“Safta” Saves Christmas!

Here’s a little holiday story I’ve entered in Susanna Leonard Hill’s 8th Annual Holiday contest. The story had to be about a holiday hero, no more than 250 words and appeal to children 12 and under. I hope you enjoy reading it! Check out all the entries on her website: https://susannahill.com/blog/

T’was the night before Christmas – and Santa had the flu!

Safta* – a friend of Mrs. Claus, knew just what to do!

“I’ll make a batch of chicken soup. It’s Jewish penicillin.

And if he needs a substitute, I’ll be Santa’s fill-in!

Just change the “N” in Santa to an “F” and…lickety split!

A little beard, a big red suit…Safta Claus – a perfect fit!”

Carrots, celery and onions are in the soup. It’s so nutritious.

Simmered with Safta’s love and prayers – it tastes so delicious.

Ready for delivery, she headed north, up to the Pole.

With her pot of soup, a ladle and a fresh-baked *Challah roll.

Mrs. Claus greeted Safta, when she heard knocking on the door.

“You’re here!” she said. Safta replied, “That’s what friends are for!”

Santa woke and had some soup. His body was all achy.

“There’s no way I can drive tonight; my hands – they are all shaky!”

Safta said, “I’ll dress up like you and deliver all the toys.

I wouldn’t want to disappoint all the good girls and good boys.”

I’m very good with reindeer. I have a good sense of direction.”

So she replaced St. Nick that night, earning his deep affection.

The toys were all delivered. Safta’s work was finally done!

She hollered, “Merry Christmas, Ho! Ho! Ho! Have lots of fun!”

Santa was so grateful. He felt better with each bowl.

He knew that Safta’s Chicken Soup helped restore his soul.



*Safta is the Hebrew word for grandma; Challah is a special bread in Jewish cuisine, usually braided and typically eaten on the Sabbath and Jewish holidays.

Little Witch – A Halloweensie Story

Little Witch

This little story is for a contest from Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog, where contestants had to write a 100 word Halloween story appropriate for children (12 and under) (title not included in the 100 words), using the words shiver, cauldron, and howl.   You can visit her amazing website at https://susannahill.com/2018/10/27/the-8th-annual-halloweensie-contest-aahhhrrrooooooooo/#comments

close up photo of halloween decors
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com


Once upon a spooky night

A howl so shrill, gave such a fright.

T’was Halloween, to kids’ delight.

For Little Witch, it t’was not right.

Something was amiss tonight!

The hocus pocus was contrite!

A cauldron with a witch’s plight –

should bubble trouble – not excite.

Cast-iron-potion should invite

a shiver, yet on this dark night…

The ghouls and zombies did unite.

Her witch’s spell just had no bite.

Even the monsters would not fight

with smiling goblins, happy and bright.

Instead, they laughed with all their might.

Her witch’s potion, too polite.





For the Love of Reading

As an aspiring author, I have an awful confession to make! As a child, I hated reading! There, I said it! It’s off my chest and out in the universe! Sure, I read…occasionally, throughout my school years. But I wasn’t a bookworm like my sisters. In high school, I became good friends with Cliff, as in Cliff Notes – getting the “Reader’s Digest” version of whatever book we were “forced” to read in Language Arts classes, just in order to pass a test.

It wasn’t until I had children of my own that I developed a love of reading. Part of our bedtime ritual would always include a warm bath, brushing teeth and bedtime story, or two, or three, or more. My children’s rooms had book cases and closets filled with books. Every week, I took them to the library for story time and to check out books. We also went to both Barnes & Nobles and Borders (which has since closed) for story time and to add to our collection of books to fill up the bookcases at home. Some favorite picture books include: Mama, Do You Love Me? by Barbara M. Joosse; Happy Birthday, Moon by Frank Asch; all books by the Eric Carle.

As my children got older, they developed a love of reading and the picture books were stored and replaced on the bookcase with their favorite chapter books. Some of these favorites were Frog and ToadJunie B. Jones, Hank Zipzer and of course, Harry Potter. Though they were fluid readers, I still encouraged them to read out loud and we continued this well into middle school. My oldest daughter has the most zeal for reading for pleasure, perhaps because she grew up with the hoopla surrounding Harry Potter. The two of us went to all the midnight release parties at the bookstore, dressed up as wizards and sat up and read into the early hours, devouring each new book in the series. And yes, the movies were great, but we both agree that the books were even better.

As an adult, I don’t read as much as I would like to, but I do read far more than I ever did as a child. Looking back at my childhood, I regret not reading. I think of all the wonderful books I could have (and should have read), all the amazing adventures I could have gone on, and all the interesting characters I could have met, as well as all the “happily ever afters” and maybe some “not so happily ever afters” that I could have experienced.

These days, I spend as much “free time” as I can reading, just for the love of reading. So excuse me until the next post, but I’ve got a good book waiting for me.

Continue reading “For the Love of Reading”