Vail Daily columnist Richard Carnes: A magical moment worth sharing |

Vail Daily columnist Richard Carnes: A magical moment worth sharing

It’s funny how a single column can progress over time.

The one you’re reading had been slowly evolving over the last few weeks, with me attempting to do a year-end analysis like everyone else without having it appear too much like a year-end analysis like everyone else.

Yawn …

Then something completely unexpected occurred, the closest I do believe I will ever come to describing an event as a “Carnes Christmas Miracle.”

But before you start praising Allah or shouting, “Hallelujah!” to the high heavens (or whichever direction you aim), realize that a Carnes Christmas miracle involves something real and tangible, an event all five senses can appreciate without having to resort to simplistic wishful thinking.

We as a family have witnessed the future of tribal togetherness, and it involves an Xbox 360 with a Kinect sensor.

Yes, deep stuff, I know.

Yet I have finally seen the light, and it was pointed in my general direction, blinking on and off until it could read my facial features and sign me into the world wide web of family gaming.

I’m telling you, this is the coolest gadget to bring a family together since Monopoly, which is the board game we played on Christmas Eve just before our life-changing event the next morning. And now there is a better chance for Crossroads to reopen than there is for us to do that again (barring an electricity outage and our solar panels being knocked off the roof simultaneously).

With a wave of my hand and me saying the magic word “Xbox” out loud, the world of true family gaming opened for a plethora of games like soccer, bowling, ping pong, volleyball, boxing, cage fighting, car racing, track and field events like hurdles, sprints, throwing the discus, javelin and long jump.

It’s tiring just to list them all, but you should try it live in your own family room. We were all thoroughly exhausted by Sunday night.

The only controller is me, or whoever happens to be standing in front of the sensor, and you can create incredibly lifelike and individual avatars to do your bidding.

For my wife, exercise no longer means a 20-minute Riverwalk stroll, followed by a two-hour Starbucks visit. Santa surprised her with a game called “Your Shape — Fitness Evolved” (I swear I didn’t buy it) that has over 80 unique exercises that redefine the term personal trainer.

It’s just you, the machine, and hour upon hour of calorie burning fun and fitness. (I apologize for that last sentence reading like a cliche advertisement, but I’m seriously telling you like it is.)

Anyway, even here in Happy Valley we don’t always have enough excuses to get our butts off the proverbial couch (weather, sports on TV, sleep, etc.), but this little device inadvertently brought us together in ways we never imagined.

It was our own unique version of a Christmas miracle, and most of it was accomplished with a Christmas beer within close reach.

So give it a shot, but a word of caution: Don’t do it on a stone floor in your socks, as the next morning you won’t be able to walk.

Happy New Year, everyone.

Richard Carnes of Edwards writes weekly. He can be reached at Comment on

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