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Kids write up seasonal holiday magic for all

Winners of Barriere Star/Journal’s Annual Christmas Story Essay Contest announced

The annual Star/Journal Christmas Story Essay Contest has been judged and the winners and honourable mentions named.

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.

We would also like to thank the parents and teachers who encouraged these youngsters in composing their essays – your contributions to youth literacy and learning do not go unnoticed and are greatly appreciated by all.

This year our young writers were asked to tell us in 400 words or less about one of the following themes: 1) Santa’s sleigh is out of date and he wants new tech. Describe what cool new features you would add to his sleigh and how they work. 2) The reindeer are just too old and can’t fly anymore. What animal flies in their place and why? 3) Someone stole the cookie decorations. Who did, and how do you get them back?

Two age divisions were offered: Kindergarten to Grade 3, and Grade four to Grade 7. Prizes in each division are; First place $25, second place $15, third place $10, and all prize winners will receive two new story books from Barriere and Area Literacy Outreach.

Our judges reported they had a hard time choosing the top three for Division 2 as there were “so many quality submissions”, and as a result there is a tie for third place, and a grand number of honourable mentions this year.

The judges sent the following comments with their results; “We loved officiating as the judges for the Star/Journal Christmas Story Essay Contest, and wished we could have given many more first place awards. This year was especially interesting as we read through the stories – finding many references to COVID-19, social distancing, etc., all reflecting the times we are living in right now and how it is perceived and projected by our young authors. We also found some very funny moments in some of these writings, and actually laughed out loud a few times due to the antics of the people and animals in the stories. Well done children! Imagination and a kind sense of humour are precious by far, do not lose that as you grow into adulthood as one day you will be able to pass that on to children of your own.”

Winners: Division 1 – Kindergarten to grade 3

1st Place

The reindeer are too old to fly!

By Warwick Osborne, age 7, grade 2

Santa replaced the reindeer with nine bunnies that all have a red nose. The bunnies are brown in colour and they eat cookies, like Santa. Their names are: Snowy, Joey, Poppy, Lemon, Rain, Popper, Rose, Vines and Pepper.

They like white grass and their favourite holiday is Christmas.

Instead of flying, the bunnies jump over the houses. Santa straps the presents down onto the seat and halfway over the house, he drops a present that has magic dust on it. The magic is to make the present fly into the house and it floats to the Christmas tree.

At the end of Christmas, Santa lets the bunnies go. But the following year, he turns on the bunny signal and they all come hopping back ready for another Christmas night.


Winners: Division 2 – Grade 4 to Grade 7

1st Place

The Reindeer are too old!

By Tyson Matthews, grade 6

I am one of Santa’s most worthy elves, but when he told me that the reindeer are just too old, and we need an upgrade I didn’t know what to say so I mumbled, “I’m on it”.

I started asking people on Facebook, and apparently Santa never told anyone about the reindeer; everyone on Facebook was furious. One person from the U.S. had said you should use drones. That night I talked to the reindeer to see what they thought and they were not pleased.

“You can’t replace us with electronics!” Blitzen argued

“I can so,” I exclaimed. “Now I have got to go shopping.”

When I arrived at my office (it’s on the other side of the North Pole) it was December 19th and I had to decide whether to order the drones or go to Best Buy. It was Black Friday, so of course I went to Best Buy to check out the deals. I took Santa with me, but of course we disguised him. We had picked up 9 of the most expensive drones. Santa was a little mad because we went 6 mill over his 15 million dollar budget.

When we got back, he had no idea how to use them! Neither did I! Christmas was going to be delayed big time, and everyone was freaking out except for the Tech Elf. No one had called him but he said he has micro cams all over the village. He said in the morning of the 20th he will teach Santa and I how to set them up to be used. That morning he had programmed them to follow voice-command!

That afternoon Santa started testing them and they all worked just fine.

My job was done! I was so happy that I got him replacements! Did I tell you he was going to demote me if I hadn’t met his standards!?! But I got it done, and tomorrow is Christmas Eve!

When I got back to my office for the last time for a while, I hoped, I got a telegraph from Mrs Claus. She was not receiving any signal from Santa, so she sent me and Tech Elf to go check it out.

When we had located Santa we could see that all but one drone was fried or destroyed from the nasty weather which had caused the crash! We got the tracker signal back up, well I mean Tech Elf did, and I called Mrs Claus and told her the news.

She was devastated to hear Santa had plummeted into a snowbank, but she said she was going to get the reindeer ready – Christmas must go on!

Santa flew back on the only working drone to find that all of the reindeer were ready except for Blitzen. He said that he would not help because we replaced him with electronics.

Santa improvised and once again replaced Blitzen with an electronic device.

Blitzen moped back to his quarters where he met Mrs Claus with his Go-Go Juice.


2nd Place

The Reindeer Are Too Old To Fly

By: Tessa Salle, grade 6

It was a cool morning and Santa Claus was going out to feed the reindeer. When he got to the barn all the reindeer were laying down, Santa came in and said ¨ho ho ho, how are my beautiful…”. He paused, ¨Why aren’t you guys excited, it is Christmas Eve?”

“It is not any Christmas Eve,” said Cupid in an old grumbly voice.

“It is Christmas Eve of 2020,” said Blitzen again in an old grumbly voice.

“What is happening to your voices and your Christmas spirit?” said Santa.

“We’re old,” said Comet.

Santa decided that he would have to find a replacement for the reindeer.

“What about tonight?” It is Christmas Eve and I have no one to fly my sled, thought Santa.

“I am really sorry Santa, we all are but if we fly it will be dangerous and we could be risking all of our lives and all the little kids Christmas,” said Comet.

“We are old, so we have a greater risk of catching Covid-19 while we deliver gifts” said Comet. “Well okay, then I guess I will try to find someone else,” said Santa.

“Bye Santa,” said all the reindeer.

My oh my what am I going to do, thought Santa. Santa got inside and started whining to Mrs. Claus. “Oh dear I am going to ruin Christmas”

“Oh Santa, pull yourself together, what happened?”

“The reindeer are too old to fly,” cried Santa.

“What!?” Yelled Mrs. Claus. “I am going to go for a walk while you whine” said Mrs. Claus. Santa didn’t respond. Mrs.Claus was walking through the North Pole and suddenly she had an idea. She ran off towards the pond, when she got to the pond she saw 8 beautiful horses.

“I am sorry to bother you, but we are having a major problem back at the workshop. Can you please help us?”

“We would love to help you and Santa,” said the first horse.

“Oh thank you, thank you,” said Mrs. Claus.

“My name is Buddy,” said the first horse.

“I am Griffin, and these are my friends, Buddy, Cheeky, Cheerio, Cupid, Sparkles, Spirit, and Oscar”.

“Great to meet you,” said Mrs. Claus.

“Let’s go back to the workshop,” said Buddy

When they got back Mrs. Claus ran into the house and yelled “SANTA!!!”

“What?” said Santa.

“Come outside, I have great news.” “Oh, fine,” said Santa.

When Santa got outside, he stared at the horses hooked up to his sled.

“What are those horses doing?” said Santa.

“We are here to fly your sleigh,” said Buddy.

Santa face lit up and he pulled out his phone to snap a photo of the horses. He quickly posted it on Facebook and jumped in the sleigh.

“Let’s go save Christmas boys!” said Santa in his most jolly voice ever.

Santa and the horses delivered all the gifts, and no one got Covid-19. “Best Christmas ever!” said Santa when they returned to the shop.

“Thank you so much for flying my sleigh, and saving Christmas,” said Santa happily.

“Our pleasure!” said the horses.


3rd Place (tied)

Who Stole the Cookie Decorations?

By Zoe Kershaw grade 6, age 11

Katie, Kali and their mom Kendra were preparing cookies for the Christmas party later that night. They had just taken the freshly baked gingerbread cookies out of the oven and were about to get the decorations ready when they realized that the decorations were gone!

They decided to look all over the kitchen before splitting up to look around the rest of the house. Katie looked in all of the drawers, Kali looked in all the cupboards and Kendra looked in the fridge and freezer. They didn’t come up with anything and so they followed their plan and split up. Katie went upstairs to look in her sister’s bedroom because she is known to steal the buttercream Icing. She looked under her bed, in her vanity and in her closet but she came up with nothing. Kali looked in the living room, She looked under the couches and coffee table but all she found was some quarters and a penny. Kendra looked in the bathrooms, she looked in the medicine cabinets, behind the shower curtains and under the sinks but she found nothing but nail polish remover.

Next they all teamed back up again and decided to look outside. Kendra went to the front yard and didn’t find anything so she joined the girls in the backyard. The first place she looked was the doghouse and she found her dog with buttercream icing all over his mouth and snowflake sprinkles on the floor.

She called the girls over and showed them the crime scene. They all laughed very hard and went back inside. And started looking for ingredients for new buttercream icing.

Katie, Kali and Kendra all went to the local grocery store, AG Foods, after making new buttercream icing. They browsed the baking isle, They wanted to try a new type of sprinkles to go along with the snowflakes but none of them looked quite right for their cookies. Then they found the pearls and they were the perfect addition to the cookies, so they got some snowflake sprinkles with the new pearls.

They all got a big laugh out of this and they had so much fun making new decorations. Everybody at the party loved the cookies and they all lived happily ever after, until next Christmas…


3rd Place (tied)

The Reindeer Are Too Old!

By Thomas Pullen, Grade 6

It was the 23rd of December and when Timmy woke up he heard some terrible news.

This year Santa’s Reindeer got too old and couldn’t fly anymore!

Timmy was so sad that they couldn’t fly. Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and even Rudolph couldn’t fly anymore!

Then he had the best idea ever. He stood up and said, “I know the perfect idea to fix Santa’s problem!”

So he got some paper and a pencil out of the cabinet and started to write a letter to Santa Claus. Timmy was at his desk all night writing a solution to Santa’s problem. He sent the letter to the North Pole and fell asleep.

All the elves at the factory were so confused to get a letter to Santa on the 23rd of December. They said “Santa, Santa you have a letter!”

“Bring it here,” he said while stroking Rudolph’s fur.

The next morning on Christmas Eve, Timmy woke up to a letter from Santa! He was so proud he read it to his parents, so he could tell them the news. The letter said “Timmy, this is the perfect solution, all the reindeer will be so happy that you thought of this. Now they will know that all the presents will be delivered to all the children! I will pick you up at 5 Pm sharp. Don’t be late!

“Ok, you should go get your things ready,” Timmy’s Dad said with a smile.

So Santa came to pick up Timmy in his sleigh.

“These Dogs work awesome. Their names are Soda and Osbourne. I found them in the super dog section and I knew they would be perfect,” said Santa.

“I knew they would work out because they would be awesome at jumping, flying and landing,” said Timmy.

“You know Timmy, I get super lonely at Christmas because Mrs. Claus always visits her sister at Christmas. Now I have no one to ride with and the dogs always bark at the new houses, and they can’t even hear me,” said Santa while in the sleigh with Timmy.

“You know,” said Timmy, “We can do this every year if you want, so you will not be lonely.”

“That would be a great idea, Timmy.”

Timmy and Santa got all the presents out to all the children around the world and brought Christmas spirit!

The End.

– Editor’s note: Find more Star/Journal Christmas Story Essays in our Dec. 24, 2020 issue.