Time for games
GYLES BRANDRETH AND HIS DAUGHTER SAETHRYD co-wrote The Lost Art of Having Fun (John Murray). Ask guests to bring a photograph of themselves as a baby Pin the pictures to a board and ask everyone to write down who they think is who. The winner is the guest with the most correct guesses. Make a Christmas piñata Put a large paper bag inside another and fill it with sweets. (You can decorate the outer bag beforehand with ribbons and glitter.) Tie the bag onto a string and hang from the ceiling. Each player takes a turn with a stick to try to bash through the bag. With young children, it’s generally not wise to have more than two or three organised games; it’s better to provide a selection of toys. When it comes to older kids, be careful not to let the fun get out of hand – intersperse boisterous games with some quieter ones.