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Issue #249 - Most Likely to be Trapped Under the Mistletoe (On Purpose!)

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The Worst Christmas Gifts On Record!
If you were planning on giving a loved one a gift from this list then you may find yourself estranged by next Christmas! There are five days left before Christmas Day which is just enough time to rectify your terrible mistake.

A truly thoughtful and practical gift!
Invisibility cloaks. Of course they seem like a fine idea at the time, but as everyone knows, eventually an invisibility cloak ceases to function and what you're left with is a rather useless item that obviously was never designed for style. Unless the cloak you happen to obtain is certifiably brand new or a mythical cloak from a certain fairy tale, you cannot be sure how long it will last for. Not only are they exceedingly expensive, but it would be a great disappointment were it to wear out shortly after gifting it, or worse, be a counterfeit product that never worked in the first place! Not to mention it encourages mischievous behavior in the wearer who will surely feel emboldened by his invisibility. Consider instead a more practical cloak made of a luxurious and long-lasting fabric that will make the wearer want to be visible in it!

You shouldn't wish a live fire crab on your enemies, let alone your loved ones!
Fire crabs. For the witch or wizard who has a soft spot for magical creatures, please reconsider your decision to gift them a fire crab. Although incredibly beautiful, the fire crab will inevitably destroy the home and very possibly slay the recipient of your misguided generosity. Instead, perhaps give them a fire crab cauldron or a wall mounted fire crab shell depending on whether you think they'd prefer a practical or decorative gift. The other residents of the home will surely be grateful for it too.

Ever-bashing boomerangs. Your child, niece, or nephew, may suggest that one of these toys would complete their Christmas but I implore you to reconsider! Certainly you shall be rewarded with a minute or so of satisfaction as the child tries out their new gift for the very first time but that will be a short-lived minute! As the name so considerately tried to inform you, that boomerang will make its way back to the thrower and batter them relentlessly. If you wish to send a child to hospital on Christmas day then this is a perfectly adequate gift to consider, however I suggest you take a moment to ask yourself what brought you so low as to wish physical harm upon a child.

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5 Christmas Traditions to Avoid This Holiday Season
Traditions are part of what makes the holiday season so charming, but not every tradition adds to the joy of this particular time of year. Check our list of a few well known holiday traditions one might want to avoid this year...

1. Caroling
The Tradition: A group gathers — sometimes men, sometimes women, sometimes both — and wanders through the neighborhood singing beloved Christmas carols for the edification of their neighbors.
Why Avoid It: Aside from getting quite cold, this tradition was co-opted last year by a group of "gentlemen" from the club Excalibur who were nearly too intoxicated to stand, leaving Bartonburg residents scandalized. As a result, many of the typical boons available to carolers such as cocoa or biscuits will not be available as neighbors plan to keep their doors firmly shut against any shenanigans. Caroling this year may cause your character to be called into question, if the streets are once again filled with rabble-rousers disguised as carolers.

2. Twelve Days of Christmas Gifts
The Tradition: Originally a children's poem, the Twelve Days of Christmas has inspired some families to give small gifts during the eleven days leading up to the holiday, not just on Christmas morning.
Why Avoid It: Getting a gift each day, even a small gift such as candies, can spoil your children. If you do use a series of small gifts, mix it up by occasionally hiding tiny pieces of coal or spring-loaded jinxes in the boxes so that your children don't grow too complacent and demanding.

3. Mistletoe
The Tradition: When a man and woman find themselves beneath a sprig of mistletoe, they must exchange a kiss in order to move on, or face bad luck.
Why Avoid It: If you're already in a relationship such as a marriage or courtship, engaging in public displays of affection is accomplishing nothing but making others uncomfortable. If you aren't, it's a risk you out to avoid. Some women gamble on the chance that getting a kiss will spur a potential beau to propose sooner, but if it doesn't pay off you'll be seen as damaged goods forevermore.

4. Sleigh Rides
The Tradition: Due to the beauty of the snow, it has become tradition to ride in an open carriage in order to take in the scenery.
Why Avoid It: Horses trotting over snowy paths such as the ones frequented on sleigh rides will give a bumpier ride to any ladies in the carriage, which increases the risk of a wandering uterus and hysteria. Additionally, the lack of cover means that a particularly nasty bump in the road could send you flying towards an icy death as you're trampled under the sleigh immediately behind you!

5. Stockings
The Tradition: Another tradition inspired by a poem, children hang their stockings by the fireplace in the hopes of having them filled with candies, small toys, or coins.
Why Avoid It: The family in the original poem was poor and had their stockings hanging by the fire because that was the only place available to dry their laundry. Hanging stockings out for Christmas will make you look poor, too; stick to presents beneath the tree.
Don't get stuck in the past; ditch these traditions while you can!

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Most Likely to be Trapped Under the Mistletoe (On Purpose!)
Mistletoe: to some it's a scandalous excuse to practice premarital affection, while to others it's a harmless tradition that is impossible to control. While the former may be true in muggle spaces, magical mistletoe often prevents its victims from walking away until they pucker up with the person they're stuck with! That doesn't mean every instance is indeed an unavoidable mistake. A sneaky few might use magical mistletoe to their advantage, using it as a way to steal a kiss. We've made a list of seven people to be on the lookout for as the mistletoe begins to bloom this winter!

1. Fitzroy Prewett

Not a stranger to scandal, the Department of Magical Games and Sports head is said to be something of a ladies' man—and the life of a party. Add a little bit of champagne, and Mr. Prewett might easily become the bane of every proper lady's existence. He may be handsome, but don't let his charms lure you into a door way, or you might find yourself the subject of the first winter scandal!

Miss Zelda Fisk

The youngest daughter in the Fisk family has seemingly attached herself to Mr. J. Alfred Darrow, though their official status is unclear. What we do know is that her family seems to disapprove of the pair, as evidenced by the cold exchanges between Miss Fisk's brothers and beau in recent months. With a family so involved in her life, we wouldn't be surprised if Miss Fisk took the opportunity to steal a kiss under the mistletoe this winter.

Miss Backus—a baker's daughter in disguise.

Miss Madeleine Backus

The former Hufflepuff prefect and daughter of bakers Mr. and Mrs. Backus has made a name for herself in recent years, as she's apparently decided an inheritance from a Russian relative warrants a spot on every guest list in Britain! The pretend-debutante seeks to secure a wealthy husband, we think, but any intelligent gentleman would be smart to seek a wife of better breeding. Miss Backus' only path to a married life might be her natural beauty, which even we cannot dispute. We would not be surprised to find her leading one of society's eligible bachelors to sprig of mistletoe this holiday season—assuming she gets any invitations at all!

Miss Scamander—a social success or desperate debutante?

Mr. Ace Lukeson

The widower of the late Mrs. Lucille Lukeson is no stranger to unfortunate romantic whims. The twenty-one-year-old Ministry employee and Appleby Arrows sponsor eloped with the Flint heiress, who in every way was set up for a life of luxury and happiness before her untimely death to childbirth. Now with a child of his own and a handful of siblings to support, we would not be surprised if Mr. Lukeson used his late wife's dowry to charm a woman into conversing with him under the mistletoe as a desperate measure.

Miss Helga Scamander

The debutante has made a name for herself for her social-climbing endeavors, helped in part by her connections in society. Still, the twenty-one-year-old has yet to secure a husband despite a plethora of options, and we would not be surprised if her tricks this winter include using a well-positioned sprig of mistletoe to her advantage. The only question that remains is which bachelor will she tempt with her wide smile and girlish charms.

Mr. Reuben Crouch

A year ago we would have never assumed that Mr. Crouch would have been married, let alone before either of his brothers! The fact still remains: Mr. Crouch is now a married man, even despite the scandal that the elopement brought. There are still questions of what happened in the days leading up to the scandal, which left American liaison Mr. St.John-Black without a fiancée and the new Mrs. Crouch scorned by her family, but we at Witch Weekly do not doubt that the unfortunate circumstances have left a strain on the couple. We would not be surprised if Mr. Crouch took the opportunity to cuddle up with another lady under the mistletoe, if only to relive a moment from his former life as a bachelor.

Mr. Xavier Mondragon

The party boy is, thankfully, not invited to any respectable society functions any longer, but might still use his money and initial charming demeanor to woo any desperate women looking to spend the winter as a married woman. To all women, both single and married, we say: avoid him at all costs.
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   Ophelia Devine

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Capricorn, Aquarius, & Pisces: Which is the Superior Winter Sign?
Each astrological sign has their own unique strengths and weaknesses, and some astrologists would argue that all are equal. We disagree. Some signs are simply easier to handle, and have more desirable traits than other signs. Some weaknesses may he detrimental to success, while some strengths may guarantee it.

Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces are all winter signs. Capricorn is an Earth sign, Aquarius an air sign, and Pisces a water sign. The fire element is the only element not represented in the winter months, which makes sense—their fiery nature has no home in the coldness of winter!

As of 1890, children born on December 22nd (the second day of winter!) are born under the sign of Capricorn. Capricorns are known for their headstrong nature, business acumen, and their perceived cold-hearted ways to handling conflicts. Like all Earth signs, they're considered to be grounded, appreciate stability, and stubborn. Children born on January 20th of 1891 will find themselves born in the sign of Aquarius, which by all means is considered the most unconventional of the signs. Aquariuses are often said to march to the beat of their own drum, and their unique or progressive ways may conflict with society's traditions at times. At the core they are an individualistic, intellectual, and idealistic sign, and are some of the greatest thinkers in the zodiac. Finally, children born on February 22nd of 1891 through March 20th will fall under the sign of Pisces. A water sign through and through, Pisces are known for their empathy and ability to tune into the world around them. They are the creatives of the zodiac, and are often known by their kind hearts and gentle demeanors.

What society members were born under each sign?

Evander Darrow, born on January 20th, was born in a year when his birthday fell under the sign of Capricorn—and wouldn't you know it! Mr. Darrow is known for his committed, dutiful ways; he took in his orphaned niece at the beginning of the year, and is the responsible counterpart to his brother, Mr. J. Alfred Darrow. He leads the Improper Use of Magic Office, an office suited to any Capricorn concerned with adhering to the rules and traditions of the magical world.

Samuel St.John-Black, American liaison to the British ministry but better known as the scorned fiancé of the now Mrs. Reuben Crouch is, unpredictably, an Aquarius. Despite his job, which is best-suited for a Capricorn, we think, Mr. St.John-Black is best characterized as a stoic, patient, inscrutable person who is set in his own ways. While not the best example of the sign, he is a good example of how Aquariuses are their own unique people.

Mrs. Ophelia Devine, born in mid-March, is a Pisces. While she may be seen as a shallow socialite upon first glance, sources say that her true Pisces shines through when she grows to care about someone. She gets easily invested in the lives of others, which may be a good reason for her shallow mask. Surely if she became invested in every person she met she would be faced with disappointment!

So which sign is best?

Although we cannot guarantee that each and every person born under the sign is a gem of a person, we at Witch Weekly have agreed that Capricorn is surely the superior winter sign. Their ambitious, grounded, steadfast ways make the most reliable husbands, and their dutifulness makes them the perfect wives. As a caveat: those born under air or fire signs may not agree with our evaluations, as Capricorns are said to best get on with those born under water or other Earth signs! Still, whether choosing a business partner, a mentor, or even a husband, everyone should always consider the Capricorn.
Mrs. Ophelia Devine—an expert at hiding her inner Pisces?

Mr. St.John-Black—an awful Aquarius? Or merely a good example of their individualism?

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