You both know by now that I’m not a religious man, but I love Easter. Both for the imagery of spring and rebirth and because of the little traditions.
When I was young my mom, and often brother, would set up a hunt. I don’t remember it all, but there were riddles and maps. It was awesome. It was so much fun.
Yesterday was Easter and we had a simple hunt, a free-for-all type of hunt. It was fun. So much fun that Dragon asked me to do another. When I said I could hide the empty eggs, she was ready to do it right away. It was seriously adorable.
There’s a special sense of wonder and joy that I get watching you both being exited and happy. It makes everything slightly better.
As you get older I’m planning on making the hunts more elaborate. I have so many ideas.
By the time you’re reading this you’ll know the truth about Santa. At the very least, you’ll think you do.
The winter holidays, in my opinion, are not about Santa, presents, decorations, or sappy movies. To me, they are about being with family and actually spending time with them. Hopefully we’ll be doing that a little all year round, but in December we hopefully have more time.
When I grew up, it meant that my big brother was home and I didn’t have to go to school. I was bullied my entire grade school by students and one teacher, so it was nice to be with my Mom and brother and not need to worry about it. We played video games, watched movies, cooked, and baked. My Mom struggled with depression and the holidays were a time she always seemed to be happier. I hope she was.
The magic was family, a sort of warmth that the holidays had. The holidays never lost their magic for me when I learnt about Santa; they dimmed when my Mom died, but are still magical.
Santa Claus is a myth, a lot of myths mushed together. From all over the world and influenced by many cultures (and ad campaigns). Both Santa and Christmas are tapestries woven from hundreds of myths, traditions, holidays, and ideals. From Festival of Lights, to Saturnalia, to Yule, and of course Solstice.
The spirit of these festivals is to celebrate surviving the long winters (not as long as they used to be now). The magic of them in is in giving and helping those in our communities. From donating clothing or money to giving gifts or even just giving a genuine compliment; that’s how you make the magic happen. It’s not the date, the decorations, or anything like that.
This year, Dragon, you decided to make a gift for Santa, and that’s by far the sweetest thought. You are both loving and generous and I hope that grows in you no matter what happens. I hope when you discover that Santa isn’t a person, that you discover that he’s a parable. That he is the triumph of survival, the warmth of family, and spirit of giving.
I hope that we’ve managed to spark the joy and magic in you during the holidays.
Tom was a delight to meet. Most of the people in line were there for him because of The Flash, but not us. (You can find him on Twitter here.)
We were there because he plays Santa in our favourite Christmas movie: Snow.
So we asked him if there was a chance of a third movie (because there’s already a sequel). He said that if there’s a good enough script, he’d do it. Nice.
The sign on the back of our daughter’s shirt has our business name, our table number, and Eric’s cell number, just in case she got away from us. She never ran away. What a great little 2.5 year old! 😀 (P.S. I was pregnant with Adrien at the time of this picture. He’d arrive in a little over a month and a half from this day.)
The players are toys that wake up in an abandoned Santa’s workshop. It’s up to them to save Santa and the holiday season.
Starting – The shop
The Group starts in an old-fashioned woodworking workshop.
There’s paint, tools, wood, and lots of cobwebs.
There’s also a large design table with a fresh pad of paper.
There are two doors. One leads to the outside and the other leads to a small bachelor’s apartment.
Anything they draw on the piece of paper becomes real.
There’s also a large filing cabinet that has letters from
every child in the world along with a list.
There are tunnels that lead to all three buildings. Search of 8 to find them.
This is a spartan apartment with cot against the wall and a small kitchen. The kitchen has a large pantry cabinet, a counter, and a wood stove. There are some pots and pans in the cabinet. There’s one set of plates and utensils.
Search 4: They find a hidden panel in the wall with a diary.
The diary says: “We think we’ve figured it out. The clock is the key.” Followed
by either gibberish or code. (Mind 9 to figure out it’s instructions for
winding the clocktower.)
Outside the small building is a land of snow and ice bathed
in complete darkness. The only light being the dim reflections of the Aurora on
There are two other buildings. A large Clocktower, and a
Stable. There’s also a lake.
When the characters leave a building there’s a chance they are seen by a hungry polar bear. Unless they are actively sneaking, flip a coin to decide.
These stables are both well kept and well built. There are eight
pens with 7 reindeer. They are well fed, clean, and very friendly. There’s also
a large red sled that seems equally as well taken care of.
The empty pen shows signs of a struggle. Scratch marks and
The feral reindeer is hiding in a dark corner takes a flip
of 5 to see them.
If they don’t see them, the reindeer attacks as they leave.
The frozen lake has one lonely but devoted gardian. The
Kraken is there to protect the pole and stop the toys from escaping.
It is quite gentle with them but firm.
The clocktower radiates power. It has an ornate brass door with clocks and time imagery carved into it. The words, “You must stop to go” are carved in wood over the door.
The clock face seems to glow from the outside. It chimes
every 15 minutes.
Inside there’s just a staircase going up nearly 100 metres or
just over 300 feet.
At the top there is a room filled with gears but with a
small platform. The platform has a couch and two large levers.
One lever Stops the clock and one will make it go forward or
backward. (This actually stops time or moves it.)
The entire area was built by Saint Nick an ancient wizard. It’s self sustaining. Before he could use it, however, he was attacked by Anti-Clause and his last action was to cast a spell that would animate a group of toys to finish his mission.
The last time I talked about consent and kids, I focused on how to teach kids how to ask for consent. This time around, with the holidays here, I want to remind the adults that read this that the children in their lives are not obligated to give hugs or kisses to anyone.
For example, our daughter is terrified of men with white hair. This includes her great-grandfather, friends of the family, and, of course, Santa Claus.
Although her great-grandfather is getting older, we managed to get a picture of them by having her sit beside him on her father’s knee. It’s not the snuggly picture that we ideally wanted, but it’s a good compromise that lets her know that she has been understood, but still lets us get a picture of them together.
So remember, at holiday parties this year, that just because there is a child involved, does not mean that they are automatically obligated to give you a hug. It doesn’t matter if you’re a super close friend, parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, or stranger; if the child does not give you a clear indication of consent, don’t touch them!
Our daughter’s consent is uplifted arms, or pro-active climbing onto your lap, in case you come across her this season.