Advent Search header

A search for meaning, purpose, and joy. The annual quest for Christmas.

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Note - The instructions below go into greater detail than the above video as to the functionality and fun features of this website. Also, at the end of the video are instructions on using a QR code reader. Our website now has its own embedded QR code reader, so those instructions are not necessary.

Servant Script Instructions

Your role in the Advent Search activity is to set-up the Advent Calendar and Treasure Hunt in a way that matches your level of play and learning as an individual, classroom, family and/or with friends for a Christmas gathering during the holiday season.

If you are the first registered person to Advent Search, you are automatically assigned the role of Servant. The Advent Search site is completely open to you, so that you can become familiar with how it is played and its content. If you haven’t already done so, go to the main menu and click on “How it Works” first to become familiar with what this website is all about, then return here and check-out the instructional video.

1st Step - Set-up

A) Once you have determined the number of people involved in the activity, you can begin by starting at the Home page and hovering on the drop-down menu under the main menu item, “Servant” and then select “Set-up”. You will see your unique "Game Number" displayed along with the "Game Year".

B) The Set-up page is where you can allow the Search, or Treasure Hunt to remain in the default state, by leaving the "Game Options" unchecked.  Meaning, any of your players (Searchers) can visit any of the Calendar days' windows and Treasure Pages at anytime during the holiday season, or during the year. Three ways are available to Searchers for opening the Calendar windows and subsequent  Treasure Pages & Riddles behind those windows in this mode of play - 1) click on the Calendar window; 2) enter the correct answer to the current day's riddle just below the riddle to advance in the Calendar; 3) or find and scan the Clue Card associated with the object or subject described in the riddle to advance in the Calendar.

C) Leave the options unchecked for a holiday party or Secret Santa gift-giving challenge, whereby you, the Servant control the calendar and game play. In this mode of play, the Servant can assign party participants a particular riddle to solve in any order.

D) “By Day” means that, other than Day 1, the Searchers can access the days’ Treasure Pages only in the month of December.

E) “In Order” means that the Searchers can access the days’ Treasure Pages at anytime, but they must discover the answer to each day’s riddle in sequential order.

F) When both are checked, “By Day" &  "In Order”, it means that the Searchers can access the days’ Treasure Pages & Riddles only in order, and only during December. But each Searcher possessing their own device, must discover the Clue Card and scan it, or input the answer to the particular day's window, for which they are locked-out until they give the correct answer for the riddle from the previous day. And they can only advance through the calendar as each day is reached in December. This mode of play is similar to how a traditional Advent calendar is enjoyed, but with added security features, so that no one peeks ahead.

Don't forget to save your changes!

G) If at any point you want to change the Game Options - say for instance for a party; but eventually you want to resort back to your original game of "In Order" & "By Day": do this before you make any change - Go back to the main menu, choose Servant, and hover over Set-up. To the right of Set-up you will see 3 more expanded options. Select Searcher Details. Another window will appear. Click on the down arrow in the field labeled "Select Searcher:" and pick any one of the original players. Another window will appear for locating all original players' details. One-by-one, keep track of the windows opened (Clue Cards found, or the correct answers to the Riddles) for each player. Later you can go back to the same page after the party and change the data for any of the players, and even delete some players. Again, don't forget to save your changes!


2nd Step - Add Players (Searchers)

Now select Servant  in the main menu and a drop-down menu will appear. Hover over Set-up and to the right you will see 3 more expanded options. Select "Add Searcher". There you will find a page titled, “ADD A NEW SEARCHER” that opens to fields allowing you to invite your participants, or Searchers to join your Search. Enter the name and email of the first Searcher.  Hit the “Add” button at the bottom of the page. This action registers the Searcher and locks-out the Searcher via his/her email address from registering as the role of Servant to discover the answer to the riddles. Repeat this process for your other Searchers.

3rd Step - Invite Searchers

Now select Servant in the main menu and a drop-down menu will appear. Hover over Set-up, and to the right you will see 3 more expanded options. Select "Invite Searcher". There you will find a page titled, “Advent Search Invitation from your email address”.   Just below the title you will see a field with a down arrow. Since you have added the Searchers in your previous step, click on the down arrow to select each Searcher one-by-one. As you select each Searcher an email invitation form will appear.  In the white space you can write a personal note to your Searcher. Included at the top of the note will be their name, and and at the bottom their name, password, and a link to get to the login page for adventsearch,net .  Click on "Send" and continue to invite additional Searchers.

4th Step - Answers and Hints

Now select Servant in the main menu and a drop-down menu will appear. Hover over Set-up, and to the right you will see 3 more expanded options. Select "Answers  & Hints".  A page will open titled "Answers & Hints".The first field titled "Calendar Day" is optioned to select the day of December, starting with Day 2, since Day 1 is already revealed to Searchers. Your task is to assign alternate answers and hints to match the corresponding riddles for each day until Christmas. The second field is where you enter alternate answers for the riddles provided. Note that most Days' answers should already have the most commonly understood words to the correct object or subject in the program's database. However, personal family answers or language can be added in the database and the corresponding Hints as well. For instance, your home may not have a globe of the world, which is the first answer provided by the website to correspond to the riddle on Day 1 - World; but instead your home has an atlas. So you would enter “Atlas” in this field, if it was not already listed as an answer on the page, which by-the-way it already is.

The second field on the page is “Hints”. Enter hints as to the color, style, type, room, or proximity of the object in question without giving away what the object is. The reason is, that many of the riddles describe similar objects in a home. December 5th’s riddle is not an object, but instead a subject or person, and requires the appropriate family member,  person, or pet, and any corresponding hints.

5th Step - Print Clue Cards

If you don't have Clue Cards already, go to the  main menu, click on “Clue Cards” and print them. The last 5 cards are not part of the Treasure Hunt, but instead are intended to give away to friends, so that they too can start their own Search. If you intend to play the physical Treasure Hunt in you home or with a community, you may want to print-out the Clue Cards in color and on card stock. Otherwise, plain paper in grayscale or black and white printing will work just fine. Follow the video for more complete instructions on how to do this. Then hide the cards by the objects and subject you have chosen.

You are ready for your Search and journey into the mystery and wonder of God and His creation. Your Searchers can now find the Clue Cards in your home or play remotely via the answer field below each riddle.

6th Step (optional)

If you like this activity and would like to share it with others, go to the Home main menu and click on the “Invite Servant”. There on the “Invite Servant” page, treat this page as a greeting to a friend and potential Servant to start their own Advent Search and Treasure Hunt. As with your Searchers, the Advent Search website will generate a beautiful picture of the calendar and a holiday greeting.


© 2022 Guy C. Monahan