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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
“What would YOU like for Christmas, Santa?” Christmas is a magical time of year, made more magical by the legends of that jolly old character from the North Pole. To many, Santa Claus may be considered a myth, a childhood story, a story to share with the very young and those who believe easily. But his presence is part of the magic of the season; he is the spirit of joy, caring, and giving. To play the role of Santa, to wear a Santa costume and actually chant his characteristic, Ho, Ho, Ho, allows a person to connect with others in a unique and compassionate way. People open up to Santa differently and Santa can, and often does, become the conduit to better things. Like a person feeling very alone at Christmas, an unusual question from a girl who was sporting her new prosthetic legs, a boy wanting to connect with his father who was fighting overseas – the list of unusual and unexpected questions can be endless. But to a veteran Christian, posing as Santa Claus, this is an opportunity to share the true spirit of the season and give others the profound sense of hope that many of us first experience when we’re very young and anxiously anticipating the wonders of Christmas morning and what Santa brings.
Jack Gannon is that once-a-year Santa. He shares his memories of the years before and during his annual sojourn as Santa. His book, I Walked In Santa’s Boots: Lowcountry Christmas Memories, is a collection of stories about the people he met on his Santa journey, sharing the spirit of the season with his community, mostly military, across northern Beaufort County, South Carolina. The stories are told in a conversational, storytelling way and the reader is instantly immersed in the magic and passion of this veteran storyteller. Complete with photographs of some of his stellar moments as Santa, this memoir of Christmases past is a sweet and endearing look into the spirit of Christmas. The author’s personal motto is to "Maintain the Reality of the Illusion,” and he has certainly done that and more. This collection reflects on one man’s journey through Christmas, year after year, and his personal epiphany of sorts as he feels the true spirit that his costume and role playing personifies. Very profound and heartfelt. Loved it!