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Every year I've tried to give one great game to my family for Christmas. A favorite that comes to mind was a great (possibly discontinued?) game called Picture, Picture-where people stare at the same large image (cluttered candy shops, rural fishing scenes, etc.) and are challenged to find one thing beginning with each letter of the alphabet. Of course we are huge game players and someone always manages to push the limits of what's acceptable and then we'd end up in knock-down-drag-out fights and challenges (v=virgin seem to be pushing it, but you can't imagine the arguments that would ensue!). I used to give the games to my parents--and then they'd become 'house games' that would be pulled out whenever we'd all be together. Now that I have kids, I try to give one great game to them every year (my middle child being the typical recipient since she craves the most together time and board games always ensure that). Two or three Christmases ago my big game discovery was Qwirkle. A beautiful game with wooden tiles and symbols--that you align like a picture version of Scrabble--each row has to contain the same color in different shapes or the same shapes in different colors. Of course it didn't take us long to figure out a way to bend the rows to maximize points--but we all know the trick so no one has a distinct advantage. The game became so popular that my mother recently tracked it down to add to her collection of house games, so that even though the original version lives with us in Brooklyn, it'll always be handy when we go visit them. The newer version comes with a cloth bag to keep the tiles in--turning it into a travel game of sorts? It's a true family favorite.