Five Gifts Your Pagan Friend Will Love
Note: this piece is not necessarily for us Pagans - it's more for our non-Pagan families and friends.
So your teen, your adult child, or your best friend has, after careful research, announced that he or she is now Pagan. You've determined that the Pagan in your life is still interested in celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, and some late-December gift-giving holiday - you call it Christmas, Kwanzaa, or Hanukkah, but he or she will refer to it as Yule or the Winter Solstice from now on.
What kind of gift do you buy? What does the average Pagan want?
Books. Pagans are notorious readers. A generous gift certificate for your local Borders or Barnes and Noble bookstore or even Amazon.com is sure to please! Don't worry too much about what your Pagan will buy, just know that a gift certificate for books will always be used.
A Professional Massage. Who wouldn't like a massage? Male or female, body conscious or body proud, it doesn't matter. Try to find a massage therapist that advertises a "holistic," "earth-centered," "new age," or "natural" approach. One that offers an option called "hot stone massage" is even better. Trust me, the Pagan in your life will appreciate the opportunity to bliss out amidst the candles, incense, and soft meditative music.
Candles. Pagans love candles. Pagans use a lot of candles - especially tapers and votives in the four primary colors: red, yellow, blue, or green. Beeswax or other natural-substance candles are always a big hit. A large bag of 100 white tea candles is useful, too.
If there is a sizeable Catholic or Hispanic population where you live, you might even be able to find pillar candles in the four primary colors encased in tall glass holders. Or the holders may be red, yellow, blue, or green and the candle inside may be white. In some places, you can find these on the shelves at Wal-Mart or your favorite grocery store. These make great gifts for Pagans, especially Pagans with pets or small children because the flame is somewhat enclosed and it's impossible for hot wax to drip all over the furniture, child, or pet.
Whatever kind of candles you buy, spend the extra dollar and add some matches or a lighter to the non-smoker's gift. Your thoughtfulness will be appreciated!
A Blank Book. If gift certificates are too impersonal for your tastes, a bound "blank" book is a thoughtful gift. Most major bookstores carry them in a variety of styles. Pagans are always looking for a place to write down or compose poetry, keep a journal, or record their dreams. If you really want to make the gift special, give a nice pen with the book.
Plants. As part of their reverence for Mother Earth, most Pagans at least try to cultivate a green thumb (I may be the sole exception). Even if your Pagan still lives at home or in a city apartment, there's always at least a window box or a corner of the yard where he or she can plant cooking herbs or flowers. My spouse calls himself a "tomato mage" and grows heirloom varieties of tomatoes as part of his spiritual path. Yum! There's usually room for a 5-gallon bucket with a tomato plant in it on most balconies. And, of course everyone, regardless of their religion, can enjoy the flowers, fresh-cut herbs, and the tomatoes!
Believe it or not, just because this person you've known for years has adopted a new religion doesn't mean he or she has fundamentally changed that much. If you've always gotten him or her a certain kind of gift, being Pagan doesn't mean that gift is now obsolete. But these five suggestions will tell, without words, that you still love this person, and accept what he or she is doing.
The gift of acceptance is always the most welcome gift of all.
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