Here we are again at the start of another Holiday season and while some of you are thinking of turkeys and Christmas trees, all I can focus on is the copious amount of shit talking that will occur around the inevitable domino games. So while my family is busy scouring Black Friday ads, I’m practicing my slam.

The games always start innocent enough when I team up with one of my cousins to play a game of dominoes with my grandmother and her sister. “Big Six” is played and then my cheek-kissing, pie-baking, church-going, sweetheart of a grandmother reverts to the way she was before she found the Lawd.

Spades is serious business but in my family, it’s not a gathering, holiday, family reunion unless someone has had their feelings hurt at the domino table. And when people come over, the question isn’t, “do you have a set of dominoes?” but “where are the dominoes?”

I still haven’t recovered from the disappointment I saw in my mother’s eyes when she learned that I didn’t have a set of dominoes in my apartment. She taught me better than that.

So yes, good food is always a plus during this time of year, and so is spending time with family but I’m looking forward to the sound of the bones crashing together and then slamming against the table. My family bonds over dominoes. It’s a time of reminiscing for the older generations and a learning experience for the younger. It’s bonding, sharing and loving. And for me, that’s what this time of year is really all about. Learning, loving and appreciating the time (present and past) that you’ve spent with your family.

What do you look forward to during the holidays?