Christmas brings out excitement, joy, and love of family. For siblings, Ryan and Natalie, it does even more than that. It stirs up anticipation and friendly competition because when Santa visits their house, he leaves clues. He hides them under couches, in cookie jars, outside in the snow, and even in the bathtub. Santa doesn’t simply drop off the presents and leave like usual through the chimney. At Ryan and Natalie’s house, he gives them the thrill of a Christmas morning scavenger hunt. It’s a mad dash after all the other presents are opened, as they take turns reading clue after clue and rhyme after rhyme in hopes to find their last gift.
Targeted Age Group:: 4-10 year olds
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
Christmas has always been the happiest time of year for my family with seemingly magical memories from my childhood. I know not everyone has this same admiration for the holiday season, which is why I wrote the children’s book, The Christmas Clue, in hopes to ignite feelings of joy and novelty towards this time of year. Throughout my youth, my parents curated unforgettable experiences for my brother and I through inventive Christmas traditions. My dad, in particular, is highly creative and came up with the ultimate tradition, a scavenger hunt to find our last present. This started when we were in elementary school, and the clues grew progressively difficult each year. The annual hunt commenced after we opened all the presents under the tree. My dad would then say, “Did you check in the tree?” My brother and I would search the tree branches to find envelopes with each of our names on them where the first clue lived. Once we each read ours, we would race to the separate locations they alluded to. After retrieving the next clue, we’d regroup, reading them aloud for the family before racing off again to find the subsequent one. This went on and on with one clue always outside, forcing us to get somewhat bundled up before braving the cold to retrieve it. On the rare occasion when we had white Christmases, my dad would have to quickly reprint a clue, the ink smudged from the snow. I adore my dad for staying up each Christmas Eve night and hiding our clues in secret, knowing how excited we’d be in the morning. My book is inspired by this tradition in hopes that other children will get a taste of the exhilarating, magic-filled journey we embark on each Christmas morning. As my brother and I have grown up and gotten married, our spouses have been inducted into the tradition, as well. Now, as we expand our families, I can’t wait to see our own children go along for the wild scavenger ride filled with the love and care of Christmas joy surrounded by family.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
My characters are inspired by my immediate family. This is a story that brings to life an annual tradition in my household. I wanted it to feel like my brother and I were kids again when recreating the magic of the scavenger hunt.
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