Monday, May 13, 2013

When did Pass the Parcel get so complicated?

You can now buy ready-made pass the parcel parcels! No, really!
We'll be straight with you here. We hate Pass the Parcel. If there was ever one party game to cause instant groans and moans of dismay (amongst adults that is, not kids!) it's Pass the Parcel. We purposely avoided doing it at Princess C's birthday party and quite a few folk seem to have cottoned on that it's a sucky waste of time at a kid's party but still it prevails.

But it's changed. Here's a then and now comparison:


  • One parcel, one prize!
  • Parents randomly operating cranky old Binatone music centre while simultaneously glugging down a delicious beverage / holding down a conversation with other parents
  • Wrapping paper was nearly always newspaper or cheap stuff
  • All kids, regardless of gender, took part
  • Kids passed the parcel with scarcely a pause in between
  • The prize at the end was always massively disappointing

  • One or two parcels (sometimes even gender-specific pass the parcel sessions going on simultaneously to ensure the prizes 'fit' the winner)
  • A prize in every single layer - usually something you don't want your children to eat before they ruin their dinner / teeth / best clothes they came to the party in
  • Parent strategically operates iPod and Speaker Doc, following complicated hand and voice signals from strategically placed other parent who makes sure all children get a go
  • Wrapping paper must be at least M & S / John Lewis. Cheap stuff not allowed even though it's going to end up scattered all over the party venue
  • All kids take part, but the ones who don't still win a prize anyway
  • Kids pass the parcel with strategic clinginess just in case the music stops (pointless because of point 3)
  • The prize at the end is still always massively disappointing. 
Pass the Parcel is great for two things. 1) Ensuring huge swathes of time at your children's party are taken up by this long, boring, drawn out process (watch parents faces if you do the whole thing twice!) and 2) For lulling children into the false sense of excitement that perhaps, just this once, they will be "THE ONE" (even though we all know that the winner is picked in much the same manner that Eurovision winners are - so it'll be a decision that's long been cogitated over and decided on weeks before your child has even turned up to the party!)

I look forward to the bright shining future when Pass the Parcel has been superseded by "Pass the Smartphone around randomly until the winner is chosen and wins an unlock code for Angry Birds 20"

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