Winner of the Holiday Recipe Fiction Writing Prompt Contest!

Rachel Richey Writing Prompt Contest Winners

We hope everyone enjoyed their holidays! And even though they’re over and the lights are beginning to fade, we wanted to share with you the winner of December’s Holiday Recipe poetry contest! We received several wonderful entries and we’d like to thank everyone who participated! The winning entry belongs to Erin Michaela Sweeney! We loved her descriptions of the “ingredients” needed to make her perfect holiday. Check out the original prompt and the winning entry below!

December is a month filled to the brim with holiday spirit! And while not everyone celebrates the same holiday this time of year, chances are, most of us have some kind of tradition centered around preparing (or simply enjoying) a special meal with friends or family. That’s why we want you to create your own Holiday Recipe: a poem about the holidays written in a recipe format. What are your holidays like? What would you like them to be like? Do you even want to celebrate them at all? Your recipe, your choice!

A Recipe for the Holidays
By Erin Michaela Sweeney

When it comes to holiday fare, why not choose this layered recipe?
Christmas Trifle
Serves 16

1½ pounds friends and family
1 cup hugs and kisses
4 ounces cheer
10 fresh blank cards, paired with colorful pens
2 (10-ounce) containers frozen charity donations with their juices, thawed
1 (24-ounce) container daytime, or nighttime, walk, drained (in the outdoor section)
4 cups smiles and laughter
¼ cup joyful tears (about 1 ounce), for decoration

Preheat the house to a cozy temperature.

Invite the friends and family to the house to relax on Christmas. Spread each person with a layer of the hugs and kisses.

Place the friends and family evenly around the living room. Drizzle one-third of the cheer on them. Distribute the cards to the friends and family, requesting they write a Christmas greeting to a stranger. Fill the living room with about one-third of the charity donations. Spoon on one-third of the walk.

Add in and spread evenly one-third of the smiles and laughter.

Repeat this layering twice, ending with a layer of smiles and laughter.

Decorate with the joyful tears.

“We wish you a merry Christmas,
We wish you a merry Christmas,
We wish you a merry Christmas,
And a Happy New Year!
Good tidings we bring for you and your kin;
We wish you a merry Christmas
And a Happy New Year!”

Erin Michaela Sweeney is a writer, mommy, yogini, daughter, editor, sister, and napper extraordinaire. She is the author of Every Breath Is a Gift: Reflections on My Leukemia Journey. To read excerpts before buying the memoir, go to And don’t forget, “it’s still good to be alive”!

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