Clubs’ holiday events encourage bonding

A bright, eager smile graced senior Tiffany Tang’s lips. It was choir’s annual Secret Santa gift exchange and she wanted to know who had gotten her name. One of her best friends, senior Bill Nguyen, stepped forward into the circle and handed her an envelope. She opened it. It was a $50 gift card.

As Christmas draws closer, clubs begin their annual Christmas traditions. For old and new club members alike, the traditions serve as an opportunity to learn more about each other and to bond with one another.

When Tang discovered that Nguyen had traded with another choir member to be her Secret Santa, she was moved.

“We’ve been friends for like ten years,” Tang said. “It was interesting how you can’t put a price on friendship or happiness or Christmas.”

Junior Kyndhal Stewart, speech and debate historian, can identify with Tang. She was surprised by the scarf her Secret Santa bought for her the previous year and the thought that was put into the present.

“I learned how much the people actually pay attention,” Stewart said, “And how much she really tried to get to know me for my present.”

However, Stewart also knows some dilemmas of Secret Santa.

“One downside to Secret Santa is that you [may not] know that person familiarly,” she said. “A bigger problem is the minimum purchase, a $5 gift. People can get jealous if they get a gift worth $5 and another person gets a gift worth $20.”

Senior Valerie Hanna thought the opposite.

“Because we have a limit on how much you can spend,” Hanna said. “Depending on what they like, it might be difficult to find. Like if you know someone likes Hello Kitty, it’s easier to get them a present than if they like anime. Because Hello Kitty is everywhere.”

Stewart recalls a time where she was disappointed by her gift.

“I got this girl a doll,” she said. “And I got a cheap radio. It broke down that day and they ended up giving to return it and get me another gift worth at least $5. I wasn’t given back what I gave.”

However, despite these troubles, freshman Lauren Trinh still looks forward to making new memories in this year’s Secret Santa exchange.

“I want to give this person something so they’ll actually remember it,” Trinh said. “I don’t really want to give them something just because I have to.”

There are also some exceptions to the club traditions. Students of Humanity does not have any solid customs, but its advisor, Steven Levine, feels that “not having a tradition is a tradition.”

“Kerr is very multi-cultural with a lot of ethnic and religious diversity,” Levine said, “We have Muslims, we have Jews. So perhaps that is one reason we have tended to stay away from ‘holiday tradition.’ And there’s a lot of holiday tradition from other clubs.”

But as a whole, Christmas in Kerr clubs encourages bonding. Tang believes that happiness is one of the most important things the participants can gained.

“When you find out who got you that present,” Tang said. “You’re like, ‘Wow I never knew you knew me so well.’”