My in laws are absolutely fanatical about playing games, seriously. And I happen to love this about them. No game is too lame, too hard or too noisy. Christmas is all about games, Uno, cards, dominos and jigsaw puzzles. They are obsessed. In this day and age (I know showing my age) it is quite old fashioned and out dated to play games when all this and more is available on a smart phone and Netflix.
I am here to tell you that this one of the reasons I love Christmas so much with my in laws. They know how to have a good time. I have been part of many domino games that have entered into the small hours of the morning with laughter, frivolity and a good smattering of competiveness. I absolutely love it. Yes, it seems daggy now to play card games with your parents but it brings us all together, young and old in a sense of comradery, a sense of belonging. We have smiles on our faces and we laugh until our sides ache, it is the best fun and I couldn’t think of a better time of year to just be a little bit silly.
Another Christmas ritual that I happen to love and have taken on in my own family is the “Christmas jigsaw puzzle”. It has to be at least 1,000 pieces, Christmas themed and if possible have a few tricky bits. Jigsaws have been around for over 200 years and have gone in and out of popularity during that time but my in laws have kept this old fashioned pastime well and truly into the 21st century.
Jigsaw puzzles test your patience but they are also a wonderful way to while away hours and sit and talk to your loved ones (and sometimes enjoy a glass of wine!) there is a real sense of accomplishment when you can see the image emerging from all of those tiny pieces and there is a real celebration when you put that last piece in to complete the picture. We have had many illustrations over the years. I now buy a new puzzle every year depicting a Christmas scene in readiness for the week long joy of interlocking bits of cardboard.