My favorite Christmas present this year was the one I gave to my 13 year old son.
Allow me to walk you through his evening….
First, he opened one of his presents. It was just a small box, about 3 inches by 4. A Japanese puzzle box. Inside the box was a note that read:
Closed off in the smallest room you will find a clue to bring you closer to your prize.
When he checked the cabinet below the sink in our basement bathroom, he found another note that sent him to my business website one a page with a url that contained “the square of my children”. When he eventually figured out that I meant their ages, not their quantity, he found a clue on my website.
This lead him to a section of his Minecraft server. It’s effectively a no-man’s land because he and his friends set off a nuke and turned it into a giant pit. They fall down and die there. Inside the pit was a cave. Inside the cave was a clue. The clue read:
Grandma and Grandpa love you.
What do you do when someone says they love you? You either get scared of the commitment and end a perfectly good relationship, or you say “I love you, too”. When the kid finally called his grandparents to tell them he loves them, they told him to give his parents a kiss.
I’m a jerk.
He came over and gave me a hug and a kiss. I handed him a piece of paper. When he looked at it, he asked if it was supposed to be torn in half. I reminded him that he has two parents, so Mom got a hug and a kiss, too. The resulting clue read:
The Answer to the Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything
Naturally, this points to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, but the boy hadn’t read far enough into the book to understand the reference, so he had to hit google. After spending time looking for chapter 42, he finally thought to look at page 42, which had this clue:
My Little Pegasus
Two steps to the right
Two steps forward
Two steps up
This clue started at the My Little Pony I set next to a Pegasus in my daughters’ room. The boy was in dense mode because he had to ask his sister what a Pegasus was. She also had to suggest he open the closet door when one step forward made him bump his nose on it.
For all of that work, he got the Ticket to Ride game. He laughed the entire way through the treasure hunt, then decided he hated the whole process. However, for two nights running, he’s stopped the video games to play his new game with his family.
It’s a present he’ll remember forever.