Monday, December 28, 2009

"The Red Suit Diaries: A Real-Life Santa on Hopes, Dreams, and Childlike Faith" by Ed Butchart

My rating: 5 out of 5
How the book came to me: borrowed from the local library

Product Details:
Published: October 1st 2003 by Revell (first published 1999)
Details: Hardcover, 224 pages
ISBN 0800718143 (ISBN13: 9780800718145)

Description from Goodreads:
Tom Brokaw said it best about the author: This Santa ''can only be described as the real thing.'' With warmth, humor, and wonder, Ed Butchart shares his stories as a professional Santa Claus in The Red Suit Diaries. Deftly combining his Santa persona with his passion for God, Butchart reveals himself as a once-hardened Marine who found Jesus and began to serve others in unusual ways. Readers who open The Red Suit Diaries will find themselves transfixed-from Santa's day job refurbishing medical equipment for the disabled, to the sweetest of secrets whispered in Santa's ear and written in letters, and the story of how he unknowingly found ''Mrs. Claus.'' Woven throughout is a faith-and a joy of giving-that energizes Butchart's mission to spread love to all kinds of children and adults. This fun-spirited, inspirational read will delight collectors of Christmas books and anyone who's a child at heart.

My thoughts:
I walked into the library today with the intention of borrowing an audio book for the car and walked out with not only that but also this book. I sometimes feel like when I am at the library, more so than at a bookstore, that books call out to me. I'll be in front of a shelf and one spine and title will pop out and it always seems to be just what I was in the mood for! This one was set on top of a shelf in a Christmas display and I saw it out of the corner of my eye. I am so glad that I decided to take it home with me. It was a very enjoyable, uplifting read.

There is something magical about Christmas and this year I am not ready to let it go. The tree is still up along with the decorations and I am in no hurry to take everything down, not because of the work involved but because I am not ready to let go of the magic. In high school my best friend and I started going to get our picture taken with Santa. We haven't done it every year, but we have quite a few we've had taken over the years. There is a part of me that wishes I could still believe, maybe even to a certain extent still believes. Ed Butchart sounds like the perfect Santa. His stories are warm and real, a few times my eyes teared up and a few times I laughed out loud. One of the holiday traditions I started with my own children is a picture with Santa. Our first picture has one child, the second and third have two, then there are three of them and now there are four. I dread the day when they stop believing and hope it can go on for a few more years at least.

This book is broken down into four section on hopes, dreams, childlike faith, and believing. The author and his wife not only work as Santa and Mrs. Claus for December but at other times of the year as well. I never thought about how hard it could be to sit in a chair all day holding children. While he admits that many of the children blur together, there are some very special stories about a few children and families to touch your heart and bring to mind the true meaning of Christmas. Along with acting as Santa, Butchart is also a minister who works with a church and is a founder of a company that repairs and places wheelchairs and parts for free for families with a need.

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