Contest entry/ Turkey Christmas

Hi Friends!

“Because there will only ever be one of me, if I don’t tell the stories you give to me in the way only I can, they will never be told. So help me to be brave, and to do my work today, even when I don’t feel like it and I’m afraid what I’m writing is of no worth or value.”

By Sundee T. Frazier, author

I offer this prayer each time before I start writing.

The world needs our stories. So be brave, get them down, and send them out!

I had to repeat this Prayer and directive several times in telling this story. Again I know I am not a winner only happy to take part and hope you enjoy it. I did write four other stories before actually settling on this one as being the most suitable. I have enjoyed the contest and realize that was what Susanna intended. So I am a winner after all!  🙂 To click over and read the others go here: (but not before reading mine. 🙂 )

I’m going on Christmas Break after this contest so Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I’ll see you in 2014.

The Contest: In 350 words or less write a children’s story about a Holiday Mishap, mix-up, mis-communication, mistake, or potential disaster. Here is my entry.

Title:  A Turkey Christmas (350 words)

Once upon a time there was a family who had emigrated from Holland to America because it was the land of opportunity. America was so strange to the family. There was different food and different customs to get used to. This family had three boys and three girls and two parents. While they were getting their feet on the ground they had a couple of hard years where the children were hungry. But the parents got jobs and worked hard.

One holiday season they got a box of food from the local church where they had found some friends. This box of food had holiday favorites like canned sweet potatoes and a frozen turkey. The mother stared at the sweet potatoes not knowing what they were and threw them out. It hurt her to throw food out because she had been hungry during the war and had a soft spot in her heart for all hungry people. But the thing about this mother was that she was also very proud and it had hurt her pride to accept the box of food. So she was torn between fixing it somehow and throwing it out.

She knew she had to roast the turkey but not for how long. Only that it took a long time.

On Christmas day she put the turkey into the oven and the temperature on high and with faith that the turkey would turn out ok, set out on a hike with her family in the mountains and woods. They hiked all afternoon in the dark woods under gray skies while the turkey baked. When they came back the turkey was dry and hard and no one could eat it. So the mother made some rice and the family had rice for their Christmas dinner. They told each other it was the best Christmas they ever had because they were all together, and being together meant the world to them.

This is a true story from my childhood that my sister told me. I had long ago forgotten it. She makes for a better historian than I.

The end

XXXOOO Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!! See you in January! 🙂

Here is last year’s entry.

© Clara Bowman-Jahn aka Clarike Bowman-Jahn

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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About ClaraBowmanJahn

Journal writer. Author of "Annie's Special Day" And coauthor of Edmund Pickle Chin, A Donkey Rescue Story." Proud mother and grandmother of wonderful kids. Wife of brilliant husband. Servant of two cats. Member of Pennwriters and SCBWI.
This entry was posted in blogging, Clara Bowman-Jahn, Clarike Bowman-Jahn, food, life story, memoir, personal growth, social networking, Uncategorized, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

66 Responses to Contest entry/ Turkey Christmas

  1. Jennifer says:

    I really like your story, Clar.

    Like

  2. Great story! Being together is the best!! Have a good holiday – Merry Christmas!

    Like

  3. Catherine Johnson says:

    That’s a great true story, Clar. I’d be gutted about the turkey though 😉

    Like

    • clarbojahn says:

      Thanks, Catherine!

      At the time we didn’t know what we were missing. But I can tell you this: the rice wasn’t my favorite dinner. We also got oatmeal for dinner more than once and it also wasn’t a family favorite. My sister hated it and my mother was one of these people who insisted we had to finish everything on our plate. lol

      Like

  4. Great story, Clar! Family is what it is all about, right? Thanks for sharing it!

    Like

  5. I can completely relate to this, Clarike! When my family first immigrated to Canada in ’72, we also has very little and the church we attended then also gave us some food (and toys) the first Christmas. My father had donated a lot of his time and expertise to do electrical work for the church so it was more like a barter and no pride got in the way. 😉

    Like

    • clarbojahn says:

      Thanks for your comment, Teresa. I am sure my mother did the same with her ironing and sewing skills but she was still too proud to accept the food gracefully. So glad I have a walking partner. 🙂

      Like

  6. Very touching, Clar. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. cherylsec says:

    Great story, Clarike! I like the way it’s told as a tale. I can only imagine how hard it would be to move to a new land and get used to the customs. It was nice how the family valued what was really important. Thanks for sharing and giving us a glimpse of your family history. Merry Christmas! Enjoy your holiday break. 🙂

    Like

  8. Clar, this is beautiful! And even more so because it is true. Thanks for sharing it, and I think you ARE a winner! A blessed Christmas to you and yours . . .

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    • clarbojahn says:

      Thanks, Jarm. And so are you. we are winners because we enjoyed writing our stories as intended and are enjoying the contest. I am having so much fun! 🙂

      Merry Christmas, Jarm! 🙂

      Like

  9. What a lovely Christmas memory! Togetherness is most important indeed, and something to be thankful for even when the food on the table is scarce or tasteless. I think your true story is one of the most touching mishaps of all.

    Like

    • clarbojahn says:

      Aaawww, thanks, Cathy!

      it wasn’t the only time togetherness made the Christmas Day special even though we didn’t have a special dinner. it is important to remember why something is important.

      Merry Christmas, Cathy! 🙂

      Like

  10. nrhatch says:

    Your turkey that year reminds me of the turkey served in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, starring Chevy Chase ~> a tad overdone.

    Enjoy your break ~ warm wishes to you for Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

    Like

  11. Good luck with your entry.

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  12. jackiewellington21 says:

    I love this story. Being an immigrant myself, I can relate. Thanks for sharing. 😀

    Like

  13. Yvonne Mes says:

    Ah, coming from Holland and moving to Australia (where they also eat Turkey for Christmas – and throw shrimp on the barbie) I could relate to those cultural differences. I was lucky though and always had enough to eat. Your family must have also celebrated Sinterklaas? Thanks for sharing your lovely and heartwarming story.

    Like

  14. Love true stories — especially Christmas memories and unfamiliar customs.

    Like

  15. Darlene says:

    Wishing you and yours a very Happy Christmas! Thanks for sharing your Christmas story.

    Like

  16. Yvonne Mes says:

    I wonder if the internet gobbled my previous comment. I’ll try again.
    I loved this story. I migrated to Australia from Holland, and though I’ve never had to worry about our Christmas meal, I very much understand the cultural differences. Did Sinterklaas/ St Nicholaas come and visit you and your siblings as well?

    Like

  17. I loved your beautiful story, especially because it was true. Happy Holidays! :0)

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  18. True stories are often the best and most meaningful ones. Thank you for your beautiful and authentic words.

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  19. What a great story from your family’s past. I really enjoyed it!

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  20. Hey Clar,
    I sensed this was a true story. I felt the emotion.
    Great job. 🙂

    Like

  21. I like the true-ness of it. 🙂 My birthfather (I’m adopted) came from Russia. I like Grandfather/Father Christmas (Russian Santa), his granddaughter, and Babushka. 🙂

    Like

  22. Widdershins says:

    Merry Christmas to you and yours. See ya next year! 😀

    Like

  23. deborahholtwilliams says:

    I knew of a Social Service worker who delivered turkeys to teen moms every year, and realized they were throwing them away because they didn’t know what to do with them. Your story is a lovely reminder that our efforts to help need to go further than just a donation.

    Like

    • clarbojahn says:

      aww! those poor teen moms. I wish someone had showed them how to cook turkeys. Eventually my mom learned enough English to learn how to cook turkeys and other sweet things like sweet potatoes. She had a nice dish of sweet potatoes with apples and sausage that I liked. IN fact I think I’ll cook it this week.

      Merry Christmas, Deborah! 🙂

      Like

  24. Juliana Lee says:

    I would definitely have a rice side dish every year after that! Merry Christmas!

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  25. Linda Boyden says:

    What a precious story, made even more so because it is a memory.

    Like

  26. Those years must have been hard, Clar, on so many levels. So sad about the turkey, but true that being together is what Christmas is really all about, and truly the most important thing. Thanks for joining in he holiday contest fun! 🙂

    Like

  27. What a nice story, Clar. Too bad about the turkey but seems they knew the real meaning of Christmas. Nice job!
    And I’m impressed that you wrote four other stories!!!

    Like

    • clarbojahn says:

      Ha! Penny! Yes, four. But they just didn’t do it for me. I needed a child’s perspective and I had a hard time getting it. five is the magic number I guess.

      Merry Christmas! 🙂

      Like

  28. This is a WONDERFUL story, Clar…I could see the mother, unsure of what to do, but too proud to ask for help.
    Next Saturday, Susanne Gervay will be interviewed on my blog…please don’t miss it because you will relate to her interview. One of her picture books, Ships in the Fields, is all about when her family emigrated from war-torn Europe. And her message is the same as in your story…being together is all that matters. 🙂
    This is the perfect Christmas tale!

    Like

  29. Cecilia says:

    Keep telling the stories. 🙂 Tell them together with your sister. sharing your life stories is a life affirming thing to do.

    Like

  30. laura516 says:

    Clar, thanks for sharing your family memory. It’s important for us to remember to be culturally sensitive. Merry Christmas!

    Like

  31. Clar, what a wonderful story about togetherness. Pal, the emotions were so strong as I read it. What an awesome job. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to share this memory with you. Hugs.
    Merry Christmas.

    Like

  32. Hello Clara,

    Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving an invitation earlier. (I love reading long comments, by the way.) I have long heard about Susanna’s Perfect Picture Book Friday community but didn’t think I’d ‘qualify’ since I blog on MG novels as well. I’ll certainly jump in now.

    Love your story here. Have a wonderful break. Merry Christmas and I’ll catch up with you in 2014!

    Like

  33. Pingback: Holiday Writing Contest Results | Rocking Horse Writing

  34. An exciting event for the Holidays. Wishing you and your family a New Year full of love, peace, joy and everything good.

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