Pass the parcel? It costs a packet!

Whose turn?: Games nights are serious business again
Whose turn?: Games nights are serious business again
Have your say

GAMES night is serious business. Have you ever had one? They’re really quite special.

Get all of your best friends in the same room with a carefully regimented itinerary of games - if you’ve got a particular thirst for blood you can pit the boys against the girls - and sit back and watch while all hell breaks loose. That’s right, definitely not my first time. I LOVE Games Night.

My boyfriend and I decided to host a Christmas Games Night at the weekend (Yes, in November, shush) for all our friends. Our last hosting effort was in the summer when we threw a toga party in the back garden and it rained. Brilliant. I was desperate to make up for it. And, as we all know, money is more than a little bit tight at this time of year, which is why I thought Games Night would be perfect. Minimum output - maximum fun.

I began planning two weeks ago. I was determined to throw an original, unique festive evening. By the night’s end I would be crowned the official hostess, be awarded my ‘mostest,’ and (what’s more) do the whole thing on a pleasantly tiny, tiny budget. Winners all round. Yessss.

But there was a problem. A snag, a bump, a blip, if you will.

You see...sometimes I get carried away. Hard to imagine, right? Just a little. I admit it.

We asked all our friends to eat beforehand and bring their own booze, so we literally just had to organise the games and a few nibbles. The whole thing should have cost less than fifty quid, right?


My first mistake was researching Game Night decorations online and ‘ooh’ing and ‘ahhh’ing at bunting made out of playing cards, Twister mat tablecloths and balloons that looked like dice. Sooo pretty.

I also enjoy any opportunity to get a bit ‘arts and crafty’ and visited The Range on Friday morning to pick up some brightly coloured card to make big, beautiful A3 signs for each game we would be playing. They’d look so lovely dotted around the living room/game station. But what are signs without a big scoreboard? I know, I thought the same thing, as I picked out some more big sheets; plus tinsel to decorate, big marker pens and flip-pads for Pictionary and black material to make a Mr and Mrs booth. And we simply had to play Pass The Parcel, I thought, grabbing rolls of wrapping paper, a bumper pack of sellotape and handfuls of expensive chocolates and thoughtful novelty gifts.

I do wish someone had stopped me when I decided party bags would be a great retro, throwback idea for a bunch of 30-somethings. Or at least convinced me to fill each one with a handful of Quality Streets instead of the nail varnishes and glittery headbands I found for the ladies, and alien-launchers and army men I picked up for the boys.

By the time we’d decided it would be nice to provide cocktails for everybody and were picking up buying bumper boxes of pizza from Asda - plus the festive-goddamn-pyjamas we’d suggested everybody wear - we were skint.

Next year we’re just going to whisk the whole group away on a mini skiing break. It’ll be cheaper.