Going back over his diaries, the jolly old elf himself presents an omnium-gatherum of Christmastime lore, customs, history, literature, fond memories and personal notes.
The text opens with an appreciation of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and closes with the full text of Clement Clarke Moore’s renowned verses (though without addressing the controversy of their authorship). In between, the loquacious memoirist wanders over the holiday map with disquisitions on elves, reindeer and seasonal foods; activities from snow festivals and winter sports to his own summer vacations; references to Christmas films and music; recipes for gingerbread and other treats; a tally of international alter egos and selected aw-shucks requests from children met in “grottos” all over the world. Santa’s narrative, printed in an elegant if not particularly legible script, comes decorated with headers in, often, silver ink, painted scenes both new and old, two big sparkly pop-ups and over a dozen detachable artifacts ranging from a real sixpence and a paper crown to an elf’s union card and an instructional booklet for sleigh drivers. Along with full measures of holiday spirit, readers will come away with answers to such common questions as what Santa does with all the “tipple” left out for him (he recycles it into “a jolly useful biofuel” with a spell) and how reindeer can fly (hint: methane emissions).
A ribbon tie adds an additional touch of class to this handsome, informative gift item. (dedicated website with full-page images) (Novelty. 8-12, adult)