Last night we carried on the good tradition of the gifting circle for coven birthdays. Thalia and I are exactly one month (and a few years) apart with our birthdays, hers being on November 17 and mine being December 17. November was pretty much a crappy month for Thalia, so we moved the celebration forward and combined it with mine.
The concept of the gifting circle is that you gather together in celebration of someone’s birthday, eat, and best of all, gift the birthday person with something that represents what is special about them. After eating, everyone circles up and then takes turn giving the recipient their gifts, along with an explanation of how and what it represents. Participation is totally voluntary, and the point isn’t to give the big, expensive gifts, so much as it is to really let the birthday person know how special they are in their community. I love this tradition because it’s so great to watch people glow in the light of their friends’ and families’ regard.
Thalia’s gift has been sitting in my computer room for several weeks now, a gorgeous amber and jet piece with labyrinth, bee and honey hive charms on it. It’s gorgeous and it so completely represents her as a priestess and also our journey with Ariadne and Dionysos, that it’s been really hard to wait to give it to her. She also received a gorgeous candleholder from her husband that represents the light she shines as a beacon to those lives she touches, and a sun-faced candle holder that is a tribute to her name.
My gifts included a lovely set of glass coasters with dragonflies on them from Gab and Nina (because you just represent “Mom” to me) and a Magic Sky Floor Fountain from Jeff because it represents that I still am a mystery after almost twenty years and my inner tranquility. Thalia’s family got me a beautiful basket full of dark chocolate from all over the world, with two very nice bottles of red wine (’cause what else goes with dark chocolate?) because I offer my friends “baskets” of whatever it is that they actually need, not what I think they should need. As I type that, I realize it doesn’t make sense… Thalia said it much better than I.
As if that wasn’t enough in and of itself, Thalia’s sister came over to watch the kids while we went out for some drinks and a movie. We headed out to a generic chain restaurant — you know the kind. They have different names, but once you get inside, you realize they’re all pretty much one and the same. We went straight to the bar, where we were fortunate enough to get a very entertaining (and tolerant) waiter. After having a few drinks, we decided to play a game of Imaginiff, which Jeff thoughtfully had in the back of the van. I don’t know if you’ve ever whipped out a board game in the middle of Generic Restaurant’s bar, but I highly recommend it.
We had a great time, and many (fruity, girly) martinis were consumed by me. Thalia had bloody marys, which we all know are old lady drinks, but she was drawn by the prospect of a “meal” (that would be the celery sticks) included with her drink. Unfortunately for the drink delivery guy (not our waiter), he forgot the celery, so we had to set him straight. He complied with a sneer, which we promptly reported to our real waiter. Sneering Guy treats everyone that way — we weren’t special.
After the game, we headed over to the movie theater to see Ocean’s 12, but I couldn’t tell you a flippin’ thing about it because I fell asleep (some people might say, uncouthly, that I passed out) about fifteen minutes in and didn’t wake up until about five minutes from the end. Theater seating is just too damned comfy. I hope I didn’t snore.
Thanks so much to everyone who has sent me something from my Wish List. I have received the most wonderful things! Have you posted your Wish List yet?