GAD’s 2023 Christmas Puzzle Boxes

Every year all the nieces and nephews get a set amount of cash from the aunts and uncles. I find that to be terrifically boring, so this year I’ve kicked it up a notch. Or three.
This is simply a pictorial of how the boxes went together and what was involved, mostly so I have somewhere to point to when I describe it to people.

The original box design was purchased from here.

First there is a box with some cash. The box is designed so it will also hold gift cards or other small items:

The box gets sealed up like so:

That box gets flipped over and put into this box:

And then tightened down. Note that there are blue bolts on all four sides:

Then a sleeve is added:

And a cap over that:

The cap gets screwed on thus securing the sleeve:

Next a bottom cover is added:

And a top cover:

Both are finally screwed into the sleeve. This is the final box all assembled:

But wait – there’s more!
Each color of screw is a different head and thus requires a different tool. These tools are in separate boxes, and You need the previous level’s tool to open that box.
In the above picture the leftmost box has red flat-blade tools inside. The middle box has blue 6mm Allen wrench tools inside, and the rightmost box has green 5.5mm Allen wrench tools inside.
The only tool that I gave out at the start was the yellow cross-head which allowed the first magenta box to be opened. There are four male cousins and I was interested to see if they would fight get the tools (they did). The nieces got the magenta boxes.

There were four nieces present, but five boxes:

The youngest nephew got handed the first magenta box with the yellow tool. He then opened that to reveal four flat-bladed red tools which he hoarded. LOL. With the red tools out, that meant that the magenta boxes with the red bolts in the corners could be opened. Those boxes contained blue tools.

With the blue tools available the second level of the original boxes could be opened and the next level of the magenta boxes could be opened. This, the last magenta box level, contained the green tools for the final layer of the boxes.

The nieces don’t have to do a puzzle to get their cash (they all got a card). However to make it all more interesting one of the magenta boxes had cash in it in addition to the rattling plastic tools. Consider it a lottery.

The only one happy with this arrangement was the one who found the cash. Shocking.There were four rules presented. They were:

  • Do not use any metal tools on the box
  • Do not destroy the box
  • Interfering with someone else’s box or process is immediate disqualification for the prize
  • 1 box = 1 person (no helpers)

The rules were mostly followed until the new fiance of the second eldest niece decided to work together with the youngest cousin (15) and together they were the first to open. This was a result of the youngest cousin having a stuck bolt which caused him to lose his lead and the new fiance decided to step in and make an impression. When I pointed out that they violated the rules there was an uproar from the crowd and the new-guy/youngest cousin alliance took the prize.

I later learned that not only did the fiance give his share to the youngest cousin, but he also gave his original cash gift to him so the youngest cousin scored 3X what everyone else got.

The older brother of the youngest cousin was not amused.

Each black and gold box contained 134 bolts for a total of 536 bolts.
Each magenta box contained 18 bolts for a total of 90 bolts.
All in all there were 626 bolts and 35 tools printed, not counting the extras I printed in case some got lost. Each black and gold box took approximately three days to print. I spent three weeks printing, designing, redesigning, and reprinting. Why?
Because every family needs a crazy uncle.
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