Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Story Description:
eBook ISBN: 978-0-9860573-0-4
Ever wondered how Santa Claus came to be?  This book will permit you and your family to enjoy Santa Claus and the other secular customs of Christmas within the Christian celebration of Jesus’s birth.  For little children, Santa Claus becomes a real person delivering presents to them from Jesus.  Each Christmas season, reading a chapter a night will become a holiday tradition for the entire family. 
The tale begins with Shai and Adi, the childless owners of an Inn in Bethlehem.  When Shai rents out their bedroom, they must sleep in the stable.  During the night, Joseph and Mary arrive and Adi helps Mary through a difficult labor.  They bond, and when an angel appears telling Joseph to flee Egypt with Mary and Jesus, Shai and Adi go with them and become Jesus’s uncle and aunt.
The book tells of Jesus growing up with his friends Mary Magdalene and John, his ministry, and his death and resurrection.  These vignettes teach the lessons of life and the Bible through Jesus’s experiences. 
The book concludes with Shai and Adi following the Lord’s Star to the North Pole, where angels have built a palace.  Jesus wants Shai and Adi to raise the baby angels there until they reach adulthood.  The baby angels, or elves as the grown angels derogatively refer to them, are a mischievous lot.  Shai becomes known as Santa Claus when a baby angel mispronounces “Shai, Uncle of Jesus,” claus being the angelic word for uncle. 
Jesus also wants to give a present to each boy and girl on his birthday.  Christmas Day, a tradition he began during his life when he gave presents to his family.  As part of their training, once a baby angel sprouts wings he or she is assigned to watch children and make toys for them.  On Christmas Eve, Santa flies the sleigh to heaven to present the new adult angels to God, and then flies around the world delivering Jesus’s presents to the children of the world. 
The book is a story within a story, told by a visiting uncle to a little girl and her nephew.  Each night before bedtime beginning on December 6th, St. Nicholas’s Day, and continuing through Christmas Eve, the uncle tells part of the story.  Instead of numbers, the chapters are titled by day.  The book can be read as a normal book or a chapter each day, and it can be read to oneself or out loud to children.  When read out loud, the chapter lengths vary between 10 and 15 minutes. 
Wherever you may live, and by whatever name that you may know him – Santa Claus, Saint Nick, Kris Kringle, Father Christmas, Pere Noel or Sinter Klaas – you will never forget the true story of Santa Claus, as you read it every Christmas with your children, who will someday read it every Christmas with their children too.
My Review:
Aunt Trixie, Uncle Aaron and cousin Jack were visiting from Jerusalem for Christmas.  Kalie and Pinkie were so excited that they kept asking Mom when Daddy would be back from the airport.  No sooner had she told them that the flight from Jerusalem had already landed, everyone arrived at the door.  The kids were so excited!  
Uncle Aaron was apparently a very good story teller and Kalie asked if he’d tell one.  Uncle Aaron was more than happy to comply.  He began by telling Kalie, Pinkie and Jack that this particular story took place in a little town called Bethlehem which was approximately a half day’s walk south of Jerusalem. 
Shai and Adi lived in an Inn and pretty much every other inn was full because people were registering for the tax rolls.  Adi was a bit miffed at Shai because he’d rented out their bedroom for the night when Adi thought they’d be sleeping on the kitchen floor instead.  But, Shai was offered double the money for the bedroom so he just couldn’t refuse.  He strolled outside to collect some extra blankets from the stable when he was approached by a man named, Jadon.  He asked Shai if he had any room left in his inn for himself and his family.  Shai told him he did as long as they didn’t mind sleeping on his kitchen floor.  Jadon was more than happy to do that for it meant they’d have shelter from the coming storm. 
Suddenly, Adi was calling: “Shai! Shai!” and he knew he was in trouble for she had just discovered that he’d also rented out their kitchen floor as sleeping space.  Adi demanded to know where they were supposed to sleep and when Adi answered: “the stable…” she was shocked to say the least.  But, nonetheless Adi said she’d bring their dinner out to the stable. 
Uncle Aaron and the rest of the family enjoyed a nice dinner together and told the kids that he’d tell them more of the story every day until Christmas, but decided to tell them a bit more before bedtime. 
The storm was fierce with loud thunder and gusting winds.  The noise woke Adi.  She got up to fix a slamming shutter when she saw a man with a woman on a donkey standing outside the inn.  Wrapped only in her robe she approached the couple.  The man said his name was Joseph, and his wife, Mary was pregnant and feverish.  Adi immediately ushered them with their donkey into the stable.  Mary was burning up with a  fever and about to give birth.  After laying her down it wasn’t long until baby Jesus was born.  What a miraculous night this had turned out to be! 
The following day Shai and Joseph were sitting outside sharing a bag of almonds.  Shai was almost asleep when suddenly a bright light flashed through his closed eye lids.  Right before him was a huge man wearing a brilliant white robe.  The giant man told them his name was Uriel, an angel of the Lord.  He told them that the baby Jesus was “the long promised savior of the Jews and the other people of the earth” and that He “must be raised in the ways of God so that He is prepared for His destiny.  King Herod had heard of Jesus’s birth and was fearful that he would “usurp the crown of Israel from him and his heirs.”  So, he had already ordered his soldiers to leave Jerusalem at sunset, march to Bethlehem and kill the baby Jesus that very night!  They were warned that the soldiers would break through the doors of the inn at midnight so they therefore must run at sunset. 
What is going to happen now?  What are Kalie and the other kids’ reaction to Uncle Aaron’s story?  And where does Santa Claus enter into all this? 
Scott Roloff has penned a most beautiful Christmas story that every family should read together every year.  For me the best way would be to read one chapter each day until Christmas just like Uncle Aaron did in the story as it helps the tension mount and gives the children lots to think about until the next installment.
Thank you Mr. Roloff for writing a most precious story that can be shared again and again and again for generations to come. 

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