Could there be any better way for you, your friends and your family (both immediate and extended) to get acquainted with your new home than by playing a game of ‘hide-and-seek’ (or ‘hide-and-go-seek’ if you’re American)? In no time, all the corners, crannies, nooks, and wardrobes will have been explored without so much as a dim, dusty corner going un-inspected. Even the spaces beneath the beds will have been explored and admired and all the while you’ll be having festive fun as you take turns as either hunter or prey. This easy game never disappoints in the way that some of those drab and dreary car games, like I Spy, so often do. One chosen player closes their eyes while all the others find ingenious hiding places. A minute or two later, up goes the cry, “Ready or not, here I come!” and the game is afoot. Of course, there are variations – in some territories, each player joins in the hunting after he or she is found, in others only the chosen player does the seeking and each found player must remain in his/her hiding place and not join in after being discovered. However you play it, you’ll be able to brush up your hiding, tracking and observational skills in the course of each game.
But perhaps more fun is guaranteed with what is effectively ‘hide-and-seek’ in reverse – yes, it’s the game that is commonly referred to as ‘sardines’. One of the advantages of choosing ‘sardines’ is that it engenders more communication and ice-breaking between your Christmas guests. That’s because only one player hides while all the others seek and – as each seeker finds the hidden player, they must join him or her in the hiding place. Although, of course, it’s inadvisable for them to start chatting away, it does break down inhibition and shyness among them anyhow. So when it comes to choosing between these two very similar games, our money is on ‘sardines’. Not only will you and your guests get to explore strange and remote corners of your new home, you’ll also end up with guests who feel at ease with one another because they’ve been crammed into a small space together.