Christmas Treasure Hunt

Cookies and clues

Cookies and clues

Rudolph loved his carrot. Thank you for my treat!
Maybe you should take a rest and have something to eat.
Sit down and grab some milk, a cereal bowl and spoon.
I bet a ‘honey bunch’ that you will find the next clue soon!

I have a lot of writing to do this holiday season besides greeting cards and some PiBoIdMo  loose ends. Although I enjoy reading newsy family letters about vacations, promotions, and athletic accomplishments, I just can’t write one.  I am crafting Santa’s annual Christmas Treasure Hunt. Several years ago my daughter asked Santa for one thing, a Barbie doll. It seemed too simple for Santa to plunk the doll into her stocking and zoom up the chimney.  Instead, Santa left an envelope with a clue:  Scrub A  Dub Dub. Go look inside the ____!   Taped to the tub faucet was the next envelope: Santa can be sneaky. He’s slyer than a fox. Today’s a mailman holiday, but you can check the _____!  After 4 or 5 more clues, Barbie in her teeny bikini was finally found hiding inside the laundry hamper.

The treasure hunt was a smashing success. We captured some hilarious video as she zoomed around the house in her footie pajamas, clutching a fistful of clues. My daughter’s letter to Santa the next year specifically requested that he set up another treasure hunt. Thus a holiday tradition was born.

Santa asked me to help write the clues this year, as he’s used most of the easy-rhyming hiding places before. So I am adding a literary element by tucking hints inside the books that my daughter has read this year:

Miss Kate wrote this sober book about a little bunny.
Splash! He went overboard. What happened wasn’t funny.
His heart grew softer even though he suffered through great pain.
Do you remember reading about the tale of Ed ____________? 

If you have kids expecting Santa, you have 10 more days to help the jolly elf dream up a treasure hunt in your own home. Now that I have sent my suggestions off to the North Pole, I am going to concentrate on polishing my entries for Susanna Hill’s Christmas challenge  and Kathy Temean’s Free Fall Friday first page prompt.

Come along and join the fun!  I’ll be posting my entries here on Bildebok when they are in final form.

P.S. Yes, Virginia (or any agent reading this post) I do have a 500 word, rhyming picture book manuscript about a Christmas Treasure Hunt if you are interested!


About Cathy Ballou Mealey

Children's book author, repped by Liza Fleissig of the Liza Royce Agency. Wife, mother, daughter, sister, alumna, autism advocate, book reviewer. Reach me via email at or Twitter @catballoumealey
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3 Responses to Christmas Treasure Hunt

  1. Your daughter will remember this and carry on the tradition. So much fun. I did a couple of pre-Christmas Treasure Hunts. Love your energy and post. You’re on a roll. Wonder who’s having more fun? 🙂

  2. Cathy what a wonderful idea and you are a delightful rhymer.

  3. kathytemean says:


    Thanks for pointing your readers to this months picture prompt. It’s exciting to have editor, Heather Alexander critiquing the prompts.

    Happy Holidays! Kathy

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