Wicca, Witchcraft and Paganism, for the Novice to the Crone
The Rites and Rituals
The Rites and Rituals of the American Wiccan Book of Shadows
The primary function of ritual is to worship---to celebrate and to connect with the
divine. Don’t try do perform a ritual unless you're working a precise spell. You
see…the gods aren't going to care whether your altar cloth is an old sheet or an
intricately embroidered cloth, as long as it's clean and you have the rig
(It's wonderful to have coordinated altar supplies and make everything "just so," but if you have to substitute in order to make things right then do so.)
It's also important to use your common sense in the spiritual realm. Don't start invoking fire and water goddesses in the same breath or the same ritual. Don't joke around with ritual objects---they are sacred, even if the ritual is lighthearted.
When invoking deities you should know something about them. When you raise magickal energy, have a focus for it---if you let it drift, you're going to get yourself into trouble, because magickal energy seeks out that which needs to be done, voids that need to be filled.
Before you start, always plan your actions. Extrapolate on what "could" happen and adjust that which needs adjusting. Sometimes bad things could happen and it’s better to be prepared. Your goal is to enjoy your rituals, to have fun celebrating the holidays, to show respect and reverences.