CHARLOTTE, NC, December 23, 2018 — One of our many family traditions during the holidays is playing a board game after Christmas dinner. Each year we try to find a game that is new, challenging and just plain old family fun. For me personally, my favorite is still a game called “Balderdash.”
Over the years the game has evolved to include trivia, music, entertainment, sports, world events and history and television and movies. I still prefer the original basic concept, but the fun is that the game can be adapted to suit individual preferences.
If you have never heard of Balderdash, you have most likely played or heard of some version of it. What I like is that any number can play, age makes no difference and the game is frequently so funny that family members annually often recall some of the best moments from previous rounds.
There is a formal game which you can purchase at a toy store with the advantage that it does give you a ready supply of words and definitions without having to create them yourselves.
That said, you can still play Balderdash without buying the game if you have a good dictionary and someone who is good at finding obscure words.
How to Play
One person is the “Dasher” and he or she chooses a word that hopefully, no one has ever heard before. Words like “skintle” or “stinkybus”, two that come to mind from our own family sessions)
The Dasher writes down the correct definition while everyone else makes something up and puts it on paper with their name beside. The Dasher then reads out all the definitions and it is up to each person to decide which answer is real.
Guessing the real definition earns two points.
Each person whose definition stumps someone else gets one point from everyone who chose their answer. If nobody guesses correctly, the Dasher receives three points.
The more who play only adds to the confusion and frivolity due to the increased number of potential possibilities.
So what does this have to do with ALS?
I recently read an article about another family who had a similar board game tradition, with one major exception to the rules.
At any point during the game, approximately midway through, the father had the power to call out “Rotate the board!”
That always produced groans of agony from those in the lead and cheers of joy from the ones who were losing.
The rules were the rules, however, and nothing could change them. They were set in stone and the patriarch of the family ruled with an iron fist.
The challenge, of course, was to play on and make the best of your new position. Could you adjust and move on or would you whine and complain about how unfair the rule was?
And THAT’S where the ALS lesson comes in.
Anticipating life’s curves, twists and turns
None of us knows what curves, twists and turns life will provide, yet when they happen we must be prepared to deal with them in order to survive.
Try the board game rule sometime when you are playing with friends and observe the response. Some will take it in stride, others will moan and complain but continue on and others may simply just quit.
The only stipulation is that the “rotate the board” rule must be announced prior to beginning play.
In life, the playing board is constantly changing
In real life, the game board constantly changes. Most of the time we have no control over it. We are powerless to stop it and no amount of bewailing the situation will ever bring back the previous position(s) of comfort.
Of course, such events can be positive as well as negative, but who complains when we discover a windfall treasure chest of good fortune or things happen to break in our favor?
This is about dealing with life when it throws you lemons and whether or not you can turn it into lemonade. To survive, we must simply move on, adjust and continue to adapt.
Sometimes it can be quite painful and frustrating, but the alternative can become even more desperate if we allow it to take control of our lives.
That does not mean that we can never allow our emotions to occasionally become dark or melancholy. That’s human nature.
Finding balance within the cards you have been dealt
What it does mean is that we must seek balance in our lives, no matter what the situation. Negativity as an all-consuming exercise is unhealthy and will not resolve the situation as it exists.
Play a little Balderdash this Christmas. Enjoy the season and be thankful for the blessings we have and do enjoy.
Accept the pitfalls of life gracefully and savor life to the fullest.
Merry Christmas to you all.
Now, go and “Rotate the board!”
Note: Please share your favorite Family Board game in the comments below.
About the Author:
Bob Taylor is a veteran writer who has traveled throughout the world. Taylor is an award-winning television producer/reporter/anchor before focusing on writing about international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor isthe founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
Editors Note: Support Bob’s GoFundMe to give him a hand up