The 6th Annual Holiday Contest Finalists – Vote For Your Favorite!!!

The 6th Annual Holiday Contest!!!!



In case any of you are wondering, it is actually Thursday evening.

I can tell that it’s Thursday evening because I’m writing this post.  And that was my job for Thursday evening.

Ergo, it is Thursday evening.


I’m glad we’re all clear on that.

I’m pretty sure it all works out with a time zone thing… you know, if it’s 10 PM on the east coast on the day after Thursday that we’re humoring me by agreeing is still Thursday, what time is it in Wales?  Or in Australia or Japan where it’s never the same day?

Plus I’m pretty sure that if your internet totally dies for 12 hours due to sub-zero weather and frigid wind chills preventing you from posting, those 12 hours don’t count… it’s like they didn’t happen yet… and because it was so cold they multiply like dog years.  So.  Still Thursday 🙂

These situations, hauntingly reminiscent of 6th grade word problems in math, are very taxing to the tired and over-stressed, under-caffeinated, chocolate-deprived brain.

Or maybe I’m in a time warp… 🙂

Anyway, here on Thursday evening, my fellow judges and I have crawled out from under our rock hollow-eyed and haggard from the torment of having to choose a handful of finalists out of all these fabulous entries, and the time has nearly come for you to vote for your favorite!

But first a few words from the people in charge around here who always have to put their two cents in.  (Apparently we’ve become the Royal We, referring to ourselves in the plural 🙂 )

First, I want to thank EVERYONE who found time in their busy holiday season schedule to write an entry for this contest – all 82 of you!  The overall quality of the entries was amazing!  There were no easy cuts.  My assistant judges and I found something to like in every story and hated having to cut anyone!  And this was a challenging prompt.  You guys did an amazing job and really rose to the occasion.  So much creativity and great writing!  You should all pat yourselves on the back and have a celebratory bonbon!

Second, I want to thank EVERYONE who took the time to go around to as many of the 41 different blogs as you could, as well as the 41 entries posted in the comments here, and read and leave supportive comments for the writers who worked so hard on these stories, and especially those who took the time to share many of those entries on social media to draw in other readers.  In this business where rejection is a common and unavoidable part of the process, it means a great deal to writers to know that their work was read and enjoyed, and to receive a few kind words about their writing.  It is one of the best things about this community – that people are so generous and kind to each other.

Third, before I list the finalists, I want to say again how really difficult it was to choose.  There were so many fabulous entries.  The sheer volume meant that many great stories had to be cut.  So if yours didn’t make the final cut please don’t feel bad.  There was a huge amount of competition.  Judging, no matter how hard we try to be objective, is always subjective at a certain point – we all have our own preferences for what makes a great story.  And the fact that you didn’t make the final cut DOES NOT mean you didn’t write a great story.  Everyone who plonked their butt in a chair and worked hard to write a story for this contest is a winner!  You showed up.  You did your best work.  You practiced your craft.  You wrote to specifications.  You bravely shared your writing with the world.  And you have a brand new story that is now yours to hone and tweak if you like and maybe submit at some point to a magazine or as a PB manuscript.  So bravo to everyone who entered!

Finally, I’d like to be very clear about the voting process.  Due to the large number of entries, there are 12 finalists listed below.  I have deliberately listed them by title only, so as to help with objectivity.  Please read through them and choose the one you feel is best and vote.  You are MOST welcome to share a link to this post on FB, twitter, or wherever you like to hang out and encourage people to come read ALL the finalists and vote for the one they think is best.  Please do that.  The more people who read and enjoy these stories the better, and the more objective votes we get the better.  HOWEVER (and I want to be very clear on this) please do not ask people to vote for a specific number or title, or for the story about Mrs. Claus dancing the makaraina with Rudolph or whatever.  Trolling for votes or trying to influence the outcome is counter to the spirit of this competition which is supposed to be based on merit.  I thank you in advance for respecting this.

Now, without further ado, here are your finalists.  There is a mix of poetry and prose, funny, cute, and poignant, stories for younger and older child readers – quite a spread!

Remember that the judging criteria were:

1. Kid-appeal! – These stories are intended for a young audience, so entries that were well-written but lacked child-friendliness or whose humor or content felt more appropriate for an older or adult audience did not make the cut.  Sadly there were several GREAT entries where the judges felt the emphasis was too much on the relationship between Santa and Mrs. Claus (too adult to be appreciated by kids) or where the humor was directed at things adults would find funny but were less applicable to kids.  At least one of our favorites fell into this category 😦 

2. Quality of story – the rules stated that entries were to tell a story, so if they appeared to be more of a description or mood piece, they didn’t make the cut.  We looked for a true story arc, and unfortunately there were quite a few lovely, entertaining, well-written entries that failed to meet this criteria.  Quite a few entries started out very promisingly but fell flat at the end – casualties of the strict word count, I’m sure.

3. Quality of writing – use of language, correctness of tense, spelling and grammar, quality of rhyme and meter for the poetry entries, and overall impression of writing were factored in.

4. Originality and creativity – because that is often what sets one story above another.

5.  Following the contest rules… which happily I don’t really have to mention this time because no one submitted after the deadline, and no one exceeded the word count, and no one wrote a story that wasn’t about the holidays!  Hurray!  But one of our favorite entries, which was beautifully written and told a lovely story did not stick to the 12 Days format, structure or pattern as well as it needed to to make the finals, so that was too bad 😦

We cut 70 entries to leave you with these 12.  It was very hard!  We did the best we could. We chose some poetry, some prose; some for younger readers, some for older; some funny, some quieter; and a mix of holidays.  
I hope you’ll all find at least one of your favorites on the list below.


On the first day of Christmas, Elephant gave McGee the bark of a cinnamon tree.

On the second day of Christmas, Tortoise gave McGee two ginger roots.

On the third day of Christmas, Penguin gave McGee three clove buds.

On the fourth day of Christmas, Rhinoceros gave McGee four vanilla beans.

On the fifth day of Christmas, Owl gave McGee five nutmeg seeds.

On the sixth day of Christmas, Gorilla gave McGee six juicy lemons.

On the seventh day of Christmas, Lion gave McGee seven tubs of butter.

On the eighth day of Christmas, Hyena gave McGee eight jars of molasses.

On the ninth day of Christmas, Giraffe gave McGee nine scoops of raisins.

On the tenth day of Christmas, Armadillo gave McGee ten bags of sugar.

On the eleventh day of Christmas, Chameleon gave McGee eleven sacks of flour.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, Ostrich gave McGee twelve fresh laid eggs.

“Spread the word, Ostrich,” said McGee. “Party tonight!”

At closing time the zoo filled with delicious, spicy scents. Every nose quivered as the animals gathered.

Then McGee arrived with a wagon full of gingerbread cookies and a barrel of lemonade.
“My dearest friends, you showered me gifts and love. Now I’m sharing them with you.”

The animals trumpeted, hooted, roared and laughed.

“Before you dig in, here’s something I wrote for you.”

McGee sang. Soon the animals joined in. They finished like this:

On the twelfth day of Christmas,
my best friends gave to me:
Twelve fresh laid eggs
Eleven sacks of flour
Ten bags of sugar
Nine scoops of raisins
Eight jars of molasses
Seven pounds of butter
Six juicy lemons
Five nutmeg seeds
Four vanilla beans
Three clove buds
Two ginger roots
And the bark of a cinnamon tree!

#2 – A Plane Ticket in a Rare Tree

I get to visit my Grandfather in Florida for Christmas but there’s a catch. My ticket is somewhere on a scavenger hunt, to be found in clues I assume.
The first clue of Christmas my Pop-Pop sent to me….
“Look for it in a in a rare tree. “
I start at the park, but there’s no a rare tree, just two turtle loves walking s-l-o-w-l-y and holding hands.
“Excuse me, have you seen a rare tree?”
“No. Check. the. lobby. of the French Inn.”
Ugh Turtles. I run toward the lobby. Am I holiday hallucinating? Is that four birds making phone calls? I skip a bird conversation and head for the Lost and Found.
No luck, all I see are five gold earrings! Who has five ears? Six dolls that look like geishas lying are in there too, but no rare tree.
I walk back to the park to plant myself on a bench. Is that my friend Swansa going swimming?
“Hi Swansa! Is your maid still making you drink those Smart Milk Smoothies?
“Daily. Why?” Swansa asks looking a rare case of confused.
“I’m looking for a rare tree. Want to help?”
“Look out! This delivery guy is not slowing down, ” Swansa says as she pushes me to the grass.
“Sorry, I have to get these late t-shirts to the Lord of the Dance gift shop before the show ends.”
I’m wobbly from my fall and walking like a piping sandpiper. My head feels like twelve drummers are pounding on my brain.
I take out my phone to listen to the message again. This time I laugh and laugh. Swansa looks concerned about my head.
“What is it?” She asks.
Well…… It turns out Pop-pop actually said,
“The ticket has been mailed to me.” Bad signal, sorry.


On the twelfth day of Christmas,
Detective Danish was called in to find the Christmas Cookie Crook.
“Start at the beginning,” he told the cookies still on the plate.
Fig Newton began,
“On the eleventh day of Christmas, before the Platter Party…
Eleven Linzers left,
Ten Truffles split,
Nine nonexistent Nut Balls,
Eight absent Anises,
Seven vanished Stars,
Six no-show Shortbreads,
Five Spritz disappeared,
Four missing Macaroons,
Three lost Thumbprints,
Two AWOL Tarts,
And one misplaced Biscotti.”
Detective Danish smacked his lips, “Hmmm, interesting, and appetizing.”
“Did you see anything suspicious, Fruitcake?”
“No, I didn’t. I’m very busy. Everyone loves me.”
He questioned the milk.
The milk was sour and tight lipped so the Detective moved on.
“Paper towel, did you see anything during clean up?”
“Why am I only invited to clean up?” She sobbed.
Detective Danish knew in his filling that something wasn’t right.
“NO ONE LOVES FRUITCAKE! He’s the Christmas Cookie Crook!”
Detective Danish freed the missing cookies from the fruitcake box.
The cookies cried, “Detective Danish cracked the case!”
and presented him with an invitation to the Platter Party.
Fruitcake was sent to the fridge with no parole.



Twas’ the time for the holidays and my friends had me thinking,
How do they celebrate? I don’t have an inkling.
I wanted to learn, understand, and to see
What folks ‘round the world honor and believe.

And to my surprise on my doorstep appeared
All of my friends, singing holiday cheer.

“On this very merry holiday we give these gifts to thee…”

Twelve star pinatas,
Eleven glowing crowns,
Ten bowls of noodles,
Nine toy-filled stockings,
Eight spinning dreidels,
Seven honored candles,
Six prayerful sticks,
Four Fiscus trees,
Three sweet Klaicha,
Two golden lamps,
and a box of gratuity.

Such beautiful gifts from the friends I adore,
“Come in! Please, come in! I need to know more!”
So we sang and we danced, we shared stories of ways,
To celebrate each of these twelve holidays:

Las Posadas
St. Lucy’s Day
Winter Solstice
Bodhi Day
Chinese New Year
Boxing Day

And as snow sprinkled down from the heavens above
Our group became quite as we soaked in the love.
We learned what’s important, it’s really quite clear,
Now we’re paying it forward with this holiday cheer.

“On this very merry holiday, we give these gifts to thee…”

Twelve caring carolers
Eleven well wishes
Ten heartfelt hugs
Nine words of wisdom
Eight great memories
Seven crafty keepsakes
Six hands for holding
Four miracles
Three peace doves
Two gifts of hope
And love of diversity.

#5 – The 12 Emotions of Arbor Day

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.”


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 – The Woodland Christmas Tree

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!)


“Christmas is more snow than glow,” Octavia observed. “It needs a makeover. Santa’s

lucky I traded holidays with him!”

With a flick of her wand, Christmas became “Witchmas”

Elves turned from merry to scary,

Colors from bright to just right and

Carols to scare-alls!

A tear ran down Octavia’s nose as she sang along…

On the twelfth day of Witchmas
my Crypt-mate sent to me:
12 Demons Dribbling
11 Pookas Primping
10 Mummies Mumming
9 Vampires Vamping

8 Monsters Mashing
7 Souls a-Swirling
6 Toads a-Croaking
5 Black Batwings
4 Carrion Birds
3 Ravens
2 Cawing Crows
and a Vulture in a dead tree.

“It’s a nightmare come true,” she murmured. And it was, until…

Octavia knocked at house #1.

“Scary Christmas!”

A door slammed in her face.

She’d forgotten to use the chimney.

After bandaging her nose, she entered house #2 from the roof.


She’d forgotten about the Yule Log.

After applying burn cream, she entered house #3 through the window.


She’d forgotten about the Christmas tree.

She picked ornaments and pine needles from her hair.

“This holiday is more unbearable than scareable. I’m exhausted.”  She threw up her hands. “I should be moon-tanning right now…”

With a flick of her wand, she brought back Christmas AND Santa.

“Glad you’re here,” said Octavia. “I quit!”

“Not until you’ve visited EVERY home on my list. A deal’s a deal,” Santa reminded her. “Besides, I have ideas for cheering up Halloween.”

“But Halloween’s a perfectly frightful holiday,” Octavia protested.

“Not for long.” Santa grabbed Octavia’s wand.  “Ho Ho Ho, Merry Witchmas to all and to all a good night. See you on Holly-ween!”He pointed the wand at himself. “POOF!”

“I should be careful what I wish for,” said Octavia. “Where’s the cocoa? It’s going to be a long night.”

#9 – FARMER BUBBE’S CHANUKAH – removed at author’s request – look for this as a picture book one of these days 🙂



Twelve elves named Dave in Christmas Town

perform a simple task –

which every year saves Christmas time.

“But how?” I hear you ask.

Dave One puts sugar in a bowl,

Dave Two, he adds some more.

Dave Three pours milk and cracks the eggs.

The flour comes from Four.

Number Five then stirs the dough,

Six plops it in a pan.

Eight helps Seven bake it to

a lovely golden tan.

Nine spreads frosting, Ten shakes sprinkles,

Eleven sneaks a lick.

The cake is fetched by number Twelve

and given to St. Nick.

It has

Twelve shakes of cocoa,

Eleven juicy berries,

Ten curls of chocolate,

Nine crumbled cookies,

Eight small marshmallows,

Seven toasted almonds,

Six candied gingers,

Fiiiiive – jel – ly – beeeeeans,

Four toffee bits,

Three gum drops,

Two candy canes,

Leaving one huge smile on Santa’s face.

See, Santa never stops to rest,

he works till he’s run down.

Poor Santa Claus would starve without

the Daves of Christmas Town.

#11 – The Evil Dr. Gerbil’s 12 Days Of Christmas

Fox Breaking News: 1st day of Christmas

After being sentenced to a life of spinning for crimes committed against the animal kingdom, The Evil Dr. Gerbil managed to escape from his prison wheel today. Traces of pear were found at the scene, leading investigators to believe The Evil Dr. Gerbil’s on-again, off-again girlfriend Patty Partridge might have been involved.

Story at 11…

Fox Breaking News: 5th day of Christmas

At a press conference today Inspector Wallaby announced that the 5 Golden Ring Avian Gang comprised of 4 Calling Birds, 3 French Hens, and 2 Turtle doves sang fowl, giving up crucial information about Dr. Gerbil’s escape. They’ve had it out for Dr. Gerbil ever since the catastrophic avian flu vaccine incident.

Update at 11…

Fox Breaking News: 7th day of Christmas

While The Evil Dr. Gerbil remains at large, pressure in the Avian community persists.   6 Geese a laying believe they spotted Dr. Gerbil at the 7 Swans a Swimming indoor pool.

News at 11…

Fox Breaking News: 12th day of Christmas

It’s been 12 days since The Evil Dr. Gerbil’s escape from prison. Police are no closer to his whereabouts. Inspector Wallaby received numerous, revengeful tips from the community. Dr. Gerbil’s history includes: stealing 100 gallons of whole milk from the 8 Maids a Milking organic dairy farm, failing to pay 9 Ladies Dance studio for 40 hours of tango lessons, and leaving 10 Lords a Leaping hopping mad after he swindled them out their inheritance.

Once caught, Dr. Gerbil will be placed in solitary confinement, and subjected to the 11 pipers piping/12 drummers drumming prison band.

Fox News Update:

After an embarrassing 12-day failure to capture The Evil Dr. Gerbil, Inspector Wallaby has called on Dr. Gerbil’s archenemy Wonder Weasel to assist in the investigation.

Stay tuned…

#12 – The Twelve Days Before Christmas

Twelve days before Christmas, mom bought me a sparkly, bright light-up necklace that blinked red, silver and green – just like real holiday lights.

Eleven days before Christmas, Luis said my necklace wasn’t quite as cool as his talking Christmas tie. The new girl, Lucy, said it was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen.

Ten days before Christmas, Mr. Silver said I should put the necklace in my desk until the end of the day.

Nine days before Christmas, mom and I brought cookies to the neighbors who give us coconut cake on Kwanzaa.

Eight days before Christmas, my necklace stopped blinking.

Seven days before Christmas, mom replaced the batteries and told me not to sparkle quite as much.

Six days before Christmas, I asked Lucy what she wanted for Christmas. She looked down at her feet and said snow boots would keep her dry.

Five days before Christmas, we sang in the holiday concert. I wore my necklace forRockin’ Around the Christmas Tree, but not for the Native American Winter Song.

Four days before Christmas, Mr. Silver found five shiny, gold chocolate coins for Hanukkah on his desk.

Three days before Christmas, Ms. Pam had to remind me not to leave my necklace on the bus.

Two days before Christmas, I gave Lucy the necklace. She smiled and twirled and said the colors glowed – like friendship.

On the day before Christmas, I asked Santa to bring Lucy the most sparkly pair of snow boots he could find. And more batteries.

Having read (and probably re-read and re-read!) through these 12 fabulous finalists, please VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE in the poll below by Sunday December 18 at 6 PM EST.  I’m hoping the full weekend will give you enough time!  That way, I can post the winners on Monday and we can celebrate and then all get on with our busy holiday schedules!



Thank you all so much for taking the time to write (if you did), read, and vote!  These contests simply wouldn’t be what they are without all of you!

I can’t wait to see who the winners will be!

Tune in Monday… same bat time, same bat station 🙂


24 thoughts on “The 6th Annual Holiday Contest Finalists – Vote For Your Favorite!!!

  1. viviankirkfield says:

    So excited to spread the news that the finalists have been chosen, Susanna! I love them all, so I’ll have to read them over and come back tomorrow to vote. Thank you so much, Susanna, for putting together such a fabulous challenge…and thank you to your lovely assistants…you all need a whole bunch of chocolate, I think. 😉

    • heavenlyhashformoms says:

      Yes! Thank you, Susanna for pushing us with a creative writing prompt! Such a great exercise to have to write to a certain word count! And all that judging…your head must be spinning! And to Vivian….
      Thank you as well…I noticed how you read and put kind comments on everyone’s submission!! What a sweetie!!!! I read your piece on santas 12 gifts and loved it! So many submissions I enjoyed!!
      If anyone is interested, when I did some research on the origins of 12 Days, it is believed that the song was written during a time of religious oppression and used as a way to teach children about the faith in “disguise.” So, it is rich in symbolism: partridge in a tree-Christ, 3 French hens-3 wise men, 4 calling birds are the 4 gospels telling the story of Christ, golden rings-5 first books of Old Testament, etc.
      THat is how I came up with my story called partridge in a pear tree…an allegory of the biblical Christmas story. Partridge–Christ. After I posted it, I read it to my dear sweet 83 year old mom who is always my biggest fan and she gave me the proverbial pause 😀Followed by “I don’t get it.” So I thought I better explain!

  2. Marla says:

    How you find time to organize this at this time of year confounds me! A fantastic selection of finalists – it was hard to narrow it down to just one vote.

  3. Genevieve Petrillo says:

    Read them, LOVED them, decided… Changed my decision, picked again, changed my mind, loved a different one, flipped, read them over, selected my favorite, selected my other favorite, selected my other favorite, thought it through, picked the definite winner, reconsidered, made up my mind, and by the 99th time through, voted for real. Sheesh! This was a tough one. Good luck, everyone. Take a nap, Susanna.

  4. Jen Bagan says:

    Another fantastic contest … I agree that I don’t know where you find the time Susanna! But I’m so glad you do. I really enjoyed the stories this year and thanks so much “Heavenly Hash” for explaining the origins of the 12 Days … I had no idea. Good luck to all and happy holidays!

  5. Jilanne Hoffmann says:

    Gotta love all of these! But I voted. Thank you, Susanna, for creating this contest for so many to enjoy! Happy Holidays! So sorry I’ve been absent lately. The puppy we adopted from the SPCA in late September has turned my life into one resembling a parent with a new baby. She’s had GI problems, getting us up every couple of hours throughout the night. She’s finally on antibiotics, so things are settling down a bit. I’ve got so much work to do! I will be back on a more regular basis in the new year!

  6. ~Yvette says:

    I AM SO bummed that I missed out on this. November and December are typically gonzo around here. However, it looks like tonight I have some fun reading to cozy up with next to the fire. Merry Christmas to you and all your lovely readers!

  7. ingridboydston says:

    I am so impressed! This was a very tricky prompt to navigate, in my opinion. And yet so many people found such clever ways to work with it. Such fun! Congratulations to all who had the fortitude to go for it and especially the final 12! Can’t wait to see which story wins!

  8. jeanjames926 says:

    This was such a fun contest, so happy to be a part of it. Thanks Susanna and helpers for all your hard work. This adds so much fun to the Christmas season! Good luck to all the finalists.

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