It’s been a wonderful hunt, but it’s time to go.

Dear friends, gift-hunters, blog-followers and Elf-lovers,

It’s been an amazing year. We started with an old account of Mel’s, hoping that someone would see it and have a go at hunting for the gift. Things ran along slowly for the first little while, then we had the radio interview, the newspaper article, the Awesome contribution and a lot of retweeting from a lot of wonderful people. We even had a mention on Joy FM’s Lost Dogs Home show.

But after 52 weeks, 60 gifts, a bundle of amazing Guest Elves and a pile of wonderful Gift Hunters, we’re hanging up our Elvish boots, and leaving the stage.

It’s been a lot of fun. We never thought we’d go this long. We worried we’d fall into a river, into a garden or over a fence line. We also thought we’d get found out.

When we started, Mel was an office worker and Dot was looking for work. They were both feeling rather miserable about the way some people were treating each other, and the gloomy Melbourne weather wasn’t helping either. They needed to do something to cheer themselves up, and they hoped they’d cheer up a few other people as well.

Now, Mel’s been moved to field work and is away from Melbourne much of the time. While she gets home on the weekends, she has a lot of muddy overalls to wash, a cat to feed and she needs her sleep. Dot is working for the same company, and is the Assistant to a senior manager, who needs her at odd hours. They’ve managed to keep things going the last few weeks, but it’s just a bit too difficult.

So it is with incredibly heavy hearts that we say goodbye.

Thank you to all of you. The people who followed us. The people who retweeted us, told their friends, and spread the word. The Guest Elves who found new and wonderful hiding places. The radio and newspaper people who talked about us.

Most of all, thank you to all the people who followed the clues, asked the questions, and headed out on wet or cold or steamy or windy or spider-laden (or combinations of these) hunts to find the gifts. Without you, we never would have gone on.

If anyone else would like to take this over, please contact us on our email address of hiddengiftmel@gmail.com. We’d be delighted to hand over the email and twitter accounts, and explain how we did it. We’d guide you and hold your hand, and cheer you on as only the Elves can.

Keep spreading the joy. Keep the joy alive by helping each other and by acts of love, and please keep safe.

Your very special friends,

Mel, Dot and the team.

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