When I was a little girl, I liked to create festive fun at the drop of a hat.
Looking back, my parents were outstandingly good sports about this. As an adult now, I don’t know that I would exhibit the same patience if one of my kids demanded so much energy in an already busy holiday schedule.
One of my favorite ways to pep up any mundane errand during the holiday season as a child was to enact Operation Acapella Carols. Whenever we hopped in the car, I began the Collection of Requests. Once everyone had proven awareness of the task at hand by either giving their carol request, deeply sighing, or grunting in consternation, the festivity could begin. My job was to declare the Chosen Carol, then the family sing-a-long could begin.
“Deck the halls with boughs of holly…fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la…”
“Joy to the World, the Lord has come, let earth, receive her king!”
“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, toys in every store…”
I’m sure there were moments it was annoying, for my parents, my siblings, myself.
I’m sure there were moments when people argued and complained and pulled hair and other things kids do because cars are like giant sweatbox saunas for emotions, boredom, and personal space issues.
But I don’t remember any of that. Instead, I remember the laughter, the merriment, and all the pointing -
“Look, there’s a Rudolph!”
“I see Baby Jesus!”
“We should do We Three Kings next. There’s a wise guy over there.”
All it took to create a new carol request, was a lawn ornament siting, a giant blow up, or the awe brought on by dancing twinkling Christmas lights only children experience, or we all experience when we let ourselves think like a child for two seconds.
In our family, there were difficult Christmases, lonely Christmases, and wonderful Christmases, but the carols stayed constant, a reminder that God’s Joy in Jesus was not dependent on life’s happenings, but only on the One who gives the Greatest Gift.
Those Christmas carols, the hunting and finding of various Christmas treasures across lawns, town squares, and church yards, spoke grace to me.
It reminded me He was present, not just in the manger long ago, but in my here and now. These things are very, very small, Christmas lights, carols, and fogged up car windows, but in a child’s world, and in my adult world, they serve as a reminder that He was there, when the world flickers from dark to light and back again, always changing, mostly confusing that young girl still inside me.
When I became a youth leader, I wanted each of my youth to experience this grace in an evening of silliness, connecting in a too hot minivan, laughing, and poking at one another to see the Joy and see the richness God offers us in his gifts and one another at Christmastime.
And so the Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt was born.
I invite you to bring some joy and grace into your family, your youth group, your church, your vehicle, your friendships this holiday season. Bundle up, prepare to poke and giggle and be silly. Jump in the car and out of the car. Finish well with some cocoa and cookies or cheese and grapes. Stop by and cookie bomb someone, or leave an ornament and note on someone’s doorknob. Connect, gather, and make some general merriment.
Download our Scavenger hunt image to your phone, or click on the button to get to our free printable version.
May our Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt bring some extra grace, some extra relationship into your holiday season, as you welcome the Baby Boy who heals and restores our days, our relationships, our families, and our Forevermores.
Share with us in the comments your own experience with our Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt or any fun holiday memory which brought some grace and relationship into your life.