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Yule-Gifting-art - 11/25/15


"Christmas Gifting" by mistress katherine kerr. Gift ideas for the SCA.


NOTE: See also the files: baby-gifts-msg, food-gifts-msg, Pennsic-gifts-msg, gifts-4-bards-msg, gifts-4-staff-msg, largess-ideas-msg, holiday-gifts-lnks.





This article was added to this set of files, called Stefan's Florilegium, with the permission of the author.


These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


Copyright to the contents of this file remains with the author or translator.


While the author will likely give permission for this work to be reprinted in SCA type publications, please check with the author first or check for any permissions granted at the end of this file.


Thank you,

Mark S. Harris...AKA:..Stefan li Rous

stefan at florilegium.org



You can find more work by this author on her website at:



Christmas Gifting

by mistress katherine kerr


Written to explain a tradition that had lapsed a tad. I had to encourage it, or the children would never have forgiven me! This article mentions dicing for gifts - I tried a different approach at the last Christmas Revel I stewarded. We had all the presents piled together with lines of red wool tied to each one leading out of the pile to form a circle around the gifts. We marched around the pile singing Oranges and Lemons and on reaching the chop off the head denouement, we stopped and each took up a thread to follow to the present. It was a lot quicker than trying to throw sixes!


The Southron Gaard Christmas Revel has traditionally had a gifting game, whereby people bring a small gift which is placed in a pile and then distributed on a random basis (traditionally by dicing). The gifts do not have to be expensive or elaborate, but it does add to the occasion if you come along prepared to participate and if you provide something appropriately "period".


Hoary old stand-bys are candles, candlesticks, platters or goblets - markets and school fairs are good sources for these. Suitably shaped spoons and knives are always useful, as are bottles (even without contents!). But you can do so much more....


It's relatively easy to make simple things - think of bottle bags, napkins, pouches (large and small), even juggling balls or mini-shields for the lists tree. A bit of paint, ribbon or embroidery can dress these things up nicely. Make a fabric or leather slipcover for notebooks or paste on a suitable paper cover.


Have a rummage around your notions section and see what you have that might be handy. Things like a set of buttons, some braid, feathers, embroidery floss, Aida cloth or linen. You might have enough to make up a little pack to brighten up someone's garb, or to make a small cross-stitch kit (add a simple design suggestion, with or without documentation!).


Minimal cooking skills are needed to make sugared almonds, sweetmeats or potted cheese (and most modern cookbooks have recipes for this sort of thing if you don't have Apicius to hand). Wrap dates or figs in waxed-paper, or soak fruit in brandy a week beforehand and pack in a small jar. These all look so much better than a foil-wrapped bar of chocolate and would cost the same (or less!). You can offer a sweet treat with some honeycomb from the local supermarket.


The Warehouse and the $2 shops can be cheap treasure troves, particularly if you think laterally. I've made up lots of dice sets out of a $2 bag of wooden craft cubes. Small teak boxes are often available cheaply, and the Asian warehouses often have inexpensive woven baskets, which are great for the feast chest. Spotlight and other craft places have small boxes you can paint or cover with fabric, and keep an eye out for packs of beads, ribbon and other notions.


And for that final touch, do bear in mind that neon wrapping paper with surfing Santas on it is not period...This is a good time to get rid of fabric scraps - that left-over velvet or brocade can look great when used to wrap a gift and tied with a ribbon. Or make up a small pouch from fabric or leather to double the present! If you want to get fancy, hand-made paper with a wax seal looks very swish.


But most of all, don't forget to have fun in the giving...



Copyright 2015 by Vicki Hyde. vicki at webcentre.co.nz. Permission is granted for republication in SCA-related publications, provided the author is credited.  Addresses change, but a reasonable attempt should be made to ensure that the author is notified of the publication and if possible receives a copy.


If this article is reprinted in a publication, I would appreciate a notice in the publication that you found this article in the Florilegium. I would also appreciate an email to myself, so that I can track which articles are being reprinted. Thanks. -Stefan.


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org