(Bob Staake for The Washington Post)

(Click here to skip down to the winning and Losing entries to our Ask Backwards contest)

From Week 585, back in the middle of the George W. Bush administration:

To “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”
Putin the Red knows tactics
He learned at the KGB.
Rigging Ukraine’s election,
That’s a covert specialty.
He’s not for spreading freedom,
He just wants complete control.
Mr. Bush, one suggestion:
Look again into his soul. (Harvey Smith, McLean, Va..)

Fourteen years ago, and only one of the names has changed. In the Empress’s first song parody contest, Loser Harvey Smith referred to the president’s response when a reporter asked him if he could trust Vladi­mir Putin: “I looked the man in the eye. I found him very straightforward and trustworthy — I was able to get a sense of his soul.”

After all these years, we again combine two of the E’s passions: song parody contests and Christmas songs. This week: Write a song about something in the news lately — political or otherwise — using a Christmas, Hanukkah or New Year’s tune. We’ll give you an extra week to get the parodies done. If you make a video, we might feature it in the online Invite, but it’s the quality of the lyrics that matters most.

Submit entries at the website wapo.st/enter-invite-1306 .

Winner gets the Lose Cannon, our Style Invitational trophy. And since we’re getting our holiday season underway, second place receives a dainty collectible porcelain toilet ornament, in a gift box. Martha Stewart always includes one of these on her own tree. Well, she should. Donated by Kyle Hendrickson.

Other runners-up win our “You Gotta Play to Lose” Loser Mug or our Grossery Bag, “I Got a B in Punmanship” (or perhaps a new design). Honorable mentions get one of our lusted-after Loser magnets, “We’ve Seen Better” or “IDiot Card.” First Offenders receive only a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener” (FirStink for their first ink). Deadline is Monday night, Dec. 3; results published Dec. 16 (online Thursday, Dec. 13). See general contest rules and guidelines at wapo.st/InvRules. The headline for this week’s results is by Jesse Frankovich; Jesse also wrote this week’s honorable-mentions subhead. Join the Style Invitational Devotees on Facebook at on.fb.me/invdev. “Like” Style Invitational Ink of the Day on Facebook at bit.ly/inkofday; follow @StyleInvite on Twitter.

The Style Conversational The Empress's weekly online column discusses each new contest and set of results. Especially if you plan to enter the parody contest, check it out at wapo.st/styleconv.

And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago . . .


In Week 1302, our perennial Ask Backwards contest, the Empress listed 15 “answers” and asked for the questions. Too often for individual credit, the Supreme Court softball team was said to have no one who’d play in center field, or that its games always ended up 5-4. And that a pith helmet is what should be worn to a golden shower.

4th place:

A. Grace at the Trumps’ Thanksgiving dinner.
Q. After Lisa at the White House Halloween party and Julie at the Veterans Day breakfast, whom did he grab next? (Jesse Frankovich, Grand Ledge, Mich.)

Yule log not included: This ornament is this week's 2nd prize
3rd place

A. The Supreme Court softball team.
Q. What is the latest place Brett Kavanaugh was caught trying to steal third base? (Peter Jenkins, Bethesda, Md.)

2nd place

and the squeezy eyeball and splatty poop emoji:
A. An almost-everything bagel.
Q. What favorite food did Elizabeth Warren cite as evidence of her Jewish heritage? (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

And the winner of the Lose Cannon:

A. A pith helmet.
Q. After her idea for special makeup was rejected, what did Megyn Kelly suggest that Melania wear on her Africa trip? (Bob Kruger, Rockville, Md.)

Flat is the question: Honorable mentions

$3.33 AN HOUR
What is half the minimum wage in Hell? (Robyn Carlson, Keyser, W.Va.)

What is Metro’s latest fare for a trip from Dupont Circle to Metro Center? (Ira Allen, Bethesda)

What’s probably not the best way to receive your Mega Millions winnings? (Jesse Frankovich)

How much would it now cost me to have my event catered by Mario Batali? (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)

What’s a good breakfast choice for people who are allergic to kitchen sinks? (Rob Huffman, Fredrericksburg)

Which Dunkin’ Donuts product contains every ingredient except taste? (Mike Gips, Bethesda)

What name change did the deli’s lawyers suggest for the everything bagel? (Dudley Thompson, Cary, N.C.)

When you straight-arm the cash register guy, run behind the counter and scream “HOLD THE CARAWAY, DAMMIT!” what do you really want? (Sharon Neeman, Pardes Hanna, Israel)

What is Imbibe and Consent? (Jeff Contompasis)

What is Ring Around the Rosé? (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)

What are someone Trump always puts down, something he never puts down, and something he never picks up? (Bob Kruger)

“Can you please read the instructions on this Budget Back-Hair Removal Kit?” (Will Stutzman, Millersville, Ohio)

What words were discarded from early versions of McDonald’s slogan “You deserve a break today”? (Beverley Sharp)

What’s a thing that falls when it’s cold, a thing that rises when it’s hot, and a thing that goes back and forth when fall rises? (Jesse Frankovich)

What is “Let us prey”? (Mark Raffman)

What includes lots of bragging about electoral college totals? (Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)

What is as rare as chitlins at the Trumps’ Thanksgiving dinner? (J. Larry Schott, West Plains, Mo.)

When a dozen new indictments are announced on Nov. 22, what will Fox News be airing? (Allen R. Breon, Clarksville)

What are three choruses of “I Feel Pretty”? (Joshua Rokach, Silver Spring, Md.)

You say your new puppy is snippy, wags his tongue a lot, and won’t stop yelping? (Mark Raffman)

You wanted to name your son an anagram of a country, but didn’t like “Uper”? (Jon Ketzner, Cumberland, Md.)

After the call from Verizon, what name did Mr. and Mrs. HearMeNow choose for their son? (Connie Schott, West Plains, Mo.)

What drives the opposite SECs wild? (J. Larry Schott)

What product’s slogan is “For when you want to ‘go private’?” (Mark Raffman)

How does Tesla prevent “new-car smell”? (Dave Christovich, Woodstock, Va., a First Offender)

What perk makes the $175 million fare for the SpaceX moon flight such a bargain? (John McCooey, Rehoboth Beach, Del.)

What was the entirety of that Sexy Sir Henry Stanley costume? (Jeff Contompasis)

What do you need if you’re on the ground floor of a two-thtory outhouth? (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.; Dana Austin, Palmyra, Va.)

What hat protects its wearer from the glare of an African sun, but not from the glare of a media spotlight? (Lawrence McGuire, Waldorf, Md.)

What is “Philately Phunhouse”? (Jeff Contompasis)

What is “Finding the Real Killers, With O.J. Simpson and Mohammed bin Salman”? (Duncan Stevens)

What is “Money-Saving Halloween Ideas With Megyn Kelly”? (Ivars Kuskevics, Takoma Park, Md.; G.T. Bowman, Falls Church, Va.)

What’s “Dan Snyder’s Greatest Sports Moments”? (John Hutchins, Silver Spring, Md.)

What is “In Pog We Trust: Legends of the 1990s Milk Cap Craze”? (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)

What comes on before “A Charlie Beige Christmas”? (Art Grinath, Takoma Park, Md.)

What do you use to make the Pumpkin Spice Blahtte? (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village, Md.; Jeff Shirley, Richmond, Va.)

What did the grandparents call their ordinary grandchild? (Kristin Braly, Baltimore)

After the ball, what public transportation did Cinderella take to get back to East Middling? (Warren Tanabe, Annapolis, Md.; Frank Osen; Will Stutzman)

Who’s No. 1 in the D.C. Justice League? (Chris Doyle, Denton, Tex.)

What team has no pitchers because they’ve switched to kegs? (Gary Crockett)

Whose mascots are named the Racing Precedents? (Jeff Contompasis)

Whose pitcher would have been drafted by the Red Sox had Game 3 gone one more inning? (Hildy Zampella, Alexandria, Va.)

Okay, what can you tug on? (Dave Christovich)

How does Donald Trump refer to his mother? (Robert Schechter, Dix Hills, N.Y.; Bird Waring, Larchmont, N.Y.)

Still running — deadline Monday night, Nov. 19: our Googlenopes/Googleyups contest. See wapo.st/invite1305.

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