Masonic Christmas

Wow, is it really December already? We’ve got our tree up, but not yet decorated, and the menorah is out (of course, all you have to do is take it out of the box), and that’s about as far as we’ve gotten as far as holidays at our house, gifts aren’t even really on the radar yet.  I have to assume that at least some of you are on the same page as myself, and might be on the lookout for a gift for a Masonic family member. I covered this topic as well last year, but this year I wanted to show off some of the more unique options out there.


Something Old


Everyone loves heirlooms, even more so if they can be passed from Mason to Mason throughout the generations. Sometimes though, you find that you’re better off getting something secondhand in order to get that unique gift. There’s lots of options here: books, aprons, but the biggest is jewelry. A word of caution, however, try and buy from a reputable seller. There’s tons of Masonic costume jewelry out there, and what you thought was 25k gold, might actually be gold plated, or worse, just plain plastic. eBay tends to be a better option than Etsy, due to the lower prices, but both are viable options. Also, don’t be afraid to check out your local pawnshop or even craigslist. What you find might just surprise you.


Something Handmade


 There are so many cool, unique options out there if you decide to buy something that has been handmade. Etsy is the place for this, although there are some other sites out there as well. Don’t limit yourself to just sellers with Masonic items, many people that do glass etching or woodworking will be able to do most any of the logos for any Masonic organization. 3d printing is also becoming very popular, and tends to be fairly inexpensive. Scotch glasses, jewelry boxes, embossed journals, the possibilities are limitless. Don’t forget that for the most part, these are not copyrighted, so you don’t have to worry about that, although your state and country laws may vary.


Something Educational


 Education is the gift that keeps on giving, especially when it comes to Masonic education. Although initiates receive copies of the ritual work when they join, there are countless books out there on Masonry. History, how-to’s, esoteric books, meditations and reflections, even Masonic fiction exists. Besides, doesn’t everyone need a copy of Morals and Dogma? If you’d rather give a gift that goes a step further, why not enroll them in the Master Craftsman program? I’ve talked about this before, but the short story is, it’s an education program put on by the Scottish Rite, that has readings and tests, and even a fancy pin to show everyone you finished. And, as long as they get it done in a year, you can buy them the next level next year!


 Something Charitable


 Charity is really the name of the game when it comes to Freemasonry, so why not donate to a Masonic cause in someone’s name for a gift? There’s tons of options out there, including the Shiner’s Hospital for Children and RiteCare. If you want to take it a step further, find out what organizations and charities their Lodge or Chapter is working with this year. If you’re not sure, contact your local Grand Lodge, or barring that, you can never go wrong with keeping it close to home and donating to an organization in your local community.


Something Traditional


If you’re looking for something more traditional, check out these Masonic retailers.



Red Tower Regalia



A Very Masonic Christmas

The end of the year is just around the corner; but before we get to New Year’s there’s one last item to scratch off your list: Christmas. Buying Christmas presents can be overwhelming, not only as far as prices, but sometimes finding the “right” thing to buy someone is just as difficult. I would know- T and I ended up buying for 15 people this year! If you have someone who is a Mason, or who is involved in an apendant body, or is even interested in Masonry, there are tons of options out there for you to choose from, in a large range of prices. So fire up your Amazon Prime (worth it!), and let’s scratch some people off your gift list.


You can never go wrong with a book. There’s hundreds of books on Freemasonry and its related subjects, possibly even more. Here’s some I recommend.

Written by Bro. Hodapp, Freemasons for Dummies is an excellent book. I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in Masonry, whose SO is a Mason, is a new Mason, or has been involved in the craft for years. It covers a wide range of topics, from the History of the Templars, to top ten lists of Masonry. It is a wonderful resource, and I really feel that anyone who has even the slightest inkling of interest in Freemasonry read it. T and I have both read it cover to cover, and I use it as a resource for writing here.

A Bridge to Light is essentially an abridged version of Morals and Dogma. It describes all of the degrees of Scottish Rite Masonry, including a brief synopsis of each degree, as well as the regalia for each degree. It also gives the bottom line, and gives the virtue that each degree is trying to convey. I would not recommend this for someone who is not already a Scottish Rite Mason. Knowing what is coming with degree work really takes a lot of the magic out of it. This book is totally okay for any wives or non-Masons to read, as it gives away no secrets. As a bonus, its required reading for the Master Craftsman Program!

Okay, so, The Lost Symbol is a work of fiction. I repeat, this is a work of fiction. See how it’s written by Dan Brown? That’s how you know its fiction. That being said, it’s a pretty decent work of fiction. The reason I recommend this book, is the amount of accuracy within it. Yes, not everything said about Masons in it is true, but a lot of it is. Brown really did his homework for this one. It’s also an upcoming film.

There are tons of books out there, from Masonic history, to philosophy, to ritual assistance. If you aren’t sure what someone’s specific interests are, and these three don’t seem to fit the bill, I would start with The Lost Word, an online Masonic book retailer.


There are thousands of different types of jewelry related to Masonic organizations. Rings, necklaces, earrings, cufflinks, tie clips, if its shiny, they will put a S&C on it. Bear in mind that the vast majority of this stuff is from India, and not so great high quality heirloom kind of stuff. If you are okay with that, I will stick a list at the bottom of the “major” masonic retailers where you can get all sorts of stuff.

When buying a gift, usually the one thing you want to stay away from is a ring. Rings, especially for Master Masons, are a very personal thing, and is usually picked out by the individual, given to them by their mentor, or passed down in the family. If you are looking for Masonic rings, some good stores are JemsByJem, and MasonicRings.

For everything else, check out the mass market shops, Amazon, The Master’s Jewel, or, surprisingly, Etsy. There’s a lot out there on Etsy, but be sure to search for something like “square and compass ring”  instead of “mason ring”, unless you want a ring made from a mason jar.


As I said above, if they can put a square and compass or other masonic symbol on something, they will. Hats, shirts, motorcycle jackets, ties, gloves, you name it, you can buy it. Again, the mass market shops have the largest variety, but there are also a lot of smaller shops out there. Grip or Token is awesome for baseball and stocking caps, and I think that Fraternal Ties can’t be beat for ties and pocket squares.

Other Goodies

Posters, coffee mugs, Christmas ornaments and more, they can all be purchased with a Masonic flair. Again, the mass market shops will give you the widest range of items. But don’t discount the little guy. The Masonic Family Catalog by Klitzner has some oddities. Who knew I always wanted a Shrine purse hanger? Fossil Bluff makes some really gorgeous pens and other handmade gifts. Even the Scottish Rite store has a pretty decent selection.Your Grand Lodge may even sell some items on their website. Don’t forget, if you are looking for something really specific to be made, you might want to ask a seller on Etsy, or even try your hand on Thumbtack.

Mass Market 

These shops are essentially mass market shops. They churn out a ton of items, at a decent price. There is nothing wrong with this, however, sometimes their quality tends to be a bit lacking. However, they do, in my experience have the largest selection of cloth goods by far, as well as a wide variety of rings. These are the guys that usually come and sell items at Grand Lodge. They are however, pretty good as far as out of print books are concerned. If you are after a hard to find book, for example, The Eastern Star; The Evolution from a Rite to an Order, these places are going to be your best bet.



Red Tower Regalia




I hope that this helps figure out some gifts for folks, or even items to add to your own wishlists!

To your front door

Attention gentlemen! Mother’s day is next Sunday! Consider this your 1 week warning. 🙂 If you’re looking for something a bit different to get your lady (or even mom) for mother’s day, I would recommend checking out this post. There are also a few things here for the guys.

Ladies! I know what it can be like to be a Mason’s wife- you can easily have a formal dinner, a family outing, and a scotch tasting all in the same week. Not only does this add up as far as time and money, but in addition to this, we do not get the same luxury as the guys as far as being able to wear a suit, or a dress shirt and tie wherever we go. Instead we end up with a large variety  of clothes, and makeup, usually in incredulous amounts, not to mention the cost really does add up faster than you might think.

Enter beauty boxes, also known as subscription services. The idea is basically the same across the board- you pay a subscription fee, from as little as $10, all the way up to $160 a month, and the company sends you goodies each month directly to your house, that you get to keep, or in some cases, the service works a bit more like Netflix for clothes. There’s a ton of services out there, but I am going to cover the top contenders in each category.

True Beauty Boxes


Arguably the first “beauty box” that really gained popularity, Birchbox offers a very no-nonsense package. $10 a month, for 4-6 beauty and “lifestyle”  deluxe (read:larger) samples, delivered to your home each month. The beauty samples can range from makeup to skin care items, while the lifestyle items can be a Kind bar or tea. One of the nicer things about Birchbox is that they offer both a women’s box subscription, as well as a men’s. The men’s box contains items like manly shampoo, shaving cream, playing cards, cufflinks and lotion. The “lifestyle” items tend to be much more formal than the women’s boxes. Every box has a theme.Right now there is about a two week wait for a subscription, but in my experience, it tends to be a much shorter wait than that. Average value: $30-$50


Perhaps Birchbox’s biggest contender is Ipsy. Ipsy’s box plan is the same as Birchbox’s- you pay $10 a month, for 4-6 items, the first difference here is that Ipsy offers deluxe samples, as well as full size items. The second is Ipsy’s focus, which is much more on makeup, with some skin and hair care items. Ipsy’s bags are also themed like Birchbox, but every month, all of the makeup comes packaged in a themed cosmetic bag. There is also a waiting list for Ipsy, it does not say how long the wait is, but you can jump through some Facebook hoops or get a referral link (let me know if you want one!) to skip ahead to the front of the line. Average value: around $50

Clothing and Accessories

Wantable Accessories

This one is a little pricier, but with good reason- as the name suggests, this is a subscription box for jewelry and other accessories. The price tag is a big step from the likes of Ipsy and Birchbox at $36 a month, but if you are like myself, and have a seemingly endless calendar of Masonic dinners and social gatherings, this could easily be worth every penny. The box contents range from rings and bracelets, to sunglasses and watches. The company Wantable has two other subscription services, one for makeup, and one for intimates. Average value: $100+

Stitch Fix & Gweenie Bee

These two subscription services work a little differently, and both involve clothes. Stitch Fix is $20 a month, and 4-5 pieces of clothing and/or accessories are handpicked for you by a stylist.You keep what you like, and send back the rest. The $20 a month you spend is taken off of the final prices of the items you choose.

Gweenie Bee, targeted at women sizes 10+, works more like Netflix. You pay a flat fee to have a certain number of items out at a time, starting at 1 piece of clothing for $35 a month. When you’re done wearing it, or decide you don’t like it, you send it back, free shipping, just like Netflix. The difference between Gwennie Bee and Netflix is that you can buy the items you like while you have them at home!

The Weird


Kind of changing gears, Plated aims to ship….dinner to your door. The only catch is that you have to cook. The monthly fee is $10 again, but every “plate” added to the meal is an additional $12. So, a plated meal for 2 would cost $34. You can also not choose to subscribe and just buy meals, which bumps the plate cost up to $15, and you must buy four. Everything comes pre-portioned with everything you need, and gives you detailed step by step instructions on how to prepare the meal. Would be absolutely wonderful for a date night in! Average value: Varies on meat cost, usually $50-$75

Nerd Block

I’m pretty sure I need this (hint! hint!). Nerd Block is a monthly subscription box for toys, collectibles, t-shirts and other geeky things. They also send you a custom t-shirt every month that you cannot get anywhere else. They also have Nerd Block Jr, aimed at young nerdlings. The cost is a bit more here, $20 + shipping, but they are a much smaller company than all of the others. Average value: $50-$75

You can quickly see how convenient for someone who is active in the Masonic community- getting new items- makeup, jewelry, shoes, clothes, even food and toys, every month, usually at a fraction of the cost. This means you could always have something new to wear (if you’re like me, every bigger event I want to have at least one small “new” item), at every event that you attend. Sounds pretty awesome to me.

For the record- none of these companies are paying me in any way shape, or form to write this article. I just think that these subscription services really have a place in a Mason’s lady’s (or Mason’s) life, are very convenient, and seamlessly integrated. I can’t wait to try them all.