I’m girding my loins for a spot of festive time travel on Wednesday. While I’m not expecting a whirl through my past crimes a la Scrooge and his ghost of Christmas past (thank god - I can live without a reminder of throwing up down the back of my dad’s neck en route to a turkey lunch after a night of teenaged pint guzzling), I will be whisked to a place long gone.
Once we’ve had the three-bird roast and put the pigs in blankets to bed, a dark green time machine will be lifted from its hiding place under the stairs and dusted off in the front room. Trivial Pursuit is our Christmas miracle, something that takes us back to a time when I was a toddler, the USSR was going strong, Ronald Regan was the leader of the free world and Maggie Thatcher was at No. 10.
Playing our foxed edition of Triv means thinking, if not laterally, then certainly historically. Answering questions about current affairs is tricker when “current” means 30 years ago. But it certainly levels the playing field between my mum, my husband and I. But it’s not just the questions that are stepping stones to another age - even the little wedges of cheese (please note: not pie) are subtly different to more modern versions, and the cards far more restrained and elegant than current editions.
The game is timewarp not only to my childhood, but to Christmasses since, when unfolding the board, reminds me of all the times my nan accused us of cheating, or when my mum won the day with her superior knowledge of 1960s cinema, or how, year in, year out, I get cross with everyone for putting the questions back at the wrong end.
It might be a trivial pursuit to some, but it’s a box of delights to me. Here’s to the board game of Christmas past and future.