Almost everyone equates Santa Claus and the giving of gifts with Christmas, but what event was the catalyst behind this centuries-old tradition?This delightfully illustrated children's story is sure to become a tradition for you and your family as the holiday rolls around each year. Christmas is a special time of celebration and one in which we have time to reflect on what is most important.
About the Author
In 2012, Soraya established the non-profit corporation, As the Stars of the Sky Foundation, Inc., to assist with the physical and spiritual needs of children. All proceeds from the sale of her books go toward the foundation. Please visit www.asthestarsofthesky.org.
Read an Excerpt
It's Not About You, Mr. Santa Claus
Dear Mr. Santa Claus,
It's me again — a kid. I know I've written lots of letters to you before with long lists of gifts I wanted for Christmas. Well, not this year. This letter is different.
I discovered that the real meaning of Christmas has nothing to do with you at all. It is about a very special gift. I want to tell you about this gift.
By the way, how are you and Mrs. Santa Claus doing? Have you lost any weight? Did your helpers, the elves, grow any taller? Do you still like cookies and milk? Are you still wearing that red, furry outfit? I've always wondered, what do you wear in the summer time?
I know you like to ride on your sleigh with the reindeer and give lots of presents to kids. Someone told me recently how that all got started. I was very surprised to learn it had nothing to do with you!
It's a great story that I want to share with you, so I suggest that you get a nice comfy chair and sit down and relax.
The real Christmas story began a long time ago, when a Roman emperor named Caesar Augustus ordered that a census be taken. A census is when all the people had to be counted.
At that time, a man named Joseph and his wife, Mary had to take a long journey to the city of David, known as Bethlehem, for the census.
It wasn't an easy journey as Mary was going to have a baby soon. The baby would be her first child. When they arrived in Bethlehem, they were very tired. So many people had traveled to the city for the census that there were no rooms left at the inn. The only place the innkeeper had to offer them was the stable, where all the animals were kept.
So Joseph and Mary and their donkey went to the stable to spend the night. I mention their donkey because they didn't have cars in those days. People usually rode donkeys to travel.
The stable was filled with all kinds of animals — cows, sheep, goats, donkeys, and horses. I wonder what Joseph and Mary thought about that? I think they were very grateful for a place to rest after their long trip. Of course, the donkey didn't care because he was with his own kind.
That night, Mary gave birth to the baby, right there in the stable. They named him Jesus, which means Savior. They laid him in a manger to sleep, because they didn't have a crib. Do you know what a manger is? It's a wooden box where food is placed for the animals to eat. I wonder if the baby was comfortable inside that manger?
Mr. Santa Claus, I learned that this baby wasn't just an ordinary baby, so the story doesn't end here. In fact, this is just the beginning. You might want to get a snack of cookies and milk now, while I tell you the rest of the story. What happens next is amazing!
Some shepherds lived in the fields near Bethlehem. I don't think you have any shepherds in the North Pole, do you? Well, let me tell you a little about shepherds. They take care of sheep and live out in the fields with them. They have a very important job because they protect the sheep from wild animals. And, they don't have to take baths or do homework. That's a good life, if you ask me!
One night, when the shepherds were out in the field, an angel suddenly appeared and a bright light surrounded them. The shepherds were surprised and scared. The angel told them not to be afraid! He proclaimed: "I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people."
Do you want to know what the good news was from the angel? It was the first Gift ever given to the world! It was the baby, Jesus, who had been born in the stable! The angel called him a Savior, Christ the Lord.
He told them exactly where to find the baby, wrapped in cloth, lying in a manger. I'm sure that the shepherds would never have thought of looking for a baby in a stable!
When the angel finished speaking, many other angels appeared to the shepherds, praising God, and saying, "Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased."
The shepherds were so excited to see what the angel was talking about that they ran all the way to Bethlehem to find the baby Jesus.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "It's Not About You, Mr. Santa Claus"
Copyright © 2015 Soraya Diase Coffelt.
Excerpted by permission of Morgan James Publishing.
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