So here it is, merry Christmas,
Everybody’s having fun.
Until the moment you decide you’re bored of stuffing your face with festive food and drink and bring out the board games that is.
Board game bust-ups are destined to fuel family fall outs shattering any illusions of it being the season to be jolly and a time of peace and goodwill.
It comes as no surprise to find board games are the biggest cause of rows on Christmas Day – and that family favourite Monopoly is the biggest culprit.
So much so that Monopoly chiefs have come up with a game-changing plan to prevent Christmas turning into a not so silent night by setting up a Christmas hotline to settle any game-based disputes.
With 6pm on Christmas Day identified as the hottest time for people getting hot under the collar with Monopoly Rage, I’d get saving that number in your mobile phone right now.
A survey of 2,000 adults found more than half of all Monopoly games end in acrimony as competitive streaks come to the fore.
Having suffered my fair share of Post Monopoly Stress Disorder, I can only nod my head vehemently in agreement at the many and varied reasons people squabble during Monopoly.
The first argument usually starts even before the first throw of the dice – when deciding which token everyone should be.
I am a grown up now (allegedly) and am reasonably intelligent. I KNOW there is no such thing as a “lucky piece” and that the car token doesn’t hold special powers to make me race to victory.
Yet if I don’t get to be that rather slinky metal car, I feel like the game is fated to end badly for me. And I may well sulk.
At a push, I’ll settle for being the dog or maybe the top hat.
But when I abhor ironing, there’s no way you’ll catch me being the boring iron or worse still a smelly old boot.
Then there’s the accusations, allegations and paranoid delusions that surround the banker. In a clear case of a game mirroring real life, it’s often the case that the banker keeps awarding themselves “extra bonuses”.
Even if they’re not, you can put your money on other players still accusing them of swindling and shortchanging.
With technological advances being what they are, our family games of Monopoly are now played on the Playstation which is a relief as there’s no need to worry about evil bankers stealing money.
But there’s still plenty of scope for Monopoly spats with the survey revealing the biggest cause is people making the rules up.
The problem with Monopoly is it’s been around so long that it’s probably years since people have actually read the rules and over time, they have concocted their own versions of the game with everyone thinking they’re the ones who are right.
Free parking – what’s that all about then?
Some people play by using it as somewhere to land where nothing happens. A place to rest your weary token as it were.
But others seem to set up some sort of kitty in the middle of the board which the person who lands on Free Parking can pocket. Who’s right?
Landing on Go is another can of worms. We all know you get £200 when you pass Go, but some say you should be awarded £400 if you actually land on Go rather than passing it. Again, whether this is correct, I’m not too sure. But I’m all in favour when I’m the one who lands on Go.
There’s all sorts of other debates about issues such as if rolling a double means an extra turn and if you’re allowed to stay in jail when you have a Get Out of Jail Free card.
Players who are too cocky when winning is another major source of arguments as is my biggest bugbear – those who buy properties they don’t need to spite you.
Hubby is a real bad un when it comes to this.
The man who promised to love and cherish me until death do us part, suddenly becomes evil during Monopoly and buys up any properties he knows I’m collecting and demands extortionate and unreasonable amounts of money for them.
Avoid family rifts by calling the Monopoly hotline to get mediation. It’s: 0800 689 4903.