Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Conquest, winning and traditions...

Everybody has some sort of Christmas tradition or traditions that they do every year and they create that constant memory and exciting thing to look forward to. Some have a certain day that they setup or take down their decorations. Some open special gifts to one another on Christmas Eve. Some eat a certain meal on Christmas morning or they enjoy some eggnog (acquired taste) and cookies. Others have a specific order that they open their gifts in their family. Some have a fun game they play each year.  Some have strange traditions like dressing in German garb and dancing around the Christmas tree, or eating figgy pudding (sounds like one of the grossest eats possible), or going to the neighbors and throwing toilet paper in their trees (really happened in my neighborhood this year). The list goes on and on.
Like others, we have some of those traditions (not the pudding or the toilet paper) and we look forward to them each year. One of them is a game that my Wife’s Sisters and us Brother-in-laws play every family Christmas get together. We play a game called Conquest, with the men beating the ladies. I use beating on purpose because recent memory shows that the ladies have not won, but once, in many years.  It's a simple game that places pieces on a board based on cards that you pick from your hand. It has strategy, and you win by placing five pieces in a row, twice on the board, per round. Usually we play first to five wins and we enjoy each win as the ladies cry, and suffer through the pain of another lose. It’s a traditions that’s a true joy to my heart.
Traditions are important, especially with family. They help make the special times more memorable and special, because people like routine and look forward to the times they had in the past. Sounds strange to look forward to the past, but we all like repeatable happy events, since they provide that positive emotional boost we need. Habits are way to create consistency and allow for fun for friends and family. 
Lessons Learned: I should have written this blog after we won the game...pride cometh before a fall...after a hard fought battle, the men lost...twice. Start new traditions to bring your family and friends together, even if you lose.
Thoughts: What are some of your favorite traditions? What new tradition did you start this year?

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