Wednesday 22 December 2010

Traditional Christmas entertainment

Every family and individual has different customs for keeping themselves entertained on Christmas day. If rumour is to be believed then many people now spend most of the day eating in front of the TV. Personally I think this is a sad waste of Christmas day, one of the few days in the year when you truly have the time to relax and partake of some more exciting forms of entertainment.

The Victorians had the right idea and they had an impressive range of 'parlour games' which they played, some of which may be familiar to you as childhood games. There is the game that I know as doctor, doctor where you stand in a circle and link hands, but not with those next to you. Then without letting go of hands you have to untangle yourselves. Alternatively there were several versions of simon says or, fairly self explanatory, is hide the slipper.

However, there are some games that have fallen out of fashion now, such as Snapdragon where you set light to a pile of alcohol soaked raisins and then have to try and snatch them and eat them while they are still alight....

Or slightly less dangerous, but more violent, Are you there Moriarty? involves two people lying on their fronts, blindfolded with their heads together, they clasp their left hands and have rolled up newspapers in their right hands. The first person says 'are you there Moriarty?' and the other person has to reply 'yes', the first person then has to try and hit the other person on the head with their newspaper! The roles then swap and the second person gets to try and hit the other on the head. Good amusement for the onlookers!

If these have caught your imagination then for more ideas check out this list

For slightly less physical or violent games, then there is a wealth of boardgames, card games and word games available. Articulate, Rummikub and Balderdash are ones that have always kept my family amused. Or making up your own Pictionary list is also amusing.

Of course not all entertainment has to involve games. You could also go and appreciate the glory of the snowy world with a festive walk or if you are lucky enough to have a musician in your midst then you could sing some songs, carols even if you are that way inclined. And of course you should also take the time to appreciate the good food, the company and the gifts.

These forms of entertainment may have been the norm in the past, but I believe that we could do worse than re-adopting some of them for the future. They are all low carbon, community building and good fun. So why not try out some traditional entertainment this Christmas?

Photo: Try building an igloo! - Norwich


  1. yeah it is! was going to be in Norwich this week for a business meeting but was canceled...I'm just half happy and half sad now...was looking forward to experience December in Norwich but canceling it gives me the chance to spend Christmas with my family...but family is more important =) but i'll be there next month, should visit the Norman Cathedral accross the hotel...

  2. Haha thanks. It was about a days work for 2 people last year. All you need is some suitably shaped margarine tubs!