Journalist and author.

The Santa Claus Man

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7 True Holiday Tales to Put You in the Christmas Spirit

Posted on December 08, 2015

I love reading classics like A Christmas Carol or The Gift of the Magi around the holidays (not to mention watching movies like A Christmas Story or Scrooged, considered a classic among my family members). But while fictional tales of Christmas spirit go great with spiced cider and the scent of evergreen, I find that nothing beats true holiday stories. That’s what initially drew me to tell the true story in my new book The Santa Claus Man, about a clever New York publicist who created a group that answered thousands of children’s Santa letters. In researching the book, I encountered a number of other fun and fascinating true holiday stories. From tales of real-life Santas and Christmas charity, to the histories behind familiar holiday traditions, here are some nonfiction titles that will add to your holiday cheer.

General Washington’s Christmas Farewell by Stanley Weintraub

If you think you’re happy to get some time off with your family around the holidays, imagine how General George Washington felt in 1783, when he learned a peace treaty had been signed with England and that he could return home at the end of the Revolutionary War. Weintraub takes the reader back to this moment, as the war hero travels through New York City, Philadelphia, and Annapolis, bidding farewell to his soldiers and choosing not to assume a position as virtual king of the US, but instead to head to Mount Vernon for the holidays.

A Secret Gift by Ted Gup

In 1933, during the worst of the Great Depression, a Romanian immigrant living in Canton, Ohio, set out to bring some Christmas cheer to dozens of families, placing an ad in the local newspaper, offering cash to those in need. While the story would make for a touching holiday tale on its own, almost as fascinating is the family investigation the author undertakes, as the lead character is his own grandfather. Delving into aspects he never knew about his relative, and interviewing many of the descendants of those helped by the generosity, Gup offers an uplifting story ideal for when family is gathered during Christmas.

Read the rest at BookBub.

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