It’s apparently common for adults to bring some type of food to a Thanksgiving meal. My friends talk about the need to make some type of casserole or dessert for their family’s Thanksgiving meal. For people who know me, it should come as no surprise that I do not cook anything for Thanksgiving or any other holiday meal. Need cheese and crackers? Sign me up. A jar of pickles or olives? I’ve got you covered. Green bean casserole? Umm, can I just pick one up from the store?

I know there are plenty of people who love to spend time creating cuisine in the kitchen. There are just as many people who would rather just buy a box of cookies instead of baking some for a party. (I will say, I’m a fan of baking easy treats like slice and bake cookies or using box cake mixes.) So this year, I decided to bring kittens and monsters to my parent’s home for turkey day.

My family’s Thanksgiving traditions have shifted in the last decade and so for the last several years, the big feast has been my parents and myself eating the traditional fixings. Last year, I decided instead of eating at my parent’s place and then going home to enjoy a solid nap, we should play games. Then I’d go home to nap, read a book or watch a seasonal movie, like “Gremlins.”

Other than my sister, who I would play board games with when we were kids, my family wasn’t too big into games. But as an adult, I have a group of friends who introduced me to the expanded world of board and card games beyond Milton Bradley and Parker Brothers. I’d get the chance to cure a pandemic, be an agent of espionage, battle dragons as a munchkin, and even played a couple of games before they arrived on the marketplace.

After rediscovering how much I enjoyed the hobby, I decided that I’d pester — I mean — persuade my family to play games with me when we go camping.

Thanksgiving 2018 was the year I decided to bring a couple card games over to play with my parents during lunch. It ended up being a good way to spend a few hours after enjoying turkey.

My contribution to this year’s Thanksgiving is Exploding Kittens, Horrified (where you hunt down classic Universal Studios monsters), Meeple Party, Zombie Fluxx and Oregon Trail. It’s good to have options and I know my parents are fans of Exploding Kittens (especially the Nope card) and understand the game play of Oregon Trail and Fluxx. Horrified and Meeple Party are newer games I was looking forward to breaking in this holiday season.

Since I’m writing this before Thanksgiving, I’m not sure what games we’ll play or who else will be at my parent’s place for lunch. (Yup, we’ve always been turkey day lunch people as long as I can remember.) I just know that instead of pie or cranberry sauce, I’ll be showing up with some games and hopefully a basic understanding of the game play and rules.

There will no doubt be a traditional Thanksgiving nap on Nov. 28 but only after we a play at least a couple games of Exploding Kittens. I’m hoping to open up Horrified or Meeple Party and get through a complete game before I go home to take the traditional Thanksgiving Day nap and my new tradition of watching a 1980s-era Spielberg film.

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