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Thursday, December 20, 2012

DIY Christmas 2012 with LD Masterson

This is the last DIY Christmas 2012 post of the year, and doubly special because two people will be winners. Call it my own special treasure spree.

Please welcome, LD Masterson!
LD Masterson writes mystery and suspense, always with a touch of romance. After twenty years keeping the computers running at the American Red Cross, she now divides her time between writing and enjoying her “truly exceptional” grandchildren.  LD lives in Ohio with her husband and a neurotic Jack Russell terrier named Sophie. 

She's also a pretty cool grandma. Who else but grandparents know how to best get the whole family involved on Christmas!

Christmas Treasure Hunts

When our boys were small, I was a little obsessive about Christmas morning. I had to go downstairs first, put on some Christmas music, light the tree, and make sure everything was just so before the kids came running into the room. All the gifts were either wrapped and under the tree, or properly assembled and arranged around it.  Ready for the picture perfect moment.

Treasure Hunt Tree
As they got older, my perfect arrangement began to hit some snags.  We were starting to run into gifts that didn’t fit so neatly under the tree or even in our family room.  Bicycles.  Basketball hoops on tall posts.  Big boy toys.

It was my husband who came up with the solution: the Christmas Morning Treasure Hunt.  

The treasure hunt begins with an envelope tucked into the branches of the tree, bearing the name of the person who needs to hunt for their final gift (treasure hunts always start after all other gifts have been opened).  Inside the envelope is a clue leading to another location in the house. At the second location will be another envelope with another clue. We usually do five or six clues leading all over the house, with the final one leading, of course, to the gift. 

Die-hard fan
The clues changed as they got older, creating answers only that person would know. 

For example: “What is your coat doing on the kitchen chair?  Put it where it belongs.” – led to the front hall closet.  “Don’t scratch or I win.” – the pool table.    

“Pay homage to Mom’s Mecca.” -  my model of Fenway Park. (Go Red Sox!)   

Over the years, the treasure hunts became so popular we started hiding one present for each of the boys just for the fun of it.   We discovered the treasure hunts had the side benefit of getting the kids past that inevitable “let down” feeling after all the presents had been opened and the anticipation was over.  (Editor: Wow! Brilliant feel-good psychology!) In a way, it became the highpoint of our Christmas morning.

Now we have grandkids at Christmas and the treasure hunt is a favorite of theirs, too.  This year I’ve got plenty of presents wrapped and neatly tucked under the tree but I’ve got four others set aside for hiding.  You’ll have to excuse me now.  It’s time to write some clues.


In the spirit of Christmas, I’d like to give away an e-copy (your choice of format) of any of Maria’s books.  Just leave a comment to be eligible.  Already have them all?  I’ll be happy to send one to a friend as a gift from you.   

Editor's note: And to double the fun, I (Maria) am doubling the offer. Leave a comment here or on any previous DIY Christmas 2012 and you'll be entered in a drawing for a free book from anything in my back list.  

All giveaways will end December 21st, so leave a comment and tell me: What's been your most favorite Christmas memory so far in your life?

I'll tell you mine. It was the day we brought home our first pound puppy, Joey. Best. Christmas. Ever.


Jennifer Shirk said...

I remember one year my hubby surprised me with Andrea Bocelli tickets! I was floored!!

LD Masterson said...

Thanks, Maria, for letting me be a guest on your DYI series this year. You had some great posts.

Gwen Gardner said...

I love the idea of a treasure hunt - will have to keep that in mind, for sure.

My best Christmas was getting an easy-bake oven. I wonder what ever happened to that?

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

This is a great idea, LD. I always did that with my children's Easter baskets. I would hide at least four clues all over the house, one leading to the next. They would run all over, trying to be the first to find their baskets.

Angela Brown said...

That is such a neat idea :-)

Mike Keyton said...

Your Christmas ritual is exactly the same as ours. Great minds etc : ) Mind you, our treasure hunt is an Easter ritual, and every year the clues become more inventive. Our children are in their twenties now, but they insist on the treasure hunt : )
Favourite Christmas memory - three, my first Christmas in America, and my first Christmas with each of our two children.

Anonymous said...

Love this. I did a treasure hunt the first year That Man and I were together for Christmas. I never thought to extend it to the wee beasties. However, this could be just the ticket this year!

Favorite Christmas...from childhood, it would be the year my parents somehow smuggled a tabletop loom in the car on a 12-hour drive. From adulthood, it would be the year we hosted both sides of the family at our house when I was due any minute with #3 :)