When to leave: a quiz for elderly relatives visiting for Christmas

YOU’VE been invited around for Christmas by your children, the meal is done and you’ve enjoyed a small sherry. Should you leave now, or stay until past 11pm? 

It is approaching 7pm and, after a large dinner and an alcoholic drink, you are feeling drowsy. What do you do?

A) Thank your hosts for all their trouble, gather your coat, go for a quick wee then head to the comfort of your own home
B) Comandeer the largest chair with the best view of the television and enjoy a little nap, making sure to snore at glass-rattling volume and break wind regularly

It is approaching 8pm. Your grandchildren are watching a film and your daughter and the man she should never have married are drinking in the kitchen. What do you do?

A) Announce that it is time you should be going, gather your coat, go for a quick wee then head home
B) Begin talking over the television with a lengthy anecdote about unexpectedly meeting a relative in a pub in 1972, then announce yourself to be peckish

It is approaching 9pm. Your hosts are yawning exaggeratedly. Your grandson is crying because he was told he could play Xbox when granny had gone. What do you do?

A) Say ‘well I won’t outstay my welcome’, gather your coat, go for a quick wee then head home
B) Begin discoursing on politics, including assertions like ‘Boris was a lovely man’, ‘they were proper men down the mines’ and ‘it’s the Bangladeshis I can’t stand’ while finishing the bottle of sherry

It is approaching 10pm. Your grandchildren are being bathed and tucked up in bed. Your son-in-law is swigging whiskey from the bottle in the garden. What do you do?

A) Accusingly say ‘I should have been home hours ago’ as if you have been forcibly detained, gather your coat, go for a quick wee then leave
B) Announce it is long past your bedtime and you cannot be hanging around here all night, then remain in your chair savouring the slow collapse of your hosts’ hope

It is approaching 11pm. Your hosts have both passed out in front of the television, which at your insistence is showing The King and I. What do you do?

A) Stand up abruptly, hissing ‘I won’t stay where I’m not welcome’ and, pausing only to gather your coat and have a quick wee, leave as if mortally offended
B) Ask what time it is and, when informed it is 11pm, say ‘why didn’t you tell me?’ and demand to be taken home immediately. After gathering your coat and having a quick wee.


Mostly As: Wrong. Go back and answer again, making sure to choose mostly Bs this time

Mostly Bs: Excellent. Do not rule out staying until after midnight if you feel you would enjoy causing the inconvenience. They invited you, they knew the risks.

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Five-year-old riding 6am sugar high

AFTER ploughing a mere fraction of the sweets she unwrapped this morning, a five-year-old is experiencing a monumental sugar rush long before the sun comes up.

After waking to find Santa had been, Lucy Parry discovered a treasure trove of confectionary in the stocking at the bottom of her bed and devoured them immediately as is her right.

Eight minutes later, feeling extraordinarily alive, she saw the trampoline possibilities of her bed as if for the first time, bellowing ‘Santa’s been!’ and racing up and down the landing as though completing a bleep test.

Chasing confirmation of the Christmas miracle that had visited overnight Lucy then burst into her parents’ room using only a fraction of the energy being processed by her tiny, overclocked metabolism.

Mother Donna said: “It’s like being woken up by an oncoming train.

“She won’t stop jabbering about Santa and his treats. I don’t think she can stop. That was meant to last her all day, not be demolished before dawn. She’s got sherbet all over her like an infant Scarface.”

Lucy said: “I’m riding this dragon to the stars, man. I ain’t ever gonna crash in front of Bluey and be sick.”