Poetry is not a lost art. Astrid Ludwig, a Grade 5 student who is being home-schooled, proved that with her rhyming entry, “Christmas Traditions,” in the Times’ annual Christmas story contest.
Her poem won first place in the grades 4-7 category of the contest. It tells of a backcountry skiing trip into the Trophy Mountains and, she says, is half true, half fiction.
Second place went to Andrew Ludbrook, who proved that Christmas can not only be fun but also funny.
Andrew is a student at Raft River Elementary School, as are all the other prize-winners.
His story, “Santa Finds the Lost Pig,” tickled your judges’ funny bones and got them yelling, “Pig in the city! Pig in the city!”
Claire Arduini took third place in the grades 4 – 7 category with her story, “The Gingerbread Man Who Stole Santa.”
Who knew gingerbread men could be so mean? Fortunately, this gingerbread man got his just deserts (or was that desserts?).
In the Kindergarten – Grade 3 category, first place went to Grade 3 student Reid Muddiman.
His story told about a reindeer that Santa left behind. Several other children told similar tales but his had the most imaginative details.
Second place was taken by Michael Shook, also a Grade 3 student.
His story also was titled “The Reindeer” and told about one of Santa’s reindeer that got left behind. The first line is often the hardest part of a story to write and Michael wrote a good one.
Grade 1 student Evan Colborne won third place with her story, “The Littlest Angel.”
It tells about a little angel who was lonely but then became friends with her friends again during Christmas.
A total of 81 youngsters entered our Christmas story contest this year, the same number as entered last year. Both years were up from the 52 entries received in 2013.
As in previous years, we will endeavour to print all of the stories in this and in subsequent issues during the holiday season.
The first place winners in both categories will receive $25 for their efforts. Second place is worth $15, and third place will bring $10.
The winning stories appear below:
Division 1, Grades 4 – 7
It was the day before Christmas and all through my house,
The ski racks were empty, and all the ski boots gone!
The whole family had left right after dawn.
They had packed up the boots, skis and the skins,
They had worn the warm coats and thick gloves.
They had walked to the truck all merry and warm,
The mother and father had eggnog ‘n’ rum.
The daughter and her cousin, who was over for a play date, were drinking hot chocolate, and half was on their face.
Then they had driven, windshield blurred through a snowstorm,
Past people bent on getting to their relatives before Christmas day.
Then they turned their truck, up to Wells Gray Park.
And put on the seat heat as they drove through the half-dark.
The girls giggled in the back seat, as the father told a joke about really cold feet.
They turned off to the Flower Meadow Trail, and headed up the road.
They belly-dragged a bit, trying to get a little farther.
After a while they stopped, when the going got too tough.
Then they unloaded their gear and put skins on their skis.
Then they buckled in to their bindings and put them on touring mode.
Then they headed up the mountain, one after another.
They skied up through a breathe-taking, winter-wonderland.
They skied past old trees that had seen many winters.
The girls made up a story, with a witch, a snowstorm and a broomstick.
Then they talked of cross-country skiing and jumps.
And how someday they’d fly over them lumps,
And do those tricks, like crossing your skis in the air,
And how they missed the takeoff last year, just by a hair!
It was a long uphill, and the girls started to moan,
About stopping and going down now,
Then finally they came to the Flower Meadows,
And took them skins off,
And skied down the hill!
They went faster, than Prance, Dancer, and Vixen.
They raced the snowflakes, and the trees waved goodbye,
Then they drove home, a spectacular day they all agreed.
“Let’s do it again next year!”
About the story – The activity that they did was backcountry skiing and skins are wide hairy strips that you stick to the bottom of skis to go uphill when skiing. This story is half true, half fiction.
By Astrid Ludwig, Grade 5
Santa Finds the Lost Pig
Santa was stranded in New York. His elves were teaching him how to put together a pogo stick.
It was time to deliver the presents to the young children in the city. He loved snow, and hated pigs and any other animals who don’t share Christmas spirit!
The snow was more than two feet deep and Santa was afraid that a pig would come magically out of nowhere.
And I bet you’ll never actually know what happened. A pig came racing out of the snow holding an apple in his mouth! Santa’s eyes were as big as potatoes!
His face went a colour that wasn’t quite an orange, it was a little closer to blue, it’s very hard to explain. Santa SCREAMED as loud as a firetruck horn! He ran yelling, “PIG IN THE CITY, PIG IN THE CITY!”
Everyone was sleeping, after all, it was the middle of the night! One man woke up … to close the window.
Santa went on yelling! He hadn’t taken the time to notice that the pig was bounding behind him. The pig had jumped into a snow mound.
Santa looked back, he stopped. The pig was gone, it was suspiciously quiet.
Santa said, “Okay, the pig is no-more!” Santa had always feared pigs, he was told that pigs had knife like teeth. Santa had believed that.
As Santa observed the pig, he started to admire it. He noticed that the pig wasn’t barking at him, he was purring! Santa did not know much about animals, mostly cats and dogs. He didn’t know that dogs barked and cats purred.
The pig stared at Santa, Santa stared at the pig. The pig smiled, Santa smiled.
I’m gonna keep you. I think I’m gonna call you … Bob. Hey, you can help me deliver the presents. Santa took Bob to his workshop and they worked all the way into next Christmas.
Bob and Santa have been delivering presents for years and years.
So, Santa and Bob became BEST-FRIENDS-FOREVER.
By Andrew Ludbrook
The Gingerbread Man Who Stole Santa!
It was Christmas Eve, late at night all the kids were tucked in their beds waiting for Santa to come. The kids in one house left a gingerbread man for Santa but what those kids did not know was that the gingerbread man came to life.
As Santa was coming into Sally’s home the gingerbread man woke up from a deep sleep and grabbed Santa and put him in a very BIG BAG!
The gingerbread man took Santa to his secret lair under Sally’s bed. Santa had a secret recipe for the best cookies in the world and the gingerbread man wanted those cookies from Santa.
Santa was able to get 4 presents under the Christmas Tree and a very important letter! Sally woke up at 3:00 am, it was Christmas Day she was sad to only see 4 presents, BUT, Sally found the note Santa left her!
The letter said “Dear Sally I got taken by the gingerbread man that you made me. I need you to go and give all the other kids their presents. Go out to my sleigh and tell my reindeer why you are there. Go out and deliver the presents PLEASE! THANK YOU! Love Santa!!
So off Sally went to deliver the presents. She went to John’s house, Milos’s house, Jasper’s house, Livia’s house, Katie’s house and lots more. Sally had done it, she had started at 3:15am and finished at 6:00am and made it to all the kids in her town.
Sally went back home, went into her room ad heard a strange noise under her bed. She looked underneath and saw the gingerbread man. Sally grabbed him and said, “Where did you put Santa?” Santa yelled really loud, Sally looked under the bed and there was Santa so Sally pulled Santa out.
Sally and Santa ate the gingerbread man together and they lived happily ever after.
By Claire Arduini
Division 2, Kindergarten – Grade 3
It was Christmas day at two o’clock am when Santa was sliding down Emily and Jack’s chimney.
In two point two seconds he landed with a big thud! Santa climbed out of the fire place and looked around.
He found a little table with nine carrots, three chocolate chip cookies and a thermos of warm cocoa with two marshmallows floating in the cocoa. Santa ate the cookies and drank the cocoa.
Then he reached down to the bottom of his brown leather toy sack (because Jack and Emily’s house was the last house to get Christmas presents) and pulled one present addressed to Jack and another addressed to Emily.
Santa gently placed the two presents underneath the tree. Santa walked over to the brown fire place.
Then he layed a finger aside his nose and up the chimney rose. Santa trudged through the three foot deep snow on the Cortez’s roof to his shiny red sleigh. He climbed in to his red sleigh not knowing that Blitzen’s harness was loose!
Just as they were taking off, Santa glanced back. Just then, Blitzen fell out of his harness!
“MOM DAD MOM DAD MOM DAD – WAKE UUUUUP!” screamed Jack and Emily.
“What?” said Mom, rolling her eyes in a not so interested voice.
“Blitzen was on our back porch!” said Emily. “And we put him in the living room so he wouldn’t get cold”, added Jack.
“Let’s see”, groaned Dad. So the whole Cortez family paraded into the living room.
When they got there, mom covered her mouth, Dad stared in disbelief, and they both gasped. There, standing in the middle of the living room floor. Was Blitzen himself!
He had a clean red velvet and gold harness on with a gold name plate that read Blitzin, in perfect hand writing, engraved into it.
“He’s lovely!” cried Mom. “Whooaa!” admired Dad. “I know!”, said Jack, and he ran down and gave the reindeer a big hug
‘’Jack’’! Screamed their mother. ‘’What’’? Asked Jack it’s a reindeer it won’t hurt me.
Jack reindeer are very very strong and can easily kill you . “Not this one its Santa reindeer” said Jack .
“Can we pleeeease keep him” asked Emily Please please please keep him Emily and Jack said in unison.
“ I guess so,” said mom “OK,” said dad.
“Yesssssss “ Emily and Jack screamed. “But… “ said Dad we can only keep him until next Christmas okay agreed the children
By Reid Muddiman
I woke up to a crackling fire and the smell of fresh baked cookies. I got down from my bunk bed and went down stairs.
My mom and Dad were already down stairs. My dad had made a fire and my mom had made some cookies.
I went up stairs to see if Adalie and River were awake. Adalie was playing Lego in her room.
I went into my room. River was still asleep. I went back downstairs and ate some cookies.
I asked my Mom if I could open my stuff. She said, “No” because River was not awake.
I went upstairs to wake up River. He was already awake. I got River to go downstairs. Adalie went too, then we opened our presents and went outside.
Outside, we heard a weird sound. It was a moose.
No! It was a reindeer! It was amazing. One of Santa’s reindeer was in our backyard.
We had to get it back to Santa’s house. We flew there. In no time we were there. With a puff of smoke, Mom and I were home.
By Michael Shook
The Littlest Angel
Once upon a time there in a far away land lived a little angel and her friends. But she was the smallest angel of them all. They teased her. They weren’t very nice.
They did not let her join in fun games. She was lonely. She wanted at least one friend.
One day it was Christmas Eve. She was so excited. So they celebrated Christmas together and then it was the littlest angel’s turn.
She gave her gifts to her friends and they had a happy Christmas and they were friends again.
By Evan Colborne