RE: holidays
From: Elana Kann (
Date: Mon, 19 Sep 2005 17:43:16 -0700 (PDT)
At Westwood, we have one big common house celebration every year for the
Winter Solstice that includes a Smorgasbord of all the winter holidays we
know about from all over the world. The children play a big part--telling
about the holiday of their tradition or another one that they've researched,
telling a story or acting out a play or dancing a dance or singing a song
associated with that holiday, lighting the candelabra that goes with it. We
also sometimes serve foods that go with the various winter holidays. A lot
of members and sometimes guests come, some dress up in finery. My
now-6-year-old daughter from India gets to wear her Indian clothes and tell
about Divali, for example. It's an opportunity to see both the variety of
Solstice celebrations and what they all have in common--missing the light,
trying to bring it back, exchanging gifts, etc. Instead of causing tensions
and dividing us, it brings us together. Other than this one evening, people
decorate their own houses, indoors &/or out, rather than the common house.
This solution/ritual seems to work well for us.

--Elana Kann, Westwood, Asheville, NC

How do people handle problems with holiday observance?
This has become a very controversial for us. Especially
Christmas/Hannakah/Solstice/Kwanza decorations. Some people want no
decorations at all and some want 2 weeks of mondo explosion Santa, trees,
creche display, lights, etc. I've recommended we allow decorations for 4-5
days for each major holiday and have made no one happy.

Some people see these as totally secural and others as oppressive religious
display in a very diverse neighborhood.
What to do?
Anne @ Jackson Place Seattle

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