Race for your gifts but you have to figure out the clue!
This Christmas memory is a wonderful, silly, exhausting, most-time-spent-laughing Christmas morning tradition that my kids love. (More kid’s activities here.) It enhances the excitement of Christmas morning so much. It is about 20 minutes of laughing so hard you just can’t keep up with the kids running through the house.
Now right away, I have to let you know that my house is always a “lived-in” home. I don’t have crystal and china sitting around on delicate antique tables. We are always plopped in the floor in all the mess of wrapping paper and ribbons, torn boxes, plates and mugs where we grabbed our coffee as the kids woke up and started ripping papers off their gifts.
And this amazing Christmas Clue Hunt continues with my one and only grandchild. He is only ten, and the excitement of Christmas through his eyes is what his Papaw and I live for. What else could be better?
We first started doing this when my kids were about 16 yrs old and 8 yrs old. (Yes, eight years apart, a whole other post.) We have continued that tradition of hunting for That Special Gift each year until the kids moved out. It turned out to be the best Christmas memory.
Sure the kids had the regular packages to open on Christmas morning, those gifts from all the relatives and a few other things we got and wrapped for them. Those wonderful socks. Package of underwear. Hats and gloves set. But you probably have That One Special Gift too.
The one they’ve asked for and pointed out and talked about all the month of November and December.
In some years, it would have been That Necklace. And that Nintendo 64. We’re talking a while back. My daughter was 16 and my son was 8. But let me explain what we did. It may be something you would want to try too.
The Christmas Clue Hunt starts with a clue hanging on the tree and tagged to the recipient. Usually we just wrap a small ribbon around slip of paper with the clue written on it. Or a tiny box with their name. Tie a bow and it will hang on the tree. Make it really hidden close to the trunk unseen! Drives them crazy hunting for it.
So however many “runners” you are going to have, there will be one for each of them.
This first clue starts the Christmas Clue Hunt.
My kids were always so excited about it, but wanted to prolong the fun. So they ran the race with each other. First they ran the race for my daughter’s gift. ( She is the oldest.) Then ran it again for my son’s. That way they got to do it twice! Yes, it’s that much fun!
It goes like this: We worked with about 10 clues since this was about all I could figure out and the amount the kids could do and not collapse with exhaustion and breathless from laughing. Not to mention myself and Papaw running behind them!
Clue #1 might say: “I am hiding under the cushion of Dad’s favorite chair.”
Shrieks and yells! The thunder of running feet.
So when they get this clue, read it, run to Dad’s recliner, neck and neck, racing to get there and get to the next clue.
Clue #2 ( hidden under the cushion of the chair) a slip of paper says, “Mom drinks me every morning in her special cup. I come in a big blue container.” That’s my Maxwell House Blue Coffee container and under it is the next clue.
More racing feet and noise, noise, noise. They know I make coffee every morning, but finding the cupboard where I keep the container….did I say this is noisy?
And so on and so on. So you get the picture! We usually made about 10 clues, and I made myself a chart with the location and which clue to place where, leading up to the main gift. Just double check back and forth to be sure you have it correct.
It is a lot of trouble but SO WORTH IT!
My kids still talk about The Christmas Clue Hunts they ran in the past. One of the best was when we got them an Air Hockey table. The box was huge and we brought it home when they were at school and stored it in the utility room in the basement…that room where the furnace and water heater are. I threw a quilt over it, but they are never in that room anyway.
We live in a two-story with a basement, and I made clues that sent them running upstairs to the second floor, then the basement, then the ground floor, and back and forth. They were screaming and laughing so hard! The last clue was something like: I am in a small room. I am hiding there next to the Thing that keeps the house warm! They ran down two flights of stairs with us right behind them. They found it!
This can be used for kids of all ages who would be able to hunt and find. Little ones, of course, need very easy clues and Mom or Dad has to read them. But as they learn to read, it is practice for them. And also problem-solving skills are involved. And they are so motivated!
You’ll know your own child’s temperament to adjust the amount of clues so they aren’t frustrated. And be sure the clues are easy enough for their ability because they are just so proud when they figure it out.
For just one Christmas!
Your kids will remind you for next Christmas. And it is such a wonderful Christmas memory. And I know how much my kids loved it when my daughter is doing the same Clue Hunt with her child now!
Now that’s what warms a Nana’s heart.