Category: Challenge Entries

All Through the Night | A Poem

Honorable Mention in the 2016 ‘Basket of Cheer’ Contest | Grade 9 The wind is gently howling, against the windowpane, And snow is swiftly piling, gathering in the lane. A cheery fire crackles in the fireplace, Christmas decorations adorn every vacant space. But outside in the alley, where it is dark and cold, Sits a beggar boy, with little wares unsold. His body is barely covered by the rags he huddles in, How terrible Christmas Eve for this lad has been! Walking home, a kindly man sees the sufferings of this boy, And pauses to think of the season,...

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I’ll Be Home for Christmas | A Poem

Honorable Mention in the 2016 ‘Basket of Cheer’ Contest | Grade 10 He said that he’d be home, But home is where he is not. He called to say he’s coming, But something caused a stop. The Christmas tree was ready The songs were being sung, The table was set with candles And the stockings were all hung. And, when the doorbell rang, The house went up in joy, But the ringer was not who they expected, The ringer was not their boy. The man told his sincere apologies: “…Especially on a night like this,” But, their son was...

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The Forgotten Christmas Tradition

Essay finalist in the 2016 ‘Basket of Cheer’ Contest | Grade 10 The forgotten Christmas tradition I chose originated in Poland. This tradition is called the Christmas Wafer (in English). The Christmas Wafer is special bread, similar to the bread used for communion during Mass; it is made of flour and water. Before the Christmas Eve meal and after grace is the traditional time you would pass around the wafer. It starts with the man of the household and his wife, and then the oldest person goes next (it could be a guest or a family member). After all the...

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Simbang Gabi

Essay finalist in the 2016 ‘Basket of Cheer’ Contest | Grade 12 For most people, the word “Christmas” immediately evokes images of warm fires, giant pine trees dressed in multicolored lights, people warmly dressed, streets coated with snow, and snowmen standing at attention, ready for the first snowball fight of the season; at least, that’s how most movies typically depict Christmas. The Philippines, however, is a tropical country with only two seasons a year, the wet and the dry seasons. Therefore, it’s a positively frightening (plus preposterous) thought to have snow during Christmas! Instead, whenever I think of Christmas in...

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