It's not that I love puzzles, but putting about ten pieces of a 1000-piece puzzle at Christmas--yelling BINGO each time one fits--is not something I want to go without. It is one of those traditions that I'm glad has remained in the family, despite most of us being (outwardly) less than enthusiastic about pulling out the card table and opening the puzzle box every year. My dad is the puzzle-meister, and I don't know if it's the BINGO that he likes the most or just making sure we have a low-stress excuse to sit together for a few minutes at Christmas, but he hasn't given up yet. And aren't we glad?
I think the puzzles started in American Fork; I was probably about 10. We even pasted "my" puzzle onto cardboard one year, framed it and hung it in my room for the next 8 years. (It was a sea turtle scene.) I'm pretty sure my dad intended each kid to get one pasted and framed, but the messy glue and the...moderate enthusiasm for puzzles assisted that part of the tradition to end. And that's ok. The puzzles have persevered and will continue to. Even Andy participated this year, even though he was home in Logan and the padres have moved to Las Cruces, by sending this scene of Provo, Utah. I think this gift sort of emphasizes the family support of the puzzles; we'd all like to be involved, and if it's from a distance, even better.
Catch Phrase because it would lose its magic. It is a production of sorts; sorting and counting the chips, getting out the board, refreshing our knowledge of the hierarchy of poker hands, getting out the board. We have to play long enough to make it all worthwhile, and also there's the pretend gambling. These once- or twice-yearly games often occur near the holidays because we gather around the table after we eat, and playing Tripoley prevents us from staring dumbly at the ceiling or having to rely on intelligent conversation.