One of my absolute favorite Christmas traditions began when I was just a little girl– maybe 3 or 4 years old. My grandma would come out to California for Christmas every year and we had a special tradition for opening our gifts to each other on Christmas morning– a scavenger hunt! It was the best– so fun and special and I have the best memories of laughing so hard we cried when we couldn’t understand certain clues and trying to think of new places to hide gifts in the same house for over 20 years! She passed away a couple years ago, but I can’t wait to start this with Jackson– she would have been so proud! Every once in a while, I’ll do it with Rob too because he got as much joy from watching this tradition as I did hunting in it!
Make Your Own Scavenger Hunt!
Here’s a breakdown of what we did and how you can do it too! There’s even some examples from past years to help you get started or use just as they are– scroll on!
- Figure out how many presents you’ll be getting for the person who will be hunting– that helps determine the number of clues to write!
- Each clue is a short, little 4-line rhyme that gets them to their next location, clue and present. Sometimes we would put presents at every clue, and sometimes, there were only clues that led to a big present at the end!
- Pick out the locations where you’ll be hiding the clues and presents! Depending on who it’s for, mix it up with easy ones and trickier ones!
- Write your clues! You’ll need a “Starter” and then Clue #1 and so on for all of your gifts that are geared towards the specific location needed.
- Keep the Starter out and hide Clue #1 with your first present and continue until you hide your last clue and present that sends them to their final present. Sometimes I put her Christmas card with the last present too. You’ll hand them the Starter clue when you begin.
- Have fun, make memories and kick off Christmas morning with a lot of laughs!
Ideas for places to hide clues and presents:
- Media console
- Behind a corner chair
- In a hutch/buffet/cabinet
- Piano bench
- Storage ottoman
- Under a bed pillow
- In a toy chest
- In the dog food container
Clue Examples to use! Or use it as a template and replace for what you need!
“Merry Christmas and good morning!
It’s time to rise and shine!
Think of keys and pedals,
Think of songs and chimes.”
(this led Grandma to her piano bench where she found a present and another clue)
“Merry Christmas, good morning,
I’m so happy you’re here!
Let’s get ready to hunt
For your presents this year!”
Hidden in the bathtub:
“Rub-a-dub-dub, it’s time for a scrub!
Think for a second and let’s head to the room
Where you prep and clean,
Get ready and groom.”
Hidden behind her favorite poinsettias:
“This is a Christmas staple
That makes me think of you.
Search for the item that greets you each year
In beautiful red floral hues.”
Hidden behind the corner chair:
“There’s a fireplace and stockings,
With a place for movies and shows–
Look around for a place to relax,
Kick up your feet and lay low.”
Hidden in the oven:
“Look high and low and use your nose
Can you follow that smell?
This is where the baking starts,
Just heat it up and use your smarts!”
Hidden in the piano bench:
“The birds sing a song
All afternoon long
As you play those black and white keys–
Just test that seat and then you’ll see!”
Hidden under the bed pillow:
“Christmas Day is over and done
You’ve laughed and had some fun!
But now it’s time to fall asleep…
It’s here you’ll find another treat!”
I hope you have as much with this as we did! I can’t wait to pass this tradition on to Jackson!
Merry Christmas everyone!