Candy Sleigh Explosion Box
Christmas Shaker Card

2014 Countdown to Christmas Week 2 - Chocolates of the World

My apologies for not getting this up last night. We hunted the clues late because Emma had a hair appointment with Tina to get her hair rePixied. (What? It's a word.)

I was at the salon earlier this week getting my hair deGrayed, (What? It's a word.) and Tina and I were talking about Christmas decorations. I am woefully behind getting my tree and decorations up and have only managed to do most, but not all, of a new white/silver mantle decor. I also ordered three gorgeous poinsettias from Emma's band.

Tina is unable to have real poinsettias at home because she has cats. She also mentioned that she hadn't done much to decorate the salon for Christmas. Armed with those two pieces of information, I felt that the perfect Christmas gift for Tina would be either a fake poinsettia plant for home OR a piece of decor for the salon.

I chose to make a little hybrid of those two ideas - using fake silver poinsettias, frosted twigs of white glittered berries and silver balls to decorate a styrofoam tree.


I really haven't made very many trees over the years, so I was a little unsure if it would come together, but in the end I liked it how it turned out, although it did create a huge mess and I burned through about 5 hot glue sticks getting everything on there. 



Here's where Tina chose to put the tree in the salon. Looks great there!


Once we got home I quickly hid the clues and the loot, but the light was gone and the photos aren't great. (You'll just have to use your imagination while I bring the scene to life with my words) Heh.


KARL: "First word: 'It was the best of blank. Not down, but blank' With pantomimes!" Huh?

EMMA: I think it must have something to do with that game we were playing the other night.

KARL: It was the best of what? Friends?

ME: Dad is an acceptable reference.


JOHN: It's from A Tale of Two Cities "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times"

EMMA: OK, so that first blank is "times". Not down, but "up".

KARL: Time's up!


The game was sitting on the sofa table, along with Emma's library books, one of the pretty poinsettias, Karl's $5 Explosion Box gift (exchange is today) and some rolled up white paper that I was using as a backdrop for photographing some CHA samples.

Did I mention that the light was fading fast? No time for tidying.

They found the next clue inside the box. This one went so fast that I didn't even get a chance to photograph them reading it.

EMMA: (opening the clue) Oh there's a photo in here. "Are you observant? I couldn't say - " OH! It's that picture in the breakfast room.

She dropped the clue and went straight to the picture. 

ME: Hey! That was too fast. Find it again!

She reenacted, ever so naturally, finding the clue atop this little art piece of New Orleans that was given to me by my Barriere Construction coworkers when we moved from New Orleans to Colorado fourteen years ago. I've always loved this little framed piece of New Orleans, but I wasn't sure if the kids ever really noticed it.

Apparently at least Emma has.

JOHN: What just happened?


KARL: I'll tell you what happened. We hadn't even finished READING the clue and Emma ran right over here to this picture and found it.

JOHN: Well what was the second line of the clue?

KARL: "Are you observant about stuff you see each day?" or something like that.

ME: But rhyming, of course.

KARL: (shrug)




EMMA: "The candy's close, so be astute. You load this, but it doesn't shoot." Hmmm. That's interesting. What's something that you load but doesn't shoot?

KARL: (thinking) The washing machine? The dishwasher?

EMMA: (impressed) Wow! I bet you're right. You check the dishwasher and I'll check the washing machine.

Now it probably should have clued them both in which one was right, since I followed Karl into the kitchen.


The candy is under that colander, but he didn't see it. He closed up the dishwasher.

EMMA: (returning from laundry room) Wasn't in the washing machine. How about the dishwasher?

KARL: Nope.

Uh oh. This presented a problem. 

ME: Well a second set of eyes is always good. How about you switch and Karl checks the washing machine and Emma checks the dishwasher?

EMMA: (puzzled) Uh, OK.

Again, I feel that since I stayed put in the kitchen they should have known which place was right, but I don't think they did. Karl went off to the laundry room.


Emma was a much more thorough sleuth. She found the candy.

I had purchased various chocolates from around the world - chocolate twigs, sardines, umbrellas and Kinder Santas.


JOHN: Wait - THOSE were in the dishwasher? How did Karl miss that?

EMMA: I know, right?

KARL: (with dignity) They were hidden under a colander.

We are planning an all-out blitz of decorating on Saturday, so next week's hunt should have more festive backdrops. (Plus new potential hiding spots! Whoot!)

See you next week!