Here is a partial inventory of the games played and activities engaged in throughout the meal:
- The nut game (in the lounge before the meal): a card game that involves walnuts in a pile on the floor, a kind of a musical chairs kind of thing. Daughter Nicola faked out dad Peter at the end and won for the first time ever.
- Articulate, one of the presents.
- Popping the Christmas cracker with hands crossed around the table.
- Reading the jokes inside the cracker along with the trivia questions.
- Playing the vegetable game: you hide your teeth behind your lips and everyone picks a vegetable. I was broccoli and Grandma Cynthia was parsnip and you call around the table "parsnip parsnip calling tomato tomato" and then tomato calls aubergine and so on until someone bares their teeth and is out. Cynthia going "parsnip parsnip" was both hilarious and infused with gravitas.
- Each Christmas cracker comes with a paper crown and a numbered, tuned whistle and then there is a card for how to play carols, which we did. Like a lot of them. To completion. The English see things through.
- The fruit game: see the vegetable game except fruit. Cynthia proved just as powerful in the role of "melon".
- Epic round of Charades in the other lounge. Mom Allison was tasked with miming "Quantum of Solace" and pulled it through. Brother Ian did a good job with "Mama Mia". Cynthia pulled off "American Psycho".
- Squeak Piggy Squeak: this involved a blindfolded person pointing around the room and when you are pointed to, you make a squeak and the blinfoldee guesses who it was.
- We started to play Coffeepot but finally the night finally played itself out. There was some variation of Squeak Piggy Squeak called "Pussy" where you sit on people's laps that never played out.
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