Phillips County News - One Nation, Under God

Christmas Stories from Saco Middle School


December 18, 2019

AJ James Malta Elementary Grade 1

Christmas Tree

Carter Pippin

Saco - Grade 7

Fake needles held together by wire, metal, and plastic, standing tall in the middle of the room, decorated brightly with lights tangled all around the tree and low hanging ornaments about to fall off. It's like you're waiting for an animal to come clambering up the tree, or something. The Christmas tree is a staple in everyday houses, big or small, fake or real. With every house during Christmas, there are at least one or two Christmas trees there.

It's a magical feeling to see a Christmas tree. Seemingly standing taller than everything else in the room, bright enough to see in the dark without even looking at it. It would be a good lamp. The gifts slowly appear underneath the tree, one by one, as if they were gathering up in a sort of shelter towering above them. It would be a good shelter, too.

Christmas trees have left a symbolic presence on the holiday. When you see one, you immediately think of Christmas. Whenever you put up one, you feel the essence of Christmas come upon you, as well as other things. It reminds you that it's Christmas, even after the holiday is over and you have yet to put the Christmas tree and other decor in the attic where it'll inevitably gather dust until next Christmas and be a good home for dust mites and other bugs.

Christmas Music

Nathan Salveson

Saco - Grade 8

As I wake up very early in the morning, I hear the sound of the Christmas music my mom plays every year. It echoes through the halls, bounces off the walls, and finally comes to rest in my darkroom downstairs. I get out of my warm bed and speak ominously through the air vents. "Shut that off, I'm trying to sleep," I say, but the music drowns out my voice.

I finally decide to head upstairs and shut it off myself. I attempt to crawl up the seemingly endless stairs. About halfway up, I thought I wouldn't make it, and just as I was about to retreat, I saw the top. I finished my climb and prepared my speech. "Hey," I said. "Shut that..." but just as I was about to finish, I stopped. I looked over and saw my mom's smiling face, and my two little brothers waltzing to Sinatra's rendition of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." I saw the presents waiting for me underneath the Christmas tree. I felt joy. At first, I thought that it was just a nuisance, but then I realized that it can make people happy. It can totally change someone's mood and make their day.

Now every year when Christmas rolls around, I look forward to hearing the merry melodies and jolly harmonies. I look forward to being reminded of the memories of the years before. Most importantly, though, I look forward to making new ones with my friends and family.

Watching the Grinch

Laynee Simpson

Saco - Grade 7

As I open the dusty and old shades to outside, it's almost as if the brightness of the snow has blinded me. I only open the shade for a split second because I can almost feel the wintery chill of the wind through the window. So, I shut the shades as quickly as possible, and dust flies all over my room. I run back to my warm bed almost as if I was a track star. When I get back to my bed, I inhale the savory aroma of my hot chocolate lingering in the air. I sit down in my comfy bed and get cozy.

I hear the evil laugh of the Grinch and almost spill my buttery, dill pickle powdered popcorn. As I continue on with the movie, my mouth waters as the Grinch steals the cookie from the little kids. So, I go get a red and green sprinkled sugar cookie from the kitchen.

When I sit down to watch the Grinch every year, it is my favorite part of the year. Cindy Lou Who is so brave and has her own unique style. She can also withstand anything including when the whole town laughed at her for thinking that the Grinch would come down from his grave to accept his Christmas award.

When I finally finish the Grinch after eating every last crumb of my delicious snacks, I settle down into my bed like a fox would burrow into its den. I can't wait till next year to watch it again and see my favorite character, Cindy Lou Who.

Sandra Sones

Saco - Grade 7

Christmas with family

I burst through the door and my nose is greeted with the most pleasant aromas. The smell of ham, gravy, mashed potatoes, and pie fill my sinuses with the pleasure of knowing that I am going to help make this amazing dinner that grandma has prepared halfway. I look around the kitchen to see that all the burners on the stove have a pan on them. Beside the stove sits serving bowls, cutting boards, and a few knives. Now that no one has their boots on, or jacket Grandma and Uncle Anthony are almost knocked over due to my siblings hugging them. Grandma shoes the little kids off to the living room, but she grabs my arm and asks, "Where do you think you're going?" I respond, "I am going to the kitchen to help my loving grandma with supper."

Mom and Grandma are cooking things on the stove while I get the plates out of the cupboard. I look across the counter and see my dad and Uncle Anthony talking, their talk drowns out the noise of my siblings fighting/playing on the floor and watching what Uncle Paul has on the TV to entertain them. While he is laid out on the couch pretending that he is asleep, Grandma hollers at him, just for the fun of it, and then she looks at me and says, "If I told him that he could be the taste tester..." she was interrupted by him saying "what?". I continue to get everything ready so that we can eat. Now that everything is made so that the kids can start to dish up supper and eat.


Marshall Caves

Saco - Grade 8

Waiting and waiting for my father in North Dakota at Scheels a sporting goods store on Black Friday doing some Christmas shopping. 30 minutes pass he finally shows up. I got in that freezing cold pickup, the seats as hard as a rock we start heading back home. We got there at about 7:00 that night and we start unloading the pickup. I catch a glimpse of a black and blue box. I kind of had an idea what it was, but dumb little me decides to ask my father what it is. He responds with "Hey nosey, well that's your Christmas present, I guess Merry Christmas that's what you wanted right." I respond "yes, thank you." I exclaim and act like I'm so excited way more than I actually am. Because I kind of knew that's what I was getting for Christmas.

That night I spent about 10 minutes looking at that 227-piece tool set seeing my reflection in those shiny sockets next to the wrenches and screwdrivers. But there's this blue metallic chrome logo that spells out Kobalt. I keep making faces in that logo bringing out my inner child in me as it makes my eyes and cheeks way bigger than they actually are. I could taste and smell the new freshness of those tools like you can taste the new car smell when you get a brand-new car. Then I picked it up by the rugged handle that puts little indentations in your hand when you let go of it. So, I carry it up the stairs, hearing the tools inside the box clinking and clattering together, I walk to my room and put it on the top shelf of my closet for the winter. Depressed that I can't use it till spring. I'm so eager to use them because my dad has taught me how fun and exciting it is to work with tools.


Jessa Erickson

Saco - Grade 7

Every year we decorate our tree with lights that could light up the whole room, and ornaments so delicate they could shatter in the palm of one's hand. Garland strung perpetually around the cone figure, and don't forget the astonishing star that is placed at the top. I accumulate everything I need to decorate the tree. When decorating our tree you have to be very cautious when walking around with glass bulbs in your hands because of my little brother. Twelve years old and still acts like he is six. As I look around the corner to make sure he is nowhere in sight, I rush around the corner as if I was running the 100-meter dash and almost at the finish line. I take a quick glance at my surroundings and in the corner of my eye, I see my brother enter the living room while tossing a glass bulb into the air as fast as he could, as if it were a bomb. Being curious he asks me what I am doing and as soon as he knows it the bulb hits the floor shattering into a thousand little pieces, I hear my mom yell from the other room and burst out laughing.

After he cleans it up, we get back to work stringing the light around the tree, in an orderly manner we hang different colors around it. After the lights are done, we get the garland out and wrap it around the tree. I watch my brother struggle with wrapping it so I thought he needed some help and did it for him so I could finally go to bed. I wake up the next morning and the whole tree is lit up. I finally realized the Christmas tree didn't look like a big knock out to me. I look at the tree from top to bottom and realized that I forgot the star. Once again, we rummage through the totes. I finally see a gleaming silver strand and pull it out, the star-shaped piece of plastic that was the finishing touch of the tree. Now I could say it looks like a Christmas bomb went off in my house.

A Christmas Feast

Teagan Erickson

Saco - Grade 8

A Christmas feast at grandma's is always a time to remember, for there is nothing better than getting to enjoy delicious food with your family. Plates stacked sky high and endless amounts of silverware lying on the table. As soon as I walk into the small and crowded kitchen, hundreds of pleasant scents rush to my nose, filling me with delight. The scents of the smoked ham so juicy it melts in your mouth, sweet sugar cookies, and warm pumpkin pie are enticing, as they sit on the counter taunting me. On the dinner table, there is mashed potatoes sitting in a bowl so large it could feed a starving horse for weeks and nearby sits a small steaming bowl of grandma's homemade gravy, releasing a savory aroma that warms the body. A small stack of buttered toast avidly awaits me to smear some cranberry jelly on it and then devour it with one bite. In the center of the table, there is a giant baked turkey filled with so much stuffing that it is protruding from the end.

In the distance, I can hear the screaming and laughing of my cousins as they're probably making some kind of mischief. The bickering about who's the best at cards echoes through the living room as the true personalities of the parents begin to appear. Though not paying attention to it, I quickly wash my hands and take a seat. After waiting a while, my family eventually surrounds me and the food. Sitting right by my uncle, I grasp his hand in prayer. His hand feels rough with a few cuts and a small amount of grease on his palm from the many days of work. Though none of that matters because it is Christmas Eve and after saying a brief, but meaningful, blessing, I am finally able to dig in and enjoy the meal with my family. Most people might think all of this is too overwhelming, but to me, this is just a normal Christmas dinner at the Erickson's.

Abby Yeska

8th Grade


My Mother's Christmas Struggles

As I hear my mom stomping up the stairs with the old Christmas tree that my family has had since I was really little, I can smell it... it smells like our pungent old, basement. Right as my mom gets to the top steps, the smell of the old tree fills the entire house. My mom breaks out her Christmas candles to hide the horrendous stench. My dad, brother, and I watch as my mom struggles to get the tree set up correctly. Some of the branches are bent weirdly and misshaped from years past.

My mom has dad bring up three huge, heavy totes filled with all sorts of decorations. These boxes contain lights of all colors, ornaments of different shapes and sizes, and random little things that she has found to use as decorations and so on. None of us assist my mom in decorating the tree, just as we did when she was struggling to bring the thing upstairs. Mom works long and hard making the tree look as beautiful as it does every year.

After all of her struggles--I mean a lot--the tree stands tall and beautiful. It is covered with bright red, navy blue, and royal purple ornaments. The tree is full of so many more beautiful colors, but I don't even know what they would be called. Each one is placed in the perfect spot for it to look amazing as it does every year.

My dad, brother, and I just laughed at her the whole time, we all realize how much Christmas means to her and how her hard work pays off. Not only did we notice that her struggles were worth it, so did she.

Blaine Downing



The first morning of Christmas vacation. Most kids would be sleeping in. A very ordinary thing to do. But not me. I stand cozily on a bank of the frozen Frenchman Creek wrapped up with at least three coats and two gleaming hockey skates, swinging gently in my hand. With every sniffle, my nose freezes for a split second. I look down and see my rosy cheeks and steely blue eyes staring right back at me with a smirk of satisfaction, for the ice is rock hard.

I waddle over to a rock protruding out of the ice, sit down, and fiddle with my ice skate laces. My skates on, I glide peacefully across the ice, every kick calming me, as I drift off to a peaceful wonderland. That is until my loud, clumsy brother and sister come down to skate too. I snap back to reality to my younger brother screaming at me to put his skates on. I repeat coming down to the creek every day of Christmas vacation and every day after that.

But one warm, sunny day I fall straight through the ice. I don't move, for I am shocked - not from the cold but from sadness. From now until next Christmas, I realize that there will be something missing in my life

Josie Brown

Saco - Grade 8


"Come sledding," they said.

"Oh yes, it's so great!"

"Come sledding," they said.

"Make sure not to be late!"

But my feet were so frozen,

And I couldn't see straight.

So, I veered off the path,

Now I have a headache,

Cause I struck my head hard

When I swerved off the path,

Now red trickles to the ground,

Seems like sledding's a bloodbath.

I spit on the ground,

Tasting the crimson and snow,

Smelling the scent of fresh blood,

As it oozes from my nose.

"Come sledding," they said,

"Oh yes, it's so fun!"

"Come sledding," they said,

...No, I think I'll stay home.


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