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Winter Games

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by Jon Jones (subscribe)
Founder and chief editor of WeekendNotes.
Published May 1st 2009
With the temperature dropping and rain pitter-pattering on the roof our thoughts naturally turn to spending the odd day huddled indoors next to a heater with a warm mug of hot chocolate.

But how to keep ourselves entertained? You can only watch so many DVDs or read so many books before you crave a little social interaction.

A Games Afternoon or Night is the perfect solution. Invite a bunch a friends around and have a ball competing for the title of grand poombah of the dice while munching down on chocolate, crisps, and homemade wedges.

Here is the official WeekendNotes checklist for ensuring a successful games party:

1) Try to figure out which games you are going to play beforehand and think about including this information in the invite. A little bit pedantic perhaps, but keeps things running smoothly.

2) Make sure you have enough time. Nothing worse than having to finish a half-completed game. If the game involves people dropping out then have another casual game they can play while the others finish.

3) If you invite more than 8 people have a number of games on offer so people can split into separate groups.

4) Make sure you have enough food and snacks. Invite people to bring along a dish and/or their favourite sweets. Making Mulled Wine is usually a big hit. Casual eating is easier than breaking for lunch or dinner.

5) Sounds obvious but do you have enough chairs and tables?

That's the logistics out of the way. The big question is of course which games to play. I'm sure everyone has their favourites and here are mine:

Diplomacy. One game can last all day and it takes competition and backstabbing to a new level. Only play with relaxed people.

Fictionary. All you need is a dictionary to play this one.

Pictionary and Cranium. Old favourites.

Risk. Take over the world.

Host a Murder. More involved but worth the effort.

Scotland Yard. Hunt down a criminal on the streets of London.

Canasta. A card game from Uruguay.

Why? Cold rainy days are no so bad after all.
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