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By Rebecca Fending
Last year, I wrote about how November has always been my favorite month—the anticipation of the holidays, the cooler atmosphere and the perfect weather for having cozy afternoons indoors. My opinion still has not changed, I just wanted to reminisce and recap.
November also hosts Thanksgiving, of course. Even if you don’t particularly condone the history behind the holiday, the end of the month poses a great reason to get family and friends together with good food and even better entertainment. All this, paired with the excitement of Hanukkah, Christmas and even New Year’s on the horizon makes the end of November especially enjoyable.
However, like every other month, November is full of celebration and awareness for health conditions and history. This month is National Alzheimer’s Awareness month, calling attention to the facts surrounding the disease and what you can do to best stave off the effects from your own body, as well as supporting those who have fallen to the disease. To learn more, look for Mark Grevelding’s health column, Kathy Megyeri’s book review and my article about Alzheimer’s and how you can know what to do for you and those affected.
In the interest of fitting both Thanksgiving and Alzheimer’s awareness into one topic, below are a few family-friendly games that I love. The majority of them are ones that really make you think, some encouraging creative sides to see the light, but all help exercise and stimulate your mind in order to keep those neurons firing!
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Bananagrams: This is one game that seems to be quite polarizing. I’ve noticed that women tend to love it while men struggle with crafting a crossword from scratch in a timely manner. Bananagrams requires quick thinking on your feet in order to use all of the letter tiles. If you like Scrabble, you’ll love this game.
Apples to Apples: This one has caused some light drama at the family table, but all in good fun. Apples to Apples is a lot like an ultra-family-friendly version of Cards Against Humanity (research at your own risk). One person is appointed judge with a topic card, and every other player must choose a card from their hard that pairs well (or humorously) with the topic card. We typically play the first person to seven total won topic cards wins, but you can modify it however you want.
Poker: I know you may be wondering how poker could be a family game. However, who said you had to gamble? Poker is fun enough even without casino chip betting. Or, if you’d like to include the element of gambling but don’t have any chips, you can always use something like M&Ms, wrapped mints or other candy, or even beads. Poker is an intensely mental game and a great way to exercise your cognitive abilities.
No matter how you enjoy the month, keep in mind that keeping both your brain and body active will allow you to celebrate many more holiday seasons to come.