Just for Kids Christmas essays and art

2015 Contest winners from grades pre-K through eight

As we celebrate Christmas, The Compass is sharing the winning essays and artwork from its 28th annual “Just for Kids” Christmas challenge on these pages.

This year, The Compass paired with World Mission Services of the Green Bay Diocese to include “Just for Kids’ art entries in the Missionary Childhood Association’s (MCA) National Christmas Card contest. The 11 artwork winners from The Compass will be forwarded as entries to the national contest.

Their national winners’ art will appear on e-greeting Christmas cards at www.MCAKids.org and two grand prize winners will have their art displayed at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., in 2016. These two art pieces will also be reproduced as the official Christmas cards for the national director of the Pontifical Mission Society in the United States.

This year’s Compass project contained both an art contest (see video below) and an essay contest.

Essays and art were reviewed by a committee of diocesan employees and winners chosen in four age groups: grades pre-K to 2; grades 3-4; grades 5-6; grades 7-8.

The art entries were to contain the Archangel Gabriel with a Nativity theme. The essay entries were to reflect the following question: “If the Archangel Gabriel was part of the choirs of angels at Bethlehem, what did Gabriel say or do on that night?”

In total, The Compass received 181 entries: 77 essays and 104 works of art, from 43 grades/classes in diocesan schools and parish religious education programs, as well as several individual entries.

Three schools — St. Gabriel the Archangel in Neenah, and Lourdes Academy (Seton and Cabrini) in Oshkosh had participants from every class. Holy Trinity in Casco had entries from students in grades three through six.

 Essay winners

PRE-K through Grade 2

Individual submission:

  • Hallelujah the Savior is born. You are blessed in the name of the lord. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be world without end. Amen. — Mariah Olson, Grade 2, St. John the Baptist Parish, Howard.

 St. Mary, Greenville, Grade 2, Miss Mary Doverspike

  • Gabriel probably said, “Hallelujah and let us pray to the Lord who is now born. All people love and believe in him. Your baby is beautiful! I love him. I am amazed and grateful. He is powerful and mighty. Jesus is finally born!” — Lexie Simon
  • “I am Gabriel, Jesus. You will be the Savior of the whole world.” “Mary, you are lucky to have a handsome baby Jesus.” “Mary, you need some rest?” — Max Jablonski
  • The Archangel Gabriel would sing proudly and shout praises to Jesus. “Glory to God in the highest, let this boy spread peace on earth.” After that he’d shout “The baby is born. Let people spread the good news.” He’d use his wings as a blanket for him and whisper a peaceful lullabye. — Brooklyn Coenen
  • When Archangel Gabriel went to see Baby Jesus, he said. “Baby Jesus is lovely, Mary and Joseph. He is lovely!” And Gabriel started to cry happy tears from his love. Baby Jesus started to cry so Gabriel sang “Joy to the World, the Lord has come. Let earth receive her King.” — Hailey Lummings

 St. Gabriel, Neenah, Grade 2, Tina Olson

  • Gabriel would say “Christ the Savior is born. His name is Jesus the Son of God. All sing “Alleluia.’” He would hold baby Jesus. — Vivian Koski
  • Gabriel went to see Jesus and said, “This is the Son of God and the Savior.” And then he said, “Alleluia.” He sang a beautiful song to the baby. He smiled at the baby and said, “God is always with you. Amen.” And then he left. — Jimena Argueta
  • Gabriel went to see Jesus get born and said, “This is a beautiful baby. You will be a Savior someday. You will be a nice man.” — Gage Bartel
  • If the Angel Gabriel came to the manger he would sit down on a bench and kiss baby Jesus on the forehead and pet an animal. — Camden Collins

Lourdes Academy, Oshkosh, Grade 1, Mrs. Clausen

  • I praise you with this child! You have the son of God! I pray in the name of God! I will baptize! — Marlie Kieckhafer
  • Gabriel prayed that baby Jesus would have a good life and that he is a son of God. — Arianna Hoefgen
  • Gabriel the angel said, “Follow the star to the shepherd.” They followed the star. They found baby Jesus. — Rachael Kowalske
  • Gabriel told the shepherd, “You will find a baby laying by a manger.” — Merryn Jerger

Grades 3-4

St. Mary, Greenville, Grade 3, Mrs. Katie Ernst

  • I am Gabriel, large and strong. I deliver messages from God. Today I jump around in excitement! Today the Savior will be born. I will perform in the choir to sing to the baby. Afterwards, I will go see The Son of the Most High. I think he will be cute. Off I quickly soar to Bethlehem. — Daniel
  • “Oh, Mary,” Gabriel, the angel said, “he’s beautiful!” The tiny Savior boy smiled so blissfully at his mother, Mary. A massive smile grew on Gabriel’s face when Jesus said, “Hi, Gabriel.” It was so sweet! All the angels including Gabriel sang out in joy for the petite, jovial, baby boy, a jewel for all people! — Isabella
  • Whoosh! Did you hear that? Baaa… That is Gabriel, God’s angel. I have always wanted to meet him. Right now I’m going to follow him to see where he is going. He is following that bright star. Oh! See the cute baby in a manger and a beautiful woman. With one jump, I baaa and stand beside Gabriel to pray! — Giana
  • It was a cold night, multitudes of angels were singing, “Alleluia!” But I wasn’t! I went to go see the newborn baby Jesus. Mary was so happy that her pain became love. Joseph was so happy that he did ten laps around the stable. That lucky donkey got to see the baby first. Jesus was so cute and cuddly. — Broden
  • All of a sudden, I heard a chuckle, then a cry I flew swiftly calling, “Mary, Mary, are you alright?” Mary answered, “Alright, Gabriel ? Yes, I’m overwhelmed with joy!” Then I saw Jesus our Savior and smiled. — Austin
  • Whoosh, whoosh! Gabriel zoomed right past me as I ate my delicious grass. “Baaa,” I said and ran as fast as the wind. Gabriel sang out, “A new baby has been born, the most wonderful baby!” Suddenly I noticed all of my farm friends. What an orchestra of sounds! I had a feeling that this was Christ, the promised baby. — Isaac
  • Flap, whoosh, flap, whoosh, the sound of Gabriel’s wings filled the air. “Look, Joseph, look at our beautiful baby boy!” “Wow, Mary!” Joseph professed to me, “He is absolutely perfect.” “We’ll name Him Jesus,” I said. “Look,” cried Joseph, “there is a golden winged angel!” “This is truly a holy night,” I remarked. — Allison

Holy Trinity School, Casco, Grade 3, Mrs. Waterstreet

  • If the Archangel Gabriel was part of the choirs of angels at Bethlehem, he would have said: “You will suffer but you will rise on the third day and before that you die on the cross.” — Caleb Derenne
  • If the Archangel Gabriel was in Bethlehem when Jesus was born, he would say, “People will praise Jesus!” — Colten Gagne
  • If the Archangel Gabriel was at Bethlehem the night Jesus was born, he would say, “Welcome baby Jesus, we were expecting you.” — Emma Schraufnagel
  • If the Archangel Gabriel was at Bethlehem the night Jesus was born, he would say “Welcome baby Jesus, we were expecting you.” — Charley Anderson

Holy Trinity School, Casco, Grade 4, Mrs. Waterstreet

  • If the Archangel Gabriel was part of the choirs of angels at Bethlehem, he would sing “Glory to God in Heaven.” — Eric Van Ess
  • If the Archangel Gabriel was part of the choirs of angels at Bethlehem, I think that he would say, “Glory to God in the highest.” — Isabel Baudhuin
  • If Archangel Gabriel was there when Jesus was born, he would have said, “I will help you take good care of Jesus.” — Ethan Buresh
  • Archangel Gabriel said, “I will help you take better care of baby Jesus. So he is warm and so he is healthy. Jesus is special because he has you, Mary, as a mother.” — Erin Heiman
  • If the Archangel Gabriel was part of the choirs of angels at Bethlehem, he would have said “On to you a king is born, let us be rejoice and be glad.” — Morgan Westlund

 St. Joseph School, Green Bay, Grades 3 and 4, Mrs. Linda Gerlach

  • Gabriel might have said, “Mary just had a baby named Jesus! Come to the stable where He was born. Jesus is the Son of God our Father.” — Owen Reich, grade 3
  • Gabriel told the shepherds to follow the star. He also told the shepherds that when they find they find the star at rest, they will have found Jesus Christ, our Savior of the world. — Shania Stache, grade 3
  • I think that Gabriel said to the shepherds, “Follow the star! Jesus is coming! He is the Savior that will forgive our sins. He will be the Savior of the world. Quick, come and follow me.” — Alexandria Haen, grade 3
  • On the hills of Bethlehem, Gabriel said to the shepherds, “Mary has received a child, Lord Jesus Christ, the world’s Savior. The Lord is coming! The Lord is coming!” — Paisley Wyrzykiewicz, grade 3
  • Gabriel said to the shepherds, “Shepherds of Bethlehem, listen! Our Savior is coming! Our Savior, the Lord is coming! Come and I will lead you to Him, the Savior of the World!” – Calleigh Forgette, grade 3
  • I think that Gabriel said to the shepherds, “Come, your Savior is born!” — Jordan Ingold
  • Gabriel might have said to the shepherds, “Behold, the King of the World, God’s only Son will be born at a stable. You can find him under the biggest star. You will see Jesus in a manger. When he gets older, He will save you from all evil.” — Jasmine Rodgers
  • Saint Gabriel said to the shepherds who were guarding their sheep, “Come with me to the Baby Jesus, the Son of our Holy Mother Mary and God, Our Father. He is our Savior of the World.” — Nic VanderLeest, grade 4
  • Gabriel brought good news to the shepherds. The best news of all! On this day the Savior of the world is born. His name is Jesus. Gabriel and his coir of angels sang, “Glory to God in the Highest and Peace and Good Will to All.” — Zachary LeMieux, grade 4
  • Gabriel said to the shepherds, “Our Savior is here, our Savior is here!” Then Gabriel led the shepherds to Christ — Dylann Kersten, grade 4
  • I think that Gabriel said to the shepherds, “Shepherds, do not be afraid for I am a messenger sent from God. I would like to say that our Savior has been born in a stable in Bethlehem. Follow the North Star and you will find Him.” — Aiden Dunlap, grade 4
  • I think Gabriel said to the shepherds, “The Savior of the world is coming tonight. If you want to see the Savior, go to Bethlehem and you will see him lying in a manger!” — Sydney Whitehouse, grade 4

 St. Gabriel School, Neenah, Grade 3, Mrs. Benrud

  • If the Archangel Gabriel was part of the choir of angels at Bethlehem, what did Gabriel say or do on that night? “You will save the world from sin. Blest are you Son of God. This is the Messiah. The Savior of the world is here. This baby will save the world.” — Christian Vindhurst
  • If the Archangel Gabriel was part of the choirs of angels at Bethlehem, what did he do that night? The Archangel Gabriel is God’s messenger. Here is what he could have said. “Praise to the King of Heaven and Earth! He’s The Messiah. He’s finally here! Worthy to God! Sing to the Lord. Glory to God! Praise the King!” — Julian Kuehn
  • If the Archangel Gabriel was part of the choir of angels at Bethlehem, what did Gabriel say or do on that night? The Archangel Gabriel is God’s messenger, and one of seven Archangels. The message that Gabriel said is, “Do not be afraid to visit the Messiah, for he will do great deeds to the world. He has a great power. He is very important.” — Nicholas Anderson
  • If the Archangel Gabriel was part of the choirs of angels at Bethlehem, what would he say or do that night? The Archangel Gabriel was God’s messenger, and one of God’s seven archangels. The message he might give could be, “I bring you good news. Blessed are you, for you are here to see the Messiah, for he will perform many miracles. The Messiah will die for you, and your sins will be forgiven. — Emily Vogel

 St. Gabriel School, Neenah, Grade 4, Mrs. Buss

  • If the Archangel Gabriel was part of the choirs of angels at Bethlehem, he would have said, “He is cute, tiny and loving, and best of all, he is the Son of God.” He would’ve prayed to God and said, “Thank you, God, for the Messiah. Thank you, God, for everything you ever did, especially this. I will guide him always.” — Chase Collins

 St. Margaret Mary, Neenah, Grade 4, Mrs. Zeinert

  • I think that when Gabriel was in the angel choir, she said, ‘This night will be remembered for millions and millions of years! It will be because this is the birth of the Messiah that God promised, the Christ, and the great Lord, Jesus: Let us celebrate!’ That celebration is Christmas. — Jonah DeWitt

 Lourdes-Seton School, Oshkosh, Grade 4, Mrs. Krohn

  • I think Gabriel would say “Mary, I told you that you would have a baby. The people will call him the Son of God. My angels will look after him his whole life. He will have more power than any man alive. He will teach what his father told him to teach.” That’s what I think Gabriel would say. — Ethan Olson
  • “Holy Mary, you have born a son, the Savior of the World, Prince of Peace, Hosanna. Through this, you shall be called Mother of God.” When Gabriel said this, the Archangel placed the cloak that the angel was wearing over the stables and said a blessing. After, the angel flew into the night sky and vanished.
    — Sophia Johnson
  • When Jesus was born, if the Archangel Gabriel was present, I believe this is what he would say and do: As the angel approached Mary, Gabriel said, “I say to you, this child is a gift from heaven. He shall do great things and will be remembered billions of years later. He will suffer, for he is God’s son.” — Addison Peck

Grades 5-6

Holy Trinity School, Casco, Grade 5, Mrs. Waterstreet

  • If the Archangel Gabriel was part of the choirs of angels at Bethlehem, I think he would congratulate Mary and Joseph. He would also throw a big feast for the whole town. They would eat fish, bread, olives and figs. He would give Jesus a crown, silver coins and a robe. He would bless everyone there. — Ashley Naze
  • If the Archangel Gabriel was part of the choirs at Bethlehem, he would go to Smart Cow and buy everybody ice cream. — Bailey Davister
  • If the Archangel Gabriel was part of the choirs of angels at Bethlehem, Gabriel would say “My beautiful child now that you are born the world will be a better place for all to live in.” He would love Jesus, give him gifts and care for his family so that they would be in good hands forever. To not be scared for their lives.” — Paola Ramos-Razon
  • If the Archangel Gabriel was part of the choirs of angels at Bethlehem, Gabriel would sing them a song. — Derrik Duckart
  • If the archangel Gabriel was part of the choirs of angels at Bethlehem, he would go to Smart Cow and buy everybody ice cream — Matt Wery

Holy Trinity School, Casco, Grade 6, Mrs. Waterstreet

  • If the Archangel Gabriel was as the nativity, I think he would say, “For the lord Jesus is born! Let us celebrate and be glad! Now let the chorus begin. Now here come some men on camels to bring the lord three gifts of great importance.” That’s what I think he’d say. — Marconi Santana
  • If the Archangel Gabriel was part of the choirs of angels at Bethlehem I think he might of said, “Boy God’s getting good! Let’s go celebrate!” — Isaac Baudhuin
  • If the Archangel Gabriel was part of the choirs of angels at Bethlehem, he would say, You have born a son. You should name him Jesus.” — Graham Davister

St. Mary, Greenville, Grade 5, Mrs. Yvonne Alexander

  • If the Archangel Gabriel was part of the choirs of angels at Bethlehem, Gabriel would have gone to tell the whole world about the birth of the Messiah. — Paige Gindt
  • If the Archangel Gabriel was one of the choirs of angels at Bethlehem, Gabriel would be the one announcing that the Messiah is born. — Lucas Wise
  • If the Archangel Gabriel was part of the choirs of angels at Bethlehem, Gabriel would have shouted out, “The Savior is here let all rejoice and be glad!” — Lydia Ewing
  • If the Archangel Gabriel was part of the choirs of angels at Bethlehem, Gabriel would have announced Jesus’s birth since he is a messenger. Gabriel would also have sung with the other angels. — Sophia M.
  • If the archangel Gabriel was part of the choirs of angels at Bethlehem, Gabriel would have been singing and he would have told the entire world that the Messiah has come. — Matthew Betchner
  • If the Archangel Gabriel was part of the choirs of angels at Bethlehem, Gabriel would have very loudly and sweetly sing “the Messiah is coming!” all over the tiny town of Bethlehem. Then, watch with his eyes sparkling, the little baby king be born in the hands of Mary and Joseph in a stable. After, so gentle and sweet, sing once more, “the Messiah is here!” with the rest of the choir of angels. — MaKenna Butzin
  • If the Archangel Gabriel was part of the choirs of angels in Bethlehem, Gabriel would have said, “Do not stop believing the one true God. He loves us all an even amount.”  And then Gabriel would say, “God loves us so much He is sending Messiah to turn light on the world. Rejoice and celebrate in prayer!” — Marissa Londre

St. Gabriel School, Neenah, Grade 5, Miss Vancil

  • If the Archangel Gabriel was at Bethlehem when Jesus was born, I believe Gabriel would’ve blessed baby Jesus. He might’ve been the one who wrapped Jesus in swaddling clothes. He might’ve sung praises in a wonderful voice. If he was there, he would’ve been the last to leave. That is how our happy story will come to an end. — Dylan Dwyer

 St. Gregory School, St. Nazianz, Grades 5-6, Mrs. Patty Wilhelm

  • If the Angel Gabriel was at the birth of Jesus I think he would have said, “You are the Messiah, our Savior, the Lord Son of God.” Then Gabriel would have held Jesus’ hand and said, “You are the Incarnation. You are God and man. You will protect us forever.” — Zen Bonde, grade 5
  • The Angel Gabriel saw Mary enter the stable. Down he flew. There he hugged Jesus and blessed him. “You are the Son of God.” Gabriel whispered a prayer and prepared Jesus’ bed. Gabriel then threw a star into the sky, high as it could go. He danced with the other angels and sang, “Gloria!” — Gretchen Augustine, grade 5
  • Angel Gabriel said at the birth of Jesus, “How beautiful you are the Messiah. How royal are you the God that will change the world into a better one? When I saw you my heart was happy because you made me hope I will sit next to you and praise you forever.” — Randolph Ochas, Grade 5
  • If I was Angel Gabriel, I think I would say, “He will be a good one and a good protector of God’s kingdom. He will save many lives of poor people in God’s kingdom by dying on the cross to forgive people for generations to come.” — Ethan Joas, grade 5
  • Gabriel said to Jesus, “You are the Son of God who will heal and bless many people. You are the Messiah who will save the world from sin. I bless you in the name of the Lord our God. Amen. I say to you, I will pray for you always. I have faith in you.” — Isaac Egan, grade 6
  • Gabriel would have given Jesus angel wings because Jesus will use them to raise people from the dead. Mary would be proud of Jesus. Someday he will help people that are sick. — Brice Schoenberger, grade 6
  • “I love you and you are the most holy Savior,” said Gabriel as he blessed Jesus. Then Gabriel gently and ever so slowly drifted over to Mary. Mary was still in awe that an angel from heaven was here on earth blessing her baby boy. Then Mary thanked Gabriel for his blessing of Jesus. — Alayna Peterson, grade 6

Grades 7-8

St. Gregory School, St. Nazianz, Grade 8, Mrs. Patty Wilhelm

  • Mary wept in joy; she delivered a baby boy. The angels sang the praises of God. Then a bright light shown upon Jesus. Angel Gabriel appeared and said, “Mary, you have given birth to the Savior. God sends his love and many blessings. Someday the world will praise your name.” Then he disappeared and Mary rejoiced. — Rachael Peterson
  • Mary sat in the stable, gazing at the baby Jesus. Angel Gabriel was on the rooftop, waiting to say hello. Shepherds came carrying sheep, and three kinds came carrying presents for the newborn. Gabriel, still on the rooftop, sang praises of glory, for our Savior had come. When the visitors left, Gabriel came and said, “Thank you.” — Olivia Pitz
  • If the Angel Gabriel was at the birth of Jesus, he would have said, “Rejoice! Rejoice!” As everyone gathered around, he would tell them the good news that our savior is here. They then would praise God. After that Gabriel would go to the new child and kiss him on his forehead. — Elijah Egan
  • The Angel Gabriel would be joyful, because in the presence of God, we all would be overwhelmed by his power. He would bring baby Jesus a gift that is invisible to humans; something we can only feel in our hearts. The gift of strength, love, patience, or wisdom. “Glory to God,” he would sing. — McKenna Augustin

Just for Kids Art Winners 2015

Grades pre-K through 2

First place: Ethan Long, Grade 2, St. Mary Greenville. Teacher Mrs. Doverspike

Second place: Allison Mae Stromske, first grade, Lourdes Academy, Cabrini site. Teacher Mrs. Landowski

Third place: Winston Ogden, kindergarten, St. Gabriel School, Neenah.

Grades 3-4

First Place: Mackenzie Jaeckels, Grade 4, St. Gabriel School, Neenah. Teacher: Mrs. Buss

Second place: Kathleen O’Connor, Grade 3, Lourdes Academy, Seton site. Teacher: Mrs. Landowski

Third place: Jordyn Jacobson, Grade 4, St. Gabriel School, Neenah. Teacher: Mrs. Buss

Grade 5-6

First place; Clare Vogel, Grade 5, St. Gabriel School, Neenah. Teacher Miss Vancil

Second place: Julie Zimmerman, St. Margaret Mary School, Neenah.

Third place: Maverick Schry, Lourdes Academy, Seton site. Teacher: Mrs. Landowski

 

Grade 7-8

First place: Clare Foss, Grade 7, Most Blessed Sacrament Parish, Oshkosh

Second place: Maria Foss, Grade 8, Most Blessed Sacrament Parish, Oshkosh

No third place awarded.