... games and toys to play with;
... pins and sewing needles;
... thermal underwear;
... a spice rack full of flavor;
... hand-tools for the kitchen;
... Forager's cooking kit;
... a Diva for the ladies;
...canning jars with rings;
... a cast iron skillet;
... a French coffee press;
... black turtle beans;
... and a sapling apple tree.
There's that saying "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy."
I think the word "dull" doesn't necessarily mean "boring", but rather, I think not learning to play makes people dull-witted. I think using our imaginations is key - to our sanity, to our success, and to our happiness; and really, when I say "happiness" I mean it to be synonymous with success.
Game playing can satisfy a lot of needs. It can be for pure fun, but it can also be educational, and frankly, many of the games my girls play serve both purposes. Like Yahtzee. We may not think much about it, but really, Yahtzee is all about mathematical skills - counting, addition/subtraction, grouping.
We play a lot of games as a family. In fact, we had to have a whole closet to house all of the games we have, from simple word games (my favortie - Scrabble!) to very complex reasoning games (we have three or four different chess sets). Currently, my girls' favorite game is Apples to Apples, which doesn't require a lot of skill, but can be just pure fun ... or it can require a lot very complex reasoning and association skills, depending on who's playing.
When I mentioned this was my topic for this post, Deus Ex Machina told me that he's been looking at the game Wild Crafting for a while. I asked him why he hasn't gotten it, because it looks exactly like something our family would enjoy.
Games are an excellent tool, both for learning, but also for just spending time ... and in my experience a game is a much better way to while away the hours than television.
It might be a little late to start looking for presents for those hard-to-shop-for people, but if there's still someone on your list, consider a game. And games don't have to be bought. There are plenty of games that can be hand-made pretty quickly and easily - often with things on hand.
I wish you all a wonderful holiday and abundance in the coming year. Just remember: don't focus on limitations, imagine possibilities and when you do, you'll always thrive, not just survive.