Vintage Christmas Contest: Results

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Lucy-Merriman, TheSkaBoss and I have finished judging the Vintage Christmas Short Story Contest, and I am pleased to announce the results.

:xmas: First Place

'The Mucky Angel' by DamonWakes

The Mucky AngelIt was a cold day in late November when the angel first perched atop the tree. It was not like the angels that had come before. Where once little bulbs had flickered, LEDs now beamed their glorious light out into the sky. Where once a ratty cotton garment had swung glumly in the breeze, elegant synthetic fabrics now fluttered joyfully, wreathing the plastic limbs with silken life. And where once flaking paint had stood for features—eyes and nose—a head of polyethylene looked down upon the crowd, outsmiling the children far below. The angel was a marvel, sparkling with fifty colours atop the tree, but most marvellous of all was the sign it held before it. In shining liquid crystal, the sign blazed out its message to the crowd: "SEASON'S GREETINGS." And the sign too blinked and flashed.
Yes, the angel was a marvel. And the angel knew this. It knew it in the happy faces of the shoppers, and it knew it in its own light. For nothing else upon that tree could outdo the angel. No bauble held

He wins:
:holly: 800 :points: from ThornyEnglishRose.
:holly: 400 :points: courtesy of thorns, via me.
:holly: A copy of Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle, from Lucy-Merriman.
:holly: Christmas presents from TheSkaBoss.

:xmas: Second Place

'The Church of St. Nicholas' by Tobaeus

The Church of Saint Nicholas    Gordon walked through the temple, attacking cookie crumbs with his broom and blowing out candles at the altar. The supplicants had all gone home, and they wouldn't be back for another nine months or more. He rather liked it that way. Those three months were so exhausting all on their own. By the time the last night rolled around, Gordon could barely stand to hear the sound of the bells on his own shoes, much less the sounds of yet another supplicant begging for a wide screen television or for the girl at the office to notice them.
    The children were no better. Too often Gordon heard them praying for the latest game system or for the girl down the street to move away or get cooties. He wondered how it all got to become so selfish.
    When he raised his concerns to the elders, they told him stories of a time when people came in and prayed for unselfish things like medicine for a sick relative, or a new pair of shoes, or a

She wins:
:holly: 400 :points: from ThornyEnglishRose
:holly: 300 :points: courtesy of thorns, via me.
:holly: A copy of Holidays On Ice by David Sedaris, from Lucy-Merriman.
:holly: Christmas presents from TheSkaBoss.

:xmas: Third Place

'The Last Christmas' by NamelessShe

The Last ChristmasThis Christmas had to be the best one. There was no other choice. It was the last.
Emdee wiped the grease off the red spanner with an old rag. By the third swipe, it almost looked presentable. Dom would notice if it wasn't. Even down to the tiniest speck. Sometimes she wondered if he'd do anything to get out of paying the piddling bit they'd agreed upon. She'd cleaned every nook, cranny, and surface area in the store for longer than her shift allowed already. He had zero chance of getting out of paying her.
The Christmas lights flickered red, green, and gold down the promenade.
"You done yet?" Dom asked. He looked up from the display, a scowl firmly in place. December 24th had been busier last year. There had been a dozen shoppers instead of three. Hard to forget that many in one night. Dom had been almost cheery for the whole week after. It had helped they'd spent a whole month's salary on tinned turkey and Dom's special Christmas Tree.
This year's creation sat in the window like a sa

She wins:
:holly: 200 :points: from ThornyEnglishRose.
:holly: 100 :points: courtesy of thorns, via me.
:holly: A copy of The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming by Lemony Snicket and Lisa Brown, from Lucy-Merriman.
:holly: Christmas presents from TheSkaBoss.

:xmas: Judges' Picks :points:

I have stolen the idea (you may know from whom) of having each judge pick a favourite. I was hoping for three separate picks, but two judges chose the same piece, and of course that's a fantastic achievement for the author.

:iconlucy-merriman: & :icontheskaboss:
Both my fellow judges picked  NamelessShe's The Last Christmas. Lucy-Merriman chose it 'because it's the only story that actually made me tear up for being so darn heartfelt. Nothing's more Vintage Christmas than that!', while TheSkaBoss says she picked it 'purely because I'm a sucker for dystopian sci-fi'.

Many congratulations, NamelessShe. Each judge's pick wins 100 points from my points pool, meaning that you win 200!

My pick is Tobaeus's The Church of St. Nicholas, because Santa has always been my favourite part of Christmas, and I just love this new take on the mythos all nicely gift-wrapped in a succinct, yet loaded, and utterly sweet story.

Tobaeus also wins a further 100 points from the pool. The remaining 130 pool points have been divided between my judges, Lucy and Helen, as a thank-you and a reward for their hard work.

:xmas: Prize Pool Donors :points:


:xmas: Entry Gallery

Do check out the other entries. It's no lie when I say this was very close, and there was some discrepancy in the judges' results, meaning that there are some other really great stories in there that you might consider quite as good as the winners.

Thanks and Christmassy goodwill go out to the judges, prize donors, entrants and everyone who helped spread the word. :heart:

So what do you do now? Try this:

Critmas is here! (Last Day!):new: Today is the LAST DAY for you to get your 12 critiques in! Make sure you leave a comment in this journal linking all your pieces. There's plenty of prizes up for grabs :) Remember you have until  11:59 PM pst TODAY to complete your critiques!
:holly: On the first day of Critmas, a deviant gave to me. :holly:
Back by popular demand, I bring you...
The 12 days of CRITMAS challenge!
Now most of you are relaxing and chilling out on your Christmas vacations; some of you have time off work/school and will be staying at home in the warm over the next week or so. So why don't we make use of that hermit time and do something productive? Get your onesie on, warm up a mince pie, pour yourself a Baileys and let’s get comfortable around our computers!
The Challenge

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night! :santa:

© 2012 - 2021 ThornyEnglishRose
anonymous's avatar
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orphicfiddler's avatar
Congrats to all the winners! And Murray Chrismouse!
LadyLincoln's avatar
Congratulations to all of the winners! :heart:
DamonWakes's avatar
:omg: Well, this is unexpected! Thank you so much--this is fantastic!

And serious congratulations to ~NamelessShe. It's one thing to come up with a story that people like, but it's quite another to write something that they really love. :-)
TheSkaBoss's avatar
Ha. I like =Lucy-Merriman's reasoning, but my top 3 picks all made me tear up. It was definitely the dystopia that swung it. ;P

Interestingly enough, my top pick didn't make the top three either, so our results must have been really weird. :D
ThornyEnglishRose's avatar
Yikes, it's beginning to sound like I corrupted the results! ^^; Well, I'll be happy to send them to anyone who wants to check up on me. :P Your top pick almost made it, but was just below the top three, whereas Lucy's top entry was low in my top five and didn't appear in yours at all. Weird results indeed, but I stand by my system! We all agreed that we liked the three winners a whole lot.

Merry Christmas! :D
TheSkaBoss's avatar
:giggle: I wasn't meaning to sound accusing, just amazed that our top picks were so radically different. But yes, the system works! The consistently loved ones won, as it should be.

(MERRY CHRISTMAS! :squee: :tighthug:)
Lucy-Merriman's avatar
Just out of curiosity, what was your top pick? Or shouldn't we say it on here?
TheSkaBoss's avatar
Christmas, Caroline
Lucy-Merriman's avatar
See, that was tied for number 3 for me. That was definitely a good one :D
TheSkaBoss's avatar
Lucy-Merriman's avatar
It was brilliant. I guess I didn't start getting emotional until the end of the night.
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NamelessShe's avatar
Congrats to everyone!
Lucy-Merriman's avatar
NamelessShe's avatar
doodlerTM's avatar
Congrats to all the winners!!! :iconsantalaplz:
ThornyEnglishRose's avatar
Thank you for entering the contest. I really enjoyed your entry, and I know others will too. :)
BeccaJS's avatar
Wonderful contest! And thanks for the pimp too :D
Lucy-Merriman's avatar
Woo-hoo! Every time I do these judging things, I'm surprised by the winners. For instance, my first place pick didn't make the top three. But! All the winners wrote great stories, and they absolutely deserve to win :D.

Read them!
ThornyEnglishRose's avatar
The results were pretty weird - there weren't many stories all three of us agreed on! But the system works, and we came out with three great winners. :)
Lucy-Merriman's avatar
I'm glad the system worked out :D.
anonymous's avatar
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