Susanna Hill's 4th Annual Holiday Contest: Polar Woes

© Sylvia Liu

Here's my entry for Susanna Leonard Hill's 4th Annual Holiday Contest. The rules: write a 350 word or fewer holiday story for kids that involves wild weather. Check out the link for the other awesome entries. Update: I placed 7th in the overall competition! (here are all the results).   

POLAR WOES (338 words)

by Sylvia Liu

The icy water sloshed under the door of Santa’s workshop. Adelaide lifted her felt boot, soaked with melted snow.

Santa bustled in, pulling his beard in all directions. “Jumping Jingle Bells! The ice caps are melting fast. The reindeer can’t handle the knee-deep slush. The sleigh won’t slide without ice.” He slumped in a chair that creaked mightily in protest and buried his face in his hands.

Adelaide frowned. The whole world depended on his deliveries in three days. She set some magic mops to work. Would there even be a workshop next year? The elves already had to move to houses on stilts, and just yesterday, she woke to find a polar bear snuggling at her feet.

“I’ll think of something, Santa,” Adelaide said. The water swirled around her toes. The shadows swam and her reflection danced.

“Yes. I’ve got it!” She grabbed a bullhorn. “All elves to your stations. We have an emergency order to fulfill.”

She flung a swath of blueprint paper onto the worktable. She scribbled. She calculated. She measured and she drew.

She thrust the newly minted schematic to the chief engineer. “Make this happen.”

As hammering filled the workshop, she logged onto her laptop. She typed the addresses of her far-flung friends. She tapped her missive and hit “Send.” She drummed her fingers and waited for the . . .


Adelaide read the response and smiled wide. “Santa, take a break. I’ve got this covered.”

Santa was already snoring in his corner recliner.

            Three days later, Adelaide paced back and forth. Where were they?

            She opened the door to peer out at the sloshy, slushy mess.

And then they came.

            In waddled the eight.

“Buenas noches,” they said.

            They nodded in approval at the contraption before them, loaded with presents.

            Adelaide roused Santa from his Christmas Eve nap.

            And into the night they went. “Now, Diego! Now, Dona! Now Pablo and Viviana! On Carlos! On Marta! On Sergio and Eliana!”

            Adelaide’s penguin friends swam the amphibious sleigh into the sparkling night.