Guilty Pleasures: Board Games

Guilty pleasures are some of the most sensational things in life.  I grew up with a healthy dose of Catholic guilt, so I am well-versed in the art of feeling bad for something that makes you feel good.  Now I simply don’t feel guilty for finding pleasure in the little things in life.

Not much beats an afternoon spent at my grandma and grandpa’s around the dining room table playing board games with my family.  Whether it is a holiday gathering or an impromptu get together, playing the games with one another seems to bring back a simpler lifestyle.  A time and place where families spent time together on a regular basis instead of isolating themselves in a back room on the computer or playing a gaming system.

If you are looking for a perfect gift this holiday season, look no farther than the game aisle at your local store.  You just my stumble upon a treasure.  Below are a few of my favorite games to play:


What does Balderdash even mean?!?


This is a hilarious game where you make up definitions to obscure words.  Other players attempt to guess the correct definition from the list of conjured up ideas.  Often times the younger kids have unique, chuckle worthy definitions.  Be careful of family members with an inappropriate sense of humor… this game can turn wicked easily.  (Which can be part of the fun if there are no young ears around!)  This game can be easily replicated with simply a dictionary, pen and paper.


A term of endearment beginning with the letter A? I can think of a few…


In this game, you have to think of words that start with a specific letter for a list of different categories.  In order to earn points, your words can not match anyone else’s answers so it encourages you to think outside of the box.  This is another one where wacky answers can easily start making their way into the game!

Awkward Family Photos

You think your family's weird?

You think your family’s weird?


Who doesn’t have a few of these hidden away?  This board game comes from the website by the same name, where people send in strange photographs of their family.  My cousin and I can sit for hours looking at these pictures and coming up with similar scenarios in which our family members might have been in these types of compromising conditions.  We have even conjured up our own ideas for some awkward family photos.



You will have to use your brain!

You will have to use your brain!


It may take some time to get down the initial directions, but once you do, you are in for some laughs.  Don’t be put off by categories such as spelling backwards.  It is meant to be silly and fun, not stress inducing!


Be careful of the flying disc!

Be careful of the flying disc!


If your family has difficulty with blurting out and interrupting, this is the game for you!  You give clues to get everyone to guess your word and everyone else shouts out what they thing the answer is.  When someone gets the correct answer, you pass along the disc that gives you the word.  Whoever is holding the disc when the time runs out loses.  This game can get dangerous when the disc is being tossed around, so beware!



Not much is taboo around our table.

Not much is taboo around our table.


Another game involving guessing words based on the clues you give.  This time, there is a list of words you can not use to describe the word you want them to guess.  See how many words one person can get in a minute to earn multiple points for your team in a round.  Things can get dicey when the other team has control of the buzzer.

Mad Gab

Around my family, it's harder to get everyone to stop gabbing than anything else!

Around my family, it’s harder to get everyone to stop gabbing than anything else!


Hilarity ensues when everyone tries to figure out the well known phrases based on other words jumbled together.  Mash them up and say them fast for best results.  I personally think this game has become easier since texting has become more prevalent because I am so used to trying to decipher weird combinations of letters.




So easy a child can beat me!


My five year old cousin dominates at this game.  There are so many versions that you will never get board, but Mexican Train seems to be our favorite.


Classic Playing Cards

Classic fun.

Classic fun.


Rainy day fun at its finest!  Nothing beats a good old-fashioned card game.  There are so many that we play, it’s hard to keep up:  Euchre, Hearts, Poker, Rummy, Shanghai, Phase 10, etc.  My own philosophy is that you can tell how intelligent a person is by how they play cards.  The same can be said about their morals; if they will cheat in cards, they will probably cheat in life.


What are your favorite board games to play?  Who do you play them with?


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