Re: holidays
From: pattymara [at] (
Date: Mon, 19 Sep 2005 14:42:27 -0700 (PDT)
Dear List,
At Tierra Nueva, central CA coast, we evolved into a holiday policy that allows 
for all expressions, all flavors in the holiday traditions.  Much like what 
Matt describes: "everything celebrated rather than nothing celebrated".

Our first holiday season was in 1998, and concern arose around three holidays:  
Day of the Dead (Dias de los Muertos) and you guessed it, Christmas/Hanukkah.  
One or two residents complained about each, and we processed it long and deep.  
We discovered  that the resident who felt uncomfortable around the Day of the 
Dead altar was fine with us setting the altar up in a less conspicuous location 
(on the mezzanine or in the meditaiton garden instead of in the dining room.)  
Lately we've been setting up our altars in our homes and having a tour from 
house to house).  

And we were able to solve the "winter holidays" by allowing for both with 
respectful approaches on the actual dates of each that during the 
Hanukkah dinner, the Christmas decorations were toned down or removed.  

We have a confirmed atheist who simply doesn't like any holidays and just 
needed to be acknowledged for it...she stands aside, grins and bears it.  As 
you can see about the consensus log date on the policy below, it took us about 
a year to reach agreement.

I'm for little and large altars everywhere,
PattyMara, Tierra Nueva 
Here is the policy wording in our Residents Guide:
Common House Cultural, Spiritual or Ethnic Displays
The Common house may be used for any physical display of a cultural, spiritual 
or ethnic nature so long as the display meets the following criteria:  
1.  It is designed and placed so that other members also have the opportunity 
to create displays during the same time period, should they wish to do so.
2.  It does not obstruct Common House functions, such as circulation, food 
service, meetings, etc.  
3.  It does not create any physical dangers for children or adults. 
4.  It does not remain beyond a reasonable period of time associated with the 
particular event or holiday.
5.  It does not demean any group of people based on religion, ethnicity, 
ethical values, gender, sexual orientation.
6.  The person(s) responsible for that display agrees to attempt to resolve the 
issues with the concerned members in the community before bringing the matter 
to a general meeting.  (December 16, 1999)


  • Re: holidays, (continued)

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