Sunday, May 16, 2010

Group Activities

When my friend Susan comes to visit, she always plays piano and we sing a few hymns together. I love that!

Rumor has it that kickball is frequently played at confirmation or graduation parties for some of our friends.

Rachel's in-laws often play football when the family gathers for celebrations and holidays. They camp together. They foam-sword fight. They DO things.

When I was little, I remember card tables all around my grandparents' house whenever we visited Dad's side of the family. The kids played their own pretend games or board games or played out in the barn. But the grown-ups played euchre.

But my mom's side of the family talked. I don't remember games very often. We'd sometimes go for walks down to the creek. I remember snapping beans and shelling peas while we talked. I remember playing with kittens while we talked. But the activity-of-choice was usually talking.

When we have company, I never think to bring out the Dominoes or Cranium. I seldom have the presence of mind to set up croquet or ladderball or haul out the Belegarth weapons. We just talk. Now, I have no problem with "just talking." But it crosses my mind that other people may find this boring. With a family reunion coming up, we've all been told that we are free to suggest activities or plan an evening's events. But I have no ideas. My version of entertainment is that we sit and talk.

Okay, so I'm boring. So sue me. No, don't sue me. Give me ideas. What do you do with your families?


  1. This topic makes me laugh. Because on my side of the family, we DO things. We play games, or watch movies together as a group, go someplace together, or, more often than not, work on some big home repair or remodeling project together.

    When we go to my Dh's side of the family, though, we talk. Talk, talk, and talk.

    You know what? I love both. I wish my side did a bit more talking, sometimes. Sometimes, on my Dh's side, we don't get to DOING some of the things we've planned on doing because we're so busy talking the evening away.

    But generally, both are good with me.

  2. When I was growing up, the adults played Bid Euchre. It was the same for both sides of the family. Dad's side was smaller (he only had one sibling). Grandma played an easier game (Pit, Rummy, Chinese Checkers) with grandchildren and the other adults played Bid Euchre. On Mom's side (she had 4 siblings) the barn/barnyard was all the kids needed, and the adults played Euchre.

    In my generation, we've expanded to other games - Crow's Foot is a great game for many ages with a big set of dominoes; we've done Bunco (with prizes. Sometimes we sing hymns around the piano or let all the gradeschoolish types show off their band instrument and play a song or two.

    Ah - such fun memories. thanks, Susan!

  3. Please don't stew about it! Ill bring Chicken Foot, and Josh just got a new dodge ball for his birthday. (Actually, I got him a kickball, but he prefered the smaller dogeball.) Talking around a fire sounds good to me. Guess that shows which side of the family I came from. We already have Name That Tune, the treasure hunt, and a trivia night. Plus 2 little ones to entertain us this year.

  4. Both sides talked. I have tried to expand that over the years, and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I don't stress too much when the whole family is over. We put out some games, and some may do that and others just love to talk! ;-)

  5. I love both. My family tends to talk while Joe's family tends to do things. I'm OK with either.

    Things that we do? Croquet, bocce ball, card (Euchre and Sheepshead). This year for my birthday I'm organizing my family into a kickball game, which will be a first for that side of the family. Oh, and I think Capture the Flag is really fun too.

  6. Sandy, I think your family is more into DOing than ours. When we've come to visit, you have planned fun outings. It never crossed my mind to take people anywhere when they came to visit us. Ah, but maybe SB has more worthwhile places to visit than did Sharon. ;-) Or maybe you're just a more congenial hostess.

    Cate, Debbie, and EC -- I agree. I too enjoy both.

    Mom, don't worry -- I wasn't stressing about the reunion. I was just noticing differences in families. I suspect Matt's family is a lot more fun than ours. Nathan, however, is fine with endless talking. I'm thinking more about how to entertain company than about the reunion. After all, the reunion is a bunch of people blood-related to Nanna; I think most of us are just fine with talking. And then talking some more.

    I've also noticed that in the last couple of years, I'm less prone to talking. Sometimes (not often) conversations lag a bit. As I thought about this topic in light of y'all's comments today, I realized why. I have too often blundered into conversations where I unintentionally asked questions that were seen as too personal, so I've been hesitant to "pry." Also, I am hiding my head in the proverbial sand, so I can't discuss much politics or current events. Certain things have been difficult in the last 2-3 years, so I want to be on guard about what I say; nobody wants to be around a perpetual whiner. I'm beginning to realize that a game of Apples-to-Apples or Chickenfoot or kickball might just keep me out of hot water and provide pleasant diversions for all.

  7. Oh - I meant Chicken Foot, not Crow's Foot. silly brain. ;-)