The Best Way to Spice Up Christmas

Soon the festive season will be upon us once again, when family, whom we have heard little or nothing from over the past year, will turn up on your doorstop, be ungrateful, eat your food, imbibe your drinks and then expect to be royally entertained. Listed here are some of the best (or worst) ways to keep you and your extended family entertained, or at least at each others throats, during this the season of goodwill.

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    It is a good bet that if any child of the house gets a scalextric set, then at some point two of the elder males of the family will engage in a race. It matters not that the cars are actually from the “Wacky Races” cartoon. In their minds eye they are Jimmy Johnson or Lewis Hamilton ready be crowned the greatest driver in history. The lights go green and the cars roar off… and at the first corner go way too fast, fly off the track onto the floor and are then eaten by the dog.
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    There is one good reason to play Monopoly at Christmas and that is simply that if you are quick enough, you get to allocate the dog and the boot to your really offensive female relatives. There are two good reasons not to play. The first being in the current financial climate and secondly and most pertinently, the game takes so long that you will still be there charging people $26 rent for stopping on Grand Central Station come next Christmas.
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    If somebody does suggest this, then there is no hope for you. The very fact that the birth of Jesus Christ should be celebrated by someone bringing in a tray of Christmas items festooned in tinsel and covered by a smiling Santa tea towel. Who then removes one item from the aforementioned tray to enable someone else to guess what has been removed, is the nadir of all seasonal festivities. You can see in such circumstances why some people do elect to become Jehovah’s witnesses.
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    Everyone knows Auntie Maud is a bit scatterbrained these days, but has a fair amount of cash stashed away in her Swiss bank account. Which makes her Christmas gift of a bag of Walnuts seem a little unfair. Not when she asked you for a new Maserati Quattroporte. So you dig out the cards and chips and sit round the table to try and relieve the old dear of a few dollars under the pretence of a friendly family game of poker.
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    A combination of alcohol, a blindfold and a sharp object is usually the reserve of paying guests to a house of ill repute. However it seems at Christmas that this is the byword for family fun. The game will start predictably with little Dennis sticking Rudolf’s tail on his own nose and end when your dad has his turn and places it in such a way that it becomes entirely apparent to all just what sex Rudolph the reindeer is and why he has such a big smile on his face.
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    There is a sense of inevitability whenever someone says excitedly “Oh I know! Let’s play Pictionary!” Once you’ve allied yourself into teams, the game begins with a certain inevitability and good humour. Which quickly turns into an argument when the artistic merits of the sketcher are called into question; “At this point it is probably best to call the police and start a collection for the bail money. It only gets worse when you end up having to draw “blue tits” for your granny.
  • 9.


    On no occasion should Twister be played by adults, or anyone over the age of 11. Well, not unless they are covered in jello and a special guest of Hugh Hefner. Playing with family is a complete no-no. Many a Christmas has been ruined for some poor sap who spent most of the evening with Uncle Eric’s flatulent bottom three inches from his face… especially understanding the gastric potency of mum’s sprouts from Christmas lunch.
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    There is nothing trivial about the fact that this game can descend into competitive anarchy. People will continually complain that they “get the hard ones and everyone else gets the easy questions.” Uncle Mark will refuse to believe the answer to at least half his questions. And rather like Monopoly, unless you are a household with the combined intellect of Einstein, Hawking, Newton and Da Vinci, then it will take until New Year at least to get the game finished.
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