Christmas Wildfire

Susanna Hill's 7th Annual Holiday Contest is here. The challenge is to write a holiday story for kids with a surprise in under 250 words.

Writing friends in Southern California have been posting about the wild fires this week and about finding safety. (Stay safe!!) There is a fire in the Los Padres National Forest, which inspired my 220 word story.

Christmas Wildfire

By Lauri Meyers

Black bear pawed at the ground by a big douglas fir and snorted, “This one.”
Elk wrapped the tree with honeysuckle vines, carefully tucking in the ends with his antlers.
Bluebird dotted the needles with red Christmas berries.
Jackrabbit dangled wild carrots, joyously jumping to the highest branches.  
Coyote paced around the tree and howled with delight.

Black bear grunted, “Quiet.”
Jackrabbit’s nose twitched, “Smoke.”
Elk raised his antlers, “Danger.”
Bluebird chittered, “Run, run, run!”
Coyote snapped at their feet to hurry.
Black Bear (by Martha Jane Cordell via

After their long flight, the animals huddled under a strange tree on Christmas Eve.
Jackrabbit rubbed his long ear and squeaked, “Our Christmas tree?”
Black Bear let out a low growl and tucked jackrabbit under his arm.

In the morning Great Horned Owl swooped low and hooted, “Safe.”
The animals meandered through black trunks.
Puffs of ash followed Jackrabbit’s jumps.
Jackrabbit (by Don Schaeffer
Black bear shook soot from his fur.  
Bluebird landed on Elk’s antlers and rapidly tweeted, “No. No. But Santa. Oh dear. No.”

Then they froze.
Their Christmas tree stood alone. The green needles were covered in Christmas berries, wrapped in honeysuckle, and dangled with carrots. Only one thing had changed. The tree glistened with a coating of Christmas snow.
Jackrabbit cried, “Saved!”
Black Bear nodded, “Unexpected.”
Elk bellowed, “Miracle.”
Bluebird trilled, “Santa! Santa! Santa!”
Coyote howled with delight.

Read all the finalists on Susanna's page here!


  1. Oh, so poignant, considering our current situation in California. Sweet story, Lauri. Thank you!

  2. Love your story! What a horrific site that is out there. I can't imagine what the people or the animals are going through. Hope all are safe and well...but not too warm!
    best of luck

  3. Hoping for more miracles like this one with these terrible fires. Thanks for sharing, Lauri.

    1. I agree. A lot of miracles are in order for recovery.

  4. I'm glad your Christmas story has a happy ending. I live in So. Ca, and we're hoping for many more happy endings. Thank you for your sweet story of hope. And magic. May Santa bring rain as an early Christmas gift. Good luck to you!

    1. Jill - our thoughts and prayers are with you to stay safe. I'll talk to Santa about rain.

  5. Hoping for miracles to save all in the path of the fires. Well done, Lauri. Best of luck.

  6. Replies
    1. I'm a firm believer in the power of Christmas snow!

  7. A true Christmas miracle. Thank you, Lauri.

  8. What a lovely, beautiful story, Lauri, especially sweet with all the terrible fires in Southern California that are not having such happy endings. Love the sweet surprise of Christmas magic that saved the friends' tree! Nicely done!

  9. What a lovely Christmas miracle. A timely story of hope! Well done, Lauri.


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