December 17, 2022

Christmas Clues

I wasn't sure what to write today, so I was going to do an "On This Day" post... and when I looked at the photos from December 17, I found these pictures of the clues that I made for the kids' Christmas gifts in 2017.

Jerry and I decided to plan a trip to the east coast (flying into Boston, but driving to a few other destinations) and we wanted to surprise the kids with it on Christmas. It's funny what sparked the trip idea... we used to love watching the Food Network show called Unwrapped. There was an episode about ice cream one time, and it featured the Vermonster sundae at Ben & Jerry's in Vermont. The sundae was enormous--20 scoops of ice cream, 4 bananas, 3 cookies, 1 brownie, hot fudge, caramel, walnuts, M&M's, sprinkles, cotton candy pieces, and any other toppings you like. Oh, and whipped cream, of course.

As a family of ice cream lovers, we thought it sounded awesome and I promised that someday we'd go to Vermont and get a Vermonster. So, that prompted the idea for this April 2018 trip. Rather than just tell the kids what we were doing, I made a fun little clue set for them. Here are the clues (and I'll explain what they were for). If they are hard to read in the photos, I'll write out the clues underneath.

"You may think your first gift is lame,
But let me give you a tip:
You will be glad you have this come March
When we leave for an adventurous trip!"

Inside of the gift bag was a suitcase:

"Inside this luggage,
You'll find the things you'll need
To travel in an airplane
And explore a city you've never seen."

Here are the things that were inside the suitcase:

Of course the Toblerone was a reference to Joey on Friends! Haha.

"We'll leave in the morning
For a TON of fun sights.
You don't need to be a BOSS
To sit through the two-hour flight."

--This is referencing that we are flying into Boston.

"When you get dressed for this park, make sure you wear your sox--
Any color you like--blue, green, purple, black, or tan;
But if you choose red,
It'll show that you're a TRUE Boston fan!"
--This was hinting that we were going on a tour of Fenway Park.

"Here you may hear a spell cast,
or make friends with a black cat;
Can you tell me in what city
You could find this witch's hat?"

--This was a clue that we were going to Salem, Massachusetts 

"Our next adventure
Will take place as we set sail
And keep our eyes peeled
For a large spout or tail!"

--A clue that we were going on a whale-watching cruise.

"The next place on our list
May make you want to dive right in;
But you'd better think twice
Because you don't have any fins!"

--This was a clue that we were going to the Boston aquarium.

"This place we're going next,
You may think is just for nerds;
But when you're done learning and playing,
You'll be at a loss for words!"

--A reference to a hands-on science museum.

This one looks plain, but before I gave it to them, I gave them a Lego set with it:

"You have thousands of these bricks
That you piece together with a creative mind;
Where we're going next,
You can build a one-of-a-kind!"

--This was a clue that we were going to LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Boston. 

The best one of all! Haha...

"When you go to bed at night,
You may imagine a monster at your feet;
But no need to worry,
THIS monster is SWEET!"

--A clue that we were going to get a Vermonster sundae! 

"You may envision the west coast
When you hear this city's name'
But we're not going to the one in Oregon--
We're going to the one in Maine!"

--A clue that we were going to Portland, Maine.

As a vegan for nearly a year now, this next clue kills me, but this is it:

"Our next adventure takes place on a ferry,
Where we'll check traps and look inside with awe
At the critter we'll call dinner
When we eat his two big claws!"

I think that's it as far as the clues. It was so fun to make! And the trip was a blast--some of my favorite family memories. My kids thought it was SO cool that their mom took them all the way to Vermont to get a Vermonster, so I earned some serious brownie points ;)

If you're interested, you can read about our trip on my blog here.


  1. You and Jerry are the best parents ever!! This is so cool.

  2. As a native NY'er who grew up in upstate NY basically right across Lake Champlain from Burlington, I remember my main thought when I read that blog post being how much driving that trip entailed. 😂


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