This year has been [insert adjective here]. Everyone has a different adjective to describe this year so far. Mine is overwhelming. It’s been an overwhelming year professionally and personally, with school uncertainty providing most of that overwhelm. But for one glorious day, the day after Thanksgiving, it felt as though we were on vacation for the first time this year. It was a day full of laughter and fun, and not one single meal was cooked, not one single dish was cleaned, it was just pure downtime with the people I’ve been quarantined with for the past 8 months. The days surrounding that day were still filled with obligations and overwhelm, but that brilliant bright spot will always live with me as our little vacation. Below are some of the games we played together as a family – I hope you can have your own vacation day at home too!
The day started with a miraculously clean kitchen – we had spent the day before making a nice little Thanksgiving meal for our family and made sure to have enough leftovers to last the weekend. Since we ate pretty early and cleaned the kitchen together (as a family for the first time!), it was clean the following morning when we came down, which was such an amazing feeling! My husband decided to go out to get donuts for the family and I got to sit on the couch and drink coffee while looking mindlessly at my phone. The kids were playing a video game, but quickly came up with a game plan to make Jeopardy for the family after breakfast!
The kids took about 2 hours making all the game cards with questions on the back and even dressed up to play! Let me tell you – these were head scratcher questions, and my husband and I were thoroughly stumped! I ended up with a score of -$2000 and my husband ended up with a score of -$80,000 (because he wagered $75,000 in Final Jeopardy!) and the laughs that ensued were priceless! They even played the theme music in the background to create an authentic experience – granted my family and I are Jeopardy geeks but it was so amazing to see how much the kids loved putting the game together for us!
Next we moved onto the card game Bluff, which I had forgotten how to play until our Community Lead Caylin posted a video about it! I have a 10 and 6 year old, so this game was right up everyone’s alley. My husband and I refilled our coffee, got a tray full of snacks and sat on the couch with the kids to start playing. I can’t believe how much the kids were into it but the whole game lasted for more than an hour and there were no tantrums or fights, just lots more laughter and fun! The best part was that neither my husband nor I had our phones near us or checked them so we got to be fully present with the kids, and it was glorious.
Finally, we moved onto a game called Watch Ya Mouth which consists of sticking this strange plastic retainer-looking thing in your mouth that makes it really hard to talk. And then you have to say phrases with lots of B, P and M sounds without being able to bring your lips together.
The resulting hilarity is pure magic, especially when you get to see your usually serious husband crying from laughing so hard because he can’t say “bobbing for apples in barrels”. My cheeks hurt so much from laughing at my family while they stumbled and fumbled through normally easy sentences.
We ended the day eating leftovers from the night before while watching a Marvel movie. It was a purely joyous day for several reasons, but the most important to me was the fact that I saw genuine smiles on my family’s (and my face) all day which otherwise has not been a regular occurrence in recent months. My 10 year old especially has been struggling with virtual school and not being able to spend time with anyone besides his family, so it was especially heartwarming to see him genuinely happy to be with his family all day. Granted, this day has not yet been repeated in our house, but I am hoping to recreate it soon, and I hope you get to enjoy a day like this in your home as well!