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Book Review: Santa and the Christ Child by Nicholas Bakewell

Jesus Christ or Santa Claus? In this classic children’s storybook, the two meet to show us the true meaning of Christmas.

Santa Claus and the Christ ChildFor Catholics and people of other Christian denominations, Christmas provides us wonderful opportunities to introduce the concept of the Baby Jesus to our kids. It is also a great time to read meaningful Christmas books with our children, especially ones that teach values and portray the true meaning of Christmas.

One such book is "Santa and the Christ Child" by Nicholas Bakewell. I am so grateful we were able to find a copy of this book at Booksale two years ago, just in time for Christmas. As Catholic homeschooling parents, my husband and I had already previously decided to focus on Jesus’ birth at Christmas, instead of Santa Claus or other well-known Christmas “icons.” This book helped us teach our young kids about Santa’s true “place” in the Christmas story.

We "introduced" Santa to our children by explaining that his roots are in the Catholic saint Nicholas (mostly byusing resources from the St. Nicholas Center website). In “Santa and the Christ Child” though, author Nicholas Bakewell portrays Santa as the gift giving, jolly old fellow who lives in the North Pole with all his helpers and reindeer.

Bakewell, himself having portrayed the role of Santa at Christmas time to thousands of children over a period of more than thirty years, doesn’t forget to “put Santa in his place”. During his days as Santa, he never failed to remind kids to wish the infant Christ Child "Happy Birthday" on Christmas morning. In fact, he was inspired to write this book because of his personal experiences "playing Santa" to children.

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