Lord of the Scrabble: Battle of the Presents

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Author: Asandra al'Terra

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I have a small family: just my mom, my dad, and me. We’re Polish, so we celebrate on Christmas Eve. We start eating dinner roughly around when the first star appears in the sky, and after that, we open presents.

The only problem with this is that there are so few of us, dinner would go quickly, and so would presents, and Christmas would be over before 9:00pm easily. It was always fun, but feeling that the holiday was over so fast was always a little sad after weeks of anticipation.

Luckily, I’m in possession of a brilliant mind, and I managed to come up with our very own tradition: Christmas Scrabble.

It’s a simple enough game. You play Scrabble as you usually would – making sure to decide what dictionary you’re using ahead of time to avoid arguments – with one additional preparation: everyone gets a number.

It can be as low as 5 or as high as 200, depending on player skill and the number of presents under the tree. Each time a player achieves a score that is a multiple of their number, they get to open a present.

When we play, my parents’ number is 20. Because English is their second language and they’re not as obnoxious as I am, they usually get a present every two turns, depending on how good their letters are. Because I live off the two-letter word combinations and making bingos (where you get an extra 50 points for playing all seven tiles), my number is 50. Sometimes, I get 70 points in a turn, which brings me from – say – 30 points to 100 points; in that case, I usually just take one present, but you can choose to take doubles if so desired.

Christmas has been so much more fun since we started this tradition. We’ve taken to purchasing stocking stuffers as well as our usual number of large gifts – chocolates, and $5 gift cards, and other things – so that nobody ever runs out of presents before one game is done.


Does your family have any holiday traditions involving board games? Share them in the comments!

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