A family from Islington is turning an annual party poppers family tradition into a way to raise money for food banks this Christmas.
Every family has their own set of holiday traditions, from the staple roast dinner get-togethers to the more unconventional ones.
With Christmas Day fast approaching, the few families who can safely spend it together look forward to celebrating in a year they may not have expected to be able to.
Introducing the Shaw family from Islington: Karl, 64, and his two sons Rob, 31, and Charlie, 27, with their annual tradition, fondly known as The Party Popper Off and this year, they’re doing it for a cause.
It all began seven years ago when Charlie would play pranks on his family by setting party poppers off when they least expected it, startling them until their father Karl decided it was payback time.
According to the event’s official referee Rob, it started to get out of hand so he intervened.
Rob said: “I thought it was time to settle this. We’ll have a Western-style pop off draw. Whoever gets there first wins and we stop this madness.”
And so a tradition was born.
The rules of the game are as follows:
The Party Popper Off Challenge has been running since 2013 with Karl, a marketing manager, the very first champion but Charlie winning every succeeding year since.
Karl said: “Let’s just say some of those losses were controversial. If you look at the playbacks, there were a couple of times I definitely drew first but had a dodgy popper. He’s had a lucky run and he knows it.”
“I’m in phenomenal shape for the 2020 rematch. I’ve been working on my technique since March, doing callisthenics, fell running and so on.”
Following one loss and then a six-year winning streak, Charlie, a lab assistant for the NHS, claims to be as confident as ever.
He said: “I’d like to wish my opponent luck but I honestly think he needs a bit more than that. I’ve recently been finding empty party poppers and confetti poorly hidden in the kitchen bin so he’s clearly been practising when nobody is home.”
Rob, a content marketing manager in London, visits the family home every Christmas to referee, using a phone as their makeshift VAR for the event.
It’s gained traction every year, with their videos collecting more and more views each time.
In light of a difficult year for many, the family has decided to dedicate the 2020 rematch to The Trussell Trust charity to help raise funds for food banks across the UK.
“The idea is so silly, but it gains more and more attention every year so I thought if we could use that in a positive way, maybe it won’t be so silly after all,” said Rob.