Ho! Ho! Ho! The 6th Annual Holiday Contest Is Here!!!

Deck the halls!

Light the menorah!

Fill the Kikombe cha Umoja!

It’s time for…

The 6th Annual Holiday Contest!!!!

12-days-1

WA-HOOO!!!! 🙂

The Contest:  Write a children’s holiday story (children here defined as approximately age 12 and under) using the basic format/concept of The Twelve Days Of Christmas!  Your story may be poetry or prose, silly or serious or sweet, religious or not, based on Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or whatever you celebrate, but is not to exceed 300 words (I know!  So much freedom after the Halloweensie Contest 🙂 )  (It can be as short as you like (the judges will be grateful 🙂 , you are welcome and encouraged to write shorter, but no more than 300!  Title not included in word count.)  The field is wide open!  Have fun!  The more creative the better!  No illustration notes please. (And yes, if you feel compelled to submit more than one entry you may, just remember you’re competing against yourself!)

Post:  Your entry should be posted on your blog between right now this very second and Monday December 12 at 11:59 PM EST, and your post-specific link should be added to the link list below.  We’re trying a new system for this contest – the one I use for Perfect Picture Book Friday – fingers crossed it works better than the other one for everyone!  This post and the list will remain up through Thursday December 15 for your reading pleasure (no WYRI or PPBF.)  If you don’t have a blog but would like to enter, please copy and paste your entry into the comments on my December 8th post.  (If anyone has trouble commenting, which unfortunately happens, please email me and I’ll post your entry for you! But please don’t send attachments!  Just copy and paste your story into the email.)  Also, please only post your entry once – either in the comment section of my blog or on the link list.

The Judging:  My lovely assistants and I will narrow down the entrants to 10-12 finalists (depending on the number of entries) which will be posted here on Friday December 16 (or, if we’re desperate for a little extra time, Saturday December 17) for you to vote on for a winner.  The vote will be closed on Monday December 19 at 5 PM EST and the winners will be announced on Tuesday December 20.  Whoever gets the most votes will be first and so on down to tenth place.  Judging criteria will be kid appeal/kid-friendliness, creativity, quality of story, quality of writing, and originality.  If we can post the finalists sooner and move everything up a bit we will, but with 300 word entries it takes longer…

The Prizes!:  And oh, my! there are some good ones!

A Picture Book Manuscript Critique and Chat with Sarah (Miller) Rockett of Sleeping Bear Press (ms due January 1st, chat in February) kindly donated by Jodell Sadler and KidLit College

– Enrollment in literary agent Jodell Sadler‘s Pacing Picture Books 2 WOW picture book writing class!

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– A Picture Book Manuscript Critique by the fabulous Cori Doerffeld, author/illustrator of Penny Loves Pink, Little Bunny Foo Foo, and many more…!

penny_cover   bunny-foo-foo

– A Picture Book Manuscript Critique by the awesome Vivian Kirkfield, author of Show Me How: Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting And Cooking, and the forthcoming picture book from Creston Books, Sweet Dreams, Sarah.

sweet-dreams-new-on-amazon            vivian-kirkfield

– A Picture Book Manuscript Critique by talented agent Jodell Sadler (or other staff of Kidlit College)

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– Enrollment in Making Picture Book Magic (my online picture book writing class – in January or a later month to be mutually agreed upon by the winner and me)

 2017 Children’s Writer’s And Illustrator’s Market  and a $25 Amazon Gift Card.  (2 available)

Book Markets For Children’s Writers 2017 and Magazine Markets For Children’s Writers 2017 published by The Institute Of Children’s Literature.

– a pack of Susanna Leonard Hill’s amazing What’s The Story Cards  (scroll about 1/2 way down the page… (2 available)

I can’t thank these authors and other industry professionals enough for their incredible generosity!  Please visit their sites, buy and recommend their books and services to your writer friends and/or friends with kids, write them nice reviews on Amazon, GoodReads etc if you’ve read and liked their books, and show your appreciation to them in any way you can!

Now.

The time has come for my sample.  And I think I can say unequivocally that this is the worst sample I have ever written 🙂  Are you ready?  You’re going to have to grit your teeth to get through this one 🙂  But that should be very comforting to all of you because you can know beyond a shadow of a doubt that ANYthing you wrote is better than this! 🙂

Noel’s 12 Days Of Christmas (209 words)

On the First Day of Christmas Noel sighed miserably
Alone by her little fir tree.
“It’s not Christmas without company.”

But the mice in the walls overheard…
And they made sure to pass on the word…

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas the door chimed merrily.
Noel answered curiously.
And what in the world should she see?
But…
Twelve moose a-munching
Eleven bears a-lunching
Ten reindeer shedding
Nine otters sledding
Eight foxes yapping
Seven possums napping
Six cats with kittens

Five singing wolves

Four flying squirrels
Three loud crows
Two playful mice
And they said, “We will be company!”
So Noel let them in joyfully.

But before long these hairy, loud guests
Made the house a bewildering mess!
And Noel’s thoughts turned back longingly
To the quiet and peace by her tree!

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas Noel said graciously,
“I thank you for your company.”
And then…
Twelve moose a-munching
Eleven bears a-lunching
Ten reindeer shedding
Nine otters sledding
Eight foxes yapping
Seven possums napping
Six cats with kittens

Five singing wolves

Four flying squirrels
Three loud crows
Two playful mice
Headed off to another party.

On the Twelfth Night of Christmas Noel sighed happily
Alone by her little fir tree…
With one kitten for sweet company.

So now!  Is everyone filled with confidence about their entries?  I certainly hope so after that display!  Never let it be said that I’m not willing to make a fool of myself for you guys 🙂  It just proves how much I love you 🙂

I can’t wait to read all of your (much better!) stories!  I hope there will be a lot – the more the merrier!  And there are still nearly 5 days to write, so you have time if you haven’t written yet and want to join the fun.  Feel free to spread the word to your writing friends as well.  If you just want to enjoy reading, that’s great too!  We need all the readers we can get, so feel free to spread the word to parents and teachers!  And what better way to entertain yourself and your kids while waiting for the holiday goodies to bake?  Or get someone to read aloud while everyone else wraps presents 🙂

Remember to put your post-specific link (not your general blog link or people will find the wrong page if you post again before the contest is over) in the list below!  OR copy and paste your entry into the comment section if you don’t have a blog!  (I am truly hoping this form and spread sheet will work, but I made them without help at midnight and it’s entirely possible I screwed up!  If that is the case, I will get help to fix them ASAP!!! I experimented with mine and it worked so…fingers crossed!  Please allow several minutes for the list to update and refresh your browser before panicking and thinking your entry didn’t load!)

Rejoice! and let the festivities begin!!! 🙂

And don’t miss the additional 41 fabulous entries in the comment section below!
(Scroll through comments to view)

1.  Sneaky Snoop: A Cautionary Christmas Tale – Rebekah
2.  Bear’s Longest Twelve Days Ever – Karen
3.  The Seven Days Before Hanukkah – Robin
4.  A Woodland Christmas Countdown – Jane
5.  Grandma’s Christmas – Maggie
6.  The Twelve Days Of Zoo Christmas – Kim
7.  The Eight Nights Of Chanukah – Melissa
8.  The Twelve Puppy-Days Of Christmas -Tilly The Spaniel
9.  The Twelve Days Of Giftmas – Mary
10. The Twelve Days Of Christmas – Anita
11. 12 Days After Christmas – Kathryn
12. The 8 Days Of Hanukkah – Leah
13. A Plane Ticket In A Rare Tree – Hermanator
14. Twelve Days Til Christmas – Kathy
15. The Twelve Days Of Petmas – Anne
16. The Christmas Cookie Crook  – Susan
17. Kindness Counts To Twelve! – Tracy
18. A Child’s First 12 Days Of Christmas – Ingrid
19. Sweet Hopeful Hymns We Sing – Rebekah
20. Farmer Bubbe’s Chanukah – Joni
21. Twelve Surprises For Sally – Lorraine
22. The Ways We Celebrate Holidays: A Merry Mash-Up – Jodi
23. The Twelve Days Of Santa’s Surprise – Ann
24. The Twelve Days Of Canadian Winter – Anne
25. The Twelve Days After Christmas – Sam
26. The Christmas Parade – Judy
27. The Twelve Days Of Kittymess -Kristin
28. Chocolate For Santa – Katherine
29. The Sweetest Treat – Lauren
30. A FURever Home For Christmas – Mariah
31. The Twelve Nights Of Christmas – Marie
32. Twelve Crows At Christmas – Jennifer
33. The 12 Emotions Of Arbor Day – Jen
34. Raindrop’s Gift – Robyn
35. A Gift For The Princess – Monica
36. The Woodland Christmas Tree – Lucretia
37. Burrito’s Epiphany Gift – Carmen
38. The Partridge In-A-Pear-Tree – Elizabeth
39. Tis Flu Season – Mona
40. The 12 Gifts Of The Holidays – Liza
41. A Cold And Clammy Christmas? – Shelley

541 thoughts on “Ho! Ho! Ho! The 6th Annual Holiday Contest Is Here!!!

  1. Mariah May says:

    A FURever Home for Christmas
    By Mariah – Word Count 287

    “Brrr.” I shivered curling tighter into a ball. “Day 212.” I reminded myself.

    It was December 22, seven full months at the shelter.

    “Maybe today will be the day.” I thought optimistically. To keep busy I sang “On the 10th day of Christmas the shelter gave to me, 10 dogs a barking, 9 kittens meowing, 8 volunteers working, 7 visitors visiting, 6 puppies nursing, 5 bunnies hopping, 4 mice a munching, 3 stalls a closing, 2 warm blankets and a breakfast of kibbles and bits.”

    Visitor after visitor walked by. None of them even stopped by my stall.

    “Bye Otto, wish me luck!” my neighbor Scout, a lab, called as a family escorted him out to the play yard.

    “23 neighbors in 7 months.”Why were they all chosen and not me?” It’s because I’m a scary Pit bull.” Just then, I heard the clink of my stall open.

    I looked up to see Officer Little with a friendly-looking visitor.

    “This is Otto.” Officer Little said to my visitor.

    “Please, please, please like me! ” I prayed, snuggling up to my potential dad. For me, it was love at first sight.

    After our playtime, he went home.

    “He’s perfect.” I said as I watched him walk away. Complete heartbreak.

    “It’s because I’m a pit bull. Why couldn’t I have been born a lab?” I cried, looking at Scout’s empty stall.

    Day 213. Visitor after visitor walked by me.

    “Clink.” Hearing my stall open and I looked up.

    “Wait a minute! It’s the visitor from yesterday! He came back.” I cried.

    Officer Little led me out of my stall for the last time. I wiggled with excitement. “On the day before Christmas, my true love gave me a home.”

  2. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    ENTRY POSTED FOR MARIE

    The Twelve Nights of Christmas (word count 220)

    On the first night of Christmas we went out to see, a fifty foot tall lit up pine tree.

    On the second night of Christmas we went out to see, two musical light displays.

    On the third night of Christmas we went out to see, three jumbo Santas.

    On the forth night of Christmas we went out to see, four animated toy-lands.

    On the fifth night of Christmas we went out to see, five glistening stars.

    On the sixth night of Christmas we went out to see, six choo choos chugging.

    On the seventh night of Christmas we went out to see, seven wrapped gifts glowing.

    On the eight night of Christmas we went out to see, eight reindeers leaping.

    On the ninth night of Christmas we went out to see, nine snowmen blinking.

    On the tenth night of Christmas we went out to see, ten angels shining.

    On the eleventh night of Christmas we went out to see, eleven candy canes flashing.

    On the twelfth night of Christmas we went out to see, twelve snowflakes twinkling, eleven candy canes flashing, ten angels shining, nine snowmen blinking, eight reindeers leaping, seven wrapped gifts glowing, six choo choos chugging, five glistening stars, four animated toy-lands, three jumbo Santas, two musical light displays, and a fifty foot tall lit up pine tree!

    -Marie Manley Tucker

  3. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    ENTRY POSTED FOR JENNIFER

    Twelve Crows at Christmas (269 words) by Jennifer Rugge
    Once long ago in a small village was a lone pine tree that stood at the end of the road. It glistened and twinkled as it swayed in the breezes. The villagers loved how it glowed at Christmas from the snowflakes that clung to its branches. “How beautiful and how grand!” they admired.
    It grew taller and longer, huge and wide. The trunk bent and twisted this way and that wandering up into the clouds. As years passed, the pine tree stopped dancing in the wind. It did not sway gracefully and glisten from its weight. Instead it creaked. Brown needles rained down on the village. Soon the greatness of the tree went unnoticed and forgotten by the villagers.
    Until one day there appeared twelve crows at Christmas a-gathering and a-cawing.
    The First Crow went a-leaping, placing a sprig of mistletoe in the pine tree.
    The second Crow a-following, laid two blue eggs on a nest upon a bough.
    The third Crow hung three bags of icicles a-twinkling.
    The fourth Crow arranged four locks of holly a-glistening.
    The fifth Crow jingled five silver bells.
    The sixth Crow whirled six snow-crows a-dancing.
    The seventh Crow blew seven snowflakes a-falling.
    The eighth Crow tossed eight snowballs a-flying.
    The ninth Crow dropped nine stars a-shining
    The tenth Crow finished ten more winter caps for a-wearing
    The eleventh Crow gave out strings for a-tying
    And twelve Crows tied their beaks for a-humming…
    “Oh, Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, how lovely are your branches…”
    While a-circling the mistletoe in a pine tree.
    The villagers noticed and joined a-singing together.
    Have A Merry Crow Christmas!

  4. Jen Bagan says:

    The 12 Emotions of Arbor Day
    by Jen Bagan (word count 295)

    On the first day of Christmas, Arbor Day was mad.

    “Christmas always gets the sparkle. The glitz. The Falala. Where are the Arbor Day decorations?”

    On the second day of Christmas, Arbor Day was disgusted.

    “Are these countdowns really necessary? We get it. It’s big. Nobody even knows when Arbor Day is!”

    On the third day of Christmas, Arbor Day was annoyed.

    “If I hear Jingle Bells one more time, I’m going to lose it!”

    On the fourth day of Christmas, Arbor Day was defensive.

    “Why don’t the other holidays get this hoopla? We’re pretty great too! Looking at you Static Electricity Day.”

    On the fifth day of Christmas, Arbor Day was jealous.

    ”Santa!? Who can compete with that?”

    On the sixth day of Christmas, Arbor Day was depressed.

    “It’s no use. Christmas will always be the best. I’ll never be important.”

    On the seventh day of Christmas, Arbor Day was surprised.

    “A package? Ooooh … lights and beautiful baubles!”

    On the eighth day of Christmas, Arbor Day was cheerful.

    “I feel so lovely all dressed up. I wonder who was so kind to me?”

    On the ninth day of Christmas, Arbor Day was amazed.

    “I’ve never seen the forest glitter and sparkle so magically.”

    On the tenth day of Christmas, Arbor Day was peaceful.

    “It really is a wonderful time of year.”

    On the eleventh day of Christmas, Arbor Day was touched.

    “Another package? Ooooh … what a perfect star. It fits right on top. And a note: For Arbor Day. You are a star to me. Love, Christmas.”

    On the twelfth day of Christmas, Arbor Day was happy.

    “I love that I’m Arbor Day and Christmas is Christmas. We’re all special and I want to enjoy every one … even Static Electricity Day.”

  5. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    ENTRY POSTED FOR ROBYN

    Raindrop’s Gift by Robyn Campbell

    Christmas time had arrived,

    The hills were frosted white.

    And Snowflake and Raindrop

    played together every day.

    They sleighed side by side,

    and decorated the tree.

    The two even sang Christmas carols,

    The First Day of Christmas, always their favorite.

    Until that dreaded second day

    when the other snow crystals said,

    “Rain turns snow into mush; rain melts snow.

    Snowflake and Raindrop shouldn’t be friends.”

    “We can’t play together anymore,” said Snowflake.

    Raindrop’s heart smashed to the floor.

    THUD.

    Raindrop was well, water.

    She couldn’t help that.

    And water melts snow.

    What could she do?

    On the third day of Christmas,

    Raindrop decided she would show Snowflake,

    they were meant to be friends.

    She stopped by Snowflake’s house the next morning.

    And opened her heart.

    PLOP. PLOP. PLOP.

    Drops of water trickled that fourth day.

    “HELP! Water. Get away.”

    On the fifth day, Raindrop tried a new tactic,

    She swished through Snowflake’s house to water the plants.

    Good deeds were nice.

    “HELP!” Snow tumbled out the windows.

    The sixth day of Christmas

    Raindrop pirouetted for Snowflake.

    “HELP! Rain dance. Run for your lives.”

    She baked a yummy water cake.

    Snow slammed the door shut.

    The seventh day she’d given up.

    Loneliness drained her on day eight. Raindrop dripped into the gutters.

    The ninth day she trickled into mud puddles.

    Then on the tenth day of Christmas,

    The weatherman reported,

    “A rain storm will move into Icicle land.”

    “Oh no. What will happen to Snowflake?”

    Brave little Raindrop streamed outside and froze. Ice everywhere.

    So cold. Brrr.

    Snowflake brought her in to thaw out.

    On the eleventh day, they gave Raindrop an award for saving them.

    Snowflake sat beside Raindrop.

    On the twelfth day of Christmas, the hills were frosted white.

    And Snowflake and Raindrop played together every day.

  6. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    ENTRY POSTED FOR MONICA

    A GIFT FOR THE PRINCESS
    by Monica Anderson (300 words)

    On the day after Christmas, Marek left the small shack he shared with his mother, holding tightly to a treasure his father had carved before he died. He joined a line of people waiting to enter the palace courtyard, each hoping his gift would please the princess enough to invite the giver and his family to celebrate the twelve days of Christmas in the palace.
    “A partridge? A pear tree?” scoffed Princess Celina. “I have no use of these. Next!”
    “Two turtledoves? Three French hens? Four calling birds? This is a palace, not an aviary.” Princess Celina dismissed the three men.
    The jeweler offered the princess five gold rings. Princess Celina waved him away. “I have much finer things.”
    The next man in line shooed in six geese.
    “More birds?” Princess Celina said with a sigh.
    “But any one of these could be the goose who lays the golden eggs,” the man told her.
    “Or not,” she replied. “Next!”
    Princess Celina yawned through seven mechanical swans swimming in a circle, and eight maids milking eight cows. Nine ladies danced in the courtyard. Ten Lords leapt. Eleven pipers played, and twelve drummers marched. Nothing captured Princess Celina’s attention.
    “Is that all there is?” Princess Celina demanded. “Is no one worthy of celebrating the twelve days of Christmas here at the palace?”
    Marek stepped forward. “I bring you an angel, carved by my father for the top of a Christmas tree. My mother and I are too poor to have a tree, but the angel deserves to be seen. Perhaps she may have a home here.”
    Princess Celina looked at the angel, and into Marek’s hopeful eyes.
    “Yes,” she agreed. “She may have a home here. Bring your mother to the palace and we will celebrate the twelve days of Christmas together.”

  7. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    ENTRY POSTED FOR LUCRETIA

    The Woodland Christmas Tree (296 words) by Lucretia Schafroth

    On the first day of winter the critters did agree,
    to make a special woodland Christmas tree.

    On the second day of winter the critters did agree,
    Fox found the perfect pine
    to make a special woodland Christmas tree.

    On the third day of winter the critters did agree,
    Beaver cut it down, after Fox found the perfect pine
    to make a special woodland Christmas tree.

    On the fourth day of winter the critters did agree,
    Bear brought it home, once Beaver cut it down, after Fox found the perfect pine
    to make a special woodland Christmas tree.

    On the fifth day of winter the critters did agree,
    Gopher dug a hole, where Bear brought it home, once Beaver cut it down,
    after Fox found the perfect pine to make a special woodland Christmas tree.

    On the sixth day of winter the critters did agree,
    Deer made a clearing, since Gopher dug a hole, where Bear carried it home,
    once Beaver cut it down, after Fox found the perfect pine
    to make a special woodland Christmas tree.

    On the seventh day of winter the critters did agree,
    Raccoon strung the garland, after Deer made a clearing, since Gopher dug a hole,
    where Bear carried it home, once Beaver cut it down, after Fox found the perfect pine
    to make a special woodland Christmas tree.

    On the eighth day of winter the critters did agree,
    Crow placed the topper, once Raccoon strung the garland, after Deer made a clearing,
    since Gopher dug a hole, where Bear carried it home,
    once Beaver cut it down, after Fox found the perfect pine
    to make a special woodland Christmas tree.

    By working in unity the critters did agree,
    they were a model of efficiency!
    (—four whole days ahead of schedule!)

  8. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    ENTRY POSTED FOR CARMEN

    Carmen Castillo Gilbert, PhD (283 words)
    BURRITO’S EPIPHANY GIFT

    Burrito trotted in from the fields feeling a little tired. He had one bundle
    of soft straw on his back. Burrito´s present was ready! He found María
    holding el Niño Jesús and José next to her welcoming their visitors. Many had come with gifts for the new baby. Burrito knew he
    had to wait his turn.

    First, twelve shepherds laid twelve lambs before Jesús.
    Next eleven camel keepers walked in with eleven camels for the baby.
    Behind them were ten potters.
    They laid their ten clay bowls next to Jesús.
    Nine farmers followed the potters.
    They placed their nine bags of wheat near the baby.
    In came eight stable boys.
    They had eight saddles for Jesús.
    Seven weavers entered the barn.
    They dropped their seven woven blankets next to the baby.
    Six beekeepers followed.
    Their six jars of honey went in front of Jesús.
    In came five carpenters.
    They placed their five carved toys before the baby.
    Four fishermen arrived.
    In their hands they carried four fishing nets.
    These they placed near Jesús.
    The fishermen were followed by three wise men.
    Balthazar, Gaspar, and Melchior, the Three Kings laid down their three boxes of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
    In tiptoed two small children.
    In their hands they held two pairs of little leather sandals.
    They laid these in front of Jesús.
    Burrito came last. He had waited patiently for his turn. He now
    brayed happily. Bowing his head shyly he set his bundle of soft straw into the manger. María placed el Niño Jesús onto the straw. Burrito stood proudly by the Holy Familia.

    Now the magic of the Epiphany spread far and wide!

  9. heavenlyhashformoms says:

    THE PARTRIDGE IN-A-PEAR-TREE! (300 words)
    By Elizabeth Steffenson
    In a beautiful land, lived a PARTRIDGE IN-A-PEAR-TREE.
    One day, his Father said, “Son, a poor village has had misfortune. I must send you to help.” He gave his son a large sack for the journey.
    Along the way he met:
    TWO TURTLEDOVES,
    THREE FRENCH-HENS, and
    FOUR CALLING BIRDS.
    He invited them for lunch. As he dug through his sack, he pulled out FIVE GOLDEN RINGS. “A fortune!” they all exclaimed. “Priceless,” said the partridge. “They are my Father’s Wisdom.”
    As they ate, the partridge told them about his mission. “You all could bring a sign of peace, dignity, and song to the villagers. Can you help?” They vowed to follow him anywhere.
    They soon encountered SIX GEESE-A-LAYING and SEVEN SWANS-A-SWIMMING. “Geese, you give new life. Swans, you bring beauty. Will join us in helping a distraught village?” They proudly accepted.
    As they journeyed, they discovered a farmyard with EIGHT MAIDS-A-MILKING. The partridge was impressed with their hard work. “Will you join us on our mission?
    “Of course,” they replied.
    Next, they passed a festival with NINE LADIES DANCING, TEN LORDS-A-LEAPING, ELEVEN PIPERS PIPING, and TWELVE DRUMMERS DRUMMING! “What joy you could bring the villagers. Join us?”
    “Delighted!” they replied.
    As they neared the village, the sky grew dim. The crew sensed the villagers’ desperation. “Please stay here while I fly ahead,” said the partridge. “Then wake them with morning music!”
    The partridge flew over the village, collecting the burdens of the people in his sack. Snowflakes fell, covering the broken village with a crystal white blanket. Exhausted, the partridge rested in a tree, where he placed the FIVE GOLDEN RINGS.
    The villagers awoke to music, dancing, beautiful birds, and fresh milk. “A miracle!”
    The villagers celebrate each year to remember how the partridge saved them. They call it ‘Christmas.’

  10. viviankirkfield says:

    This entry is from MONA PEASE:

    Tis Flu Season! 266 words

    Twas twelve days before Christmas
    and what do you suppose-
    Santa and his elf in charge
    both had a runny nose!

    Eleven days and counting
    with still so much to do,
    elves were working overtime
    until more caught the flu.

    Ten days left ‘til Christmas
    The elves went one by one
    with scratchy throats, and sneezing fits,
    except for Sunny Bun.

    Nine days left till take-off.
    The reindeer were all fed,
    Sunny didn’t stay to play.
    He checked the shop instead.

    Eight days before the big one.
    There were some finished toys.
    Bright soccer balls, bikes, hover boards,
    lined up for girls and boys.

    Seven days looked gloomy .
    So many gifts undone.
    But mixed up parts and all that paint
    excited Sunny Bun.

    Six days in the rubble
    and what would Sunny do?
    With odd ball springs and robot heads
    he created something new!

    Five days was all shiny.
    Sunny scooped up bling.
    Red rubies, diamonds, emerald gems,
    he made –
    five… thousand…. rings!

    Four days.
    built the race cars.

    Three days,
    glued antennae

    Two days,
    checked remotes.

    On the last day,
    Sunny Bun packed the sleigh.

    The reindeer were all harnessed
    when others kicked the flu.
    They figured out the magic.
    Wild colors were the clue!

    Elves found sweet Sunny curled up,
    asleep on Santa’s seat.
    How could they reward the elf
    who’d finished their big feat?

    They covered him with blankets.
    He’d earned the special flight.
    The sleigh soared high as Santa cried,
    “ Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Sunny good night!”

  11. Liza Varvogli says:

    The 12 Gifts of the Holidays
    (297 words)
    by Liza Varvogli

    This time of the year again, I am thinking,
    What presents should dear Santa be bringing?
    Gifts that can last for the year,
    For twelve months, I can hold dear.

    Closing my eyes I’m making a wish
    And guess what! The twelve next days I received this!

    On the first day of Holidays I got curious enough, to start looking around me and asking “what’s this?” and “what’s that?”

    On the second day of Holidays I got creative again
    And started asking “give me some paper, crayons and a pen”

    On the third day of Holidays I started thinking positive thoughts
    And that helped me untangle inside all the knots

    On the fourth day of Holidays I got some persistence
    And started doing things without fear or assistance

    On the fifth day of Holidays my heart filled with kindness
    And like a bright sunshine it lifted the sadness

    On the sixth day of Holidays my heart filled with hopes
    Oh it felt so good, like bunnies rolling on slopes

    On the seventh day of Holidays I marveled at all things
    Oh it felt like my heart grew a pair of mighty wings

    On the eighth day of Holidays I felt grateful for
    All those little things that, indeed, I adore

    On the ninth day of Holidays I was peaceful and calm
    Like a butterfly sitting ever so gently on my left-hand palm

    On the tenth day of Holidays humor came to me
    And I wouldn’t get angry, I would let things just be

    On the eleventh day of Holidays I got a shiny smile
    Oh yes it was so bright you could see it from a mile

    On the twelfth day of Holidays love came my way
    And I found twelve beautiful ways to give it away.

      • Liza Varvogli says:

        Thanks Gabi! Sorry for the late response to your thoughtful comment, but i just found out that all the notifications about comments on this site went straight to my junk mail. Oh, well! Good thing I checked. Have a joyful holiday season!

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      Such a creative take on the original 12 Days, Liza! I love that all the things your MC gets are things that really matter – curiosity, creativity, perseverance, hope and gratitude, etc. Lovely job! Thanks so much for this heart-warming entry, and Happy Holidays!

      • Liza Varvogli says:

        Thank you Susanna, and many thanks for hosting this wonderful contest. I guess being a psychologist I couldn’t help myself but write about all that I teach and preach to kids and adults alike! Many wishes for a joyful holiday season, with many gifts of the heart and spirit!

    • Liza Varvogli says:

      Thanks David! I am new to this community and didn’t expect that anyone would ever comment on my writing. I really appreciate it! Wish you happiness, and peace of mind this holiday season!

  12. Shelley Kinder (@KinderWrites) says:

    A Cold and Clammy Christmas?
    by Shelley Kinder (300 words)

    On the first day of Christmas, dear Santa’s feeling blue.
    Thirty elves are in bed with the flu.

    Twelve noses blowing,
    Eleven fevers growing,
    Ten foreheads throbbing,
    Poor Santa’s sobbing!
    Nine tummies aching,
    Eight bodies shaking,
    Seven cold and clammies,
    Six wearing jammies,

    FIVE thermometers!

    Four crusty eyes,
    Three deep sighs,
    Two loud AH-CHOOs!
    And a whole lot of elves with the blues.

    On the second day of Christmas, dear Santa makes a call
    to his Cousin Hank in Montreal.

    On the third day of Christmas, Hank knows just what to do.
    He loads up the “back-up elves” crew.

    On the fourth day of Christmas, the plane prepares to land.
    But the runway is slicker than planned.

    “TOO SLICK?!?” shouts a plane full of jet lagged elves. “NOT FOR US!”

    One by one, the elf-wannabes parachute into the North Pole.

    Twelve sloppy free falls,
    Eleven diving snowballs,
    Ten elves a-screaming,
    “Maybe we’re just dreaming!”
    Nine elves a-wheezing,
    Eight noses freezing,
    Seven hats a-flying,
    Six elves are crying.

    Five soiled pants!

    Four faces numbing,
    Three shout “Incoming!”

    Two land in pine trees,
    And a little elf shouts, “HELP, PLEASE.”

    Santa’s reindeer rush to the scene to help. Having no TVs in the North Pole, this was the most entertainment they’d seen in a LONG time.

    Inside Santa’s Workshop, the newbie elves are cleaned up and sent to work stations.

    One by one, they begin to sneeze. Then cough. When Mrs. Claus offers them cookies, they decline.

    SOMETHING’S NOT RIGHT.

    On the fifth day of Christmas, the back-up elves feel blue.
    They are tucked into beds now. AH-CHOO!

    On the sixth day of Christmas, the other elves awake.
    They sing joyfully, “We’ve got some toys to make!

    And temperatures to take.”

    T’was the best Christmas ever.

    And the reindeer got a TV!

    • Shelley Kinder (@KinderWrites) says:

      Hi Cathey. I doubt your comment is for me, but if so, thanks! Your comment showed up at the very end of all comments, not immediately after my story, so I wasn’t sure. Regardless, I liked YOUR story! I STILL love your Valentine’s one from last year! I hope all is going well with your art car PB, and I saw on your site you have another book that looks super interestingl! Happy holidays!

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