Monday, December 12, 2016

The 6th Annual Holiday Contest

It seems I'm always late to get things done, especially around the holidays. This year I was determined to write something for author Susanna Hill's Annual Holiday Contest. Read all about it here. My picture book story is titled "Santa's Twelve Days of Reasons" and is 299 words. I hope you like it.

Santa’s Twelve Days of Reasons

Ivan watched his closest buddies practice pulling Santa’s sleigh.
They’d been chosen in a lottery. Not Ivan.
He secretly thought his rare white fur made him different.

Santa and Ivan were friends.
Mr. Klaus decided to show his friend he was wrong.

On Christmas Eve, the Jolly Village residents gathered outside the toy barn.
“Welcome!” Santa said, fully dressed.
“First, I want everyone to know something. I have an important friend.”
The elves and animals looked around. Who was Santa’s special friend?
Ivan hung his head. Not me, I’m too different.

“For these twelve days of Christmas,” Santa said, “my friend has done wonderful things.
On Day 1, I found a box of my favorite cocoa,
on Day 2, my toy sack repaired,
on Day 3, my sleigh painted,
and on Days 4 and 5, the chicken fences fixed.”
Santa beamed. The crowd “oohed.”

Ivan thought this ‘special friend’ wonderful.
“On Day 6, my friend returned my library books,
on Day 7 took Mrs. Claus to the dentist,
and on Day 8, picked up my black boots from the shoemaker.”

Everyone pointed to Santa’s shiny boots with new soles.
Ivan raised his head. Santa’s friend sounded great.

“On Day 9, my friend gave me tissues when I had a cold,
on Day 10, my buddy shined my sleigh bell.
 And on Day 11 and 12, my friend brought me freshly baked bread and muffins. Delicious!”

Everyone “aahed.”
Ivan’s head shot up. He loved to bake and gave Santa muffins today!

“Yes, Ivan, YOU are my special friend,” Santa said. “Would you guide my sleigh alongside Rudolph?”

Elves draped colorful lights along Ivan’s antlers.
Mrs. Claus belted his new red vest.
Ivan matched the other reindeer standing in formation.

Santa smiled. “Ready?”
Ivan nodded. This was the best Christmas ever!


  1. Very sweet. Such a heart-warming story.

  2. I love rooting for the "underdeer." Nice story!

  3. Hooray for Ivan! Good luck and happy holidays!

  4. I'm glad Ivan's generosity was rewarded! Happy holidays!

  5. What a cute story. Glad Santa had such a good friend in Ivan!

    1. Thank you. Ivan didn't realize his own self worth. Santa made him see. Happy holidays!

  6. Aw! So sweet! I'm glad Ivan was appreciated because he certainly was a good friend to Santa! Thanks for this original spin on the 12 Days format, Laurie, and Happy Holidays!

    1. Susanna, THANK YOU for everything you do for the kidlit community and writers especially! I always enjoy your contests too. Happy holidays!

  7. Yay for Ivan! I'm so glad Santa recognized how much he wanted to be part of the fun. This was so sweet, Laurie.

  8. Yeah for Ivan! And yeah for you for a heartwarming story, Laurie.