He Says: Christmas is for kids, and despite our monologues over the years that Christmas “just doesn’t feel as special as it used to,” that’s no excuse not to exert a little effort to make the little ones happy for the holidays.
And what’s the one thing that makes kids happier than a monkey trapped in a banana factory? Scavenger hunts, of course!
Zee: My little girl Bea loves scavenger hunts; it’s a little tradition I do whenever I have to travel for work – hiding little surprises scattered throughout the house, and leaving clues where to find them. A couple of years back, I Ieft her videos she could watch on TV everyday since I was out for a week. This was Thursday:
MDJ: And so, that’s exactly what we did for Bea’s 2012 Christmas – we set up a little scavenger hunt of our own for her to find her loot from Santa.
We don’t do things half-baked; we love drawing, and adore personal little hand-crafted touches. So all her clue cards were artfully-designed to look like a Geronimo Stilton book, written in as close to rhyming iambic pentameter as we could manage.
Present #1: “Monster High” Body Spray from Zara Kids
Zee: Bea is nuts about anything Monster High-related, so we were incredibly pleased with ourselves for finding this dandy little bottle of Monster High body spray at Zara Kids. I would rather get her something useful like this than the doll that cost P2,700.
MDJ: We were worried it would smell of rotting body parts and sewer sludge, but the kids over at Monster High apparently take hygiene and femininity very seriously, so it smells quite nice, actually.
Here’s the clue we left for Bea to find it behind a painting Zee did of some kids from her former outreach community.
Present #2: Feiyue sneakers in pink and black
Zee: For some odd reason, kids nowadays are still into the “hipster” lifestyle. Hipster shades, twinkly specially-designed nails, hipster clothes, etc. In fact, “hipster” is so mainstream that kids nowadays look alike. So, what would be the best gift for a little girl we’re trying to wean away from Havaianas and FitFlops? Hipster sneakers from Feiyue, of course! Comfy, cute, easy to put on and take off. Perfect!
MDJ: We personally haven’t a clue what the young ‘uns find “cool” these days, but if Daphne Osena-Paez declares a thing to be a cool (“[They’re] apparently a big hit amongst European hipsters!”), then cool that thing must be.
Bea was squealing as she found her sneakers behind our brown folding chair/bed from Dimensione, which we don’t know precisely what to call; it isn’t quite a chair, and it isn’t quite a bed, so we just end up calling it “the Brown Thing.”
Present #3: “Princess Celestia” from the My Little Pony “Friendship is Magic” Toy Series
Zee: Christmas is never without toys in our household because we don’t buy her any at all throughout the rest of the year, and prefer to buy her books instead (household rule, sue us). It seems My Little Pony has been brought back from the 80’s, and their swishy manes reign in Christmas lists.
MDJ: This fluffy pink creature is named “Princess Celestia”, and runs her own little Academy for Gifted Unicorns, which I hear is unicorn street slang for “unicorn brothel,” but I don’t think kids need to know that.
Zee: We hid her inside the floral medicine cabinet. We just crossed our fingers and hoped Princess Celestia would fit into her pink floral barn.
Present #4: Whipple
Zee: An item on her list that we found awesome was Whipple – yummy-looking whipped cream that eventually hardens, with fake plastic strawberries and other decorative items you can add onto it. You create a food item that looks like it belongs in the window of a Japanese restaurant. Plus, you can turn it into a yummy-looking key chain.
MDJ: You just know it had to be invented by the Japanese. Who else could have come up with something as simultaneously ludicrous and awesome as this stuff?
Zee: It’s awesome how Mark looks just like this fluffy man on the clue.
MDJ: It’s equally awesome how Bea was actually brave enough to open the little man-chest where I keep my clothes for emergency slumber parties and the like; she says it “smells like a man.”
Present #5: “Princess Luna” from the My Little Pony “Friendship is Magic” Toy Series
Zee: So we save the best for last, and My Little Pony‘s Princess Luna is it.
MDJ: This is also the only item on Bea’s whole Christmas list that wasn’t pink. She apparently also has a “cutie-mark” in the shape of a moon on her butt; I don’t know what it means, but all the male stallions just take it to mean “Aim here!” when they’re getting nasty.
Zee: She loves drawing this unicorn. So Luna trots all the way and hides inside her school bag. We thought it was pretty clever to rhyme Luna with “last clue na!”
Zee: Christmas will always be celebrated differently in every family. It’s always a lot of effort, but most of all, a lot of love.
Time spent on creating scavenger hunt: two hours.
Time spent searching and finding gifts: five minutes
MDJ: This scavenger hunt was too easy. Next year, we write the clues out in Tagalog. Let’s see if she finds all her presents before Easter.