Tuesday, November 16, 2010

twelve (plus) days of traditions: gift hide and seek

Yesterday Jocelyn inspired us with some wonderful books and crafts for kids.  Today, I'm so excited to welcome Fawnda from Fireflies and Jellybeans (one of those blogs I've been following since my early blog-reading days last winter).  She has a super fun family tradition to share with us, and I'm adding it to our family traditions this year. 

Hello 12 Crafts til Christmas Readers! I am so excited to be her today talking about one of my favorite Christmas traditions that I had growing up and hope to pass on to my kids! I am a big fan of 12 crafts! Elizabeth is just the biggest sweetheart of a blogger!
Let me introduce myself!
I am Fawnda and you can find me at Fireflies and Jellybeans!  I am a thirty-something mom of a son (2 1/2 years old) and I am expecting a daughter SOON!  My Husband is my best friend and biggest supporter {I am every lucky}!

We have all sorts of fun over at Fireflies and Jellybeans! I share crafty tutorials with you, we have the Iron Crafter Competition (Which Elizabeth won the first round!) and a fun Show Off Your Stuff linky party on Thursdays.

Here is a Christmas morning tradition from my childhood.

Growing up we did gift opening a bit different than most houses! Most people would wake up and find all the gifts under the tree on Christmas morning. Not in our house. There would be NO gifts under the tree. Instead there would be a note with instructions on how to wake up our parents to find out where our gifts were.

Usually the instructions included:
1. We must wait until 7 AM to wake them up.
2. Start the coffee (when we were a bit older)
3. Sing a Christ carol all together to wake them up.

Once my parents were awake. They informed us that our presents were hidden around the house. They would tell each child how many gifts they each had to find. The rule was you could ONLY take the gift from the hiding place that had your name on it and you could only help someone else if they wanted the help. We would set off around the house looking for our gifts and pile them up in the living room.

When we were younger the gifts would be pretty easy to find and just on the main level of the house. As we got older, the hiding places got harder, and they could be on ALL levels of the house.

My Dad would be totally into finding the best and hardest hiding places. Some years his hiding places were so good that we would not be able to find all our gifts. Some gifts would remain hidden until spring when would would accidentally find it!

My sibling and I would have a blast running around the house trying to find our gifts, trying to be the first to finish our pile!

I know that it sounds like we got Christmas mixed up with Easter, but we loved it!  It put some adventure and fun in to the Christmas morning.

Here are some tips to help you start this fun tradition:
1. Clearly mark WHO the gift is for when wrapping them. Some years my parents would just have our names on them.  Other years they would wrap each kids gifts in a different wrapping paper.

2. Make sure that every one has about the same amount of gifts. It will not be fun if kid 1 is looking for 3 gifts and kid 2 is looking for 10 gifts. Kids can count at very young ages! And we were always looking to see if things were fair.

3. Start out hiding the gifts in easy places. The point is to have the kids find them. : )

4. Remember where you hid them. You could make a little map just for yourself if you need too. This will cut down on the "lost" gifts!

5. If kids are having a hard time finding the gifts you could help by using "hot" and "cold" the give them hints.

I cannot wait to hide our son's gifts this year! He is almost 3 years old so they will be very simple places, but it is going to be so FUN!

Thanks Elizabeth from having me over today! It was so fun!

Thanks Fawnda!! 

Don't forget to add your own tradition to the tradition linky below.  I will be including it in almost every tradition post, so you don't have to go back to find it.  And to answer a few questions that people have e-mailed me . . . 

1) The tradition that you add to the linky DOESN'T have to be a new post.
2) You DON'T have to add the button, but, of course, it will help share the inspiration of all the links if you do add the button or a link to your post or sidebar.
3) It DOESN'T have to be a tradition you do now.  It could be about a tradition that you would like to add to your holiday celebration.
4) It DOESN'T have to be strictly Christmas related.  Any of the holidays celebrated this time of year are welcome.      

Tradition on!


Michelle said...

What a clever way from keeping everyone from running down stairs and start ripping into gifts! I had a friend tell me their family hid a gift and they would take a string of a different color for each child and take the string all around the house from the start point to the hidden present.

Unknown said...

How fun! I love the part about not waking parents up until at least 7. :)

Diana said...

That sounds like so much fun.
I could never do that on christmas morning but for birthdays this would be perfect

Thanks for sharing

Jocelyn Christensen said...

What a super fun idea...and it sure gives Mom and Dad a firm "not before 7 am" buffer! Nice! But we actually wake up at midnight to open ours...so we all end up sleeping in on Christmas morning!

Papgena Made It said...

your parents are sooooo clever!!!
that seems fun! And not waking before 7...very wise!!! ;)

Holly Lefevre said...

I love it! Cute tradition...we have the Easter Bunny and Santa a little mixed up over at my house.

April said...

Hmm maybe I should suggest this to my sister this year so my niece doesn't wake us up at 5am!!!

Beverly {Flamingo Toes} said...

This is so fun!! I love the instructions. What a creative way to draw out the fun of opening gifts.

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