Charming Christmas novel for cynics. Tom Douten (that is, Doubting Thomas) writes a column for the Chicago Tribune, usually a hard-hitting, often sad story about the poor and needy. He decides to attend an advanced journalism class at Northwestern led by Professor Noella Wright. The two are opposites in temperament: Noella's an optimist, while Tom tends to seek the tragic. And she's got a necklace with a platinum disc on where her birthday is inscribed as December 24th. She tells Tom that Santa gave her the necklace but made a mistake on that date. A doubting Torn decides he wants to research Santa, and gets his editor to finance a trip to the Black Forest (home of Kris Kringle) for an in-depth Christmas piece for the paper. When his small plane goes down over the Black Forest, killing the pilot and another passenger, injured Tom crawls through the forest until he passes out. After he awakens, he's being cared for by Kris Kringle and his wife and helpers, the elves. Kris explains to Tom part of the mix-up about the necklace, then shows Tom how he makes the necklaces. Noella, meanwhile, thinks Tom is dead in the plane crash. Needless to say, things work out, and the reader may even come to believe in KK along the way. Part of the delight here is Tom's analytical mind at work on what seems sheer fantasy: a love story not be left behind when orders for inspirational titles are filled out.