Tuesday, December 5, 2023

2023 Holiday Gift Guide for Witches and Pagans: Thrift Edition

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I don't know about you, but this year, Yule is very tight. With rising prices and no increases in pay, it's impossible to spend what we have historically spent on gifts for friends and family. I know we are not alone in this feeling, but the desire to give to others is still there. This is the season of giving, after all; a time when being charitable could and still does save lives. The longest and darkest part of the year is bleak for many families, which is where this list comes in. This year my holiday gift guide for witches and pagans focuses on thrifting and DIYing the gifts for the magical person in your life. There is absolutely no reason why gifts have to be new, expensive, or lavish. A gift given from the heart is far more valuable than ordering something off an Amazon wish list.

The gifts featured below are ideas I am giving my friends this year, each carefully curated to the person I love with a witchy twist. While these were created with my friends in mind, hopefully, my creativity sparks something within you. Different witches will be drawn to different items and because of this, each gift basket can be highly variable. Your stores are also going to have very different items and you'll likely need to visit more than one thrift store to find the right items. Don't be deterred from using items you have around the house either. Have a cookbook you no longer want? Give it to your kitchen witch friend. Have some gardening tools or seeds you aren't going to use? The green witch in your life will be happy to have them. Extra scarves, unused candles, candle sticks, vintage silver, or nice glasses? Throw those in too. I don't know why people shy away from giving away items they already own. If you aren't using it, you don't need it and someone will be happy to put the item to use. Some of the items featured in my baskets are items I was going to donate or haven't used in years. My friends will get much better use out of them than me!

Apart from baskets, I have also included a number of thrifted items to keep an eye out for that I know witches and pagans will eat up. You can't go wrong with a couple of witchy finds and many of them make excellent stocking stuffers. 

Finally, I end the list with several DIYed items that include both thrifted and new items, most of which can be found at Dollar Tree or very cheaply from a craft store. Others are going to be more expensive if you don't already have the herbs on hand, but I made sure to include herbs that are easily accessible and that can be purchased cheaply at your local grocer. When in doubt, check out the tea aisle for dried lavender, peppermint, rose petals, loose-leaf tea, and chamomile and the produce section for fresh rosemary and basil.

Thrift Gifts

Before we jump into the list, let's discuss some good thrifting practices. Despite some people's murmurings, thrifted gifts are not dirty, possessed, or filled with negativity. A simple cleansing, both physical and spiritual, will leave the item looking and feeling new. If, for whatever reason, you pick up an item and get an icky feeling, pass on it. Be mindful of lead paint, steer away from cooking pots, and avoid stuffed animals you can't easily wash. If you purchase any linens or fabrics, wash them with allergy-free soap and vinegar in the hottest water safe for the fabric. And finally, bring hand sanitizer with you. People are constantly picking up items and the last thing you want to do is get sick during the holiday season!

To stylize any of these gifts, I suggest purchasing a nice basket and some linens to line the bottom that can double as a usable gift. Add some ribbon, bows, and a card and you've got yourself a complete gift.

*I have styled almost all of these pictures using items I already owned because my friends read my blog and follow my blog's Instagram. The last thing I want is for them to see their actual gifts. What you find at your thrift store will vary wildly from what I have been able to find.*

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1. Gardening Basket for Green Witches

If you have a green witch in your life, this is the gift for them. Some items to keep an eye out for at your local thrift store are gently used gardening tools, small flower pots, gardening books, storage jars for seeds and dried herbs, herb drying racks, plant misters, vases, gardening labels, floral tea cups, and floral prints. These items can be paired with a fresh pair of gardening gloves, some seeds, and even a live plant such as basil, rosemary, or a succulent. If you have some seeds left over from your own garden, consider gifting those and maybe even some dried herbs you have on hand. You can even try your hand at making some gardening labels using quick dry clay.

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2. Baking Basket for Kitchen Witches

Kitchen witches perform most of their magic through cooking and baking, so gifting items they can use in the kitchen is sure to delight. Keep an eye out for marble cutting boards, cheese slicers, pasta drying racks, unique spoons, pepper grinders, cookbooks, oil bottles, unique storage jars, kitchen towels, and tea cups and teapots. Pair these items with new pot holders, some of their favorite foods, herb-infused oils, handmade spice blends, simmer pot blends, and other kitchen items you think they would love.

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3. Tea Basket

As a lover of tea, as many witches are, I had to include a tea basket just for the tea witches out there. While thrifting, try finding vintage teacups and teapots, dollies, candles, and unique storage containers to pair with a new tea strainer, loose-leaf tea, and honey spoons/straws. And of course, you can add my book, Green Witchcraft Tea Recipes: 60 Magical Brews for Love, Healing, and Growth to the know...for moral support.

4. Jars

You really can't go wrong gifting a witch a jar. Look for unique jars and storage containers and avoid purchasing mason jars. They are way cheaper new than they are in thrift stores. You can even fill the jar with witchy items such as dried herbs, candles, crystals, tarot cards, runes, incense, incense holders, etc, or add some sweets such as candy or fresh-baked cookies. Finish it off with a nice ribbon and a card and you're good to go!

5. Candle Sticks

I don't know what it is, but witches also love candle sticks. It's like a moth drawn to a flame...literally. Candle sticks are so versatile and many witches use candles regularly in their magical practice. Having several nice ones on hand allows multiple candles to be used during spells and rituals, on altars, or just as everyday decor. Pair with some unused candles and maybe even some homemade anointing oil and you got a gift any witch will love.

6. Occult Books

Honestly, you are probably going to have a hard time finding occult books at your local thrift store, but you never know! Over the years, I have found some pretty obscure, but invaluable books for less than a dollar, so it's worth giving a shot. If that doesn't work, your local used bookstore is sure to have something appealing to the witch in your life. Used bookstores are already struggling, so this is a great way to help them out, keep books out of the landfill, and impress a witch. We all love a good book.

7. Platters, Cups, and Dishes

Platters, cups, and dishes that can be used during spells, rituals, and on altars are plentiful at thrift stores. Keep an eye out for unique patterns and designs, silver, and ornate designs. These items can be paired with others to create a 'fuller' gift such as alcohol, candles, herbs, jewelry, etc.

8. Picture Frames

Like occult books, unique picture frames are often difficult to find at thrift stores as they are snatched up quickly. However, I wouldn't let that deter you from trying. You never know what you'll find hidden in the back behind everything. Keep an eye out for silver frames especially those with unbroken glass. Picture frames can be turned into scrying mirrors or used to house pictures of deities and ancestors to adorn altars.

9. Jewelry

Jewelry is always kept in glass cases toward the front of thrift stores and there is surely something to impress the witch in your life. Look for jewelry made from gold and silver with real stones and crystals, such as amethyst, citrine, quartz, and agates, maybe even emeralds, rubies, or sapphires. Rosaries and evil eye trinkets are also popular among witches. You may also get lucky and find fantasy-inspired jewelry with dragons and faeries. Even if the jewelry is the wrong size, a witch will still have a use for it. Jewelry can be given as offerings, used in spells and rituals, or to adorn altars. 

10. Altar Decor

Last but not least, I don't know a single witch who doesn't like to decorate their sacred space or altar. If there is something that screams "witchy" to you, the witch in your life will probably like it. This can include curio shelves, statues, high-quality florals, vases, unused candles, unused journals, dollies, altar cloths, pitchers, marble eggs, small bowls, baskets, dried flowers, and other decor items. You might even get lucky and find some crystals and stones or a really nice furniture piece. A couple of years ago, my mom found a set of wooden acorns that I use every year on my altar. It's one of the best gifts she has ever given me.

As always, these are just some suggestions. If you find an item at a thrift store that reminds you of that person, get it! Your intuition won't steer you wrong. Gifts that come from the heart are better than anything a stranger on the internet could suggest.

DIY Gift Ideas

1. Yule Simmer Pot in a Jar

I don't know about you, but I love simmer pots. Not only do they make your house smell great, but they can also cleanse, purify, banish, raise vibrations, bring luck, and promote peace. Simmer pots are a great way to cleanse and purify a home without the use of fire and smoke, making it a great option for those living in places where they can't burn anything or for those with allergies, medical conditions, or pets. This Yule simmer pot recipe is designed to cleanse and purify a space while promoting happiness, good fortune, and luck in the coming new year.

Thinly slice an orange, apple, and lemon. Place slices and cranberries on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for 4-6 hours, turning every hour, until dried.
Combine 2 slices of dried orange, 2 slices dried apple, 1 slice of dried lemon, 2 cinnamon sticks, 1 tablespoon of whole cloves, 2-3 star anise, 1 sprig of rosemary, 1 bay leaf, and a handful of dried cranberries to a jar. Seal tightly and finish off with an informational card with instructions and magical correspondences. For this recipe, the user will want to combine the jarred ingredients with 2-4 cups of water, bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to low to simmer.

2. Magical Candles

All witches love the heck out of candles, especially those that are magically infused with crystals, herbs, and love. Finding unused candles at a thrift store can be difficult, but not impossible. If you can't find any, pick up those used candles and repurpose them into new ones. While you don't want to use used candles directly, using their wax, trimming their wick, and repurposing them re-energizes them and resets their use. You can also use candles you find elsewhere to create this DIY gift. Find unique heat-safe dishes, such as silver cups, wooden bowls, and tea cups, while thrifting to create your candle. Add crystal chips, such as amethyst for physic abilities, citrine for happiness, rose quartz for love, or smoky quartz for protection, and herbs, such as calendula for happiness, lavender for tranquility, sage for cleansing, or rosemary for protection, to add a bit of magic to your candle. You can also use a blow dryer to melt the tops of tea candles to create a set of magical candles, each with a different intention. This gift pairs well with thrifted candle sticks and other altar items.

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3. Herb-Infused Oil

The kitchen witch in your life will love herb-infused oils, but you can also make anointing oils for any witch in your life. Infused oils are quick and easy to make given the right ingredients, most of which can be found at your local supermarket in the produce section. Before making an oil, however, you need to decide what the purpose of the oil will be. Both those used for eating and those used in anointing oils should use high-quality herbs, preferably food-grade, and high-quality oils such as extra virgin olive oil or grapeseed oil. Not all herbs used in anointing oils can be eaten, but you still want to make sure the herbs are not coated in a pesticide and aren't going to cause a reaction when used. Avoid toxic herbs, even in anointing oils. If using fresh herbs, lightly bruise them with a wooden rolling pin to release the oils before adding them to your warmed oil (do not simmer). Dried herbs can be added directly to your warmed oil. Allow the oil mixture to sit for an hour before straining and adding to your sterilized bottles. Add some fresh herb sprigs to the bottle as a final touch. Make sure to include an informational card with ingredients, magical correspondences, and uses with your oil infusion. Oils for eating should be used within 10 days of making. Anointing oils can be used indefinitely. Below are some herb-infused oil recipes to excite any witch in your life:

Rosemary-Infused Oil
    - 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
    - 1/4 cup fresh rosemary, plus 1-2 sprigs for garnish

Rosemary-Infused Oil*
    - 2 cups extra virgin olive oil
    - 5 sprigs fresh rosemary
    - 4 garlic cloves
*for this recipe, simmer the garlic cloves in the oil until they turn golden brown before removing from heat and adding your rosemary.

Protection Anointing Oil
    - 1 cup oil
    - 1 tablespoons basil
    - 1 tablespoons rosemary
    - 2 bay leaves

Wealth & Prosperity Anointing Oil
    - 1 cup oil
    - 2 cinnamon sticks
    - 3 cloves
    - 1 orange peel

4. Tea Blends

Did you know you can create your own tea blends right at home? This gift is slightly more expensive than other DIY gifts on the list as it requires food-grade herbs and spices which often cost more than pre-made teas in the store. However, if you have the extra funds, or already have a large number of loose-leaf herbs and spices around your home like I do, this makes an excellent gift for the witch in your life. Simply combine your ingredients in a jar or another sealed container and pair the tea blend with teacups, teapots, candies, and other comforting items. Make sure you label your teas with the ingredients, brewing instructions, and even the herbs' magical correspondences. Below are some witchy-inspired tea blends:

Dream Tea
Makes 1-2 cups
    - 1 tablespoon chamomile
    - 1 tablespoon lavender

Passion Tea
Makes 1-2 cups
    - 1 tablespoon rooibos tea
    - 1 tablespoon rose petals
    - 1 cinnamon stick

Divination Tea
Makes 1-2 cups
    - 3 teaspoons black tea
    - 2 teaspoons mugwort
    - 2 teaspoons lavender
    - 2 teaspoons lemon balm

5. Sugar Scrub

Sugar scrubs are cheap and easy to make and are sure to delight the witch in your life. They'll leave their skin feeling baby-soft and glowing, ready to take on the world. Not only that, but they are also a great way to cleanse before and after a ritual or spell and infuse magic into a bath routine. Simply combine the ingredients in a jar and finish off with an information/instruction card that has been hole-punched and attached with a ribbon. I suggest using Canva to create your cards as they offer a host of designs, free graphics, and so much more. Below are a couple of recipes that are sure to delight:

Relaxation Sugar Scrub
    - 1 cup granulated sugar
    - 1 tablespoon dried lavender
    - 1 tablespoon dried chamomile
    - 2-5 tablespoons olive, grapeseed, or coconut oil

Cleansing Sugar Scrub
    - 1 cup granulated sugar
    - 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
    - 1 tablespoon fresh sage, minced
    - 2-5 tablespoons olive, grapeseed, or coconut oil

Love Sugar Scrub
    - 1 cup granulated sugar
    - 2 tablespoons dried rose petals
    - 15 drops of rose essential oil
    - 2-5 tablespoons olive, grapeseed, or coconut oil

Pair any of these sugar scrubs with other relaxing items such as teas, candles, crystals, a good book, and/or plush towels to create a themed gift.

6. Bath Tea

If the witch in your life could use a little more self-care, try surprising them with a bath tea. Bath teas often consist of a blend of herbs, salts, and even rolled oats and can be tailored to a variety of magical and physical needs. Simply combine the ingredients in a mason jar or muslin bag and pair it with an information/instruction card made in Canva that has been hole-punched and attached with ribbon to the bath tea. Below are some potential recipe ideas for the witch in your life:

Relaxation Bath Tea
Makes 1 muslin bag
    - 1 tablespoon dried lavender 
    - 1 tablespoon dried lemon balm
    - 1 tablespoon dried rose petals
    - 1 cup Epsom salts

Sleepy Bath Tea
Makes 1 muslin bag
    - 1 tablespoon lavender
    - 1 tablespoon calendula
    - 1 tablespoon chamomile

Self Love Bath Tea
Makes 1 mason jar
    - 1 cup Epsom salts
    - 1/2 cup pink Himalayan sea salt
    - 1/4 cup baking soda
    - 1/2 cup dried rose petals

Purification Bath Tea
Makes 1 mason jar
    - 1 cup Epsom salts
    - 1/2 cup pink Himalayan sea salt
    - 1/4 cup baking soda
    - 1/4 cup rosemary
    - 1/4 cup lemon verbena

These recipes pair well with the above-mentioned sugar scrubs and tea blends, candles, and plush bath towels. Combine all the items together in a basket to make a unique gift for the witch in your life. Why not also pair these teas and sugar scrub with my book The Green Witch's Guide to Self-Care: Natural Spells, Rituals, and Remedies for Your Mind, Body, and Spirit?

7. Clay Runes, Incense Holders, Deity Statues, Etc

Clay is so versatile and can be used to make just about everything. Dollar Tree sells quick-drying clay that can be used to create runes, incense holders, statues and so much more. Spend some time looking through Pinterest for some ideas and get creative. I would, however, avoid using this clay to create bowls as they are not heat-safe or water-safe. If you create runes, you can create an information card on Canva explaining the different rune meanings and print it out. Pick up a second-hand coin purse to store the runes and the information card. If making an incense holder, pair it with some incense.

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8. Crystal Advent

This has got to be one of my favorite DIY's and it costs pennies to create. While you can go out shopping for crystals to create this advent, I encourage you to go rock hunting instead. Fall and winter are great times to visit local rivers and streams as water levels are usually lower, allowing you to avoid getting wet and find treasures normally washed downstream. Keep an eye out for clear quartz, amethyst, agates, or any cool-looking rocks. Remember to thank the Earth and local spirits for their gifts wherever you go rock hunting by leaving behind an eco-friendly gift. Once collected, arrange the rocks, gems, and crystals into a compartmentalized box, such as a tackle box, that's it! You can go a step further and attempt to identify the rocks, have them polished, or wrap and number each rock to create a true advent. I arranged my rocks in an old bottle brush tree box with some shredded paper and wrapped it with some ribbon. I only paid for the cost of the ribbon and I know my friends will adore it.


No matter what you decide to get your witch this holiday season, make sure the items are chosen with love and they are sure to be surprised. Giving doesn't have to be expensive or lavish. Gifts from the heart are always the best option.

Being that this is a time for giving, I encourage you to include charities in your gift-giving as well. Local food banks and Toys for Tots are always looking for additional help. Transanta has a number of families needing help this holiday season as well, not to mention the humanitarian aid campaigns for Palestine and the Congo. You can also put together some blessing bags with toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, soap, mini laundry detergents or packs, thick socks, hats, gloves, medicated lip balm, hand and foot warmers, hand sanitizer, travel utensils, sunscreen, first aid kits, tampons, snacks, and rolled quarters to pass out to the unhoused people in your area. And don't forget your local animal shelters. While kitten and puppy season is largely over (there is always an exception!), these organizations still need food, beds, toys, litter, and medical aid to help our furry friends.

No matter what, I hope everyone has a joyous holiday season full of love and light, kindness and hope.

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  1. Such wonderful ideas, and the accompanying photos are fantastic. Best wishes for a cozy and meaningful Yule!


  2. Amazing ideas and gorgeous basket sets. I would love to receive any of these options.


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