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During the holiday season a few years ago, I had a bunch of free time (what was that like) and not a lot of money, so I decided to experiment with some narrative puzzle gifts. I crafted a puzzle box that I sent to 15 of my closest friends and family with Goodwill items I found and modded. The puzzle was a multi-step affair, involving messages hidden in candles and books, all of which would lead the participant to email a mysterious stranger and uncover a forbidden love story. I shipped them from a friend's address - but most of my loved ones figured out who sent them pretty quickly. I'm the only one in the social group likely to send a homemade puzzle box for Christmas.
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