Monday, December 19, 2011

'Twas a Holiday Contest!

As a writer I am constantly looking for motivation and inspiration to write.  That kind of discipline can be grueling sometimes.  With a semester break from my writing class at Gotham Writer's Workshop, I somewhat feel like a college student again who does not want to do ANY work til class starts again.  Without the homework assignments and deadlines, it can be easy to "fall off the wagon".
I am determined to not let that happen. 

So, what better way to keep the keys on my laptop clicking, then to enter a Holiday Writing Contest!?

The contest is hosted by Susanna Leonard Hill ( and asks participants to create their own, preferrably rhyming, version of the traditional poem, Twas The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore. 

And that's that! 

Please enjoy my submission...A Jelly Bean's Christmas by Marcie Colleen.

A Jelly Bean’s Christmas  by Marcie Colleen

‘Twas the pageant for Christmas, and all through backstage,
Every actor was nervous, no matter their age.
The donkeys were oldest and required to dance,
But their costumes were much too big in the pants.

The shepherds were ready but one broke her staff,
When the choir of angels knocked over a calf.
And I, as director, tried to stay composed
Right until the moment Rudolph lost his red nose!

But no one was more sad than Maggie McFlan,
Whose costume was not exactly as planned.
Her father just grabbed one from last Halloween.
So Maggie was dressed as a large jelly bean.

Now everyone knows jelly beans come in spring,
Easter bunnies, chocolate eggs, that sort of thing.
Worst yet was the fact that the jelly bean was
Three sizes too small and caused quite a buzz.

Maggie was stuffed in the tiny legume.
She couldn’t walk, she couldn’t dance with little legroom.
But with a deep breath, I concocted a plan,
Before the music started and the play began

Now Christmas is for all, its spirit of cheer
Should be a celebration throughout the year.
And no one could have missed the message that night
When a shiny pink bean stepped into the light.

For Maggie McFlan shuffled out with the cast
To deliver the line that would be the last.
Surrounded by Wise Men, sugar-plums  and cows
That jelly bean raised quite a few eyebrows!

She gathered the hands of all in the theater .
Looked out at the crowd and in words never sweeter
Explained rather boldly how her mom was gone
Fighting a war that has gone on too long.

Her mom was the one with a creative flair.
Dad did as he could when she wasn’t there.
Maggie looked at her costume and suddenly knew
Christmas is for everyone, that much was true.

So this Christmas time, she’ll continue to smile
And pray mom will come home, and stay for awhile.
‘Cause God listens to us, even jelly beans
When we focus on what Christmas truly means.


  1. Oh my. I was smiling and delighting throughout the poem -- and then, wow, you tugged at my heartstrings with the last couple of verses.

    Well done!

    (Now to get a tissue...)

  2. So beautiful...we forget how many families are fragmented at this time of year and what an affect it has on the kids. I love your jelly bean story.

  3. I enjoyed your poem very much...what a whimsical story that really packs a punch at the end...thanks for sharing!

  4. Oh, Marcie! What a twist! I totally didn't see that coming. So good! I'm amazed as I read entry after entry each so different and original, some serious, some funny, some a combination. Great job!

  5. Very clever and moving entry. This was a lovely twist on the nativity scene!

  6. The whole time I thought the jelly bean idea was genius...and then I reached the end. What a beautiful story! Great ideas Marcie.

  7. Love this, great job. Very talented.

  8. "Maggie was stuffed in the tiny legume."

    My favorite phrase! This was unique and touching. Who needs a candy cane when the jelly bean is so sweet and sincere?

  9. Funny and sweet! They should go ahead and give you the crown now! (they do give a crown for this contest, right?)

  10. A great version - lovely to read!

  11. This was funny and had such a great message! I could imagine my Dad doing that!

  12. Your poem is so original, sweet, and very touching! The ending was a total surprise. Nicely done, Marcie!

  13. Good, job, Marcie...and yes, I was very touching!

  14. Very sweet, Marcie. I enjoyed reading it. Good luck.

  15. Very touching indeed and still so much fun, original with lots of rhythm. Great stuff!

  16. Wow. I loved the start of this, it was funny and made me giggle at the image of everything going wrong at the pageant. Then it packs such an emotional punch at the end and completely turned from making me laugh to making me want to cry. You've done an amazing job. Plus your meter and rhyme is so well done. Love it.

  17. I laughed out loud when I got to the jelly bean costume. How hilarious! And by the end, a tear. How beautiful, funny, and original. How did you write this so quickly? I struggled and eeked out whatever came to my head this morning. Good luck and Merry Christmas!

  18. Totally unexpected twist at the end there. Great job!

  19. This was great - I especially liked "Maggie was stuffed in the tiny legume" :-)

  20. Darling, touching and making me emotional! So fun and endearing all at the same time! Brilliantly done! I LOVE IT!

    Merry Christmas!

  21. Oh, I really enjoyed this poem. It started out so funny and then ended so sweetly...and with a pleasant surprise. I was glued to the screen til the end. Good luck in the contest!