The Newfoundland Herald, in connection with the Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland & Labrador, challenged readers from grade 7-12 to send us their original ideas for our Christmas Story Contest! This year’s theme? Tell us Santa’s back story. We received dozens of inventive and original pieces, but only five could be selected for publication. Find them here over the next two issues and get into the spirit!
How It All Began
BY Grace Kennedy, River of ponds (Honourable mention)
“Gather around,’’ I called my elves over to the fireplace.
Every Christmas Eve I told the story of how I became the Santa that delivers gifts to boys and girls in my jolly red sleigh. It was our tradition. Everyone sat around with their hot cocoa and listened as I went on for the – never mind, I lost count.
I have no clue if I came from a bird in the sky or if I sprouted out of the ground like a flower – which I highly doubt, considering I was found here in the North Pole where the snow banks are as high up as skyscrapers.
I was found by Jingle and Ginger, my two most favorite elves. They raised me as if I were their own, which is kind of funny considering they are about three feet shorter than me.
Anyway, apparently they aren’t the brightest when it comes to picking names because well, they named me Santa. No, it couldn’t be John or George, but Santa.
Growing up I realized that the elves were magic, every elf had their own power. I hated that I didn’t have magic like them but the elves always told me I was special and I had no clue why. I thought I was just an ordinary boy. They always told me that one day I would have a very important purpose. I spent many days learning how to build things, how to bake, and weirdly enough, how to ride a reindeer. Usually, you’d have a cat or a dog as a pet but the elves, well they had reindeer. I never knew exactly why I had to learn these things, but I never asked any questions.
One December the elves took me to see a man. That man was Jack Frost. Frost was the most magic man in the world but also the most dangerous.
The elves were always about giving and bringing joy to others. The world was getting darker everyday. People were turning against each other, growing more selfish by the minute.
Jack Frost had threatened to freeze the world if it had gotten any more darker. The elves insisted that they’d change the world and make it a better place. They told Jack Frost that I could be the solution, that I could be the second chance.
Frost was confused, he asked how?
The elves told him that I would go around and show people the joy of giving to others and being kind by giving gifts to everyone in the world.
Frost laughed, assuming the elves were joking. I thought they were as well but they were serious. The elves explained that I could show them that being selfless was so much better. The elves begged him to give me a chance.
‘’I will give you until December 25th,’’ Frost said.
The elves gasped and looked at each other, ‘’but that’s in two days,” they exclaimed.
“Figure it out!’’ he said.
Right after the visit with Frost the elves started making toys and lots of gifts.
I realized then that the elves had this planned all along. I learned to build things and everything else because this right here was my purpose, to bring joy to the world and show the good of being selfless.
I had two days to get ready, two days to build a sleigh and make many gifts.
I would deliver the gifts the night of December 24th. The reindeer would fly me in my sleigh across the world and I would give everyone a gift while they were asleep.
Finally, the night came. I was scared, I didn’t know how I would make it around and give every single person in the world a gift but the elves believed in me so I trusted them. I left early that night and did what I was told to do. I had gotten the job done and gave everyone a gift.
First Christmas day
I made it home late that night. We had a celebration, we drank hot cocoa and gave each other gifts.
After that night the whole world had changed completely.
Jack Frost didn’t have to freeze the world after all.
December 25th become Christmas day, people realized how beautiful it was to give. Christmas was about celebrating the family and friends of our lives. It truly shows how amazing life can be when you aren’t selfish.
“And that’s how it all began,’’ I finished as I took a sip of my hot cocoa.
Birthday Traditions in the Big Land
BY Zoey Russell, Port Hope Simpson (Honourable mention)
This year I was reading all the letters I’ve gotten from kids all over the world. I got a letter from one kid asking how I became Santa, the most important man in the world. Since many of you may not know, I’m writing this to tell you all about it.
A long time ago…
A long time ago in 1902, it was March 25th, a cold winter’s day. There was a man and a woman who met in Port Hope Simpson. One day the lady, Joy, was at her home in Port Hope Simpson when she saw a skidoo coming in the bay from William’s Harbour.
“Oh, my goodness, what a cool snowmobile. I better go see who it is.”
Joy put her boots on and went out by the door. The snowmobile was headed for the old bakery so that is where she went. Once she arrived, she met the young man, Noel. They instantly clicked and she invited him over to her nan’s for a cup of tea. They got along quite well and Noel had stayed for so long, the weather started to get worse.
“Well Noel, you can’t go back out to William’s Harbour like this. It’s just as well to stay the night,” Joy’s Nan said, invitingly.
“Oh wow, I hope it’s alright with you, Joy?” he asked. “I can sleep here on the floor.”
“Oh, I don’t mind, but you can’t sleep down here, if the fire goes out, you’ll be froze to death. Come on up here my room is big enough for the both of us.”
So, fast forward, 9 months later. It was Christmas Day, Joy and Noel had been opening their presents together as they are now in a relationship, and Joy’s water broke. They had been expecting a baby. They had the baby on December 25th, his name was Santa Claus.
As Santa grew older and older, every birthday became a tradition. Santa’s family didn’t have a lot of money so Santa would take the very little birthday gifts he had and give them away as Christmas presents.
a very giving person
One Christmas, Santa was 10 years old and decided that he was going to give every kid in Port Hope Simpson an apple or an orange, so that’s what he did. He was known as a very giving person. When Santa was almost 11, the summer of 1913, he got a job fishing on the boat with his uncle, Jingle. He went all over the coast of Labrador that year and by late fall they began going further up north.
“So where are we now, Uncle Jingle?” Santa asked.
“I’m not quite sure where we’re at now,” he replied.
stuck up north
That’s how it happened. Little Santa got stuck up north on the boat. Him and the other boys on the boat decided that it was smarter to make a fort and stay until the weather cleared enough to get back home. Days had passed until eventually months had passed. Before the boys knew it, it was Christmas Eve.
“Oh man, I’m going to miss giving all the kids gifts this year,” Santa said to his Uncle Jingle.
“Well why don’t you try and get out of here another way?”
“I could try, but I’ll never find another way. There’s no skidoos, no dogs, the bay is froze over. If only those caribou we saw this morning could fly me all over the world,” Santa said pessimistically and as soon as the words left his mouth the caribou came back.
“Let’s make a sleigh and see if they’ll tow ya,” Uncle Jingle said as he was definitely bored at this point.
They got the axe off of the boat and started at the trees. Within the hour, Santa’s sleigh was made. He took a bag full of food and things off of the boat for presents and got on as the caribou took him through the trees. Now here’s where the story gets slightly unbelievable, but when you take the idea of Christmas magic into consideration, it all makes sense.
Uncle Jingle and the rest of the crew were sitting around the fire when they saw Santa and his caribou up in the sky. He managed to get them to fly. Santa made his way all around the world that night! Every kid woke up that morning with presents from Santa. He went back up to the North Pole and told everyone what had happened. “Wow, Santa. That’s crazy! We should do this every Christmas!” Uncle Jingle said
“You mean that we’ll stay here?” Santa asked
“Yeah! We can start building a better fort and we can build some gifts to pass some time”
And that’s how Santa and his Elves came to be.
Check back soon for more honourable mentions, entrants and our contest winner!