Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Forum Game: Kris Kringle

Given that the Come In Character community attracts a wide range of people and creatures – from atheists to vampires – it’s certainly possible that not everyone here celebrates Christmas, but with December 25th just a couple days away, it might be fun to play a little holiday game.

Some folks call it “Kris Kringle.” Other folks call it “Secret Santa.” But, ultimately, it amounts to the same thing: an anonymous gift exchange among friends and family.

Normally, each participant would be randomly assigned another member of the group – by, say, plucking a name from a hat – and then have to purchase a gift for the chosen person (with a label that indicates the recipient's name and just “K.K.” or “Secret Santa” as the giver). It’s an exchange often practiced in offices, school classrooms, and large families – an inexpensive way for many people to give and receive a gift.

But, alas, we have no hat, so we’ll have to play this game a little differently.

To participate, you can do one of three things:

1. Offer hints as to what you’ve purchased and for whom – and see how long it takes someone to guess.

2. Use what you know about your fellow authors and characters to guess what they might purchase as a gift.

3. Feel free to swipe a gift from someone else, as long as you have a “Kris Kringle” gift of your own to offer in its place. (This is a good way to go if you're new to the site – hint, hint.)

Confused? Don’t worry – it’s all in good fun!

Just one last thing... In most “Kris Kringle” exchanges, there’s usually a monetary cap, but we’ll forget about that little detail for now. So, if you want to give someone a horse, for instance, go nuts. Let your imagination run wild – and let the gift-giving begin!


Josiah said...

This gift, petite in size, glowing with warmth and snugness should put a smile on a certain author's face.

Laura Martone said...

Ooh, Josiah, I'm intrigued. Whatever could it be and for whom?

Is it an oil lamp? Perfect for Ann to tuck Kalila away for a while?

Nutmeg Cross said...

Oh, I love this game! I never got to experience it as a young child - since I was home-schooled and all. But, in high school, my friends and I did "Secret Santa" a couple times. Course, we never swiped gifts from one another. Oh, if only! Sometimes, people offer some really strange gifts.

Now, seeing as how I'm a little poor these days, I had to make my gift from things I found in the forest. It's a festive object - perfect for the season - about six inches high, brown, with "petals" of a sort - and it's decorated with all manner of found objects. The same sort that a certain person made once for her temporary family.

Nevin said...

I like anything from the forest, Meg! Can I have it?

I have a gift for someone. It's blue, although it could be any color. It works best when heated, and it whistles.

Oh, did I give it away? I'm so not good at this game!

Josiah said...

Laura, 'tis not a lamp to light the way - however it does provide a place for love's glow.

Ms. Meg, found things that require work are the best sorts of gifts IMHO. How much does it take to walk into a merchants and pluck something off a shelf? Naw, it's creativity and thought that reveal the heart of the matter. Now six inches tall, brown with "petals" ... hmmm. I don't see many mushrooms decorated with found objects ... and underneath, I do believe they look more like paddles ... I shall have to ask for another clue.

Nevin ... is your gift something Ms. Fettleston might enjoy?"

Laura Martone said...

Wow, Josiah, now I'm really stumped. I'll have to think on it a while.

In the meantime, I'd like to offer a certain cat something thick, red, and delicious.

Devi Marconi said...

I could be getting ahead of myself, Meg, but that sounds an awful lot like something I made for my "temporary" family - the Littletons - on my first visit to the Hollow.

Nutmeg Cross said...

You're right, Devi! It is the very same thing - only the decorations are a bit less shiny than yours were.

And, Nevin, I think it would be an ideal gift for you, such a friend to Nature. In fact, it was always intended for you.

But, alas, another clue is needed. No, Josiah, I'm afraid it's not a mushroom, but it is something often found on the forest floor, like a mushroom. The difference is... my something doesn't start out on the forest floor.

Olivia Harper said...

I agree with you, Josiah - homemade gifts are far superior to store-bought ones. As an artist, I tend to make more gifts than I purchase. It's not a question of money - it's a question of effort and love.

So, I, too, have a homemade gift for someone - a string of colorful, iridescent orbs for a female character who's had a hard road and could use a little brightness in her life.

As for your gift, Nevin, I suspect Josiah might be right. A teakettle (if it is indeed a teakettle) does sound like something Ms. Fettleston might enjoy... although I'll wager that Ginger would appreciate it, too.

MitMoi said...

Olivia "colorful, iridescent orbs" ... sound sweet. If we were to translate that into food, I'd call it candy. ;)

Laura perhaps creating sprawling worlds in her mind is aided by the realism often striven for in this diorama form.

When you say "cat" I think jazz, however - perhaps a bowl of this red delight will lead to life-never-ending for such an animal?

Ms. Meg ... it starts out high ... and ends on the forest floor. Hmm - mistletoe is such a parasite and commonly decorates doorways this time of year. However, it's only brown if my coarse hands squeeze it's velvety leaves too hard. Lucky Nevin to get such a gift - and that Devi is closest to winning the guess.

Laura Martone said...

Okay, Josiah, I have another guess... at first, I thought it was a heart-shaped locket. That's petite in size - and the photo inside could be that of a loved one, glowing with warmth for the author wearing it.

But now, after MitMoi's comment, I suspect it's a snowglobe of some kind - with a real-life scene tucked snugly inside. And if it's for an author who creates "sprawling worlds," then perhaps it's for Christine.

It's weak, I know, but I'm having trouble with this mystery. If I'm completely off-base, would you be so kind as to offer another clue? Pretty please?

Laura Martone said...

Ooh, MitMoi, I like the way you think. If only I'd intended "cat" to mean a cool Jazzy soul. No, in fact, this is a creature unlike a human - and "a bowl of red delight" sounds like jello or some sort of alcoholic cranberry concoction - neither of which the "cat" in my mind would like. Or so I suspect.

The "cat" in question favors the color of night - and is stealthy when necessary. The "thick, red, and delicious" gift that I offer is solid, not liquid. Does that help to narrow it down?

Nutmeg Cross said...

Nope, MitMoi. Not mistletoe. In its natural state, this object is brown. No crushing is necessary. Although it ranges in size - from tiny to enormous - my six-incher is the perfect specimen. Just small enough for a mantel or bookshelf or table centerpiece.

And the "petals" are decorated by my own hand. Found objects, yes, but placed on it by me. In other words, it doesn't normally look like this on the forest floor. But I had to spruce it up a bit - or else it wouldn't be very Christmas-y.

Devi Marconi said...

Ooh, ooh! Can I guess?

Nutmeg Cross said...

No way. You already know what it is.

Devi Marconi said...

Oh, alright. I'll keep quiet. But I'll just say that Nevin is lucky indeed - homemade decor is always welcome.

So, now it's my turn to give something...

My "Secret Santa" recipient is a creature divided in two. He's been around a long time, and his plight intrigues me. My gift is something beautiful, grown in the hydroponic gardens of Ruby Hollow, but can be deadly to him, on occasion, if he's not careful. I think of him every time I see it - and I only hope that he can appreciate its symbolism.

Olivia Harper said...

Mom, your gift sounds a little scary. Whatever could it be?

As for my gift, MitMoi, it's not something you eat, but something you wear.

Josiah said...

Laura, you've guessed the correct author, but not the great gift. Perhaps if you have a piece of this gingerbread house you'll think more clearly.

Ms. Meg I am trying to come up with a tree or other plant that would be decorated with bits and bobs. Here in Northern California - the mighty redwood might be considered brown ... if you were color blind.

Is it a giant oak that that's lots it's leaves? They start out as acorns high on a branch - then fall to the ground to sprout skyward again.

I guess you could adorned with tinsel stars and and gum-wrapper bells for the yule-tide season?

Is the black cat Kristine's Nightstalker? If so - my guess is a haunch of cow meat!

Laura Martone said...

Josiah - Doh! I should've realized it was a gingerbread house for Christine! Of course!

Ironically, she and I had emailed back and forth this week on that very topic. However did you know? Were you spying on us? Ooh, creepy.

Nutmeg Cross said...

You're on the right track, Josiah, but this isn't a tree. It's part of a tree. And it's decorated with other tree parts.

Laura Martone said...

Hi, Josiah. My apologies for not responding earlier...

You asked: Is the black cat Kristine's Nightstalker? If so - my guess is a haunch of cow meat!

YES! My recipient is Nighfala, Christine's nightstalker, and a slab o' yummy cow meat is exactly what I have for her.

Here, pretty kitty!

Donna Hole said...


Gift exchange is a great game. I especially like the "white elephant" versions.

Our office plays this game every year - it's not a Christmas party, its an end of year get together.

Anyway; the theme is to bring something that you don't want. Like, that re-gift that is passed around your family, or the thing great-aunt so and so gave you cause you said you liked it when you were three - and now you're 30 something. You know the saying: one man's trash is another's treasure. (Hint; yard sales.)

At our office parties, at least one person will bring a "pass around" gift that has been in the family for ages. Many families seem to do the draw names from a hat routine and theres always one gift that seems to make the rounds. After so long, it just seems tradition to bring it - regift it- and keep it going.

So, the people who bring this type gift usually are sharing a bit of their own family tradition, and so the gift always goes back to the person who brought it. We enjoy the story behind the object more than the object.

I gotta tell you - some of the white elephant gifts are true treasures to someone in the group. This year we had a great porcelain tea set (anyway I think that's what it was) and everyone ooh'd and aw'd over it. It was, of course, exactly the wrong gift for the person who donated it to our celebration. But, there were others in the room that groaned when the gift was frozen (it can only be stolen twice).

Anyway - the spirit of gift giving isn't in the cost of the gift, but in the value the person who gives it places on it.

I have some gifts in my storage boxes that mean nothing to me, and would make perfect white elephant gifts, if I didn't value the thoughts of the giver.

I don't normally expose myself, but I really loved your "found things" idea. I haven't read all th comments to know if you disclosed the item, but it certainly sounds interesting to me.

I'd be willing to steal it from Nevin; unless it really suited his personality. Some gifts are destined for a certain individual.


Calvin Mertz said...

Oh Meg; I love the forest. Is it a pine cone wreath - with moss and thistles, and -

Robert Crane said...

My turn Bro!

Oh, who to guess first. I love gifts. Big ones, small ones, homemade. Sing me a song and I'll be happy you shared with me.

Oh; it's Christmas already.

Hmm; what's my gift? I know; its within me, something of myself to share, a talent God given and rare in my congregation. Amy loves it, though she has no love of religeon, and Cal actually smiles.

Calvin Mertz said...

Ok, Ok! Hush now Dude. My gift is for Bo - I saw it on Criminal Minds tonight.

Its expensive; but what the hay.

Amy Thompson said...

I'm no good at word games. I'll just watch my two favorite men play along.

Nutmeg Cross said...

Oh, Cal, you're closer than anyone!

It IS a pine cone - a pine cone Christmas tree! The "petals" serve as terrific branches, which is where I glued all the "ornaments" -acorns and seeds, plus red and green berries, of course. The kind that you look at but never eat.

Hope Nevin enjoys his little tree. It's portable at least.

David Jace said...

Since I'm late and ill-prepared and having trouble coming up with an inspired post, then I say Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good plot!!

Oh, and I brought doughnuts for everyone. *places the tray on the table*

~David Jace

Candy said...

Merry Christmas everyone and I wish each of you, characters and authors, have Santa grant your dearest wish.

MMM- yummy donut! Thanks!

Aidan said...

I'm late to this game. No monetary cap? New cars for everyone. Or ponies. Or whatever mode of transport you need.

Laura Martone said...

Thanks, David, for the donuts!

Thanks, Candy, for the well wishes!

And, thanks, Aidan, for the pony! Always wanted one of those. ;-)

Ambassador Mycroft said...

Now is the time!! That fat, old, red-suited joker has enough energy stored up in his multi-centennial Earth revolutions to meet my quota twice over! The criminals I broke out of Grathua Prison will capture him for me as he delivers presents, keeping my hands clean. Then I'll bottle his energy as I end his jolly life and return home ahead of schedule. I just need to keep that nosy Terra Ranger Jax too busy to follow up his suspicions of me.

~Ambassador Mycroft, Thassodar Jax: Terra Ranger