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The Holiday Disaster – Award Winning Story by Ellie Friedman, Age 8

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The Holiday Disaster – Award Winning Story by Ellie Friedman, Age 8

One of the proudest moments a mom can have is when she watches her daughter reach for her dreams – and she accomplishes them!  One of my twin girls, Ellie, dreams of being an author when she grows up.  She envisions writing and illustrating children’s books, non-fiction stories, and even realistic fiction.  If she is not buried in a book reading, she has her pen out and she is writing. Ellie has a passion for the written word.

This summer, while reading American Girl Magazine, she saw a story contest. To enter, it directed children to write a holiday themed story that encompassed this image.

Image courtesy of American Girl Magazine

Send your article in, wait, and probably never hear back since it will be floating in a pile with hundreds or thousands of others.  But Ellie had an idea.  She thought of a story in her head, and then she put the pen to the paper. She wrote and wrote.  Then I helped her type her words. We licked the envelope.  And we waited.

As a parent, I want her to reach for her dreams but I also want to cushion her from disappointment.  Right or wrong, it is hard to see your kid unhappy or discouraged. Knowing that American Girl Magazine may not even read all the entries, and seeing as she is only 8, and most people who enter are significantly older, I told her, “Your story is amazing.  And even if it does not win, it will be seen by all my blog readers.” She then looked and me and explained, “I just wanted to write it.  If I do not win, it is okay. I will never know if I do not send it in.”

Fast forward to October… We get an envelop from American Girl Magazine – the size you get when accepted to college, a big white envelop.  I will never forget the look on Ellie’s face, the excitement that ran through her body, and truthfully through mine too, as we read the letter, scanned for you below.

Letter from American GirlJumping up and down, we turned to page 39.  We saw her signature. “Ellie – Age 8, Michigan” – WOW!!! She did it!  Though only the 2 main winners were published, both age 14, she was by far the youngest of the 6 to get an Honorable Mention.

Ellie Friedman's signature

Her name was in print. She, at 8 years old, was recognized for her writing.  She knows you can accomplish anything she sets out to do – as long as she tries!  Enjoy reading her holiday story.

Please leave a comment for her to let her know what you think!  She would also appreciate it if you share the story, and spread the word, to your friends and relatives. Thank you.

The Holiday Disaster By Ellie Friedman

Emily could not wait until her holiday party.  She planned lots of activities. Even more, she could not wait until present time.  Her best friend Megan picks the best presents ever.  At present time, Emily picked up Megan’s beautifully wrapped gift.  Megan was tying her shoe, so she could not see Emily open the gift.  But she could always hear the excitement.

“Oh no,” gasped Emily in her head. The present was “Green Slime Mania.” Wasn’t that for boys? “Thank you” said Emily.  She wanted Megan to feel very good. Later they played games, but Emily could not pay attention.  She was thinking about the bad present.  Even while they were playing pin the ribbon on the gift box, she could not concentrate.  Day after day Emily’s younger brother Andrew would ask, “Can I have the Green Slime Mania?”  Every time Emily answered, “No, maybe Megan made a mistake.  Besides, I am returning it next week, the day after Christmas. “No,” whined Andrew.

Both Megan and Emily agreed that boys stink.  Megan has an older brother Kyle.  On Monday, Megan called Emily and asked, “do you want to play?”  Emily did not want to because she was afraid she would bring up the present in a conversation.  So she replied, “sorry I have to do my chores.”

On Tuesday Megan came over to Emily’s house.  Megan’s orange hair curled beautifully and her new red sweater glimmered.  She cracked open the door.  Megan heard Emily talking to her parents.  “I absolutely hated the present Megan gave me. The things I wanted were an American Girl doll, a hair styling kit, and American Girl mystery books.  And I got the hair styling kit from Ashley.”

Megan overhead this conversation and was shocked. How could her best friend say that?  Megan ran very quickly in tears back to her house. The next day at school Megan did not hang out with Emily.  Instead she hung out with Ashley. Emily hung out with Laura.

On the way home, Megan took a different route. For days the girls would avoid each other.  The day before Christmas, Megan cried.  She had to talk to Emily.  Emily was being so mean.

It was finally Christmas and Emily visited Megan.  “Megan, I came here to tell you, I did not like the present you got me at the holiday party.”  “I heard.  I peeked through the door and heard you telling your parents about it.   Anyway what did I give you that was so horrible?” asked Megan.

“Green Slime Mania” answered Emily.  “Oh no!” screamed Megan. “I accidentally gave you my brother Kyle’s gift.”  Megan went and got Kyle and explained the whole thing. Then Emily and Kyle swapped presents.  “No wonder I opened an American Girl doll for a present this morning,” said Kyle.  Everyone laughed.  Emily and Megan remembered this story for a long time.

Happy Holidays! THE END.

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  1. Lisa
    December 8, 2010 at 11:35 pm —

    What a wonderful story Ellie. And a great accomplishment. You have a wonderful talent and a very creative mind…keep writting~even if you have to hide under your covers with a flashlight so your mom doesn’t know you’re awake;0)

  2. Tracy Smith
    December 9, 2010 at 12:08 am —

    Ellie – your story was so real. I could imagine it happening just like you wrote it. Your writing made me feel like I was right there watching it all happen. You are a great writer and I hope you will ALWAYS write. The things that are in your mind and heart are great!

    Did you know your gift for words comes from God? He made you so special and no one is just like you. I love that he gave you a love for writing. Maybe you will write about Him someday.

    I have two girls. The oldest is 9 and she reads a lot and enjoys writing, also. She likes to write stories about girls and conversations and enjoys making it interesting. She tries to find a way to get her reader to want to read more. She has an American Girl doll. She will ♥ your story.

    I would love to know if you thought of writing more of your story. More adventures of Megan and Emily. I would read more if you wrote more.

    Your fan,
    Mrs. Smith
    (Mom to Rachel and Emily)

  3. Erin B
    December 9, 2010 at 1:55 am —

    I thoroughly enjoyed your story, Ellie! It took me right back to when I was a little girl! Congratulations on your honor…you definitely deserve it!

  4. Lisa
    December 9, 2010 at 11:09 pm —

    I got all teary-eyed reading your letter and story Ellie!!! What a neat experience! You have such a wonderful talent to share with others!!!

  5. December 12, 2010 at 1:20 am —

    Way to go Ellie!! Great job – what a wonderful story!

  6. christine
    December 14, 2010 at 12:20 am —

    Great story Ellie! Way to go! I think you did an awesome job. Can’t wait to buy your first novel!

  7. December 22, 2010 at 2:05 pm —

    we loved your story, Ellie! My daughter, Ellie (9), and I just read it, along with Ellie’s little sister, Ruby (3). You have excellent writing and story-telling skills 🙂

  8. Mireya
    January 7, 2011 at 6:33 pm —

    Congrats Ellie, and you too Jodi! I loved your story Ellie, it had a great ending!!

  9. MS. Maria
    January 8, 2011 at 6:10 pm —

    Love your story, Ellie keep up the good work

  10. January 23, 2011 at 5:35 pm —

    To Ellie, I love your story. It is amazing to me that you are 8 years old and write so well. I love that your story has a great lesson in telling the truth and being a good friend. Congratulations on your achievement and keep up the good work. You can achieve your dreams when you don’t give up. Blessings to you and your family from Kansas!

  11. February 9, 2011 at 12:56 am —

    Congratulations, Ellie! You should be very proud of yourself for this amazing accomplishment. That is awesome for you to know what you want to do at 8 years old, and to set out to do it!! You are a fantastic example to girls of ALL ages—even this 47 year old “girl”!!

  12. Suzanne
    June 25, 2011 at 11:57 am —

    Congratulations on the great story! Like the letter said, “Keep writing!”

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The Holiday Disaster – Award Winning Story by Ellie Friedman, Age 8