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Jigsaw Puzzles Fun for the Entire Family

My family started our jig saw addiction one snowy Christmas Holiday. My mother, who was a widow, always came for the holidays and had brought a few 1000 piece puzzles. My family was not interested. My children were in a deep discussion of the anticipated new toys. No clothes, please was the cry of the day. My husband was searching the fridge for goodies one more time. One evening a few days before Christmas my Mother selected one of the puzzles to begin. We decided to humor her. We cleared off the table, moved lamps to the table for better viewing and began. The search was on. My mother instructed us to search for all of the border pieces. The puzzle general had spoken. My husband was busy ignoring the whole process. Pretty soon we were engrossed in the border pieces search. No wiggling or giggling, just a lot of “I think that is one” and “No it isn’t”. After a short time my Mother insisted that we all change seats, somewhat like musical chairs, so we could gain a whole new prospective. Once again, we obeyed.

We finally stopped for a food break and much to my surprise my children ate quickly and wanted to return to the puzzle. For two small people that had the attention spans of ants, this was amazing. Pretty soon we were all relaxed enough to carry on a conversation other than puzzle pieces. My daughter related a full weeks worth of school events, including all of the little girl cat fights. My son joined in with all the news from his soccer team. My mother began telling family history, which included every embarrassing moment I have ever had. My children cackled and begged for more.

Before long I realized my husband was hovering around the table in a watching only stance. I watched as he slowly picked up a piece and placed it in the correct position. He was hooked. We spent the next few nights finishing the first puzzle and starting a new one. We had covered so many subjects and opinions that we had discovered more and more about each other.

Each following year my children would request new puzzles for the coming Christmas Holiday. Both of my children have carried on the puzzle working tradition and never a year goes by that new puzzles aren’t under the Christmas tree. We snacked, drank, and worked puzzles at a furious pace. We learned to work together to finish a certain section and slow our general holiday pace. The first year of puzzling was the most relaxed and stress free I could ever remember.

My husband and I are now retired and my Mother has since passed away. We still do puzzles. My children still speak of the days before Christmas and working larger and larger puzzles. I think how smart my Mother was to bring us all together and enable us to enjoy each others company with one simple puzzle.

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