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Event Fantabulous Festivities – Creative Holiday Challenge 2022

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It’s that time of the year again for creative minds to shine, in the Bulbagarden Creative Holiday Challenge! Do you like working with a pencil, tablet, camera, crafting, or any other way of being creative? Then this is the place for you!

To enter this contest:
  1. Pick one of the three options below.
  2. Use any kind of personal creative skill to make an entry based on that challenge.
    Examples include drawing, crafting, cooking, photography, making a video, etc. Creatively incorporating plushies, figurines, or official Pokémon art as part of your entry (including as part of a collage, mashup, etc) is also allowed, however the majority of the entry must be your own original creation. The use of AI generated content, including but not limited to DALL-E, Midjourney, and Stable Diffision, is explicitly banned, and will result in an immediate disqualification.
  3. Once you’ve finished, fill in the entry form, attaching your entry as an image file and/or URL. Do this before 11:55pm, Saturday December 31st (US Pacific Standard Time).
  4. (OPTIONAL) Post your completed creation here in this thread to share with everyone!
Your three entry options are:

Send Your Greetings in Style!
What better way to wish your family and friend happy holidays than by creating your very own Pokémon themed holiday card! You can draw it, craft it, use photographs, etc. Anything goes as long as it looks like a holiday card.

Bring a Song or Story Alive!
Imagine your favourite holiday song or story… but now with Pokémon creatures or characters! Make a drawing, craft, comic, video, or use any other way to show us (a part of) a holiday story or song in Pokémon style.

Tree-mendous Decorations!
Create your own Pokémon themed holiday decoration! You can draw it, craft it, bake it or even decorate an actual tree with figures, plushies or pictures.

The rules for all challenges:
  • Your entry can be based on any kind of cultural holiday that is traditionally celebrated in the month of December.
  • Your entry must be Pokémon themed. You can include Pokémon creatures, characters, locations, etc. from every part of the franchise (core games, spin-off games, anime, manga, TCG, etc.).
  • Your entry must be your original work, and must not be material you’ve uploaded to the internet before this contest. This includes anything you’ve made for previous creative challenges from past Bulbagarden competitions. Any and all instances of plagiarism will result in disqualification from this and all Bulbagarden holiday contests.
  • While you may
This contest is a challenge of creativity and not of artistic skill. We’ll be judging you primarily based on your ideas, so don’t worry if you aren’t very skilled, you can still score well with the judges. Submitting something "so bad it’s good", Santa Claus Conquers the Martians style, is a perfectly valid direction to go for this competition.
Having said that, we do expect entries to satisfy a certain minimum standard of effort. i.e. A stick figure Bulbasaur in a santa hat is not sufficient as an entry.
Feel free to use this thread to post your work-in-progress! If you’re not certain if you’re going in the right direction, we can also let you know if your idea is too basic, or otherwise not a “reasonable go” for this contest.

The contestent whose idea and execution impresses the judges the most will receive a Nintendo Switch Pokémon title of their choice!
This contest also features a stretch goal. Should we receive a minimum of 50 entries for any specific category (not counting entries of insufficient effort), we will be adding an extra prize specifically for entries from that category. If we receive 50 entries for each category, that would bring this competition up to a maximum of four prizes (1 overall winner, and 3 category winners).

If you have any questions about the contest, please post them in this thread.

And most importantly: have fun, everyone!

 
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Bring a Song or Story Alive!
Imagine your favourite holiday song or story… but now with Pokémon creatures or characters! Make a drawing, craft, comic, video, or use any other way to show us (a part of) a holiday story or song in Pokémon style.
Just want a bit of clarification...

If I wanted to write a story based on a Christmas song, is that okay? Like the story I have in mind is an expansion of a slightly less well-known Christmas song, using song lyrics as inspiration for the story dialogue, but with my own Poke-twist. (I think I did (and asked) something similar last year, but I can't remember what the verdict for this question was).
 
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Just want a bit of clarification...

If I wanted to write a story based on a Christmas song, is that okay? Like the story I have in mind is an expansion of a slightly less well-known Christmas song, using song lyrics as inspiration for the story dialogue, but with my own Poke-twist. (I think I did (and asked) something similar last year, but I can't remember what the verdict for this question was).
That's fine.
 
Related to the last question- is a Pokémon-themed spoof of a Christmas pop song doable? Say, like one of "Last Christmas" by Wham and George Michael?
 
Now that all entries have been submitted, I felt it was time to share mine! I was heavily inspired by all of Glitchxcity's Pokemon Christmas Medleys, but specifically the 2012 version was my favorite. I drew my feelings based off the songs. Good luck everyone! Mine certainly didn't turn out exactly how I wanted... But! It was fun nonetheless! And a challenge! It actually wasn't my first idea, but I'll post those scrapped wips in my art thread.

After I drew Chandelure and Galvantula, I didn't know what other Pokemon to put on the tree! My friends in VC at the time gave me what they wanted on the tree LOL.

 
I don't think I'll win anything, but I'll post my entry to share with you all!

For my entry this year, I decided to craft a story around a slightly less-than-traditional Christmas song. I did alter the lyrics a bit to suit the theme of Pokemon, and I could have just used that as my entry, but I really liked the idea of the song framing a story, so I went that route. The ending isn't exactly what I had envisioned and I actually had a completely different one that I rewrote before submitting. But I think it works and I did have a lot of fun writing this story.

I Want a Hippopotas For Christmas



(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!”
 
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