My son, Samuel, received a gift card to Game Stop for Christmas.  It is like money just burns a whole in this child’s pocket – he can’t wait to spend it!  He asked me to take him to Game Stop today to use the gift card.  My husband, John, said “Sam, I think you are barking up the wrong tree.”  John knows that video games are my least favorite past time.  With that, Sam asked John, with great urgency, to take him to spend the gift card that might have disappeared into thin air if not spent today.  When he came home he had a “Donkey Kong” game.   I suppose it is the latest and greatest edition of “Donkey Kong”, but it brought back childhood memories.  We didn’t have a game system at home growing up – my sisters and I were too active, or too involved and not interested, or my parents felt the same way about them as I do, or maybe they were just out of reach financially, not sure – but we played the games at my Aunt’s house when visiting.  So, needless to say, “Donkey Kong” was not a foreign name to me and I thought “how nostalgic”.   The moment of nostalgia reminded me of the days gone by when kids played “pick-up sticks”, board games, marbles, cards, or “Yhatzee” – remember that one?   I remember playing it with my grandmother at her kitchen table.

A friend said to me yesterday that her children were having a “video game withdrawal day”.  I loved it!  They were “just” playing yesterday; building with Legos, playing trains or kitchen or store.  In other words, using their imaginations.  I’m so thankful that all three of my children do prefer to “just” play and use their imaginations or run around outside as opposed to playing video games all of the time.  Of course John and I steer them in that direction, but we think it is important and I hope that all of you are able to encourage, or perhaps convince, your children to do the same in 2011.  Encourage them to enjoy the world around them and use it to create fun.   There is so much of it to be had!

Some of our favorite family games and past times include: dominoes, “Yhatzee”, puzzles, playing any sport outside,  hiking, or just cuddling up with good books.



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