Christmas-y Short Stories 2023

We had a lot of fun at the holiday party on December 2, received some great books we can’t wait to read, and listened to three clever short stories crafted by Connie Berry, Eileen Curley Hammond, and Kandy Williams. As a reminder, the rules were:

  • 100 words maximum.
  • Must include the following 5 words: 1) nutcracker, 2) shovel, 3) needle, 4) jolly and 5) glow.  All 5 words must be in the story, although plurals and transmogrifications are accepted (e.g., ‘glowing’ and ‘glower’).  Words may also be used as proper nouns, have more than one meaning, etc. (be creative)!

For your enjoyment, we’ve included them below.


By Connie Berry

It was Christmas Eve, and Santa’s Workshop was deserted. Santa was off in his sleigh. Mrs. Claus had taken to her bed with a migraine. The elves, who’d staged a walkout over working conditions, had bogged off to the pub for a jolly night of booze and karaoke, leaving heaps of wood chips and pine needles on the workroom floor. Only the Nutcracker remembered his duty. Grabbing a shovel, he began chucking the mess into the glowing fire. That’s when he noticed, under the tree, the gifts Santa had wrapped for the elves. A malicious smile spread across the Nutcracker’s wooden face.


By Eileen Curley Hammond

A faerie zipped past my nose, strand of garland trailing. “$X#%&. We’re on a deadline—grab the shovel.”

I trudged to the hearth and cleaned the firebox. Under the glowing cinders and crispy evergreen needles were charred shards of blue and gold wood. “What the heck?”

“Keep cleaning—the big man will be here soon.”

“I jolly-well won’t. What’s the meaning of this?” As I poked the pile, a staff appeared, and I jumped. “There’s something nefarious happening. I think this is the Nutcracker.”

“He was so wooden. And so flammable…” She smirked as she topped the tree.


By Kandy Williams

“Where’s Rudolph?” Santa’s bellowing shook the snow and pine needles from the trees outside the community center. “Mrs. Claus is about to sing ‘Holly Jolly’. Rudolph does back-up.”

Santa proudly supported his wife each year at the North Pole’s annual karaoke competition, which she’d won four years straight.

“I saw him,” said Ned the Nutcracker. “Took off with Clara in a sleigh.”

Santa cursed and went inside.

“Whew!” Ned tossed the shovel aside. The elves now had a chance to win with their rendition of ‘Blue Christmas’, Elvis-style. Provided nobody noticed the red glow beneath the snow by the dumpster….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.