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Our “Framily” Holiday Tradition :: A Christmas Light {Scavenger Hunt}

The holiday season has so many fun traditions! When my husband and I made some incredibly solid friends here in the metroplex, we decided that we needed to create some of our own traditions to share together. In our closest circle, there are 8 adults and not ONE of us has family in town. We have come to rely on each other and have chosen to do life with one another in such a way that we have become one big DFW-transplant “framily”. It didn’t take long to find a groove during the hustle and bustle of the holidays to carve out time to enjoy traditions together as a big group.

My favorite “framily” tradition is our annual Christmas light scavenger hunt. We have done it several years in a row, and we have a blast every single time. This has become an easy and more enjoyable replacement for having the kids exchange gifts. We get to get out and enjoy all the great Christmas decorations in the neighborhood where we host the event. Here is a breakdown of how it works:


Create the Scavenger Hunt list. Do this “on the spot” to avoid any one person or couple from being accused of scouting anything out ahead of time. (Our group is super competitive, so we try to minimize cheating or perceived cheating as much as possible.) Everyone contributes ideas to the list. We go around and just call a bunch of stuff out, but we make sure everyone adds something. Make sure the list is long enough where you can fill an hour searching and you won’t be done super quickly. Some of our favorite ideas from the past include 3 Reindeer, Santa Claus on the roof, more than 10 inflatables in one yard, a house with one red light, a Menora (Happy Hanukkah to our Jewish friends!), etc. We have gotten more creative with each year. We try to think of things that are unique, but also likely to be found. We assign higher points for things that seem VERY hard to find. We usually give 1 point per item then 5 or 10 for a house that has lights synchronized to music.

Extra points for biggest Santa Claus found!

Split into teams. We used to do guys vs. girls and all piled into 2 SUVs. That won’t work for us this year since we have 8 adults and almost 8 car seats between our four families. We will draw for teams this year and split kiddos evenly, depending on where car seats are situated. (Guys vs girls is super fun if you can do it that way!)

Set the time. We have only ever done it for 1 hour. We all agree to the exact time and what clocks to go by, etc. (Again – we are SUPER competitive.) We deduct points for the minutes a team is late, etc. An hour may seem long, but it goes by SO fast, and you’ll be sad when it’s over!

Picture proof. This is VERY important. We require a picture for each item marked off the list. To make it extra fun, we require at least one team member to be in each picture as proof that it was found during the game time only. Even more fun? We also require each person in the picture to wear a fun Christmas or Santa hat for it to count. This is so fun for the kids, and they get really excited to be in the pictures!

Get back and total the points. The last step is just to come back and see who wins. I have to be honest… I have never won in all the years and different groups I have done this with, not one single win. But I still come back for more – kind of reminds me of college football every year… come on Red Raiders!


So fun, right?! Try it out. We have adapted for my immediate family too.  We all pile into one car and just shout when we find something on the list. Once you spot it first, you get that point, and the person with the most points wins. To get started on a good list, try checking Pinterest. We found a lot of our early ideas from there. Most of all? Have so much fun building bonds and creating new traditions this Christmas season!

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