Poetry Wednesday: The 2nd Annual Chrishanukwanzmadanfestivus Contest!

Since the first Chrishanukwanzmadanfestivus Poetry Contest was such a blast last year, and because I haven’t had a poetry contest in a long time—and because it’s a week until Christmas and I’m seconds away from launching into that last-minute panicked running around in circles thing that I do when I realize that I’ve forgotten four people on my list and two of them a) live with me and; b) are nigh impossible to shop for, which seriously cuts into my Poetry Research Time (yes, it exists, thank you)—I decided we should make it an annual thing.

So here we are.

Christmas Stress

The Basic Rules:

1. Take  a standard December(ish) holiday* song, secular or sacred, and doggerel it up with your own words.

2. Post the results in the comments of this post, or send it to the e-mail address in the upper right hand corner there, if you prefer to remain anonymous—or if you can’t seem to keep it clean enough for a family blog even as borderline as this one (you know who you are).

If you do chose to e-mail it to me, and you’re a first timer, please put “Chrishanukwanzmadanfestivus,” or a reasonable spelling thereof, in the subject heading, because I’m being spammed like whoa at the moment, and if I can’t tell, I’m not opening it.

3. Once your results are posted or received, your name will be placed into Sarah’s Lumpy Red Felt Hat of Win.**  You can offer as many poems as you like and bribery is, as always, enthusiastically encouraged, but your name is still only going in once.

4. Deadline is December 22nd at midnight CST—that’s Chicago time, if it helps.

5.  If your name is selected out of the Lumpy Red Felt Hat of Win by a small child of the household, you will win a $25 online gift card to Powell’s.

6. The winner will be announced on December 23rd, as I fully intend to take the next two days off from the blog, if I can fend off the Internet Withdrawal Spiders.

Sounds like a pretty good deal, yeah?  I’ll bet a few of you have already chosen your song, too.

But wait—there’s more!

As a special Chrishanukwanzmadanfestivus Gift to you, I’m adding two extra rules:

First Extra Rule:

You have to use “The Twelve Days of Christmas” as a general format.

Though you may use any vaguely winter holiday you like.

To preserve sanity, please just post from the last day, like so:***

On the last day of Hanukkah, my true love gave to me:

8 times the presents
7 bowls of cold borscht
6 loaded dreidels
5 bags of Gelt
4 slabs of brisket
3 pans of Kugel
2 packs of menorah candles
and a latke as big as my head

Christmas Stress

On the whatever day of Festivus, my person gave to me

Six miracles of secular origin
Five grievance hours
Four feats of strength
Three tins’less poles
Two slices o’ meatloaf
And a forty-eight hour Seinfeld marathon

You know what?  You don’t even have to use a holiday—just the format:

On my twelfth day at the library, my patrons asked of me:

12 Computers Running
11 Tissues for Wiping
10 Novels for Reading
9 Songs for DancingLibrarian Stereotype
8 Works of Tolkein
7  Cheat Codes for Winning
6 Quotes and Sayings
5 Stupid Things
4 Spelling Words
3 Working Pens
and the Gentlemen’s Restroom Key

Easy, yeah?

But wait—there’s more!

The Second Extra Rule

You must include a Fifth Day, and make that line beltable.

Because otherwise, there’s no point in the first extra rule, amiright?

If you have any questions, put ’em below and I’ll make up some answers.

Contest starts now.

Go forth and doggerel!



Please note an addendum to the First Extra Rule, to be known as The Indy Clause:

Instead of using “The Twelve Days” format, you may choose instead to write a poem explaining how much you hate Christmas Songs and Why.

It still has to be at least five lines, and you still have to be able to belt out one of the lines—with vicious sarcasm, if need be.


*And thanks so much, lunar calendar, for making Hanukkah a last-minute, candle-scrambling surprise this year . . . maybe it’s my ingrained Episcopalianism rearing its inconvenient dignity again, but I just don’t think glittery birthday candles belong in the menorah my grandparents brought me from Israel.  There.  I said it.

Rhinestone cowgirl**Let us have a moment of silence for the Pink Cowgirl Hat of Win, which provided us with poetry winners for several years, despite causal abuse and frequent pancaking, before being irrevocably shredded during the Great Upheaval of Bedrooms this Summer.  Thank you, Pink Cowgirl Hat of Win . . . we shall ne’er forget thee.

***Except better, because there’s a difference between being a lover of poetry and a poet, and I’m standing knee deep in it.


16 thoughts on “Poetry Wednesday: The 2nd Annual Chrishanukwanzmadanfestivus Contest!

  1. Shall I compare thee to—shut up!

    Shall I stick a fork in my eye, or worse?
    Thou art insipid and stale, your settings would make
    Mendelssohn become a Jew again.
    Your words: cliched at best. I’d like to buy
    my toilet paper unaccompanied
    by sleigh bells thank you very much.
    How can I be more clear? Should I take
    it out of verse? Get out of my head,
    stupid Christmas carols!

  2. First Santa tries to violate my civil rights by attempting to put an elf on my shelf, and now I gotta do “The 12 Days of Christmas?” A song that has already been parodied about a jillion times? Forget it, my friend.

    But, hey, that’s not the holiday spirit. So I came up with a “Here Comes Santa Claus” parody for ya. I know this makes me ineligible for the contest, but I would rather give than receive, anyway. Enjoy!

    Here come Christmas bills! Here come Christmas bills!
    Piling on my floor!
    I spent too much, maxed out my cards,
    And I can’t pay no more!
    Collectors come, they are not jolly,
    In fact, they wear a frown.
    “Now, you must pay!” That’s what they say.
    I think I will skip town.

  3. A library Christmas carol…

    On the twelfth day of Christmas my library gave to me:

    12 computers down
    11 yelling patrons
    10 phones a ringing
    9 people sleeping
    8 screaming children
    7 carts overflowing
    6 new cards
    5 books long past due
    4 sobbing toddlers
    3 more questions
    2 labels missing
    And a sorter that’s not working

  4. I am choosing to spend my time off during the holidays vacationing in the marvelous and stress-free readership-land of Harry Potter, so I humbly offer up The 12 Days of Christmas (at Hogwarts).

    On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me –
    12 Grimmauld Place
    11 pensieve lessons
    10 ton-tongue toffees
    9 phoenix feathers
    8 fizzing whizbees
    7 golden Galleons
    6 Weasley sweaters
    5 socks for Dobby
    4 Privet Drive
    3 deathly hallows
    2 blast-end skrewts
    and a thrashing from the Whomping Willow tree

  5. My 10 year old grand daughter helped create this masterpiece after I had taken in 2 cats.




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