A holiday night's dream? Well, mostly

Board games, teenage houseguests, bad movies and one Christmas miracle. It all stacks up to good things in the new year.

A few final thoughts about the holidays, and then we'll move on.

Silent night? Where? I'm still waiting.

We stayed up well past midnight Christmas Eve playing Scrabble. It was loud and hyper-competitive, just what I look for in a holiday like Christmas. At one point, I remember slamming a glass of Scotch on the table and shouting, "IF ONLY I HAD A G!"

"Then what, Dad?" someone asked.

"Then I'd have a G," I mumbled.

It was a terrific game. I rallied to beat two of the kids, one of whom insisted that "kripe" was a real word and that "scheuss" was a type of cheese.

"How about this . . . is this a word?" the little girl said, spelling out K-O-P-I-C-H, which she thinks might be a spinach, or some sort of headdress worn by the Russian Orthodox.

"Are you from this country originally?" I asked her.

"No, Dad, she came over on a kopich," her big brother said.

I'm a big believer in the bonding powers of Scrabble and of board games in general. They promote a certain camaraderie lacking in many of today's family activities. On occasion, family members have been known to chat, laugh and have a good time playing board games. Not ours, necessarily. But my faith in board games continues.

"Know my favorite board game?" I say at one point.


"Twister," I say.

"That's not a board game, Dad," someone says.

"It's so romantic," I say.

In fact, I met my wife, Posh, at a Twister party. She was killing everyone till I came along . . . like a young Travolta, not intimidated by anyone. Well, I was seriously hurt that night and haven't walked the same way since.

In a way, she and I have been playing Twister ever since.


Christmas night, eight of the little girl's friends stop by. They come to the door like reindeer, heads bobbing up and down, waiting for some sort of direction.