When my girls were little, our Christmas celebrating routine was as follows:
Christmas Eve – family dinner, presents and game playing at Grandma and Grandpa’s house (my husband’s childhood home) with one or two aunts attending (he is the youngest of five).
Christmas Day – presents, Christmas dinner and games at my parent’s house, Nana’s with two of my siblings attending.
Day after Christmas – a return to Grandma and Grandpa’s as my husband’s remaining siblings and their kids came bringing more presents and time for more playing of games.
On Christmas Eve, the game often was The Encyclopedia Game. All sat in the living room with a penicl and paper and one dictionary was needed. The person who was “it” randomly picked a word. Said it. Everyone else wrote down what they thought the definition was. “It collected all the written answers. Then read them out, one by one, along with the correct definition sprinkled in. Listeners had to pick the one they thought was the correct answer. Points were given to those who guessed correctly and to those whose false definition was picked by another. Then the dictionary was passed to another player to be “it” and the steps repeated. Much laughter was included, especially when those playing added creativity to their made-up definitions!
Christmas Day at Nana’s involved cards. Pinnochle was always a favorite. Also Uno and Pit were a big hit!
The day after was probably the most fun for my girls as they spent the whole day in Grandma’s basement with all the toys she kept from my husand and his siblings’ childhood. The favorite was Match-box cars. The cousins, my two girls plus Uncle Bobby’s three kids and Aunt Sharon’s 3 kids spent hours having racecar races using the long orange track with the loop-de-loop! Then all were enticed to sit and eat and watch The Sound of Music together in the family room. My daughters loved playing on this day with their cousins, all either the same age or just a few years older or younger.
This year, my husband and I drove to his oldest sister’s home in CT to enjoy the Christmas holiday. If we couldn’t be with our own daughters this year (both are living in Europe and we plan to visit them later this year), we decided to visit his sibling who also is a fabulous cook. Along with yummy meals throughout our stay, she purchased a new game to try – Wingspan. At first, there was sceptism about learning a new game. As we read and tried to comprehend the written directions, more sceptism ensued. Then we saw in the directions a suggetion to view the video directions. Now we got it! We played past midnight! (I give it 5 stars!)
Over the years, Christmas time for me involves family, food and enjoying time to play together. This year, spending time with my husband’s sister provided great family time and great food but no little kids were around. Instead, my daughters and their cousins are now all adults and all are scattered across the globe. But just before we started playing Wingspan, we got a text. The oldest cousin had the best news to share. His first born, a little girl, was born! What a great Christmas Eve gift! Surely, the tradition of family, food and playing games will continue.