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2013 Countdown to Christmas - Day 2!

2013 Countdown to Christmas - Day 1!

It's here! December has arrived and the kids are perfectly healthy, a year older and wiser, and ready to tackle this year's clues.

The clues are a Christmas tradition I started when the kids were old enough to read and decipher my rhymes. I *think* we're in the 7th year, if memory serves correctly. You can read last year's dismal hunt (we fought a lot of sickness last year and never finished the hunt. Karl got the full blown flu - emergency room etc.) here: Countdown to Christmas 2012. The previous year I didn't think to add "Countdown" as a category on my blog, and I'm frankly too lazy (at least right now) to go back through all 25 posts to add the tags, so if you want to read that hunt, you'll just have to start at Day #1 and scroll through: Countdown to Christmas 2011 Day 1.


How does the Countdown work?

Each day I put a small envelope, sealed with a wax seal, into the little Countdown house. The kids work as a team to solve the clue and find the money, which is $2 a day, per kid. They must donate at least half their Countdown money to charity and I will match that amount on Christmas Day, so they have the potential to earn as much as $100 for their charity if they donate it all. Emma has donated all of her money to charity the last two years and Karl has donated slightly more than half. We'll see how the spirit strikes him this year!

Today's clue:


Karl read the clue out load and Emma immediately sprung into action. 

EMMA: Karl, it has something to do with coffee.

Off to the kitchen they went. 


 KARL: They always "holler" when they're out of sugar. Let's look in the sugar bowl.

It wasn't there. They also checked throughout the coffeemaker. Karl was basically dismantling it.

EMMA: She wouldn't put it IN the coffeemaker, Karl!

JOHN & KARL: Yeah, she probably would!

(They know me well!)

Karl also checked the fridge.

KARL: A ha! The milk is gone!

JOHN (mid pour): Oh, sorry - I was making myself a bowl of cereal.

Finally they decided to properly read the clue.

KARL: What's another word for "dollars"?

EMMA: "Bucks", "Bills", "Ones", "Money"?

ME: And what "twinkles"?

EMMA: Sugar.

JOHN: Actually . . .

KARL: Don't help us, Dad!

For some reason Emma persisted a while in thinking that sugar twinkles. You know, like the song . . . Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Sugar!

Finally Karl figured out that the first two lines referred to Starbucks and they spent a couple of seconds being impressed. Not sure if they were more impressed with me for the clue or with themselves for solving it.

They decided to check all the pods in the carousel. Karl was putting them on the counter and Emma was shaking them.

KARL: No, Emma, put them face down - she probably taped the money underneath.

EMMA: Hey - this one has a hole in it.

KARL: Let me see that!



They figured out that one of the pods had been used, washed out and stuffed with money. (Can you tell which one in the picture below?)



The "Starbucks" was meant to bring them to the carousel, but the actual stuffed pod was one of John's Half-Caf's. There is a healthy competition for this variety at our local Kroger. They are often out of stock and whenever we see them in stock we buy up four or five boxes. 



All in all a great start to the clues. Tune in tomorrow for Clue #2!

Happy December!