1st Place – The Bad Batch
Once upon a Gingerbread Village lived seven trouble making gingerbread cookies known as the Bad Batch. All the other Gingers thought that they were a button too short or lacked a cup of sugar, but no one really knew the true reason they were so sour.
It was the week of Christmas when they were the sourest because it was the most heartwarming holiday of them all. The Bad Bunch was stealing gumdrops from babies, knocking over Christmas trees and candy canes, stealing Twizzler wreaths, spilling cookie batter, and worst of all, keeping the presents under the tree for themselves. Nobody had bothered to ever buy them a gift for Christmas. They had never experienced the joy of getting to open presents on Christmas morning with hot cocoa in their hand and singing Christmas carols with friends and family. They didn’t have very many families except for the other ones that got stuck in the Sour Patch Mountains, the bad batch had managed to escape by the sour gummy worm pipe that leads straight to Gingerbread Village. Multiple times they had tried to let out everyone in the Sour Patch Mountains but the gates were locked and the pipes were closed. Every week they had looked for a new opening but no luck. They had tried under the nerd ropes, above the airheads, through the milky way, and even threw the cow tails, but still their luck was sour.
The gingerbread factory produces at least five batches of cookies a day, twice as much at Christmas time, which makes the perfect place for the Bad Bunch to strike. They had decided to go in there on Christmas morning to ruin the cookies. The Bad Batch entered the building without any regrets. They started at the ingredient station, switching the flour and sugar. The bunch poured cinnamon and salt all over the floor. They got to the icing station and started pouring icing in their mouth and put cornstarch inside the frosting. Once they had finished with that station they went to the baking area. They were right beside the oven watching gingers form. Suddenly they felt strange like something was pulling at their heart. They stood there for a little while longer still feeling strange. The heart of the oldest ginger was starting to pound, yanking him from side to side leaving all the others at question. The same thing started happening to all the others. The reason was out; why the gingers had been so sour, it was so hidden that no one knew the reason. The Bad Bunch had not been cooked long enough. About 13 years ago there was a new baker in the bakery without much experience. When the new baker put the cookies in the oven he pulled them out five minutes early. That caused the gingers to be so cruel and small hearted. The heart is baked in the oven last so they only had two minutes to let their heart form, they lacked three minutes. They suddenly felt guilt for all the cruel things they had done. The bunch put the bakery back together and made an extra batch of cookies with extra sugar to apologize for their mistake.
They returned all the gumdrops they stole from babies, picked up the trees they had knocked over and redecorated them with candy canes. They hung up the Twizzler wreaths and most importantly put the presents back under the trees. They apologized to all of the gingers for their behavior by buying a big Christmas tree for the village. The bunch went to the sour patch mountains and warmed all the sour gingers or gave them more sugar and they were let out of the mountains. The gingers lived the best Christmas a gingerbread cookie could ask for!
-Abigail Bryant- 6th -Stuart Elementary School
2nd Place – The Christmas Tree
In the long row there stood a tree, not the best, but the best one for me.
I wondered if it would fit in our tiny house made for three.
The pine tree had stems of green, under it we could place a nativity scene.
I could see it beside our cozy couch, standing up tall without any slouch.
I thought about the red ornaments on the tree, mistletoe, lights,
caramel chocolate, and presents for me.
We loaded it up, ready to take home, we would make little snowballs out of cotton
We decorated the tree with ornaments and lights, mistletoe, ice crystals,
and the star shining so bright.
I will always remember that Christmas, and that tree, because that tree was
chosen especially by me.
-Mitchell Keith- 6th-Woolwine Elementary School
3rd Place – Marie’s Special Star
Marie loved Christmas. There was something about the glory of waking up on a snowy day and watching the many people bustling around the neighborhood to get last-minute gifts for their loved ones. The sweet smell of her grandmother’s cookies, made especially for her every Christmas Day, always made Marie’s mouth water. However, there was one thing that made Christmas complete. Every year, her family would wait until the morning of Christmas Day to put the final touch on the tree – the star. Ever since Marie was born, her family had used the same star, and it was always Marie’s job to put it up there at the top of the tree. It was special to her. To Marie, every Christmas was guaranteed to be better than the last, as long as they had that star.
Marie huffed, frustrated with how long the train ride to her grandmother’s house was. It was Christmas Eve and Marie could not wait much longer. Her father was busy on his laptop, mumbling things to himself about work. Her mother sighed, her eyes closed. “Mother,” Marie whispered, “why must he always work?” This wasn’t right. Things weren’t the same. Marie’s mother shifted, her soft brown eyes now looking down at Marie. “I’m sorry, Honey, I guess he’s just not in the Christmas mood this year.” Marie frowned, averting her gaze back to the moving trees that slowly passed the window of the train.
Marie was finally there. She jumped into her grandma’s arms, delighted to see her again for the first time since last Christmas. While her parents finished getting the suitcases, Marie and her grandma walked inside. Marie immediately rushed to the Christmas decoration box, searching for the star. “Where is the star?” she asked. Her grandma frowned. “We had to buy a new one. The old one, for some reason, isn’t lighting up. It has this slight glow, and sometimes it flickers without anyone touching it. It’s almost as if it’s trying, but it just can’t.” Marie thought back to the train ride. Her parents weren’t acting right, and now that she thought of it, neither was her grandma. They didn’t have the Christmas spirit, so the star wasn’t working. Maybe it was silly, but she believed that was the reason. Marie would have to get them in the Christmas spirit before they put the other star on.
Marie decided that a snowball fight could be fun. Then, she tried to get her family to build a snowman together. They baked cookies, sung Christmas songs, and decorated the tree with ornaments, but they still weren’t in the mood. Marie was upset that none of her plans had worked. She sighed and walked over to the star. It sat in a box with the rest of the broken and useless Christmas decorations. She picked it up and held it in her small hands. She thought she saw it light up slightly at her touch but decided that was impossible. She ran her finger over the glass gently. “Star,” she sniffled, “I just wish this Christmas could be as great as all the others. It’s not the same. All I wish is that this will all be better by tomorrow and Christmas will be great again.” The star looked as if it, once again, glowed ever so slightly. Marie carefully placed the star on the table next to the tree and went to bed for the night.
The next morning, Christmas Day, Marie was awakened by the sound of jingling bells, wonderful Christmas music, and, of course, the smell of her grandmother’s special cookies. She felt a flicker of hope in her chest, jumping up and running downstairs. She was surprised to see her family all gathered together, waiting beside the tree. “Good morning, Marie. We were all waiting for you to wake up so we could put the new star on the tree. Would you like to do the honors?” her mother asked. Marie shook her head. “I would like to do the honors, of course, but with the old star,” she stated, and walked over to the table where she had left it. She picked the star up and carried it over to the tree. She motioned to her dad to pick her up. He looked confused, but she wasn’t budging. Marie really hoped her wish would come true. She took a deep breath as her father lifted her up to where the empty place at the top of the tree was. She outstretched her arms and slowly placed the star in the spot. It immediately lit up. Marie gasped and let out a happy giggle, while her family laughed happily with her. “How’d you manage to do that?” her father asked, smiling. Marie just shrugged and stared up at the star from the floor. This is how it was supposed to be.
Marie and her family celebrated the star as they always did. With the star lit, presents under the tree, and everyone as joyful as ever, Christmas was finally great again. Marie couldn’t help but sit back and smile as her family enjoyed the wonderful holiday. She always knew that the star was the key to making Christmas amazing, and this year it was nothing short of that. Next year she knew, as long as the star was there, things would be right and Christmas would be fantastic.
-Sydney Hopkins – Grade 7 – Woolwine Elementary School