Let The Games Begin
I love games, especially those that open us up, make us belly laugh, and connect us. I'm not too fond of boring conversations, and sometimes when the guests don't know each other, these games can create intimacy and fun with no hassle. I believe every host should have a good card game up their sleeve, just in case. Talking about politics or superficial things can kill the mood or the will to live at this point. And we desperately need fun and connection.
Here are my Top Five Card Games that will turn any social gathering into a joyful and memorable experience.
The Connection Game by Ruby May is my favorite one. There are no winners. It's full of heart, cooperation, movement, and playfulness with a splash of vulnerability and can make you sweat a bit. But fear not; you can skip any cards that are too much for you, so there is no need to panic. A drink helps, though. We tried them for my husband's birthday, where we invited Ph.D. students around. Anna and I were surrounded by geeks and needed to connect on other levels than mentally, so we played this game, and it was both hilarious and cringy at the same time. We saw each other differently, creating a bond between us. Our teenage daughter loved seeing us sweat :) There is no limit on the number of players, but more than 20 would be a stretch. It comes from Europe, just in case you wonder about taxes.
Where Should We Begin - a Game of Stories by Esther Perel is one for a max of six players, so it is pretty intimate and comes from the US. Esther is an expert on intimacy and relationships and has a fantastic insight into human connection and what makes it alive. So I would try it, especially if you are in couples. I didn't play it myself but heard good things about it, and I love the woman. If you have them, please get in touch with me and let me know if you like them or not. I would love to hear more about it.
Table Talk from The School of Life is one for dinner time, and kids are welcome to play too. This card game is great for when you have parents and kids around for dinner. Either will bring kids and adults together or get the kids out of the way so you can play/chat without disturbance. It comes from the UK, so check the taxes now that Brexit is upon us.
Dating Cards from The School of Life turns boring first-date conversations into interesting ones. I don't date, but I believe everyone is fed up with the classical discussions around work, hobbies, and holiday plans. Maybe you date or have a friend who is. They make a great gift for singles. And if not, at least you can have a great laugh about it. Life is too short for dull moments.
The Inner Compass from Neel Van Lierop consists of 49 guiding cards toward reflection and yourself. They are not Tarot Card; however, they can be used just like them. Anna and I use them regularly as they always bring hope, encouragement, and open conversations. I recommend these cards to be played between friends and loved ones where trust is already there. They are not too deep but enough to create connections and light conversations. I hope you enjoy them. If you have never tried tarot cards, these are good ones to try before going for classic or Osho ones. The design and the messages are simple. They come from mainland Europe. Neel created a deck for children too, which Anna used for a while but grew out of quite quickly. Check her out.
And remember to have fun. Don't take life too seriously. From my heart, Nora