Title: Real Santa
Author: William Hazelgrove
Publisher/Date: Koehler Books/ August 1, 2014
Format: ARC Copy
Real Santa by William Hazelgrove
George Kronenfeldt is an unemployed engineer with one shot to keep his daughters belief in Santa intact. When Megan tells him the only way she will believe in Santa is if she can videotape him and then tells her fourth grade class she will prove the existence of Santa Claus by posting her video to YouTube.
George realizes he must become the Real Santa. He devises a plan to land nine reindeer on his roof and go down his chimney, hiring a broken down movie director who eventually has him funding a full scale production that bankrupts him and and threatens his marriage. When George goes to find the Real Santa to help him, the line between what is real and magic is crossed. Real Santa is a funny heartwarming story of parenthood gone wrong and illuminates what lengths parents will go to keep their children happy.”
I know that Christmas has come and gone, and I had planned to have this review up earlier, but the holidays were a little hectic.
I chose to read Real Santa because of the summary of the book. It sounded like something that I would enjoy reading, and it was about Santa Clause. Real Santa is the first book that I have read by William Hazelgrove.
There is two weeks til Christmas and George was just fired from his job building bridges. Looking at the bright side of things, George looks at this as time he can spend with his daughter Megan. After being fired George arrives home, and discovers Megan is upset because her teacher, Mrs Worthington, said that Santa is not real, and that could not survive the harsh conditions of the North Pole, and it was to cold for him to possibly build his workshop there.
Megan looks to her father for answers. She asked him if Santa was real, and he of course says yes. So Megan ask her farther permission to stay up Christmas Eve and record Santa, so she can put the video on YouTube and everyone will know once and for all that Santa Claus is real! Her father agrees to let her stay up on Christmas Eve and record Santa.
George is bound and determined that his little girl with not have her hopes squashed. When he was a boy his own father told him that Santa was not real, and George told his own son that Santa wasn’t real. He was not going to make the same mistake with Megan. So starts the plan to be Santa Clause for Megan.
George takes a $50,000 line of credit out on his house, he draws up plans for his roof and what needs to be done so it will support the weight of a sled, and 9 reindeer. He hires a movie producer, rents 9 real reindeer, a sled, purchases a Santa suit, rents a smoke machine, a digital projector, and other equipment. Before it’s over George ends up spending $80,000 on his quest to make the ‘Real Santa’. Everyone tells George he is crazy, and his wife threatens to leave him, but he doesn’t stop.
Now, while I enjoyed this book, it wasn’t what I thought it would be. I thought there would be more humor, and lightheartedness. Instead it was mostly planning, family strife. While believing in Santa Claus when I was little, and when my kids were little is a magical feeling. Spending $80,000 on a rouse to make your child believe in Santa Claus is insane. I found that part of the story to be unrealistic. Who would actually do that?
This story is also about George’s relationship with his children from his first wife. It is not a good relationship, and they feel that George tossed them aside for his new wife and daughter. I liked how their relationship played out. I can see this book as a Lifetime Movie. While I would not read this book again, I would watch the movie (if ever there is one).
Language Warning– There is quite a bit of cursing sprinkled throughout this book, but nothing that is vulgar.
*I received an ARC for the author in exchange for my honest review.