Matthew Parker's Decoder #2014-12

This code’s no gift—or is it? Here’s the December message again:

Matthew's Decoder #2014-12

How It Works

Figuring out this code can be tricky... unless you know what to look for. Only read the letters on the tags with presents that are wrapped in solid colors (no patterns). That’s it!

Coolness!

The inspiration for “Secret Santa” is often attributed to Larry Stewart. Although he grew up poor and struggled early in his career, Larry promised God that if he ever had the money to help people, he would—and he kept his word.

As the story goes, in 1979 Larry noticed the carhop helping him at a drive-in restaurant in Independence, Missouri, was freezing cold. He gave her a $20 tip, which brought her to tears. In that moment, he realized he could change someone’s world with a small gift. He went to the bank, took out more money and started giving it away.

As he grew more successful in his career—eventually becoming a millionaire—Larry began surprising needy people in thrift stores, restaurants and parking lots around the country with $100 bills. People didn’t know who he was, but they called him “Secret Santa.” Larry handed out nearly $1.3 million over his lifetime. In 2006, his identity was finally discovered. By then, “Secret Santa” had become an American holiday tradition.

Look for a new code in the next issue of Clubhouse magazine.

Copyright © 2014 by Focus on the Family. Illustration © Gary Locke.