We appreciate most the things we obtained with the greatest effort, claimed Seneca the Younger. I put his wisdom into practice and increase the value of my gifts. After all, isn’t it more interesting to find, guess the identity or earn a present than simply to receive it?
Puzzle / rebus / riddle
Shortly after we moved house, my Husband celebrated his name day. I had no problems finding a perfect gift for Him, but… to be honest it was rather a gift for the house than for Him. The scale, which matched our new interiors perfectly, had some pretty impressive functions (it had sensors which measured the content of fat, water, muscles and bones in the body), but it didn’t seem to be a very masculine present. Therefore, I decided to add extra value to it.
In order to receive his gift, my Husband had to guess what it was. Since he is interested in tennis, I created a puzzle in which four initials of Grand Slam tournaments were to form the solution – name of the gift.
The idea was successful. My Husband quickly solved the puzzle and rejoiced over his ‘tennis’ gift, which he still considers primarily his.
Encrypting the name of the gift may take various forms: a rebus, an acronym or a simple crossword. Read more about personalised DIY crosswords, which may be given as a stand-alone present, in the post: ‘How to Make a Crossword for a Gift.’
Seek and you will find – a treasure hunt
Another time, on my Husband’s birthday, I came up with an idea to present him with tickets to a Philharmonic. I could do it the way He gives me theatre tickets or present him with a referral to a hearing test, but I decided he would appreciate them more if he put some effort in obtaining them.
Before he woke up, I had placed sticky notes in various parts of the flat with instructions that were to lead my Husband to the gift. The first one – left on the kitchen table, where it was visible – read:
Are you looking for a birthday gift? It may be hidden behind a painting.
Since we had several paintings hanging on the walls, my Husband had to look behind each of them to find a second note, which read:
Yes, your gift is BEHIND something, but it isn’t a painting. Look behind a vanity bag.
In the bathroom, he found a third note, saying:
No, it’s not behind the vanity bag 😉 Yet there is something in this cupboard that we store both in the bathroom and in the living room. You will find your gift behind this item.
The solution to this riddle was: medicine. The envelope containing two tickets to a Philharmonic was hidden behind the medicine stored in the living room.
Similar treasure hunts may be organised every time of the year at home, and in good weather also in the garden, a park or a forest. Searching for the gift may be as exciting as receiving the gift, and I assure you that preparing the puzzles and riddles is very pleasurable, too. If you liked this gift idea, read also: ‘Treasure Hunt for the 18th Birthday‘.
I spy with my little eye / Hot-cold
You may also give clues orally. At our home, we often play ’10 questions’ (which may only be answered with ‘yes’ and ‘no’, e.g. ‘Does my gift contain electronic parts?’ ‘Is it hidden in the living room?’). Sometimes we also play Hot-cold. One of us wanders around the flat, and the other one prompts with ‘colder’, when the person walks away from the hidden gift, or ‘warmer’ when the person comes closer to it.
Do you know any other games, charades or riddles that may be used to make a gift more attractive? Please, share them in the comments below!
– Caution! The effort I recommend in this post shouldn’t concern unpleasant tasks (e.g. ‘You won’t receive your gift until you wash that pile of dirty dishes!’) Earning a gift should be fun! Thus, don’t exaggerate with the difficulty of your tasks.
– If you decide to prepare a treasure hunt outdoors, try to involve more people to keep watch over subsequent stations, so that a passer-by doesn’t rip off a note with a clue, considering it litter, or tread on a sign laid on the ground.