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25 Desember 2017 
Merry Christmas from the Rather household.
Spending time with family over the holidays can open your eyes to different perspectives and different opportunities.... I typically approach this time of year with old-school sensibilities, hoping for a restful holiday of bible readings, hymns, and thoughtful discussion with my family. This year, however, my grandson Martin Rather asked that we add playing a trivia game using his phone on a new app called HQ Trivia (which apparently, unbeknownst to me, has become quite popular). To put it mildly, I was initially skeptical.
However, once this game started, I began to see the appeal. To win you have to answer 12 trivia questions in a row in order. If you survive the gauntlet you win a share of the jackpot with other players from around the world. Between myself, my son, my wife, and my grandson we managed to answer the first few correctly. It began to get more difficult. My grandson answered a question about hip-hop star Kendrick Lamar, while I identified key players in the Iran-Contra scandal. My wife chipped in with spot-on answers about art and fashion. Thanks to my sons final (correct) answer about Phil Collins and Genesis, we were among approximately 300 players to outlast the game, splitting the prize (we won about 30 dollars). But it wasn't about the prize. It was about the process. We had worked together and across three generations, we just happened to have the right mix for this one edition of this one game.
We hooted and hollered like we had won the lottery. It was a special holiday moment. When I was a child, between readings and hymn-singing, we played charades and hide-and-seek. There is a place for such activities even now, but I must admit that I enjoyed the camaraderie that a seemingly random cell phone app gave to our family. We plan on continuing to play on future holidays.
Part of life's journey is to respect old traditions and create new ones. What is most important is sharing a spirit of love and family. Perhaps you and your family have a new tradition, aided by new technology or otherwise. Or perhaps you have a treasured tradition that stretches back in time. Either way, I would love to hear about them and I wish you and yours, once more, a very Merry Christmas.