Oh Hai, 2017

It’s a been a rough year.  The internet is pretty united on that front.  Like a zillion famous people died, and then there’s this whole election thing, and yeah.  Things are maybe not the best.

But hey, now we have a whole brand new year in front of us.  And I was thinking, maybe it’s time to change some things about how we do this whole “resolution” deal that everyone seems so fond of.

Not that I’m against resolutions.  It’s a new year, obviously let’s decide to do some things differently.  But I feel like so many people resolve the same things every year.  We all want to exercise more, eat better, work harder, be nicer, whatever.  Blah blah blah.  And while these are all good things, they’re so, um, boring.  In fact, they are so uninteresting that most people forget they’ve made them within a matter of hours.

So if you want to lose weight or start eating kale or whatever in 2017, that’s great go ahead and do that.  If not, I’ve compiled a short list of some slightly more interesting resolutions you may want to consider.

 

  1. Resolve to disregard a meaningless social norm.  Just pick one.  For example, you could resolve to say hello to every person you walk past, or you could resolve to turn off your phone every time you’re eating a meal with another person.  Or you could resolve to start answering the question “how are you?” honestly instead of just saying “good” in response.  Dance to the music in the mall.  You get the idea.
  2. Resolve to DO things with your friends instead of “hang out”.  People want to get together?  Say “yeah” and then suggest bowling or laser tag or hiking or a picnic.  Make NEW memories instead of rehashing old ones.
  3. Make a list of people you love who live at least an hour away to randomly  send snail mail too.  Resolve that by the end of 2017 you will have written each of those people one letter, just because.
  4. Find one societal issue that really bothers you, and resolve to do something about it.  Whether it’s by donating money, materials, time or all of the above.  If you’re having trouble thinking of or finding something, here’s a link to this cool charity social media app that’s getting released soon. http://www.pointapp.org/
  5. Find one or two other people and resolve to explore new music together.  Take turns finding new albums and spend one to two weeks listening to each one.  By the end of the year, you could potentially have found up to 52 new artists.  The best part is you can do this even if your music group is crunched for time – discussion can easily happen over group text.
  6. Resolve to discover the ways the people around you give and receive love.  Think of concrete ways you can change the way you love others based on their primary means of giving and receiving love.  If you’ve never heard of the 5 love languages, you can read more about them here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Five_Love_Languages
  7. Google the tourist attractions in either the city where you live now, or the city where you grew up, (funny how we never really get to know our own homes).  Visit at least one in the upcoming year.
  8. Resolve to eliminate the words “maybe” and “we’ll see” from your vocabulary.  Either say yes, or say no.  Be the one person who isn’t afraid to make decisions.
  9. Take something that you love, and find a way to enjoy it differently.  For example: I love Mario Kart.  I think it’s great.  You know what’s also fun?  Blind Mario Kart.  One person (blindfolded) drives, another person gives verbal directions.  It becomes an entirely new interaction.
  10. Think of something in politics that you actually care about.  (I know we’re all pretty fed up with politics but…if we don’t participate nothing will change).  Actually write a letter to your congressman about it.  Or heck, you could write the president I guess.  But really.  Write a letter.

 

There you have it.  A list of 10 interesting things that you might choose to do with your new year.  Happy resolving!

“The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul and a new nose; new feet, a new backbone, new ears, and new eyes. Unless a particular man made New Year resolutions, he would make no resolutions. Unless a man starts afresh about things, he will certainly do nothing effective.” – G.K. Chesterton

New Family Traditions: The Easter Egg Hunt

Lots of things change when everyone in your family grows up, but nobody has any kids yet.  Especially holidays.  Like, for instance, Easter Egg hunts are way less exciting when you’re in college than they are when you’re six.

 

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(The Easter Bunny, however, is always terrifying)

My family ran into this problem some years ago, but we didn’t want to totally scrap the hunt, since my little cousin still looked forward to finding eggs and all that.  He may have actually been six at the time, come to think of it.

Anyway, we decided to revamp our model to make it more fun for all of us college students while still retaining the spirit of an Easter Egg Hunt.

 

Mostly, we decided to add nerf guns.  Nerf guns = instant magic.

 

For all your 90’s/early 2000’s kids, we based our Easter Egg Battle after the egg battle level in the Nintendo 64 version of Diddy Kong Racing.  We actually played the music to the level while we battled.  It was amazing.  The link is below.

 

It took us several years to hone the rules and regulations in order to make our Easter Egg Battle into a truly challenging and exciting competition, but four years later the event has become a much anticipated tradition.  Family friends even come over every now and then to take part in the festivities because it’s just so much fun, darn it.

 

The rules are included below for any of you that might be interested in attempting an egg battle of your own.

 

RULES:

  1. Baskets must be spread out & placed by the players.  They are immobile – “home base” for the player.  Eggs must be transported to the basket, not vice versa.
  2. A non-searching player must hide all of the eggs in the designated battle area.
  3. The non-searching player must also give the other players the start signal.
  4. Once play begins, players may search for eggs and attempt to transport them back to their Easter baskets.
  5. Once a player has picked up an egg he/she may be targeted by other players (of course, players may wish to shoot other players at all times – however, they are only affected by a hit if they are carrying eggs.)
  6. If a player carrying an egg is hit by a dart, he/she must deposit the egg on the ground immediately & “tag up” at his or her basket, at which time other players may steal the egg he/she was carrying.  Once he/she has tagged up (or “respawned”, as my video-game-playing brother likes to call it) he/she may resume play.
  7. Players are responsible for maintaining their own ammunition collections.
  8. The player with the most eggs at the end of the battle wins.
  9. The battle ends when all of the eggs have been located & deposited in the players’ Easter baskets.
  10. If young children are also participating, several possible adjustments may be made:
    1. They may be made exempt from egg theft or darts (or both) & essentially function as “egg snipers” – swooping in to steal eggs that other players have been forced to discard (my cousin used to be especially good at this).
    2. They may be given outside help in discovering & transporting eggs by non-searching players (usually parents).

 

I promise, it’s so much fun you’ll want to keep doing it forever.  Everything is better with nerf guns.  Even Easter.