Title/Author: The Christmas Chronicles by Tim Slover
Publisher/Year: Bantam Books 2010
How I Got It: Won an ARC of it on Goodreads. Definitely surprised me.
Why I read it: I was looking for a non-corny Christmas read. I hate the Christmas cheeese in most books.
Rating: 4 ho ho ho worthy stars.
The Christmas Chronicles is the biography of Santa Claus. I know. It can’t really be a biography if the person isn’t real. But that is the easiest way to describe it–it is the biography of the man, the myth and the legend that was once so vividly real to most of us at a young age.
Slover creates the timeline of our dear Kris Kringle with the details of Santa we all knew as a child (the reindeer, coming down the chimney, etc.) and the tidbits of “legend” we heard about a real man that could have existed as a Santa Claus of sorts in his time and infuses into the story the things we’ve never heard about Santa. Clover convincingly fills in the holes for us. He takes us through his childhood and how he became a toymaker, his courtship with the future Mrs. Claus, how he got to the North Pole and where he is now. There is even an epic battle at the end! Did you know Santa had an enemy? We learn all the specifics–how those reindeer fly, how the big guy gets down the chimney and *gasp* what if there is NO chimney. The detail is incredible and the book is so short!
Slover creates this refreshing take on Santa Claus but does not lose the familiarity of the Santa that we all knew and love. He makes me truly want to believe in Santa again. On a deeper level, I liked the dialogue around rekindling belief and Christmas spirit. I know it sounds hokey. I’m not saying I’m going to go believing in Santa again or anything..because the underneath of my tree would be hella empty if I did that..but what I’m saying is that sometimes we need something to believe in to make us forget about the weariness of the world–the bills, finding a job, tough decisions, etc. We need hope and I think this book does what the legendary Santa was supposed to do for us — “heal the world of its hopelessness. Curing it of its grayness. Year by year helping the world remember that it has a heart.” We might not find it in a man named Santa who scarfs down cookies and creeps in our houses but we can find it in something.
My final thought: Read this if you are looking to be taken back to your childhood belief of Santa but more grown up and a complete story. Read this if you want to “know” Santa. It’s quick and the perfect length. It’s not mind blowing or anything but it’s a really good story of the “man” who is a part of some of our most cherished childhood memories.
So, friends. Let’s reminisce about the fat man in the red suit who may or may not have been seen canoodling with your mom. Tell me a favorite Santa memory, most memorable present from “Santa”, when you stopped believing in Santa/how you found out, how you handle Santa with your own kids/younger siblings. Anything Santa..I want to hear it! We’ll talk more seriously about Christmas later on this week but for now..it’s all about Santa baby.