In the run-up to Christmas, we would like to heartily recommend that you do not, repeat do not, cast aside your usual pastimes for some Victorian Christmas games. We’ve just spent an hour poking around, and it turns out that in the nineteenth century, the most popular British Christmas games were those that involved grave risk of injury. There’s “Shoe the Wild Mare”, in which you balance a plank between two chairs, stand on top of it, and try to hit its underside with a hammer ten times without falling off. There’s “Hot Cockles”, in which one player shuts their eyes and everyone else takes it in turn to hit them on the back, until the eyes-shut player guesses which blow belonged to who. And there’s Snapdragon, which combines the cheery warm let’s-all-gather-round-a-table traditions of Christmas with (a) alcohol, and (b) fire.