I don't make it back home very often these days. With my family scattered all over the country, we're lucky if we can get everyone together more than once a year. This inconsistency of presence has seen many holiday traditions turn to ash in the fire.
When we do struggle through airports or brave bus terminals to finally find ourselves cozy in the same room, there's one tradition that has outlasted all the rest: playing a game.
Inevitably, there will be talk of previous games ("'Member that one time when...?") and long periods of no play while the snacks are replenished and the memory is fully rehashed. We don't get competitive because someone losing only ensures a rematch.
But what I love even more than reminiscing during a rambunctious round of Mille Bornes, is to see how these people, who I don't see daily but love more than ever, have grown. As my mom accuses Col. Mustard in the "Con-seh-vaa-tor-theey" with the Knife, I'll notice that she looks youthful, has a glow about her. When my little sister answers a Trivial Pursuit question that I assumed she was too young to know, I'll marvel at the adult she's become.
We're all busy living our lives and trying to keep each other informed but the nuances never pass through email. When I sit on the floor with my family and a set of dice, my sense of home is reestablished and it's like I never left.