It’s almost Christmas,
Don’t you think its time you learned the truth?
The American version of Santa Claus may have roots in northern Europe, even as far back as ancient Christianity. Thanks to the Max Pepin diary, New Englanders witnessed a certain Santa Claus cross New England skies on the first Christmas Eve. It all started here, with this short story called The First Ride: The Real Story of Santa Claus.
Do you believe in Santa Claus? “If it weren’t for my grandfather Max, I might have become a non-believer as well.”
So begins the tale of how Nicolas Claus came to join the family of Max Pepin for a time in this warm, nostalgic story of life on a real-life farm in the 1870s. Readers will grin at this candid peek into Max’s diary, where an undercover Santa Claus is judged as “too fat to be much good for farm work” and the Kringle children sneak into the chicken coop in the middle of the night.
But where, exactly, did this strange Claus family come from? Was it Hungary? Finland? Max and his tender-hearted wife, Rose, begin to have their suspicions. Something just wasn’t adding up… What kind of children didn’t grow taller than three feet? What kind of family never seemed to sleep?
None of that mattered, though, when Max discovered that his son’s life was in danger. The only question was, would Max, Nicolas, and eight fleet-footed reindeer make it to him in time?
More books and stories…
‘The Phone and Other Short Stories’ is a collection of nine short reads that in all, creates a battleground between the likes of Hitchcock and Twain. It’s a compromise of satire and science, of time travel and tall tale, but mostly just good fun. Titles include The Phone, A Man of Proverbs, A Bitter Climb, Stall, Gleason Snickell and the Search for Love, In the Woods Where the Widow Sings, Sweet Tooth, Awkward and The First Ride: The Real Story of Santa Claus.
The 19th-century legend and humorist Mark Twain once said, “If that rapscallion Bryant ever makes it into this world, pay no mind and remove yourself, lickety-split! His tomfoolery and short story shenanigans will decompose your sense of humor, as well as your belief in the hereafter or wherever your horse will take you!”
“I might have come across Gary in a fire tower up in Washington State he was scribbling something about time travel. Can’t say I really knew him. Though I understand that his old man sold one helluva Drake’s Cake.” – Jack Kerouac