I do try to hit a non-specific Winter Holiday theme in the month of December. But the Menorah has been put away days ago. I’ll have to do a specific Gifts for the Jewish Writer someday soon. And I will get a little specific with some of these ideas. You can scroll past the stuff you don’t like. Because of reasons.
Oh, and I missed Diwali by months! But Kwanzaa will start on December 26, so what would you get someone for Kwanzaa? A book and a cultural or heritage symbol. From the web, “The last day of Kwanzaa, or Imani, focuses on gift giving as a means to honor the creative spirit and reaffirm self-worth. Therefore, the gifts are often homemade rather than purchased. However, the essence of Kwanzaa does not lie in exchanging presents, but in commemorating a shared heritage.” All of the gift suggestions here reflect creativity. Two of the books are cookbooks, and the other items are beautiful and should inspire inspiration.
The next holiday from the day I am writing this is the 21st of December, the Solstice Day when the long, dark winter came to the half-way mark and the return to the light began. At least, that’s the story in the northern half of the planet. Our family below the equator is celebrating Summer Solstice, so we all get something to be happy about. In Scandinavia, the tradition of a bonfire morphed into the Juul or Yule Log and was dedicated to the god Thor. A gift that celebrates the forest would be ideal. Also good would be something involving rocks and stones used for healing. And why not something to go into the mugs? Something fermented would be more appropriate, however.
Throughout Asia, many spiritual observances are based on lunar and other astrological events. The Dongzhi festival marks the Winter Solstice. There’s a lot of yin (darkness) and yang (light) symbolism. But the main object is the gathering of family to eat together, usually a wonderfully filling meal. Making these lamb dumplings would be an amazing gift.
To my Buddhist friends, I let Bodhi Day slip by. Can I pass that off as a Zen observation? If not, consider ordering these ficus religiosa seeds in my name. Imagine this beautiful plant growing as a bonsai with a small figure of Buddha sitting under it. Nice.
Advent is a tradition I observed when I was a practicing Catholic. For four Sundays, we awaited Christmas and made little candle wreaths to light as if in competition with Hanukkah. Gifts are not a part of this rite, as the culmination at Christmas is the best gift day we get. Even though the point of the holy day is not the mass commercialism it has become.
What would you buy for your favorite writer or wish for yourself? Tea drinkers would like this silicon snail that prevents the tea bag from slipping into the cup. If you are one of those who uses loose leaf tea, this guy would be your preference. Writers always need to save up for a great cover or a perfect editor so this bank that counts deposits would come in handy. Currently sold out, this Journal Workshop might be the thing you need to get back to your story after the holidays. And anything that will help you organize your desk and keep things at your fingertips while also looking super trendy will be a big hit.
Let me know the holidays you celebrate if I have skipped them here. Be of good cheer and thanks for reading. I’ll be back on Sunday.