Dysfunctional Family Bingo

There is no better way to spend the holidays than bundling your children in snowsuits, traveling an hour by car with broken heat to your in-laws’ house, and learning this year’s celebration is at your sister-in-law’s house, back in your neighborhood. “Didn’t they tell you?” This season instead of cringing and living with the anxiety that holidays and family can sometimes bring, how about trying something a little different? This game was first introduced to me by Dr. Martha Beck, during my Life Coach Training, at The Martha Beck Institute. It has since become a family favorite. It is called Dysfunctional Family Bingo. It is a little tongue in cheek, as it pokes fun at a lot of the standard family ridiculousness that would normally find us in the bathroom silently screaming into a towel, or on the backporch eyeballing the bottom of a Pinot bottle. It is aimed to alleviate much of the anxiety that we feel during the holidays, as it allows you and whomever you allow into your secret little world (cue evil laughter) to concentrate more on being the observer of the levity and humor of your family situation, and less so on the real heaviness of the situation.

Here’s what you do. Print out a copy of this bingo card (or create your own). In each blank square write a brief description of something that happens each holiday. Here are some examples: “Dad shows his knife collection,” “Grandma farts at dinner,” “Mom asks if I’ve gained weight,” etc. You know, all the lovely little tidbits that make your family, well, your family! The key to this is discretion, so you don’t want to leave your game card in the bathroom! Once you’ve gotten 5 in a row (or more, because let’s face it, the more the merrier) you’ve got BINGO! And then you’ve got bragging rights. Take a pic and send it to the rest of your peeps who are playing. Or for even more fun, just keep going, and meet a week later for cocktails and laughs…..DON”T forget to bring your cards. And toast to a wonderful holiday and to all of your relatives! You wouldn’t have had such a great holiday if it weren’t for them! Learn 5 ways more ways to eliminate your anxiety during the holidays.

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