It’s holiday contest time!

Every time Susanna Leonard Hill holds a writing contest, I think, “Oh geez, that sounds fun, but I’m so busy and I have no idea what I would write about,” and then two hours later I have an idea, and then of course I have to write it. So there you go.

This week kicks off her 4th annual Holiday Contest, which is all about weather. As she says:

Write a children’s story (children here defined as approximately age 12 and under) in which wild weather impacts the holidays!  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.

And so this, in my slightly quirky fashion, is what I came up with (at 267 words), inspired by my time living in South Florida. Enjoy — and by all means enter the contest!


Zinnia glared at the palm trees and people in shorts. She scuffed her sneakers on the hot sidewalk.

“It’s not real snow,” she said.

The worst part of moving to Florida was no white Christmas. No snowman. No snowball fights. No snow angels.

The best her town could do was a snow machine. “It’s just going to melt,” Zinnia grumbled, feeling sweaty.

“Happy Christmas Eve!” boomed the mayor. “Everyone ready?”

The other children in the park nodded, bouncing with excitement.

The men turned on the snow machine. Whirr spat spurt, little blobs of snow sailed out onto the ground.

Everyone except Zinnia cheered.

A man in a red suit, walking past, stopped and bent down. “What’s wrong, sweetie?”

Zinnia said, “I wish this was real snow.”

The snow machine RUMBLED.

Pow! A river of snow shot out of the tube.

It sprayed the trees. It spattered the people. It blew everywhere.

“Run!” yelped the mayor. Everyone ran.

WHOOSH, the snow kept coming. It swirled and blew in great white gusts.

Lizards skittered away. Crabs hid under their claws. Birds flew north for the winter.

Finally, the machine sputtered to a stop.

Everything was white. Everyone was cold.

“This is a catastrophe!” the mayor cried.

“Yaaaaaaayyyyy!” Zinnia flung herself onto the ground and made snow angels. “This is the best snowstorm ever!”

The other children looked at each other, shrugged and made snow angels too.

They had an epic snowball battle.

They built the only snowman in Florida.

“Thanks for my white Christmas, Santa,” Zinnia whispered to the man in the red suit.

Santa winked. “Anytime.”


54 thoughts on “It’s holiday contest time!

  1. I’m just like Zinnia. I’m from Rochester, NY where they have Lake Effect Snow. Now I live in South Georgia. No snow. *sigh* Or at least not what “I” would call snow. haha.

  2. Glad Santa made her wish come true. Very fun story. (PS I’m like you too. Each time the contest comes around, I say, there is way too many things on my plate, but I enjoy the challenge of being creative within tight constraints).

  3. Very fun story, Marlaina! It reminded me to our Texas Christmas! Just the other day they brought a machine in to make enough snow for the kids at Hometown Holidays to make snowmen. But no one even had a coat on. 🙂

  4. Aw! I’m glad Zinnia got her white Christmas! It’s hard enough moving to a new place without having to miss all the things you associate with the holidays! And Zinnia got to teach the Florida kids a thing or two about REAL snow 🙂 Nicely done! Thanks so much for joining in the Holiday Contest fun! 🙂

  5. What a fun story, Marlaina…and it’s so true that kids in warm climates often feel they are missing out on the holiday spirit because they don’t have snow. I’m here in New Hampshire and would love to send some of it elsewhere. 🙂 🙂

  6. Aw, Santa’s such a great guy, isn’t he? We just have rain on Christmas, too, so we’ve got to go to the mountains to see any. Our son starts lobbying in October to get the first snow trip scheduled. I’m so glad Zinnia got her wish. Good luck in the competition!

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