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Top Five Books about Santa

Every Christmas, shops are flooded with books about Santa. But what are the most famous Santa stories?

We’ve had a look around the industry and come up with the top five, most popular classic stories about Santa and his world.

The Night Before Christmas by Clement C Moore

Published in 1823, it is a delightful poem about a father being disturbed by the noise of the arrival of Santa Claus and his eight reindeer on the roof. He sees Santa sliding down the chimney with a sack of toys and filling the stockings hanging by the fireplace. As Santa flies away, he shouts out ‘Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night’.

Letters from Father Christmas by J.R.R.Tolkien

Best known for his wonderful Hobbit and Lord of the Rings stories, Tolkien also wrote a series of enchanting letters from Santa Claus. For twenty years, he wrote a special letter every year from Santa to his children talking about mischievous elves and reindeer, as well as the North Polar Bear and his cubs, Pasu and Valotukka getting into trouble. There are also descriptions of the giant fireworks that create the Northern Lights. Each letter was accompanied by cheerful illustrations drawn by Tolkien.

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer by Robert L May

When storms blanket the North Pole on Christmas Eve, Santa Claus has a problem. His sleigh cannot take off as the reindeer are unable to find their way through the storms. Only the arrival of a young reindeer called Rudolph saves the day. Rudolph had been born with a bright, luminous red nose causing lots of teasing among the other reindeer until that fateful stormy night. It is only Rudolph’s red nose that is able to light the way through the storm and allow Santa to deliver toys around the world.

Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs

Guaranteed to make anyone smile, this is a very human Santa Claus facing problem after problem. He’s worried about catching a cold and gets annoyed with too tight chimneys as he tries hard to deliver presents on Christmas Eve. Then there are the unexpected problems encountered along the way such as trying to get into a caravan to leave presents for some children. The comic strip style makes it instantly appealing and visually fun showing Santa living in a normal house with his pets for company.

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

First published in 1985, it is partially set in the author’s home town of Grand Rapids, Michigan and was inspired by his memories of visiting local department stores as a child at Christmas. A little boy is awakened on Christmas Eve by the sound of a train. Going outside, he discovers the Polar Express has arrived at his door ready to take him to see Santa. On arrival, Santa offers him the first gift of Christmas. He can choose whatever he likes.

The little boy asks for a bell from a reindeer harness. Placing it in his pyjama pocket, he watches Santa and the reindeer fly off into the darkness before returning to the train, only to find that the bell gets lost through a hole in his pocket. But, on Christmas morning something special happens. There is a small package under the tree containing the bell, along with a note from Santa saying he found it. The book ends saying that ‘though I’ve grown old, the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe.’