Christmas Treasure Hunt – My Family Tradition
There is nothing more exciting for kids than waking up Christmas morning and getting to open those presents waiting for them under the tree. But what if you added to that excitement with a Christmas Treasure Hunt? Well that is exactly what I do in my home and the tradition has been going strong for about 11 years now.
I started the tradition when my son was only 2 years old (he is now going on 13 as I write this) and he was the reason it came about. See my son is one of those who gets up before the sun on Christmas mornings (still to this day) – I am talking like 4am. In addition to being an early Christmas riser he is also a Speed Present Unwrapper – lol. Once he opened all of his presents he would play with his new gifts for a bit, while we are all one eye open watching of course, and then by the afternoon he was bored.
Knowing this I decided to start a Christmas Treasure Hunt to make the day and opening presents last. I remember the first year I put it together – he was too young to read of course and my daughter was just a baby. So what I did was create a Letter from Santa that rhymed and stated that there was one more present for him to find, but he had to follow the clues that would lead him there. (I do not remember the exact words being I have made so many of these since).
Then sometime in the early afternoon I would stumble across this letter and say “Hey what is this? Looks like Santa left a note”. I remember his eyes lighting up at the thought of another present hiding somewhere and that he had to find it.
So then what I did was create a series of Picture Clues for him to follow. I drew things like the TV and then when he went to the TV there was another clue taped somewhere on it with another picture showing him where he needed to look next. I remember how excited he was going place to place in search of his Christmas Treasure – he loved things like this.
Then the moment came when he found his Treasure and it was so much fun to watch and of course it was extra special since he had to hunt it down.
Well this Christmas Treasure Hunt happens in my house every Christmas Day since and has evolved and become bigger and better every year. I now have my son and daughter hunting and they also look forward to finding that first Clue Santa left behind – they expect it now. The only thing for me is coming up with new ideas and places to hide things in my home now, but I make it work every time. Although there have been times that I am up to all hours on Christmas Eve putting it all together.
After the year I did just pictures I started doing Riddles where they had to think and figure out what the next location was by working together. My son is usually the first to figure it out. I would then hide the next clue on different levels in my home (there are 4) and to watch them running up and down the stairs is too funny. You hear one of them shout out the answer and then the running begins.
One year I added in small tasks they had to complete while working together before they could get their next clue. It was my way of having them do something together since they fight all the time. I remember having a pile of Legos that they had to assemble into a Tower, A Bucket of Colored Bears they had to sort, A Snowman Craft they had to create etc… Now that years Treasure Hunt took a couple hours to complete, but the end result was worth it or should I say Treasure.
Some years I have added in Math Equations, Word Searches and other Educational things they had to do before getting their next clue. Like I said every year is different and I am wondering what I will be doing to top it this Christmas. All in all it is a Family Tradition my kids look forward to every year. I really hope it is one they will carry on with their own kids one day and continue the fun.
Maybe you will start your own Christmas Treasure Hunt Tradition like mine. I am tellin’ ya the kids love it – Yes it may be a bit of work, but the memories are PRICELESS.
Here are some pictures through the years of our Christmas Treasure Hunts: