Mr. and Mrs. Claus retire to Mistletoe Island, leaving the elves in charge at the North Pole, but they find that a life of leisure in a warm climate is not for them.
At first, they enjoy their new activities: walks on the beach, hula lessons and surfing. The reindeer arrive on the island for a visit, but they sadly return to the North Pole when Santa announces his permanent retirement. Before long, the quiet catches up with Santa, who misses his old routine, and Mr. and Mrs. Claus return to their old home. They soothe the upset reindeer, restore order to the toy workshop and decide that an annual vacation to Mistletoe Island will be enough to keep Santa in a jolly mood year-round. Computer-generated illustrations provide amusing images of Santa in his new athletic activities, and the reindeer are a comical cast of sidekicks. A tiny mouse character in a Santa hat can be spotted on every spread, along with a red crab he befriends on the island, creating a miniature secondary story as the two little creatures interact. The theme of Santa being tired of his job is a common one, and one more likely to be understood by adult readers than by the intended audience.
Mildly amusing, but not a Santa story that children will ask for again and again. (Picture book. 5-8)