Don’t Forget!

How did it get started? When? Why?

I truly can’t remember all the specifics. But, one year turned into two and so on and so on. Now … we are still doing it.

I guess, that’s the evolution of a tradition.

No one remembers all the specifics of how it started,

but it did! So, we continue to do it.

We have a Christmas Tradition like that!

It’s referred to as the … “Hidden Gift.”

One year, my brain can’t recall (a corrupted file), I had the last gift of Christmas hidden. We handed the kids an envelope after all the gifts were opened. Surprise, there was one more gift! The envelopes contained one clue of where another clue was hidden. So fun, right!?

We counted to three, they tore open the notes, proceeding to run through the house searching for clues, finding the gift.

The first one seated in the family room with their gift, got to open first! Gifts were opened in order of arrival with gift in hand. Unless, they were all getting the same gift, then they opened together. Like the year, we took them to New York City after New Year, before they took the Christmas decor down … Christmas shows still playing.

I never thought this would be a tradition the first time I did it.

Maybe, gifts were too big to wrap or something like that!

All I know is, the next year, my children said,

“Don’t forget the Hidden Gift!”

I, totally, would have!

I did not understand it was a “thing”

… once was all it took.

Is it only me, or do your children remember things they think they did a million times, you remember, maybe, two? You remember doing it, but not as a “we-always-did-this” thing. I think things in our childhood that made impressions on us, somehow get magnified, as we age… they become prominent, when maybe, they weren’t as prominent in reality. That’s my guess.

Anyway, they have reminded me more than one year!! And now my 30s and 20s still like hidden gifts. I’m not sure my “in-loves” like it as much, but they play along marvelously. They have a disadvantage, because their spouses knew the house better. I tried to even that out in clues, not sure I was successful.

Can I tell you how many Christmas Eve’s, later than I wanted it to be, I spent not wrapping presents, but trying to rhythm clues for everyone’s hidden treasure hunt? You know … I couldn’t just right a dumb clue. My children were theatrical, lyricists, creatives, and “Fine Arts” specialists: High standards. First, I had to stump my geniuses, but along the way, my words were read and heeded, so there was a level of creativity and poetic skill required. Then, I had to put the right clues in the right places  after everyone went to bed. Warning: That proved to be most confusing 😉

I never dreamed what that one unknown year would become.

The funniest part to me has been watching adults run through the house like children! Did I mention I have competitive offspring? My husband declares they will “come through the floor” or break something. His job is to warn everyone of pending doom and yell “slow down”. That’s hilarious too, and predictable.

Three Christmases ago, when we downsized to our cottage, it perplexed me. We had no room for such shenanigans. People were staying in every room, where would I hide the clues. Hiding spaces were few. If you’ve never downsized … I’ve learned to use every tiny inch.

I put my brain in gear and did an outside treasure hunt. No clues required (yay, me). I, now, use unbreakable ornaments: I have a stash of small ones. Everone’s name is on one ornament. (I hide many.) The rules are; first one to find their named ornament, shows me and they get to open a gift first when the hunt finishes. Also, the person to find the most ornaments gets an extra gift. A Christmas version of an Easter Egg Hunt!
The surprise for us is finding ornaments months later … late Merry Christmas! Short-Term memory decreases with age … interpretation … I can’t remember where I hid them three minutes after finishing.

We do it when everyone is together. Last year, was the first we didn’t have a “hunt”. Not everyone was home for Christmas and not enough of us were together at the same time. Maybe, this year.

Two years ago, it was about 5 degrees, seriously, everyone bundled up and did a very quick Polar Plunge Hunt!

Some Traditions happen by accident, maybe most do.

I have to say this has been a fun one, always bringing laughter and joy.

Do you have a family tradition that you have no clue how it started?

Or one that is a “must”?

We’d love to hear about it.

Don’t forget!


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2 thoughts on “Don’t Forget!

  1. that is so neat and I understand they love it – I buy gifts all through the year and forget where I put them or just forget about them. My children have started asking me “Mom did you wrap everything? When or if I come across them I keep till the next year or give for birthdays. :o)

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