Every Christmas, our family does a jigsaw puzzle on the kitchen counter. Each of us approach the task differently. Like Bethy, I insist on first sorting and connecting the outer edges. Katie takes a territory, like Santa’s sack of toys, and tackles it with our grandchildren. We don’t complete the scenes all at once, but eventually, everyone contributes. People step up and step away as appetites fluctuate and conversations meander. This year, we polished off Santa and his sleigh in two days.

After the grandkids left, we started another much more complicated, smaller-pieced puzzle with a water scene from Australia. Brendan, Joe, and Kevin helped, but we didn’t collectively place the last piece as is our tradition. In fact, we barely dented the scenario.

Because of my team effort view of puzzles, I usually pack up unfinished puzzles and give them away. I don’t like redoing puzzle parts.

This year, I left Aussie on the counter.

On Thursday, I spent two hours working on two wooden boats.

I lamented to my friend Laura that I wasted hours on this puzzle when I could have been getting something done.

“You were taking out the garbage,” she replied.

I laughed. I said, “I think I was actually running the garbage disposal.”

According to, jigsaw puzzles are good for our mental health.

I’m going to keep one out year round.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *