Sunday, December 26, 2010

Defying Demographics

I caught this portion of the family in one of the very few quiet, contemplative moments - simply waiting for Cory and baby to come into the room for photos. Very little of the day was so quiet. After dinner we became truly boisterous. Other families also play board games [but I think not very many]. We played the new games that came into our lives -- like a new twist on our old favorite, Scrabble, which Rachel and Cory are contemplating in the lower photo. And another new game, Alibi, which we spent most of the playing time getting acquainted with.

Then after dinner we found our new favorite, Times Up. It's funny, in a way, that it was great fun, partly because it expected us to have stores of pop culture knowledge that we do not have. We are a family that live happily without televisions -- not because of principles but because of habit. So we have knowledge of television shows more second hand than first and many of the clues in the game were TV shows. Also we don't see all the guessing one, and then a miming one. Being ignorant of the contents of many of the shows and songs, although relatively familiar with titles because one cannot live in this society without hearing them talked about, we were thrown on our ability to express titles simply as words and phrases. There was a challenge to mime and also to read the meaning of actions, or to think up gestures that are broadly recognizable.

We enjoyed the game so much we played through it three times with great laughter. Our brains were used in a way that we don't use them ordinarily which was the greatest fun. This is a kind of pleasure one doesn't get from watching TV or going to a movie, or reading a book. It's got to be valuable in some way to stretch the imagination and memory, as well as use facial expression and body language. I was the only one in the senior category but such activities would surely be both fun and beneficial for anyone with a more mature body and brain. Once many families entertained themselves when they got together. They played music [which we did also] and danced, and I think there was a game playing period back in the early 20th century when mass production of games like Parcheesi and Monopoly became popular. Of course there were also card games, a lot of them plus chess, dominoes and checkers and backgammon. I hope there are other families who do some of theses activities, not just eat and settle like stuffed baked potatoes in front of a TV. Also, we know that laughter has many health benefits. We ate heartily and well but not excessively. So today, with the laughter we should all be feeling healthy and perky.



June -- Your family day of games was one I am familiar with. When my children were younger and I had a husband -- his family always played games on holidays as well as other times. I was raised in a non-game family (they were too busy talking to everyone) but soon became familiar with the fun associated with games. It does seem to create laughter and memories to hold dear. Your kind of family fun is better than the couch potato route. Yours is real. And by the way you have a beautiful family! -- barbara

June Calender said...

Thanks, Barbara. Growing up I found holidays extremely boring -- same old talk. Now they're much more fun.

Kass said...

I love games at Christmas. They provide for a lot of interesting banter.