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Sunday, December 7, 2008

Wanna Play Again?

Tradition! The holidays are full of it, and my family is no exception. In fact, my dad is probably more a proponent of it than most fathers. He merrily sings the opening song from Fiddler on the Roof and does a little dance any time we ask why he does, well, pretty much anything around the holidays.

We had many holiday parties with both sides of my family when I was younger. Most of the ones my parents hosted were for my dad's side, although my mom's family occasionally came over. But my mom tried to avoid that so she wouldn't have to stress out about my irresponsible cousins and their rambunctious children.

Most of the family events with my dad's family that I can remember at our house were summer cookout holidays, because my in-town aunt usually did Christmas. But even at the handful of fall/winter holidays that we hosted, dinner (and in the case of Christmas, presents!) was always followed by games.

Every family holiday gathering ended with my dad, my aunts, and my grandpa playing Cribbage. And attempting to explain it to my sister and me as kids. Every holiday my dad would try to explain it, we'd mostly understand, and until the next holiday we'd forget it again. To this day the only thing I remember is how to keep score.

It's been almost nine years since my grandfather died. I haven't seen anyone in my family take out the Cribbage set yet. Now our only playful tradition is working jigsaw puzzles during Christmas break.

My mom is a retired teacher and part-time tutor, so she always had a good, long Christmas break that coincided with mine while I was in school. We all loved puzzles, my mom probably the most of all, although I love it just about as much as she does now. My dad would get each of us (my mom, sister, and me) at least one puzzle, sometimes two, and all three of us would spend Christmas day in our pajamas, folding card table in the family room in front of the TV, and work puzzles all day while watching our favorite Christmas movies.

Now that I have my own family, we're still establishing our traditions. My son received more toys than anything else for his first birthday, so I'll bet at least some of ours will be centered around playing!

What are your family traditions? Does your family play any board games, card games, role-playing games, video games, or any games at all? Blog about it at PBN to win some awesome video games from Electronic Arts. Hurry! Contest ends at midnight.


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