I’m sitting here working on my laptop and out of the corner of my eye I see three Wii guitars.
Guitar Hero took the country by storm a few years ago and has morphed into Band Hero and other active family style video games.
But what has family game nights become? When my children were younger, family nights were sitting together around the kitchen table playing card games and board games. We loved Trivial Pursuit, Apples to Apples and Brain Quest, but were most inclined to pull out our Dominoes or a Card game.
We loved family nights of UNO, Phase 10 or just a deck of cards for Gin or Seven’s. Dad would make our children a bowl of ice cream or popcorn and we would settle in for a couple of hours. Laughing and talking, having a great time.
I remember when we moved to the couches. It was Scene It.
A trivial game using video – so much fun and so much more comfortable on the couch, but we lost something – the circle of conversation. Don’t get me wrong, I love Scene It and would love to play anyone, anytime, but it changed the circle at the table into a line on couches facing the tv instead of each other. Video games tore at family nights.
Video games, PS, Wii, XBox, etc, pulled our children individually to the screen. Oh manufacturers have managed to have 2-player games and family games, like Band Hero, but again it’s a different feel on family game night. It just feels different.
I LOVE watching my son play the guitar on the Wii, dreaming of some day being that fluid, precise and animated. He makes it seem so effortless. Or watching my daughter play the drums along with him to Aerosmith or Taylor Swift. We still have the laughter and love, but it just feels different. Something has been lost…do family still own a deck of cards?
Friday I had a hair appointment and as I opened the door to enter the salon, to my left was a mother waiting with a 3-year-old daughter. This adorable little girl had a toy cell phone and was talking away to no one with her head cocked to her right shoulder to hold the phone and her blonde curls bouncing behind her. Three years old! I’m sure she’ll have a real cellphone before 7 years old! Technology has so many positive attributes, like Skyping with my sister in China for 20 minutes yesterday, but do we pay attention to the attributes of family life that are slipping away? Where’s the doll that was a three-year old’s best friend? Has it been replaced by toy cell phones?
My family gathered last month to say farewell to my sister that was moving to Shanghai – we were all together, my mother’s six children and all her grandchildren and one great-grandchild to boot! Twenty-seven in all. We decided to fit in a game night at the Caschetta’s! And what a night it was. Everyone was crammed into our sunroom while playing Loaded Questions. This hilarious game can be played on the board provided (as per the instructions) or by just sitting around asking the questions in a large group (as we improvised). It is a wonderful way to learn about each other, to laugh until you have tears in your eyes and to uncover secret dreams and ambitions. Family game night was recaptured!!
I also created a “family quiz” for my sister’s family that was leaving. All my siblings, nephews and nieces sent me facts about themselves and Toni, Matt, Margaret and Frank guessed who it pertained to. We kept track of which Barton knew the most about family members. Sitting around my brothers living room laughing and loving each other – everyone enjoyed pulling a question to ask and seeing who knew the answer. Often there were more than one person in the room that could say “me”. We discovered that “who owned a red convertible” applied to six family members!! It was so much fun. This is what family game night should be…
No one wanted the questions to end…what a great memory!
Reclaim family game night – and not in front of a television!
Pull out your dusting deck of cards, create your own trivial game or call over friends if your children are not home. Learn a new card game or enjoy the treasured ones of your childhood and circle around a table with LAUGHTER and LOVE and you will receive great blessings!!
When you go into the house, greet the family with a blessing. Matthew 10:12