Stoke of Midnight 2015…2016?

Stroke of Midnight

For the past few New Year Eve’s, my family and I stayed home. Our main reason is to stay off the roads both for the safety from strangers and also so we can partake more in the celebratory ale. For the last four years, we started in a new tradition on New Year’s Eve with an all day family gaming event. It’s a day where we make a huge pile of board and card games to play throughout the day. We try to see how many games we can get through. I think this year ended up being slower than other years.

Our first year of this tradition was ruined by my work and an all day escalated issue. At the time I was an on-call management style person for a large data center. To make a long story short, my evening started off with me trying to place last minute storage units of computers on a commercial airline. The flight continued without the parts but I lost a good 8 hours of my holiday.

The next year we decided to step up our game and introduce Nerdy the Elf to the mix. (AKA Nerd Y. Elf) Basically, he is one of Santa’s little slave helpers who goes around hooking up nerd based families in their nerd type traditions on NYE. (See a pattern going on here?) Nerdy likes to leave games at our house for us to play. So far he (or she) brought us Munchkin and Qwirkle. This year was another great add to our night. Nerdy brought us Exploding Kittens. This was a fun Russian Roulette style card game. Easy to learn, easy to play. Nerdy also leaves us a letter. This year’s letter made reference to HoHo the Naughty Elf. That got a good chuckle from my oldest son who is familiar to the Comedy Bang Bang podcast I got him hooked on.

This year we started off playing a few hands of Gin Rummy with our new Princess Bride playing cards which came from our Lootcrate subscription. My wife and I saved up a few months of Lootcrate deliveries and came up with a great advent calendar of toys for them. We had a few items leftover for Christmas Day and this was one of them. I forget the rest of the order but we only ended up getting through Gin Rummy, Exploding Kittens, Munchkin Legends, The Office DVD Game, Ticket to Ride, Chopper Strike*, and Apples to Apples.

*Chopper Strike was actually the first game my sons and I played in the morning as a warm up. Chopper Strike is a 1976 strategy game that the kids got from a past school teacher.)

We usually get through more games but we broke a few times for food. I think we ate too much which slowed us down. We all had trouble keeping our eyes open for the last 30 minutes of 2015. Shortly after the countdown it was lights out.

We still have a pile of games to play this weekend in our traditional first few days of the new year playing all the games we didn’t get to in the past year.

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A different elf puts something on our shelf on NYE

We never had an elf on the shelf. Never had to hunt for elves a month prior to Christmas. Snooping around our house. However an elf does break into our house on New Year’s Eve. It all started last year when a strange letter was left on our coffee table.  It was a letter from Nerd Y. the Elf who is Santa’s head elf in charge of “nerdy” subjects like comic books and games. Nerd Y. also shares the same initials as New Year’s Eve. So, this is one of his favorite holidays.

The elf took notice to our family’s NYE tradition of playing games all day long with each other. We break out the cards, dice, the classics, and any new editions we got for Christmas. Video games are also played but we try to downplay them and go with a different type of interactive game. Nerdy loved the tradition and his buddies get together and roll a d20 by the fireplace up north. He wanted to add to our excitement so he hid a game somewhere in our house on the morning of New Year’s Eve. The game was Munchkin by Steven Jackson and is one of our favorite card games of dungeon crawling and back stabbing.

This New Year’s Eve I know the elf will be back but what will he bring? I hear its a game with a fun word to say like Qwirkle or Babaganush. We already got 2 games for Christmas and one of them is becoming a top favorite,  Apples to Apples.  The other game is the starter set for Dungeons and Dragons (red box). I never played so I guess I should read the rules so lil Eddie knows what he is doing. Some of the other games we will likely play on NYE is Munchkin, Clue, Magic the Gathering, 3 man chess/checkers, Scrabble, cards, Dungeon Run, and more.

I hope a lot of other families could be visited by Nerdy. Gather around a table with family and friends too. Put Dick Clark’s Rockin’ Eve on in the background. Order a pizza. Make a drink. Roll some dice, flip a card, kill a meeple this New Year’s Eve. Stay in and don’t battle the roads with drunken revelers.

This has become a great family tradition. I know my kids love it. I hope this carries over to their families when the time comes.