It’s that time again, the beginning of January, and you know what that means.
No, not New Year’s resolutions. Predictions – in the form of
Every year since 1992, our family, along with our dear pals Ellie and Archie, have undertaken a friendly little competition in the form of predictions for the upcoming year.
For years we just called them “The Predictions” until Archie and Ellie came up with the brilliant name “McLuxies” incorporating parts of both families’ names.
We even have hats.
Here’s how The McLuxies work.
We put together a list of topics like NBA Finals, Wimbeldon Champs, Academy Award for Best Picture and so on. Each of us makes our predictions and at the end of the year we see who got the most correct.
The categories are mostly sports, pop culture and politics (because we are all nerds).
In the case of something like The World Series or The Super Bowl, we each predict the two teams we think will be playing and who will win. A whopping three points if you guess correctly!
In 1992 we started with a mere six categories. Hardly even a challenge. This year we will be making predictions in 18 different categories.
Since the first category to come up is the College Football National Champions, the deadline for submitting our guesses is Sunday night, the day before the BCS Championship Game.
Throughout the years we have changed and added categories, always making sure to hit the high points of a particular year. This year we will predict the winner of the World Cup in soccer and the country who wins the most gold medals in Socchi.
About nine years ago we added “Time Person Of The Year” to our list so that that the suspense carries through until late December.
Let me tell you, Time Person Of The Year and People’s Sexiest Man Alive are two tough categories to predict. Annie picked Matt Damon for several years in a row, sticking with him until he finally got the nod as Sexiest Man Alive. She knew that Matt’s crowning was just a matter of time and she was not going to miss the boat.
One year Peter picked Oprah as Sexiest Man Alive (hilarious!) and Archie picked himself.
Ironically, that was the year the The Time Person Of The Year was “You” so Archie just named himself in the wrong category and sadly missed out on earning the point.
Over the years we have included predictions about:
- The OJ Simpson trial
- Whether or not President Clinton would be removed from office
- If Microsoft would be split up or left alone as a giant monopoly (Annie’s prediction was “yes *especially with Bush as prez” )
- The teams to be eliminated from Major League Baseball because they were apparently threatening to do that in 2002
- Number of Supreme Court vacancies on 12/31/05
- City announced as site of upcoming Olympics
- Of the following who would be married on 12/31/06: Ben and Jen, Brad and Angelina, Brittany and Kevin, Tom and Katie
- The party in control of the House of Representatives after the election
- Number of electoral votes of the winner of the Presidential election
- Number of countries that would bail from the European Union by 12/31/12
- Number of viewers watching the Royal Wedding on TV – to the nearest hundred million
- And, of course, the gender of the Royal Baby
The wackiest category I think we’ve had was in 2012 as an homage to the Mayans and Doomsday Preppers:
“Will the world end in 2012?”
We each got a point for that one, all correctly predicting that the world would, in fact, not end.
Because there is often a tie, we added a tie-breaker to the mix. This is always something involving a number (for example the combined weight of Walt and Lily’s twin babies at their last doctor’s appointment of the year).
Price Is Right rules apply. The person closest without going over wins the tie-breaker.
We have to be very, very specific about wording after a heated incident one year in which Peter and Walt had differing interpretations of what constituted a “cancellation due to a strike” causing one to be the winner and one to be in second place.
There are also strict(ish) rules for when one can start taking part in the fun. Our daughter-in-law, Lily, had to wait until after she had married into the family to be eligible. We loosened the rules six years later when Jerry married Annie. He was able to participate once we got to the year in which they were to be married. Technicalities…
Jerry went on to win in his second year of participation. He was clearly taking notes and doing his homework from the sidelines. And/or got lucky.
Before we know it the twin babies will be taking part.
Annie was only six years old when the tradition started. For the first couple of years she would fill in her predictions last, cherry picking from everyone else’s lists to come up with her own.
The year she turned eight we were all gathered around on New Year’s Day filling out the sheet when Ellie noticed that Annie had filled her column in before most of the rest of us. She was no longer taking “suggestions”.
When Ellie asked Annie about this turn of events, Annie replied, “I’m eight years old. I know how the world works.”
That’s my girl!
So what is the McLuxies Grand Prize you ask?
What fabulous trophy goes to the person who, with almost psychic-like precision, can predict the outcome of so many of the year’s events?
The prize is:
Nothing – nada – zilch.
Simply the opportunity to have bragging rights over the rest of the group is prize enough.
Until we get a corporate sponsorship, then we are looking forward to a big, big cash prize.
In 1992 when we started “The Predictions”, we all lived in Chicago.
What were the chances that Ellie and I, who met in high school in Florida, would both someday be living in Chicago? It was a fun and fabulous time. My kids had the opportunity to form warm relationships and create lasting memories with Ellie and Archie for many wonderful years until job changes sent us in different directions.
Although none of us quite remember how we came up with the idea, The McLuxies has been a fun and fabulous way to stay connected during the years as we track everyone’s progress.
We may not get to spend as much time with Ellie and Archie as we did during those magical years in Chicago, but we know we will all touch base at least 18 times this year as each of the McLuxies categories is decided.
And that is pretty darn awesome even if I don’t earn a single point.Thanks for stopping by,
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