It’s lovely the way people play games at Christmas in a way that they don’t at other times of year. Granted we often take a couple of board games away with us in the caravan on regular holidays, but at Christmas in our family there are other sorts of games to look forward to.
Mum’s ring board makes its annual outing! I’m not actually sure how old this is (1940s?), but it has given hours of amusement over the years as people attempt the deceptively hard art of throwing rubber rings at the hooks on the board, the first team reaching a score of 101 being the winner. We took it to family parties at Aunty Betty’s in the 1970s and played it at home when Granny came to visit. Despite only having sight in one eye, she was remarkably good at the game. No doubt when the furniture is finally moved in Mum’s house we will find the missing rings down the back of the bureau! This year the ring board had a very successful outing to Hertfordshire, when we visited my husband’s family.
My Granny (Emily George, nee Mitchell) was also a great one for a game of cribbage. She had learnt as a girl in Sussex, looking over the shoulders of the menfolk in her family who played. Her mental arithmetic, even in her 90s, was as sharp as anything. The cibbage board came out this Christmas when my Mum and my daughter had a game.
Despite the somewhat eventful year that she has had, my Mum still somehow managed to put together the annual newspaper headlines competition, and the ‘feely sock’ kept people amused in between the washing up on Christmas Day.
Christmas Day was also an opportunity to talk about the tradition of Christmas stockings. We always had stockings as children, as did my Mum as a child and I did (oh, sorry, Father Christmas filled) stockings for my daughters once more this Christmas although they are somewhat beyond childhood. Mum said that as a child she always liked mechanical toys and one year she had a clockwork steam roller in her stocking. She remembers winding it up and running it on her bed until the fluff from the blanket made it grind to a halt. Her father had to remove the fluff from the cogs before she could run it again on the lino of the landing floor.
Well I hope Father Christmas visited you this Christmas and that you enjoyed the festive period, whether you had games and toys or not!