We started playing Heather's Revenge on Christmas day years ago. It's always been Heather's Revenge to us, introduced as it was by Aunty H, but I'm sure it's known by other names in other families in other places. We play it late on Christmas afternoon when the presents have been opened and discarded about the room after the initial enthusiams, when lunch has been devoured and the leftovers put away for supper, when the kids are coming down off the sugar high or waking from their sugar comas.
- dice (2 for rolling doubles)
- funny/silly/weird 'presents' sourced from two-dollar shops, supermarkets, the dark recesses of cupboards or sometimes the fridge.
- wrapping paper and various containers or props to disguise the shape/feel/sound of the presents
Today I went shopping for sillies, standing in a cheapy shop and browsing the shelves for things that'll make for a good photo opportunity when finally opened. I wrapped all my finds this afternoon, hiding something cylindrical and a bit noisy in an empty tissue box, wrapped in a (clean) nappy. I'll get the old nappy back at some stage but it's performing admirably right now. All of these are for Christmas part one, for the Southerners before we head north for the summer.
To play, everyone places their wrapped presents in the middle and the first person rolls the dice. Until someone rolls a double, the dice keep moving around the circle. When those doubles come up, that person gets to pick a present from the centre OR steal someone else's. Mounds of presents are won and lost, as young and old go in for the pilfering. If you roll a double, you get to take another roll of the dice, and another if you keeping rolling them. The game ends when the final present is taken from the middle and then the present opening commences. Objects must be opened, worn, eaten, played with immediately. Pictures must be taken.
Merriment is generally had by all except the very youngest of kids who sometimes are upset when their presents are stolen, have hissy-fits when they don't roll doubles or don't understand their joke presents. The kids generally love it, though, and pester the adults about when we're going to play almost as soon as they wake up. One of the littlest from last year's game was reminiscing a few weeks ago: 'Remember when I got that jar of gherkins?' This restores my faith in the next generations, who aren't all - as the doom-and-gloomers say - completely corrupted by their consumption and greedy for more, more, more. Most of them are happy with a game, time spent in the company of their family, laughter and maybe the promise of more dessert.