I would normally use this space and time to talk about Victorian Christmas traditions, or American ones, or even my own personal ones from the past. This year, though, has been unlike any other Christmas holiday ever, has it not?

I’m sure that, like me, you are finding your own ways of having fun and enjoying the restricted holiday season.

Something I have (re)discovered is the joy of playing board games with a small group of friends and/or family. I’m enjoying learning new games, teaching my favorites to others, and just generally being immersed in something that isn’t the Internet.

I don’t know about you, but I enjoy games that are fun to play but don’t require a tremendous amount of strategic thinking. My goal is fun and fellowship, not necessarily winning.

Several games I’ve discovered over the past few months include:


This game is dirt simple to play so it doesn’t require a lot of concentration. It is meant for 4 players, so it’s perfect for a small gathering. With a game board printed with images of playing cards as well as a stack of playing cards dealt to players six at a time, the goal is to “secure” five cards in a row on the board without being bumped off. You can carry on lots of conversation during this game.


I laughed when I heard the name of this game, which refers to a player getting “farkled” if he/she is unable to score during a turn. Farkle is a dice game and reminds me a little of Yahtzee, although it is certainly very different. It is essentially a scoring game, with options to keep (bank) your accumulated score or continue to throw the dice for a higher score. There’s a little bit of strategy to be employed here, but it’s still fast-paced and easy to learn.

Phase 10

A 12-year-old taught me this game, so it must be simple, right? Then why did I lose so badly??? Phase 10 is a rummy-type card game where individual players compete with each other to come up with various color/number combinations in a specific order. These are referred to as “phases.” The first player to finish all 10 phases wins. Much fun!

Other favorites for me include Uno, Yahtzee, Clue, and Monopoly…although Monopoly can be very time-consuming.

What about you? Do you have any favorite board games that you bring out when you have company?
My plan for the holidays is to relax with just a few friends and family members with yummy treats and some game playing. What about you? Are your plans going to be different this year than in the past? Do you have a special way that you will build new memories and traditions?