Upside Down Christmas Tree Story for Children’s Book Contest

When I heard about Susanna Leonard Hill’s 10th Annual Holiday Contest for children’s writers, I thought, sign me up!

My first attempt at children’s poetry is below. The contest? A children’s story about a holiday helper for ages 12 and under, 250 words or less. Thanks Susanna for giving me a reason to keep writing!

Upside Down Christmas Tree

In a box in a cupboard under the stairs,

Rested our dusty, old tall Christmas tree.

Instructions claimed “easy assembly, three parts,”

Light work for my goofy Dad, Mom, and me.

Dad looked at me with squinty eyes, as he said,

“Son, before bed, it’s time to put up this beast.”

He dumped the contents about and made a shout,

“We’ll get it up in no time, to say the least.”

He assembled the branches bottom to top.

I made sure the pole was secured in the stand.

How hard could it be, sticking branches in holes?

And everything seemed to be going as planned.

As he worked upward, I averted my eyes.

He looked like a wrestler performing a move.

As sharp as a toilet bowl brush were the needles

Don’t think my pediatrician would approve.

“We got this,” said Dad, with much lackluster cheer.

As I held the pole, he fought with treetop.

Then I plugged in the lights, stood back, held my breath,

And suddenly I heard kaboom and a plop.

We wanted to see its pre-lit branches shine,

But the top half blew out with a fizz and a pop.

Mom said with a gasp, “Good grief. It can’t last!”

Anyone have a good tree my family could swap?

The trunk pointed toward ceiling? Major mistake.

It was so confusing, the point facing the ground?

Our very own Upside Down Christmas tree tale.

Dad mumbled, “We did our best, just ask around.”

Upside Down Christmas Tree Story for Children's Book Contest Stacey Gustafson


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  1. Haha! Great job, Stacey. Best wishes on the contest. Interesting photo. How do you water a tree like that?

  2. Camille thompson says

    Love it! Good post for this time of year. We need some fun to lift our spirits!

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