Christmas Contest!

Ho Ho Ho!
Ho Ho Ho!

When I heard that it was time for Susanna Hill’s Fourth Annual Holiday Contest two thoughts sprung to mind:

  1. YAY!
  2. Didn’t I just do the Halloween Contest? (Answer: Yes. Yes, I did.)

But that’s holidays for you; they like to creep up when you least expect ’em.

So, between the decorating, the cards, the shopping, and all the extra work that makes me a Christmas crabbypants, I wrote a story!

And writing this story, I am pleased to say, made me a lot less crabby. So thank you, Susanna, for that much-needed dose of de-grinching. 

The contest rules are simple: In 350 words or fewer, write a story in which wild weather impacts the holidays. 




Santa numbly stared at the enormous hole in the ice.

“Did everyone get out?” he asked.

“We’re all here,” an elf replied. “But the toys…”

Santa nodded. His beloved factory was deep underwater. All the toys were inside.

“I told you we needed to move,” Mrs. Claus sighed. “Haven’t you heard of Global Warming? Why would you build a factory on a glacier? And Christmas is just one week away!”

Santa nodded once again. One week wasn’t enough time to make new toys. He needed to get them from someone else.


“We’d love to help you, Mr. Claus!” said the chipper factory manager. His factory was a lovely place, filled with happy workers making excellent toys of all kinds. “Here’s the estimate!”

“Estimate?” Santa asked.

“Well, sure! We don’t give toys away. Making toys for millions of children costs 32 billion dollars.”

Santa coughed. “Could I maybe pay you in cookies?”

“Get out,” said the manager.


The second toy factory had much lower prices.

“Is that lead paint?” Santa asked.

“Just a little,” the man assured him.

“Are you putting broken toys in boxes?”

“Broken toys are cheaper!”

Santa walked away in disgust.


“It’s no use,” he told his elves. “We can’t make deliveries this year.”

He went on TV. Through his tears, Santa let the world know. Then he sadly steered his sleigh for home.

When he arrived, he found an enormous pile of boxes waiting for him.

“What are these?” he asked.

He pulled a note off one box. It read:

Dear Santa,

I was sad to hear you couldn’t make toys this year. So I took my allowance money and bought this one. Could you give it to somebody who’d like it?

Santa looked at the other notes. Every box was a gift for someone else. And more boxes were arriving by the second.

“It’s unbelievable!” Then Santa remembered how long his “Nice List” was and it didn’t seem so unbelievable anymore.

“We’re delivering toys!” Santa announced. The elves cheered.

“And, for the record,” he added. “We’re no longer giving out coal.”

I think I'll just give the bad kids underpants.
I think I’ll just give the bad kids underpants.


88 Replies to “Christmas Contest!”

  1. Oh, Mike! You’ve brought a tear to my eye, renewed my faith in the goodness of all us feebly thoughtful souls, and reminded me to check my home insurance. We’re very close to sea level and just a couple of blocks from the San Francisco Bay. Cheers!

    1. I am delighted to hear that my story moved you — both emotionally and to a better insurance plan.

      And if someday you fine folks do get washed out, please be aware that there is a lot of high ground in New Jersey. (Unfortunately, New Jersey is also filled with people from New Jersey, which is its own special kind of natural disaster.)

  2. Have been eagerly waiting your entry. What will Mike write next. Was hoping someone would do something around global warming. And, you did with a great plot with the right amount of danger.! Very original and your ending caught me off guard.

  3. Mike, This is very cute! Love how you turned the story of Santa on its head. I don’t think you have to go so far as to get rid of the coal, though. The guy selling broken and lead-painted toys could sure use some coal. Good luck in the contest!

  4. Mike, EXCELLENT story!!! The best way to spread Christmas cheer is to send Santa some presents to get him in gear!!!! HA! Love the global warming spin and showing the Christmas spirit shine through.

      1. Aww, see, I missed that then! I will go and check it out later. I’ve been around blogs a little less than usual over last couple of weeks due to general busyness, so I’ve missed a few from my regulars!

    1. Socks are also an excellent “You’ve Been Rotten” gift. Or a new toothbrush. Or plain white pillowcases.

      Or “Merry Christmas, kid! Here’s a box of shredded wheat!”

      I really should be hired by The Big Guy to handle the naughty list.

  5. YES, turn it into a PB! I love the original concept, the humor laced w/meaning of the season. Bet you are a top 10 entry, Mike. Cheers.

  6. “I think I’ll just give the bad kids underpants” – hahaha! That would be punishment indeed! Great story, Mike! Love the mix of action, humor, and poignancy. You got the “AW!” moment with the letter from the unselfish child! And I laughed out loud when the chipper factory manager said, “Get out.” 🙂 Thanks so much for joining in the holiday fun – I’m glad you’re feeling less crabby 🙂

  7. “If you believe in fairies, clap your hands.” Mike, I still remember standing up in the movie theater in 1953 and clapping my hands until they hurt. Your story gave me the same warm happy feeling. What a lovely unique take on the Christmas spirit…Kudos to you. 😉

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