“Knowing Mom, she probably hid the last gift in plain sight under the Christmas tree!,” my son animatedly exclaimed.
Leaving for a family vacation this Thursday, Santa came early to our house this year on Sunday morning.
When the kids were in high school, I started a new holiday tradition of hiding their presents around the house for a Christmas morning scavenger hunt.
As teenagers, their gifts became more expensive yet fewer in number. In order to drag out the gift opening occasion, the scavenger hunt tradition began. Or course I had to write myself a list of hiding places so they wouldn’t be finding this year’s gifts next Christmas!
This year I decided to kick it up a notch and add riddles to each gift that they had to solve.
Some riddles were nursery rhymes (“these little kittens lost their mittens”).
Some riddles were mathematical equations (not my forte).
Some were in a foreign language (“once but not in English”).
Others were based on our family history.
The answer to each riddle was a number and once all riddles were solved and each gift assigned a number, they then had to discover a cipher (decoder) to convert each number to a letter.
I chose an easy cipher this year where each letter of the alphabet corresponded to number (1=A, 2=B, etc.).
Once each gift had its assigned letter, I handed them their next clue which was to arrange the gifts into four one-syllable words that comprised two phrases. The two phrases would make it obvious which gifts belonged to which person.
This part of the game took them the longest but working together, they eventually figured out the phrases: “Roll Tide” and “Game Cock,” in honor of where they attend college.
The kids seemed to have a blast but their dad and I had even more fun watching them solve the riddles and decipher the codes.
It took them an hour and fifteen minutes from start to finish so I think I made it too easy on them. Just wait until next year, guys. My kids won’t know what hit ‘em!
I’m evil that way. Heh heh.
Oh, and that last Christmas gift that the kids were hunting for during their scavenger hunt? It was hidden inside the branches of the Christmas tree. Drew was right!
I hope you have an amazing holiday yourself. I will be out of the office from December 17th through December 29th and not checking my email. I’m vowing to have a true holiday sabbatical this year and unplug from the world.
Kristen “All About Holiday Fun” Marks
P.S. Here are a couple of blogs written by clients that I think you’ll enjoy like I have: