What to get a Humanistic Pagan for … Christmas?

As Naturalists and as Pagans, we have twice the reason not to celebrate Christmas.  But let’s face it.  A lot of us Humanistic Pagans do celebrate Christmas in one form or another — either as a secular gift-exchange or with Christian family members.  But many of us aren’t really into the traditional Pagan swag (herbs, candles, statues).  So what do you give a Naturalistic Pagan for Christmas?  Here are some ideas …

1. “Atheopaganism is Beyond Belief”

Atheopaganism has opened up a Zazzle store, which you should definitely check out.  There’s mugs, T-shirts, and bumper stickers.  In addition to getting some fun stuff, you will be supporting an emerging Naturalistic Pagan tradition.  You can check out the new Atheopaganism website here.  And you can give back by contributing to the Atheopagans Coming Out At Pantheacon 2015 campaign.

2.  Elemental Birthdays

Parents, regardless of how scientific they are, can bring science to their kids in a fun and memorable way, through birthdays.  Check out Elemental Birthdays by Heather and Jon Cleland-Host.

Elemental Birthdays lets anyone celebrate birthdays while having fun with science.  All the elements of the universe have an atomic number (Z).  Elemental Birthdays matches that number with a birthday.  The first element (Hydrogen) is the first birthday.  Helium (Z=2) is the second birthday, and so on.  The book uses this simple idea to incorporate the elements into fun, easy party themes, and it provides a step-by-step guide to games and activities.  The result: a party where kids and adults have fun learning science! 

Jon Cleland Host has also offered his own list of gift ideas, which you can find on his blog, Evolutionary Times.  Among his recommendations are the next two items.

3.  Timespirals

Timespirals portray the sequence of events given to us by science and history about Earth’s evolving creation story, and show how we humans fit into 13.8 billion years of cosmic, geologic, biologic and historic evolution.

The six spiral timelines that make up the We Belong series illustrate how we belong — to the universe, to Earth, with all life.

4.  Universe Story Calendar

The Magical Universe Magical Human Calendar combines contemporary science with inspired passion. Twelve stunning images illustrate Peter Adair’s evocative prose, as the story unfolds one month at a time.

Elements of this stunning journey are:

January – Dark Fertile Ground: The Womb of Creation
February – The Great Radiance: Birthing of the Universe
March – First Ancestor: Hydrogen, Star-Maker
April – Music of the Songlines: Galaxies Emerge
May – The Fabled Skyscape: Red Giants, White Dwarves, and Black Holes
June – Seeding the Heavens: Supernovas
July – Earth and Water: Stirrings of Life
August – Fire and Air: Life’s Blossiming
September – Flowering of Care: Advent of Mammals
October – Deepening of Life: Viruses and Grief
November – Open Mind, Open Heart: The Wonder of Existence
December – The Human Universe: Intimacy With All Things

5.  A Saegoag Tartan

Tartans have their origin in weaves consisting of criss-crossed horizontal and vertical bands in multiple colours. These kinds of weaving patterns were found in cultures throughout the Eurasian continent.  In the mid-19th century that they were associated with Scottish clans.  The Saegoah tartan patterns designed by Rua Lupa represent the interconnections we have within Nature by taking the largest perspective that we can relate to – our planet orbiting a our host star.  Those who wear it would show and be reminded of how we are all citizens of the cosmos.

  • Yellow for our host star, Sol
  • Blue for the sky, our breath and shield
  • Green for the vegetation on earth that supports most life on this planet
  • Black for space, the deepest of nights
  • Brown for the soil, made from what was once living and continues to support the living
  • Blue for the vast oceans

The company linked above only sells in bulk and it is expensive.  Alternatively, you can find a weaver in your region who can reverse engineer the pattern just by looking at the pictures.

6.  Naturalist Gifts

Eli Effinger-Weintraum recommends giving regional nature identification guides and park system passes.  And Anna Walther recommends binoculars for birdwatching and stargazing.

7.  Recommendations from the Editor

For many of us, being Pagan is about creating relationships with the more-than-human world.  HP’s Managing Editor, John Halstead, recommends prints by two artists who capture an aspect of this relationship in their photography.

Gregory Colbert’s project, “Ashes and Snow”, is a photographic field journey which depicts a world in which the natural and artificial boundaries separating humans from other species do not exist.  His work includes many beautiful photographs of humans interacting with other animals, including whales and orangutans.  There are prints and books available at the online store.  There is also a great DVD narrated by Lawrence Fishburne, showing humans interacting with manatees, meerkats, and even cheetahs.  You can watch a clip of it on YouTube.

The second artist is Russian photographer, Katerina Plotnikova.  As with Gregory Colbert’s work, Plotnikova creates stunning images with the help of live animals.  Her photos possess a rich mysticism and dream-like quality that makes them absolutely enchanting.

Share your own recommendations (and your Christmas wish lists) below.

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