December 15, 2012

The 2nd Annual Holiday Contest!!!

I can barely contain my excitement because IT'S HERE!!!

The 2nd Annual Holiday Contest!!!

I look forward to these contests so much, because everyone who enters is so creative and writes such terrific stories that it's like Christmas morning - or maybe like each new day of Hanukkah - clicking over to new entries as they go up, full of anticipation for another entertaining read!  I literally cannot wait!  (It occurs to me that I sound like a five year old :))

For those who are just arriving on the scene and might want to take a crack at it, here are the rules:

The Contest:  Write a children's holiday story beginning with any version of "Dashing through the snow in a one horse open sleigh."  You may use that actual opening, or you may change it to any similar version "[Verb of your choice]ing through the [any substance you choose] in a [conveyance of any kind]."  For example, "Dashing through the sand in a two-wheeled donkey cart" or "Sloshing through the swamp in a green and white canoe" or "Flying through the air in a striped hot air balloon..."  You get the idea, I'm sure :)  But "Dashing through the snow in a one horse open sleigh" is completely acceptable too - whatever works for you :)  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 350 words (because I have to read them all in the week before Christmas! :))

Post:  Your entry should be posted on your blog any time between today and Wednesday December 19 at 11:59 PM EST, and your post-specific link should be added to the link list below which will remain up through Wednesday December 19 (there will be no new post on Monday December 17 to get in the way :)).  If you don't have a blog but would like to enter, please copy and paste your entry into the comments below.  (If anyone has trouble commenting, which unfortunately happens, please email me and I'll post your entry for you!)

The Judge:  My lovely assistant and I will narrow down the entrants to seven (or possibly a couple more :)) finalists which will be posted here on Friday December 21 (no PPBF that day) for you to vote on for a winner.  The vote will be closed on Christmas Eve and the winner(s) will be announced on Wednesday December 26.  Whoever gets the most votes will be first and so on down to fifth place.

The Prizes!:  When I said the prizes were fantastic, I wasn't kidding.  In the spirit of the holidays, winners will be named for 1st - 5th place, and will each receive a picture book manuscript critique AND a $20 Amazon gift card to spend on the reading material of your choice AND the incredible fame of being able to say you won (or placed in) the Pretty Much World Famous 2nd Annual Holiday Contest!  The critiques have been generously donated by the following fabulous children's authors (in alphabetical order by first name :)):

Alison Hertz: author and illustrator of FLAP! (Magic Dreams Publishing, November 2012)

Amy Dixon: author of MARATHON MOUSE (Sky Pony Press, October 2012)

Corey Rosen Schwartz: author of Hop! Plop! (Walker Children's Books, April 2006), THE THREE NINJA PIGS (Putnam Juvenile, September 2012), and the forthcoming GOLDIROCKS AND THE THREE BEARS and NINJA RED (both coming from Putnam).  Corey also writes the Meter Maids blog with Tiffany (below).

Sarah Frances Hardy: author and illustrator of PUZZLED BY PINK (Viking Juvenile, April 2012)

Tiffany Strelitz Haber: author of THE MONSTER WHO LOST HIS MEAN (Henry Holt, July 2012).  Tiffany also writes the Meter Maids blog with Corey (above).

So!  With prizes like that on offer are you...

...Ready, set, GO!

Here is my pathetic and clearly hurriedly composed sample :)  It requires that you sing it to the tune, and even then there are a couple places where I may have taken some liberties with the meter :)  The good thing is, I'm sure everyone else's is way better than this, so you can all take comfort in knowing that and feel brave about posting your entries! :)

Christmas Eve Travel Trouble
(341 words)

Flying through the air in a sleigh pulled by eight deer
Santa and his elves were filled with Christmas cheer
When suddenly the sleigh gave an unexpected pitch
"Look out!" warned Comet from the front, "we're heading for that ditch!"

OH....

Lying in the snow, presents scattered everywhere
The reindeer tangled up, the sleigh needing repair,
Santa's Right-Hand Elf said, "This will never do!
We're only halfway 'round the world and it's quarter to two!"

OH...

Cleaning up the mess, Santa said "I've got a plan!
If our sleigh won't fly, we'll use this gift for Dan.
Help me load the pack.  Everybody climb on quick!"
Soon they were bouncing on their way aboard a pogo stick!

OH...

Hopping through the snow, they got to France's shore
But then old Santa gasped, "I can't jump any more!
Let's find a better way.  There've got to be a few."
His Right-Hand Elf said, "How 'bout this?  A bicycle-built-for-two!"

OH...

Cycling through the drifts, they reached Saskatchewan
Then Santa said, "That's it.  I simply can't go on.
What else is in the pack?  We need a better choice."
They took a look and settled on the gift for Jen and Joyce.

OH...

Rowing through the snow, in a fiberglass canoe
Their arms soon tired out.  They switched to something new.
But traveling by kite, it's very hard to steer!
When heading for the USA they landed in Zaire.


Flailing 'cross the ice in a plastic wading pool...

Sailing o'er the plains in a LEGO pirate ship...

Riding through the hills on a wooden rocking horse...

Santa sighed.  "I miss my sleigh.  There's got to be a better way!"


They reached the final stop at three minutes 'til dawn
"We made it!" Santa said, with a gigantic yawn.
Just then the sleigh caught up, hitched to the flying eight.
Comet said, "I fixed the sleigh.  Why didn't you just wait?"

OH!
Jingle bells
Santa's swell
He will find a way
To get the toys to girls and boys
In time for Christmas Day!

Happy Holidays Everyone!
Please remember to check the comments for entries!  There are stories there from Linda, Yvonne, Jill, Marci, RJ, and 2 different entries from Bara (also one from Deborah, but hers is on the link list now)!


Reactions:

165 comments:

  1. Oh man, that will be hard to top, Susanna. What a great story! Please tell me that 2013 will be the year that you do a poetry video for NWR. It's all I want for Christmas! :)

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  2. delores @ thefeatherednestDecember 15, 2012 at 8:48 AM

    Okay...finally I got the right day for the contest...sure hope my link works this time but if not.....my entry is on Youngish....thanks for yet another great contest Susanna.

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  3. You could win this thing. *wink* Too bad you can't enter. I'll try to get on mine. Sooner than later. (((hugs)))

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  4. Though. I repeat words in my shell of a story too. My words are what a sight. Great minds??

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  5. Ditto what Renee said . . . great story, Susanna.

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  6. After reading your story, I hesitate to post a link to mine. Yours is DARLING, Susanna. :D

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  7. POSTED FOR LINDA at www.lindaboyden.com

    In A Daddy Open Buggy

    By Linda Boyden (192 words)



    Zipping through the mall

    in a Daddy open buggy;

    weaving in and out,

    tickle goes my tummy!



    “More, Daddy, more!”

    I squeal with pure delight,

    till we take a turn and

    Pink Teddy falls from sight!



    “No, no go! No, no go!”

    I yell hard and harder.

    Daddy stops the buggy but

    just to check my diaper.



    “No, no, no! No, no, no!”

    I wiggle, twist and holler;

    still he doesn’t understand

    Pink Teddy is all-goner!



    Daddy moves us next

    to Santa’s big long line.

    “No, no, no, no, NO!”

    Pink Teddy’s far behind!



    Finally we’re waiting

    next to Santa’s chair.

    “Ho, ho, ho!” he booms and

    I dash away from there.



    Santa jumps.

    Daddy runs.

    Mommas turn and sigh.

    Around the chair, I crawl and bawl

    till Daddy holds me high.



    He whispers soft and low,

    “It will be alright.”

    I sob and suck my thumb.

    Pink Teddy’s not in sight.



    A Momma comes to us.

    Daddy turns around.

    “Glad you’re here, no more tears,

    I found this on the ground!”



    Teddy’s back!

    Daddy thanks.

    I unplug my thumb.

    Pink Teddy and me,

    we cuddle and squeeze

    on a Happy Christmas Eve!

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  8. You are far too kind, Nancy! :) I can't WAIT to read yours!!!

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  9. Silly! Mine is just for fun :) Can't wait to read yours!!!

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  10. Ooh! YAY! I can't wait to read it! Be right over :)

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  11. ACK! I'm afraid of video! But I hope you'll write a little something for the contest :)

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  12. I guess I'll dust off my notebook and give this a shot. Reading the other entries is a holiday hootenanny.

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  13. Well, I happen to think that your "pathetic" sample is fantastic! But I'll do my best top it ;) Fun contest, off to write!

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  14. Oh Linda, getting the toddler's perspective on holiday hijinks made for an absolutely delightful read. LOVE that you used the all too familiar toddler line, "No, no No!" I'm so glad Pink Teddy was found. Wonderful, Linda.

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  15. Susanna, you've got a fantastic story. I love it! Riding on a Lego pirate ship? So much fun! I know my boys would enjoy this one.

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  16. Keep calm and carry on...in the face of the Connecticut school tragedy that is what we must do. I just posted my link...and will be back later tonight after work to read the entries.
    Susanna...I LOVE yours...so funny...I should show you the first one I had done...all about going from one vehicle to another because they kept meeting others who needed a ride and there wasn't enough room.

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  17. Susanna, I love it, love it, love it! There's mystery, adventure, intrigue! I kept thinking, "What will Santa do next?" Your story is quite intimidating. However, it is so much fun to read it is even more energizing and a strong source of motivation. I"m so excited about the upcoming entries to your Pretty Much World Famous 2nd Annual Holiday Contest! I love coming to your parties! They're the best!

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  18. POSTED FOR TRACY at www.tracycampbell.net/blog

    You are way too hard on yourself. I loved your Santa story and I smiled all the way through. Bravo! Cheers! Merry Christmas! Ho ho ho.

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  19. And you are far too kind, Tracy, but thank you :)

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  20. Oh, please do, Jim! I so enjoyed your last contest entry!!!

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  21. Thank you so much, Maria - you're very kind! And I'm thrilled that you want to enter! I will look forward to your story with great anticipation! :)

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  22. Well, I'm a picture book writer, Romelle - in my heart I think in pictures! And the idea of Santa with a huge pack and a couple of elves trying to pogo-stick through the snow, or sail a LEGO pirate ship which - if you've built with LEGO you know how easily it comes apart - makes me laugh. I realize I'm easily amused :) Thank you so much for your kind words. I HOPEHOPEHOPE you're going to write an entry!!! (And remember - it doesn't have to rhyme unless you want it to.)

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  23. That tragedy is so heartbreaking that it's too much to bear thinking about. I'm hoping a little light-hearted distraction will give us a moment's respite from feeling sad :(As for the story, apparently great minds think alike, Vivian! :) I can't wait to read yours! I think I saw the title and I already love it :)

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  24. Aw, you're so nice Pam!!! I'm glad you enjoyed the story, and I really and truly wish you would submit one - you write so well! :)

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  25. Linda your kid's POV is precious and hilarious - very clever!

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  26. Susanna, I really feel yours should be entered in the competition as well, it's only fair, and it's brilliant!

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  27. How fun! Thank you for having this contest.

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  28. I love your story - very funny! I like the LEGO reference! ;)

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  29. I love yours, Susannah! It's terrific!



    Could you delete my husband's entry, please? I accidentally entered his, which he never intended as a real entry. (It's kind of gory and not really a kids or a happy song.)

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  30. You're far too kind, Joanna :) And it certainly wouldn't be fair to enter my own competition! I think that's what's known as a conflict of interest since I am the judge :) I only post a sample for fun, but I'm very glad if you enjoyed it :)

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  31. You're welcome, Cheryl! Thanks so much for entering! I can't wait to read your entry (although I can't right this second since I'm not supposed to be working right now :))

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  32. Thanks, Erik! I'm so glad you like it. (And you know, when I mentioned that LEGO I thought of you :))

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  33. Thanks, Becky, I'm glad you like it! I can't wait to read yours! (And yes, I'll take the other one off :))

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  34. Love your worldly travel by boat, bike, and hopping. Such a fun poem.

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  35. Deborah Holt WilliamsDecember 16, 2012 at 1:29 AM

    What a fun contest! I'm having trouble with the blog link thing, so I'm going to try to cut and paste my entry here:



    Garbage Truck, Garbage Truck

    By
    Deborah Holt Williams

    Trashing through the snow, in a noisy garbage truck,

    The bins are hard to empty, with boxes getting
    stuck.

    Crumpled wrapping paper, chunks of Styrofoam,

    Packing peanuts everywhere are blown from home to
    home.

    Oh,
    garbage truck! Garbage truck! After
    Christmas trash.

    Load it
    in the garbage truck and watch it mash and smash.

    Garbage
    truck! Garbage truck! Haul it all away.

    What
    looked so festive yesterday is now J-U-N-K.

    Dried-up wreaths with bows, Lights that didn’t
    light,

    Toys already broken, clothes that got too tight.

    The garbage man is tired. He’s handled lots of stuff.

    He wishes folks could see that they already have
    enough.

    Oh,
    garbage truck! Garbage truck! After
    Christmas trash.

    Load
    it in the garbage truck and watch it mash and smash.


    Garbage truck! Garbage truck!
    Haul it all away.

    What
    looked so festive yesterday is now J-U-N-K.

    The garbage man goes home, and hugs his kids and
    wife.

    They eat and read together, a calm, uncluttered
    life.

    He’s happy with his job, but wishes people knew

    That things don’t bring you happiness, but times
    together do.

    Oh,
    garbage truck! Garbage truck! After
    Christmas trash.

    Load
    it in the garbage truck and watch it mash and smash.


    Garbage truck! Garbage truck!
    Watch it blend and mix.

    So
    much turns to garbage on December 26.

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  36. Great job, Deborah! Clever story, and you really nailed the meter. LOVE the "J-U-N-K"!

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  37. Deborah, this is delightful and a POV not often considered. Plus kids are fascinated by garbage trucks, their power and roaring machinery. FUN!

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  38. Yes, Susanna, yours is soo adorably clever! Love how the team thinks outside the box...er,sleigh!

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  39. Thanks, Becky!

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  40. with a herd of grandkids, I could see this little character very well! Thanks!

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  41. Thanks, dear Joanna, I had fun with it!

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  42. Thanks, Pamela, for these kind words. My oldest daughter had Pink Teddy and I left it at a laudromat when she was 2. Pink was never found. I was heartsick; she latched onto Walter Bear without missing a beat! She still has Walter (and she's 39!!), but I wanted a story with a happier ending for Pink.

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  43. Thanks, Linda, I'm glad you liked it :)































    Linda Boyden (unregistered) wrote, in response to Becky Fyfe:

    Yes, Susanna, yours is soo adorably clever! Love how the team thinks outside the box...er,sleigh!

    Link to comment
    IP address: 75.140.127.195

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  44. Fun contest! I think I will pass, as I already adapted "Jingle bells" and this is too much like work! :-) Susanna, your entry is so inventive and funny, and I can just imagine illustrations!

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  45. Excellent job, Deborah!

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  46. POSTED FOR DIANE at http://thepatientdreamer.com

    Woohoo! I made the linky work! Yay!...lol. Loved your post Susanna and what wonderful entries!

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  47. YAY! Can't wait to read yours Diane! I'm so excited you entered! :)

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  48. I know you have, Iza, and your version is brilliant - one of my favorites of your books with the tour around the world. I had fun imagining the illustrations for my sample as I wrote - I wish I could draw :)

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  49. I love that part too, Renee!






























    Renee LaTulippe wrote, in response to Deborah Holt Williams:


    Great job, Deborah! Clever story, and you really nailed the meter. LOVE the "J-U-N-K"!

    User's website
    Link to comment
    IP address: 84.222.181.153

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  50. I fixed your link, Deborah :) And you already know, since I commented on your blog, that I love your entry - so clever, original, and creative, and such a fun twist! Thanks so much for entering! :)

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  51. Oh how that would be the icing on the cake! To lose a lovey amid the mall's hustle and bustle and to have that be the reason for a tantrum at Santa's. loved it!

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  52. I love it, Deborah! So imaginative! Way to go! :)

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  53. OK, I submitted mine. I know it's not cheery but I don't feel very cheery anyway what with all the horror in Connecticut. I also know I won't win any prizes with my entry but it was fun writing it. I actually finished it yesterday and found time today to post it.


    Thanks so much, Susanna, for hosting this fun contest! I am having such fun reading the other entries. Which yes, are much more cheery than mine. :)

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  54. You shouldn't be so hard on yourself, Clar! There are many things to like about your story! It's not especially cheery - that true :) - but it's a very original and creative idea. Thanks for entering in spite of everything. I know. It's hard to think about anything but all those poor children and their families. But if we can give people a few moments respite with our stories, then maybe we are helping a little.

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  55. Hi Everyone. Here is something silly.

    Jingle Sheep
    (312 words)

    by Marci Henry

    Tiptoeing through the fog
    On teeny tiny feet,
    Six hundred wooly sheep
    Were sneaking down the street.

    Poor Santa had the flu.
    His temperature was high.
    His doctor told him, “Stay in bed
    And stay out of the sky.”

    OH
    Wooly sheep, sneaky sheep
    Come to Santa’s aid
    Wearing beards and Santa hats
    And antlers that they made.

    Wooly sheep, sneaky sheep
    Glad to help St. Nick
    Spreading joy and happiness
    With a festive, merry kick.

    The sheep tried very hard
    To visit every child.
    They tried to keep it quiet
    But soon got very wild.

    The children did not dream
    Of sugarplums and toys.
    They peeked out of their bedroom doors
    To wonder at the noise.

    OH
    Wooly sheep, sneaky sheep
    Come to Santa’s aid
    Wearing beards and Santa hats
    And antlers that they made

    Wooly sheep, sneaky sheep
    Glad to help St. Nick
    Spreading joy and happiness
    With a festive, merry kick.

    At first the children stared
    And some began to cry.
    They then began to giggle
    And not be quite so shy.

    The sheep shared all their hats
    And danced around the tree.
    The children shared their gingerbread
    With shouts of happy glee.

    OH
    Wooly sheep, sneaky sheep
    Come to Santa’s aid
    Wearing beards and Santa hats
    And antlers that they made

    Wooly sheep, sneaky sheep
    Glad to help St. Nick
    Spreading joy and happiness
    With a festive, merry kick.

    The sun began to rise.
    The party had been grand.
    The gifts had been delivered,
    Though not like Santa planned.

    He thanked them just the same,
    The dear sweet, sneaky sheep.
    He asked them what they wanted.
    They asked for sixty jeeps.

    OH
    Wooly sheep, sneaky sheep
    Come to Santa’s aid
    Wearing beards and Santa hats
    And antlers that they made

    Wooly sheep, sneaky sheep
    Glad to help St. Nick
    Spreading joy and happiness
    With a festive, merry kick.


    **Super fun contest, Suzanna. Thanks.

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  56. This is delightful, Marci! So happy and silly and fun, very kid-friendly and very original and creative! I'm so glad you found the contest and entered! Excellent job :)

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  57. I'm so enjoying reading all the entries, including the ones in the comments. Mine will be posted on Wednesday, because I already had a very special (to me) post planned for Monday.

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  58. I know, aren't they fun???!!! And I'm SO excited that you have an entry planned!!! Can't WAIT to read it! :)

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  59. Susanna,

    I really enjoyed your Christmas Eve Travel Trouble. Very clever and cute! Loved the ending. Ha Ha!

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  60. Enjoyed your story, Susanna! It made me laugh because one of my boys asked me today which country Santa starts with on Christmas Eve. Guess it is somewhere near France! :)

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  61. What a fun story! Love the sheep theme!

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  62. I've just finished writing mine and scheduling it to post for Wednesday (I'll come back and add the link that day). I had so much fun writing it!

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  63. Given his somewhat erratic course in this story, it could be pretty much anywhere :) Glad you liked it :) Are you entering? (she asked hopefully :))

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  64. What an original idea! I love it!

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  65. I'm all a-twitter! How will I wait until Wednesday? :)






























    Beth Stilborn (unregistered) wrote, in response to Susanna Leonard Hill:

    I've just finished writing mine and scheduling it to post for Wednesday (I'll come back and add the link that day). I had so much fun writing it!

    Link to comment
    IP address: 65.87.233.107

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  66. OK, I posted my entry on my blog and in the linky. Only you can get me to do these things, Susanna! :)

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  67. SQUEEE!!! Can't wait to read it! I'm coming over RIGHT NOW!

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  68. My link doesn't seem to be showing up in the list....does it take a while?

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  69. It's up! It works! I just used it. Maybe you need to refresh your browser?




























    Renee LaTulippe wrote, in response to Susanna Leonard Hill:


    My link doesn't seem to be showing up in the list....does it take a while?

    User's website
    Link to comment
    IP address: 84.222.181.153

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  70. This is so sweet...it reminds me of Knufflebunny...love the lost teddy theme...great job!!!!

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  71. What fun! I love the sneaky sheep who wear beards and Santa hats and antlers so they can help Santa. :)

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  72. I can picture the illustrations! How fun! (And I love that they ask for jeeps. Your story has the same quirky originality of Sheep in a Jeep.)

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  73. Hello everyone,

    I am so happy I came across this blog. I am admiring everyone's lovely poetry, something I am still struggling with. Instead, here is a quirky, light hearted story for the little ones in our lives.

    Run-away Bumper Car
    (348 words)

    Speeding through the fair in a run-away bumper car.
    “Ho, ho, hold it!”

    Racing past Christmas stalls
    goes the run-away bumper car.
    “Stop!”

    Hurtling through the crowds.
    “Watch out, run-away bumper car!”

    Elfie is trapped in the run-away bumper car.
    It looked so pretty in red and green.
    The same colours as her beautiful new shoes.
    The bumper car reminded her of Santa’s sleigh.
    She pictured reindeer pulling the car with Rudolph in
    front.

    “No,” said Mum, “Bumper cars are scary.”
    But Elfie said: “Yes.”

    “No,” said Dad, “Bumper cars are not for little girls.”
    But Elfie said: “Yes, they are.”

    She jumped in, put on the seat belt and pushed the pedal
    down low.
    Oh dear.
    One of her new shoe straps stuck to the pedal and the
    bumper car ran away.

    Bouncing along in a run-away bumper car.
    How does Elfie stop?

    She screams, “Help.”

    She yells, “Stop.”

    Mum and Dad run behind, and someone else, a big man in a
    red suit and a white beard.

    ‘Santa!’

    They scream, “Stop.”

    They yell, “Slow down.”

    There is only one thing to do, say goodbye to a favorite
    shoe.

    The jumping castle is up ahead.
    Elfie turns the wheel of the run-away bumper car.
    She points it at the jumping castle.
    She pulls her foot hard, she slips of her sock, and with
    it her shoe.
    Her shoe is unstuck, but the run-away bumper car is not
    slowing down!

    The jumping castle is right in front,
    and then underneath.

    BUMP.
    Runway bumper car bumping up.

    BUMP.
    Runaway bumper car bumping down.

    Flying through the air in a runaway bumper car.
    Just like Santa.

    And then it finally
    STOPS.

    Elfie’s tummy feels full of swirling candy canes.

    Santa reaches Elfie.

    “That was great, Elfie!” Santa gives her a hug.

    “I have the best idea for your Christmas present this
    year,” he says twinkly eyed.

    “Would you like to be my driver on Christmas Eve?”

    Elfie looks at her feet. How do you say ‘No,’ to Santa?

    Then she smiles.

    “Actually, Santa, I would love some new shoes instead.”

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  74. So sweet. Still trying to get my little ones to not be scared of Santa, might have to invest in a little Pink Teddy, cause their favorite cuddlies don't seem to help ;-)

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  75. Hi Yvonne! Welcome! I'm so glad you found our little corner of the blogosphere :) What a delightful, fun, original story! I love the way the language at the beginning actually mimics the bump-and-go motion of a bumper car! And I loved that you surprised me with the ending - I thought driving with Santa was a great idea and was surprised when Elfie had her own plan and stuck to it - good for her! Thanks so much for joining in the holiday fun! :)

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  76. Yvonne, your surprise ending is brilliant! I love all the action and movement in this story and the spunky protagonist, Elfie!

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  77. Yvonne, this is exciting and action-packed with a great ending!

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  78. Marci, absolutely adorable images and cleverly done!

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  79. Alayne Kay ChristianDecember 17, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    Well today is not my day, I put my old name on my last post! I better go back to bed.

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  80. Alayne Kay ChristianDecember 17, 2012 at 10:57 AM

    What an adventure for Elfie, her parents, Santa and your readers! I love the sweet ending. Thanks for sharing, Yvonne.

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  81. No worries, but let me make sure I've got it right before I switch it - when I follow the link to your blog the title is "The Land Of No Snow" which is what is on the link list. You want "The Land Of Now Snow"? Or "The Land Of Know Snow"? Let me know :) I'm so excited you entered. Going right back over to read you story! :)

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  82. :) you are funny :) have a cup of coffee/tea :)

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  83. Alayne Kay ChristianDecember 17, 2012 at 11:00 AM

    Okay, after all my mishaps, I can take a deep breath and say, I posted my entry on my blog and submitted my link.

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  84. Alayne Kay ChristianDecember 17, 2012 at 11:04 AM

    I admire people who can think outside the box. I never would have thought of wooly sheep, sneaky sheep for Christmas or to help Santa. Very clever and lots of fun Marci.

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  85. Alayne Kay ChristianDecember 17, 2012 at 11:09 AM

    You have definitely captured the day/week after Christmas in a fun and delightful way. Who would have thunk garbage could be fun and delightful? But it works. Thanks for sharing.

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  86. Oh kids will love having this read to them. So much fun! Who would have thought of sheep being Santa's helpers? So good.

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  87. Enjoyed you green poem, Deborah. You're so right, time together really brings the most happiness.

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  88. Glad you found my entry! :)

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  89. I read your comment from my inbox and hadn't seen the updated link list :)





























    Jennifer Rumberger (unregistered) wrote, in response to Susanna Leonard Hill:

    Glad you found my entry! :)


    Link to comment
    IP address: 50.77.223.194

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  90. Great stories so far, and so many great rhymers out there!

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  91. I know it, Lauri! Isn't this so much fun? :)

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  92. Hilarious! Loved it.

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  93. Do you know how hard this was to sing, Susanna, when you're cracking up???? I loved it. I'm going to sing it (badly) to my kids later. :D

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  94. I've entered! This sounds like fun.

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  95. OOH! I had so much fun doing this last year. I wish the time to put together an entry for this year. Can't wait to read what everyone submits though! Sounds like fun! Have a happy holiday season!

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  96. Thanks Susanna for the fun contest! Here is my entry.


    I BELIEVE



    Rambling down the road
    In our Ford on Christmas Eve
    O'er the bumps we go,
    Wanting to believe.
    Santa sent a note,
    "Meet me at the Square."
    What fun it is to hope and pray
    That Santa will be there.


    Chorus:

    Oh, rickety bang bang, rickety bang bang
    Bumping all the way.
    Oh, we wish that we could ride
    In Grandma's Chevrolet.
    Rickety bang bang, rickety bang bang
    Joggling to and fro.
    Santa Claus, we're on our way
    Please don't pack up and go.


    We pulled up to the curb
    And dashed into the Square.
    Looking up and down:
    Santas everywhere!
    Panic soon sets in.
    Now how are we to know
    Just who the the real Santa is?
    Then came a, "Ho, ho, ho!"


    Chorus


    A voice we'd heard before
    Came drifting through the air.
    It must be ol' St. Nick's,
    I'd know it anywhere.
    One kid on my left,
    Another on my right
    Leading me beneath the tree...
    Behold! A heav'nly sight!


    Chorus


    It isn't Santa Claus,
    Though he wears a suit of red.
    A beard and long white hair
    Are covering his head.
    We run into his arms,
    We must be quite a sight.
    Our dad is home from Afghanistan,
    A miracle tonight.

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  97. Oh YAY! Can't wait to read you entry, Janet! :)

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  98. I'm really glad you liked it, Stina! Thanks for telling me it made you laugh :) I hope your kids get a kick out of it, silly as it is :)

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  99. Oh, Jill! You made me all misty-eyed at the end there! What a lovely, lovely story! I love the chorus with the bumpy, rickety car noises, and I completely fell for the set-up, thinking it was all about finding the real Santa. So cleverly done, when I got to the surprise end and then looked back at the first verse! Excellent job, and a story that would touch many children's hearts! Thank you so much for entering and joining the holiday contest fun! :)

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  100. You might still have time, Leigh... you've got until midnight Wednesday :) But either way, enjoy reading the entries! They are fantastic!

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  101. Thanks for adding my link, Susanna! This is such fun!

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  102. That is just adorable, Marci! Brava!

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  103. Nice job, Jill, and what a great surprise ending. :)

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  104. You're welcome! And I know - isn't it just?! :)

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  105. Jill, this is really special. Your ending had me gasping.

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  106. That was such a fun rhyme! Great job, Marci.

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  107. I love the rickety bang bang chorus. And what surprise (and lovely) ending!

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  108. I love the irony at the end of your story, Susanna, after Santa has been through all that struggle. Very clever and funny :) Thank you for hosting another fun challenge!

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  109. I laughed every time after the refrain and many times through out. But it just tickles me to think of sheep in their homemade antlers.

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  110. The miracle at the end gave me tingles. I love the build of suspense up to that special moment.

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  111. Alayne Kay ChristianDecember 19, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    Jill, this story is great. It starts out so funny and builds up to even funnier with all the Santas. And then Whoa! What a surprise ending. It gave me a chill, a smile, and a tear in the corner of my eye. Nicely done.

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  112. Elfie sure has some fun ideas. I love that she pictured the bumper car like Santa's sleigh. Also "Runaway bumper car" is fun to say.

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  113. This is a fun twist, Deborah! I love the message and fun language.

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  114. What a fun perspective. Babies must think we are pretty clueless, huh? I love this, Linda (especially "tickle goes my tummy"). Delightful.

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  115. Thank you, Susanna. I have had so much fun reading all of the entries...they're just GREAT! Thank you, everyone, for your creative stories. It's so fun starting from the same point and seeing where everyone goes with it.

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  116. I'm so glad you're enjoying it, Jill! I'm always so impressed with how creative and talented everyone is, and how willing to join in the fun :)

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  117. Love the surprise ending!

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  118. Love the bumper car theme! Very original!

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  119. Very cute! Love the little girl POV, very well done!

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  120. Really loving the submissions I have read so far. Look forward to reading the rest in the next few days. Finally posted my own entry at http://patricianozell.com - think it is linking up here, too, but not so sure yet...Susanna, please let me know if I should be submitting it via comment, too...

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  121. POSTED FOR Bara Savastano-Genovese

    Where the Geese Winter by Bara Savastano-Genovese



    Slogging through the slush, in my green and purple boots, I slipped on a patch of ice and went sliding down down down, head over heels, boots flying off my feet and landing who knows where – until I was in a part of the forest I had never been in before.



    When the geese did their flybys past my house, I’d try to guess how many were in the formation. What I didn’t understand was that if geese fly south for the winter, why did they do flybys all year round past my house? Where was south for them? We lived in Minnesota.



    In this part of the forest that I’d fallen into, there were so many geese, that when you took a gander at them, you’d think that you’d landed in the place where all geese go to for the winter.



    By now, my toes were froze – my green and purple boots having taken their own flyby. Like snow, feathers began to pile up around me, especially to the south of me and my icy cold feet. Then, the biggest goose I ever saw, waddled toward me. It opened an eiderdown wing and I heard, like you hear when you put your ear to a seashell, a sound. It started as a honking chorus. But contrary to being easily identifiable as a flock of geese, sounded instead like a Hallelujah Chorus. Who knew geese could sing? Maybe they only sing when they find South.



    But sing they did, and my feet were warm. I must have closed my eyes for just a moment, for the next thing I knew, I was back home.



    Of course my mother scolded me for loosing my boots again. And she couldn’t understand, no matter how many times I tried to explain it to her, that I had found where the geese fly south for the winter. Oh nonsense, child, she’d say, in that way that she looks at me, with a little smile tucked into the corner of her mouth, we live in Minnesota.

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  122. POSTED FOR Bara Savastano-Genovese

    Paolo the Pearl Diving Cat by Bara Savastano-Genovese



    Dashing through the mall, with my Christmas panicked feet, I realized that I still had a list as long as my arm to shop for. I could always go downtown to the Festival of the Last Minute. But just saying it made me tired.



    So I tromped home in time for dinner, then fell asleep in my soup. When I came to, our cat Paolo was hanging from my sister’s ponytail. Between the two of them, there was enough of a Cheshire cat smile to light two city blocks.



    “Whaaaat?” was all I could manage, as Paolo, now sitting atop my sister’s head, his long paws stretched down the side of Esmerelda’s ears, as if she had a secret swinging from each earlobe.



    “For once I know something you don’t know, and I could save you a lot of stress this Holiday Season.”



    “Anything,” I murmured, as Esmerelda and Paolo led me to the garage.



    “He’s been practicing,” she said, as Paolo stood up on his hind legs and pointed with his right front paw to the markings on the wall.



    “Paolo’s been stretching his legs every day, then he goes into the bathtub to hold his breath because Paolo wants to be a deep sea pearl diver. Imagine that? And so I thought that every cat ought to have its day in the sun and live at least one of its nine lives as it really wants to. So after he practices his stretches and holding his breath, I take him to the beach and throw him off the end of the pier, and in no time, he comes back with a pawful of oysters, which Paolo and I crack open, and polish the pearls. There’s enough for everyone on your list, including me.



    I kissed my sister on her impish pixie nose, and Paolo on his sea scented furry head – there’s not many places where you can safely kiss a multi-talented cat. And look forward to see how Paolo decides to use the next of his nine lives.

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  123. What an interesting idea! A pearl-diving cat... with future adventures ahead in his other lives! And can't we all relate to that panicky last-minute feel, when we haven't found all the gifts we need and the shopping has worn us out? What a relief to discover that Paolo and Esmerelda have a solution! Thanks for a very original entry, Bara!!! :)

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  124. You know, I always wonder the same thing about geese, Bara! How far south is south enough? I love the idea of your girl stumbling into their gathering area and being taken care of, and the ambiguity of whether she falls asleep or not. Thanks for a fun and creative entry!! :)

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  125. Susannah, I loved your story -- it would make such a fun picture book. Entertaining and geographically educational! Love your creative mind.

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  126. What a cute and creative idea. I could just picture the sheep in their beards and hats sneaking down the street. I loved it!

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  127. Fun poem, Susanna! Now, do I possibly read all the entries? Will give it a try. . .


    Happy Holidays, everyone! ~Miranda

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  128. Such a fun story, Marci. I really enjoyed it.

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  129. Seems to me you did pretty well in this contest last year, Miranda! :) Maybe you should spend the next couple hours composing your entry and read the other 36 tomorrow :)

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  130. Thank you so much, Margaret! You are very kind :) I can picture it very well in my mind... I wish I could draw! I'm still laughing about the reindeer being fed beans over at your place :)

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  131. I absolutely love this, Jill! The chorus is great and the ending is superb. Great job.

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  132. You're all set, Patricia :) Your link seems to be working fine... at least for me! I'm glad you're enjoying the contest - me too! - so many terrific stories!!! :)

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  133. This is such a cute idea! I wish I had seen it sooner.

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  134. You've still got 2 hours, Jennifer... :) But we will have other contests :)

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  135. Getting it in just under the midnight wire! Set to the expected tune, with only minor work required by the reader to stick to the meter. Happy reading!


    Lost and Found
    --------------------
    Lying in the snow, it's very cold outside
    Got left on the tree, tragically hitched a ride
    Waited here all night, for my fate to arrive
    Believe I hear the truck at last, coming down the drive

    Lasting thoughts of seasons past, many memories
    Norway Spruce, Noble Fir, plastic christmas tree
    Ornaments, high and low, hung for all to see
    While there were a lot of us, how could they forget me?

    A gift from long ago, an fairly ugly elf
    Not appropriate for kids to sit upon a shelf
    Maybe an accident, maybe it was a plan
    In any case, the man is here to toss me in his van

    Grabbing hands, moving tree, I fall to the ground
    Sadly in the new wet snow I fail to make a sound
    Big black boot steps on me, wait he's looking down
    What's that look, I cannot tell, a smile or a frown?

    Ever since that night, gone my uncertainty
    No longer will I sit, only upon a tree
    Most other ornaments, come out but once a year
    Now I hang out all of the time upon this rear view mirror

    Garbage truck, ugly elf, rolling through the town
    The best of things can happen just when life is looking down
    For most folks, this new perch, would not be a treat
    Still with all the odors I must say that life smells sweet

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  136. Not on my blog, and not for the contest... Just wanted to say thanks for a great year, and for all your friendship and support. What a gift to get to know you here!

    xox
    Deb

    Just a beginning—Thanks for the inspiration!

    Crashing through the gifts, in a race on Christmas day.

    One cat, two dogs, three kids—laughing all the way.

    Bells and bows and bulbs are breaking left and right.

    Oh, what fun it is until it turns into a fight.



    CHORUS

    Oh, kids all yell! Cat hits bells! Dogs just want to play!

    Oh, what fun to rip into your gifts on Christmas Day.

    Oh, kids all yell! Cat hits bells! Dogs just want to play!

    Oh, what fun to rip into your gifts on Christmas Day.

    To be continued…

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  137. Alayne Kay ChristianDecember 19, 2012 at 11:45 PM

    I wanted so badly to get through all the entries. But I only got through about 20 of the 32. I will have limited to no computer access from now until after Christmas. But I will get back to reading these great stories as soon as I can.

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  138. So cute, Deb...love the refrain...all too true about ripping into the gifts. :) It has been an incredible year. :)

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  139. Definitely a different take on the Christmas story...so glad he is 'rescued'...reminds me of the story of "The Remarkable Rocket" by Oscar Wilde.
    Love your images...and the last line is fantastic!

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  140. Hi Bara...nice to meet you! This is a really funny Christmas story...and I love the anticipation of Paolo's future adventures.:)

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  141. Wow...this has a very fairy-tale-ish feel to it...kind of like 'The Wild Swans'...very dream-like. And the mom, just like many, makes light of the fantastic adventure her daughter had. Great images, Bara!

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  142. Oh my goodness, Jill...this is awesome...the ending brought tears to my eyes...and so appropriate with many servicemen and women away from their families at Christmastime. So nice to connect via Susanna's fabulous holiday contest. ;)

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  143. I remember bumper cars in Coney Island. :) What a fun poem! Nice to meet you, Yvonne!

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  144. I've read them all, Alayne, including #38 which slid in under the wire, and it will be worth your time to come back and finish when you can - so many great stories! But I hope you'll at least be able to get online to vote this weekend once I put the finalists up tomorrow! :) It's going to be a tough competition and we're going to need all the votes we can get! Have a wonderful holiday!

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  145. So glad you slid in under the wire with this cute and original entry! I love the different POV of a forgotten ornament - such a great idea! - and I love the message of the story - great for anytime of year but especially for Christmas! Great last line :) Thanks so much for joining in the holiday contest fun! :)

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  146. Great beginning, Deb! One we can totally relate to in our house of wild Christmas morning chaos :) I'll look forward to reading the rest whenever you write it. It's been so great getting to know you, too! I hope 2013 has lots of good in store for you and that we'll get to spend lots of quality time together in this wonderful writing community and maybe even get to meet in person somewhere! :)

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  147. I can't do it this year, but I've been enjoying all the entries!

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  148. Thank you, Vivian.

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  149. So, so, so cute. What great rhyme and meter!

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  150. Very nice beginning! You sure need to finish it!

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  151. So glad you like them, Hannah! Finalists go up tomorrow for voting. It's going to be a tough pick!!! :)

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  152. Thank you! We'll see if it ever gets finished. Maybe I'll know what happens next in a few days... ; )

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  153. I would LOVE to meet in person. If you're ever in the Pacific northwest and need an island get-away... ; )

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  154. Thanks, Vivian. We try to keep it orderly, and it starts that way, but then, pretty soon... Well, you know... ; )

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  155. POSTED FOR JO at http://thegracefuldoe.wordpress.com

    That was such a fun rhyme! Great job, Marci.

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  156. POSTED FOR JO at http://thegracefuldoe.wordpress.com

    I love the rickety bang bang chorus. And what surprise (and lovely) ending!

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