National Puzzle Month
Happy New Year Folks!!! Holiday season may be over for the non-puzzling crowd, but for us dissectologists (that’s a fancy way to say lover of jigsaw puzzles), it’s just begun. January is National Puzzle Month, and January 29th is National Puzzle Day! I put my dancing shoes away, pulled out the cozy socks, and got puzzling to start the celebration off. I also reached out to folks over on Instagram to ask them what their favorite parts of puzzling are, and got a great variety of responses.
Kicking off with three puzzles that remind me of the winter holidays and celebrating, each in their own ways. We have the bright beauty from Pomegranate, Imaginary City with art by Daria Hlazatova. Each of the 300 pieces remind me of confetti, fireworks, and all the magic of the holidays. Deco-rate the Tree from Turner, is 500 pieces of winter wonderland forest vibes, only missing the tinsel. Taking a trip across the pond, or maybe just to the mailbox, Ravensburger London Postcard is 500 pieces of festive colors, and the biggest clock around to countdown to midnight.
The number one response for a favorite part of puzzling is….Finishing! Well, I feel like I didn’t need a poll to get to that conclusion. However, some folks were more specific and love the satisfaction of running their hand over the completed puzzle, or admiring the artwork (and maybe pretending that they are the artist) once it is done. I love when puzzles have a soft or velvety feel, each little piece is so smooth, but the final puzzle is a slice of heaven.
A close second fave was buying/acquiring puzzles. I’ve puzzled practically my entire life, but when I leaned full force into the puzzling world, I had no idea how many brands, artists, and designs are out there. Nor did I know how easy it was to cross that line from serious hobby to overwhelming collection. Getting new, or new-to-you, puzzles can be just as serious of a hobby as doing the puzzles themselves. There is no shame in a little self care via one 1000 piecer at a time, or one really big box at a time…”But they were on sale.”…”Hey! It was a good deal”... The hardest part with puzzles is what to do with them after. Are you a keep and redo, or a sell and buy more person? Maybe it’s time to knock some items off that miles long wishlist and get to complete the puzzle!
The brilliance with puzzles is that even if the artwork is similar to another design, you could get both and have yourself a little game of “spot the differences” between the two. Or, find which of the two makes your heart sing brighter, and find joy in the small details that make two pieces match up. Become Sherlock Holmes as you identify tiny clues, and get to hear that satisfying click when they fit together. If you’re a person who likes to binge watch your favorite series, or power listen through those audio books on 3x speed, you may need to turn down the volume to hear it, but those of you finding peace in the quiet calm of puzzling will be able to hear nothing but the sound of your own puzzles heartbeat.
The crowd was mixed in organizing and sorting. Some folks love it best, and like the zen that comes from color coordinated piles of pieces, sitting atop their table like spice baskets at a market. Others loathe the sorting process and revel in the feeling when it’s over and they can start assembling. I personally find that it really depends on the image itself, and overall piece count. I wouldn’t be able to complete a 1000 piece without some level of sorting, but a 300 piece would be a breeze as long as the pieces are flipped right side up.
Once you’ve sorted (or not) and are in the groove, building away, finding the right piece can be tricky at first, but round that corner to the second half of the puzzle and it just seems to fly together. I love when a puzzle has a handful or two of pieces left and you can pick them all up and rapid fire them into place like a magical wizard.
Although we all have our own personal favorite parts, it’s pretty clear that the puzzle community really does love all the aspects of puzzling. We’re sure to spend the month celebrating with lots of mini artworks to be admired, touched, cherished, and shared. A little birdie told me there is an eeBoo giveaway for National Puzzle Month.
However you plan to celebrate for Puzzle Day and Puzzle Month, make sure to take a moment to feel the joy and be present in the moment, and seek the magic. After all, the love of puzzles is what pieces us together!