Tag Archives: Santa Claus

Poetry Friday ~ Christmas in Florida

4 Dec
Photo by Lynda Hinton (@lyndaann1975 – Unsplash)

Hello, everyone! Happy Holidays and a warm welcome to my blog!

I live in south Florida and Christmas traditions are a little different down here. We don’t have snow, so we can’t build a snowman, but we can build one made of sand. There’s no sledding or skiing, but we do have surfing Santas and boats decked out in Christmas lights and decorations. We also have Winterfest, a town named Christmas, Disney World and much more. I found this poem about Christmas in Florida and thought I should share it. I hope you enjoy it.

T’was the night before Christmas, and all through the town,
No noses were frozen, nor snow on the ground.

No children in flannels were tucked into bed,
They all wore their shorty pajamas instead.

To find wreaths of holly was not very hard,
For holly trees sprouted in every backyard.

In front of the houses were daddies and moms,
Decorating hibiscus and coconut palms.

The slumbering kiddies were dreaming with glee,
Hoping to find surf boards under the tree.

They all knew that Santa was well on his way,
In a fiberglass boat instead of a sleigh.

He whizzed up the rivers, zoomed up the canals,
Delivering toys to good boys and gals.

The tropical moon gave the cities a glow,
And lit the way for Santa below.

Quite soon he arrived and started to work,
He hadn’t a second to linger or shirk.

He jumped from his boat and gave a wee chuckle,
He was dressed in deck pants, with an ivy league buckle.

There weren’t any chimneys, but that caused no gloom,
For Santa came in through the Florida room.

He stopped at each house but stayed only a minute,
As he emptied his sack of the toys that were in it.

Before he departed he had a long drink,
From the glass of fresh orange juice left by the sink.

He turned with a jerk and jumped into his boat,
Knowing that he still had more toys to tote.

He put it in gear and he opened the gas,
Then up the Peace River he went like a flash!

And I heard him exclaim as he went on his way:
“Merry Christmas, Punta Gorda, I wish I could stay ….

Photo by Lynda Hinton

Take care and stay safe and healthy!

Haiku Friday – Happy Holidays

19 Dec

Hello and happy holidays to everyone! Welcome to Haiku Friday. Today I’m posting some Christmas horror haiku. I’m actually in bed with the flu right now. It’s the fourth day so I’m feeling better. The last three days were bad. Maybe next year I’ll get the flu shot––maybe. Anyway, enjoy!

 

sallizard

Vampire Santa Claus

by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Ö

Blood drips from white beard

burrows deep into the soil

Until next Christmas

Ö

killer-christmas-tree

Attack of the Christmas Trees

by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Ö

Verdant crown

Pine needles like sharp quills fly

Grotesque man-tree trimmed in lights

Ö

 

 

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A Christmas That Almost Wasn’t

23 Dec

Muscle Santa Claus by _JULIANNA_

Muscle Santa Claus
by _JULIANNA_

 

Hello and welcome. In today’s post I am sharing a short story I wrote using these prompts: Santa Claus, Christmas tree, Magic and Clairvoyant child. I had challenged my friend and talented fiction writer Dyane Forde with the same prompts and she did a magnificent job. So I decided to challenge myself. Now, this is not a competition between me and Dyane. I was blown away by her story and wanted to challenge myself using the same prompts. You can read her story here. I hope you enjoy both stories. Thank you!

 

A Christmas That Almost Wasn’t

by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

He had a crazed look in his bloodshot eyes. He staggered toward me, holding an enormous shotgun.

“Don’t move!” He waved the gun at me. “How did you enter my house?”

He continued to move in my direction, the barrel of the gun waving around like a banner. I was afraid it would go off by accident.

“Wait a moment!” I outstretched my arms before me.

He moved like a drunkard, expending tremendous energy with each step forward. I feared for my life. I retreated and bumped into the Christmas tree. The ornaments came crashing down all around me. I leaped forward to avoid getting hit by one.

“I told you to stay back!” His words ran into one another. “I mean it. I will shoot you!”

My foot stepped on an ornament, and I tripped forward. I heard the gun go off. Pain ripped through my chest, expanding like lava. A mist of darkness surrounded me, and I fell to the floor. The last thing I heard was the sound of a woman screaming.

“What have you done?”

*

“Mrs. Claus, your husband’s health is deteriorating. He may not be able to do his Christmas Eve rounds this year, or any other year for that matter, unless essential changes are made now.” The North Pole’s physician wore a grave expression.

“Oh, no! That would mean the end of Christmas!” Pepper Minstix’s cheeks flushed to match his berry sweater.

“No more Christmas?” Jangle began to sob.

Santa’s elves waggled and blubbered in despair.

“Shhh. Hush, now,” Mrs. Claus told the distraught elves. “Of course, Christmas will go on. We are going to do everything the good doctor advises in order to help Nick get better.”  She turned to the doctor. “Now, what is it you’d have us do?”

“First and foremost, Mr. Claus must lose weight,” the doctor ordered to a symphony of gasps.

“Santa Claus lose weight? That’s impossible!” Pepper shook his head.

“Nothing is impossible, my dear Pepper,” the doctor said. “Santa Claus can lose weight and regain his health if he gets help from all of you.” He pointed at Mrs. Claus and the surrounding elves.

“I do want to help him. I do, but how?” Jangle asked.

“Well, for starters, you elves can help by creating a gym where Santa can exercise every day. I charge all of you with the task of keeping him motivated.” The elves glanced at each other. “Mrs. Claus will have to cook healthier meals. Santa must eat a diet of lean meats, fish, vegetables, fruits and grains. It is the only way he will lose the excess weight and regain his health. It is the only way to save Christmas.”

Everyone  heeded the doctor’s advice. Mrs. Claus cooked food low in fat, salt, and sugar. Nicholas Claus was not thrilled with his new diet of mostly vegetables and fish, but he knew what was at stake if he did not do what the doctor ordered.

The elves got busy and fashioned a gym that would put envy in the heart of any man. Pepper and Jangle woke Santa at the break of dawn every day and accompanied him, grumbling and whining, to his exercise routine.

For months Santa Claus ate lean meats, chicken and fish, steamed vegetables, fruits and grains. He exercised every day in the gym the elves had built for him, and later, he was seen running up and down the snowy hills of the North Pole.

Santa Claus working out

Santa Claus working out

A week before Christmas, the doctor returned to see Santa Claus’s progress. What he saw caused his jaw to drop, his eyes to widen into saucers, and a large grin to form on his face.

“I can’t believe you are the same person I saw months ago.” The doctor grinned. “You don’t have an ounce of excess fat on you. You have completely transformed yourself.”

Santa Claus was no longer the rotund, jolly fellow of old. He was lean, muscular, and healthy. He passed his physical exam with flying colors. As a reward for all his effort, Mrs. Claus made him a new red suit to match his new svelte and youthful form.

Mrs. Claus

Mrs. Claus

Santa Claus was ready to do his rounds on Christmas Eve.

*

It was eleven o’ clock Christmas Eve. My wife and I had returned from a Christmas Eve party at a neighbor’s house. We left the party early because my wife can’t have two glasses of wine without wanting to first, take her clothes off, and then, fall asleep. I put her in bed, and the snoring began immediately. Damn, how such noises could come out of that pretty mouth, I’ll never know.

I wasn’t done drinking yet. I took a bottle of whisky from the fridge, where I had left it to chill. After I drank about one third of the bottle, I saw it: the large shadow of a monstrous man creeping around in our family room. I put the bottle down on the counter. I moved stealthily across the room and pressed myself against the wall between the kitchen and family rooms. I peeked around the doorway and saw him. He must have been nearly seven feet tall. He had muscles on top of muscles. My heart began to rush liquored blood to my head. My face was burning.

I could hear my wife snoring upstairs. I couldn’t allow any harm to come to her. I was so glad the kids were staying at their grandpa’s house. I ran as fast and as quietly as I could and grabbed my shotgun from the hall closet. I had to defend my home––that was all I could think about.

I ran into the family room and startled the big man. He dropped a large bag he’d been carrying. No doubt filled with my things. Things I had worked so hard to get.

“Don’t move!” I pointed my shotgun at him. “How did you enter my house?”

“Wait a moment,” he said in a deep, raspy voice as he walked toward me.

“I told you to stay back!” I pointed the barrel of my gun at his chest. He continued to move in my direction.

“I mean it. I will shoot you!”

“Wait! Wait, I . . . ”

I shot him.

He fell with a loud thump on my wood floor. My wife ran down the stairs.

“What happened? I heard a gun shot!” She turned the lights on in the family room. Damn! Why didn’t I think of that? When she saw the big guy sprawled on the floor in a pool of his own blood, she fell to her knees. “What have you done?”

“I killed Santa Claus.”

*

The doorbell rang.

“Oh my God! It’s the police!” My wife’s chest heaved as she panicked.

“No, I didn’t hear sirens.” I didn’t recognize my own voice. It was low and brittle.

“What are we going to do? How could you kill Santa Claus?” She sobbed into her hands.

“I didn’t know it was him. I didn’t recognize his silhouette in the dim light.” My entire body trembled. I was sobered by the jolt of seeing Santa pale and lifeless on my floor.

“Never mind that now.” She stared at me her eyes withered from crying. “What are we going to do?”

Someone jiggled the front doorknob. I grasped my shotgun, which lay on the floor. My wife placed a hand on my arm and squeezed. I sprang to my feet. I pointed the gun at the door. Was I really going to shoot someone else? The door opened. I lowered the gun.

My eleven-year-old son ran in. He didn’t stop to say hello to me, or even look my way. His eyes were fixed on Santa’s corpse.

“Oh, my!” My father-in-law paled as he walked through the door and saw the red-suited body lying limp on the ground.

Next, my fifteen-year-old daughter walked in. She did not say a word. Her hands were crossed over her mouth and her eyes were wide as she treaded lightly toward Santa’s body.

“He woke me up.” My father-in-law pointed his chin at my son. “He said I had to bring him home right away. There was nothing I could say to convince him otherwise. I had to bring him.”

My daughter stared at me with sadness and reproach. “He said you had done something awful and he had to make it better. I guess he was right.” She shifted her eyes to the gun I was holding. I instinctively moved it behind me. Her eyes narrowed.

“I, I didn’t . . . ” I couldn’t find the words to explain, and she turned away from me and stared at her brother.

We all hovered over Santa’s body now. My son was on his knees. His hands floated in circles over Santa’s head.

“What . . . ?”

“Shhh!” My daughter strangled my words and threw darts at me with her stare.

I gulped and stumbled backward. The bright red blood on the ground began to sparkle and retract toward Santa’s body until there was none left on the floor. A chorus of gasps ensued.

We gaped in awe as my son began to glow like a star. He placed his small hands on Santa’s forehead until he, too, began to glow.

My wife’s mouth moved, but words did not leave her lips. My father-in-law smiled as if he knew something no one else did. My teen daughter watched her little brother, frozen in place, hypnotized by the intense glow reflected in her eyes.

Santa trembled and levitated off the floor. Then he gently went back down. He began to cough. He inhaled deeply and opened his eyes.

Santa Claus lives again!

My daughter burst out laughing and my wife sobbed in relief. Her father placed a hand on her shoulder and grinned at my son. My little boy gazed at Santa Clause and smiled. I couldn’t move. I watched all of them through a blur of hot liquid pooling in my eyes.

My son got to his feet. He extended his hand, and the man in the red suit took it and stood. He looked at my boy with a familiar twinkle in his eye, and then they exchanged embraces. When they were done, they both looked at me. I couldn’t contain myself any longer. I fell to pieces on the ground; relief, happiness, pride, and love streamed down my face.

My son ran to me and hugged me. I held him tight. I didn’t understand how he knew to come home or how he did what he did, but those were questions to be answered at a later time. All that mattered at the moment was that my boy saved two lives this Christmas Eve—Santa Claus’s and my own—and he saved Christmas, too!

My wife joined my son and embraced us both and then my daughter, grandpa, and even Santa joined in. We held each other tightly and rejoiced in the Christmas miracle.

“Say it, Santa Claus!” my son yelled. “Go on, say it!”

“Ho, ho, ho! Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

muscular santa

30 Creative Illustrations of the Christmas Man: Santa Claus

 

Happy Holidays!

 

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Dyane Forde’s Christmas Challenge

20 Dec

Author Dyane Forde

Author Dyane Forde

Hi everyone! I’m so excited to introduce today my friend and a very talented author: Dyane Forde

 

Dyane recently released her fabulous book The Purple Morrow. The Purple Morrow is a (light) Fantasy aimed at an adult audience. At the end of this post you will see the book cover, read a blurb from the book and there will also be information on how you can get your own copy.

 

Dyane Forde’s love of writing began with an early interest in reading and of words in general. She was always amazed at how linking words together in different ways had unexpected and pleasing results on others. People enjoyed what she created! This sparked a life-long desire to write all types of things, from short stories, novels, flash fiction, poetry…she enjoys trying genres and forms of writing which are different from what she’s used to; every story or book represents new joys and challenges. Dyane views writing as an amazing and intimate communication tool, meaning that it becomes a means through which she seeks to connect with others on a level deeper than intellect.

 

Knowing what a creative writer Dyane is and wanting to give you a taste of her brilliance I decided to give her a Christmas challenge for this post. I asked her to write a short holiday story using Santa Claus, Christmas tree, magic, and clairvoyant child as prompts (I know. I wasn’t easy on her), but I knew she was up for the challenge and she did not disappoint. So without further ado here is Dyane Forde’s Christmas story.

 

Oh! There’s a WARNING attached to this story: If you are overly sensitive, offend easily or are a hardcore Santa Claus fan who cannot stand the thought of viewing him in a negative light, DO NOT read this story.

 

 

Just Desserts

by Dyane Forde

Ö

He’s here.

The clattering on the rooftop followed by the clomping of heavy boots confirms it. After a flurry of grunting and neighing and the stamping of cloven hooves, the commotion on the roof falls silent. I must give the man credit. Sweet-faced and dolled up in red, white and black, the apple-cheeked hypocrite has trained them well. The team of massive, horned beasts cower at his every whim.

I narrow my eyes. He claimed he’d chosen me on a whim all those years ago. But it was righteous rage which had drawn me to him this holiday eve. That, and the voiceless cry of a child awakened in the dead of night by the shattering terror of a nightmare.

Huddling wide-eyed in the shadows cast by the multicoloured lights, that same boy, Ryan, watches me from across the room. Pine scents the air, and white-powdered garlands twist around banisters and snake along the edges of the door frames. In the far corner hulks the tree, gorgeously decked from the bottom up with all manner of holiday cheer, right to the garish star on top. It’s Christmas Eve and the fact fills me with more dread than joy.

Feeling for the child, I glide across the floor. Streaks of ice linger on the wood slats behind me. “Are you ready?”

The boy nods, dark hair flipping over a dark-brown eye. Even now, I’m amazed me he can see me. Very few can and, even then, doing so requires the help of a special ‘gift’. Ryan can’t speak, but he can see.

The clattering on the roof starts up again. The boy reaches for me but I back away. Ice crusts my slippered feet, spreading into glistening circles on the floor. “No, you can’t.” When he cocks his head to the side, I reach for the window and press my fingers against the glass. Frost blossoms from the tips, spreading outward in an etched, white coat. Ryan’s eyes widen with excitement and glee, but the trickle of ash suddenly dusting down from the chimney snares his attention, erasing the smile from his face.

“You remember the plan?” I ask him. “Don’t accept anything from him. Nothing at all, you understand?”

Ryan nods before dashing off to his spot.

Everything is ready. The plate of cookies and the tall glass of milk by the fireplace, the fire itself nothing but softly glowing embers in the grate. Christmas music plays softly over the radio. And snowflakes, fat as cotton balls, flutter past the windows outside.

He lands on the grate in a burst of soot and ash, cursing the closeness of the shaft. Squatting, he eases his rotund body out of the chimney and into the room. Oblivious to my child-sized spectre standing nearby, he brushes the soot off his coat and then stops to stretch the knots from his back.

He must smell the candy, for his beady black eyes flick towards the little table. Spying the milk and cookies, old St. Nick smacks his lips, readjusts his floppy red hat and hurries over only to slip and fall on the carefully concealed ice patches on the floor.

“Hello, Nick,” I coo, cutting off the string of curses spewing from his mouth. “Such bad language from someone who claims to adore children. One would think it’s bad for your image.” I kneel beside him, letting my hand hover over his rotund belly. Then heeding temptation’s call, I lay a finger on his coat.

“You!” He spits the word at me. Looking down, he grimaces and shrinks from my touch where a melting ice patch darkens the red velvet. “I thought I’d taken care of you ages ago!”

“Oh, no. One’s mistakes just don’t ‘disappear’.  They hang around, waiting for the chance to come back and bite you in the ass!”

“You’re not a mistake! You’re a menace!”

“If that’s what I am, then you made it so! I never asked for it!”

“Oh, but you did, you little devil. The moment you accepted my gift, you were mine.” He points with a finger. “Just like Ryan over by the tree. Children never refuse my presents.” Shifting, he pulls a beautifully wrapped package from behind his back. “Come here, son. Old St. Nick has something for you.”

Ryan looks at me and then at the gift. I shake my head vigorously.

Seeing he had the boy’s attention, Nick sits up and jiggles the box so it rattles. “Come now, boy. Don’t you want something from dear old Santa Claus? Aren’t you curious about what’s inside?”

We’d gone over the plan a few times but I should have known the lure of a gift from the man in red would be too much. Eyes fixed on the shiny wrapping paper, Ryan steps into the glow of the flickering lights and, arms outstretched like a sleepwalker, advances.

“You never could stop them from coming to me,” Nick says. “Children are all the same: easy as hell to trick.”

“How many have you swapped? How many parents have found gifts under the tree in place of their children?”

“Everyone likes my gifts.”

“No gift can replace a child!”

Nick laughs, a great booming trill. “How many? Lots! And like you, the stupid sprites run amok, filling the world with blankets of snow, bathing it in white!”

Ryan’s now only a few feet away. Nick yanks the box out of reach, replacing it with the open mouth of his great, big sack. Grabbing Ryan by the arm, he starts jamming him inside.

Ryan’s thoughts call to me. “Ja—!“

“Frost!” Nick screams. He drops the boy and the sack to grab his midsection. “How dare you!”

He charges, coming on like a red and black battering ram but I easily dodge his attack. Dancing around him like an imp, I poke him with a finger, laughing at the white patches forming on his coat, then poking some more, egged on by his irritated grunts. Finally, breathing hard, Nick quits lumbering around.

“You think saving one boy will make a damned bit of difference? I’ve been swapping for generations! If not this one, then the next–!”

“Not if I can help it, fat man!”

Nick gasps and goes pale. He looks at his chest, sees the flowers of blood forming on the white fur trim and pooling on the floor. I withdraw the ice knives, the red-coated icicles extending from my fingers gleaming in the fire and flickering lights. From the wounds, frost crackles across Nick’s body, freezing him solid.

I punch his face. He shatters. Santa-sicles slide across the hardwood floor.

At a slight touch from me, Ryan snaps out of the trance. Seeing the Santa pieces strewn about his feet, he smiles.

“You’re safe now, kid. How about you go on off to bed?” Waving a hand over him, I add, “And while you’re at it, forget about everything you’ve seen tonight.”

Ryan blinks. He stares as though seeing me for the first time until his eyelids droop and fatigue pulls at his face. Yawning, he heads for the stairs.

I walk over to the cookies, kicking aside the red, white and black chunks in the way. In three long gulps, I down the glass of milk.

And grinning, I bite into the thick layer of sugar frosting, savouring the sweet, sweet taste of revenge.

Evil Santa

Dyane Forde’s book:

Purple_Morrow_Cover-Final

BLURB: (A short description of the book)

 

The Rovers had been sent to decimate the Southernlands. Instead, they awoke its savior.

Ten years have passed since the Rover army tore through the Southernlands, leaving behind a trail of devastation and death. Most believed the attacks were random acts of brutality. The wise, however, knew the truth: the Rovers sought to destroy the one thing powerful enough to thwart their conquest. They were searching for the Papilion.

A new commander, bent on completing the mission left unfinished by his predecessors, leads the Rovers back into the Southernlands. Fierce and determined, he comes armed with a precious artifact and a secret purpose.

While the Southernlands reel under the new terror, the Purple Morrow, a harbinger of hope, appears to Jeru, an unsuspecting and solitary clan hunter. Finding himself enmeshed in a series of incredible events beyond his control, Jeru is compelled to take the first steps towards discovering his ultimate destiny.
dyane forde_writer
You can purchase Dyane Forde’s book, The Purple Morrow on amazon.com You can also buy it HERE and HERE.
Also check out Dyane Forde’s fascinating Blog: Dropped Pebbles

Gift a book for Christmas!

Gift a book for Christmas!

Thank you for stopping by my blog. I hope you enjoyed Dyane’s holiday story. Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below. Happy Holidays!