When I heard that it was time for Susanna Hill’s Fourth Annual Holiday Contest two thoughts sprung to mind:
- 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.
A CARBON CHRISTMAS
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:
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.”