more on Santa

The Santa Papers is now available on Kindle.

Remember you don’t have to own a Kindle to read a Kindle book: they can be read on a variety of platforms including your own computer.

You can read an excerpt here.

This is short project—six short chapters— and can easily be read, even out loud, in an evening. I’ve posted my slightly tongue-in-cheek Forward to the book below.

If you read it and enjoy it please share it.


I was on sabbatical at the university where I teach, reading several books about Nicholas of Myra, when I received an unexpected manuscript by email which purports to be the autobiography of the world’s most widely recognized Christian saint.

All efforts to trace its origin have been unsuccessful, but as a service to those interested in Saint Nicholas I have translated the document from fourth century Greek, using my three years of high school Latin.

Nicholas was, of course, the 4th century bishop whose legend has given us Father Christmas, Kriss Kringle, Sinterklass, Weihnachtsmann, and other manifestations of Santa Claus. Fortunately in this manuscript, Nicholas is able to tell us how he became Santa and how he feels about it.

I recognize that the unauthorized autobiography of man who has been dead almost 1700 years may be rejected by those who don’t believe in him, but those less skeptical will find here a record which I’ve verified against the most ancient manuscripts; or at least against almost a dozen contemporary books which recount the details of how Nicholas became Santa.

It’s a story I have chosen to let him tell himself, with only minor alterations in the historical record and with full recognition of his humble beginnings as a pastor now remembered as wonderworker, gift giver, and both religious and commercial icon.

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