|Holiday imperfections/ and the Gift Game||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Lynn Nadeau (welcomeolympus.net)|
|Date: Sun, 13 Dec 1998 21:28:06 -0600|
RoseWind almost blew our holiday party. We still have a number of members who live "on the other side"-- in Seattle--- and have quite a trek to get here and back home. So we decided to not have our annual holiday party in the evening after our monthly business meeting, but rather to compress the meeting into a half day. Mistake! We had a lot of fairly loaded issues to examine, and all felt pretty stressed about pushing through things that seemed to want more time. We were however managing. Till the last minute, when blood sugar was low, the clock was ticking, and two members with strong opinions erupted in an emotional clash that set off a very intense discussion that just felt wrong to cut off, but we HAD to eat, and we didn't want to continue the meeting after lunch when we had been counting on partying from lunch onward. Yuck, and Oh Dear. The conflicting parties and some others continued the debate well into the lunch hour, in a side room. Ultimately, I tore myself away and got a much-needed plate of food and, to tell the truth, went outside and sat alone in my car to eat it and calm down! When lunch was over, we gathered to decide how to proceed. Some felt they just couldn't party until the process was talked about, and some understanding reached about where things had suddenly gone "wrong", and how we could avoid this happening again. Others were eager to forget and party. We chose to have the process discussion in another room, while others started to party, but waited a half an hour before the gift-exchange game which we all wanted to participate in. That worked. About half the group ( a dozen people or so) shared how they had felt and what seemed to be the source of the upsets and what to do in future. All agreed that the agenda overload relative to the time allotted was a critical factor. By the end of the half hour, we were ready to move on, and most people seemed to have a fun time at the party. Just because you live in cohousing doesn't guarantee that you'll always be one big happy family. A family, quite likely, but with some of the ups and downs and less-than-picture-perfect moments that born families have. Lynn at RoseWind, Port Townsend WA PS- The gift-stealing game works fine with a group of twenty or so. If a group seemed too big you could split into sub groups. The rules are easy. Each brings a gift or White Elephant (a mixture of nice and funny items is usual). The wrapped gifts are placed in the center of the floor. Numbered slips of paper are made for the total number of people (number of gifts) and everyone draws a number. Person number one opens a gift and shows it to all. Number two can either "steal" any previously-opened gift, or choose to open a new one. This goes on. If your gift is stolen, you can then either steal an opened gift or open a new one. Sometimes there's a rule about how many times a gift can be stolen before it is "retired" and safe from further stealing (we let it get stolen three times). We had a lot of good natured fun with this! Gifts ranged from wool socks to chocolate, to a home-made wreath, and a box with toy crickets that chirped when you opened the box! It was interesting to see that the basic game of what-can-I-get? was tempered with a lot of tacit cooperation to see that people who really wanted something got to keep it, if it seemed to matter to them. This quiet conspiracy ended up with almost everyone having something they really enjoyed.
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