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Bulbagarden Holiday Contests 2022

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BulbaChristmasScarf.png The holiday season is once again upon us, so ìt's past time that we here at Bulbagarden got the ball rolling with our annual Holiday Contests!

This year, we have a total of four separate contests running over the holiday period, with more than $2000 USD of prizes up for grabs.

This year's contests are...
  • 12 Days of Trivia: Our classic trivia contest, featuring 12 days worth of tricky trivia to test your knowledge of the Pokémon franchise (or at the very least, your ability to search for things on Bulbapedia).
    • This year's 12 questions will be posted up for you to puzzle over in the Bulbagarden Forums thread linked above on Monday December 12th. Entries will close on Saturday December 24th.
  • Fantabulous Festivities – Creative Holiday Challenge: To all you creative types out there, we've got a holiday themed challenge for you to pour your holiday spirit into. Have trouble coloring between the lines? Not a problem, this contest tests your creative flair and not just your steady hand.
    • You can start working on your entries immediately! The entry form for the Creative Holiday Challenge will be available later this month via the Bulbagarden Forums thread linked above, with entries closing on Saturday December 31st.
  • Rapidash Trivia: A battle of wits and speed as you test your knowledge of the Pokémon franchise in a real time contest where only the fastest will win! You can either win a round to win an instant prize, or collect points with every round to claim a prize at the top of our leaderboard.
    • Rapidash Trivia in 2023 will be run over 16 rounds on the Bulbagarden Discord server. The first round will run on Friday December 16th, with rounds every 6 hours after that until the contest finishes on Monday December 19th. See the Bulbagarden Forums thread linked above for more details including roundtimes converted to several common timezones.
  • Bulbagarden Holiday Raffle: Finding the other contests a bit too challenging? Or just don’t have the time to enter everything? No need to feel left out, we’re also running an additional raffle this year! Help us share the news of our contests with your friends and family on social media to earn yourself bonus entries!
    • The Bulbagarden Holiday Raffle is open for entries right now, with entries closing on Saturday December 31st. You can enter this raffle via the Gleam widget below, or or if that's not showing for you, by going directly to the Gleam landing page for this contest.
Bulbagarden Holiday Raffle 2022

Prize winners this year will each receive a Nintendo Switch Pokémon title of their choice, or an equivalent value in readily available Pokémon merchandise.
Grand Prize winners for the 12 Days of Trivia and the Bulbagarden Holiday Raffle will additionally receive a Nintendo Switch OLED Console (special edition models subject to availability).

If you have any questions regarding any of these contests, please direct these either to the appropriate forums thread for that contest (linked above), or to the #bulbamas2022 channel on our Discord. An FAQ for more general questions can be found here.

Best of luck to everyone, and may the biggest Pokéfans win.

Happy holidays, everyone!
 
Holiday Contests FAQ
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* I have a question...
We’ll be happy to help! If you have a question about a specific contest, the best place to ask that is in the forums thread for that contest, or in the #bulbamas2022 channel on our Discord. If you have a more general question, read on!

* Who can enter the contest?
Our contests are open to anyone aged 18 or over.
If you are aged under 18 but over 13, then you may also enter, provided that you have the permission of your parent or guardian. If you do not have the permission of your parent or guardian, then you will forefit your prize should you be selected as a winner.
If you are aged under 13, then you should ask your parent or guardian to enter on your behalf.
Only 1 entry is accepted per contest, per household.

* I have a Brother / Sister / Parent / Cousin / Spouse / Other Relative / Roommate who wants to enter as well, can they?
Due to the need to prevent fraudulent entries, we’re afraid that we can accept only 1 entry per contest, per household.

* Can I enter more than one Bulbagarden Contest?
Yes, though you may only make 1 entry per contest.

* Can I win in more than one Bulbagarden Contest?
Theoretically, yes! You’ll need to put in plenty of effort and be pretty lucky to pull this off though.

* I can't remember if I entered a contest. Can you give me some confirmation to let me know you got my entry?
Assuming we've got everything configured correctly this year, you should now be able to double-check that for yourself! The online entry forms we’re using for the 12 Days of Trivia and Creative Holiday Challenge should email you to confirm your entry has been submitted. If you don’t receive an email, please let us know here in this thread or in the #bulbamas2022 channel on our Discord so we can investigate this for you.
For the Rapidash Trivia, we'd like to think our fastest finger first game is an unforgetable experience, so if you can't remember entering, you probably haven't yet! But if you had a bit too much of Shuckle's Berry Juice last night, you can always do a search for your account name in the #rapidashtrivia channel to make sure you did actually take part.
For the Holiday Raffle, you should be able to see how many entries you've received (and any additional entries you can still obtain) by checking the contest's Gleam widget.

* My entry form timed out. Did my entry go through?
This problem can occasionally crop up during periods of especially high activity on the site. From past experience, your entry has almost certainly gone through, but feel free to reach out so we can check for you. Our policy is simply to discard repeat entries from the same person, so in the event you've submitted multiple times here because you were afraid that it hadn't gone through, we'll just trim those down to 1 entry when we process all the entries at the end.

* I live in (insert country here). Can I enter?
Our Holiday Contests are, generally speaking, open to entries globally. The only reason for us to reject a winner because of their country of residence would be if there were legal factors involved, such as ongoing sanctions which would prohibit import into that country of video games and consoles.

* I live in (insert country here). If I win, are you able to send me a console/game for my region?
Almost certainly yes. As a rule of thumb, we will order your prize from a retailer who ships to your region. If for some reason we aren't able to arrange for the game to be shipped to you, we can make alternative arrangements with you.

* I live in (insert country here). If I win, are you able to send me a game from a different region (e.g. a Japanese game for someone outside Japan)?
At this stage, we cannot guarantee this. Historically, we have made every effort to do this, though we are limited by being able to find an online retailer who’ll accept our payment, and who are able to ship it to you. Things continue to be further complicated by COVID-related logistical issues, and it may not be possible to find an appropriate retailer able to ship the product. All we can promise at this point is that we'll do the best we can.

* I already have the console/games. If I win, can I have some other Pokémon merchandise, like TCG cards or plushies?
Maybe. While we've occasionally done this on special request in the past, such as when a winner has been in a country that's posted significant logistical issues for other products, this does pose additional burdens on us. If not too many winners are in this situation, then it should be possible for us to make some sort of arrangement with you. If lots of winners are wanting us to substitute merchandise however, this could significantly lengthen the time it takes for us to fulfill all prizes, and in that case it would be difficult for us to honour all such requests.

* I already have the console/games. If I win, can you send me an eShop card instead?

Maybe. Historically we’ve done our best to make this an option, however year-on-year we’ve been frustrated in doing so by difficulty in sourcing digital eShop cards after Christmas, and by purchase limits set on both physical and digital eShop cards by Amazon (e.g. not allowing purchase of $USD eShop cards by people outside the US). If not too many winners are in this situation, then it should be possible for us to make some sort of arrangement with you. If lots of winners are wanting us to substitute eShop cards however, this could significantly lengthen the time it takes for us to fulfill all prizes, and we would then not be able to honour all requests.

* When will winners be informed?
Winners of the 12 Days of Trivia, Creative Holiday Challenge, and Bulbagarden Holiday Raffle will be informed over the week of January 1st via the email they included in their entry form.
Most Winners of the Rapidash Trivia will know as soon as the round is over. Additional prizes will also be awarded after the end of all rounds on December 21st. Winners for this contest will be contacted via Discord.

* How long will winners have to claim the prize?
We'll give you roughly two weeks to respond from when we formally announce the winners. We're aware things can happen, and we don't want to disadvantage anyone. Of course, if you won one of the grand prize Nintendo Switch consoles, you really need to get back to us ASAP. Both because a) we need to make sure stores don’t sell out and b) we need to not keep 2nd place hanging if we need to instead give them the grand prize.

* When will winners be publicly announced?
Winners will be announced publicly after winners have claimed their prizes and their details have been confirmed.
In past years, we've frequently had parents of winners under the age of 18 ask us to not disclose the details of winners. Our standard practice therefore is to only refer to winners by whatever pseudonym they are known by on the Bulbagarden Forums or Discord. For the winner of the Holiday Raffle, in the event they have not given us a pseudonym to refer to them by then we will simply refer to them by their initials only.
For reference, here's our announcement post for the 2021 Holiday Contests.

* How soon will my prize get to me if I win?
We’ll be starting to order prizes for the winners from January 7th. Ideally we’d send things out in one batch, but past experience has shown us that generally won’t be possible.
Due to the continuing situation with COVID, it’s not possible for us to give a guarantee of a specific timeframe for shipping. If you're in North America, Western or Central Europe, Australia, New Zealand, or Japan, there probably won't be any issues with us ordering from a retailer local to you, and you should get your prize within a week or two after we've received your address details (depending how backed up your local postal and courier services are after the holidays).
If you're in another country, particularly one with a frustrating customs regime (Brazil, I'm looking at you!), we might need to make alternative arrangements with you to avoid things taking an excessively long time to get to you.
 
Terms & Conditions
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NO PURCHASE IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN.
  1. Sponsor: The Sponsor of the Bulbagarden Holiday Contests 2022 is Bulbagarden.
  2. Eligibility: The Bulbagarden Holiday Contests 2022 are only open to those who enter via the methods specified for each contest. Contestants aged under 18 but over 13 may enter only with the permission of their parent or guardian, and will be required to indicate this permission has been given before receiving any prize.Entries will not be accepted from contestants aged under 13, who are instead urged to ask their parent or guardian to enter on their behalf. Except where otherwise stated (e.g. contests held over multiple rounds, giveaways giving multiple entries, etc), only 1 entry will be accepted per contest, per household. The use of any automated or similar means to enter is prohibited and will void all entries by the culprit and their associates. All entries must be “manual”. Individuals who are currently banned or suspended from one or more Bulbagarden platforms for any reason (including but not limited to the Bulbagarden Forums, Bulbapedia, and the Bulbagarden Discord) are not eligible to participate in these contests. The contests are open worldwide, and void where prohibited by law. Current and former employees, independent contractors, interns, officers, directors, and agents of Bulbagarden (the "Sponsor") their respective affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, suppliers and their immediate family members and/or those living in the same household of each are not eligible to participate in these contests. The Bulbagarden Holiday Contests 2022 are subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations. Void where prohibited.
  3. Agreement to Rules: By entering the Bulbagarden Holiday Contests 2022, the contestant ("You") agree to comply with and abide by these Rules and the decisions of the Sponsor, and you represent and warrant that you meet the eligibility requirements. In addition, you agree to accept the Sponsor's decisions as final and binding as it relates to the content of this campaign. Entrants should look solely to the Sponsor with any questions, comments or issues related to the Bulbagarden Holiday Contests 2022.
  4. Entry Period: The Bulbagarden Holiday Contests 2022 as a whole begins on 1 December, 2022, and ends on 31 December, 2022 at 11:59PM PST (the "Entry Period"). Entries submitted before or after the Entry Period will not be eligible. Individual contests within the broader Bulbagarden Holiday Contests 2022 may have more restrictive entry periods. Please consult the posted information about those contests for more information.
  5. Prizes: The winners of the Bulbagarden Holiday Contests 2022 will receive the following prizes
    • 12 Days of Trivia
      • 1 winner will receive a Nintendo Switch (OLED Model), and a Nintendo Switch Pokémon game of their choice
      • 5 runner's up will receive a Nintendo Switch Pokémon game of their choice
    • Fantabulous Festivities – Creative Holiday Challenge
      • 1 overall winner will receive a Nintendo Switch Pokémon game of their choice
      • Up to 3 additional category winners will receive a Nintendo Switch Pokémon game of their choice, with these additional prizes dependent on the number of entries in each category
    • Rapidash Trivia
      • 20 winners will receive a Nintendo Switch Pokémon game of their choice
    • Bulbagarden Holiday Raffle
      • 1 winner will receive a Nintendo Switch (OLED Model), and a Nintendo Switch Pokémon game of their choice
    Actual/appraised value of prizes may differ at time of prize award. The specifics of the prize shall be solely determined by the Sponsor. The Sponsor reserves the right to substitute the prize with another prize of equal or greater value if the original prize is no longer available, or cannot be provided to the winner due to logistical and/or legal complications. No cash or other prize substitution shall be permitted except for at the Sponsor's discretion. The prize is non transferable. Substitution of the prize or transfer/assignment of the prize to others or request for the cash equivalent of the prize by the Winner is not permitted. Any and all prize related expenses, including without limitation any and all federal, state, and/or local taxes shall be the sole responsibility of the Winner.
  6. Odds of Winning: The odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received.
  7. Winner Selection and Notification: Winners for each contest as part of the Bulbagarden Holiday Contests 2022 will be selected by methods specified by each contest. Winners will be notified by January 7th, 2023. The Sponsor shall have no liability for a Winner's failure to receive notices due to spam, junk e-mail or other security settings or for a Winner’s provision of incorrect or otherwise non-functioning contact information. If the Winner cannot be contacted, is ineligible, fails to claim the prize within 14 days from the time award notification was sent, or fails to timely return requested information needed to send them their prize, the prize may be forfeited and an alternate Winner selected. Receipt of the prize offered in this Campaign by the Winner is conditioned upon compliance with any and all federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Any violation of these official rules by the Winner at the Sponsor's sole discretion will result in the Winner's disqualification as winner, and all privileges as winner will be immediately terminated.
  8. Rights Granted by the Entrant: The Bulbagarden Holiday Contests 2022 includes one contest, the Creative Holiday Challenge, which involves the creation and entry of original content by the entrant. By entering this contest, you represent and warrant that your entry is an original work of authorship, and does not violate any third party’s proprietary or intellectual property rights. If your entry infringes upon the intellectual property right of another, you will be disqualified at the sole discretion of the Sponsor. If the content of your entry is claimed to constitute infringement of any proprietary or intellectual proprietary rights of any third party, you shall, at your sole expense, defend or settle against such claims. You shall indemnify, defend, and hold harmless Bulbagarden from and against any suit, proceeding, claims, liability, loss, damage, costs or expense, which Bulbagarden may incur, suffer, or be required to pay arising out of such infringement or suspected infringement of any third party’s right.
  9. Terms and Conditions: The Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Bulbagarden Holiday Contests 2022 should virus, bug, non-authorised human intervention, fraud, or other cause beyond the Sponsor’s control corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, or proper conduct of the Bulbagarden Holiday Contests 2022. In such cases, the Sponsor may select a winner(s) from eligible entries received before and/or after the action taken by the Sponsor if appropriate. The Sponsor reserves the right at its sole discretion to disqualify any individual who tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operation of the Bulbagarden Holiday Contests 2022 or website or violates these Terms & Conditions. The Sponsor has the right, in its sole discretion, to maintain the integrity of the Bulbagarden Holiday Contests 2022, to void entries for any reason, including, but not limited to: multiple entries from the same user from different IP addresses; multiple entries from the same computer in excess of that allowed by Bulbagarden Holiday Contests 2022 rules; or the use of bots, macros, scripts, or other technical means for entering. Any attempt by an entrant to deliberately damage any website or undermine the legitimate operation of the Bulbagarden Holiday Contests 2022 may be a violation of criminal and civil laws. Should such an attempt be made, the Sponsor reserves the right to seek damages to the fullest extent permitted by law.
  10. Limitation of Liability: By entering the Bulbagarden Holiday Contests 2022 you agree to release and hold harmless Bulbagarden and its subsidiaries, affiliates, advertising and promotion agencies, partners, representatives, agents, successors, assigns, employees, officers and directors from any liability, illness, injury, death, loss, litigation, claim or damage that may occur, directly or indirectly, whether caused by negligence or not, from (i) such entrant’s participation in the Bulbagarden Holiday Contests 2022 and/or his/her acceptance, possession, use, or misuse of any prize or any portion thereof; (ii) unauthorised human intervention in any part of the Bulbagarden Holiday Contests 2022; (iii) electronic or human error in the administration of the Bulbagarden Holiday Contests 2022 or the processing of entries; (iv) technical errors of any kind, including but not limited to the malfunction of any computer, cable, network, hardware, or software, or other mechanical equipment; (v) the unavailability or inaccessibility of any transmissions, telephone, or Internet service; (vi) printing errors; (vii) lost, late, postage due, misdirected, or undeliverable mail.
  11. Disputes: The Bulbagarden Holiday Contests 2022 are governed by the laws of Australia, without respect to conflict of law doctrines. By participating in this Campaign, you agree that any and all disputes that cannot be resolved between the parties, and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Campaign, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, exclusively before a court located in Australia having jurisdiction. Further, in any such dispute, under no circumstances shall You be permitted to obtain awards for, and hereby waives all rights to, punitive, incidental, or consequential damages, including reasonable attorney’s fees, other than actual out-of-pocket expenses (i.e. costs associated with entering the Bulbagarden Holiday Contests 2022). You further waives all rights to have damages multiplied or increased.
  12. Privacy Policy: Information submitted with an entry is subject to the Privacy Policy stated on the Bulbagarden Website. To read the Privacy Policy, click here. By entering Bulbagarden contests, users consent to the use of their name (or pseudonym) in the announcement of the winners on the Bulbagarden website, and use of their name (or pseudonym) and likeness for advertising and/or promotional and/or marketing purposes. Users' contact information may also be used by the Sponsor to notify the user they have won and to confirm their mailing address.
  13. Winners List: To request a copy of the winners list please contact the Sponsor. Requests must be sent within four (4) weeks of the end of the Entry Period.
  14. The Bulbagarden Holiday Contests 2022 is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Discord, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitch, Twitter, YouTube, or any other websites, apps, or social networks that are used to share the Bulbagarden Holiday Contests 2022. You understand that you are providing your information to the owner of the Bulbagarden Holiday Contests 2022 and not to Discord, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitch, Twitter, YouTube, or any other websites, apps, or social networks.
  15. Acceptance of Rules: By participating in the Bulbagarden Holiday Contests 2022, You have affirmatively reviewed, accepted, and agreed to all of the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions.
 
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Just to let everyone know, there may be a couple of days delay in announcing things for this contest. I managed to injure my ankle, and it's currently quite painful for me to even attempt to get downstairs to the computer.

I still hope to start sending prizes out for the winners I've already contacted (from the Rapidash Trivia) this weekend. 12 Days, Creative, and Raffle winners should expect to hear from me early next week.
 
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All prize winners have now been contacted. We'll provide a full list once we've heard back from prize winners about what names they'd like to be credited under. If any prize winners refuse their prize, we'll post up here to let you know it's been redrawn.

The full list of accepted answers for the 12 Days of Trivia will go up in the next few days, as well our shortlist of featured entries for the creative contest.
 
That's great I look forward to the full list.
 
Question! Will the creative contest winners have their entries be showcased, or rather have any formal announcement? I really wanna see the other entries.
Yes, we plan to showcase a selection of honourable mentions when we make the formal announcement of the winners.
 
Just a quick update - Those 12 Days answers probably won't be coming this weekend at this rate. I managed to injure myself again yesterday (almost sliced part of a finger off opening a tin of peaches, of all things), and while that's all properly dressed, etc, now, as you can imagine it makes typing difficult.

We've received a message from one of our 12 Days winners declining their prize, so that prize will also be reassigned.
 
List of winners
Now that we've received word back from everyone, I'm proud to give a formal congratulations to all of our contest winners!
I'm currently working on both a writeup of the 12 Days of Trivia answers, and a small feature of the honourable mentions from our Creative Holiday Challenge. The 12 Days will be posted in its original thread, while the Creative Holiday Challenge feature will be in this thread (so it doesn't get hidden when the contest threads are archived).
Where possible, I've tried to link winners below to their Bulbagarden Forums account. If you've won and I don't have your account, let me know so I can get your winner's badge linked to you.

12 Days of Trivia
Grand Prize Winner:
@Astrospina

Fastest Perfect Scores
@Laspandrea
@SNBeast

Runners-Up
@Magnezone1234
@PlayrTstr
@Satsjoe

Fantabulous Festivities – Creative Holiday Challenge
@PokePal15

Rapidash Trivia
Round Winners
Round 1: @GuiShark
Round 2: Celesteeal
Round 3: @Parinite
Round 4: Geene
Round 5: @SadisticMystic
Round 6: @lilyuwuu
Round 7: @LIttEleven
Round 8: Ploo
Round 9: @RedArch
Round 10: @anzasquiddles
Round 11: Clouds
Round 12: (Winner declined prize, see below)
Round 13: Fling
Round 14: @The Archive
Round 15: nah
Round 16: Hurl

Points Winners
@Salmancer
@Boblers
@SNBeast
@Dougbro1
@JJFireBlazed (bonus points winner due to Round 12 winner and 1st runner-up on points both declining prizes)

Bulbagarden Holiday Raffle
Ryan J.
 
Fantabulous Festivities – Creative Holiday Challenge - Winning Entry and Honourable Mentions
Some graphical entries below may have been resized so as to fit and/or be of a small enough filesize for us to attach.

Winning Entry:
@PokePal15
Entered under the Bring a Song or Story Alive! category.
I Want a Hippopotas For Christmas said:
(inspired by “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” as sung by Gayla Peevey)​



One month before Christmas



“I want a Hippopotas for Christmas.”

The young girl’s declaration was unexpected, and her parents didn’t know how to respond to her statement. They stayed silent as they stared at her and let her words sink in. It was still a few weeks before Christmas and nearly all of their preparations were finished. Their modest house was decked out in all manner of festive décor: ribbons, holly, garland, and lights were strung, scattered, or hung all throughout the home’s interior and exterior. The cookies and sweets were freshly baked, their deliciously warm smells wafting pleasantly through each room. And their family’s trio of stockings were hanging above their tiny fireplace, patiently awaiting Santa’s visit. All that was left was to get presents to wrap and place under the brightly festooned tree that was tucked away in the corner of the family room. That was why they had just simply asked their daughter what she was hoping to get for Christmas.

They certainly hadn’t been prepared for her response.

Looking at their child, they could tell that this wouldn’t be something she would give up on easily. Her clear brown eyes shone brightly, and she had a determined set to her small, square face. “Only a Hippopotas will do.”

“But sweetheart, wouldn’t you rather have something easier and more fun to play with? Something you could maybe enjoy with your friends?” The mother was hopeful the child would see reason. She was still young, after all, and tended to only think about the now, about her wants and needs in the moment, like most children her age; she didn’t always think about how her decisions would affect her in the long-term. She’d also made such vehement statements before, only to be persuaded into accepting something more reasonable and age-appropriate when presented with a better, more reasonable alternative. Her daughter was precocious, perceptive, and incredibly observant—sometimes unnervingly so—and she would eventually realize just how implausible her request was.

But the small girl only shook her head, her short light hair dusting her shoulders.

“I don’t want no Poké Dolls. Or any other toy. I want a Hippopotas to play with and enjoy.” The mother sighed and turned to her husband next to her. So far, he had remained silent as he watched their exchange. But she knew he was thinking things through, trying to figure out a way to redirect their child’s attention to something else. He tended to be much better at that as he and their daughter shared a similar intellect and thought process. If anyone could talk her out of this, he could. She watched as he bent down to her eye level and placed a gentle hand on her shoulder.

“Little pebble,” the father began, hoping the term of endearment might get his daughter to listen to him, “is there anything else you might want for Christmas? Something that might be easier for Santa to deliver? I’m not sure a Hippopotas will fit in his bag, much less down our chimney. How would he get it to you?” It was a sound argument—something the girl always appreciated—and after thinking it through, his daughter would have to realize the logistical nightmare getting such a gift would be.

“I want a Hippopotas for Christmas.”

The father sighed.

Of course.

She could be just as stubborn as her mother when she wanted something and believed she was right. “I don’t think Santa Claus will mind, do you?” The nine-nearly-ten-year old asked, her warm brown eyes shining with both determination and that sweet youthful kindness that could melt even the iciest of Ice-types. It was always hard to say no to those eyes.

“Sweetheart…”

“He won’t have to use our dirty chimney flue,” the girl’s face lit up as a new thought occurred to her. “Just bring him through the front door, that’s the easy thing to do!”

Both parents watched their daughter as the expression on her face became even brighter. They could tell that her quick, clever mind was whirling with possibilities. If they couldn’t stop this line of thinking soon, it would be too late to go back.

The child dashed over to the gaily-adorned staircase at the far end of the small family room and turned back towards her parents, brown eyes alight with fire and steely resolution. “I can see me now on Christmas morning, creeping down the stairs.” She grinned a toothy grin, her voice pitched high with enthusiasm. “Oh, what joy and what surprise when I open up my eyes and see a Hippopotas standing there!”

The father stood back up and the two parents exchanged a silent look. After a brief moment, the mother nodded slightly, a gentle smile on her soft pink lips. The father sighed and dropped his sandy-haired head before turning to face his daughter again, sporting a smile that matched his wife’s.

“If you are that set on getting a Pokémon for Christmas, I suppose it wouldn’t be too much trouble for Santa to bring one for you in his sleigh, granted he keeps it in a Poké Ball.” His daughter’s grin widened, and he watched as she bounced in excitement. “But how about one that might be better suited to living here?”

“And maybe something smaller or one that doesn’t look like it could just gulp you down in a single bite?” It was meant as a joke, but there was a bit of worry in the mother’s voice as she chimed in. Her daughter was rather small for her age and she didn’t want her getting hurt, even if it was an accident. A Hippopotas would be a rather large Pokémon for a girl as slight as her daughter to care for. It would definitely be better for everyone—and ease her own maternal worries—if she agreed to something smaller.

The determined girl shook her head.

“I want a Hippopotas for Christmas. Only a Hippopotas will do.”

“Pastoria City might be a little wet for Ground-types, darling; I don’t know if a Hippopotas will like living in a place so wet and marshy.”

“Your mother’s right, little pebble. What about a Water-type, a Grass-type, or even a Bug-type? Or maybe a Croagunk? Any of those would be much more comfortable and at home here.”

“No Totodiles. No Heracrosses. I only like Hippopotases.” The girl paused in thought for a moment before adding “and Hippopotases like me too!” She came back over to stand in front of her parents and looked seriously at them. “Mom says a Hippopotas would eat me up, but then, my teacher says they’re vegetarian.”

Both parents got the feeling they were on the losing end of this discussion. Their daughter was a bright child and she was proving she had the skills to be a tough, quick-thinking opponent in a battle of the wills. That would be an ability that would prove her well later in life.

Unfortunately for them, they were the ones currently on the receiving end of her quick wit and they were losing the battle.

Still, there was one last tactic they could try.

“If you got a Hippopotas, where would you keep it? You can’t keep it in a Poké Ball all the time and the house is a little small for it to be entirely comfortable.”

“And how would you take care of it? You’ll have to feed it and clean it and keep it happy and healthy.” It shouldn’t have surprised the parents when their child had answers ready for them.

“There’s lots of room for it in our two-car garage. I’d feed it there, and brush it there, and even give it its massage.”

Her mother was lost for words, but her father smirked. “A massage, huh? That sound nice.” He looked at his daughter seriously, trying to get put some weight behind his words. “Are you sure you’re prepared to do all of that and anything else that may be required for taking care of any Pokémon, regardless of whether or not it’s a Hippopotas?” The child nodded eagerly. “You’re absolutely sure that’s what you want for Christmas? You won’t change your mind later?” She briskly shook her head. “Well, you’ve made some good points and you seem to have thought this out.” He bent over and placed a soft kiss to her forehead before placing a gentle hand on her shoulder. “Now, why don’t you head to bed, hmm? We’ll put a Hippopotas on your list and let Santa know everything you said.”

Both parents hugged their daughter before she made her way up the stairs. They could hear her happy voice singing to herself as she disappeared into her bedroom.

“I can see me now on Christmas morning, creeping down the stairs! Oh, what joy and what surprise when I open up my eyes and see a Hippopotas standing there! I want a Hippopotas for Christmas. Only a Hippopotas will do. No Totodiles. And no Heracrosseses. I only like Hippopotaseses!”



***

On Christmas morning, an excited shriek echoed in the house as the young girl made her way down the stairs and saw what was waiting beneath the tree: a lone red and white Poké Ball tied beautifully with a green ribbon and small white tag. She rushed over and picked up the item, cradling it gently. She looked at the tag and smiled brightly when she read it:



To: Bertha

From: Santa



Hearing the creak of the stairs behind, she looked to see the tired, smiling faces of her parents watching her from above. Her father gave her a subtle nod and she turned back around, holding her breath as she pressed the gray button on the Poké Ball. It took only a moment for the bright white light escaping from the item in her hands to form into the rotund shape that formed in front and once it did, she excitedly dropped the item in her hands to run to the creature and wrap her arms around it, pressing her cheek into its large tan snout. The Pokémon blinked its small eyes and looked at her blearily before yawning. Bertha drew back at the motion and the two stared at each other for a moment, studying one another. Soon, they both grinned widely at each other, and the Pokémon wagged its short tail in excitement, its whole tan and dark brown mottled hide quivering in joy.

Unnoticed by their child, the two parents had made their way down the stairs and stood at the bottom, leaning into one another, watching the scene in front of them. They both had soft smiles on their faces as they saw their daughter lovingly pet and stroke her new companion. Despite the early hour and the tiredness that gripped them both, their grins got bigger when the girl turned towards them and they saw the joy and happiness on her face.

“Merry Christmas, sweetheart.”

“Merry Christmas, little pebble.”

Bertha gave the Pokémon another hug and it closed its eyes and grumbled in contentment, turning its large snout towards the girl to bring her in closer in a hug. She giggled and hugged it back.

“And Hippopotases like me too!”

Honourable Mentions:
In alphabetical order by name

@Blanc
Entered under the Bring a Song or Story Alive! category.
Inspired by Glitchxcity's 2012 Pokemon Christmas Medley said:

@JJFireBlazed
Entered under the Send Your Greetings in Style! category.
Happy Holidays said:

Jousue
Entered under the Send Your Greetings in Style! category.
The Christmas Spirit Never Dies said:

@LunalaLitten
Entered under the Send Your Greetings in Style! category.

Racall1987
Entered under the Send Your Greetings in Style! category.
Arboliva makes a good Christmas tree said:
 
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