In 1541, during the reign of Henry VIII, parliament passed the Unlawful Games Act). This law banned all dangerous sports on Christmas Day with the exception of archery. Males aged seven to sixty were required to practice their weaponry skills. Games of skills such as tennis, which Henry VIII excelled at during his youth, were prohibited as were the ever present menace of cards and dice. Presumably the modern equivalent would be trivial pursuit, scrabble and monopoly. Sadly anyone thinking of avoiding any of the above or even a turn at charades on Christmas Day can think again as the law was effectively repealed in 1948.