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a new years card

I love sending out holiday cards and each year we try to come up with something new and different. I have to give credit to my husband for the idea for 2009. "We should do some kind of decoder - like in The Christmas Story." I knew exactly what he was talking about, Ralphie holed up in his bathroom with his secret decoder trying to figure out the message from Little Orpan Annie.

For our card we came up with a series of four statements for each person in our family, for example "Was Bee Captain Hook for Halloween?". (As always, I have changed my children's names to protect their privacy, my 5 year old son goes by "C" and my 3 year old daughter goes by "Bee") Some of the statements are true, and a few are false.

Each statement has a green number at the bottom of the box. If the statement is true, you grab your decoder and set the arrow on that number, and then write down the letter that appears in Bee's circle. (If the statement is false you won't see a number, but a red dot to let you know you have that answer wrong.) After decoding all the statements, you end up with 13 letters. The letters are in no particular order, so you still have to figure out the word jumble to figure out the four word message.

Figuring out the exact placement of the dots and how to perfectly place each letter of the alphabet was a feat in itself. Thankfully I have a very patient husband who worked out all the logistics of how this card worked, and then I just had to make it look good.

I really like the idea of making a holiday card more interactive, and it's just made it more fun to hear back from our friends as they solve the puzzle and email us to share the answer. John really wanted it to be difficult, he wanted people to have to take a little time to work it out. (Although several of our friends have told us that we made this a little TOO hard..) The puzzle is a bit of news about our family and what is to come in 2010, and we are still waiting patiently for several of our friends to solve it.

I'll share the answer with you in a few weeks, I don't want to give it away just yet!

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Reader Comments (37)

"be sure to drink your ovaltine"


love it!

01.18.2010 | Unregistered CommenterJill

You have a 'Bee' and a 'C'...could this be a 'Dee?'

01.18.2010 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

super great! as always.

01.18.2010 | Unregistered Commentermer

wow, this is incredible. blown away by your creativity once again!

01.19.2010 | Unregistered Commenterliz stanley

Brooke, This is one of the most brilliant ideas I have come across the blog world. Can't wait to find out in a few weeks if my guess is true.

01.19.2010 | Unregistered CommenterEngracia

Love this. So creative. Also jealous your husband gets into the mix - mine could care less about our cards!

01.19.2010 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl

Wow, brilliance again. How long did it take you to create the decoder???? Hours upon hours?

01.19.2010 | Unregistered CommenterPatricia

i wish i hadn't been interrupted while doing the decoder - that way i could have been one of the first to get the message!!


01.19.2010 | Unregistered Commenterjen

Wow! This is truly amazing. What a wonderful card - I would love to receive something made so beautifully. What an inspiration you are!

thanks for the inspiration! please share any tips you have for creating the decoder!

01.19.2010 | Unregistered CommenterNicole


as always, your creativity shines.

01.19.2010 | Unregistered Commenterjane

WOW - well done! That takes so much care, creativity and thought - I would be so happy to get this kind of holiday card in the mail!

01.19.2010 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

Best Christmas card I've received to date. Not sure how you're going to top that one next year!

01.19.2010 | Unregistered CommenterCarrie

You've got to be kidding me. These are amazing. And I'm sure everybody will remember them.

01.19.2010 | Unregistered CommenterMelanie

that is friggin awesome!

01.19.2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

Absolutely incredible! My word...

01.19.2010 | Unregistered CommenterDestiny D


01.19.2010 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle Aller

Fabulous as always. I wouldn't mind naming my little girl 'Bee' (if I am lucky to have one) that's the sweetest name ever.

01.19.2010 | Unregistered CommenterMiss B

Love it Brooke, decode this:
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ ! _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ !


01.19.2010 | Unregistered Commenteramy p

This is so awesome thanx for sharing!

01.19.2010 | Unregistered CommenterABby

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