How Santa Got His Job
Simon & Schuster, 1998
Santa Claus did not come into the world with his trademark red suit and curly white beard. He wasn’t always jolly and overweight, full of love and good cheer. When he was a young man he went looking for a job, but it had to be an outdoor job, not one that kept him stuck behind a desk in an office.
At first he tried cleaning chimneys but he was so neat and clean that no one believed he had done any work.
Then he tried working for the post office but the traffic snarls frustrated him so he started delivering packages at night – but people did not like to be woken then and complained.
And so it went on – each job he tried had its pitfalls and problems until one day, after being fired from the circus he meet some elves who are toymakers and Santa’s perfect career was born.
This is an amusing twist on the more traditional story of Santa Claus but totally believable if you are Miss 3 who just adores it. An internet search shows that it has great appeal for older kids as well as it forms the basis of many lessons about “Why do we need a job?” as well as cause and effect and sequencing, but my little ones like it because it’s funny and it helps them make sense of this Santa-thing and they enjoy Christmas even more. The illustrations are very detailed and are an integral part of the story. Schindler has taken Krensky’s words and brought them to life, each working with the other in the way perfect picture books should. Setting some of them against a background of Help Wanted advertisements shows the thought that has gone into them.
This is another of those stories that I have from many years ago and which I’ve kept to share with the grandchildren so they are now family favourites.