|Isn't that just the nicest thing? :)|
I had no idea what I was letting myself in for when I started the Thanksgiving Contest.
To begin with, there were more than twice as many entries as for the Halloweensie Contest - 19 all together in case you were wondering (the 20th was in there just for fun, but because the author is related to the judges it could not in fairness be considered :))
To top that off, you are all so creative and talented! I could have found a reason to make any of the entries a finalist. My assistant judge and I couldn't even come to a consensus on which 3 it should be, so in the end, as senior judge, I made the call. I just want you all to know it was really hard, and I wish I could give everyone the prize!
Entries were judged on appropriateness as a children's story, originality, and Thanksgiving-ness (that is too a word!)
So without further ado, here are the 4 finalists because I just couldn't decide between 2 of them and make it 3, so I'm cheating and leaving it up to you guys :) They will be identified by number only. Please vote for your favorite!
They were set to go to Grandma’s
For their big Thanksgiving feast,
But the blizzard came in fast
Growling, howling like a beast –
Hurled itself around the house
Rattling windows, banging doors.
They laid a fire in the hearth
Against the blizzard’s wicked roars.
They couldn’t roast a turkey.
Electricity went out.
They ate tuna for their meat,
For their veggie – sauerkraut.
They wrapped themselves in blankets
Lit some candles, played some gin.
Dessert was pumpkin out of cans
With some cinnamon stirred in.
They started telling stories
Scary, funny, tried and true
Til the fire turned to embers
And the clock struck half past two.
They stoked the fire to blazing,
Snuggled close and rested heads.
That fire was so darned cozy
That they did not miss their beds.
They formed a sleeping circle
With the dog curled up inside.
Slept so soundly through the night,
They did not hear the storm subside.
They woke up the next morning
To a dazzling, blinding light.
Snow had piled up to the rafters,
And the world was frosted white.
They threw on coats and snowsuits
Raced out straight into the snow.
Threw some snowballs, built a snowman
Came back in with cheeks aglow.
They sat sipping some hot chocolate
When they heard the doorbell ring.
Behind the door was Grandma
With a giant turkey wing!
That Thanksgiving sure was different.
Many folks would call it lame.
But they made the most of family
And were thankful just the same.
"They were supposed to go to Grandma's for Thanksgiving, but the blizzard came in fast.
The weatherman said, "It's best to stay inside until this storm is past...
In fact don't heat the oven. Make sandwiches instead
With pumpkin flavored jelly spread on a piece of bread."
That's when I said with a look of great suspicion,
"That funny looking weatherman knows nothing of tradition."
And what is that he's wearing? A faux-feather suit!
And that…That's a waddle dangling down from his snoot!
"DAD! Call the station! Quick! This guy is a fraud!
The whole blizzard thing...it’s just a big facade."
So, as they snatched Mr. Gobble right off the TV station,
We loaded up and headed out for Thanksgiving vacation.
“Grandma we’re coming. There’s really not a blizzard.But you can’t blame a turkey when he tries to save his gizzard.”
They were supposed to go to Grandma’s for Thanksgiving, but the blizzard came in fast. The wind howled. The tree creaked.
Papa stockpiled wood inside the burrow. He stomped his feet and bolted the door.
Papa looked at his shivering brood of three. “I know you are disappointed, but we are safer in our burrow.”
“What about Grandma’s acorn pie, ” asked Sammy. His pudgy cheeks quivered and is large glossy eyes brimmed with tears.
“We have plenty of nuts, berries, fruit, seeds and grains to feast upon,” said Mama. “Why don’t you do your chores. Be thankful that we’re together.”
Sammy, Teddy and Rose tidied up their nests and swept the burrow. Sammy wondered what they could do to make Thanksgiving special.
Then Sammy spied a twig resting against the wall inside the burrow.
“Hey Teddy and Rose, I have an idea,” said Sammy. The three siblings huddled and whispered. Rose jumped up and down. The rest of the morning they worked in a corner of the burrow on their idea.
Mama worked all morning preparing their feast. Papa tended to the fire so that the burrow remained warm.
Sammy carefully placed their centerpiece on the table.
“It’s beautiful!” Mama gasped.
“It’s our thankful tree,” beamed Sammy. Tied to the branches were acorns, pine cones, and dried leaves bearing the names, Mama, Papa, Grandma, Sammy, Teddy and Rose.
They heard a rustle in the tunnel and a voice called out, “Acorn pie anyone?”
“Grandma,” they chirped. “We’re thankful you’re here!”
We should have gone to Grandma’s but the blizzard came in fast.
The snow banks drifted deeper and we knew that they would last.
We thought of Grandma’s turkey and prize winning pumpkin pie.
Could we miss her fancy feast? Oh no! We had to try!
Dad shook his head. “Our tire tread won’t get us out of here.
We need some transportation with snow blizzard traction gear.”
From the barn we pulled an old toboggan, bent and beat.
We lashed some rope onto the front and pulled it to the street.
The horse, the cow, the dog, the cat – we tied them to the sled.
Then gooped their feet with peanut butter, honey and some bread.
We hopped aboard and held on tight when Dad shouted, “Now, MUSH!”
Whoosh! We sailed across the snow and slid along the slush.
The icy snow was blinding, but we thought we headed east.
Our rag-tag team was working hard to get us to our feast.
On and on we traveled, til our teeth were blue with frost.
Finally little Suzie cried, “Oh Dad, I think we’re lost!”
Then up ahead we saw a twinkling light among the trees.
It wasn’t Grandma’s house but we must stop or else we’d freeze.
We would have gone to Grandma’s but the blizzard came in quick.
Who knew that was the year we’d have Thanksgiving with St. Nick!
With seriously honorable mention to runners-up Erik and Abby who nearly caused some heated hot chocolate slinging between the judges over whether to include or not!
See how hard this is? I can't wait to see what you vote for! Polls close Tuesday November 29 at 11:59PM EST so I can announce the winner on Wednesday, so please vote ASAP!
Now, on to that surprise I promised :)
The response to the Thanksgiving Contest was so enthusiastic, and I think we all had such a good time, writing our stories and reading everyone else's, and there was such a sense of fun and community, that I have decided to hold a Holiday Contest! YES! IT'S TRUE! I'm announcing it now to give you all plenty of time to get your stories written before the holiday rush. Here are the entry requirements:
Entries must be posted on your blogs, or copied and pasted into the comments on my blog between Monday December 19 and Thursday December 22.
3 finalists will be chosen (hopefully really 3 next time :)) for you to vote on Monday December 26. The winner will receive their choice of a $15 Amazon gift card (to buy themselves whatever book they really wanted and didn't get as a holiday gift :)) or the 2012 Children's Writers and Illustrators Market!
I hope you're all as excited as I am about the Holiday Contest! And please, don't forget to vote for your favorite Thanksgiving entry by tomorrow night!