"If you write FOR a particular market or FOR a particular editor you will often miss the mark. But if you write because your fingers have danced across the keyboard, because a character has tapped you on the shoulder, because a story has settled in your heart, then even if you never sell it you have done the work you were meant to do. And sometime, dear readers, real magic happens." Jane Yolen

12/13/13

An Upside-Down Christmas


This post is part of Patty Wysong's 
 A to Z meme. This week's letter is "U."
A to Z blog hop at Patterings.For this week, I'm combining my a to z post with a contest I've decided to enter. And it even fits! :)

The PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month) community has introduced me to lots and LOTS of children's book sites, authors, blogs, and other stuff. One of them is Susanna Hill's Third Annual Holiday Writing Contest. We are challenged to write a children's story about a holiday mishap, mix-up, miscommunication, mistake, or potential disaster. The story must be 350 words or less (not including the title), and must be posted and linked to her blog post by 11:59pm ET on Friday (yeah - today :D). Finalists will be posted on the blog next week and winners will have a choice of some FABULOUS prizes (see details in the post here - VERY cool)

I'll be sure to let you know if I made the cut (though I sincerely doubt I will, one never knows LOL). But now, for your enjoyment (or something :::roll::: ): my entry!

An Upside-Down Christmas
By Joanne Sher

Annika loved everything about Christmas. The tree, covered with lights, tinsel, and ornaments. Presents beneath it, wrapped in beautiful paper with sparkling bows. Christmas carols. The stockings. The nativity scenes. Everything.

As soon as the first snowflake fell (usually in November), Annika got anxious, excited, and bouncy. She knew Christmas would be perfect – just like always – and she couldn't wait.

But this year, Annika wasn't so sure. It was already Christmas Eve, and it hadn't snowed. No carolers had come. It just felt different. Still, Christmas was Christmas, and she went to bed that night, a kiss from mama on her head, with anticipation.

Photo Source (right side up)
Christmas morning, as usual, she was up first. She ran out to the tree, and her smile turned upside-down. It was gone! Instead, a pile of ornaments, tinsel, and lights lay on the floor. But then she looked up, and she found the tree – trunk on the ceiling and branches hanging down, with presents dangling from its limbs.

How could this be? Even the nativity scene was mixed up. Joseph was scrunched into the manger, Mary was perched atop the stable, and baby Jesus was holding a shepherd's crook and leaning against a lamb. And who knew where the angel was?

A hand rested on her shoulder. Her parents stood behind her, mouths agape.

Annika turned around. “What happened?”

Mama shrugged. “Hmmm.... John, did you remember to pay the gravity bill last week?”

Daddy slapped his head. “I knew I forgot something! Now we'll have to wait until the office opens to get everything back to normal.” He knelt down, placing his hand under Annika's chin. “I'm sorry, precious.”

“It's all right, Daddy. I know this won't be a perfect Christmas, but I know we'll never ever forget it.” And she smiled as wide as the morning was strange.

And Annika was right. They would never forget that upside-down Christmas, when they sat under the Christmas tree (instead of around it), reached up for their presents, had dessert first, and ate breakfast for dinner.

And Daddy never, EVER forgot to pay the gravity bill again.

**

I hope you enjoyed my silly little story. Be sure to pop over to the contest and read others' entries too! There are some great ones over there, I'm sure!

My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer. Psalm 45:1
Check out more U posts below, or share one of your own! 

 

36 comments:

  1. How cute! I can visualize how fun the pictures would be, too. Hope you can get a good rating or even a win on this one. :)

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    1. Thanks, Barb! It was tons of fun to write! Thanks for stopping by.

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  2. Oh no! I think I may have forgotten to pay our gravity bill as well!
    (scribbles frantically on To Do list)

    Cute story - and I love the name Annika!

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    1. Thanks, Cathy! (And I'm partial to the name too - it belogs to my daughter :D)

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  3. Gravity bill...LOL!! Some mornings, it sure feel like I've forgotten to pay that too. ;) Very cute story; good luck with your entry!

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    1. Thanks, Teresa! I'm still trying to remember where I heard the "paying the gravity bill" line - but I can't LOL. Oh well.

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  4. I love the gravity bill remark. Thanks for sharing. It was fun to read.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! It was fun to write as well :D

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  5. Joanne, very creative. I didn't even suspect gravity at all. Very cool.
    Love Ps. 45:1 :-)

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    1. Thanks, Tracy :) Love it too - just "discovered" it a month or so ago (even though I've read it dozens of times LOL).

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  6. Love it! Gravity bill!
    Blessings,
    Diana

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    1. Thanks, Diana! Was a fun write :)

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  7. Yes I enjoyed it very much!! We can enjoy Christmas no matter what the circumstances!

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    1. So VERY glad you did, Terri! And yes we can :) Have a wonderful Christmas!

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  8. So cute and so much fun! Love the gravity bill! :)

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    1. Thanks, Linda! Had fun writing it too!

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  9. Love the story! But don't give the government any ideas!

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  10. Heehe - I'll try not to!


    Thanks for stopping by.

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  11. I like the image you've created of an upside-down tree, if only I could manage it!

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    1. Ii would be fun, wouldn't it? Thanks for stopping by!

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  12. Heaven help us when gravity becomes just another bill to pay. Congratulations for taking Susanna's mishap theme to a whole new level!

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  13. What a clever idea, Joanne! I love the concept of an upside down Christmas... but hope we won't get to a point of having to pay for gravity! :) I can imagine Annika's consternation when she came downstairs and found everything topsy-turvy! But she's right - sometimes the unexpected times are the ones you remember best :) Thanks so much for joining in the holiday contest fun!

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    1. Thanks so much, Susanna! It was so fun to think about and plan and "noodle" in my head! I may have a series on my hands ;)

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  14. What a clever story! I LOVE IT!!! I'm going to share it with my granddaughters. Trinity will think it's hilarious! Thanks!

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    1. OH, I hope they do, Karla! Thanks for stopping by, and your encouragement!

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  15. Very creative, Joanne! I love the idea of a gravity bill! Nice job!

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    1. Thanks, Penny! I definitely had fun with it :)

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  16. what a fun and exciting christmas for your little character. well done

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    1. Thanks so much, Cecilia! It was fun to write :)

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  17. Very clever, Joanne! And I love the theme of your website . . .

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    1. Thanks, Jarm, on both counts! Have a blessed day!

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