My Entry in the Susanna Leonard Hill’s Holiday Writing Contest!

15 Dec

YAHOO!! It is time for Susanna Leonard Hill’s

Holiday Writing Contest!

The rules for the contest are you have to have an opening that starts like the song “Dashing through the snow”Β  but you can change it, you don’t have to use the exact words. It also had to be under 350 words long and be a children’s story. You can read the complete rules and other great entries HERE.

The subject of my entry is something that I feel very strongly about… I admit it. I, Erik, kid reviewer, Black Belt in TaeKwon-Do am afraid of…


Notice I said “Santa Claus” because there are a lot of imposters out there. The real Santa is a cool guy. We have a great writing relationship. I write letters, he sometimes gets back to me but he always decides if I am naughty or nice (I’ve always been on the nice list) and I get presents for which I am thankful for, but I don’t have to see him (maybe I’d Skype with him, but I don’t even know about that). I am talking about the “Santa Clauses” that are Santa’s “helpers.” I understand Santa is a busy guy. He has a whole world to take care of, so I understand he needs some helpers out there to stand in for him to take pictures and stuff like that. I just don’t want to be near them. To be honest I am also afraid of the Easter Bunny and the people who dress up like giant chocolate candy at Hershey’s Chocolate World. My parents told me it started when I was three and a “Santa” tried to get close to me to give me a present. I didn’t like it. I decided to use my Santaclausiophobia in my entry. I wanted to include an actual picture of me with Santa, but there is only one known Santa and Erik picture and since we moved my mom couldn’t find which box it was packed in. It’s a picture of “Santa” with Josie on his knee and me standing like 5 feet away. He was giving out candy canes and the only way I could get one was to get close enough for a picture. I think I was like 7 at the time. I never did that again!

I hope you like my entry. You can sing along to the tune of “Dashing Through the Snow.”


by Erik (180 words)

baby crying... Santa laughing.. Not so cute.

(Photo credit: daveynin)

Walking through the mall,

In my brand new Christmas Shoes,

Look at that kid bawl,

I have got the blues!

My mom smiles at me,

She wants this photo,

Can’t anybody see,


Scary Santa

Scary Santa (Photo credit: RaGardner4)



His beard is fake,

His eyebrows snake,

His mustache is dark brown,

I feel bad for the lad,

That Santa just put down!


He has a belt,

It’s made of felt,

That just makes me pause,

Santa Cry

(Photo credit: Glenn E. Malone)

His suit’s off-red, like I said,


(Second Verse)

I don’t have a choice,

Four more kids to go,

I hear Santa’s voice,

He says “Hoo Ha Ho”?

The girl on Santa’s knee,

Looks as scared as she can be,

Kalilah crying as Santa holding her

(Photo credit: daveynin)

The camera makes a flash,

The girl makes a dash!



His beard is fake,

His eyebrows snake,

His boots are made of plastic,

What is wrong with Asbury Park, New Jersey?

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m ahead and my mom said,

“This will be fantastic”!


He has no belly,

That shakes like jelly,

I am feeling sick,

On his lap is when I yap,


Ta-Da! Thank you. That’s all for today. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Mall Santa Has Returned To North Pole

(Photo credit: Beige Alert)

103 Responses to “My Entry in the Susanna Leonard Hill’s Holiday Writing Contest!”

  1. Beth Stilborn December 15, 2012 at 10:13 am #

    That is so great, Erik!!! The only photo my parents had of me with “Santa” when I was a kid wasn’t even me! We’d gone to the city (85 miles away) for a day of shopping when the photo was taken. Back then, the photo was mailed to the parents afterwards (there were no instant photos then) and when my parents opened the envelope, it was a picture of some little boy on the “Santa’s” knee. They kept the photo, but never knew who the little boy was! I wonder who got MY photo?


  2. Pat Brisson December 15, 2012 at 10:18 am #

    Nice job, Erik! And you found such funny photos to go with it. Hope your Christmas is merry and the year ahead full of lots of pleasant surprises.


  3. Robyn Campbell December 15, 2012 at 10:18 am #

    WOWZA! Super entry, Erik!!!!!!!!!!! It made me laugh. That imposter! πŸ™‚


  4. Romelle Broas December 15, 2012 at 10:52 am #

    Love it! I don’t blame you for being a bit scared of those “imitation” Santas. That clown santa picture frightens me. Terrific entry. Love the different spin on it. It was fun, entertaining and hilarious. But it did make me feel bad for all those kids. Merry Christmas, Erik!


    • thiskidreviewsbooks December 15, 2012 at 11:09 am #

      Thank you Ms. Broas! I am happy my parents never made me get a picture with “Santa.” There are lots of them with my sister, but not me!


  5. Cordelia Dinsmore December 15, 2012 at 12:00 pm #

    Thank you Erik for sharing with us. I love a great song parody, and yours is one many kids can identify with. My grown daughter will still turn and run in the opposite direction when she sees someone dressed in a costume. Never could get her near Santa, but my son absolutely loved the mall Santa. We have a really great one that even I would tell my Christmas wishes to.


    • thiskidreviewsbooks December 16, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

      I am glad you like my parody Ms. Dinsmore! I don’t know if I would like to meet that Santa or not… πŸ˜‰


  6. readingwithrhythm December 15, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

    Hahahahahah!! Erik that was awesome!!! I’ve had my picture taken with Santa, but I didn’t have to sit in his lap!! And I got some gooood treats after from the Mom Person. Not too bad.


  7. Lori Degman (@LoriDegman) December 15, 2012 at 12:57 pm #

    I love it, Erik! You gave me my first smile of the day πŸ™‚


  8. Lynn A. Davidson December 15, 2012 at 1:09 pm #

    Erik, I understand totally. I do not like being close to people in costume, unless it is my husband and I know it, like the time he dressed as a Christmas tree and I was an elf. That’s okay, but Santas in the malls make me nervous.
    Your entry is fun. πŸ™‚


    • thiskidreviewsbooks December 16, 2012 at 3:08 pm #

      Thank you Ms. Davidson! I would’ve liked to see you and your husband as a tree and elf! πŸ˜‰


  9. Joanna December 15, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

    I was rolling around with this one, Erik, it is hilarious! I get it!


  10. Laura Renauld December 15, 2012 at 3:51 pm #

    This was the first year I brought my boys to see Santa because I didn’t want a traumatic experience like all the ones you pictured. They were a little wary, but at least they weren’t crying! I love how you turned a fear into story inspiration. Merry Christmas!


    • thiskidreviewsbooks December 16, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

      Thank you Ms. Renauld! I am glad your boys weren’t bawling themselves to the bones! πŸ˜‰ Happy Holidays! πŸ™‚


  11. ontheplumtree December 15, 2012 at 4:37 pm #

    Hilarious! I sympathise. My granddaughter screamed the place down when she thought she might have to sit on Santa’s knee.


    • thiskidreviewsbooks December 16, 2012 at 3:19 pm #

      *snort* that’s funny (in an ear-hurting sort of way πŸ˜‰ ) I’m happy my parents never made me take a picture with “Santa”


      • ontheplumtree December 17, 2012 at 6:52 am #

        Don’t worry, we didn’t make her have a picture with Santa. Just the thought of it was enough for her. She is three and knows her own mind. She decided thatshe didn’t like ‘not real’ Santa


      • thiskidreviewsbooks December 17, 2012 at 7:37 am #



  12. moonduster December 15, 2012 at 6:04 pm #

    LOL! I loved this! It is so funny and you found some great photos to illustrate it with! I remember a friend of mine throwing her two year old daughter a Christmas party with about six of her two-year old preschool friends. Santa came for a surprise visit. Every single one of those toddlers was crying within seconds of his arrival!


  13. bodhimoments December 15, 2012 at 6:45 pm #

    I absolutely understand. The number of children I see each year bawling on Santa’s knees is legion! Another of those things adults find cute and children hate! We should learn to listen to children more. I love your song. May I please reblog it?


    • thiskidreviewsbooks December 16, 2012 at 3:22 pm #

      I’m am happy my parents realized I didn’t like people in costumes and never made me get pictures with them! Sure you can re-blog it! πŸ™‚ Thanks!


  14. Diane M. Robinson December 15, 2012 at 7:11 pm #

    I love the words. It is my new Christmas song that I am singing, and smiling about. Merry Christmas to you and your loved one, Erik.


  15. Darlene December 15, 2012 at 7:33 pm #

    Great entry Erik! I think many kids are frightened of the imposter!


  16. patientdreamer December 15, 2012 at 8:33 pm #

    Wonderful entry Erik! Laughed and sang away, I did! Great pics with it to. Have a great Christmas you and Josie and your Mum and Dad.


  17. Patricia Tilton December 15, 2012 at 9:39 pm #

    Laughed so hard! This was so funny. I wouldn’t go near any one, including Santa, in costumes — well just once at a Christmas party, He had bad breath too! Great entry. Loved the pictures.


    • thiskidreviewsbooks December 16, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

      That’s hilarious that your “Santa” had bad breath! I wanted to put in that “Santa” was smelly, but my Mom thought that was impolite and made me change it. I’m glad I made you laugh!


  18. Stacy S. Jensen December 16, 2012 at 12:53 am #

    Brilliant Erik. Very funny. My son is afraid of Santa now. I’ll have to read him your story. Thanks. Have a Merry Christmas.


    • thiskidreviewsbooks December 16, 2012 at 3:36 pm #

      Thank you Ms. Jensen! I hope Enzo likes the song and that you don’t make him get a picture with “Santa!”


  19. Renee LaTulippe December 16, 2012 at 4:53 am #

    HAHAHAHA! Erik, you are brilliant! “His eyebrows snake” – what an observation. I think you probably captured the experience of millions of kids all over the world. Well done! Have Merry Christmas!


  20. lionelsnod December 16, 2012 at 10:47 am #

    Excellent work Erik! This is so good and entertaining and the pictures are priceless. Good luck in the contest, but in my book you are already a winner. Have a great weekend!

    Paul R. Hewlett


  21. julie rowan zoch December 16, 2012 at 11:29 am #

    This whole post made me laugh and enough to start coughing – love it! I really like your vivid description of the story’s inspiration, and could even see the photo your mom couldn’t find. My kids were afraid of clowns, so I totally get this, and in a way I am sorry for laughing – but it was just too funny!


    • thiskidreviewsbooks December 16, 2012 at 3:48 pm #

      Thank you Ms. Zoch! I am glad you like my foreword πŸ™‚
      P.S. We watched White Christmas last night and it had Danny Kaye in it. He’s funny! πŸ™‚


  22. Susanna Leonard Hill December 16, 2012 at 11:34 am #

    What a clever and hilarious entry, Erik! Such a great idea! I don’t know when it got to be so popular to take pictures with Santa, but there sure are a lot of kids who would rather not – and I can’t say I blame them πŸ™‚ Thanks for a great entry! (And sorry my comment is so late – I was here yesterday, but somehow I messed up the comment because it isn’t here!)


  23. Barbara December 16, 2012 at 1:00 pm #

    I LOVE your entry, Erik! It’s brilliant and hilarious! Awesome picture choices, too.


  24. Stephanie@Fairday's Blog December 16, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

    I love your entry! It is so clever and I bet it is unique! I can understand not liking Santa’s helpers and others in costumes! I know a lot of people who are afraid of people in those mascot outifts at Disney and other places.


    • thiskidreviewsbooks December 16, 2012 at 3:57 pm #

      Thanks Ms. Peterson! I have never been to Disney, I want to though. It would be even greater without those characters running amuck. πŸ˜‰


  25. Darshana December 16, 2012 at 2:33 pm #

    I LOVE it! That is so awesome. Like the complementary photos, totally adds to it. Funny I was just watching the Miracle on 34th Street last night. Great job!


  26. jama December 16, 2012 at 2:40 pm #

    Thank you thank you thank you!! Finally — someone to tell the truth about those imposters! Brilliant, funny, wise, touching, original. Love it, Erik! I have only one pic of me and my brother with “Santa.” I look very scared. Somehow that photo has disappeared in the last few years . . . good luck with the contest :).


    • thiskidreviewsbooks December 16, 2012 at 4:01 pm #

      You’re welcome you’re welcome you’re welcome!! πŸ˜‰ Those guys have ALWAYS been evil-y! AHHHHHHH!!! *panics, runs away, and hides under covers, face first* πŸ˜‰ Thanks Ms. Rattigan! πŸ™‚


  27. Cathy Ballou Mealey December 16, 2012 at 2:44 pm #

    Terrific Erik! I appreciate your perspective. My son loves to see Santa, but who needs a horrid camera FLASHING in your face? I have 2 Santa photos that just show the back of my son’s head. πŸ™‚


    • Deborah Holt Williams December 16, 2012 at 2:51 pm #

      How great that you captured that frantic feeling of terror that grips kids when they have to sit on a stranger’s lap! Great job!


    • thiskidreviewsbooks December 16, 2012 at 4:04 pm #

      Thank you Ms. Mealey! The camera might be the problem kids don’t like Santa! πŸ˜‰


  28. Maxine December 16, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

    Brilliant entry Erik ! I could hear the tune as I read along. I can remember sitting on Santa’s knee several times during my childhood, I didn’t cry however I do remember thinking some of Santa’s helpers weren’t up to the mark particularly one who had thick glasses and a straggly beard…nothing like the real Santa Claus at all. Happy Holidays to you and your family Erik with a ho, ho, ho πŸ™‚


    • thiskidreviewsbooks December 17, 2012 at 7:11 am #

      You mean a “Hoo Ha Ho” right? πŸ˜‰ Thank you Ms. Ramsay! I like what you think about Santa’s helpers πŸ˜‰ Happy Holidays!


  29. Michelle Isenhoff December 16, 2012 at 5:02 pm #

    Ha! Ha! Ha! Very cute, Erik! And great pic choices to go with it.


  30. Cheryl Secomb December 16, 2012 at 7:23 pm #

    Ha Ha! This was great! Very funny and a lot of fun to read. Thanks for sharing!


  31. Carrie Finison December 16, 2012 at 10:07 pm #

    Hilarious, Erik! My son has also never been interested in the mall Santa at all. From a young age, I simply told him it was some dressed up as Santa, and not the real Santa. He never wanted to sit on that guy’s lap either.


  32. viviankirkfield December 16, 2012 at 10:31 pm #

    Erik…several others have said this was brilliant…I heartily agree! I love the ‘eyebrows snake’…and I think that MANY kids are not thrilled with having to sit on a stranger’s lap…and these days, it’s kind of at odds with how we caution our children to be wary of people they don’t know who want to give them presents. πŸ™‚
    My younger son NEVER liked clowns…and those big Easter bunnies are downright scary.


    • thiskidreviewsbooks December 17, 2012 at 7:36 am #

      Good point Ms. Kirkfield. Parents shouldn’t tell you something, but then reverse it. I don’t like people dressed up in costumes unless I know that guy/girl won’t hurt me.


  33. Melissa December 17, 2012 at 5:56 am #

    Love it Erik. My nephews are freaked out by shopping centre Santa’s too… my kids are older and think it’s all hugely funny.


  34. Linda Boyden December 17, 2012 at 9:36 am #

    Erik, that was fun and evoked so many memories. My 2 daughters loved to pose (always the fashionistas!) with Santa but my son…he’d scream his adorable head off! Now his daughters love to laugh at their big brave daddy crying on Santa’s lap!


    • thiskidreviewsbooks December 17, 2012 at 8:29 pm #

      HAHAHA! I would be laughing at my dad (if he was afraid) – if I wasn’t scared stiff of Santy! πŸ˜‰ I know some kids aren’t afraid of “Santa”, but I am. *shiver* Please come again Ms. Boyden!


  35. ccarpinello December 17, 2012 at 10:50 am #

    Love it, Eric! Our grandson does like the Santas either.


  36. Pamela Courtney December 17, 2012 at 11:50 am #

    Oh Erik, you nailed it! Those fake Santas are horrors and kids no a fake when they see one. Oh this was so delightful and funny. You did a great job.


    • Pamela Courtney December 17, 2012 at 11:54 am #

      You ever get the feeling you’ve written something and it just isn’t spelled correctly? I Knew when I typed: Kids “no” a fake…it did not feel right. Sorry for the error. The work is know, Know, KNOW! πŸ™‚


    • thiskidreviewsbooks December 18, 2012 at 6:50 am #

      Thank you Ms. Courtney! Please come again! πŸ™‚


  37. clarbojahn December 17, 2012 at 12:56 pm #

    So funny, Erik! I never thought of Mall Santa’s like that When my boys were growing up we didn’t have malls yet and I only have one photo of one of them on Santas knee at Kmart. I’ll talk to them about what you wrote this Christmas. It’s an eye opener. I love it! πŸ™‚


    • thiskidreviewsbooks December 18, 2012 at 6:54 am #

      Thanks Ms. Bowman-Jahn! I wrote mall, but any store still could have a creepy Santa. πŸ˜‰ Also, mall rhymes with bawl! πŸ˜‰


  38. laurimeyers December 17, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

    Oh that clown Santa picture is TERRIBLE!

    Love your song!


    • thiskidreviewsbooks December 18, 2012 at 6:59 am #

      I KNOW! That’s why I put it on! πŸ˜‰ Thank you Ms. Meyers! Please come again!


  39. Donna L. Sadd December 17, 2012 at 6:12 pm #

    BWAHAHAH, your fab poem brought me right back to childhood, as I too was terrified of the ‘Mall Santa.” Actually, back in my day, we didn’t even have malls. It was the local shopping center Santa. Whew boy, now I’m feeling old and creeky. I’ll just go back and read your submission again so I can feel better. Good luck and Happy Holidays to you and yours Erik!


    • thiskidreviewsbooks December 18, 2012 at 7:03 am #

      Thank you Ms. Sadd! So you were made really Sadd by Santa (sorry – I couldn’t help it)? Happy Holidays!


  40. alaynekaychristian December 17, 2012 at 8:50 pm #

    What fun! It is amazing how much mall Santa ground you were able to cover in 180 words. Very creative!


  41. thegracefuldoe December 17, 2012 at 10:14 pm #

    Great take, Erik! I especially love the choruses. It gave me a good giggle. I’ve never bothered forcing my kids to sit on Santa’s knee and get photos. It’s only in the last couple of years my son has been brave enough to go talk to him and my daughter is still quite wary, though she did get close enough to get a lollipop this year.


    • thiskidreviewsbooks December 18, 2012 at 7:07 am #

      Thank you Ms. Hart! Your son is VERY brave! *shiver* πŸ˜‰ My parents never forced me to do it (or my sister, but she enjoys it), but I wrote my story from the perspective of a kid who HAD to. πŸ™‚


  42. novalibrarymom December 18, 2012 at 7:10 am #

    Fantastic, Erik! And as a mom of a 1yo and a 3yo, I’ve had my share of Santa-imposter experiences. Such a fun read, thanks for sharing!


    • thiskidreviewsbooks December 18, 2012 at 7:13 am #

      Thanks! I think lots of kids are afraid of Santa imposters. πŸ˜‰ Thank you for commenting! Please come again! πŸ™‚


      • Catherine Johnson December 18, 2012 at 8:39 pm #

        Erik, that is superb! You have a wicked sense of humor and those pictures are fab! Bravo!


      • thiskidreviewsbooks December 21, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

        Thank you! πŸ™‚


  43. Jennifer Rumberger December 18, 2012 at 9:52 pm #

    What a fun story and so true!


  44. Anna December 19, 2012 at 5:14 pm #

    Erik, this is hilarious. Makes me wonder where this tradition got started anyway? Kids are indeed excellent at detecting impostors.


  45. Penny Klostermann December 21, 2012 at 7:50 pm #

    Yea! You’re a finalist! I love this, Erik. I have been really short on time lately, so I am just now getting to comment on the 40 entries! You certainly captured all the bad versions of Santa!


  46. Myra GB December 31, 2012 at 7:32 pm #

    My daughter has a photo with Santa while we were in Hong Kong when she turned seven. Santa turned to her and told her “I think I know what you want for Christmas” – she has just lost her two front teeth at the time, and she was deeply amazed that Santa knows exactly what she longed for. Just this year, my eleven year old asked a grown-up friend of hers whether Santa was multicultural. I have a feeling you and her would have a lot of Santa-stories to talk about. πŸ™‚


    • thiskidreviewsbooks January 2, 2013 at 5:56 pm #

      Wow. “All I want for Christmas are my two front teeth, two front teeth, two front teeth” πŸ˜‰



  1. Oh, … Look! Santa! « bodhimoments - December 16, 2012

    […] That’s Not Santa! […]


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