Naughty to Nice

It’s the time of year again!!! It’s Susanna Leonard Hill’s 4th Annual Holiday Contest!

Write a children’s story (children here defined as approximately age 12 and under) in which wild weather impacts the holidays!  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 350 words

Here’s my submission 🙂 Enjoy!

Naughty to Nice

“Fantastic flight,” said Santa, folding his empty bag.

“Santa?” asked Marion. “You asked if Sam was naughty or nice this year—”

“And you said, ‘Naughty,’ Santa reminded.

“Because he’s always naughty. Every year. Naughty,” piped Lena.

“We double checked the list… he was nice this year,” said Marion.

“Nice?” Santa chuckled. “I knew he could do it.”

“He’d never been nice, so we assumed—”

“Re-harness the reindeer!” Santa called out. “Load the best gift! Quick!” Marion hung his head, embarrassed. “Kids can always change,” said Santa, patting the open seat beside him. “A naughty-to-nice child is special!” Marion slid beside Santa.

They were off, with bells and Santa’s laughter…

until a large crunch rocked the sleigh. “What was that?” asked Marion.




Hail. BIG hail. The sleigh twisted as the reindeer leapt out of the way. Marion covered his head as ice-balls attacked.

“Santa!” Marion cried.

As Santa shouted directions to the reindeer, a hailstone knocked his hat. 

The reindeer wove a path through the storm to Sam’s house. Santa and Marion dashed inside.

Sam, wrapped in a hole-y blanket, sat beside a low-burning fire. The hail shook the thin walls.

“Sam, we’ve brought you something.” Santa placed a colorful package next to Sam.

Sam asked, “Are you taking back the coal?” An open bag sat beside the hearth. “I’m naughty to get coal so we can light the fire. This year I shared our coal with my best friend. Was that too nice?” he sobbed.

Santa crouched beside Sam and pulled a bag from behind his back.

“That’s the biggest bag of coal I’ve ever seen!” Sam exclaimed.

“It’s enough for you and any friends who might need some.” Sam leapt into Santa’s arms.

“You don’t have to be naughty to get what you need,” said Santa, chuckling. “Just be who you are… and let me help with the rest.”

On the way home, ashamed of how he’d misjudged Sam, Marion asked, “How’d you know?”

“Let’s just say I’ve been around the world a few times,” said Santa, his laughter trailing behind them into the dawn.

23 thoughts on “Naughty to Nice”

  1. What a sweet and cleverly written story, Marcy! Love the twist…and the further twist… 🙂 and love that the boy everyone thought of as naughty was really the most thoughtful of all. Great ending line, too – “I’ve been around the world a few times” 🙂 Thanks so much for joining in the Holiday Contest fun!

  2. Marcy…you brought me to tears…I just love this story. What an awesome message about being who you are. I’ve heard of kids being naughty to get attention…but never to get coal at Christmas to warm their home…you took this story to a whole other level of awesomeness. 🙂

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