Santa Claus on sleigh with presentsSusanna Leonard Hill is having another of her wonderful story-writing contests! The Third Annual Pretty Much World Famous Holiday Story Contest is starting today and running through until Friday, December 13th at 11:59 p.m. EST. Finalists will be chosen by Susanna and her elves over the weekend, and voting for the winners will begin on Monday, December 16th.

The rules are simple and may be read in full on Susanna’s blog. Here are the basics: stories must be for kids, they must be no more than 350 words, and they must be about a holiday mishap or potential disaster. There are amazing prizes. To find links to all the entries, go to this post on Susanna’s blog.

It will likely not surprise you to learn that I needed the full 350 words to tell my story. (The title doesn’t count in the final tally.) I had a little trouble with the formatting, so the indents didn’t come through, but at least the spacing keeps the paragraphs separate. Click “Read More” to see what I came up with…

No Deer This Year? Oh DEAR!

“What do you mean they’re all sick?” Santa didn’t sound very jolly. “Tonight is Christmas Eve!”

The Head Elf shook in his shoes ’til their bells jingled. “Sorry, Santa, but it’s true. All the reindeer, even Rudolph, have the flu. The vet says no flying for a week.”

“But the toys MUST be delivered!” Santa started to pace.

Smallest Reindeer heard him. EVERYONE at the North Pole heard him. Smallest scurried into Santa’s office.

“We could do it!” Smallest said.

Santa looked up, down, and around, and finally saw Smallest. “The apprentices? You’re too small. Are you even licensed?”

“We’re nearly licensed. We just need to pass the team flight test, and we could do that today. I’m sure we could. Give us a chance!”

Santa smiled at the little fellow. “Well… Let’s give it a try.” Santa almost looked jolly again.

Smallest scrambled out of the room so quickly his feet nearly tangled. “Hey everybody! Santa needs us! Let’s get going!”

All the apprentice reindeer came galloping. The Flight Instructor got ready to do the test.

One team of eight passed, and another. Then it was Smallest’s team’s turn. They were the tiniest of all. “Come on kids, we can do this!”

They couldn’t get the sleigh off the ground.

“We have to! We just HAVE to!” Smallest said.

They pulled with all their might. The sleigh started to move. Their teeny-tiny feet left the ground. The sleigh was still sliding on the snow.

“PULL!” Smallest cried.

The sleigh left the ground. They climbed higher and higher. They turned around, and landed.

They PASSED!

Everyone cheered.

The instructor said, “Not so fast. That sleigh was empty. How will reindeer as teeny-tiny as you pull a sleigh piled high with toys AND Santa Claus?”

Oh no.

Smallest thought. He thought and thought. “Eight teeny-tiny reindeer can’t do it alone, but maybe TWENTY-FOUR can! All three teams!”

The toys were loaded. Santa was waiting. Could they do it?

Twenty-four teeny-tiny reindeer strained. They tugged. They pulllllllllled. They were off the ground!

Merry Christmas, Smallest Reindeer! May you have a good flight!

Santa Claus Sleigh flying over snow town

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