If you have a large group on vacation, play a “suck game” to decide who will wash the dishes.
Every family has its own way of negotiating a big holiday gathering.
In my case I have a game.
I’m not saying everyone loves them, but once Buzzkills are on board, we all have some fierce competition.
We grew up poor, so we also learned to make games of just about anything. No purchase required.
Even these days, I’ve found it to work well, especially if you’re trying to avoid distractions from your smartphone.
Below is a quick rundown of five of our favorite games. It doesn’t take much more than a large group and the energy to involve them in cooperation.
When I was in high school, I came across a dictionary game. Today you can buy Balderdash, a fancy version of the same thing, but back then all you needed was a dictionary, a piece of paper, and something to write on.
One person picks a word from a dictionary and no one in the group knows its meaning. Then everyone creates their own fake definitions to fool other people. I have a knack for it.
“Abnormal hatching or 3 mosquitoes leaving the nest at once” has become legendary as the dumbest false definition I’ve ever fallen for. I know, it makes no sense.
Of course, charades are another family favorite. I grew up with it. I want my millennial kids, nieces and nephews to embrace it. We’ve made some headway at our recent family get-together, so we have high hopes for Christmas.
It’s not easy to stand in front of a crowded room and try to ‘overwhelm’ or ‘climb’ if you’re an introvert and people don’t get it, but the most epic failures are the most It turned out to be a lot.Hilarious and memorable. This is your chance to stand up and make yourself stand out in the family lore. Just like my daughter spent her year pretending to be a fortune teller and trying to play “future”. She looked mad.
To keep cell phones out, it’s a good idea for each team to write out a collection of words for other teams to guess. Then use the kitchen timer to set a guessing time limit.
This is a recent addition from my son’s girlfriend. I was immediately impressed with its exquisite simplicity and ability to make cooking assignments fun.
It will look like this. Fill two pillowcases or similar bags with the same collection of random household items. 2 safety pins, 2 spoons, 2 cell phones, 2 loonies, 2 buttons, 2 bananas, it doesn’t matter what you put in your bag. The possibilities are endless. Be sure to make a list of everything you have in your bag.
Divide the group in two and have each person compete against someone from the other team. Read the item when the competing pair is ready. The first person to retrieve the correct item without prying eyes in the bag scores points for the team. Once everyone has her 1-2-3 turns, the team with the most points wins.
In my house, those people are freed from cooking duty.
werewolf and villager
Here you need an emcee and a regular set of playing cards.
In the most basic version of the game, group members are divided into villagers and werewolves based on the cards they draw.
To start the game, when the village falls asleep (everyone closes their eyes), the werewolves (usually one or two) wake up and choose their first victim (i.e. eyes open and gently point to the first person to be eliminated). Werewolves who have done bad things close their eyes again.
Then the whole village (including the secret werewolf) wakes up to find out who the first victim is and try to figure out who the werewolf is (a raucous discussion followed by a hand by the show of ). If the group chooses the wrong person, that villager is also eliminated and the game proceeds to the next round.
The goal is for the village to identify the werewolf before it “kills” the entire village.
(This game comes with a PG13 warning and is not recommended to be played with young children, unless you don’t mind the occasional F-bomb dizzying.)
Some people play it as a drinking party, but in my house it’s a process of elimination that ends in a tense showdown between two people.
Start clockwise in a circle and each person says “fuzzy duck”. Anyone can always say “does he?” to change direction. Then the direction changes and everyone has to take turns saying “ducky fuzz” until the next person says “he?” And again the direction and the phrase change.
Those who say the wrong word are eliminated.
The fun, of course, is hearing people swear lavishly when they’re trying so hard not to.