Ian McMillan: If the cap fits... some seasonal games for the family

Now that the main Christmas festivities are out of the way, I reckon it’s time to play a few traditional seasonal family games to bring us all together on these cold midwinter days.

Let’s start with a few rounds of Hunt The Invoice. Somebody (I’m not naming names here) has bought somebody else an item of clothing that was clearly intended for a much smaller man; indeed it may well have fitted Action Man or his younger brother Action Boy. It’s okay, though, you can take it back to the shop and swap it for something vaster. That’s if you can find the invoice. It’s somewhere round here because it was helpfully wrapped up with the item of clothing in the unlikely event of it not fitting. Well, as we now know, unlikely events happen, but it’s pretty unlikely that you’ll be able to find the receipt. Try there, in that bin. Try there, in that other bin. You might have to go outside and look in the big bin.

Let’s move over to another part of the house where the young people are indulging in that traditional pastime called Pin The Flat Cap on the Snoozing Grandad. The grandad (it could be any of us grandads, let’s be honest) has overindulged over the last few days. He’s left the turkey for dead; he’s guzzled mince pies as though he’s trying to create a world mince pie shortage; he’s put whisky in his tea. He’s slumped in his favourite chair with his face sinking into his chins, snoring like a Lambretta passing at speed. The young people have procured a flat cap and the game is to perch it on the old boy’s head and then photograph the image and send it to the world via social media. They won’t really pin it, of course: they’re not that cruel, although if he doesn’t keep still they might have to.

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A young person leans forward with the cap in their hand. Grandad’s snoring reaches a deafening climax and he stirs in the chair. For a moment it looks as if he might wake up and the young people retreat but they needn’t have worried because grandad won’t be waking up until long after Steve McQueen has failed to get over the fence in The Great Escape which is on TV late that night. The cap is placed. The photo is taken. More photos are taken: the cap on back-to-front, the cap on upside down, the cap with tinsel on. The photos are distributed through cyberspace.

In the kitchen a game of What Shall We Do With The Rest of the Turkey (come on, sing along!) is in full swing. The aforementioned grandad has eaten most of it because it was so big there’s still quite a lot left. Somebody decides, perhaps influenced by alcohol and sleeplessness, that turkey will go well with tinned custard. A tin is procured. The custard is poured into a bowl and slices of turkey breast are added. They are pushed into the custard and they appear to be like shark fins cutting through the Yellow Sea. It looks good, but somebody’s got to taste it. Luckily, because it’s two days after Christmas, there are plenty of volunteers.

‘Tastes…interesting,’ somebody says. And there’s the receipt, under the turkey.

Enjoy the fun and games!