December 14, 2014 at 6:15 pm Leave a comment

I love playing games with family and friends and I don’t mean THOSE kinds of games, I mean card and board games. I do enjoy a few apps on my phone, but I’m really not much into video games, much to my eldest grandson’s chagrin.

When was the last time you pulled out a board game or tried your hand at Rummy? If it’s been a while, the holidays are almost here and you can even treat yourself to a game you used to enjoy playing. In my house, we have about 100 games; everything from five versions of Monopoly to Michigan Rummy. I have been playing games my whole life and I have my favorites…generally the ones that don’t take that long.

  • Yahtzee – can’t go wrong with this game that works for most of the family. It’s quick, easy, doesn’t require much strategy.
  • Connect Four – I can play this with my 7-year-old grandson and even beat him. I do not always let kids win. I think everyone needs to learn to be a graceful loser.
  • Pictionary – one of my all-time favorites, even though I am not a great drawer. We use markers and an easel size pad. Yes, it can be an advantage to the other team, but easier to see when playing with a group.
  • Trivial Pursuit – I like the original version. The little man and I play this with our Wisconsin friends, girls against the guys. Who do you think wins 98% of the time? If you guessed the girls, you are correct. Gary Cooper, Gary Cooper (inside joke).
  • Othello – a bit of a thinking game, similar to checkers.
  • Rummikub – like playing rummy. We had this game for a long time and never played it. Now, it’s a family favorite.
  • Mille Borne – this is another family favorite. It’s a card game. It’s a bit cut-throat, but comes out every time we get together.
  • Scattergories – a somewhat quiet game that involves thinking outside the box. Sometimes, a common choice will do, but mostly, if your answer matches anyone else’s, it’s scratched. There will be a bit of arguing in this game, because not everyone will agree to an answer
  • Password – this was on old TV show and most people don’t recall it and hence don’t want to play the game with me. It’s like of like Pyramid on TV.
  • Outburst – this one is loud. Teams shout out as many words as they can and hope to get the most correct.
  • Shut the Box – a fairly quick game that helps with math skills. I saw a catalog that featured a board that allowed four to play together.
  • Pit – we play this loud or silent, if young ones are sleeping. It’s a commodities game that just requires getting a group of like cards.
  • Rack-o – a bit of strategy, but mostly luck. Four people can play.
  • Trouble – this is a simple game to play with kids. The popping of the die might be annoying, but it goes fairly fast.
  • Enchanted Forest – this family game helps with memory.
  • Casino – my favorite card game that I play at lunch a few times a week.

Some of the games that get played every now and then are old standbys like Clue, Stratego, Checkers, Monopoly (we bend the rules with this one by bargaining by giving someone amnesty when they land on a property they sold, and all fines and fees go into the middle to be picked up when landing on Free Parking), and Hat’s Off (a bowling game where you try to knock the clown’s hats off).

When playing games, it’s best to keep it friendly and remember that it’s just a game. No lives are being lost. That said, games can liven up a family event, bring laughter, and make memories. So, get out a game at your next party or family event! Have fun!


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Bernie Rhodenbarr Eggnog

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