What was your family “thing” growing up? For some families, I knew as a kid, it was skiing. For other families (and really lucky kids) it was going to Disney World during winter vacation, every year. For my family, it was board games. We had a deck of playing cards in every drawer, a “to be continued” game of Monopoly on our dinning room table, and God help the poor soul who opened the hallway closet door to get a jacket (where you were greeted with game boxes from the heavens). Yes, if you were a Towle, you were not in bed by midnight on a Saturday – you were probably playing Scrabble with your mom. It wasn’t just a family “thing” for us…it was a family obsession!
It was the most natural thing to ask anyone who came over to our house if they wanted to play a game. All of our family and friends would always say yes. When my parents would have get-togethers, everyone would “woot and holler” when my mom would pull out Win, Lose, Or Draw after dinner. As I got older, and started to have my own gatherings with friends, I naturally did the same thing my parents had done. I would ask if people wanted to play a game, and they generally did, but within the past decade I have seen a change. When I ask now I get strange looks, a shrug of shoulders, or sometimes nothing at all. They would give off the vibe that I was asking them to take out the garbage or do the dishes. Why is this happening? Game nights are becoming less and less the norm, now-a-days, (since everyone has their faces glued to their phones or tablets) and it makes me really sad.
The other night, my brother Derek came over, and we ended up resuming our 25-year gaming feud of Battleship. Derek had hit after hit of sinking my boats, and I thought for sure my winning streak was coming to an end, but then my brother made a rookie mistake. He thought he had sunk a ship of mine but in fact, he didn’t (due to the classic, boat-against-boat I had set up.) So, Derek went on to look for another boat without checking the ship’s parameter. I ended up winning by two hits! My brother growled as I jumped back on the couch doing some sisterly over-enthusiastic fist pumps, and Nathanael looked at us both like we were nuts. But that’s the very point of playing board games – it’s O.K. to act nuts!
So here is what I am proposing this year at Thanksgiving, to my family, LET’S BRING BACK GAME NIGHT!
I will be holding the first annual, “Thanks For Gaming” night, after the turkey day feast. We will have a Connect4-O-Thon for whom ever wants to try to match wits with my little boy wonder. A game or two of the Towle family favorite, Guestures, and laugh at the sucker who has a card slip right through their fingers while trying to retrieve it, for a point. And, of course, there will be Battleship (so get ready, Derek). If you try a game night too, please let me know how it goes? Hashtag my phrase (#Thanksforgaming) and show me your best moves and the family fun you are having – all this, in the name of board games! I’m sure it will make your holiday that much more enjoyable. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving as well as a super-fun #Thanksforgaming night!
NBC has also brought back the idea of a game night, and they invited a few friends in the process. Hollywood Game Night keeps me highly entertained and also current with the who’s-who in Tinseltown. Here is a clip to watch. (I wonder if Martin Short is available to hang out on Thursday…)
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