VILLAINOUS laughs, misdirection and murder took centre stage at my Christmas celebrations this week.
'Twas the night before Christmas when the mysterious hijinks started, when all through the house family members were converging towards the air-conditioning unit in search of festive merriment.
The game of Cluedo was uncovered from a cupboard just prior to the car being packed - ready for use during the festive season, with only Reverend Green gone walkabout (it is a busy time for the church after all).
He wasn't missed - a monopoly house in a similar hue took his place.
The game's box promises endless hours of family fun and this year it delivered just that for a group of adults from three generations.
I suppose this shouldn't come as a surprise - it is a precisely British sort of game, inspired by the genteel detective stories written by the likes of Agatha Christie.
And as my mother says in response to others' ridicule when we watch such BBC brilliance on the TV at night, "There's nothing like a bit of murder to put you to sleep."
We kept up the time-honoured tradition of fierce competition between family members, with my uncle promising to "double fox" my trickster younger brother.
I must admit there was some pleasure walking away with a few wins under the belt when I was undertaking on the role of Mrs White.
(Tip for the novices: Mrs White happens to be situated in a delightful spot on the board.)
I have a sneaking suspicion that although the game is a gem, it was probably the attitude we went in with and the festive air that had us coming back for more rounds.
Our belly laughs from the accompanying banter show that sometimes the simplest forms of entertainment can be the best.