Getting into the Holiday Spirit with GIFs.

Lesage-London-Fog

I’ve been toying with the idea of animating one of my illustrations for a while. So when the prompt for the Make Art That Sells holiday contest arrived in my inbox, I couldn’t resist. The prompt is to illustrate your favourite beverage with a festive touch & I’ve been on a London Fog kick lately (Earl Grey tea with steamed milk & vanilla syrup). The contest winner will have their illustration animated by someone on the MATS team but since it was on my mind anyway I decided to use the opportunity to learn! It was so much fun to create! I hope you enjoy my gif to you. 😀

12 Days of Christmas in New Brunswick

My entry for Susanna Hill’s 6th Annual Holiday Contest (259 words) along with some very quick sketches. I found  the  format to be a bit challenging & some of the days might need explanation if you’re not from NB! I hope you’ll take the time to read some of the other entries over on Susanna’s Blog.

The rules: Write a children’s holiday story (children here defined as approximately age 12 and under) using the basic format/concept of The Twelve Days Of Christmas!  Your story may be poetry or prose, silly or serious or sweet, religious or not, based on Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or whatever you celebrate, but is not to exceed 300 words.  ENTRIES TO BE POSTED BY MON, DEC 12TH.

12-days-xmas-nb-chicken-bones

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS IN NEW BRUNSWICK

Last year my parents said to me, “We’re going to spend Christmas ‘down home’ with your grandparents in New Brunswick.”

I didn’t know what to say.

“You don’t mess with tradition,” I spouted, “unless it’s a trip to Disney!”

Dad frowned.

“Watch your tone young man.” Alas, I had no choice. 13 days before Christmas I boarded a plane.

Twelve days before Christmas my grandma fed me 12 Mrs. Dunster’s Donuts.

Eleven days before Christmas my sister gave to me 11 potato chips.

Ten days before Christmas my mom took me to see 10 works of art.

Nine days before Christmas my brother shared 9 chocolates from Ganong.

Eight days before Christmas I helped my uncle haul 8 loads of logs.

Seven days before Christmas grandpa drove me over 7 covered bridges.

Six days before Christmas my aunt took me to see 6 great whales at the NB museum. So cool!

12-days-xmas-nb-hall-of-whales

Five days before Christmas great-aunt gave to me 5 fresh lobsters. Yuck.

Four days before Christmas my father took me on 4 freezing ferries. Brrr.

Three days before Christmas my cousin taught me 3 french words. (Bonjour, merci, and salut.)

Two days before christmas I got to feed 2 chickadees.

On Christmas Eve I left Santa a bowl of Chicken Bones and a cup of tea because I thought it might be a nice change from milk and cookies.

12-days-xmas-nb-santa-note

On Christmas morning I found Santa’s note:

Dear Jim,

I hope you enjoyed getting to know your roots. I certainly enjoyed the Chicken Bones. Merry Christmas!

Your Pal,

Santa

 

Hope you Enjoyed! Have a Very Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year!!!

 

Happy Holidays!

Christmas celebrations are already well under way in this house. The advent calendars are out, the Christmas music is on, and we have a stack of Christmas (and Hanukkah) stories in our library bag. Nothing like a good story to help set the holiday mood right?

I had so much fun participating in Susanna Hill‘s Halloweensie contest that I decided to enter her Holiday Contest too. The challenge: write a children’s story in which wild weather impacts the holidays. In 350 words or less.  Here is my entry:

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Stranded

Stranded Santa

“Sugar!” muttered Dad. Sam looked up from his book.

“What’s wrong?”

“We’re stuck.” Sam looked out the car window. He couldn’t see anything but white. Every once in a while a large snowflake hit the window.

Dad called Ace Towing on his cell phone. “I see. Ok. Merry Christmas to you too.” But Dad didn’t sound very merry. “Sam,” he groaned, “we’re stranded.”

Stranded? But he still had to decorate the gingerbread house. And wrap Dad’s gift. “But what about Christmas?” Sam whispered.

Dad flipped on the radio. “…A wall of snow coming in off the lake has overwhelmed snowplows, leaving dozens of motorists stranded on Highway…” Dad turned off the radio.

Sam zipped up his coat and put his hat and mittens back on. He thought about their Christmas tree and sparkling decorations. He thought about the stockings that still needed to be hung for Santa. “But how will Santa find me?” Sam asked.

“Santa will leave presents at the house,” sighed Dad. But Sam knew all about Santa. Santa only came if you were sleeping. If you were visiting Grandma for Christmas, Santa would find you there. But Sam wasn’t visiting Grandma. Sam was stranded on Highway 1. Sam needed to tell Santa where he was. But how?

Sam watched the snow. If he weren’t stranded he’d be sipping hot cocoa and checking NORAD’s Santa tracker.

That’s it! He could call the Santa Tracker hotline and ask them to send Santa a message!

After some explaining Sam was on Dad’s phone with Sergeant Bleak at NORAD. Sergeant Bleak said he’d do his best to get Sam’s message to Santa.

Five hours later Sam woke up to a tap, tap, tap on the window. “Santa!” Sam cheered. Dad rolled down the car window. Santa passed them hot chocolate, warm cookies, and two warm blankets wrapped in ribbon.

“Hang tight,” said Santa, “the roads will be clear soon.” Sam waved as Santa disappeared into the falling snow. Then Sam and his Dad snuggled under the blankets, sang Christmas carols, sipped hot cocoa, and nibbled scrumptious cookies until the snowplows arrived.

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I hope you’re feeling warm, cozy, and Christmasy now. (Did you notice the writing on my Santa picture? No that’s not my signature. I jotted down “Carnivores, by Aaron Reynolds” to remind my self to order it on interlibrary loan. I think the littles will love it.)

Don’t forget to stop by Susanna’s blog to check out the other stories!