Summertime Christmas

Melissa and I have a thing where we never manage to send out parcels to each other on time. The last parcel I sent her was meant to be for Christmas/Yule 2019 and only got posted several months later, which then took about another month to arrive what with 2020 being the Year of Plague. But at least it’s not just me:

melissa parcel
The unopened box of treasures being watched over by my Toothless and Bast plushies. And you can just see one of the Nightlights peeking over the top as well.

This was a parcel which arrived yesterday and that I’d been looking forward to opening for ages, as I thought I knew what was in it – and I was half right. I did know what was in it, despite the truthful but not-quite-accurate Customs descriptions, but there were some lovely surprises as well.

One of the things I was expecting was a copy of the Robin Wood Tarot (Customs label: ‘deck of cards’), which I’d asked Melissa to pick up for me as all the online decks I could find over here were expensive second-hand copies. Now I have no objection to buying a second-hand deck, but I do object to paying more than the RRP of a mass-market deck that isn’t even out of print, so it was cheaper to repay Melissa for a copy she got from Amazon US. What I was not expecting was the lovely hand-sewn bag and double-sided reading cloth the deck was wrapped in. I asked Melissa if she’d made them (after letting her know the parcel had arrived and much squeeing of thanks down the internet), and she said she’d made them for a sewing class she once took, and that ‘when I was packing things up, it struck me that the cloth and bag would provide plenty of cushion for the deck, so I popped them in’. I was very impressed as I really hate hand sewing, and even more so when I found out that this was just one of several that she’d made. The others had gone out to her coven members, and there was just this one left waiting for a home. So as a result I now have a sugar-skull reading cloth and bag, with the most adorable little witch hat and tiny Hallowe’en pumpkin charm on the front.

Melissa robin wood bag cloth
Such a tiny grinning punkin! And the deck did come in a box, but this looked more aesthetically pleasing.

I’m not using it to wrap the Robin Wood any more though, or any of my other decks for that matter. The cloth is now wrapped around the second expected item and carefully tucked away in the bag, all of which is now sitting safely under my altar table. It’s one of Artes & Craft’s hand-forged athames, and was described as a ‘letter opener’ on the Customs form, which isn’t untrue – the edges are blunt and won’t cut anything, but like the back of a table knife would still easily be able to slit open a paper envelope. This was my 2019 Yule present from Melissa, and I have no words for how much I appreciate the gift. The handle is made from holly wood, sanded so that some of the underside of the bark remains and giving it a lovely wavy look. The blade is brass, polished as bright as a mirror, and the hilt is made from copper.

athame honey

There is no pommel on this athame, but the end of the handle is slightly carved, and sits in my hand so perfectly it almost feels made-to-measure. I feel incredibly blessed to own this blade, and still can’t quite believe I do – even when I’m holding it in my hand and looking right at it.

The last item I unwrapped was a very belated Christmas present, even by our standards, as this particular piece of shiny was supposed to be for Yuletide celebrations in 2018! Unfortunately, the one Melissa had got for me had shattered, so the gift-giving was put on hold until she was able to return to the shop and purchase a replacement (and then our usual issue with postage took over). Turns out it was the last one available in the shop, so I feel very lucky to have it – my very first witch ball! (Described as a ‘glass ornament’ for Customs purposes, although this also preserved the surprise)

Melissa witch ball
Melissa’s presents are more prettily wrapped than mine ever are, and Toothless makes another appearance.

I’ve envied Melissa’s witch ball collection ever since she photograped it, and I was so tempted to get a witch ball for every window in my flat when I moved in. But witch balls aren’t that cheap, and having 19 (nineteen) windows meant that that plan got shelved really fast as I needed to buy more essential things for the windows – like curtains. Not to mention furniture like bookshelves, a bed, chests of drawers, a wardrobe… But now I have a witch ball full of beautiful greens and purples, with touches of blue, and all I need to do is get some decently strong hooks to hang it and my own extensive collection of windchimes from. Thankfully Melissa pointed me in the direction of plant hooks, as my windows are very tall and my ceilings are made of plasterboard (along with all the walls – stud-and-plaster everywhere aside from the floor, even where there are original brick walls), and the last thing I wanted was for my windchimes to pull the hooks out, fall, and break. And having that happen to a large hollow glass ornament would be a nightmare.

Such a lovely Box of Things, from a wonderful person. <3

2 thoughts on “Summertime Christmas

  1. Aw! I’m so happy you enjoyed everything. I am *very* glad all your bits and bobs arrived safely…and I’m *very* glad I no longer have your box sitting there, taunting me for not getting it to the post office.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As a rule, once I’ve wrapped and addressed something it ends up at the post office in the next couple of days. The bit I suck at is getting everything packaged up and boxed and labelled – so I get individual items just sitting there and taunting me for months instead.

      And I have yet to stop looking through my new deck. So much detail, such deep colours…


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