The Autobiography of Santa Claus

This book by Jeff Guinn is one of my holiday favorites. It’s a great history lesson, starting in the fourth century with Nicholas, Bishop of Myra. After a description of life in those days and an explanation of some of the struggles of early Christians, the story takes wonderful journey through the years, talking of Charlemagne, King Arthur, Teddy Roosevelt, and Amelia Earhart, among others. It also answers all kinds of questions. How does Santa get to all of those homes in one night? Does he really live at the North Pole? Are his helpers elves? What really happened to Amelia Earhart?

I usually start my holiday reading with Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. this book is always the next thing I read. I know a lot of people who object to Santa, felling that he takes the focus from Christ. I embrace Santa as a personification of the generosity of the season.

There are three things I really love about his book. First, and most importantly, it never loses sight of the real purpose of Christmas—to celebrate the birth of Christ. Second, it really does make history fun. Every person is placed in historical context. Finally, it never breaks the magic of Santa.

This is the first book in a three-book collection entitled The Christmas Chronicles.

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