PETOSKEY — A father and son duo has been spending the last few days hiding various gift cards around town as a sort of Christmas scavenger hunt.
Matt Jones — who has been doing this for his friends and family for a few years already — said his 16-year-old son Spencer didn't want anything for Christmas this year. Instead, he wanted to help others and so this idea was born.
"My dad asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I really have everything I wanted and need. I couldn't really think of anything, so we did this instead," said Spencer Jones. "Last year we adopted a family but it was too late to do that this year, so we thought this would be a fun thing to do to help others."
Matt and Spencer started hiding gifts cards this past weekend and hid them around town at places such as Petoskey's Next Door Store, Walmart, JW Filmore's and more, posting clues in the Emmet County Helping Hands Facebook group for those in it to find them all.
Gift cards ranged in price and to what they were for, but both Matt and Spencer wanted to give gift cards for necessities and things people need.
"We talked about it and decided to do this along the lines of what people need," said Matt Jones.
"People need food, different kinds of groceries and toiletries and gas and so we have been doing gift cards for these things and people can use regardless of age or financial status," he said.
Jones added that he has enjoyed doing this with his son and hopes that others are inspired to help.
"One year we polled our kids and they all couldn't remember what they got for Christmas the year before," said Matt Jones. "Why are we wasting our money on stuff they can't remember when we could be spending it on experiences instead? Whenever we ask them their favorite part of a trip or thing we did they always have an answer. Spencer may not think much of this right now but 10 years from now he will and it'll be an experience he won't forget."
Matt and Spencer are continuing to hide gift cards around and will continue to post their hints and clues in the Emmet County Helping Hands Facebook group.
The pair also wanted to hide a number of gift cards for those who read this News-Review article in print or online. The gift cards — a $50 Buffalo Wild Wings, $25 Bed Bath and Beyond and $25 for Harbor Freight — are currently hidden in a plastic ziplock bag under the light post at 811 Pleasant St. in Petoskey.
"It feels good to do this," said Spencer Jones.
"I've always been super shy so the attention it has gotten is a little weird but I'm so glad we are able to do something fun that helps others. It feels great," he said.
This article originally appeared on The Petoskey News-Review: Local family hiding gift cards around Petoskey for Christmas