If you’ve ever doubted the existence of Santa Claus, you should read The Autobiography of Santa Claus as told to Jeff Guinn. No, really. It’s not your usual Kris Kringle tale. It’s fascinating and flush with historical detail.
The book traces Santa’s life from the beginning, from the time he was a boy named Nicholas growing up in what is now Turkey. After his parents died when he was 9, he was cared for by people at his local church. His generous and kind nature manifested itself early when, as a 12-year-old, he secretly gifted a local man’s daughters with enough silver coins for dowries. He credits his parents’ good example.
“As long as people are remembered by someone, they’re never completely gone. My parents were generous people, and I’m sure that somewhere they’ve enjoyed watching their son go on to such an unexpected – and long – career.”
And the rest is history. Literally. Saint Nicholas and his many faithful friends venture through wars, famine, and disease epidemics, and play roles in many world-changing events while spreading love and joy and kindness throughout the globe.
Would you believe the notorious Attila the Hun is part of the North Pole inner circle? Or that Arthur of the famed roundtable helps with the gift-giving? Would you be surprised to learn that Amelia Earhart wasn’t lost to the sea? Or that Leonardo da Vinci, Sequoyah, and President Teddy Roosevelt still shape world history?
The Autobiography of Santa Claus recounts how Nicholas and his wife, Layla, meet each of these men and women who have made major contributions to human development, like electricity, art, navigation, anatomy, and video games. And it describes how Saint Nicholas came to be known as Kris Kringle, Santa Claus, Father Christmas, and Befana.
If you’re not already a believer, this book just might change your mind. Either way, I hope Santa fills your stocking with peace, love, joy, and a good book.