The Love-a-lots!

Illustration (just for fun!) by Cathey Graham Nickell … with a little bit of tracing involved.

It’s that time of year! Time for Susanna Leonard Hill’s 6th Annual Holiday Contest. The rules this year are fun: Write a children’s holiday story using the basic format/concept of “The Twelve Days Of Christmas,” not to exceed 300 words.

The story can be poetry or prose, silly or serious or sweet, religious or not, based on Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or whatever else one might celebrate. Once it’s written, the contestants are asked to post it on their website.

In February of this year, my “Valentiny” story (which had a 214-word limit)—called “Kandie’s Kiss”—won second place!

I don’t know if I’ll get to keep my fancy crown or not, but here goes! Happy Holidays!


(300 words)

Dearest Santa Claus,

We are a warm and lovely pair

With lots of love to give.

If only we had children,

We’d have new reason to live!


It’s been our Christmas yearning

As long as we recall.

Alas, we are still childless;

Perhaps our wish is too tall?

            Signed, Mr. and Mrs. Love-a-lot

On the first day of Christmas,

Santa answered their request.

He brought the Love-a-lots a girl,

Who had no house to rest.

On the second day of Christmas,

Santa brought one more.

A boy with sun-tanned skin,

Who’d never had a home before.

On the third day of Christmas,

Santa knew what to deliver.

Twin orphans from afar,

Their excitement all aquiver.

“Oh, my!” exclaimed the couple,

Their emotions were quite sappy.

“Three boys and one girl!

We’re finally feeling happy!”

But that wasn’t all, you see,

For Santa had a plan.

On the fourth day of Christmas,

He added six more to the clan!

The ten children bonded,

As they studied, ate and played.

They came from different countries,

Each skin a different shade.

It wasn’t long before the neighbors

Began their talk and whispers:

“Those Love-a-lots are such a mess,

Too many brothers and sisters!”

And so to show the busybodies

Their thoughts were quite outlandish,

Santa delivered two more darlings,

On days five and six with brandish.

“We love our growing family,”

Mrs. Love-a-lot said caringly.

“But twelve children are enough,

We’re getting by so sparingly.”

When Santa Claus heard her words,

He tied packages tight with twine

And delivered toys, clothes and extra beds

On days seven, eight and nine.

The neighbors’ hearts began to thaw,

They took sweet treats off the shelf

And dispensed them to the Love-a-lots

On days tenth, eleventh and twelfth.

Thank you, dear Santa!

From all the Love-a-lots!

UPDATE:  Alas, no prizes for my entry, but the challenge was good writing practice! — Be Amazing

by Cathey Nickell

Houston-based author and elementary school speaker.

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© 2024 Cathey Graham Nickell