The Victorians encouraged parlour games at Christmas as a way of bringing people together and sharing the fun. This one is called ‘Reverend Crawley’s Game’
Everybody stands in a circle. Each player then holds hands with another player, but the hands may not be those of the person next to them, and they may not hold both hands with the same person. This creates a large human knot. The group now has to work out how to untangle the knot without anyone letting go of any hands. This involves twisting and contorting and should end in one or two circles of people. This game works well with about 8 or 10 players.
Possibly a forerunner of Twister..?