Every year we host a family Christmas quiz, called Ermine or Vermin.
There are 20-25 of us and it takes a little bit of organising to make it run smoothly and to keep it fun.
This is how we introduce it:
- The quiz has prizes, Hurrah!
- There are 4 rounds of questions.
- Each round someone wins and the group gets a bag of prizes wrapped in christmas paper.
- Some of the prizes are desirable, some less so, hence the title of the quiz.
So why am I telling you this?
Well, it is the preparation that is key to keeping this light-hearted fun.
The first problem is how to divide up people into different groups.
We solved this one by passing round a tin of chocolates. There are 4 varieties in the tin. This year we used Cadbury’s Flake, Crunchie, Caramel and Dairy Milk. Yum.
Then we had the questions. My friend (thanks Paul) provided these. This year we had questions about countries and capital cities, another had a list of dinosaur names, some made up, some real. And so on.
We get the groups to monitor one another for fair play, so that no-one secretly consults Wikipedia. Peer pressure is a good self regulation mechanism, even in families!
The groups use score sheets we had prepared in advance. At the end of each round they pass their score sheet to another group to mark. Then we put the scores from each round on a matrix sheet on one of the doors of the room.
The winning group gets a bag of prizes and open them there and then. Part of the fun for those who didn’t win is seeing the individual reactions to the rather diverse range of prizes each group gets. 🙂
After the final round, there is an overall winner and the group get the rather dubious pleasure of an extra bag of prizes!
This year everyone came away with at least one prize, and more importantly we’ve also added more fun stories to the family bank of memories. It is the stories we tell one another that bind us together.
The preparation is the key to making it look effortless and smooth. You can see how much work goes in to a family quiz, so you might be more aware of the behind-scenes effort that goes into our day job.
More of this in 2014.
Oh, and in case you are wondering, the scores on the doors revealed that the Flake group won this year with 45 points.