Spiced cookies on the hearth, the woody scent of logs on the fire and the warmth of candlelight . . . Yule conjures many things to pagan children, the most important of which involve non-material emphasis on family, giving and gratitude.
But understandably, many parents cherish the joy of giving gifts to children at this time.
Don’t feel guilty or deny yourself this simple pleasure! Gift giving at Yule need not descend into commercial materialism or detract from the central focus of its spiritual meaning.
Take the opportunity to honor your children’s budding sense of spiritual awareness and consider including a gift or two that encourages their sacred growth.
Below, I listed a few ideas to inspire you.
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A sacred space. I love this idea! Find a corner or space in your home—even a spare bookshelf will do. Or, go wild and use a walk-in closet. Decorate it with candles, statuary, spell supplies, special altar cloths, lanterns, ect. and present it as a surprise on Yule morning.
Tarot or oracle cards. (Ages 5 & up). Long before kids read words, they read symbols. Lacking the noise of experiential mental baggage that comes with decades of living, they tune themselves more easily to the language of tarot than their adult counterparts. Expect them to surprise you with their sometimes funny, sometimes insightful interpretations. Choose a deck especially designed with children in mind. For example, the Inner Child Tarot uses charming substitutions (like the Fairy Godmother instead of the High Priestess).
Special stone or crystal. (Ages 3 & up). You know your child’s personality. Tune their energy with a gemstone chosen especially for their natural inclinations. Got a shy kid? Give her a piece of tiger’s eye to bring out her inner confidence. Maybe your 12-year-old always stresses before big tests? Try gifting him a piece of lapis lazuli to ease his nervousness.
Smudge stick. (Ages 12 & up). If your teen spends a lot of time in her bedroom, encourage her to clear the energy to avoid getting pent up or isolation by giving her her first smudge wand. If she’s new to the idea of smudging, direct her to this article for ideas.
A custom spell kit. Pick a theme (like “success in school” or “kitchen magick”) and chose a few appropriate items, like a vile of oil, an appropriately colored candle, a jar of sea water or shells collected from a family vacation, dried herbs or flowers, ect and throw them together in a pretty basket or box. Write out a spell on parchment, roll it like a scroll and tie it off with a ribbon Voila!
Jewelry with intent. (5 & up). Personally, I don’t recommend the pentacle for a child, as it often draws unwanted negative attention from other children and parents alike. But lots of other equally meaningful symbols are available. Choose a bracelet with beads made of gemstones, a set of goddess earrings, or a spiral necklace for your child to wear as a gentle reminder that positive energy surrounds him or her.
Pagan books. (All ages.) For older children, any introductory book you read and feel appropriate constitutes a lovely gift for the budding pagan. But thanks to authors like Aurora Lightbringer, the pagan book market also produces books for toddlers and preschoolers.
A meditation pillow. (2 & up.) If introducing spell craft and altars to your child makes you uncomfortable or you feel your child isn’t ready, simply explore meditation together. Select a meditation pillow from the many options available on the commercial market, or (better yet!) make your own with love.
A wand. (2 & up). Children love wands. But what they appreciate able them often differs from adults. Cut a branch from a tree about which you can tell a meaningful story to infuse it with the magic of their imagination.
Ritual wear. (All ages.) A child-sized ritual robe for group rituals makes children feel included. It also helps them to feel the transition from mundane life to ritual experience more concretely.