Indulging in the post-season calm with the kids

After all the rushing about before Christmas, I love this post-season calm. Sitting around doing nothing and believing I’ve been very productive if I venture for the shortest of walks, writes Tric Kearney.

I can’t deny that this is also a time of blissful overindulgence on my part. Something my local shopkeeper is well aware of, as only yesterday I went to pay for milk and bread only to litter the counter with an embarrassing number of empty sweet wrappers as I searched for change.

Christmas in my house is one of the increasingly rare occasions my four children are home together, and when I say, ‘together’ I mean it.

Over the few days of Christmas and New Year, we spend an inordinate amount of time in the same room.

Unfortunately, as I look around in a happy daze, relishing every moment spent in my children’s company, I’m not convinced the siblings experience the same level of joy. These sibling tensions are perhaps most evident in the many seasonal games we play.

As well as the usual games of Thirty Seconds, Pictionary, and Charades which sometimes almost lead to murder, we also enjoy quite a number of other games.

One that is played most regularly is called, ‘Give me back my chair.’

This involves one player leaving the room for a short while and returning to discover another player in their place. The returning player demands the
return of their seat.

If this demand is ignored the player launches him or herself onto the seated player. Both
engage in thumping, shouting and all manner of shoving in an attempt to own the seat. If this fails the returning player sits on the seated player’s lap, ensuring their view of the television is obscured.

As you might predict this is a game which may go on for some time.

Another popular game over Christmas is, ‘Where’s the remote control?’ This one is usually played in front of a roaring hot fire, shortly after a large meal. As one television programme ends the RTÉ Guide informs us of a must-watch show on another channel.

A call goes out for the remote control and all players shuffle in their seats and make a half-hearted attempt to search within six inches of their spot on the couch.

If no remote control is found all players exert pressure on the youngest to find it.

Tactics in this game include a number of players insisting they have no interest in watching television.

The game ends when the youngest, or most desperate, storms out, returning moments later with the remote control from another room.

Perhaps the most enjoyable game of all is, ‘Throw me a sweet.’ As you might have guessed from the incident at my local shop, this is a firm favourite of mine. The rules are simple. All sit in a group around the television.

One player holds a box of chocolates on their lap. Each player in turn shouts: ‘Throw me a sweet.’ This results in the holder of the sweets lobbing one sweet in their direction.

Occasionally a player may gamble by throwing back the sweet and demanding a different one. The sweet controller can then decide to: Ignore the request, grant the request or throw any sweet back, often in a most aggressive manner. This game ends when yer man wakes up mid-movie and requests a sweet.

At least seven Bounties are chucked in his direction after which the box is declared empty.

As new year approaches, our time playing games together is ticking by. Who knows what next year will bring, but my New Year’s wish is rather simple, that this time next year we’ll all be together once more enjoying another season of fun and games.

Happy new year everyone.

More in this Section

Taking up job title of full-time mother


The biggest cancer killer will take your breath away

Hopefully she had an idea...

Power of the press: Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks discuss 'The Post'

More From The Irish Examiner