For the last two years, our office has been selling small items like styluses, sunscreen, and hand warmers at our checkout desk to raise money for the Durham Rescue Mission. We are able to get most of the items online for about $1-$3 each and sell them for $2-$5 each, with 100% of the proceeds from the sale donated to charity. For just $2.05, you can help sponsor a meal for a homeless member of the Durham community, so every item we sell basically provides a free meal for someone in need.
While providing meals for the homeless is obviously important, the Durham Rescue Mission is also in need of toys and games for low income families, who may not have enough money in their budgets to buy presents for the holidays. If you donate your presents before December 18 this year, your gift will help make this year’s holiday special for some little kid who may not have received anything without your donation.
Last year, we used the “12 Days of Christmas” theme to buy presents to donate – you can view the details of our 2014 list at the bottom of the page. It was a lot of fun fitting the toys into the theme of the list and the budget allowed, so I decided to do the same thing again this year. I changed the theme slightly to “Family Board Games” and tried to find games that would be help bring a family together over the game. We hope these games get picked up and enjoyed by the family that receives them for many years.
These games are all a lot of fun, so maybe you can use the list as a gift giving guide for someone you are having trouble shopping for. Each game cost between $5 and $25, so they would make good presents. I have listed the games we were able to donate this year, with a brief description of each game from BGG. Enjoy!
12 Days of Christmas – The holiday-themed 12 Days takes the familiar “Twelve Days of Christmas” song and twists it into a quick-playing card game. Over twelve rounds, players try to re-gift unpopular cards while keeping cards that are strong enough to win the day, while also keeping a careful eye for bonus scoring at the end of the game.
11 Decks of Cards – A million games in one deck of cards.
Phase 10 – A rummy-type card game where players compete to be the first to finish completing all ten phases. Phases include collecting runs of numbers, collecting certain number of a given color cards, etc. The first player to finish completing the 10th phase wins. In case of ties, the player with the fewest number of points wins.
7 Ate 9 – From the box: “Fast and Fun Number Crunch’n! Players add, or subtract, 1, 2, or 3 to the number the top card on the pile to determine if they have a card that can be played next. Sounds simple, but with everyone playing simultaneously, the options are constantly changing.”
Eight Minute Empire: Legends – A quick game that implements the Civilization/Exploration theme using card-driven area control (by placing armies and cities in a small map) and set collection (by getting abilities from the cards). Players spread through the map in order to collect points at the end of the game by having majorities in regions and continents.
Red7 – The rules of Red are simple: Highest Card Wins! But Red is just one of seven games you’ll be playing. If you’re not winning the current game at the end of your turn, you’re out! And the last person standing wins the round.
6 Word Memoirs – In Six-Word Memoirs, teams use SMITH Magazine’s famous storytelling form to guess the names of famous people, places, and pop culture icons. Teams use imagination and quick word-writing wit to create and identify six-word descriptions on more than 1000 different topics. Can you describe George Washington, Lindsay Lohan or the City of San Francisco in exactly six words?
Five Crowns – Five Crowns is rummy with a five-suited deck and a twist. The set collection aspect of rummy is basically the same, with groups of three cards in either runs or denominations making a valid meld. The twist is that in each hand the number of cards required to create a meld increases, from three cards in the first hand to thirteen in the last. The game, therefore, consists of eleven hands.
Connect 4 – Connect 4 is a well known vertical game played with “checkers” (it is more akin to Tic Tac Toe or Go Moku). The board is placed in the stand to hold it vertically and the players drop checkers into one of the 7 slots, each of which holds 6 of the “checker’s” men, until one player succeeds in getting 4 in a row–horizontally, vertically or diagonally.
Tales & Games: Three Little Pigs – As a little pig, your dearest wish is to build a strong and beautiful house in which you can spend your long winter evenings. But you won’t need trowels nor scaffoldings, as only dice will allow you to construct your dream home. Beware the wolf prowling around, whose only thought is to literally blow down your comfy house!
Two Rooms and a Boom – A social deduction/hidden role party game for six or more players – there are two teams: the Red Team and the Blue Team. The Blue Team has a President. The Red Team has a Bomber. Players are equally distributed between two rooms (i.e., separate playing areas). The game consists of five timed rounds. At the end of each round, some players will be swapped into opposing rooms. If the Red Team’s Bomber is in the same room as the President at the end of the game, then the Red Team wins; otherwise the Blue Team wins.
Uno – Players race to empty their hands and catch opposing players with cards left in theirs, which score points. In turns, players attempt to play a card by matching its color, number, or word to the topmost card on the discard pile. If unable to play, players draw a card from the draw pile, and if still unable to play, they pass their turn. Wild and special cards spice things up a bit.
These are all really fun games, so I hope you get some good board game gift ideas – you should definitely consider trying them out for your own family!
Happy Holidays from Family Care!