In 1988, we decided that the time spent opening Christmas gifts came and went much too quickly on Christmas morning. Try as we might..........the kids waited at the top of the steps, the smell of the Swedish Tea Rings baking in the oven, waiting until Dad got the video camera balanced and ready to go. The presents were passed out and each waited until the other had opened a present and so on. But still it seemed to vanish into thin air and the magic quickly disappeared. That year, a pair of roller blades and some Legos were the hot tickets. We decided that a treasure hunt would slow things down and add to the excitement of those much sought-after gifts. Jim got in touch with his poetic side and wrote a series of clues in a 4 line poem, leaving out the last word which described the spot for the next clue. After finding 3 sets, the final one took them to their prize. We had soooo much fun! We had to read the clues in the early years as they helped each other find their gifts and only one at a time could be hunting. By the time high school rolled around and the college years often busy years, it wasn't too cool to do such silly things, so the tradition was set aside.
Zoom forward to 2007. Those two young ones are now in their mid-twenties and the question "are we having a treasure hunt this year?" was presented to us. Oh dear! Jim had to dig deep to find those rhymes and clues but we had not one, not two, but three! treasure hunts devised and they also included Anne, Chris's girlfriend.
Now to backtrack again....... Each summer at the cottage the two guys would pair up with their cousins and spend many hours playing board games. Their all-time favorite was the game Hotels that Grandma had given to their cousins. Weekend after weekend for many years, the four spent time on the floor gathered around the coffee table playing the game. For years we searched garage sales but could never find the game. Finally, this year when the cousins were all together talking about those fun memories and Anne said "oh I LOVE that game!" we decided to hit E-Bay and see what we could do. We got the game and I'm not sure who was more excited that we had something that none of the three would ever guess. So, on Friday night as we gathered around the table, Jim passed out the first of the clues. Such laughter and giggling! My my my....one would have thought we had struck gold in them thar hills when they finally found the package under the sofa!! They pushed aside all else and began assembling pieces, talking about the way it was played, the fun times they've had and how much they wanted to get right to it. The game started as soon as the rest of the presents had been opened. By 2 a.m. they were nodding off but staunchly hanging in there not wanting the game to end and as the night turned into morning, they gave up and went to bed. It's for sure they will remember this Christmas hunt and it will be right up there with the rollerblades, the Legos, the GI Joes, the Micro Machines and all those other wonderful Christmas memories. We will remember those special peals of laughter as well. Christmas is such a delightful and magical time! I hope yours is special too!