Raise your hand if you are obsessed with holidays. I think I've spent a good $50 on mini pumpkins this month. I like hiding them around the apartment and surprising my fiancé with them; next to the alarm clock when he wakes up, at the sink when he's brushing his teeth, in his shoe when he's trying to leave for work...you get the point. Sometimes I even forget where I put them and shock and surprise myself. It's a little game that I like to play around Halloween.
And for my family, holidays are all about games. Through the years of celebrations with family and friends, we've picked up some truly awesome holiday ones -- the weird thing is, most of them involve food. And so my top five list of holiday games involving food was born.
5. Bobbing for Apples on Halloween
This is a game I always used to play as a kid at Halloween parties. It was pretty simple in theory; take turns dipping your head into a giant bucket filled with water and apples and do your best to grab an apple with your mouth...in the same bucket where the kid in front of you had a go at sucking on four or five other apples before finally giving up and sticking his dirty little hand in. I mean, looking back on it -- is this not disgusting? Do kids still seriously play this? God, I hope not. It seems incredibly unsanitary. Bobbing for apples? More like bobbing for herpes.
4. The Greek Easter Egg Cracking Game
I actually have no idea if this has anything to do with Greek Easter, but that's where I started playing it. This game is the best for an ultra-competitive family like my own. Also, it's a perfect way to make use of those colored eggs you spent way too much time making.
After our Easter feast, everyone around the table picks their favorite egg -- I don't want to give away my trade secrets, but if you're smart, there is some strategy to this. Either that or you pick the one you decorated specially for the day (like my fiancé Dave who attempts to make his egg Kosher by painting on a Jewish star). Once the eggs are picked, everyone pairs up and takes turns hitting each other's egg (one person holds their egg in their fist with either the pointed or dull side up, as the other takes a crack at it with their egg, either pointed or dull side up -- again, strategy!). If you are my cousin Tony, this is the point where you try to cheat. Once both sides of your egg are cracked, you are eliminated.
The most important rule of the game is there is no mercy; we have eliminated my seven-year-old niece in round one without a hint of shame. Eventually, someone comes out the winner and is crowned the King or Queen of Easter as we hold a royal ceremony in their honor -- or really they just win and get to brag for the day about how amazing they are at cracking eggs.
3. 4th of July's Watermelon Game
This game is awesome...and slightly dangerous...but really awesome. We play this every Fourth of July -- all you need is a watermelon, some grease (butter, baby oil, Crisco, hair?), a pool, and fucking patriotism! America, fuck yeah!
Here's how it works. Everyone lines up around the pool and anxiously awaits the toss of the watermelon into the center. Once its in, total chaos commences as people dive in and proceed to swim around like crackbabies looking for their next hit. The point of the game is to be the first to get the watermelon out of the pool. But to be honest, I don't think I've ever seen the end of the game without at least one person getting a fat lip and everyone else screaming at the winner that it was unfair because they called time out.
2. Passover's Afikomen & Seek
Dave shared one of his favorite holiday memories with me -- the hiding of the Afikomen during Passover dinner.
According to Wikipedia, the Afikomen is "a half-piece of matzo which is broken in the early stages of the Passover Seder and set aside to be eaten as a dessert after the meal." According to Dave, the Afikomen is "a half-piece of matzo which he has broken his brother's leg for in the middle stages of the Passover Seder causing him to lose his dessert after the meal."
Basically, this is like an egg hunt, but crazier because there is only one winner, as the head of the household hides only one piece of matzo for only one prize. At Dave's Passover, its every meshuggener for themself as they wish each other mazel and prepare to fight to the death for a piece of unleavened bread worth its weight in dollar bills. Break a leg!
1. The Egg Hunt
This is the ultimate holiday game if you ask me. One may think this is just a game for kids, but around my house, egg hunts get intense. I wasn't home last Easter, but the Easter before I can promise you that at 26 years old, my 22-year-old brother and I competed in an egg hunt.
My mom hid the eggs in the backyard...and my dad filmed...and he hummed a battle song to the camcorder as we ran around the backyard like assholes...and my ankle gave out as I was going for an egg by the shed (I have weak ankles ok!)...and that caused me to fall...and get covered in dirt...and my brother stepped on me to get the egg I was eyeing...and then I grabbed his ankle and tried to take him down...but I failed...and so he got the egg...and it was the best day ever even though he kicked my ass at the egg hunt having about 23 eggs to my four (hey, he's a marine -- there was really never any competition)...and I effing love egg hunts.
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I don't care how old I am; if someone hides the eggs, I will always, without a doubt, even with a walker, compete in a hunt to find them.
Ahhhh, sweet memories. What are some of your favorite holiday games involving food?