Life

A Unique Christmas Gift Exchange

I admit as a child, that I was abundantly blessed at Christmas! We had a great deal of presents to open from my parents and other relatives. When we thought there was a Santa Claus, we had fun opening presents from “him” and then my parents. It spread it out. But, as my brother and I got older, we outgrew Santa. We realized it wasn’t true, and the innocent sparkle that my parents enjoyed was done.

So, my Mom being very creative, thought about another way to extend the gift giving. She created a scavenger hunt. My brother and I had to wait in our rooms, or at least go straight to my parents’ room when we were awake. We couldn’t run to the tree or peak at anything beforehand. Then, one of my parents would give us the first clue. Some years would start with my brother, others with me. If it was my turn, I would get the clue, and then search the house for the answer. When I figured it out, I would find my present and the next clue.

I was able to open the present, and then the next clue would be for my brother. He would then go off, find his present, open it, and pass the next clue to me. And the cycle continued until we were done. It was so much fun! We would have approximately five-ten presents to open, so with stockings, the whole process would take about an hour or so. Then my parents were able to open their presents.

I should mention that each clue had some sort of reference to the Bible and the Christmas story with it. It integrated our fun with Scripture, keeping meaning and thankfulness for each gift that we received.

Since my parents were so creative with our presents, we thought we’d have some fun one year with theirs. Trevor and I got part-time jobs one year. I was in grade eight at the time. My job was babysitting younger kids before and after school every day. I think my brother might have worked at Tim Horton’s that year. Regardless, we worked hard and saved up as much as we could. We told our youth leaders about an idea of sending our parents away on a little vacation. They joined in on the fun and helped us out a bit. They decided to tag along on the vacation and helped with some of the expenses as well.

When it came time for Christmas morning, I was ready to burst with excitement! My brother and I thought it would be fun for my parents to “open” their present slowly. Instead of just telling them what we got them, we played, “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” with them. We made up questions from the Bible and life for them to answer. They were allowed to usual helps like 1 50/50 question and phone a friend. Their phone a friend just happened to be our youth leaders that helped plan the trip. Every time they got a question correct; they would get a letter. We made sure that the letters weren’t in any particular order. Then, at the end of the game, they had to put the letters together to figure out what they got: Myrtle Beach.

It was so much fun! With the scavenger hunt for us, and the “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” for them, it extended the morning for a couple of hours. The process was just as much fun, if not more, for us than the presents we received.

We would finish the festivities with reading the Christmas story in the Bible and salivating over the smells of our delicious Christmas breakfast cooking: sticky buns and bacon.

Have fun getting creative this year with your family. Spread out the gifts with some fun in between. Let us know of any unique traditions you might do as well

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