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Hello! My name is Shannon Taylor. I'm a long-time writer and editor from Minnesota surprised to find myself on an island in the Pacific Northwest with my husband, three younger children (the oldest is attending college in Chicago), and two dogs.


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Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life—learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
+ Robert Fulghum

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Winter Fun

Holiday Fun / Games for Groups

“Were there Uncles like in our house?” “There are always Uncles at Christmas. The same Uncles.”
—from A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas

My favorite holidays are a combination of the old and the new. There are traditions I can’t imagine doing without, like the Advent Box and Grandma’s cornflake cookies. But at the same time it’s fun to add new foods or experiences to keep it all fresh and fun.

This year, my mom had a couple of new games for us to play at her house on Christmas Day. For the first game we split up into two teams and formed two lines. One person from each team raced to a table and put on a pair of gardening gloves (one for each team). He then had to try to unwrap a Hershey’s kiss and eat it before running back to the line so the next player could go. Not easy!

In the second game, we again divided up into two teams. On each team, several people were assigned to blow up balloons, one to tie the balloons, and the others to stuff the balloons into a pair of hose. Once again, not easy! The first team to fill up both legs won. Putting the tights on their heads wasn’t actually part of the game—that was Uncle John’s and Tim’s own idea. But they look awfully cute, don’t they?

What Grammy hadn’t planned on was the rampant cheating done by both sides. There was wrestling and, I’m sorry to say, some balloon-stealing as well. As Grammy put it, “It’s a lot different when you’re playing with a bunch of middle-aged women.” But we had a lot of fun, and I’m glad my kids got to see the grown-ups being so silly. I remember how much I loved watching my uncles and aunts acting like kids themselves at family get-togethers when I was young.

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