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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Competitive Charades

At our last team meeting before the holidays, my manager asked everyone on the team what our favorite holiday traditions were.  My answer was no contest - the annual Gorder/Early charades game wins hands down.

My good friend Alex's family (Alex did double-duty as a bridesmaid/violinist at my wedding) and my family have been close for as long as I remember.  Jayne and Jim are basically my second parents.  I'm not sure exactly how this tradition got started but for as long as I can remember, whenever our two families would get together over the holidays we've always played charades...and it has always been kids vs. adults (or now, baby boomers vs. millenials).

Since its inception, however, our once harmless charades night has morphed into a brutal, anything goes showdown where the only goal is to give the hardest clues possible and basically make each other look ridiculous.  There is no score, and the only rule is... well there basically are no rules, except for one very important one: the clues have to be in English (except for names or proper nouns where necessary)

I honestly have no idea how things got so out of hand, but I vaguely remember the turning point as being maybe 10 years ago when Alex's dad had to act out "Orchestra Proficiency Unit Skills," and mimed killing his own daughter for the last word (kill rhymes with skill.  And also she came up with the clue).  Allow me to take you through a quick "Competitive Charades" retrospective.

~ Christmas 2008 ~

Like any good evening, this one begins by lighting a dessert on fire while the two moms fight over a bottle of rum.


Dramatic gesturing and hilarity ensues...

SO CLOSE!!! and yet, so far... well as silly faces...

responsible adults?

...and obviously one of my favorite charades clues of all time:
Jesus Christ


"...Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter??"
"Yeah, it's a movie."
"Have you seen it...?"

~ Christmas 2009 ~

2009 was glorious, although the photos were less so.  My camera was not cooperative and decided to produce only blurry images, but here they are anyway:

So serious!!

My face upon realizing I would have to act out
"The Lebesque Stiljes Integral: A Practical Introduction"
The winning team!
(FYI we have no scoring system - we just always decide we've won)

~ Thanksgiving 2010 ~

Unfortunately I have even fewer AND worse photos from this particular year...but I do have this lovely action shot of Jayne collapsing on the ground in what would appear to be either laughter or frustration:


This one of Alex and Karl looking contemplative:

Competitive Charades is no laughing matter...

And, yet another photo of the glorious winners!

Winners at charades.  Winners at life.

And finally...NEW YEARS 2012!  
Now with even more rum, and a better camera

Julianna made sure Mini got a front row seat!

Oh bring us some figgy pudding...

fire + alcohol = dessert?

...let the charades BEGIN!

I think this was a mole...?

The other team got rowdy and out of hand pretty quickly...

My own father blatantly trying to mock and distract me during my turn

I still rocked it
Mom was not amused by her 16 word song clue
Alex was not amused by "Corpus Jurus Secudem"

Still champions.  Now with a mascot.

Our brilliant use of "Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict" inspired the creation of a new rule: no clues over 10 words.  The parents got pretty belligerent and insisted that we had crossed the line with a 16 word clue.  HOWEVER... they somehow thought it was OK to use "Corpus Jurus Secudem," a clue which is clearly in Latin, thereby violating the original and sacred tenet that all clues must be in English.


Moving on.

I feel like the best holiday traditions are often the ones that just develop naturally over time, and are maybe not the most traditional.  I love our Christmas Eve dinner and service, and going downtown for lunch at Macy's, but in my heart competetive charades is always the winner.

What are some of your favorite holiday traditions and memories??

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