28 Dec 2014

Play Your Cards Right on December 28th

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When we’re young, we start out with Go Fish, move onto War, escalate to Spit, and dabble in Solitaire if no one’s around.  We then graduate from the single or duo card playing games to group games, such as Rummy, Hearts, Black Jack, and Bull(shhh). Finally, you hit playing-card maturity when you’re up to Poker.

What’s the draw, literally, for card games? They can be brain-challenging, camaraderie building, and are simple diversions from the day’s routine.

Enter National Card Playing Day, on December 28th. Smack in between Xmas and New Year’s, the calm between the joyful, yet somewhat pressured, storms of two major holidays. Mom, Dad, kids, it’s Sunday, let’s sit down to a family game of Rummy, shall we? Sure!

How did National Card Playing day originate? The usual research routes come up empty, but it’s suspected that card companies, or casinos, or both, may have had something to do with it. What about the history of cards? Kings, Queens, Jacks  – they seem obviously of Renaissance origin.  However, playing cards date back to Imperial China, as early as the 600’s. Evolving over the years and through cultures, the standard playing cards we use today with hearts, diamonds, spades, and clubs are actually of 1800’s French origin. Incidentally, during the French Revolution, playing with Kings, Queens, and Jacks – the ultra-representatives of the dictatorial, oppressive aristocracy – was replaced with bourgeois characters called Liberties, Equalities, and Fraternities.

These days, playing cards continue to serve their purpose of mental stimulation coupled with entertainment. At Rockaway Care Center, card playing is often a regular part of the routine, ideal for an institute where recovery and health maintenance are the name of the “game”. By playing cards, we nurture mental stimulation, social contact, and relaxation (save for those of us who are uber-competitive…) So take your pick of a card game, sit down, and play!


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