We were all between eight and twelve years old, and the kids in my neighborhood just knew that we were getting bicycles for Christmas. All of us. But we didn’t know where our parents had them stashed. The days between school getting out and Christmas morning were spent discussing, searching, and wondering where those bicycles were. We knew that our parents often hid Christmas gifts for other families and that other families often hid our gifts. That particular year, they had us stumped; and the mystery was fun for us and for our parents.

And then—Christmas morning—there were the bikes!  My mom still has the picture of six of us lined up on our bikes with smiles as big as Texas. There was one older couple on our street whose kids were grown and gone. Their basement had held our presents the whole time. We never thought about their house as a possibility. Ah, the wisdom of parents.

In our own family we have also enjoyed some fun Christmas mornings by adding some suspense to the mix. One year, we got Judith a little flop-eared rabbit, but we didn’t put it under the tree. We put it in the garage. Judith opened a gift that had a clue to look under the couch, where she found a clue to look in a closet, where she found a clue to look in a cabinet until she eventually found a clue to look in the garage. By the time she found the rabbit we were all hopping!

Sometimes we used riddles to give clues. Sometimes we hid presents in a little box in a bigger box in another box.

One family that we know hides a pickle on the Christmas tree. Whoever finds the pickle gets to open the first gift. To them that’s a big dill.

Patricia and Anna fill each stocking with a personal touch. Anna has participated in this ritual since she was about ten.

This week, post a comment (below) and share one of your Christmas ideas or traditions for your family. We will all have a great time reading them and we may broaden our traditions to include one of yours.