I came to read this book because I see the same thing every year: Santa Claus is fake; Santa Claus is bad; Santa Claus teaches materialism.
Santa Claus was a part of my childhood growing up. But my mom also taught me that Santa Claus is really Saint Nicholas. And while our modern image of Santa Claus differs from Saint Nicholas, like Santa is from the North Pole, has Reindeer, Elves, etc. I still see Santa as Saint Nicholas.
I see Santa Claus as something positive and Santa to me teaches positive things like Saint Nicholas did.
So, I did decided to look for books to learn more about Saint Nicholas and how he became what we know today as Santa Claus.
I loved learning the history of Saint Nicholas in this book. He was really a good person. Caring and he really did give gifts. After the history of Saint Nicholas, the book began about how his popularity grew and about the different legends and traditions that became associated with his feast day (December 6th) and you can definitely see the similarities with our modern Christmas traditions and our modern Santa Claus. It was really interesting reading all of that.
But after that, the rest of the book is just Christmas addresses that were given by different Presidents. I think the book could have done without those and maybe dug more into the history of Christmas and its traditions.
Although I am giving it three stars, the first part of the book with history of Christmas, Saint Nicholas and Christmas traditions, definitely deserves five stars. It is well-written and very interesting. But with the most of the book being just Christmas addresses that were given by Presidents makes the book itself, in my opinion, only three stars. A few would have been fine, but most of the book is just Christmas addresses and I think that many were too much.
However, the book is worth a read alone just for the history of Saint Nicholas and Christmas.