Entry for Susanna Leonard Hill’s 11th annual 2021 Holiday Story Contest.
Rules: Must be 250 words or less, have a full plot arc that centers on a holiday contest, and be appropriate for ages 12 and under.
A CHRISTMAS PICKLE STORY
By Daniella Kaufman
Word Count: 249
trim our tree high to low,
but Christmas Eve tradition calls
for one to steal the show.
Dad dons a scruffy Santa hat
and gathers us around.
“I’ve picked the pickle’s hiding spot!
It’s waiting to be found.”
“Dance! Prance! Blitz and dash!
All may search until
the finder claims the first gift and
the title of ‘Big Dill’.”
Grammy prods each shimmery bough.
Mom browses round and through.
Baby pulls off ornaments
(to get a better view).
I snug myself beneath a branch
to peer up from the bottom.
A glint of green. A clumpy curve.
Yes! I think. I got ’em.
I pluck the pickle from its place,
eager to claim my prize,
then notice Dad off to the side
with sparkle in his eyes.
His festive fuss for all of us
makes everybody grin.
It doesn’t seem to bother him
that he will never win.
I put the pickle back, but shift
it where no one will see.
Then grumble, “Oh by golly, there’s
no pickle on this tree!”
“Ho ho, oh? Check near the stump–”
That’s when Dad’s eyes meet mine.
I toss a wink and, in a blink,
Dad’s rummaging through pine.
He tugs back on a tree skirt bump
revealing what I’d done.
The pickle found, I quickly cheer,
“Gosh, Dad, looks like you’ve won!”
He wraps us all up in a hug
and whispers in my ear,
“You can have the first gift because
I’ve got mine right here.”