Cloven Fruit and Pagan Ornaments

If you've never made cloven fruit, now's the time to make this fun, fragrant and easy decorative fruit.

You'll need:

1 nail (large is better)
1 bottle of whole cloves
1 orange
1 wire hanger to disassemble and use for a wire hanger. (Wire cutters may be necessary)
Ribbon for decoration
Powdered cinnamon (optional) in a deep bowl. (A small souffle dish is what I use.)

Use the nail to punch a hole in the orange's skin. Stick one clove, stem down, into the hole. Repeat all over the orange as desired. The more, the better. Some cloves will break. Just set them aside for use in a potpourri or wassail. Once the orange is covered to your satisfaction, you may roll it in the cinnamon, if desired. I rarely bother, but it does increase the fragrance.

Straighten the wire and shove it through the orange from the stem to blossom end. Use the wire cutters to bend the end at the bottom to secure the wire. Bend the top to form a hook to hang the cloven fruit where you wish, be it on the tree or from a convenient chandelier, or wherever you like. Use the ribbon to tie around the wire or even hot glue the ribbon in strips down the sides with a bow on top. Get creative! The cloven fruit should last all season.

Kissing tradition using the fruit. One may present a cloven fruit to the object of your affections or desires. If that person pulls out a clove, they may use it to indicate where you may kiss them. Touching it to the lips or cheek means a peck there. Holding it within the mouth is an invitation to search for it with your tongue. Dropping it into their clothing is an indication you may search for it at leisure at a later mutually agreeable time. (wink)

Other pagan ornaments are:

"Natural" items--
Nuts, apples, oranges, garlands of popcorn and cranberries, homemade candies, wrapped cookies, candy canes, and other treats. Pinecones also serve well, and can make an enjoyable family activity decorating them with spray paint, glitter, gems, and other fun items. Don't forget the holly and mistletoe!

Glass or other ornaments --

Blown glass fruits and vegetables, birds, musical instruments, pinecones, crescent moons, suns, acorns, owls, animals (especially frogs), holly, and of course Santa Claus is the ultimate in pagan symbols, being a version of our own God in a transparently obvious cloak of other faiths. Enjoy him in all his forms.

I personally collect Santa figures and symbols, and have many versions of him throughout our holiday decorations, from a white-clad French Pere Noel to a pagan-symbology laden Russian Santa carrying a fir tree.

Look for pagan symbols in your holiday decorations and enjoy the season. It's a time of love and celebration when many faiths unite in a common joy. Don't be a spoilsport and look for differences. Embrace the oneness with your fellow man.

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