Terri Kaiser

Well, the big holiday has come and gone. Family and friends have dispersed to their homes, presents are being put away and the refrigerator slowly emptied out. We ate extremely well, laughed, and simply enjoyed the togetherness.

Even though Christmas is done, I won't be able to bring myself to take down the tree for a week or two. Okay, to be honest, it will be at least two weeks. The lights on the outside of the house will still be seen every now and then until the tree goes. The time previous to Christmas is so busy with preparation that I really enjoy that time when Christmas is past and I can sit back with a cup of cocoa and a good book and just appreciate the lights, the quiet, and all the other decoration.

Speaking of decoration, I will admit our house looks like the Christmas fairy spun herself into oblivion in each room. I have overdone it, I know, but I have a hard time walking away from Christmas decorations, a lot of which I have found at garage sales and flea markets. Nearly every direction you look in our house, you will see a holiday display. I promise to start downsizing. Maybe the year after next.

The older we get it's a bit less rowdy and noisy, until we gather around the table for a game of spoons or the Saran Wrap game. Then, we become a bunch of Neanderthals grabbing for the last spoon on the table or the best prize deep within the ball of Saran Wrap. It's a sight to be sure.

I'm not certain how we started with the spoon game, but it's a favorite. We all gather around the table and in the middle is a grouping of teaspoons, one less than the number of contestants. Each person gets four cards, with the first person drawing from the deck one card at a time as quickly as possible and deciding which to discard to the next person and which to keep. The cards move around the table at a frantic rate until someone has four of a kind. At that point, the player must grab one spoon which signals to the others that they need to grab a spoon as well. Each round, one person ends up without a spoon and is out. As the number of spoons goes down, the game becomes a free-for-all as to who ends up with the last spoon.

We quit playing this game for a couple of years because one of my sisters and my dad ended up on the floor fighting over a spoon. We laughed until we had tears rolling, but were promptly scolded for being too rough with each other. So, we stopped. For a while. It was always Dad's favorite game and now that he's no longer with us, we do it once in a while in remembrance. I am sure he's up there cheering us on and sharing in the giggles.

Have you ever done the Saran Wrap game? It's a hoot! We all buy small prizes and wrap them, one at a time, into the plastic wrap, creating a large ball. Then, we gather around the table with dice. Each person gets a turn, but you have to roll a six to gain control of the ball and feverishly begin unwrapping to see how many prizes you can extract before the person next to you rips it out of your hands. This game generally leads to mass chaos and lots of laughter as plastic and prizes go flying.

Unfortunately we didn't get to Bingo this year. Honestly, I never realized what a competitive family we are until now. In the past we played for small prizes, but last year we settled on quarters. My goodness, you'd have thought we were throwing down gold bars! This has always been our Mom's favorite game — probably due to the less-likelihood of blood-shed.

All in all, it's just great family fun. I hope you enjoyed your holiday as well and now, it's on to 2020. Happy New Year to all!

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