Honourable Mention winners in the Barriere Star Journal’s 2020 Annual Christmas Story Contest

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The annual Star/Journal Christmas Story Essay Contest has been judged and the winners were announced in our December 17 issue. To all those creative youngsters who took the time to compose their own literary work in celebration of Christmas we say “thank you”. Your stories truly bring forth the magic of the season through the imagination of youth. Thank you for providing our readers with fun and enjoyment as they read through your essays and share them with family and friends.

Here are all the young authors who each received an Honourable Mention for their submissions (please note: they are in no specific order).

Honourable Mentions Division 2 – Grade 4 to Grade 7

The Reindeer Are Too Old

By Paige Arcand

grade 6

On a stormy Christmas night, Santa went to check on the reindeer to find a surprise… The reindeer were OLD!!! Prancer and Dancer were in bed playing sudoku, Dasher was making coffee for Comet and Cupid, and Vixen, Blitzen, and Donner were watching the news!! Santa knew Christmas was coming soon so he needed to find replacements as soon as possible. As Santa was remembering all the animals he saw over the years he thought of one very special animal… A ZEBRA!! But how would he get 8 zebras plus Rudolph in just under a week? Possibly he could go on Instagram and get someone to drop off 8 zebras in the next few days? Yes, that would work quite fine. Now all I have to do is go on instagram and post. Within minutes the post had 400,000 shares, 5,000,000 likes, and 4,000 comments. Santa found someone who can lend him 8 zebras. Now all he had to do was contact Ginger Bread-Man, who lives in Clanwilliam, Africa. Ginger agreed to give Santa the zebra if Santa left her kid’s good presents until they were old. Now all he had to do was go to Africa to get his zebra. Santa was about to leave when it hit him, how was he going to get to Africa in one day? He couldn’t fly because the Covid-19 could be at the airport.

“I know!!” exclaimed Santa.

”I could get a private jet to fly me there.” Santa called the private jet company, and they will be able to pick him up in 4 hours. When the jet came to pick him up Santa gave the pilot a limited-edition Conner McDavid clear cut 2015 hockey card. The pilot was so shunned he started break-dancing in the isle.

While they were flying a flight attendant asked if he would like to have a hot chocolate on his flight. Santa agreed and he had just tasted the best hot chocolate ever!(don’t tell Mrs. Claus)

When Santa had landed, he decided to bring some Christmas cheer to the staff at Costco. He gave the CEO tips for the stock market and sang Jingle Bells over the loudspeaker.

Santa drove to candy cane lane, where Ginger lived, and he met up with her. When Ginger gave Santa the zebra, he thanked her greatly, and left her kids an extra present. When the kids opened the presents, they saw reindeer bells.

That’s how Santa saved Christmas!


Replacing the Reindeer

By Isabel Maddocks-Puetz

grade 5, age 10

¨Really! Your reindeer are too old and you want me to pick a replacement!¨

Oh hello, I was just talking to Santa and you will never guess what he told me I have to choose a replacement for the reindeer! I have a few ideas in mind, and here they are… a Bengal tiger might work. They are brilliant, which means they are going to be easier to train for Santa! Bengel tigers are also strong so with a team of them Santa should have no problem with pulling the sleigh. Their muscles probably will not be out as easily as one white-tailed deer. Another good thing is that they are very quiet so that the tiger will awaken no one! But the tiger still has some faults, like they are not that friendly, that means Santa might not have some good memories with them. Ok so, no tigers.

Maybe a polar bear, they are strong, that is a good thing! They also are smart, maybe not as much as the tigers but whatever, the polar bear also is strong and sure-footed. Since it is sure-footed they will not slip off the roof! Yay! With strength, it can pull the sleigh easy! But still, it is not friendly. So no polar bears either. Aww!

Let’s try a cheetah, they are fast so we can get to all the houses quicker! Cheetahs are also smart so the training should be easier. They also are quiet so no-one will be awoken! But they are still not friendly and when they run they get tired so easily! So no cheetah, but we still can do dogs can´t we? They are sure-footed so they will not slip off the roof! They are also very friendly! Yeah! That means they will have no aggression to the different houses. They also are strong so pulling the sleigh is easier, phew. Their strength will help Santa a lot. Santa can also cross-breed them into the perfect breed for old Saint Nick! Dogs also are smart so their training is easier which means Christmas will be at the same time this year. I am sure we all will want that! So dogs it is!

¨Santa I have found the perfect animal to replace the reindeer! Dogs!¨


The reindeer are just too old and can’t fly anymore

By Grace Farrow

grade 6

The reindeer are just to old and can’t fly anymore. What animal flies in their place and why?

This year Santa’s reindeer are going to have to retire. There are several reasons for this. One being they are 248 years old. Now I know that does not seem old, but because of their age they have had some difficulties. They can not eat, because there teeth are bad and they are missing some. It is hard for them to lift off because there feet are rotting. They can not see at night,and they can not hear Santa telling them where to go.

Santa and the elves get together. There is four suggestions made for replacement reindeer. The four suggestions are houseflies, donkeys, hippos, and monkeys. Houseflies are a no, because you need too many and they just fall down and die. Donkeys will not work, because they are too stubborn. Monkeys also will not work, because they are too crazy. The hippos are the best choice. They have big strong feet to move them fast, and you only need three of them. With a little sprinkle of flying dust the three hippos will be ready.

The three hippos that were chosen were Charlie Wagner, Ariana Remington, Little James John. The toys were loaded, the hippos were hitched. Santa was ready to deliver. The night went really well. They delivered presents three times faster than Santa had ever done with the reindeer. The only problem was, the hippo’s use poop power between continents.

So Santa would like plexiglass and Covid masks installed for next year.


Who Stole The Cookie Decorations?

Tahlia Clarke

grade 6, age 11

When I walk into the kitchen something feels odd. Mazey (the tall elf), Zoe (the smarty elf), and Danica (the stylish elf) are making gingerbread men and sugar cookies for Santa. It all smells so sweet as I walk into the room. They have three trays full of cookies on the counter and they are scrambling around the kitchen. “Where are they?” shouts Danica.

“Where’s what?” I ask.

“All of the decorations for our cookies are gone,” says Zoe.

¨We have looked all over the place!¨ says Mazey.

I decided to help them look when all of a sudden the oven beeps. ‘’We don’t have any cookies in the oven anymore” says Mazey confused. Zoe opens up the oven and a whole bunch of green icing splashes out of it.

“How did that happen?” I ask. We all look confused as we clean up the mess.

“What’s that?” asks Danica, pointing to the front door. A trail of green, purple, and white sprinkles leads to the door.

Mazey walks to the front door and opens it. “There is more,” says Mazey. We all follow her to an almost endless path of sparkly sprinkles. We follow the sprinkles to the grocery store, the bank, and the post office. At the post office, we questioned James (the short elf). He said that he had no idea of what was going on.

We keep following the sprinkles until they lead to the North Pole Elementary School. We followed the trail through hallways, rooms, and other elves until we got to Mr. Allan the teacher elf¨s door. We knock on the door and Mr. Allan opens it. ¨Can I help you?¨ he asks.

“Umm… Hello Mr. Teacher elf,” says Danica in a worried tone.

“Well we were making cookies for Santa and we lost all of our decorations and….”

“ We saw a trail of sprinkles that lead to your classroom.” says the tall elf interrupting Zoe.

“ Well I might have possibly borrowed your decorations,” says the teacher elf nervously.¨

“What do you mean?¨ I say.

¨Well I did knock on the door, but nobody answered.¨ he said. ¨I needed some supplies so I could make my cookies for Santa. I must have dropped some sprinkles on the way to my classroom after I ran some errands. I’m sorry ¨ he said.

¨ That’s ok, but we should just make the cookies together¨, suggests Mazey.


Santa´s new techs

By Graydon Simrose

grade 5, age 10

Boosters: Boosters would make his sleigh go around the world 20 times faster than his normal sleigh.

Cookie and milk dispenser: Just in case he gets hungry on his trip around the world it would go in the middle of the sleigh for it to work. He needs to press the red button that says cookies and milk.

Invisible sleigh button: Why an invisible sleigh button, because if someone saw Santa’s sleigh and took a picture of it or a video it could be bad now he can press this button that says sight of Santa and he would press it and it would turn his sleigh invisible.

Present launcher: Santa is too old, c’mon he can’t go down the chimney anymore so lets make the PRESENT LAUNCHER!. This is how it works, it is a gun, a large gun and you shove them in and shoot them down the chimney, also they float. You are probably asking how do they stop floating when they enter the house?, well they stop floating after 30 seconds.


Something Terrible

James Banzaru

grade 6, age 11

Hey, my name is James, and I am dealing with something terrible. Next week is Christmas and someone stole the cookie decorations, you see? You might not think it’s not that bad but think again, because for Christmas I am going to bake cookies for the poor in town.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I live in a small town called Clarké. My partners that were supposed to help me bake the cookies are the well-known, handy dandy David and Tahlia. But now they are going to help me find the thief – or thieves! My first suspect is my best friend Mazey. I am pretty darn sure she sneaks in my house! I know it sounds stupid, but I am sure that someone comes in my house at night. Just to prove it I caught it on camera and it’s so creepy! I think Mazey stole the cookie decorations because in the video the house imposter was really tall just like Mazey.

Yesterday I did an interview with her and it went something like this: ¨So Mazey, what do you do from 6:00 to 11:00 PM on Saturdays? I asked.

¨Um … I just do my homework and if I don’t have any I just text until I am tired then I sleep. Why?¨ she asked in an almost squeaky like voice.

¨Well, I found your phone at my house. Don’t play dumb with me Mazey, I know you sneak in my house at night!¨ She looked like she just got exposed because she did.

¨I promise I did not sneak in your house and you know that.¨

Then I left her to think about it. Damn! I thought, she was my one and only suspect … or was she? The next day I realized the mistake I made, she got framed and I fell for it! Now I have two more suspects, David and Tahlia. How didn’t I notice before? All that was just a waste of time. I bet both of them are the thieves. Well, at least I know who it is, I thought, although I know that’s not enough.

To Be Continued…


The reindeer are just too old and can’t fly anymore

By Mazey Munro

grade 6, age 8

The reindeer are getting old and can’t fly anymore so Santa told me to find an animal to take the place of the reindeer so I got to work and these are some of my ideas… My first idea was Lynx. You might be wondering why lynx. Well because they are very sneaky that would probably come in handy. Then the kids around the world would not see them. They are also very fast so they could probably get done faster. How are they going to fly you might ask. Well, Santa has a special powder that will make the lynx fly.

My second idea for an animal to replace the reindeer is an eagle. Because they can fly fast, also good at flying, and are strong so it would be easy to pull the sleigh. They have really good eyesight so if Santa lost something the eagle could find it. It doesn’t take that much to feed eagles because they can find food very easily and can feed them selfs, They are so commen around the world so they could watch to see if all the kids around the world are being good. So then Santa can prepare for Christmas and he could also get some time to himself because it is probably a very hard and annoying job.

My third idea for an animal to take over for the reindeer would be a fox because they are super fast so they could get all the presents out early but not too early because you don’t want all the kids around the world to see Santa. They are also small so they could help sneak the presents into the kid’s house. Are very energetic so they would not have to eat a lot like the reindeer do but they would have to eat throughout the night.

These are my ideas for which animal could take over for the reindeer. So now I am going to bring these down to Santa and see which animal fits the criteria to replace the reindeer. Wish me luck Santa is a hard one to please so let see if he likes any of my ideas.


Cookie Decorations

By Khloe Jackson

grade 5, age 11

Once upon a time there was an elf named Jarold and he has a twin brother and his name is Jeff. Jarold is nice, has blue eyes, brown hair, really tall so that’s also what Jeff looks like.

One day Jeff and Jarold woke up and wanted to make cookies some time passes by, they are now done the cookies BUT someone stole the cookie decorations so they can’t decorate

The they had to find out who took the cookie decorations.The boys look around the house and they founds cookie decoration crumbs they then went to go look for their sisters, their mom and dad and their younger brother, they find everyone and then they sit them down on the couch to tell them that someone stole the cookie decorations. Oh I forgot to mention that they have a dog but they did not think that the dog would eat the cookie decorations so they just left him out of this one.

The boys now ask everyone where they were before the boys went to get the decorations for the cookies, Their mom says that she was in the living room watching her favorite show. Their dad says that he was in the garden. Their sisters say that they were in their room playing dolls, and then they had to ask their brother where he was. He said he was on the swing set, but the boys forgot to ask each other.

The boys then look around the house to see if there is any evidence of who might of took the cookie decorations. The boys find cookie decorations on the couch were their mom said she was so they went and got their mom and they showed her what they found and she said that it was not her because she did not like sweets. Then the boys remembered that their mom was allergic to cookie decorations so it can’t be their mom so they now know who took the decorations because not anyone in the family liked straight up cookie decorations so they knew it was the dog and YES it was the dog who took the cookie decorations. The boys then went to the store to get more, then they decorated their cookies in peace.

The End


Who Stole The Cookie Decorations?

Sophie W. Wright

grade 5, age 10

It was Christmas Eve when four little children were playing in the very white snow when one said let’s bake yummy cookies for Santa so they rushed inside when they saw their mom decorating the house with stockings and mistletoe. They said we would like to make delicious cookies for Santa. She said that sounds delightful and got out the ingredients for them. She said first you must bake the cookies then after we may decorate them. So they got baking with a clank and a bang the cookies were ready for the toasty oven, and after a little while the cookies were ready for decorations so mom brought out red and green sprinkles and white icing as white as snow and more came out of the drawer like chocolate crumble and candy cane bits. But before we could decorate our yummy cookies they had to cool down.

So we went upstairs and played with our coloured Lego pieces and our mom went outside to shovel the driveway. After a littel bit we headed down to decorate cookies.

The cookies were cool but where were the decorations we thought? So we darted over to the drawer. There was only empty containers that used to hold sprinkles but where was the other containers that held candy cane bits and chocolate crumble?

We ran over to the counter to see if the icing was still there but no it was gone so we decided to go ask mom, she was outside still shoveling the driveway. She looked cold so we said come in you’re going to get frostbite so she said ok kids and we went inside. We told her everything after we all started looking for the missing sprinkles and candies but after we still couldn’t find them.

So I had an idea we could fill the empty containers with fake sprinkles and set a trap so we could catch the thief. Once the fake sprinkles were in the containers we waited and watched for the thief. we heard a noise and it sounded like a door creak. I looked and a surprise to my eyes it was Rover my dog. He jumped up on the table and took the decorations to his bed but he put them under his bed. Rover!!!! I shouted bad boy after we took the decosrations back. They were slobbery and wet! We started decorating the cookies and Rover got no treats that night. After decoarting we went to bed what a day!! I said.


Who stole the cookie Decorations?

By Hayden Kruger

grade 5, age 10

Once upon a time there was an elf and her name was Ellie and she had blond hair with green eyes and loves to wear overalls. Her personality was smart, kind and funny! But she really loves Christmas the most because she gets to help Santa a lot. Today, Ellie got to see her biggest brother, who is also an elf. She missed him a TON because he was old enough to move out and wanted to, so Ellie was SUPER excited to see him and his name is Brandon, he has blond hair, blue eyes and he always wears a T-shirt and some kind of jeans, he always looks mad but he isn’t. But when Brandon came over he was different and not a little. I mean like a lot when he first saw Ellie he said “ummm you changed a lot Ellie” “ ya I know do I look good?” asked Ellie “ummmm ya” answered Brandon.

So after they talked about LIFE Brandon started acting suspicious and Ellie knew it. “What are you hiding Brandon I know you’re hiding something” asked Ellie “ ummm nothing” Brandon said super weirdly “ok lets play hide-n-seek” said Ellie.

While they were having a blast playing hide-n-seek, Santa was having different problems. “WHERE ARE MY COOKIE DECORATIONS!!!!?” yelled Santa.

“Calm down,” said Mrs. Claus

“Ok ok but why are my cookies gone they would have been so good,” said Santa.

“I know, I know, i’ll just make more ok” said Mrs Claus.

“Ok” said Santa.

So while Mrs. Claus was making the icing for the cookies for Santa, Ellie kept finding Brandon and Brandon was trying to find Ellie but he never did, she kept hiding in his room! So Brandon gave up and Ellie started to party but only for like one second because Brandon said “go to bed”. So Ellie want to bed, and Brandon started doing something with the cookies and Ellie woke up and saw what he was doing HE HAS SANTA’S ICING Ellie screamed.

And that alerted Santa and he had sleded over to Ellie’s house and said “What is the meaning of this?”

“Look Santa,” said Ellie, and Brandon said, “This is not what it looks like.”

“Oh yes it is,” said Santa, taking the icing away.

So Ellie finally got to PARTY WITH SANTA !!!!!!! The End!


The Christmas Cookies

By Lexi Sterling

grade 6

This morning I woke up in big trouble. Let’s backtrack a bit. Hi, my name is Max and exactly 2 days and 7 hours ago Santa sent me on a very important mission that no other elf could do well, so I thought, but Santa got a partner to help me.

“PEPPERMINT, what are you doing here?” I said.

“This is your partner,” said Santa

“Oh great,” I said, with a grimace.

I have a feeling it’s Peppermint I thought so I snuck into her room and looked around. All I found was a stinky sock. But then, BOOM I found a sprinkle! This is not enough; I need more evidence I thought so I got to work.

“Hey Buddy, want to help me with something?” I said. “Sure, what are we doing?” said Buddy. “Well Santa told me to find out who stole the cookies.”

“Right, well I found a sprinkle in Peppermint’s room. I need your help to get evidence it was her. We need cameras, lazers, walkie talkies, nerf guns and disguises.”

“WHAT!?” said Buddyy, “that’s a lot of stuff!”

“And we need evidence and proof before we blame her,” said Max.

“Ok ok,” said Buddy, “Let’s get to work then.”

Cameras, lasers, cool gadgets, nerf guns: we had it all and we worked all day and all night but nothing!

Buddy said, “Let’s just give up, we have nothing!”

“No way,” said Max, “We can’t. Please don’t give up, just one more day.”

“Ok, ok, fine.”

So the next day we got up bright and early to get proof.

“Max we have been working for a long time and still have nothing,” said Buddy.

“I have an idea, let’s backtrack to when the cookies were stolen,” I said.

“Ok that’s a really good idea. Let’s start when the cookies were stolen then to everything that happened after that as well,” said Buddy.

After a lot of time and talking everything ended up leading to me. “But how?” I said.

Well we looked back at everything that happened that night and it turns out that I was sleepwalking.

“Oops, my bad!” I said.

Anyways morale of the story is never trust your gut and don’t say it was others or else you will end up like me. A sad lonely elf! No I am just kidding, but I did get in a lot of trouble!

“Sorry Peppermint. I should have not snooped in your room and followed you around all day and watched you sleep,” I said.

“WHAT! You watched me sleep? You know what, never mind, and yes I accept your apology,” said Peppermint.


Bah humbug: a Christmas story

By Danica Ransome

grade 6, age 11

It was five days until Christmas and Mrs.Claus had a hankerin for something sweet, but not chocolate or candy canes. She didn’t want gingerbread or snow cones. She wanted something sweeter, like sugar cookies. She wanted some sugar cookies with peppermint buttercream, M&Ms, and pearl sprinkles.

After a long while of choosing the very specific sweet item, she wanted she went to the kitchen and got to work. She fixed up some homemade buttercream. After Mrs. Claus mixed the cookie dough ingredients together, then spaced little dough balls on a baking pan and put them in the oven, and turned the oven timer for 7 minutes.

Mrs. Claus went into her super deluxe kitchen pantry and pulled out 5 pounds of M&Ms, 3 pounds of pearl sprinkles and placed them on the counter. After an hour Mrs. Claus had finished baking the cookies and left them to cool in the kitchen, that was her first mistake. Her second mistake was opening the window that morning.

A few minutes after Mrs. Claus left the cookies she was asleep on the couch. Another few minutes the naughty elves Zoe and Tahlia we’re walking through Mrs. Claus’s village and they got a whiff of the sugar cookies. The elves immediately ran to Mrs. Claus’s house and jumped through the window.

“Over there” Zoe the naughty elf whispered.

“Let’s go” said Tahlia. The naughty elves went and snatched the sugar cookies, M&Ms, peppermint buttercream, and pearl sprinkles off the kitchen counter and ran.

Mrs. Claus was awoken by all the racket and ran into the kitchen but it was too late. The elves were already gone. She ran around the village but found nothing. Sadly, Mrs, Claus went home without her cookie ingredients.

Santa came home another few hours after that and saw Mrs. Claus sitting on the couch sadly.

“Are you alright my dear” Santa said sitting next to her.

“Physically I’m ok, but I’m very disappointed, today I had a plan to make sugar cookies but after I had everything together it was all stolen!”

Santa stood up, walked outside, and grabbed the 2 naughty elves by the shirt collars.

“Hey put us down!” Tahlia yelled.

“Give me my wife’s ingredients back”.

“Fine,” Zoe said smirking.

All of a sudden both of the elves vomited on Santa.

“ Bah humbug!” .: THE END:.


Who stole the cookie decorations?

Cohen Kruger

grade 6, age 11

It was a beautiful day in Santa’s village and… OH MY GOD THE FLIPPEN COOKIE DECORATIONS ARE GONE! I am hesitating. I am going to die. Santa will kill me. I must find out who stole the cookie decorations for the grate of good. And so I don’t die.

So my first subject was Chubs because all he does for work is eat, and eat, and eat, and eat. Well, you get it. And he said he did not do it, typical move Chubs, so I looked in his room and all I saw was just 999,999,999,999 trillion candy canes.

I was incorrect, I feel ashamed of myself. Well next one among us elf you be sus. I did not kill the cookie decor. Kill?

No, who took them. Oh, well it was not me but I did kill the egg nog. Take him away boys.

Ok, next one. I don’t have any idea what just happened. “Ninja elf did you steal the cookie decor?”

“Leave me alone or die.”

“Ok, bye bye.”

Only one more person left that is sus. It. Is. Me. Did you do it me! No? Yes you did! No I did not! Yes you did! No I did not! Yes you did! No I did not! Yes you did! No I did not!

Fine it is not you. That means that it is probably Ninja elf. I will sneak into his house. There they are, I found it.


“Hi Ninja elf, how you doing?”

“Good how about you?”

”I am good because I am calling the E.B.C.A.P.T aka elves bake cookies and protect them.”

”E.B.C.A.P.T open up! Get the candy cane chain saw to open the door! You guys got your candy cane launcher and candy cane guns! It was a gun show (not a real gun show, but it sounds cool) but in the end it was still going. Santa got his candy cane sword and that did not work so Santa got his robot gifts.

The war is finally over and we won. It took so long that we played a game of soccer, and who gets the most points wins and we won.

That is the story of who stole the cookie decor.


Santa’s sleigh is out of date and he wants new tech

Dominic Ault

grade 5, age 10

Santa’s sleigh needs an update.

He will put rockets on it, and it will go faster, and it costs less money to feed the reindeer, and he will release the reindeer and the rockets will only have to run for 1 night or day in winter.

Santa is trying to deliver all the presents around the globe in 1 night future.