Sorry it’s been crickets around here lately. My folks come out to Colorado once a year and their visit is timed around the week of Thanksgiving so I wanted to spend as much time as possible with them while they were here.
During their visit, it was brutally cold – single digits and lower on many days, accompanied by howling winds and certainly not comfortable for my thin-blooded parents who came up from Florida. They don’t like to visit museums or go shopping, preferring to spend time outdoors; however all my plans for outdoor fun was squashed with the cold weather, save for a few quick walks with the dogs.
Luckily for us, we have a favorite past-time when we get together, a time honored tradition that goes back many generations in our family that prevents any chance of boredom: playing cards and board games.
As a child when we would take a quarterly trip up to Quebec most of what I remember were the aunts, uncles and cousins convening at my grandmother’s house to play cards. It was serious business, but still a fun tradition. As the only family in our clan (save for one uncle) that had moved to the states, I was the only one that couldn’t speak much french, but all language barriers were awash when playing cards. It was an opportunity to feel welcome when I otherwise felt like an outsider.
I remember throughout my childhood and early adult years playing games on weekends and when company was over at my parent’s house. To this day, we all still joke about a funny thing that happened while playing the board-game version of “Family Feud” nearly 30 years ago when my French speaking mother confidently gave the answer “Tonka!” when asked to list the top truck companies.
To this day, my sister and her family often have family/friends over to play cards and board games on the weekends and it’s such an easy way to socialize, bond and have fun. Not to mention uber cheap.
While my parents were here, we enjoyed relaxing days full of cooking/baking (my mom’s favorite thing in the world to do and a likeness that we share in common), while David taught my dad how to play Wii (also a fun game, though not quite the same as the low/no-tech games to which I’m referring here) and they talked investments (my dad’s favorite thing to do and a likeness that he and David share in common). We took brisk walks with the dogs, my mom did some crafting with me while I filled a few orders all the while making her some goodies to take home with her and we even caught up on a few shows that we collectively like (Oprah and Biggest Loser that had recorded).
However, after dinner, we followed the same routine: cleaned up the place and then sat down to a night of games.
We laughed…and laughed…and laughed. My mother, who is usually a serious and stern person, would often melt into a heaping pile of laughter and seeing her this way really softened her. I love to see her in this silly state and it was quite infectious. My dad, usually a silly and easy-going guy, goes in the other direction and gets serious and focused, though certainly not enough to refrain from the laughter.
It’s strange that today’s generation rarely gets together for this kind of activity, oft preferring to talking, drinking or partying…or seeing an event that ceases all communication, like a movie. Now there’s nothing wrong with seeing a movie or a show, but there’s nothing like bonding over a table while playing a board game or a game of cards. Even David and I have made a concerted effort to turn off the TV once or twice a week in the evenings and playing games instead. And though it’s easy and enjoyable to sit down in front of the boob tube, we’re always so glad that we played a game instead.
Only seems fitting that I would insert a certain cliche commercial here:
Simple snacks – $5
Softdrinks – $5
The opportunity to spend time laughing and bonding with family & friends – PRICELESS
What are your favorite games to play? How often do you play and if not as often as you like, consider turning off the TV tonight or this weekend and dust off the games that you love. You’ll be glad you did.
Hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving!