top of page

Family Game Nights

Christmas 2022 brought our family some surprises. Almost everyone in our large clan took turns getting sick while visiting together. That left my husband and me, the oldies, who stayed relatively healthy. It takes great restraint to keep from eyeballing the person sitting next to you, who threw up during the night. Consequently, our usual board game/puzzle-working evenings didn't occur.

Thinking about years past, however, reminded me of a newspaper column I once wrote about family game nights. At the time we had two children in college and several older ones coming home for the holidays. Here is what I wrote.


Do you know how humiliating it is for a former English teacher to be trounced at word games by her children? I’m the one they ask to edit college term papers!

But it happened last Christmas.

We were having fun with our two youngest while they were home from college. I enjoyed cooking big meals again. And then, when we tired of putting puzzles together, our daughter got the brilliant idea of playing Scrabble.

I should have known better; it happened in the past. While my kids arranged Scrabble tiles to form intricate words like indigo, scenery and anal (you have to excuse the nurse in our family) my anxiety level rose like a car radiator in July.

They continued to form words like pewter and elevator on the Scrabble board. Meanwhile, across the table, I feverishly composed words like run, if and colt. I’m not making this up. My brain seemed frozen.

I tried convincing my family it’s due to a deep, thoughtful mind contemplating various word combinations. You should see the eye rolling.

I don’t get a reprieve when we play outdoor sports, either. When I pitch a softball it plops about ten feet short of the mound. And volleyball skills make me look spastic.

So, what does one do when her family gloats over their triumphant game skills?

Just count me a spectator. I will cruise through the dining room, glance at the competition going on—and find a book to read.

Or I just may try puzzles again if I could break my husband of his annoying habit. He slips the last piece into his pocket early on, then triumphantly snaps it into place while we’re all down on the floor, searching for it.

Yes, I do enjoy family game night, except for a few things.

Call me a killjoy; just don’t ask me to play Scrabble.

Your turn. What does your family do when they get together? Tell us about it below.


bottom of page