Twelve Days of Christmas Traditions: Twelve People Crammed Around a Table Straining to See What Dominoes are Open

The presents are unwrapped, bits of paper and tape and ribbon strewn about the floor like so much grass seed, naps are taken, and movies are watched. The ham, deviled eggs, baked beans and Ruth's rolls have been devoured. There's still 4 hours, 57 minutes of Christmas left: what do we do?

Games, of couse! If there's one thing that cannot be passed over on a holiday occasion, it's the chance to play a game as a family. We Lambsons love games of all sorts - Dominoes, Scattergories, Things, Phase 10, Rook, Uno, Clue, Risk, Trivial Pursuit, etc. And we especially love games when the whole family is there, because that's so many more people to get hopping mad at.

Elise: "Wanna play again?" Me: "Sure."

See, for us, it's not all about whether you win or how you play the game; it's all about crushing your opponents in as merciless a way as possible while lamenting every single move against you as one-sided and unfair. There's a part of you that, while you'd never admit it except in a court of law, wants your siblings to fume and fret and finally quit - that's a dollar for each one, according to the ancient and time-honored Lambson family law demanding the quitting player pay each other player the sum of one dollar.

Ah, the spoils of pushing your siblings' buttons well past the breaking point.

Dad, always the quiet voice of reason ("reason" = "stop shouting or I'm gonna flip the table on you!"), likes to ask something to the effect of, "If you're shouting at each other, how can this be fun?" To which we reply, "Oh, Dad, you're old."

How I see family game time.

How family game time usually turns out.

Nowadays, several things are guaranteed to happen in the course of a Lambson family game
  • Someone will quote something (Elise, in all likelihood) or do a funny voice (Me, in all likelihood) that will make Mom turn magenta with laughter.
  • Someone not playing will be accused (by me, in all likelihood) of being anti-social
  • Someone playing will be yelled at (by me, in all likelihood) for singling out another player (me, in all likelihood)
  • Someone will hold up the game every time it gets to be their turn (Sarah, in all likelihood)
  • The loud person who can't seem to control their volume (me, in all likelihood) will be told to talk quieter by someone else (everyone else, in all likelihood).
  • It won't work.
  • Tamara will win

Artist's rendition of me at the end of every game ever:
"Stinking Tamara always wins, doesn't she, Precious? Yesssss, always wins."

Apparently, I'm the main problem when it comes to Lambson family games. And yet, knowing the strife I will inevitably cause the table and myself, I'm always the loudest person clamoring for us all to play a game together. And the loudest person in general. I'm okay with that. Because I understand the priceless rewards a bout of family game time can bring.

Maybe playing Apples to Apples wasn't such a grand idea.

So there you have it: the Lambson family Christmas experience as I remember it. Most of the memories are fond; all are essential to understanding just who we are when it comes to our Christmas. Judge if you will; maybe you think we're strange, or unorthodox, or bizarre, or peculiar, or curious to behold, or just really loud. You'd be right. On all counts.

But at least we're not these families.

There are so many things wrong with everything
that's not the real-life puppy in this photo.

Even the dog knows making him baby Jesus is borderline blasphemy.

Seriously? What idiot made enough of these pajamas to
allow an entire family to have matching sets?

Okay, someone please just lock their doors and windows from the outside.
They'll eat each other soon enough. Or smoke each other. We just have to wait.


Beckie said…
It wouldn't be a game night without you brother, and it wouldn't be a game night without Sarah holding it up somehow. I miss that the most. And I am usually equally loud and equally picking on the person who refuses to enter the death cage. And Tamara does always win.

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