(Not) Home for the Holidays

(Not) Home for the Holidays

I know this is a board game blog. Primarily, that’s what I write about, but I started writing this week and this is what came out. Not really about board games, but I like it. That’s why I still posted it. And if you only want to read about the board game side of things, I’ll get back to that nearer the bottom.

While traveling around the country for work has its perks, it also has its downsides. One of the biggest bummers that my wife and I experience is when we are unable to celebrate holidays with family. We’ve been fortunate, up to this point, to be able to celebrate the major holidays with family and friends. This year changes that. We are currently living in Northern California and when we started looking at the cost of flights home around both Thanksgiving and Christmas, we realized that they don’t fit in the budget. Thanksgiving was the first major holiday that I haven’t spent with my family. This will be the first Christmas that I don’t spend in Michigan. It’s been pretty difficult so far. My wife and I both called home on Thanksgiving and got to talk to our families, and we’ll do the same for Christmas, but it doesn’t do the job.

Another aspect that makes it difficult is social media. A majority of posts and tweets on Thanksgiving Day were of families celebrating. Pictures of full tables of food, crowded living rooms and tables with board games being played. Commercials don’t help. Everyone on TV has been making it home for the holidays. It also seems that the Christmas radio stations have been teaming up on us. I think every third song we’ve heard has either been Home for the Holidays or I’ll be home for Christmas.

While it has been tough, it has been good for us. It makes us realize just how excited we are to someday settle down. And it helps us to empathize with those who don’t get to go home. We get to spend time with just the two of us thinking and dreaming about what those future holidays look like. For us, that will have to include lots of family and friends. We both love the times when the people we care most about are all brought together.

That’s why we love board games so much. It gives us an opportunity to gather a group of people together and enjoy being with one another. Whether that’s divided up into a huge game of Codenames with people dropping in and out, playing a simple and light trick taking game like Little Devils, or trying to figure out what my wife is trying to communicate to the rest of us as the ghost in Mysterium. It’s not just spending the time together, but interacting and creating memories that we get to carry with us. I can’t tell you how many family Christmases I had growing up where we didn’t have at least 2 or 3 groups of people playing cribbage and I always looked forward to that time after we got done eating and the cards would come out.

That’s the beauty of this hobby. It gives us the opportunity to interact in a world where interaction is slowly turning digital. We get to put down the devices and spend time face to face with those we care about. I can’t wait until we get to instill those values and memories into our own children.

I hope everyone had a great thanksgiving and that the rest of the holiday season is awesome as well!

Game on!

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