St. Nick arrived dutifully on December 6th filling eagerly waiting shoes with goodies and placing this Miter (printed on cream-colored cardstock with each child’s name written on the back of it in gold paint pen..just leave off the treat cup base) in each shoe. I am sure he found it easier to keep each child’s goodies from falling onto the hearth and I am sure he avoided any hurt feelings over whose chocolate was whose! Of course he included a new toothbrush with those chocolate coins…he is very practical thinking!
Dearest Tappclan! Blessed Feast to you all!!
I know you have all been very good boys and girls this year and I want to give you a very special surprise! After your chores are dutifully done at day’s end, return to the feasting table for a scavenger hunt! Your dear Mother and Father will instruct you what to do! Enjoy this special day…all for the Glory of God!!
….and it was tied with a striped pipecleaner and shaped like a Crozier….how cool is that?!
After dinner Mom placed a pretty basket in the middle of the diningroom table and announced that aaallll of the dishes had to be done quickly and the table washed as the fun was to begin as soon as they were done. She remarked at how incredibly quickly the work was done and reveled in the first non-complaining night of the season…lol
In the basket were 10 scrolls of parchment-type cardstock. I numbered them and coded them with a word on the outside so I would know where I needed to hide that one. Each scroll was rolled and tied with a red and white pipecleaner with the end shaped like a crozier…see a theme here??
After the kids finished their chores they all went down into the basement as Mom, Dad and baby hid each clue. They were then called up and read the “offical words of the game”…
“”Share Ye All Thy Gifts With One Another! ”
“Nicholas gave to others because that is what Jesus commanded us to do, but did so anonymously so people would think only that gifts came from God. Look to God’s sky, under which we all live together and are to care for and help one another”
….They scurried to the boys’ and then the girls’ room where they found the next scroll hanging from the ceiling fan. (The ceiling is painted in both rooms to look like a blue sky with clouds.) …get the idea??
I went to the Saint Nicholas Center and printed out this story and re-wrote it leaving each paragraph as a clue to lead you to a location for the next parchment. I hid them in almost plain sight so that the house didn’t get too torn apart….gulp…that would be bad…
As they found each clue they had to bring it back to the dining room and read it out loud at the table…always TAKING TURNS (we can’t have hurt feelings here) and making sure all of the younger ones “found” at least one clue on their own.
10, as it turns out was just the perfect number. It kept their attention just long enough. The fun part is playing the final prize at the end:
“Imitate Good St. Nick in his heroic virtues. You are each called to be a SAINT! Always be ready to give a good witness. “Finally, all of you, be of one mind, sympathetic, loving toward one another, compassionate, humble.”
Begin this new church year preparing your hearts for the Christ Child! Make a WARM place in your hearts to shelter Him from the COLD and let Him be the FOOD for your Soul! Ready? SET! Go!
…and the final clue was found in the crisper drawer in the fridge…LOL!
It was also a good time to color in their new St. Nicholas Feast Day Folders that they found under their shoes in the morning. They had a large assortment of coloring pages, (FWIW these images make great shrinky-dink images to hang on your Christmas tree!!) a word search and a crossword as well as a few paper crafts (already printed out on cardstock) and a story of St. Nick and a personal note from him on the inside….Each younger child had a different colored folder with an icon of St. Nicholas laminated (with clear packing tape) to the outside with the words printed with gold pen on the front as well as their baptisimal name… :
and on the back:
The Nicene Creed (laminated with packing tape)
Just don’t ask what time Good Ole St. Nick went to bed
…of course he didn’t get this ‘revelation‘ until the night before
…when all through the house, not a creature was stiring…and mom had enough quiet to start to dream…..(which of course my dh calls my “dangerous time” LOL!!
Meanwhile…. My 15yo twindds used a St. Nicholas cookie stamp (we got ours from Hillside Education) and made a huge batch of sugar cookies. I got the idea to print out St. Nicholas wrapping paper which I copied into a word document and edited the properties of the image to make it a watermark…and then printed out the paper so that we could wrap a few cookies in it and place it into the shoes.
We may have been low-budget this year, but it was not short of fun on both sides…both from the makers and the receivers.
Hey! I held myself back! I really really wanted to do this….but I will do that next year….into the liturgical year file it goes…..