[Ansteorra] Ideas for gifts for Christmas

Bree Flowers evethejust at gmail.com
Thu Nov 11 08:00:07 PST 2010

> Make sure you look at the bottle of Ceramic things. If they bear the warning of "not for food or drink" they are probable are painted with Lead paint.. Don't get too worried . Eating off lead is bad but if you only do it once or twice a year you should be OK.

Actually, there are several different reasons why something could be
"not for food or drink". Lead is one, but there's also the possibility
that the glaze they have used doesn't actually seal the vessel.
Ceramics are porous, it is just the glaze that makes them water tight.
If the glaze is cracked or does not cover the entire surface of the
piece it will allow liquid to penetrate. If there is no glaze on both
the inside and outside of the vessel you will be left with a puddle on
your table and nothing left in your glass. There's also the
possibility that the decoration isn't actually a glaze or anything
sealed on. If it was meant to be decorative it could just be paint
that will flake off if you use it. Best bet if it says "not for food
or drink" is not to use it for food or drink.

As for the suggestion that eating off lead once or twice a year should
be okay, I have to disagree. From Wikipedia:

"Lead has been shown many times to permanently reduce the cognitive
capacity of children at extremely low levels of exposure. There
appears to be no detectable lower limit below which lead has no effect
on cognition."
"Lead is considered to be particularly harmful for women's ability to

If anyone wants to make the personal decision to ingest food off of or
drink out of vessels containing lead, it's a free country and they can
do what they like, but please do not suggest that it is okay to give
it as a gift! As a mother to a young child, and as someone who is
trying to reproduce again I'd be horrified if anyone gifted me with
lead! On the whole, feast gear as a gift to anyone but a new member
seems pointless to me as most of us have a set within a year or so.
Unless of course it is something really special (see below about
making stuff).

Why are all the gift suggestions things you can purchase anyway? Are
we not a group that MAKES stuff? Given an evening to work and less
than $5 in materials I could make you some lovely trim worth far more
than $20. A scribe could give a promissory note for an illuminated
piece of artwork (like a favorite poem or phrase) or just produce
something that pleases them because it would probably please any
recipient as well. You could bake something lovely. Anyone can follow
one of the recipes on Gode Cookery and make something delicious and
period. A woodworker can make a simple, unfinished 6-sided box in an
evening and for less than $20 that the recipient could then customize
to their taste. We have so many skills here that it seems silly to me
to waste time combing through thrift shops when what we make with our
own hands is so much better.

If you really don't have the time and just want to buy something, how
about supporting those artists among us that are trying to make a
living from their art? A gift certificate to one of our merchants (Max
has some drool-worthy jewelery at very reasonable prices) or a CD from
one of our performers. Wolgemut CDs are only $13, Heather Dale's CDs
are in the $18 range and I'm sure there are others available locally
or online.

Any of the above would be both more meaningful and more useful to me
than yet another set of thrift store feast gear. Though I will agree
that you can never have too much linen :)

My husband thinks I have enough linen and might kill me if he sees any
more enter the house, but what he doesn't see won't hurt me :)

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