Holiday Book Review: Life of Santa

This has got to be one of the best holiday season biographies I’ve ever read. Actually, it may be the only holiday-season biography I’ve ever read, since most biographies do not frame their life experiences within the context of a single holiday.

Sal Lizard is a man who spends a significant portion of his life, rear round, playing scheduled and impromptu Santa Clause performances and he is considered one of the best Santa Clause performers in the United States. His body shape and beard are real. The he actually looks so similar to Santa Clause in his regular everyday life that he frequently walks into large toys stores, to take a look around and to familiarize himself with the names and titles of anything new to the toy market, and children will start running up to him with a toy in hand, excitedly informing him that “THIS is want I want this year!”

This biography is filled with stories and anecdotes that include his introduction to the world of Santa Clause performance, many experiences interacting with people while in character and the way playing Santa Claus changed his perspective on life and the way he behaves day-to-day.

An excellent illustration of the way being Santa Claus changed his everyday life was the story of the young single mother who was to poor to buy her child a Christmas gift or a Christmas tree. She’d simply resigned herself to working through the holiday season (she was a food service worker) and not participating in the celebration. There would be no Christmas. Sal decides to help her out directly (he finds gifts for her daughter – mostly used but in excellent condition) and works with some friends to secretly deliver a tree to her front door. While those gestures are wonderful, the funny part is the fact that things just worked out that he knew this woman through his work and he changed jobs immediately after delivering the tree. So, from the woman’s perspective, this kind stranger who just happened to look exactly like Santa Clause hands her a bag full of gifts, delivers a tree to her door (in a locked building) while she is at work, and then vanishes off the face of the earth. When the woman called the company Sal had been working for, to thank him for his generosity, his former employers played along and told her the truth: He left and never came back. (shrug) Can’t tell you where he went, he was only here a few weeks.

My retelling of this story does not do it justice. It actually made me laugh out loud while getting all holiday-season warm and fuzzy inside. Correction, the entire book  achieved those goals. It’s a good-feeling biography that is simply filled with wonderful holiday-season inspired moments that encompass everything from laughter to tears.

If you are looking for a good book to read this holiday season, look no further than Being Santa Claus. It’s simply wonderful!

Quotes from this book can be seen HERE.

Being Santa Claus: What I Learned about the True Meaning of Christmas by Sal Lizard, Jonathan P. Lane

Children Are Important

Quote

Amazon.com

“Every child is special, every child is important, and every child deserves our respect. No child’s opinions or ideas should ever be stifled or ignored. Because ultimately, as Santa knows, the smallest among us can sometimes make the biggest difference.”

Being Santa Claus: What I Learned about the True Meaning of Christmas by Sal Lizard, Jonathan P. Lane

The Allure of Santa Claus

Quote

Amazon.com

“I think that for both children and parents, Santa Claus represents a welcome distraction from the harsher realities of life that many of us have to deal with. Children can tell Santa Claus their hopes and dreams the same way they might wish upon a star. And most parents wouldn’t ever want to dash those dreams or put limits on their children’s innocent optimism. Even in tough economic times—perhaps especially then—Christmas and Santa Claus represent a shining ray of hope. Sure, Santa might not give a child everything he or she wants, and honestly, I don’t think that many children truly expect that. To their little minds, though, it can’t hurt to at least ask, right?”

Being Santa Claus: What I Learned about the True Meaning of Christmas by Sal Lizard, Jonathan P. Lane

Santa’s Lists Have Power!

Quote

Amazon.com

“Santa’s lists of naughty and nice may be the stuff of legend, but from what I’ve seen, when Santa Claus is around, nobody wants to take any chances.”

Being Santa Claus: What I Learned about the True Meaning of Christmas by Sal Lizard, Jonathan P. Lane