Season’s Greetings!

Growing up, we always had advent calendars in my home. Each day before Christmas we’d open up a little box to discover a treat, or a chocolate, or a little picture. It was a fine tradition when I was a kid, but when I got older it lost a bit of its appeal. These days I don’t get that excited by checking the date every day.

For this year, though, I thought I might do something a bit different leading up to the 25th. This December I made a daily post on Twitter with a little puzzle for my friends to solve with the hashtag #XmasIn5Cards. Odds are good you didn’t see my tweets unless you’re one of the four people who follow me, but don’t worry! In the spirit of giving I’ve collected all 25 of my puzzles for you here so that you can read them all.

But what is an #XmasIn5Cards puzzle, you ask?

The basic idea is this: I took a Christmas, movie, song or story and re-told it using the names of exactly five Magic: the Gathering cards.

For example, the song Jingle Bells might look like this:

Valley Dasher
Arcum’s Sleigh
Snow-Covered Plains
Hideous Laughter
Crystal Chimes



…Get it? Valley Dasher…Dashing through the snow….” Hideous Laughter…Laughing all the way….”

Well, they aren’t all that straightforward, but hopefully you get the idea. And if you’re still lost I have a list of the solutions at the end of the article. Make sure to check them after you’ve read all of the puzzles, though. You wouldn’t want any spoilers, after all!

If you have the chance, I’d recommend sharing these puzzles with your family and friends, too. They might not be familiar with Magic: the Gathering, but they might know their holiday stories better than you; together you’ll probably have a better chance of figuring them out.

Alright, are you ready? How well do you know your holiday songs, movies and stories? Good luck!




Icatian Moneychanger
Master of Cruelties
Midnight Haunting
Glimpse the Future
Change of Heart




Glimmerpoint Stag
Tormented Pariah
Lose Hope
Aerial Guide




Rowdy Crew
Blatant Thievery
Snow-Covered Mountain
Distant Melody
Lay Bare the Heart




All Hallow’s Eve
Journey of Discovery
Cateran Kidnappers
Nightmare Incursion




Grandmother Sengir
Stampeding Elk Herd
Auriok Siege Sled
Fatal Push




Identity Crisis
Fervent Denial
Trial of Zeal
Crosstown Courier
True Believer



Pack Rat
Dream Halls
Bump in the Night
Hoofprints of the Stag




Eternal Witness
Mother of Runes
Kindly Stranger
Nature’s Kiss
Fated Infatuation




Drakestown Forgotten
Homicidal Seclusion
Jhessian Thief
Booby Trap
Survive the Night




Holy Day
Calming Verse
Bright Reprisal
Rest in Peace




Crystal Golem
Charcoal Diamond
Helm of Awakening
Mystic Melting




Make a Wish
Wurm’s Tooth
Tooth of Chis-Goria




Temple Bell
Kormus Bell
Junkyo Bell
Ghoulcaller’s Bell
Singing Bell Strike




Commencement of Festivities
Lifecrafter’s Gift
Soldier Replica
Relentless Rats
Dance of Many




Depths of Desire
Ardent Plea
Elaborate Firecannon
Overwhelming Denial
Eye Gouge




Limited Resources
Avarice Totem
Shared Discovery
Epic Confrontation
Take Possession




Open Fire
Frost Walker
Chilling Grasp



Tendrils of Despair
Self-Inflicted Wound
Guardian Angel
Curse of Oblivion
Overflowing Insight



Tragic Slip
Assault Suit
Contract from Below
Become Immense
Supplant Form



Three Dreams
Quest for Ancient Secrets
Beacon of Destiny
Profound Journey
Angelic Gift



Burden of Greed
Lone Missionary
Seedling Charm
Faith’s Reward



Victory’s Herald
Glorious Anthem
Cradle of Vitality
Plumes of Peace
Proclamation of Rebirth



One With Nothing
Increasing Devotion
Selfless Spirit
Acceptable Losses
Unexpectedly Absent



Not of This World
Forced Adaptation
Mechanized Production
Clever Impersonator



Drove of Elves
Descent into Madness
Gruesome Slaughter
Raise the Alarm



So, how did you and your family fare? Were you able to get all 25?

I would like to thank my parents for their help in coming up with these; they were my first ‘testers’ as I tried out the card combinations. After some brainstorming and editing they were able to get most of them without too much trouble. Regardless of how well you did, I hope you at least enjoyed the challenge.

If you feel inclined, let me know what you thought of these puzzles in the comments. Were there any songs or movies you felt I should have included? Do you have any puzzles of your own you’d like to share? I’d love to read them! Personally, I had a lot of fun making these, and I’m thinking of making some more in the future; I’ll just need to find a suitable non-festive theme for next time.


Well, that about wraps it up for me this year. On behalf of everyone here at The Mana Base, I hope you have a great holiday season. It’s been a pleasure creating all of this content for you, and I invite you all to join us again in the new year for even more. I’ll talk to you then.

Merry Christmas.





#XmasIn5Cards Answers:

#1 – A Christmas Carol
(story by Charles Dickens, featuring Scrooge)

#2 – Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
(song and 1964 animated film)

#3 – How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
(1996 animated short)

#4 – The Nightmare Before Christmas
(1993 Tim Burton film)

#5 – Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer

#6 – Miracle on 34th Street
(1947 film)

#7 – A Visit from St. Nicholas
(poem, better known as “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas”)

#8 – I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

#9 – Home Alone
(1990 film starring Macaulay Culkin)

#10 – Silent Night
(classic carol)

#11 – Frosty the Snowman
(song and 1963 animated film)

#12 – All I Want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth

#13 – Carol of the Bells
(Ukrainian carol)

#14 – The Nutcracker
(holiday ballet)

#15 – A Christmas Story
(1983 film; “You’ll shoot your eye out!”)

#16 – Jingle All the Way
(1996 film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger)

#17 – The Christmas Song
(song, better known as “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”)

#18 – It’s a Wonderful Life
(film from 1946 starring James Stewart)

#19 – The Santa Clause
(1994 film starring Tim Allen)

#20 – We Three Kings
(classic carol)

#21 – A Charlie Brown Christmas
(famous TV special from 1965)

#22 – Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
(classic carol)

#23 – The Gift of the Magi
(classic short story)

#24 – Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
(1964 film featured in Mystery Science Theatre 3000)

#25 – The Night Santa Went Crazy
(song by Weird Al Yankovic)

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