Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Grit's guide to Christmas for mean parents (9): Entertainments

It's your turn!

Because Grit is knackered now. She has spent a long day, ignoring her own rules. She has spent all Dig's money in the lovely world called Amazon. Here she has bought lots of worthy presents for small people.

Anyway, it is time to think up some parlour games we can all play over Christmas. Games that are acceptable to play with small children and elderly maiden aunts, so no swearing, bugger offing or fuck yous.

And Grit-type games shouldn't cost any money, obviously, so no buying specialist kit, funny counters, strange dice, fancy costumes, or puffballs.

One we played just last night when the brass band passed by. We can hear them coming streets away. They steadily progress through our pretty Victorian town, playing Come All Ye Faithful and Little Town of Bethlehem, knocking on doors, wishing us all Merry Christmas, and shaking a tin right under our noses. We enter the Victorian spirit of the evening by blowing out the fireside candles to enjoy listening in the darkness against the light of the embers in the grate. We see how long we can leave them wondering whether this year we are in.

On Christmas morning I could spice things up a bit by playing barricade the front room with electric fence and barbed wire, and time how long it takes Shark, Squirrel and Tiger to get past the defences to the wrapped-up chocolate custard trifle.

And in the afternoon the entire family could play that game where we all stare at each other and see how long we can hold in the resentment about each other's existence.

Boxing Day we could play the one where small people take it in turns to kick the furniture and slam the door then stamp up the stairs to their bedrooms in what has become known as the preteen hormonal outrage. That's the same game where mummy Grit sinks her head in her hands and daddy Dig pours out another bucket of red wine.

So howabout you? What games will you play this Christmas? Remember now, no drunken nudity, blasphemy, or expense. (Not at least until the children have gone to bed.)


sharon said...

This year we will be playing a lovely little game called 'Mother's Revenge'. In return for cooking the trad roast etc in temps in the mid to high 30s there will be obligatory gardening for the non-paying guests. Today I ordered much soil, compost etc, trees (yes trees, read it and weep)and shrubs to be delivered on 23rd December. For the planting of . . . or else!! There will however be a lot of swearing but, having no maiden aunts or small person's ears to offend/corrupt, I can live with that ;-)

Heather said...

Anything that involves balloons is always a winner - passing from legs to legs, chins to chins, stomping on them, stealing them from your little brother and then stomping on them...all kinds of fun to be had.

I think this Christmas series is the only Christmas series I actually look forward to reading. Well done you. Fabulous.

ciaran_mchale said...

I sometimes play "I love you alphabetically" with adult friends, but you can adapt it for playing with children by avoiding X-rated phrases. The idea is to complete the sentence "I love you..." with a word or phrase that starts with a specific letter. The sentence can start with the past, present or future tense of "I love you..." or it can start with "I love your..."

Examples. If the current letter is "A" then people can say any of the following. "I love you ambiguously." "I love you angrily." "I love your almost-in-style sense of fashion." "I will love you always." "I love you, and you, and you." "I love you almost as much as I love spaghetti." "I loved you and then you had to go and spoil it by doing ..."

Don't have an order in which people must say a sentence. Instead, let anyone say any sentence that comes into their head. Spend a minute or two on the letter "A", until the sentences dry up, and then move on to the next letter of the alphabet.

The game can be quite funny because people come up with strange word associations. It is sort of educational because it stretches people's vocabulary.

You can, of course, replace "I love you" with a different starting phrase. For example, once when I was helping some friends redecorate their apartment, we used "I paint..." as the starting phrase. Examples. "I paint appallingly badly". "I paint almost as good as Michaelangelo." "I will paint at most one more wall and then I've having a coffee break."


Pig in the Kitchen said...

I will be playing the game of 'know when to stop drinking' (self-explanatory), also the game of 'cut husband some slack' and the hardest one of all, 'do not argue or shout on Christmas day and ruin it for anyone'. I've set myself quite a challenge haven't i? Think all the others will be playing the game of Nintendo DS.
Happy Christmas!

Rachel M. said...

Since we are breaking all the rules, I'm a big fan of Euro Rails by Mayfair games (a German co).


It takes like 3+ hours to play. The game board is a map of Europe with little dots between all the cities that your pretend train travels to drop of loads of cargo. You start with 3 game cards, 3 cargo options per card and you have to strategize which combination of loads puts you closest to the main city. You start with a set of money and use that to pay for building your railroad which you draw on the game board with crayons. Winner must be connected to 5 cities and have 200K. It's really competitive. I've loved this game for years. Back to Amazon!!

Kelly said...

Canadian games: Clear the driveway of snow.

Defrost the baby, who sat too long in the snow.

Make snow angels.

Snow ice cream.

Look on the internet, to see if anyone is colder than you are.

And if you live in Victoria, B.C., as I do, laugh uproariously at all the other Canadians who are dealing with snow and go for a walk. In the rain.

Firebird said...

Victorian Farm (the wonderful TV series) had a great one requiring a white sheet. Hang it up and back light so that someone can stand behind it and cast a shadow. The game is for one person to sit in front and have to guess who is behind the sheet, them adopting weird disguises ... it may JUST possibily have only been funny because they'd all been drinking ;-)

Us? we veg out infront of the TV and dd will pester us to play Monopoly and various other of her board games ... I will probably pretend to be asleep, or busy, or maybe even dead.

Fioleta said...

It'll sound silly, but our guests spent a reasonable amount of time on Saturday throwing balloons to each other across the table. I'm surprised that no wine glasses were broken.

MadameSmokinGun said...

I shall be playing Hide.. It's a bit like Hide & Seek but you don't tell anyone when else the game's started. I play this all year round actually.

Grit said...

i like the sound of this aussie christmas, sharon. one day we might even experience the december barbie on the beach!

balloons... i forgot the modelling balloons. we couldn't sit on the sofa for two weeks after the last balloon experience. maybe remembering balloons is going to be difficult this year...

ciaran, thank you ... in an excess of education i have now introduced this game for entry in and out the front door. i enter the house aggresively.

pig, the not shouting and cutting slack are the hardest of all, aren't they? will we manage it?

i'll have a look at this one rachel, thanks! i did wonder about cluedo, since it is so ancient and involves beating people to death with lead piping. i thought that would be fun.

and we may still have SNOW here in the uk kelly! normally we have drizzle, so things are looking exciting! (especially if you aged 9.)

firebird, i like the sheet idea, and we might try that. when things get desparate.

fioleta, that sounds like more balloons. i'm coming down against balloons. the more i think about them, the more i'm fearing them.

mme sg, another superb idea! i have a cupboard and a chocolate bar calling me right now.

mamacrow said...

everyone shouts out as many place names - countries, cities, bridges,rivers, whatever you like - begining with A, then B, etc etc

You can adapt this to whatever you like - animals works well too(in our animal obsessed house at least)

twenty questions - someone things of a character and everyone else has to ask questions - the person can only answer with yes or no. in our house you have to decalare the universe before playing - harry potter or starwars usually for us.