You can’t beat a Christmas quiz to get tensions rising

Steve's baby daughter made amazing progress this week, or so his wife thought

STEVE CANAVAN: It was a lot of rattle over just a little roll

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The Christmas period is supposed to be the most joyous time of year. So joyous that every year there’s a rise in the number of cases of domestic violence up and down the country.

A heady mixture of booze, religion and the in-laws descending is guaranteed to keep the A&E departments busy.

Although it never quite reaches fisticuffs in our house, you can never beat a good old family quiz to get the tensions rising.

This year saw some of the worst cheating yet. Not by the opposing team, but by my auntie the quizmaster!

The questions were so heavily weighted in favour of the opposing team, it would have been quicker just to give them a copy of the answers.

Peace and goodwill to all men flew straight out the window when, in the opening couple of questions, they had to name the capital of Wales whilst we had to ponder over the capital of Angola.

Things carried on in a similar vein. They had to complete the nursery rhyme Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary, we had a question about some Nordic fairytale that no-one has ever heard of except the man who wrote the tale and the person who compiled the quiz book.

A study has revealed that on average a family will have five bust-ups on the big day, December 25.

Well, the quiz at our house is always one big bust-up. Accusations were flying around all over the place. People cheating, sore loser, too competitive and these were just the ones levelled at me!

I like to see myself as a bit of a quiz buff, but the questions were ridiculous. That lady off The Chase who looks like Miss Trunchbull from Matilda would have had problems.

A Boxing Day game of Family Fortunes didn’t fair much better. There was controversy over someone’s scoring, then somebody else threw their toys out the pram and stopped playing. And don’t get me started on Charades.

A quarter of arguments at Christmas are supposed to be over the TV remote.

But who needs to watch people shouting at each other on EastEnders when you can break out the board games and mix in a bit alcohol and tiredness for your very own soap opera?