My hubby’s parents have always come to us for Christmas ever since they moved from Edinburgh on their retirement to live near us, so inevitably it has become a “tradition” as sacred as crackers, mince pies and satsumas. Over the years we have gradually shifted the Christmas feast from lunchtime to teatime so now we have the morning to sleep in, open presents and vegetate before they come over at 3pm. Last year, the in-laws asked us if we could have games after dinner. Games?! Good grief, is it not enough that we feed and water them and provide a perfectly good TV to fall asleep in front of, but now they want us to entertain them? Being the grinches that we are, we chuntered an agreement to this then promptly forgot all about it.
But on Christmas afternoon, after partaking in plenty of fizz and food, we were reminded of their request and, after a less than promising start with some trivia quiz questions, we decided upon that classic Christmas parlour game, Charades. We really should have prepared for this with some pre-set titles but took the dubious decision for everyone to think of their own movies, books etc, with some interesting results. Dad-in-law, George, who unfortunately has arthritic fingers, had difficulties if the charade had more than three words as none of us had any idea how many fingers he was holding up. Even his wife, Emily, shouted out “Three and a half!” at one point. He then proceeded to delve into the depths of television history with a selection of shows my poor son had never even heard of: Z Cars and Dixon of Dock Green!
Husband Dougie strutted up and down the lounge like a demented chicken, constantly pulling at his ear until we realised that he was trying to be a hen and it sounded like den! A few snarls later and we realised it was Dragon’s Den. It was at this point his father, sounding puzzled, queried:”Where did the ear come into it?”
Son Rory then had everyone perplexed with a strange contorted version of Spongebob Squarepants, which meant nothing to the older generation. It was at this juncture I remembered we had a proper box of charades somewhere and amazingly I found it. It was Rory’s job to hand them out to everyone, regardless of whether they had heard of these obtuse titles. Poor Emily, having forgotten to bring her reading glasses, mistook a book title The Horse Knows the Way for The House Knows the Way. Once she was corrected by her grandson, she ignored the rules regarding not speaking and started neighing loudly. It took a dreadfully long time before we worked this one out.
But my favourite charade of all belonged to dear old George again who kept us puzzled for ages with the simple title Robin Hood. For some reason we struggled with the first word, constantly thinking it was “stealing” as he kept hiding ornaments under his jumper. He then did a fabulous pretend striptease as a “sounds like” for the second word. When we eventually got round to guessing the title we asked him what on earth the strip was all about:
“Easy”, he said, in his lilting Edinburgh accent, “it was NUDE, sounds like HOOD “.