I read about this Christmas Present Scavenger Hunt on Kim Heinecke's blog and I just love it. So I have included the entire text here on my site.
Remember when you were a kid and opening gifts on Christmas morning took 15.4 seconds?
The Foxy Mr and I have come up with a way to really stretch out the event, and in doing so, we can even give our kids the illusion they are opening countless gifts for hours.
The trick? We plan a scavenger hunt each Christmas morning complete with clues. The festivities begin once we have read the Bible and had some family discussion.
When they were younger (5-7) the "clues" were easy like "Go check the mailbox" or "Look under your bed for your next clue." Each year they get more involved and complex.
My boys look forward to the scavenger hunt each year that usually ends with the "main gift" they share. At their age now, (10-12) they start telling me around Thanksgiving to start working on the clues and "make them hard."
So last year we outdid ourselves. We managed to stretch 5 gifts over 2 hours. I am not kidding.
The clues were things like...
Play Wii Bowling until you both get 2 strikes in a row to get the next clue.
Take your nerf guns, dress in your camo gear and go 2 blocks over in the neighborhood on your bikes. Go up to Mr. Laguardia's door and when he opens it, say "Give us our clue and no one gets hurt!" Of course, he had been given the clue the day before.
Call someone in another city and sing for your next clue. (They had to guess who to call, we didn't tell them. At least 3 unsuspecting relatives were serenaded Christmas morning!)
Other clues involved Bible verses, riddles and more hide and seek. Sometimes a clue solved meant they got to open a gift, sometimes it just meant they got another clue. It was great. While they tried to solve clues, we picked up wrapping paper from the previous gift, exchanged gifts with each other or set the table for breakfast.
Two hours later as they were nearing their "big gift" the breakfast casserole was coming out of the oven, the living room was fairly picked up and the Christmas CDs were in full swing. By the time it was over, they were exhausted from the "thrill." And we were all hungry. At breakfast it was a "play by play" account of the whole scavenger hunt.
If you're looking for a way to jazz up Christmas morning and start a fun family tradition, give this a try. It keeps the fun going longer than it takes to rip open a new package of socks and underwear.