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About the author:
Timothy Collins is living his lifelong dream of being one of Santa's helpers. This book is a compilation of stories he started to write for his son, Daniel, now college age, when he was a child.
Collins is the proprietor of Then and Now Media. He is the author of Sandbag, a Christmas short story; Then and Now: Poems and Images; two books and numerous research reports on rural issues, and more than 100 essays for the Daily Yonder. This is his first Christmas book for children of all ages. He lives in Bushnell, IL, with his wife, Shannon L. Price.
Memories of Santa Claus
Louis Finnegan was a bright, imaginative boy who grew up in Holiday Falls, Ohio. He loved airplanes. Santa was his friend.
On Christmas Eve in 1927, when he was seven years old, Louis stayed up and waited for Santa. He hid behind a chair in his living room and watched as Santa sat down to sip eggnog and nibble on a cookie.
Santa rocked slowly. Pretty soon, Louis heard soft breathing and then a snort. The rocking chair stopped moving, and Santa began to snore. He was asleep!
Louis worried about what to do. But he summoned his courage and awakened the old elf. As Santa often said later, Louis saved Christmas.
A lifelong friendship began that night.
Before long, Louis's sister, Annie; his brother, Michael; and their best friends, Maureen and Colleen Bailey, also became friends with Santa and his elves. Santa's personal assistant, Henry, was a special friend and helped them keep in touch with "Mr. Claus." A magical music box that Santa gave to Louis for his birthday in 1928 let him and his friends visit Santa at the North Pole whenever they wanted.
Secrets don't last long in small towns. Santa's friendship with Louis and his friends soon became common knowledge, not only at the Holiday Falls School, but around the town. When the Great Depression of the 1930s put adults out of work and left their families poor and hungry, Louis and his friends were inspired by Santa's kindness and generosity. What started as a small club to help a few poor families soon included the town's residents in helping poor children and their families, not only at Christmas, but all year long.
Even as a child, Louis loved airplanes and dreamed of flying. As he grew up, Louis, with Santa's help, followed his passion and became a transport pilot. His adventures took him across the Great Lakes and Northeastern United States in fair weather and foul.
After World War II began, Louis became a captain in the U.S. Army Air Transport Command, flying troops and equipment back and forth across the stormy North Atlantic Ocean. On one trip, his plane was damaged in a storm, and he was forced to make a crash landing near an island off the Canadian coast. On another trip, he flew comedian Bob Hope and his United Service Organizations troupe to the British Isles to do Christmas performances for troops in the war.
Louis lived a rich life with Santa, his family, and his friends. As the story opens, Louis is flying to London as a captain for Trans World Airlines, where he went to work after the war. It is December 6, 1958, St. Nicholas Day, just weeks before Christmas. Henry visits the plane and asks Louis to meet with Santa in London when he gets there. Meanwhile, as the plane rumbles across the deep night of the North Atlantic, Louis reflects on his long friendship with Santa, his family, and his friends. He is looking forward to seeing Santa, whose friendship has given him so much joy during his lifetime.
- Publication Date:
- 0997787317 / 9780997787313
- Page Count:
- Binding Type:
- US Trade Paper
- Trim Size:
- 6" x 9"
- Black and White
- Related Categories:
- Juvenile Fiction / Holidays & Celebrations / Christmas & Advent