THE SECRET LIFE OF SANTA CLAUS

  1. I've wanted this book ever since I first read it at a friend's apartment almost 20 years ago. My husband snagged a used copy (Chronicle Books, 1996) this year and it's as charming as I remember. I've been flipping through it and reading it out loud to the girls for the past two days. Some favorite entries, from A to Z...
  2. Attention: If you see a bus full of Santas, you can be sure that they are fake Santas and you should not pay any attention to them.
  3. Bread: Santa loves bread. On Christmas Eve you could leave some out for him on your slippers (if they don't smell too bad).
  4. Confuse: Sometimes Santa's elves disguise themselves as red-and-white toadstools. It is important not to get the two things confused and, above all, not to eat either one, because you could die.
  5. Distribute: The elves invented an ingenious machine to distribute presents. Sadly, it doesn't get used very much, because it sends the presents all over the place.
  6. Elf: Some elves do everything they can to look like Santa Claus, but they will never be as big as he is.
  7. Flag: Santa's flag is very heavy for the elves to carry, and it serves no real purpose.
  8. Guard: Santa has an elf who guards his boots. It's a bit of an exaggeration to say that he's a real guard, however, because he often falls asleep in his chair.
  9. Helmet: In the Middle Ages, Santa had enemies. He had to wear an iron helmet when going through forests. Nowadays he just doesn't care: he still has enemies, but he doesn't wear a helmet to protect himself anymore.
  10. Idiotic: Santa is often horrified by the completely idiotic stories that are told about him in some children's books.
  11. Jolly: It would be much more jolly if ambulances were painted red on Christmas Eve.
  12. King: You could call Santa Claus the King of All Children.
  13. Love: Santa Claus loves all animals, even the really ugly ones. In fact, he probably loves them more than the others.
  14. Medal: There used to be a medal with Santa's picture on it that was given to good children. Nowadays, you don't see it around much anymore, and besides, you don't see that many good children around anymore either.
  15. Nap: Sometimes Santa takes a nap in the cradle he had when he was a child. He is still very fond of it.
  16. Ostrich: When he goes to Africa and has to travel around by ostrich, Santa becomes very uneasy, and so does the ostrich.
  17. Passion: One of Santa's passions is sailing. The elves don't like it much, but they follow him everywhere.
  18. Quilt: One day Santa's elves gave him a quilt, but it was far too big.
  19. Rainbow: We don't know, and no doubt ever will, if Santa flies under or over the rainbow.
  20. Sleigh: Sometimes Santa gets out his luxury sleigh. It is a little flashy, however, so he usually puts it away again and takes out his ordinary sleigh.
  21. Toy: Santa always tests the toys that he makes, but he gives them to children even if they don't work because it's better to have a toy that doesn't work than not to have a toy at all.
  22. Unrecognizable: Clean-shaven, Santa is unrecognizable and he frightens the elves.
  23. Violin: When Santa plays the violin, his nose gets in the way. It's sad because he would really love to be a violinist.
  24. Wagon: One day, for fun, Santa's elves climbed into the wagons at the present factory. They had a terrible accident, which goes to show that you should never do things like that.
  25. Xylophone: When calling his elves to dinner, Santa only hits the red keys on his xylophone. If he makes a mistake, the elves don't come to dinner.
  26. Youthful: Although Santa Claus is old, his eyes give him a youthful expression.
  27. Zebra: The Christmas zebra is an ordinary zebra, but it has red stripes instead of black stripes and it doesn't exist.