The unstoppable steam train of Christmas hurtles forward, as does the usual drill: mingling with relatives you only see once a year, consuming more in one month than you thought humanly possible, and working your way through the usual slew of board games.

Board games that are always accompanied by that kind of person who proclaims: “rules are meant to be broken”. This poor excuse for a human is either an idiot or they’re just terrible at board games (most likely both).

While you may shake your head and ask why I’m taking charades so seriously, which you will no doubt follow up with “it’s only a bit of fun,” I will lay out my case with an anecdotal tale with a moral.

In my first year I was playing Monopoly with my flatmates (terrible idea, not even the strongest friendships survive this game) when someone landed on my property and had to pay a hefty amount of Monopoly dosh.

She flat out refused to pay me (angered by my extravagant and all- consuming Monopoly empire which I had now built, no doubt), and I in turn refused to take my go until she did so. We entered a stalemate where neither of us backed down which eventually led to a swift end to a perfectly good game.

Now in hindsight, maybe I was a tad stubborn, but if she had obeyed the rules of the game then we could have seen off what we started instead of resulting to this childish strop.

In essence, being a bad loser is usually the cause of cheating. Whether it be abusing your position of power as the banker, speaking out during your turn in charades or glancing at your neighbour’s cards, it’s never right. I admire a determination to win but if you can’t handle the heat (losing), then get out of the kitchen (room where you’re playing board games).

All in all, I want you to have a lovely Christmas, dear reader. But if you see your uncle looking suspicious when playing Buckaroo or your gran feigning ignorance while playing poker, make sure you give them a stern talking to. Albeit it in a Christmassy and jolly way, of course.