By Miss Pollyanna, 16th December 2016

Top 8 Board Games for Christmas Day

...After Grandma's had her Thimble of Sherry!

…After Grandma’s had her Thimble of Sherry!

Picture the scene of conviviality if you will. The sprouts are starting to take effect, the alcohol has long ago taken over your ability to refrain from being rude about “that present”… which you will totes be recycling back to said sender (ha!) the moment it is their birthday. Oh, and you’re also sure that if you eat even a quarter of another mouthful of Waitrose‘s Finest Christmas Pudding, your sparkly topped buttons will pop in succession – (you’re even starting to realise the necessity of the over-sized reindeer jumper, something you vowed never to resort to.)

All of this can only mean one thing and one thing only: It’s time to clear the decks of culinary decadence and bring out the board games. The Queen’s 3pm Christmas speech is so last year, after all… and this will give Grandma the perfect distraction from hearing about the annual Windsor, Balmoral, Sandringham and Bucks’ Palace antics. As well as any hidden messages about Meghan and Harry…

So to help you wade through the sheer minefield that is yuletide fun and shenanigans, I have scoured the internet (and shops) to compile my ultimate list of the Top 8 Board Games for Christmas Day; games designed to keep you all from being anything BUT bored!

There’s still just enough time to order them online, run to your nearest toy store, or dust them off from that box in the attic.

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Twister
First up we start with a classic. Because the oldies are often the goodies with good reason. And Twister is no exception to this rule, especially on Christmas Day. Why? Well, a glass or two of Sherry/Snowball/Grandad’s homemade 40% proof wine, make for a much more interesting game of Twister than our bog standard attempt after a cuppa on a rainy day. Bodies get braver and take on all kinds of shapes and contortions as you battle it out with friends and family to see who can not only strike, but more importantly, hold that pose.


Jenga

The best thing about sliding and retrieving small planks of wood from a tower which threatens to lean more than Pisa is your prime opportunity to nibble at the chocolate bowl when all eyes are peeled on the perilous move being undertaken by your other half.

NB: This game is definitely best enjoyed on the cusp of teatime when you feel you might just about be able to squeeze one of their prized champagne truffles into your expanding belly incognito.


5 Second Rule

It’s a piece of Christmas Cake to think up “three things you might find behind the sofa cushion”, right?

Wrong!!!

Because in this game you will have just five seconds to do so… making for ever such an entertaining time. Those who fare best will be fast thinking and even faster talking. Because essentially, that’s all this is; a game of naming three of something within five seconds. But in its simplicity lies its brilliance… as well as the risk of some very daft answers. Christmas wouldn’t be complete without it!


Consequences

I do love a good game of consequences and none more so than on Christmas Day when the wine has been flowing. Yes, there is definitely a pattern emerging here. But it truly is hard to beat for the simple fact it costs nothing more than a few sheets of paper and pens, and the loosening of adult inhibitions guarantees for some rip-roaring stories.

How do you play it?

What do you mean, how do you play it?

Didn’t you pass these concertina-folded scraps of paper around the class at school when the teacher wasn’t looking?

If you didn’t, it’s high time you made up for lost time. Everybody – in this game for two players or more – writes two lines on their paper about anything. And I do mean absolutely anything. If the words stop mid-sentence, all the better. The first line of words is then folded back on itself so that only the last line is showing. And so it continues and you keep passing the sheets of paper around (clock or anti-clockwise) until you have filled up the page. Next it’s time to crack open the Baileys… and read the hilarious stories out. Forget that silly Pie Face game of Christmas 2015: I am telling you now, Consequences is where it is at!


Randomise

Sometimes it’s a tall order to measure up to the board game classics. And then they invented Randomise!

This is a super fun game for those who want to liven up the living-room post pud. Imagine Nan (I know, I do seem to be making a beeline for the octogenarians… but they really do know how to let their hair down!) morphing into a clumsy beaver hula hooping and say no more.

The rules are really simple, the game is all inclusive, and, according to the manufacturers, the selection of cards to be pulled from the pack makes for over a million combinations of action as teams go head to head to draw, act or describe some very funny identities. Think of Pictionary or Charades and then up the fun factor by a hundred fold. That alone makes Randomise money very well spent!


Rory’s Story Cubes

We love these little story-telling cubes so much that last year we did a review of them at The Glass House. They really are fantastic and so much fun for big and little people alike. Rory’s Story Cubes are essentially nine cubes in a compact little box with a magnetic clasp, each engraved with six unique icons, making 54 pictures in total. With imagery ranging from castles to magic wands, question marks to monsters, sheep to parachutes, and pyramids to lightning strikes, the creative ideas for conjuring up a post-Christmas dinner story – whether played solo or in a group – are as endless as your imagination…

So how do you play?

Well, the great thing with this game is there is no right or wrong. As with all forms of story telling, our stories are our very own unique creations. And these little cubes positively encourage that. The way we commonly use the cubes at our house throughout the year is by shaking all nine at once, rolling them onto the table and then taking it in turn to pick one (our golden rule is we must make use of the icon which is showing face up… often also making for a much funnier tale!) But on December 25th anything goes, and you can bet your bottom Dollar one of the adults will take it all way too seriously, coming out with something War and Peace length, just to up the ante!


Tiddly Winks

Seriously, what could be more entertaining and belly busting in the giggles department than a good old-fashioned game of Tiddly Winks? Using a “squidger” (aka a large circular piece of plastic), players take it in turns to flick, shoot and aim the smaller circular plastic “winks” into the pot. It all looks easy enough… and is guaranteed to get some competition started, but make no bones about it, the amount of skill required (and the amount of patience to overcome your frustration!) easily explains why there are even such things as Tiddly Wink competitions played far and wide.


Linkee

One of the newest games on the list and one of the most ingenious when it comes to testing the grey matter AND having fun at the same time, Linkee is a superb example of the traditional quiz board game done way differently! Add to that the fun and frolics only to be obtained by positively being encouraged to bellow your answers out ship fog horn style and you have the perfect festive afternoon/evening game.

All Linkee players have to do (armed with a box containing over 1400 questions, some pencils and paper) is answer four questions and then come up with a subject which links those answers together, before shouting “LINKEE!”

Win a letter with every right answer and before long you will have enough letters to spell out “LINKEE” and be crowned the champion… winning not only the game but also the right to the very last helping of Birds’ trifle.

And Christmases, Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, as well all know, do not get better than that!

 

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