Adele Nozedar crafts us a talking stick for Christmas

Ah, Christmas… the heady sensual overload of screaming toddlers and everyone yelling over each other. The festive season can be, shall we say, a bit noisy? Well, friend of HappilyTania and author extraordinaire Adele Nozedar has given us permission to use her festive post from her newsletter in order to show you how to craft a talking stick to stop the shoutiness and bring about peace on Earth and goodwill to all.

Don’t get me wrong. I really, really LOVE (almost) everything about Christmas. The dark winter mornings, perfect to have coffee by candlelight, sitting up in bed, with a dog or two snuggled up. The cosy village events here in Wales, bringing neighbours together (especially the Living Nativity in Talybont on Usk). Mince pies, hot from the oven. Baking unusual things! And possibly best of all, the Christmas Tree!
However, there’s one aspect of this whole season which makes me feel queasy, and I suspect it’s not just me either.  STUFF. STUFF is what bothers me. The sheer consumerism and perceived necessity to panic-buy more STUFF whether we need it or not, is daft for so many reasons that I won’t even start going into since I suspect you feel the same.
So here’s an idea for something that you can make in less than 10 minutes, costs nothing, and which will prove an essential tool for family gatherings at any time of year, but which I’ve found especially suitable for the Yuletide season (when emotions can run higher than usual).

You will need
1. A stick (see above) as large as you like. My lovely piece of dogwood is approx 12 inches long but you could even go for an entire branch/ broom handle depending on the style of family gathering you are party to.
2. A feather
This is a particularly fine buzzard feather. NOTE feathers like this are generally not found indoors, so get your wellies on and go for a walk, keeping your eyes peeled. Again, any feather will do.
3. Ribbon
Everyone, surely, has a drawer full of bits and pieces? Admittedly I did find these whilst looking for a hammer. Result, although I still cant remember what I needed a hammer for.
5. A bell (optional)
Again, everyone has a bell or two knocking about. This one was in the button tin.

So, what to do now? Simply tie the feather to the stick using the ribbon, then thread the bell onto the ribbon and tie in a bow. Lovely though it is, you may be wondering what the heck you’ve made.
This is a Talking Stick. When family gatherings show signs of getting heated, bring out the stick. Only the person holding it is allowed to speak. The bell adds a little extra jangly oomph as well as a satisfying weight.

There you have it. This is the sort of thing that you will wonder how you lived without. Your Christmas will be peaceful as long as you retain control of this trusty implement. In addition, in making it you’ve had to go outside for a stroll (always a good thing).

If you do fancy a wee bit of STUFF, Adele has a number of fabulous books out and you can find gift vouchers for an assortment of foraging treats,  including botanical gin workshops, botanical perfume workshops, making a foraging basket, and combined foraging/bushcraft courses. Her website is at www.breconbeaconsforaging.com