The Saga of Santa Claus by M.D. Couturier
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Saga of Santa Claus is an origin story of Norse background. It narrates the beginning of the Yuletide gift giving tradition; the man behind the happy red suit; the elves who helped him make toys; and other little bits of Christmas traditions we all recognize and practice. Take for example the stockings filled with gifts and the mistletoe that hangs on every homes' door or window. These practices are unique to western culture but, from where I am from, families have adopted the custom despite the absence of snow and mistletoe. Perhaps, people are attracted to the idea and the novelty of it all. Mark Couturier explains why it is so and it amused me that Thor is the reason for this.
There are is of course, the presence of the Norse Gods in the story, like Odin and Frigga. There are fairies and goblins too. A magic ring and a magic sleigh complete the gifts bestowed upon the chosen one. The book starts out as a legend and finishes off into a myth that children of all ages will find delightful.
The best part for me was Valdor's climactic turn into the kind hearted man that he truly is. Spoiled from childhood, this crown prince story arc is a classic, almost canonical change spelled the difference in the entire novella. It is a good read this Christmas as we keep in mind the message of the season despite turbulent times. Kindness and compassion, friendship and humility, will save us from our greedy, selfish selves. Valdor experienced this through friends who stuck with him and strangers who didn't give up on him.
I believe that every man and woman, and child, has that constant companion who will love him or her, no matter what.
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