For the past few years I've hidden presents around the house for the kids to find. This year I figured Hailey and Evan were ready for more of a challenge.
I prepared 20 clues for them to figure out, starting with this one in the Christmas tree.
They had to solve riddles...
Figure out ciphers...
And work together to find the hidden presents.
Here they had to wrap the paper strip around this club to find the secret message telling them where to go next.
James just wanted to play while the others were solving clues but when they excitedly ran to the next hiding spot he excitedly ran after them.
I had a fun time coming up with clues for them to figure out.
They were stumped a few times but they figured it out eventually.
I tried to hide the presents where they wouldn't find them unless it was the clue they were on.
The kids had a great time and were really happy when they figured out the clues.
10 clues in and they were showing some clue-solving fatigue.
They each started slowing down and taking breaks in between clues.
Poor James just wanted to help.
After finding a few more presents we decided we should wrap this up and finish our game later.
I think I did a bit too much for this year's Christmas game. I think 10 clues would have been enough. Aw well, I think it was still a lot of fun for everyone.
Time to go to Grandma and Papa Ashcraft's!
We had some breakfast and opened up presents.
I think the Ashcrafts were a little surprised to hear that the kids hadn't opened any presents yet because we weren't done finding them.
Harold bought this for us while we were together in Rothenburg.
Evan can't let a new Lego set go unbuilt. He just has to build it right away.
Back at home the kids resumed their hunt for presents.
Dad started this tradition for me and my brothers back in 1989, as far as we've been able to calculate, and it's fun to continue the tradition for my own kids.
And with that all the clues were solved! All the presents were found!
They seemed relieved to finally be done. Yep, I think 10 clues would have been plenty for them this year.
Who has the biggest present?
It's James with a big wooden stable for the wooden animals!
It's nice to see these happy little moments.
Hailey got her own ipod and headphones and from that point on she was constantly listening to tunes.
Evan also got his own electronics; something to help him with his reading: a new Leap Pad.
Then Evan went totally crazy with excitement when he opened up some Pokemon cards.
Look at that face. She loved getting her own camera.
We brought this truck for James all the way from Germany.
I got this board game a few months ago as a family Christmas gift.
Lounging around on her electronics.