“AM I a man? Am I a rock star? A politician? A Royal? Am I A-list? Am I alive? Under 50? Am I fictional?”

You may well have asked at least one of the above over the past day or so, with a post-it note stuck to your forehead. I’m not sure if the game has a name (Animal, Vegetable, Mineral?) but the rules are simple. Ask 20 questions, that can only be answered Yes or No, to try and work out the famous name, animal etc stuck to your face. ‘Am I Homer Simpson?’ ‘Am I a hairless cat?’ ‘Am I Ayres Rock?’ You get the picture...

It’s an old faithful in our family, usually played around the table after Christmas dinner. The festive season is a time for parlour games - when children and teenagers are forced to put their gadgets aside and engage in daft dice-led pursuits with the oldies that, despite some initial sulking, they secretly quite enjoy.

Over the last decade, board games have enjoyed a resurgence in popularity; a random selection of retro games can often be found in hip independent bars and bistros. And as well as hardy perennials like Monopoly, Cluedo and Trivial Pursuit, there’s now a whole new, ever-expanding wave of board games. Some are based on TV shows, from Catchphrase to Love Island, some aimed at the beardy, dragon-loving, Game of Thrones-ey or video games market, and there are many board games for children too, often involving slime or the contents of a toilet but, hey, they’re interactive and fun, and might create a childhood memory that doesn’t involve staring dead-eyed into a screen.

Maybe the Renaissance of board games is a side effect of the digital age. Playing a game, whether it’s a quick round of Connect 4 or a full-on Monopoly marathon, gets us together in one place, enjoying a shared experience. At a time of increasing isolation, when so much socialising is online, there’s a lot to be said for families and friends spending time in each others’ company.

The simple pleasures of games are long-lasting. I still have fond memories of the card games we played on childhood holidays; the warm glow of playing Newmarket and rummy in our caravan with the rain beating against the window. Those card games my dad taught us to play as kids have been enjoyed over the years by my niece and nephews.

There are games that have evolved in families too, which become weird little inclusive traditions over the years. Every Christmas, for as long as I can remember, we have played a game of mystery called Black Magic, which baffles anyone who isn’t familiar with it, until they eventually work out how it’s done. It’s daft, but it’s been played by generations of us, and I like that.

Board games aren’t always cosy fun. They are, naturally, competitive and can lead to fall-outs, depending on how seriously you take them. My sister slaughtered me in two consecutive games of Scrabble on a recent caravan holiday and I didn’t take it well.

My dad took the etiquette of card games very seriously and would insist on my little nephews sitting up straight and focusing, even to play a game of snap. I’ve inherited some of that. “I’ve been dealing cards since I was six-years-old,” I muttered during a recent card game, failing to disguise my impatience with someone who was making a mess of the crucial shuffling and dealing process.

And some games are designed to make you wince. You have to think carefully about who is sitting around the table before you embark on Cards Against Humanity. Let’s just say it’s not for the easily offended.

* BREAKING into a sweat at the thought of yet another turkey sarnie or mince pie?

The average festive food consumption is nothing compared to what one greedy guts put away at "Cumbria's toughest Yuletide eating challenge" recently. Shaun Moorby, 16 stone and 6ft-something, polished off a giant pig in a blanket - a 2lb pig entombed in a 12-inch Yorkshire Pudding - with full Christmas dinner in just under 11 minutes. He even had room for sticky toffee pud. "I’m a human dustbin. I never get full," he said.

I detest eating challenges. How sickening to cheer people on as they shovel huge portions of food down their necks, at speed. And how disrespectful to the dead pig - not to mention children living in poverty who go to bed hungry.

* THERE was a time, when I had the stamina to party till dawn, that I loved New Year’s Eve more than Christmas. It was a time of hope and romance; when the future glistened like a frozen lake yet to be skated across.

Now it's just another Tuesday night. By the time I've got home from work, the last thing I'll feel like doing is necking my body weight in Prosecco and dancing in someone's kitchen until the early hours of Wednesday morning. And yet I'll probably do it anyway - when all I really want to do is change into my comfies and crack open the Mini Cheddars. Rock 'n' Roll!