Christmas seems to be the time when we expect to feel connected and family-oriented.
We envisage seeing friends and family, eating good food, having a couple of fancy drinks, and generally celebrating the season of goodwill and cheer… although that often isn’t the case.
Sadly we may instead find ourselves spending far more time (and in close quarters) with people who are very different from us, and with whom we either have very little in common, or no longer know so well, that arguments, tensions and awkwardness abound.
Connection sounds so easy in theory, but then people get involved and it suddenly all becomes rather messy. It takes work and finding some common ground again, then building something from there.
Finding something which can bridge that gap between awkwardness and cohesiveness, fill the time, and allow for greater connection can be tricky – But a board game can be a good option.Tweet
There is something really lovely about getting out a board game, preferably one that doesn’t have a history of family arguments or serious dramatic feuds, and spending the afternoon playing.
Perhaps that could be a two-person game such as Chess or our recent favourite – Hive, a larger game of Monopoly or cards, or even the classic Christmas team game of Charades, having the shared focus can be both practical and fun.
If you have young kids, then longer more complex games are out, but something as simple as Snap or Dobble or even the vintage game Ludo can still offer a lot of enjoyment.
Our younger three can’t really play with us, so my husband and I tend to play Chess, Hive, Bananagrams or Sussed – which is a great game, based on a series of ‘getting to know you’ questions. Sussed has several variations and is suitable for playing with a huge range of ages, giving you the opportunity to know one another better, as well as being quite funny.
With our eldest daughter, we also try and play the above-mentioned games, or we simply make pictures and incomprehensible words with the Bananagrams tiles. This can be a challenge, when all pieces go missing, courtesy of our younger daughter, who loves playing with them, but it does mean that we are all somehow involved, albeit not with the original rules.
The weather over here is pretty dreary at the moment, and we in the UK are now in various stages of lockdown, with Christmas Day being the only time to see extended family. This has been a real blow to many, so for those of us who find ourselves in households with others, we may benefit from the space to play a game together, rather than always having the television on, and offering the chance of a bit of screen-free fun and the chance to be more present with each other in a particularly difficult time. And the extra stretch for our brains is a pretty good bonus.
So why not designate an afternoon for a board game, old or new, and allow it to be lighthearted and playful – the goal is connection rather than competition, so if tempers start to run high, pause, regroup and try something else. Whether you play these a lot, or haven’t tried one in years, a family game, might just be a perfect way to connect.
Just go easy on the family feuds.