OK, that is the dorkiest title in the world and I can't believe that just came out of my keyboard but nonetheless, I simply don't know what else to call this thing. Some years ago, I must have seen this idea somewhere but I no longer recall where so my apologies to some creative genius out there amongst us who came up with this. I certainly know I was not imaginative enough to come up with this on my own. Long story short, when we were kids on Valentines Day, my mom used to always doorbell ditch a special Valentines treat on the front door step for us kids to find when we ran to answer the door. Well, I live in Idaho and I don't like doorbell ditching in the winter time because it means you have to huddle somewhere in the cold dark night freezing your bejeebus off while you wait for someone to answer the door. That plus the fact that my kids don't seem to find any thrill in answering the door when it rings, so they don't, and you can end up waiting outside in the freezing cold for a long spell, sometimes nigh unto hypothermia sets in. So when I saw this cute idea I decided to try this instead. I get each of my kids and hubby some small gift (emphasis on small) and then hide it somewhere just out of sight in my living room. Then for each person involved, I buy a different bag of Valentines candy. Starting from the entryway of my living room, I leave a homemade Valentines card for the person at the "trailhead" and then place the candy (I prefer individually wrapped candy since they will be laying all over my living room floor) at certain increments across the room to leave a trail to where their gift is hidden.
Sometimes I get fancy and weave the trail around furniture and over the couches to try to throw them off the scent of where the gift is hidden.
By the time you have made seven trails across your living room, it can start to look really chaotic. This makes it important to choose the candy wisely so that they are easily differentiated from each other so that each person will be able to follow their own trail. Depending on what day of the week Valentines falls on, I sometimes will do this the night before so that they wake up to this first thing on Valentines day, or if they have school that day then I have it ready for them when they get home or right before dinner or whatever.
To start, each person gets an empty bag and then follows their trail by picking up each candy that is theirs and collecting it in their bag.
The kids love following their trail and finding their special gift and the bonus is that they also have a whole bag of candy that they can then trade off with their siblings if they want a variety. This has been a fun Valentines "tradition" for our family... not to mention being much warmer for those exposed body parts.
What traditions do you use to surprise your loved ones on Valentines Day?