Good Old Fashioned Family Fun!

I recently heard a Ted Talk where a lady discussed the importance of a regular ritual where you get together with friends or family. For her it was getting together with her girlfriends every Monday night, where they sat around in comfortable clothes on the sofa, with a glass of wine and discussed their life, laughed and shared what was important to them. The same group found themselves in the middle of a terrorist attack while on a group holiday in France and after being badly shaken up, they went back to their hotel and followed their familiar Monday night ritual. The familiarity of the ritual of coming together had them feeling safe, supported and loved. She suggested that in order to combat loneliness, and for people to feel supported in life, that everyone should have some kind of ritual with their friends or family.

I thought about it for a while, and I came up with the idea of starting a ‘family fun night’, every Sunday night. My parents had always enjoyed playing cards or other games and it had made them a lot of friends over the years and created a fun way for them to socialise, with little expense. So I decided to float the idea to my 3 children, 18 , 23 and 25 to see what they thought of the idea. To my surprise, they were all quite keen, supportive and ready to get involved. I mentioned it to my parents and they were also keen, so we decided that we would meet at 5.00, share an easy meal and desert which we all contribute to each week, and then played till 10, so everyone could get home not to late for work the next day.

We decided to keep the games simple, starting with Rummiking, which has proved to be quite the favourite. It is simple to learn and yet quite mentally stimulating and good fun. We recently tried the simple card game of ‘frustration’, true to name and everyone had a lot of fun. Other games we will give a try soon will be Yahtzee, card games of Canasta, Bolivia, May I, Zonk, Wild Rummy, and down the track maybe 500. Of course depending on your taste, there are any number of adult type board or card games you can add.

In a world where despite living in large cities with an ever growing population, many people are lonely, as the sense of community and close families seems to be disappearing. Financial stress is another big factor for much of the population, when going out can cost you $11 to buy a drink, $45 for the cheapest bottle of wine at a local suburban casual restaurant, or a main meal for anything from $25-$41 dollars a plate; again at nowhere especially ‘special’ and the food is quite frankly not always that good! This idea has given our family a ‘ritual’ of coming together, every Sunday where we can meet, eat, greet and laugh! My parents can be as involved as my children, and any friends that want to join us are also welcome.

Let’s all consider adding some more "good old fashioned family fun”, back into our lives. Who knows, we might also put a dent in the growing rate of depression, feelings of not belonging and give us all a sense of ‘ritual’ to help us deal with the increasingly challenging world that we live in.

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