Tonka’s Best Gift Ever

I have mentioned a few times that Tonka is quite the game player. Last year he got a deck of UNO cards in the theme of the Disney CARS movie in his stocking. He played his first game of UNO CARS, as he insists on calling it, before breakfast. I took a photo.

First game of CARS UNO, Christmas morning 2009

Little did I know that photo was to become the first in a series of UNO photos from that Christmas season.

On the afternoon of Christmas Day, we packed up the kids, the dog, and a pile of presents, and started driving all over the province to visit family. Everywhere we went, Tonka pulled out his deck of cards and taught the game to someone new. He played with both sets of grandparents:

UNO CARS with Grandma Dragon

UNO CARS with Grandma Fixit

He played with his uncles, aunts, great-uncle and cousins. Here he is having a little dispute with my brother over some alleged cheating. Tonka thought my brother’s drama was hilarious.

You can see they take the game very seriously

After we came home, I tucked the deck of cards into my purse, and I pull them out whenever Tonka and I have some time to kill together – waiting rooms, doctor’s offices, or while waiting for his sisters to finish some activity.

We took the UNO CARS game with us when we visited China last summer. Tonka and I have played UNO at the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and in innumerable airports, planes, factories, hotel rooms, restaurants, and stores. At the Panda Sanctuary in Sichuan province, Tonka and I started up a game while waiting for the rest of our group to watch a video about panda breeding. A Korean boy came over, introduced himself in English, and shyly asked if he could join the game. I dealt him in and we had a fun chat over a hand of UNO. On the 1300-year-old city wall in Xi’An, Tonka taught our Chinese guide to play.


I can hardly remember any other presents Tonka got for Christmas last year. That nine dollar card game eclipsed everything else. It wasn’t just the game; it was the connections he made with so many different people over a hand of cards. Nice work putting that game in the stocking, Santa. Something tells me the old guy isn’t going to be able to top that this year.


About Sue

This blog chronicles the adventures of Sue and Steve as they travel internationally with their three children.
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2 Responses to Tonka’s Best Gift Ever

  1. Lisa says:

    That just warms my heart in a big way ~ for the Littles it really IS the magic of it all, both big and small! Hopefully that doesn’t ever go away!!

    It almost reminds me of a Flat Stanley who travels the world with different companions, only its Tonka and his cards making the journey!

    I loved his expressions of absolute glee(or concentration!) in each photo and what a cutie he is!! LOVE the photos AND the sentiments!!

  2. mamadragon says:

    I have at least half a dozen more photos of Tonka playing UNO CARS, both with various relatives, and all over China. The same expression is on his face in every one. The boy loves his UNO CARS!

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