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Category Game

On Thanksgiving, our local family of six ate turkey and stuffing, green bean casserole and pumpkin pie. Between dinner and dessert, we played a sit-on-the-couch game – the Category Game. Armed with scratch paper and pens, we played in this way.

One person proposes a category and a number of items. Everyone writes down a list of items in the category. Then we compare our lists. Whoever named the category goes first and we go around the room, reading our list until every item has been named and points awarded. You get one point for each person who agrees on the category. With 5 people (a grandson and I were a team), we had a total of 5 possible points on each item.

Here’s some examples of how the game went with total points awarded for each answer. The more agreement, the more points.

Category: Thanksgiving Foods – List 5

Answers: Turkey – 5

Mashed Potatoes – 5

Stuffing – 5

Cranberry Sauce – 4

Pumpkin Pie – 4

Gravy – 2

Lots of agreement on Thanksgiving Foods as we had just finished dinner. How enthusiastically we raised our hands high and looked around for agreement! How thrilled we were when everyone agreed! Even one or two is cause for gratitude.

Category: Birds – List 6

Answers: Owl – 5

Turkey – 4


Crow – 3


Bald Eagle– 2


Pigeon – 2

Blue Jay-1

Hummingbird – 1

Woodpecker – 1


It’s hilarious to see how perfectly reasonable answers feel like outliers. Minds go different directions on familiar things. Sometimes the person who names the category gets a low score because they know a lot about the category. Special knowledge doesn’t benefit.

Category: Body Parts – list 5

Leg – 5

Head – 5

Arm – 4

Foot – 3

Hand – 3

Eyes – 2

Heart – 1

Brain – 1

Mouth – 1

Veins – 1

Veins?! Unique, imaginative answers go unrewarded.

Category: Things to be thankful for at Thanksgiving – list 5

Family – 5

Food – 5

Health -3

God – 2

Home – 2

Friends – 2

Pie – 2

Life- 1

Water – 1

Money – 1

The commonplace and the profound. Food, birds, our amazing bodies and basic elements like water. God and life. The commonplace is profound. The whole game kicked up an immensity of things to be thankful for.

Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights . . James 1:17 NASB

I also love how the game brought up the trade-off between being the same and being different. There’s a joy in agreement, and there’s a joy in uniqueness. God calls us to love and appreciate each other in our uniqueness and to seek unity in Him. We don’t obliterate uniqueness in our quest for unity. In every case, be thankful.

In everything, give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 NASB
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