Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Autobiography of Santa Claus

I actually first saw this book at a library in North Carolina in browsing the titles on the shelves. One of my favorite smells is books in the library. I could just take a chair, close my eyes, and sit down in the middle of a section and smell to relax myself. It should be made a candle scent. I believe that the title alone gives the synopsis. Also, if you don't know who Santa Claus is living in this country then you must either be a Jehovah's witness or have been living in complete, utter hermit type living; without t.v., magazines, radio, CD player, computer ,or newspaper your entire existence.
Although, I have self proclaimed myself as a Grinch this year. I still have deep down in my heart the desire to celebrate this time of year. I was raised with the belief in Santa Claus. We set cookies out for him the night before. We woke up to stockings full of goodies and presents under the tree from Santa. It was always exciting. I came to the age of about 10 and figured it out on my own that my parents were actually "him" It was not devastating or sad...I just was getting older and it was just matter of fact.
My family has decided not to have Santa Claus be a part of our traditions. Not that I am dead set against it. My kids, on their own accord, like to pretend he exists. They will say he is not real to adults but never have spoiled that fun for any other kid. (this just happened to be sheer luck...because that was always my fear is that my children would just end up telling some other child all in innocence that he is not real causing conflict between that parent and myself.) This year they want to leave cookies out for Santa but know that Mommy is going to eat them. They like to go see him at the mall and sit on his lap. Yet, they know it is not really him. It was just a personal conviction for us, as their parents, we did not want to lie to them and tell them that there is somebody who will leave them gifts for them only if they are really good. This really yanks my chain. I can not stand to hear anybody say to their children or mine "Have you been good this year?" or "Santa won't come to your house if you are bad" That is not why my children receive gifts. If it is for that reason, then that means our love for them as parents is based on what they do not who they are as a person. It can be very confusing and make them think they have to earn love from those that are closest to them. I will now step down from my soap box. I have explained to them that St. Nicholas was a real person and Santa Claus came from that. As a matter of fact, that is what our social studies lesson will be on in the month of January. Yet, despite our decision to do so, I deep down love the idea of Santa Claus. I love to have all my Santa Claus figurines out during this time. I love to read the Night before Christmas, I love the movie classics from when I was a kid about Santa Claus (speaking of which it is a little sad that I can not turn on Miracle of 34th street or It's a wonderful life and see it on at some point every day this season), even part of me still wants a present under the tree coming from him and the cookies not to be actually eaten by myself.
This is one of the things I loved about this book. It will make you go back to your childhood and believe in him. This book is written like an autobiography and there is a lot of historical truths in it about who he actually is. It goes through many centuries and is just a joy to read especially if you like historical reads. Yet, at the same time it is fiction...Let's face there is only one person that lives forever....Jesus!!!! This book is actually the first in a three part series and I WANT THEM ALL!!! You can actually get them in one book called "The Christmas Chronicles" (hint hint for a Christmas present) Even if I don't receive it, I am pretty sure it will be on clearance at Barnes and Noble the day after Christmas and I will buy it. I plan to read it every Christmas season. there is even a lot of reference to Jesus and what Christmas is really about. There are a couple references to a "higher power that Santa believes in" and some "tree hugging tambourine playing hippie ideology" but I chose not to dwell on that agenda. I just chose to let it bring me back to my childhood beliefs and allow my Grinchy heart to not be two sizes too small.

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