Friday, December 05, 2008

Grandma Scares Me

My first holiday with H and his family was one I'll never forget. It was Thanksgiving 2001 and we traveled to Arizona to spend a few days. It's where I learned that my spouses family is REALLY into games too.

True, I had a taste of it on a ski trip we had taken a few years previous. But, I had chalked all those games of domino's and Monopoly up to the fact that it was freezing and snowy outside and not everyone wanted to be a ski bunny 24/7. What else was there to do but raid the rented chalet's game closet, right?!

Me? No, I'm not much a of a game person myself. I'm an only child. We don't 'do' games that well. Every Christmas I would get board games for gifts and look at my relatives like they had three heads. "Thanks so much! Who the hell is going to play this with me? My four imaginary friends?!" Really.

That Thanksgiving though I realized that not only does H come from a family of gamers but they are hard core. It's out for blood time. It is very 'take no prisoners' and it comes in the form of a game called, Spoons. Have you heard of it? Yeah, I hadn't either. Now? I'll never forget it. See, H's family is uber-competitive and when they play this card game with actual spoons it's a knock down drag out fight. Literally. The worst perpetrator of this game is Grandma. She started the family and she is the queen of games. I've seen her knock her four year-old granddaughter to the floor just to grab a teaspoon off a table and kick that kid out of the competition. When I was pregnant with TD I opted out of this fun-fest in fear that my unborn child might sustain injuries from elbows being thrown or across the table jabs. That same year I heard the now five year-old grand-daughter say, "No thanks, I don't want to play. Last year Grandma knocked me over." She watched from the side lines instead as the rest of the family hip-checked, elbowed and slammed their way to winning a game played with utensils and a deck of cards.

I can't make this stuff up people. You don't want to play domino's with this group and especially slap-jack. You could lose an eye.

Does your family play any holiday games? Read about more family gaming traditions over at PBN and see the latest from Electronic Arts.

Check out my latest review (great holiday books for kids!) and a host of others from PBN over here.


  1. My family is a bit more of the doing a puzzle together or playing card games like blackjack, acey-doucey or war. We get competative when playing cards but nothing to that extent. My grandmother (must be a g-ma thing) was very competative when playing cards (poker, euker, black jack, rummie, spade, etc) but not that competative.

  2. Oh, my goodness! Wildness indeed. I opted out of this blog blast, but I'm enjoying reading the stories.

  3. Kathy2:01 AM

    Ahh, Spoons.
    For my family spoons is a camp game - not a camping game like weekend camping - I am talking summer camp. 8 weeks every summer. Competition between cabin units complete with one of those charts that keeps track of the winners and who moves on to the winners bracket! My daughter was also an only child. She would play spoons with the kids from her Camp Fire group - porbably because they were live bodies. But when spoons went to Camp Smokey, a tradition was born. One of my staff brought one of those giant spoons to camp one year (I suspect his mom has an empty spot on the wall next to the giant fork) and at the end of each camp session the cabin unit with the most wins gets presented the spoon award.

    Me? I don't play. As the camp director I root for everyone. It took yeaars but I finally figured out why the kitchen always has enough forks and knives but never enough spoons. I suspect campers take home their lucky spoon. Imagine what the parents think. Come to think of it, I do get comments about the lack of imagination for crafts...

    Kathy from Washington State

  4. I feel ya on the single child thing. I've never been a fan of board games..because yea, who was going to play them with me growing up? It's carried into adulthood too. I get SOOOO bored with any games.

  5. I'm like the 5-year-old in your post: I came from a gaming family and had too many bad experiences with freakishly game-crazed relatives so I detest them now. Luckily for me, Mr X's family doesn't do games either. Unless you consider eating contests games...

  6. AHHAHHAHA. (insert manic laughter here)
    As a 9 year old that couldn't wait to get in on the spoons action, I watched my aunt go thru a bay window fighting for the last spoon on a the table in my grandmother's kitchen. Now, while everyone was concerned (and there were no injuries suprisingly) there wasn't a dry eye in the place. All 8 of those cackling women laughed their butts off - including the one that went thru the window, while I eagerly looked on...still waiting my turn, undaunted by the fact that THIS GAME MAY KILL ME! I had to wait until I was 10 then...apparently that is the age you are considered able to 'hold your own' in my family. Ha!

    Another, and quite more boring game, that my family subjects me to, and I STILL Canasta. Can we be more retirement homebound?


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