School Christmas parties meant games, be it in teams or as individual players.
The Lincolnshire Ladies group also had games, and home birthday parties as a child too.
But tell me………… those of you who entertain at Christmas, or New Year for that matter, do you play games?
Now get your minds out of the gutter, I am not thinking of naughty games that only adults can play, neither am I thinking of car keys being thrown into a hat on arrival and the owners go home with whoever picked theirs out.
I’m talking about good, clean fun and a change from falling asleep in front of the goggle box.
My parents would often have a New Year party, and on one occasion, nobody turned up because all invitees had gone down with some kind of virus.
The story goes that my Dad decided to meet people off the bus with a tray of sherry (he didn’t make his own wine then) and invite them back to the house. A lot of new friends were made that year.
I’ve had my own share of no-shows, and wasted a lot of food and money in the process. One year, Partner had even secured a barrel of lager which was set up in the kitchen. He was in his element when only a handful of the fifty or so ‘guests’ turned up, and No, no lager was returned, just the barrel. It was the last party I gave there.
I know a few party games though, but you have to know your guests pretty well so as not to offend or embarrass anyone for some of them.
One of the favourites was building a house with people. Some call it Corner Corner Corner.
You select four guests to represent the four corners, and when you point at them, they have to say three times what they are. Then you add other parts of your house one section at a time.
You need at least 1o people, the last of which has to be a good sport with an excellent sense of humour (usually a bloke).
So eventually you’ll have :
2 mantels for a fireplace
and a fire.
You, as host, will keep a small drink in your hand (I suggest water in a very small glass),
and one of your other guests will point to ‘the house’ parts in turn and it goes:
Corner, corner, corner (4 people chant)
Door, door, door,
window window window (2 people chant)
Fireplace, fireplace, fireplace (2 people)
then your fire, who in fine voice and in full swing of the atmosphere, will repeat his part three times…………
You can guess what happens with your small glass of water.
My Mum and Dad did a mind reading act called Black Magic.
One of them would leave the room and a guest would choose something that had to be ‘transmitted by thought’ from one to the other.
When they came back in, the Transmitter would point to something and say ‘Is it this?’ and the Reader would say No.
And so it would go on with various things being pointed at and discarded until finally the answer would be yes.
People would insist it was all in the wording, so my folks wouldn’t say anything at all, and still everyone was baffled. It was brilliant, and took me years to work out how it was done.
You can also have Spin the Bottle with a large jar of forfeits, Charades, Twister, Spinning the Broom (best done outside in case of accidents if someone’s had one too many), Apple/Marshmallow bobbing, team games like Pass the balloon (no hands) and Pass the Smartie using a straw, Musical Chairs, and Pass the Parcel of course. Prizes are up to you.
I did a ‘party game post’ when I first started blogging which you can read here if you so wish.
For New Year parties, we also had Kiss the Blarney Stone, and you need a very special and possibly gullible person to go last for that (they get to go first next time it’s played).