Leg 3, Day 44 – Christmas Party games

Meg Dyos By

Day 44 – Christmas Party games

As it’s the eve of Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day draws ever closer, a particular topic of conversation that I ask people is ‘what does your Christmas Day look like?’. Christmas Day is a day in which although you often find similarities with others such as roast potatoes and gravy, it’s also such an individually special day. The differences in the way people celebrate, and the way in which people describe their Christmas Day as their face often lights up in excitement for is what makes me love listening to the the answer to my question. So this week in particular, this has been the topic of conversation on the oars.

For me, Christmas involves up to 18 of us spending the day together. A day full of laughter, good food and cheer. Amongst my crazy, bonkers family we have certain traditions that happen. Firstly, it is required that only one present is opened by anyone at any one time, and when the opening occurs, all family members watch whilst the person presenting the present shouts ‘present, present, present’. Secondly, I have never watched anything on television on Christmas Day, (this year I’m slightly excited by the potential prospect of watching a film in the aft cabin!) Instead we play party games. Today I thought I’d introduce you to some of these games in case you were needing some inspiration for your Christmas Day.

– The Hills Ring Game –

Equipment required – a long piece of string, a ring.

Place the ring on the piece of string, and tie the string into a circle shape so that the ring cannot fall off of the string. This game can be played with a minimum of 3 people, but the more people you have the better. Everyone stands in a circle all holding onto the string. One person is in the middle of the circle. It is their job to attempt to find the ring whilst the others in the circle move the ring around working together to keep the ring hidden. From experience, I would suggest the use of sound effects – in particular, the whooping noise works a treat to add extra excitement to the game.

– Gramps’s Sock Game –

Equipment required – a sock, items of your choice

Grab a sock and fill it with items of your choice. Once filled, the concept of this game is for each member of the family to guess the items inside the sock by feeling it. The person who gets the most items correct wins. Particularly interesting items to place inside the sock are squashable items such as grapes, or maybe even one or two leftover pigs in blankets.

– Fork feeding –

Equipment required – a fork, bamboo stick, marshmallows

Attach a fork to the tip of a bamboo stick. The concept of this game is to feed the other members of the family marshmallows. Place marshmallows in a certain spot. Step onto a chair in a spot that is a good distance away from the marshmallows, and also a good distance away from the persons who are due to be fed. Pick up marshmallow with your homemade fork, and feed the chosen person – it’s harder than it looks! Do be careful to be in a stable position on the chair when feeding commences – there is a slight risk of a visit to a & e from a fork stabbing to the neck.

– The Penny clencher –

Equipment required – a two pence coin, a bucket

Place the bucket at one end of the room. At the other end, take turns one at a time to place the two pence piece between ones bum cheeks. The concept of this game is then to make your way over towards the bucket and land the two pence piece directly into it. This game can be adapted to make more difficult such as placing steps on the route to the bucket. Alternatively, it can be played as a race if you have more than one coin, and more than one bucket. This is a game for all of the family and can provide some serious laughter, across all generations. Please note, it is required that all participants keep their clothes on for the duration.

– The up and down game –

Equipment required. 2 x pieces of string equal length, 2 x keys

Tie a key onto the end of each piece of string. This game requires two teams of equal amounts of people. Each team must stand in a line all facing the same way. The person at the front of each team holds the key on the string, and the idea is that they place the key on the string down their clothing, starting from the neck down to the feet, they then pass the key to the 2nd person of the team who then places the key and string up their clothing starting from the bottom to the top (all of the team are allowed to assist, and in the case of skinny jeans this may be necessary). This movement continues up and down each persons clothing until the end of the line. Whichever team finishes first, wins. Please note, it is required that all participants keep their clothes on for the duration.

So there you are. Please feel free to partake in any of the above games this Christmas! Wishing you all a fabulous time from here in the Pacific where we will be trying the penny clencher aboard Doris!

Update – All I want for Christmas is houmous. In other news, yesterday whilst me and Laura were on the oars we saw what looked like a few big boulders in the sea, and a huge crashing reef in the distance that turned out to be atol de Suprise. In the same shift, we also clocked a huge whale in the distance that looked like a submarine – we couldn’t get close enough to see what kind of whale it was. Lastly, as you may have seen we have altered our course slightly heading a bit further south to try to minimise any ground loss from any south easterly winds in the next few days. All on Doris are excited for Christmas!

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me a striped cane of candy
On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me two boats a passing
On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me three sharks a circling
On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me four Christmas hats
On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, five Tupperwares
On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, six boobies flying
On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me, seven fish a bellyflopping
On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, eight waves a crashing
On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, nine carols a singing
On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, ten dolphins jumping (just putting it out to the universe – haven’t actually seen any)
On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me, eleven attempts at towel drying



  1. Oh my goodness Meg!!! That used to be my Christmas Day too!!! When we were little and my grandparents were alive it was always big family time with some of those same games! Passing the ring was one of our favourites – also balancing matchsticks onto an old fashioned sterilised milk bottle (very narrow neck for those of you not old enough to remember!)
    Really brings back those amazing memories of wonderful Christmas’s. Sad to say they are not like that now and so your blog has really brought back those wonderful memories 🙂 Queen’s speech was the only tv we used to be allowed and we still watch that at 3pm! I will be raising a glass to you girls on Christmas Day and hoping that you have a great day of celebration out there on the ocean! You are amazing and I wish you all a wonderful day and a safe arrival in Cairns very soon! Merry Christmas!! x

  2. JG says:

    Penny Clench! The mind boggles – how on earth do you perform that with your clothes on? Could end up with a nice little copper suppository on a bouncy boat – beware that one! Good progress at the moment. One poster has said that your speed had increased because you had turned West.That confused me because I thought your course was predominently West anyway all the way from Samoa. Just now you seem to be on WSW direction. I presume that is to deal with currents?
    When I was in the Army, because I was single, I used to volunteer for Xmas duty thus relieving the married officers to be with their families. It was traditional to serve breakfast to the troops on Xmas Day. I used to hate Boxing Day because we had to play hockey with all the families and I loathe hockey. Occasionally we played rugby but that didn’t include families for obvious reasons. When I was in the N Rhodesia Police we used to play karamoja which is combination of football and rugby but with no body tackling because of the hard ground. Us officers vs the African police and they always thrashed us!

    Joke: The stolen credit card.

    Man to friend “My credit card was stolen last week”

    Friend “Have you reported it to the police?”

    Man ” No I just got the statement this morning and at the moment the thief is spending less than my wife did”

    Take care and keep safe.

  3. Jim Andrews says:

    I loved reading about your Christmas games Meg. Christmas day always takes me back to the good bits of my childhood, which sadly were few and far between. One magical time I recall was Cotton reel, tractor racing. Equipment per competitor required, 1 X empty wooden cotton reel, two used matchsticks, an elastic band and a drawing pin. place elastic band through centre of cotton reel, put first matchstick through loop of elastic band and secure with drawing pin, place second matchstick through the opposing loop, then wind until, that point where you know the band might break. place on flat surface with course set out with anything that comes to hand, Books etc. Your opponent and you release your tractors and the fun begins, It is probably a bit dated now but believe me, as a seven year old back in 1959 before we had electricity in our home or flushable toilets. It was fun!
    Christmas Cracker for today: How do they vote in the Snowmen parliament? Ice to the right, snows to the left. Stay safe. XX

  4. Wendy Hornin says:

    OK, so I just have to prove that my bro Ray is not the only poet in the family, here is my (terrible) Christmas offering :

    We four girls of the Ocean Are
    Bearing oars we traverse afar
    Rough seas or calm, using lots of balm
    Following many a different star

    Ocean of Wonder, stars so bright
    We have watched you for many a night
    Australia heading, still proceeding
    Guide us through the reefs alright.

    Born in England and various places
    On Doris we’ve lots of sights
    Fishes & whales, dolphins and boobies
    Even some mysterious lights.

    Unlike the Kings ,of potential gifts we have not many,
    As to shops we have not been
    Gold , Frankincense & Myrhh are not to be seen
    Our Christmas feast may be very lean.

    That’s all I could come up with, hope no-one is tempted to jump overboard in horror when they read it ! Still too far to swim.

  5. Wonderful blog, Meg. Happy Christmas to you all, girls. You are often in our thoughts, but will be especially so on Christmas Day. God bless you all and speed you on the last leg of your epic journey. Love from all the Street/ Summers family in Cornwall XXXX

  6. Megla, the ring and string game sure is different. I’ll never forget being thrust into the middle of ‘the game’ hungover, not knowing what ‘the game’ was or that I was in the middle of it AND no one told me the rules or the object of it!!!!!!
    You sound like your having a ‘whale’ of a time. Happy Christmas and a merry new year to you all. Speak soon, lovin your work, keep rowing.xx

  7. Babs and ray says:

    Wishing you girls a very happy Christmas, the most diverse one you will ever have. This will be coupled with a full moon over the Christmas period, what a front row seat you will have! Hope you get some good pictures, and wander where all you amazing girls will be in the 20 year plus when this is next due to happen! You may not be here on land at the moment, but will be in all of our thoughts and so many people will be raising a toast for you all, and for the safe arrival in Cairns very soon. Cannot wait xx

  8. Wishing you all a Happy Christmas on board Doris.
    So pleased that you have a full moon to accompany you as you move towards Cairns over the Christmas period. Our family here in Cornwall and in Derbyshire will be thinking of you and raising a glass to you all. Keep safe. xx

  9. Merry Xmas Coxless Crew. You will get to have your visit from Father Xmas in a few hours time while we are still sleeping. Hope he is generous. There are so many people who will be with you all in spirit over this particular time and we are sure that the vibes from all around the world will reach you. I speak to my 89 year old Aunt in NZ every week and the first thing she asks me is “how are the girls getting on”. We will raise a glass to Doris and Crew tomorrow wishing you a safe and successful journey into 2016. Special thoughts go out to you and your families. xx

  10. Neil says:

    First Ray and now Wendy get their poems published! Not that I’m bitter or anything.


    We used to play Leapfrog, Postman’s Knock and Hide and Seek. It’s just a thought.

    Have a Special Christmas.

  11. Nanny Hills says:

    Meg has shared with you, Christmas with her crazy bonkers family. We will be carrying on this tradition, but will find time to raise a glass to Coxless Crew wishing good cheer and ALL OUR LOVE. You are now on the best part of your yourney. The one that takes you home.
    Stay safe.

  12. Esther B says:

    We have been playing Ring on a String for the last three generations in our family – it’s a classic for sure! Have a fabulous Christmas Day girls – we will all be thinking of you and raising a glass to toast you on your way. Lots of love to you all xxxx

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