Even though our days are now getting longer, there are still plenty of dark winter nights left before the yellow bells awaken and poke their cheery heads into spring air. The post-holiday months are perfect for dusting off a board game, heating up some hot chocolate (or leftover hot buttered rum), and setting up an old favorite or trying a new one.
Monopoly was released in 1935, for perspective — the same year FDR signed the Social Security Act. It is still third on the list of best-selling board games of all time (after the ancient games of chess and checkers). Other familiar names populate the list: Scrabble, Clue, Battleship, Trivial Pursuit, Candy Land and Pictionary.
Since the turn of the century, hundreds of games have been released. Some become popular, others fall off the game board. Still, there is a game for every type of thinker, competitor and personality type. Some prefer cooperative play over competitive play. Some like fun, interactive games, others want an analytical strategy game, and still others like dexterity games such as Jenga.
Some new names (to me) on the game table that have been touted as best beginner board games for adults are: Cascadia (a nature-centered puzzle), Splendor (gem-collecting game), Carcassonne (city-building game), 7 Wonders (challenging strategy game), Dixit (a storytelling interactive card game), and Codenames (a spy-themed word affiliation game).
Two games that I have been introduced to in the past few Methow winters (and am still trying to win — just once!) are Ticket to Ride and Catan. There’s some skill and strategy involved and sometimes just plain luck.
Curious about game preferences, I asked two friends, Phoebe and Robin, what their favorite board games were as children and today. Phoebe still likes word games such as timeless Scrabble (introduced in 1938) and Robin likes card games such as War and Rummikub, a tile game.
Plan a game night with friends or check out Mazama Community Club calendar for monthly neighborhood game nights. It might make winter hibernation a little more lively.
A Vintage Ski Fest will be held Sunday (Dec. 31) at noon in the Mazama Store courtyard. It’s a time to get out your favorite vintage wool sweaters, old skis off the wall, and participate in the Gear and Outfit Show followed by a ski around Mazama Meadow. It is an opportunity to celebrate vintage skiing and have some good times with neighbors.
The second-grader Christmas cards published in the Dec. 20 issue of this newspaper are always an endearing read. I was impressed by how many kids included simple things like snow and hot chocolate as their favorite things about the holidays. A day playing in the snow, a cup of hot chocolate, and a board game — now that’s a good day.