It started years ago, somebody suggested we play the game Scattergories. Now, it's an annual game when the clans gather.
It's a time I absolutely love.
This year, my oldest granddaughter, Hayden got to join in the hilarity.
If you are not familiar with this game you have a list of items, you roll a dice for a letter and then you have an obnoxious timer that clicks off about 3 minutes. In that 3 minutes you have to answer all the questions using the letter from the dice as the beginning of the word.
Talk about brain freeze. Half way down the list you suddenly find yourself answering each and every question with the same word.
One of the letters was L. Seems simple, lots of L words. Question: Name a president.
zip, nada, ok I know you are sitting there saying, Lincoln, Lincoln, Lincoln...what's the matter with you, LINCOLN!!! Trust me when you have had to come up with 11 L words before that Lincoln just doesn't even come into your brain.
All of us have different styles of answering the questions. As we go around the table saying what our answer was to the question, the delivery of your answer counts BIG TIME. For example: to the question, A COLLEGE MAJOR and the letter being S, John calmly said, "Sanscript". Shari next in line said her S word only to have the other side of the table erupt, the Sanscript having just sunk in.
"No,NO!" they cry.
Voting commences before the CALL TO VOTE is even started.
Now, despite the technology we have at our fingertips, there is no checking of facts. The thumbs up or down to an answer is based on the general knowledge of the group.
Let me just state that sometimes the group is all in one giant brain freeze. I mean who doesn't know about the Lionfly? A perfectly good answer to, An Insect.
Or what about Things That Are Cold with the letter L.
If you lived in Loveland, Oh and you had snow, like they do, you too would think it was cold.
Another thumbs down.
Caitlin says that I tend to mutter my answer over or under somebody else talking so that nobody really hears what I say. Or, and this I find hard to believe, I deliver my answer laughing, apparently a dead give away.
What I love about this game is that all of us come together and PLAY. We laugh, we tease, we friendly argue and Hayden, now 12 gets to see this family interaction. She sees her father's side of the family play their games. She's getting an imprint of how families work. How they can interact with each other.
Down the road, when she is in a relationship she can use this as a barometer. How does her partner's family come together. Is it a healthy family. If it isn't can it be healed?
Families are very fragile.
It doesn't take much for someones behavior, in the family to sour the other members, to being around them. Sometimes families have to deal with unhealthy activity with their members, or illnesses, or anger, or even hatred. Not all families can mend the wounds that break them apart.
Traditions, in my book, helps keep families together. They help with that common thread that winds through that particular family.
Justin wanted to play a game that is often played in Shari's family at holiday time. She was reluctant.
I suspect that it has to do with the fact that it's her families game. It's the tradition that binds her family.
It's personal and I understand that.
I watch Millions at Christmas time along with my other Christmas movies. This year, Sawyer watched it with us. It was his first time and he loved the movie. He wanted to watch it again the next day. I told him that we would watch it together next Christmas. The tradition now including him into the binding.
Traditions create memories. Hopefully the memories are ones that comfort people.
I know that there are people out there that haven't had a good family experience. My heart goes out to you. I hope that you are creating a family around you. One of friends that love and support you. A new family.
I hope that you can start some traditions with your new family that give you a sense of belonging to something bigger than yourself. Traditions don't have to be big events. Just something that brings you all together to smile at each other, perhaps laugh, have a joyful or soulful moment. They are something that you look forward to doing. Holidays often give us that moment in time to create a tradition. Hopefully, anytime that you come together with your "family" you can experience a "tradition" together.
I truly believe that "family" isn't just blood relatives. It's the people that surround you that care about you, love you, want to see you succeed in life, that have your back and comfort you when you fall.
"Experience is determined by yourself- not the circumstances of your life." Gita Bellin