It was the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring—except for a faint rustling near the festively decorated tree. Little Sammy had sneaked downstairs to catch a glimpse of Santa Claus. But what he found was a scene straight out of a mini-mystery: the family’s cherished glass candy cane ornament had been broken, its pieces scattered across the velvet tree skirt like sparkling snowflakes.
Who could have committed such an act on this most magical of nights? As Sammy gazed at the candy shards, he vowed to solve the Christmas Mini-Mystery of the broken candy cane.
The usual suspects in any household caper included his older sister Lily, who had an affinity for holiday sweets; Baxter, the bumbling family dog known for his clumsy tail; and Doris, their curious cat with a notorious penchant for climbing places she shouldn’t. Each had their motive and opportunity, but who among them was our candy cane culprit?
Sammy decided to inspect closer, pulling out a magnifying glass from his mini-detective kit—a present from last Christmas. The first clue was a trail of sticky residue leading away from the tree. Sammy followed it carefully—it led straight to Baxter’s bed! But upon witnessing Baxter’s deep slumber and gentle snoring, Sammy found no evidence on his paws or fur. It seemed Baxter was innocent this time.
Next, he turned his attention to Doris. She was perched high atop the bookshelf with her eyes fixated on something outside. A few strands of tinsel were stuck on her claws—a suspicious sign indeed! But then Sammy noticed how pristine her area was; no glass or candy remnants in sight. Doris had a solid alibi, perched well away from the crime scene.
Lastly, Sammy considered his sister Lily. She secretly loved decorating (and occasionally sampling) edible ornaments. As he looked around for Lily, he stumbled upon her diary left absentmindedly open on the couch. His eyes fell upon an entry dated only a day before: “I must confess my sweet tooth’s urge is strong this year—I fear I may not resist temptation!” Was this written proof of Lily’s guilt?
Confronting Lily in her room conjured up an unexpected twist: she produced a receipt from earlier that day showing she’d been buying last-minute gifts when the crime occurred. Just as Sammy’s hopes of solving the mystery began to dim, Lily presented one final piece of evidence—a video call timestamped at the exact time of the incident showing her chatting with friends online.
With all three prime suspects effectively cleared and no further clues forthcoming, Sammy retired to bed perplexed but undeterred. It wasn’t until Christmas morning when presents were being opened that truth gleefully revealed itself.
Nested among gifts was an unassuming package containing a note from Santa himself: “Sorry about your candy cane—slipped right out of my mittens when checking my list twice!” The true innocent culprit unveiled!
As laughter filled the room and hearts swelled with joyous relief, Sammy added another notch to his belt as an amateur detective who unwrapped not just presents but also a sweet Christmas surprise mystery courtesy of St. Nick!