A few weeks back when I talked about the things I’ve been reading this year, I wrote about the Oz books by L. Frank Baum. I got through listening to most of them and then just had to give up.
The just didn’t have the same appeal that they had when I was eleven. I wonder why.
But, along the way, I became intrigued by the fact that. L. Frank Baum had also written The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus.
A sometimes Santa myself, I was intrigued.
In fact, full disclosure, I’d already been considering that my next script might be a one-man show with Santa telling some of his favorite stories.
Then I found this book and realized that it’s in the public domain.
No. Not quite.
As I mentioned regarding the other books they’re all a lot simpler than I recall. Sometimes painfully so.
Yes, they’re written for children. But I could stand to re-read Richard Scarry and Dr. Seuss a lot more often than these books.
So, simplicity aside, and recognizing it for what it is, I thought I’d give it a try.
I was disturbed, or perhaps more disappointed, from the outset.
As someone who has portrayed St. Nicholas, both as the modern Santa and as Father Christmas, I am moved by the story of the (tth…) century priest to gave of his family riches to families in need.
While commercialism and Hollywood and multiple other things have morphed St. Nicholas into the image we have of Santa today, I knew and understood the origins. Nicholas gave because of his deep Christian faith.
So, when Baum talks about a Baby that the wood nymphs found and raised…well…I’m a little disturbed.
I get that this is fantasy. I get that while Santa is based on an historical figure, the Santa we recognize today is a mythical being.
And I get that Baum wasn’t exactly mainstream Christian. In fact he and his wife became members of the Theosophical Society (look it up, I’m not about to try to explain that one).
So, while I can’t expect Baum to follow the Christian beliefs and recognize the Christian origins of Santa, I’m just not fond of where he took the story.
All that to say that, yes, I can mark this off as one of my books on my quest to read fifty in 2018, but I wouldn’t recommend it as great reading.
And it’s nowhere near what I was hoping for in terms of source material.
Lesson learned. That’s what’s most important.
It’s Friday. By the time we all return here on Monday, Doublewide, Texas will have closed and the set will be struck.
We have a few tickets left.