add fillers like status, corn flowers, and baby's breath I fininsh it off with roses. The whole time I'm weaving a spell of prosperity and protection for the person that I'm making it for I've even been known to place a tiny leather bag it the wreath filled with the crushed herbs and flowers so that the person can strenghthen the spell when they feel the need. For my friends and family it was the best gift I could give them because it showed that I was open to any of their questions and best of all I felt welcomed as I approched their door which had a pentical wreath on it * just a note though the wreath does look like a pentical so if you live some where, where you think people might get upset you might want to ecourage them to hang it inside there house near the front entrance instead.
Ive always found that I feel better giving gifts that I've invested part of myself in so go ahead and try this it's easy and the only thing you'll have a problem with is removing all those tiny gule strings left from the gule gun when your finished.
merry wreath making and happy holidays
| While I'm Also Planning Some More Conventional Shopping This Year (as Soon... ||Dec 11th. at 4:33:38 pm EST|
|Jenett (St. Paul, Minnesota US) ||Age: 25 - Email |
While I'm also planning some more conventional shopping this year (as soon as he tells me what he wants) for my fiance, I'm also making two things for him. I got the 2001 Llewellyn Almanack (useful for my purposes, since I tend to forget when full moons are, and new moons, and had heard good things about the variety of articles.) and in fact, they have an article on how to make dreamcatchers.
Since my fiance has had problems sleeping, I thought that would be a nice touch - something I made, and something that might, even, help him out. (I intend to charge it before I go up to visit him for the holiday too - we're still long distance from each other most of the time, but I get to spend 11 days with him due to a break in my own obligations)
I'm also planning on making him a small lavender filled pillow, since I've discovered a relatively cheap local source (one of the co-ops on one of my drives home sells bulk herbs for reasonanble prices. They don't have a *great* selection, but for the stuff they do have, the prices are good.)
| I'm A Mad Painter Of Boxes. National Chains Such As Walmart Carry... ||Dec 11th. at 5:09:15 pm EST|
|Epona (Indianapolis, Indiana US) ||Age: 18 |
I'm a mad painter of boxes. National chains such as Walmart carry little unfinished wooden boxes that cost about 97 cents apiece and larger boxes that cost between $5 and $10. I stock up on boxes, paints, and very small clay animals. Between my mother and myself, I also have a very large stencil collection at my disposal. During the pre-holiday times I paint boxes, trying to personalize them to each of my friends. Sometimes I use the stencils. Other times I do freehand designs. The little clay animals can be glued to the boxes for my friends or family members that like animals.
Last year I gave my best friend a larger box with a Celtic design painted on the top. I gave it to her during school, and as she carried it around during the day it drew all kinds of compliments and questions. Everyone wanted to know where she had gotten it, and no one believed that I was the one who had painted it.
| This Year, I Plan To Donate $20 Or So To Sagewoman's Campaign... ||Dec 11th. at 6:40:02 pm EST|
|Lynne-Renee (rural, St. Louis area, Missouri US) ||Age: 29 - Email |
This year, I plan to donate $20 or so to SageWoman's campaign to send subscriptions to 1, 000 libraries. I suggest those who can, will join me. You can get the Winter edition now or soon (I subscribe and received mine 2 days ago) and there's a form. I bet they'd take any old check at:
SageWoman, PO Box 641, Point Arena, CA 95468
I'm in no way a staff member or contributer but I see this as a gift of knowledge and community that can reach thousands. It may not feed someone now nor end war but it might plant seeds that can carry on for a long time.
I love receiving homemade gifts and now that I've developed a little self-confidence (earned through action) I now make the majority of my gifts.
I stick to the basics for most people: magickally charged bath salts and soaps (I use these myself and I know even non-Crafters love them). Sometimes I paint watercolours and give them (preferably in a cheapo frame like those at "Dollar Tree" or those "everything for a dollar" stores.
I work as a graphic artist and make about $20, 000/yr so I have to make do. Baking is great and you can blend herbal teas from your herbs tied with cheesecloth or even easier--blend and place "loose" in an old jar then buy a 2-3 dollar infuser and attach with ribbon. I get infusers and stuff at "World Market" stores.
I hope everyone has a safe and love-filled holiday. Blessings
| Last Christmas/yule/winter Solstice, My Husband, My Dad And I Ended... ||Dec 11th. at 7:26:18 pm EST|
|simona elda marseglia (duluth, Minnesota US) ||Age: 30 - Email |
last christmas/yule/winter solstice, my husband, my dad and i ended up in the hospital on christmas eve with my mother, who was seriously on the verge of passing from this realm. i was rather stressed out about the whole situation, and at one point, finally broke into tears. i had not yet discovered my pagan roots, but the gods were watching over me, most definitely. for i heard a gentle voice, and looked up to see a man dressed in a santa suit, holding out a candy cane in my direction. it was a small gesture, but i saw it as how the lord and lady lovingly watch over their children--our celestial parents--even when our earth parents are unable to do so. i gratefully took the candy cane and looked up to see all the children in the emergency room happily licking their own. when i awakened to paganism, i vowed that that was how i was going to spend the christian version of our holiday--handing out candies to people who end up in the emergency room on their holiday.
p.s.: my mom is still in this realm, thank the gods.
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