For those of you that have children that are starting to question if Santa Claus is real and you want them to believe for a few more years, let me share a book with you. The Book is called The Autobiography of Santa Claus: It’s Better to Give and is edited by Jeff Guinn. I found this book a few years back and shared it with my son when he was eight years old. It is the perfect bedtime read aloud, for before Christmas, because it has twenty five chapters. If you start reading it on December first or right after Thanksgiving, and read a chapter a night, it ends nicely on or about Christmas Eve.
The book starts out with an editor’s preface that explains how Jeff Guinn was invited to the North Pole to help Santa Claus write his memoirs. Jeff describes the Workshop and the people he meets and sees there. The story starts, from Santa’s recollection of his early years and how and why he started giving presents and why he did it anonymously. It tells about him being a Priest, then a Bishop and about his gift giving exploits. About Chapter five we meet Santa’s friend and oldest companion Felix. It is about this time that Santa starts to explain his magic.
The story not only explains his magic and how he uses it but also tells all about the many special people who helped him through the years and still do; people such as Attila the Hun, St. Francis of Assisi, Marco Polo, Benjamin Franklin, Teddy Roosevelt, Amelia Earhart, King Arthur and Layla (better known as Mrs. Claus). Santa explains throughout the book, by relating different stories, how the toys are distributed to all the kids in the world and how he is known by different names. He also tells how many different writers and poets have changed the way he has been received over the years and how these writings have changed the world’s perception of him.
As I said, I shared this story with my son when he was 8. For three or four years after that, when kids in his class would say they didn’t believe in Santa, John would tell them he did. The reason he did was because he had heard Santa Claus’ own version of how and why the Magic of Christmas is real. I personally liked the story because it gives a lot of historical background that is accurate. All of this makes The Autobiography of Santa Claus one of my favorite books, not just around Christmas, but always.