HO HO HO!

The Christmas Chronicles: The Legend of Santa ClausTitle/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.

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 30 year old married lady who is in denial that she's actually that old. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, listening to music with oversized headphones and having adventures with her husband and dog.

Comments

  1. A biography of Santa! Wow! It sounds like the perfect holiday read.
    Santa Claus was a big part of my childhood. It took me years to realize that Santa was actually my father 🙂 My sister who is 4 years younger to me was always cynical about Santa.On the other hand, I believed in Santa until I was 12 years old !
    My most memorable present from "Santa" was when I received the first 3 parts of Harry Potter . I was 11 years old , I think .

  2. Misha– I was in denial about Santa for a long time as well! Such a letdown when you find out it is your parents all along 😛 I'm glad I wasn't the only one excited about getting books for Christmas although new Barbies were always at the top of my list!

  3. I initially laughed when I read 'biography of Santa Claus,' but this actually sounds REALLY interesting!

    I have three brothers who are significantly older than me (15-20 years) and when I was a child they picked on me a lot….and ruined Santa for me when I was about 3. I pretended to believe in Santa simply to keep my parents at bay….isn't that weird? I had an odd childhood 🙂

  4. LOL I kept laughing when I wrote it..but it was the only way I could explain it. It was really interesting. I'd be happy to send it to you if you want it!

    I found out and kept pretending too! I had a little sister so I did it mostly for her but for some reason I felt so bad telling my parents that I found out at school

  5. Santa would always leave us a note with all of our presents. I figured out there was no Santa when I realized the note was in my Dad's handwriting.

  6. Hahaha Liz. You were a smart cookie! My mom was so clever with it all. She would write differently and had different wrapping paper and all those shenanigans. They did a good job deceiving us 😛

  7. Ah I'd love that! If you don't mind 🙂

  8. Liz, my parents did that too! I noticed the handwriting was VERY similar to my dad's but I refused to believe it… until I went searching for Christmas presents and found them all in a trash bag in my basement. That did it for me.

    Jamie, my parents were good with stuff like that too. My mom was smart enough to alter her handwriting on the tags.

  9. This story is a radio drama too and Mr. Slover reads part of the story! The radio program is full of sound effects and music that really bring the story to life. It begins with the wind that Tim describes in the opening scene. There are two main readers–the modern day narrator (Tim Slover) and the narrator of The Green Book, Richard Johnstone.

    It is a fun and FREE listen for anyone this holiday. My nieces especially liked to hear the sound of the bells! Anyway, the series can be heard via the website of the station that produced it. Just go to Classical89.org and type Christmas Chronicles in the search box on the right; or you can just follow the link http://www.classical89.org/programs/christmaschronicles/episodes/

    Merry Christmas to you and yours! And help spread the word!

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