For new years eve, we spent the evening at my parents' house for our traditional gathering. Mom made a nice homemade Leek Potato Soup with herbed, pull-apart bread rolls. We had a nice dinner together. Unfortunately, my wife, Dawn Ann had come down with a nasty cold. She decided to stayed home and rest up. (She also didn't want to pass along her cold to the rest of the family).
Tradition in our family has it that we all gather together, and play all the board and card games we can stand until at least midnight. However, due to the fact that New Year's day fell on a Sunday this year, we had to abbreviate our celebrations. Our ward rotated to the 9:00 am bloc for this year, and I had to give a talk at the Utah Boys Ranch at 10:00. We decided that we would watch the ball drop from Times Square (10:00 pm our time) and call it a night.
This year, we tried a new game called Apples to Apples. It is a game of comparisons. One person will draw a card with a certain quality or attribute (a green card). The other players are dealt several a (red) cards with various nouns that may or may not go along with the green card. Each player plays a red card (face-down). Then the person who drew the green card gets to judge which card is the best match. The red cards are all mixed up, so that the judge doesn't know who played which card, and can't play favorites. Lobbying the jugde, however is allowed. Each person in the game takes turns being the judge.
Here's an example:
- The Dallas Cowboys
- Bruce Willis
- Body Odor
- Giving a Hug
- Camping Trips
The nice thing about this game is that it is really low key. No great tumults and contentions like monopoly. You can still try to win, but without having to destroy your opponent. The game also doesn't take forever to complete (45 min to an hour at most). Younger people have just as good of a chance to win as adults. During the process of the game, you get to know people getter, by what kinds of cards they tend to play. Sometimes the results can be quite funny too. The genius part of this game is that on a more basic level, people are actually learning English grammar and vocabulary to boot! All in all we found that it was a pleasant way to spend some time together with friends and family.
For me, New Years Eve has always just been a fun time to get together with the family. When I was a kid it was the only night of the year that I didn't have a bedtime curfew. I could stay up as late as I wanted. Being the natural night-owl that I am, I often would stay up until dawn - playing games with my dad and brothers. (Mom and sis usually went to bed shortly after midnight -- sensible folk that they are!) I never did understand the appeal of drunken reveling, and I still don't. It got me wondering why we, as a society have so many revelers going crazy as they ring in the new year. Is it just an excuse for a party -- or am I just getting so old that the point has passed me by completely?