This post is part of the Advent Calendar series

Have A Family (Or Friend) Game Night

By Chris Ogden

In the busyness of the holiday season, it's easy to forget to slow down and enjoy some laid-back time with the ones you love. Before we jump into another busy week of school and work, set aside an hour tonight to play some board games or a game of cards with your family or a few friends. After all, this time of year is all about spending time with our loved ones, and it doesn't have to be just when exchanging gifts.

While you're playing, make note of which gifts seem to be favorites and considering gifting those games to someone on your list (board games or card games make perfect whole-family gifts) or think about a game you might add to your own collection. A new family favorite in our house is Ticket to Ride, which we received as a family Christmas gift a couple of years ago.

Some of our family's favorite traditional games include Monopoly, Risk, and Yahtzee. We also enjoy playing card games, from Pitch to Dutch Blitz. If you're looking for something more modern, there's been an increase in popularity of European-style board games in the US. These games emphasize strategy while downplaying luck and conflict. Check out Carcassonne, Settlers of Catan, Agricola, etcetera, for a taste of this style of game. If you find that your family game nights get a bit too competitive, there is a boom in cooperative games that pit a team of players against randomized scenarios. In this category we recommend Pandemic and The Grizzled.

Hope you have fun!

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