Each year when we put up the Christmas tree, we have to rearrange things, and move the table with all the board games on it to the other side of the living room. Every year this gets to be more of a chore because we have an amazing selection of family games.
There are the traditional games like dominos, backgammon, chess, checkers, and cribbage. Classic board games like Trouble, Monopoly, Scrabble, and Operation. Silly games like Go Wake Up Daddy and the Spongebob Squarepants version of Life. We also have several card like old maid, go fish, and several versions of Uno. Of course, there are the little kid games like Candy Land, Hi Ho Cherry-O, Shoots and Ladders, which my five-year-old daughter, Lucie, still likes to play.
The games are played quite often when one of the grandmothers visit. Nathan attends chess club once a week, and a mini cribbage or chess board is always taken camping. I come from a family of old school gamers. Back in the ‘70s my mom and her friends played a lot of backgammon, which I learned by watching them. My dad played poker occasionally, and instead of reading a book, we’d play gin rummy before bedtime. My mom plays bridge at least once a week, and when her husband isn’t playing bridge with her, he’s playing poker with friends.
So what game does my family break out on Thanksgiving or Christmas day? PUZZLES!
My husband brings up a folding table from the basement and places it by the fireplace in front of the television. Then he and his mom pick a puzzle and start working on it for hours. The kids and I occasionally join it, but I’m usually too busy cooking dinner, cleaning up, or trying to sneak more Christmas chocolate while no one is looking. (Hey hun, where did you hide the Nutella?)
I like jigsaw puzzles because they’re very inexpensive. You can usually find a pretty nice one at Walgreens for around $5-10 or used at a thrift store.
While the idea of doing puzzles is pleasing to me - after all they’re a relaxing, quiet family activity - I do think sitting there putting together little jigsaw pieces is a complete waste of time. But not to my husband and his mom. Instead, doing a puzzle during the holidays is a tradition.
Me? I’ll be on the couch, watching TV, catching up on my magazine and newspaper reading, cutting coupons, yelling at the kids to pick up, and sipping port, thank you very much.