Society

Time to play the game

Indian Fashion and Design students donned in Santa costumes cheer as they celebrate during a Christmas party .

Indian Fashion and Design students donned in Santa costumes cheer as they celebrate during a Christmas party .  

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From secret Santa to Christmas-themed Pictionary and charades, this is the season to be jolly

The tree is up, carollers are doing the rounds, the city is decked in red and green, and the air is soaked with the enchanting aroma of Christmas baking. While on the home front, we’re scurrying around doing last-minute Christmas shopping, at work, the season’s cheer is reaching an all-time high, thanks to the innumerable games that keep us in good spirits during the Holiday season.

Secret Santa (a game in which each participant picks the name of another and gifts them little treats, remaining anonymous till the final day) is among the oldest and most popular games city folk are playing. “We used to play Secret Santa in college and it’s gotten even more exciting in office because even the bosses join in the fun. Also, I think over time, we’ve come to be better at gifting as well as at keeping secrets,” quips Anjusha Chavan, a corporate trainer.

One of the highlights of games played around Christmas is that many of them are revised and adapted versions of existing games, Pictionary being one of them. “For the past two years, Christmas Pictionary has been a hit among my employees. There’s a dinner party we organise before we break off for a short vacation. We start the evening playing all kinds of Christmas games and since most of us are either writers or designers, our version of Pictionary involves drawing out and guessing Christmas carols, and of course once the guess is made, we all sing along together,” says Jacob Daniels, who runs a branding agency.

Similarly, Christmas Charades also borrows from its original game except here, people in the group are given Christmas movies to enact and guess. “It works as a great ice breaker especially in organisations where different departments come together to celebrate Christmas,” Jacob points out.

From schools to hospitals, decorating one’s classroom/ department, as part of a competition is the in thing. “We give out prizes for best tree decoration and best carol group every year and it’s so wonderful to see even those who don’t celebrate the festival take part in it so enthusiastically. For the staff’s children, we organise treasure hunts, gift unwrapping relay, name the Christmas tune, etc.” informs Sheila J, who works with an NGO in the city.

With photo booths and funky props becoming all the rage, they’ve made their way into Christmas parties too. According to Sahil Alexander, a photographer, “No matter how old you get, Christmas props are akin to bubble wrap! In no time, you see adults transform into crazy children again. Santa’s hat, beard, belt, and boots have been done to death so we now have life size presents, reindeer antlers, Rudolph’s poufy red nose, giant candy canes, holly headbands, and the list goes on. In fact, I recently attended a party where two competing groups had made props themselves and members of the winning team got a gift card each they could swipe at a particular upscale shopping centre.”

One of the beautiful features of the season is that amid all the fun and frolic we have, most organisations make it a point to spare a thought for the underprivileged and do something to make Christmas meaningful for them.

Anjusha says: “This year’s edition of Secret Santa is even more special because while we exchange gifts with colleagues, we also have a box for gifts that we will be taking to an orphanage on Christmas Eve.”

On that note, there are innumerable activities that can keep you preoccupied and countless games you can play to usher in the Yuletide spirit but it’s good to think of others too. After all, Christmas is about spreading love, joy, and peace.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 3:04:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/society/time-to-play-the-game/article6691051.ece

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