December 20, 2014

Keep Your Eye on the Prize

Tonight we continued on a new tradition that we adopted last year which was introduced to me by a good friend.  It is a simple little game that has quickly become a family favorite.  Most likely,  I suppose, because it involves presents.

My kids call the game PRIZE.

5 dice spell out the word "prize", with each side of the die having the corresponding letter written on it, with the exception of one blank side on each die.  Roll the dice, spell out p-r-i-z-e, and choose a mystery present from the stash in the middle.  Roll and have any of the dice have a blank side up - no prize for you.

Simple game.  High stakes.

Last year the kids were fooled by the big presents and immediately grabbed those first. They found wrapped treasures like a big pack of napkins, some smelly dollar store cologne and even a roll of toilet paper.  They weren't falling for that this year.  They went for the soft rectangular shapes - knowing that one of them would likely contain a big bag of M&M's.

Lance was less than thrilled when his curiosity led him to select the package that jingled -- only to reveal some Christmas ponytail holders.

After all of the presents have been selected from the middle, we transition into the brutal rounds of Sudden Death.  Roll a P-R-I-Z-E and anyone's loot is fair game for the taking.  Once again, the peanut M&M's seem to be a hot item continually being grabbed from one person to another.

Even Bridger gets in on the action and was a quick study.  If any of his dice had a blank side up, he quickly took his little quivering hand to adjust it to show a letter and then shout with excitement that he had won a prize.

Bridger quickly had exhausted his limited amount of energy for the game, and after we finished we took his lethargic, sick little body upstairs to bed.

The rest of the family finished off the night with another attempt by me to resurrect a favorite Christmas tradition from Alan's childhood -- his mother's Christmas tree bread.  I have had two failures in the past and was determined to get it right this year.  I found a new successful cinnamon bread recipe and the kids enjoyed "decorating" the Christmas tree before I served it up warm with a mug of milk.

It has been an exhausting week of illness for most of my bunch and we are far from out of the woods yet with Bridger.  Because of that, for a brief moment tonight, it felt beyond refreshing to forget about the sickness that has hovered over our little household and just be together and laugh.

With this sweet bunch, I feel like I am the one who has won the PRIZE.

That is, until someone wakes me up tonight in the middle of the night because they just threw up, wet their bed or can't breath through their nose.  There are no winners in that game. Just sayin'.