Nothing says family time like shooting each other with paintball guns, at least if you’re a member of the Briggs family from Illinois. Each year, Mark Briggs and 20-25 of his relatives spend the day after Thanksgiving participating in “multi-generational paintball wars.”
“It sure beats sitting around watching yet another football game, eating yet another turkey surprise,” Briggs says. “It’s all completely safe, with full protective gear, but there’s nothing quite like the release of marking that brother-in-law that really bugs you, or that niece who is otherwise the prissy princess, now dressed in camouflage!”
Briggs and his family have been playing paintball during Thanksgiving for about 15 years. At that time, the children in the family kept requesting paintball guns, and eventually, Mark and the other grown-ups conceded, buying them four or five pump and shoot guns. As the kids grew older, Mark says they used their own money to buy better equipment, which in turn forced Mark and the other adults to upgrade to “heavier armaments.”
“It’s really taken on a life of its own,” says Briggs.
In all the years, the Briggs family has never had a serious injury or issue to speak of. Says Mark, it’s really “no worse than playing checkers or Monopoly” after Thanksgiving.
Photo Credit: Ken Thomas