Gaming and the Holidays
The Holliday Collapse of Most Gaming Groups
One troubling thing that comes of this yearly practice is that ongoing stories can be interrupted, which sometimes have trouble restarting and getting back to where it was. When you miss gaming for several sessions (which can be anywhere from a few weeks to a couple months) it can make getting the flow of the story back. The first session back is often a large night of "So where were we? What happened so far?" Once all the catching up is done the story may not feel the same as it had been. Is there anything that can be done to care for this?
The easiest way to deal with this break is to make sure you end your stories before it hits, so you can start fresh on the other side. This is not always possible, and sometimes things collapse a session or two before you expect it. It can help to make sure you keep complete notes of what happened in at least the last couple sessions you did have, so you can clearly make that update fast and fully detailed once you return.
It may also be possible to keep a forum or email discussion going about the game over the break, which can help keep everyone on the same page. This is also not always possible, but it can happen a lot easier than actually gathering the whole group at the same time during the holidays. Perhaps people can get on and touch bases through these methods, even when they don't have the time to do so in person. This is often the best thing that you can do over the break.
If possible, make a holiday event out of a game session, or even a small game session as part of a larger holiday event you throw for your gaming group. Make them all feel like family and throw a holiday party for gamers. They may be more likely to gather if it's holiday related instead of just your normal gathering. It's important to make it feel different, so throw it on a different day and/or time and don't call it a game. It's a holiday party. Have food, drinks, entertainment, and other party things as the main part of the event, even if you throw in a small game related RP segment in the middle somewhere.
Personally I've never had any luck over the holidays with my groups, as they always seem to collapse for a month or so around the season. I have tried to make it work, but there have only been a couple years where it seemed to work. Having a party does seem to be the most successful, but I am not able to do that this year, so my group seems to be on a month plus of hiatus until the new year passes.
If you have any stories of this happening or even ideas on how to survive it and weather the holidays with an intact group, let us know and tell us your tales. Either way, have a great holidays yourself and good gaming.
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