The holiday season is busy, and I find that I am pulled in so many different directions. And all away from writing. I am thankful to Susanna Leonard Hill for hosting her holiday contest because it's way to stay connected to my writing. This year, she asked that we write a story, no more than 250 words, about a holiday contest. Below is my entry. I hope you like it! THE GINGER FRIEND HOUSE Excitement buzzed through class as Mrs. Snickerdoodle announced the gingerbread contest was today! I had planned, prepared, and picked out my favorite toppings. Gumdrops for the roof. Starbursts for stepping stones, and red and white candy for holiday cheer. “Ready?” she asked with twinkling eyes. “Create!” I slathered the icing and carefully connected my corners. Next came the roof, which topped off the house like cherries on an ice cream sundae. I glanced around the room to check out my competition. I’m totally going to win this year! But that’s when I saw Sam, the new kid. He moved to town midway through the year. His roof had collapsed. And the sides of his house kept falling down. Worse yet, his eyes met mine as he started to cry. I glanced at my gingerbread house. Then back at him. I felt a gentle tug on my heart. “Would you like some help?” I offered. Sam nodded. We worked together, two builders on one house. He globbed on the icing and laughed at his messy fingers. “Here, you try.” he said to me. So I tried his way, and found that a little mess was a lot of fun. The seams weren’t perfect. And the house had a lean, but it was still magical. We added my candy. Gumdrops on the roof. Starbursts steps, and a little holiday cheer to share. Our house wasn’t picked, but I still felt like I won that day. Because unlike gingerbread houses, friendships last forever.