Re: Re: rituals and events
From: Kevin Wolf (
Date: Sat, 1 Dec 2001 00:32:01 -0700 (MST)
At 05:35 PM 11/30/2001 +0000, you wrote:
Could you give more details on this?
How are gifts exchanged?
Why is it for adults only?

N Street has its annual holiday party (Solkwahamas - solstice, kwanza, hanukah, christmas) and have similar gift exchange. Kids have their own arrange exchange where they draw names out of a hat the week before and find a used item that would be a nice gift for that other kid. They open their presents first. A rite of passage is when a kid is old enough that they participate in the adult exchange. The risk they realize is that in the kids exchange they are guaranteed to get something. In the adult one, they might get skunked.

For example, a tradition at N Street's party is that the now seven year old fruit cake and the Donny Osmond album are disguised and one of the gifts in the pile is this. The "winner" of that gift has to bring it back, disguise it and put it back into next year's pile. Donny arrived the first time we did this 12 years ago and has been with us since.

Gifts can not be new items because we don't want to add to the buying of stuff. So people save items over the years and everyone participating adds a gift to the pile. Then numbers are drawn. Number one selects from the pile. Number two can take number ones gift or a gift from the pile. Each proceeding number can take any gift before them or one from the pile. A gift can only be "stolen" three times before it can't be "stolen" again. Kids participating will be treated as adults and their gifts will be taken. When their gift is taken, they go back to the pile and choose again, hoping not to select Donny.

People try for the funniest gift or the one that is stolen the most. It is wonderful, loud laughing fun. And we give away nice things that we no longer (or never) want.

Kevin Wolf
N Street Cohousing Community member
724 N St, Davis, CA  95616
kjwolf [at]

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