MEGAN LOOKED LIKE little Cindy Lou Who among her stuffed
animals with her frilly nightgown and two saucer blue eyes blinking
up. George walked into her room with the toys all over the floor and
heard Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus floating out
of her MP3 player.
“Guess what, Daddy?”
“What?” he asked, moving a giraffe and a tiger on her bed.
“Mrs. Worthington said a bad word the other day in class.”
Megan nodded, her eyes getting bigger.
“We were talking about Santa, and I told the whole class that I
was going to bring a video of Santa and prove that he’s real, and then
Mrs. Worthington said it …” Megan leaned down, putting her hand to
her mouth. “It was the one that rhymes with hit but starts with an s.”
George nodded slowly. “Ah, yes. I know which one that is.”
“Everyone started laughing, and she got really mad.”
Megan held down her pink DSi and put the pointer into the slot.
“Maybe she was mad because I questioned her about global warming,
because she said that a lot of the icebergs are melting at the North
Pole, and I said that would be good for Santa if it’s getting warmer
at the North Pole.”
George felt his pulse quicken, a visceral tensing up.
“And what did Mrs. Worthington say then?”
Megan tilted her head, scribbling again on the small screen.
“She said that Santa was a myth and had no bearing on our conversation
about global warming, and that global warming had not
been proven to be caused by humans, and that the earth had natural
cycles of heating and cooling.”
“Bull,” George muttered.
“That’s what I said. I told her it was big oil and corporations that
have been polluting the environment and creating a hole in the ozone
layer and the greenhouse gas buildup, but she said that was opinion
and not based in fact.”
George shook his head. “Unbelievable.”
Megan eyes filled with tears, and she looked back down. The
Christmas magic seemed as if it might blow away like the snow scurrying
across the roof.
“What’s the matter, Megan?”
She shrugged and brushed her eyes.
“Will you tell me if I guess it?”
She shrugged again. George moved his glasses on his nose.
“Does it have to do with Christmas?”
“Maybe,” she murmured, brushing her eyes.
“Does it have to do with Santa Claus?”
“Did someone say something?”
“Yes … everyone says it’s not true,” she mumbled.
“What is not true?”
“Santa … they all say it’s just parents.”
“Who says that?”
“Everyone, Dad. They won’t leave me alone. And I tell them all
that I’m going to prove them wrong with my video.”
“And you are!”
Megan looked up with teary eyes.
“But what if Santa doesn’t come? Then everyone will call me a liar.”
“Santa will come,” he declared, looking at the chimney outside
“But what if he doesn’t, Dad, or I miss him?”
“You will not miss him. I won’t let that happen.”
Megan stared at him, her eyes sparkling. “Really?”
“Absolutely. You will videotape Santa Claus. I promise.”
Megan hugged him and did the little pat on his back she had
done as a baby.
“Thank you, Daddy. I was so worried.”
“Well, quit worrying. We will make sure we get a good video of
Santa to show your classmates.”
Megan brushed her eyes and nodded.
“You’re still coming to the party, right, Daddy?”
“Oh, good. Because Mrs. Worthington turned red when I said
you were going to be one of the helpers.”
“I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”
“I can’t wait to prove to everyone Santa landed on the roof and
went down the chimney and delivered the gifts and then went back
up and took off from the roof!”
“Don’t you think maybe just having a video of Santa on the roof
Megan shook her head. “Nope. I want to have the whole thing on
film …” Megan looked up in alarm. “You’re still going to let me use
the camera, right, Daddy?”
“Oh … sure … sure. I said I would.”
“Good, because I told Mrs. Worthington that you were, and she
didn’t really believe me. But I’m going to prove to her and everyone
else that Santa is real!”
Megan looked out the window and frowned.
“Daddy, why is that man working on our chimney? What if Santa
can’t get down the chimney?”
George stared at the window.
“He’s not still there, is he?”
“No. He left today. Mom said he was repairing the chimney so
Santa could get down it.”
“Well, that’s exactly what he’s doing. He’s making the chimney
just right for Santa.”
Megan looked at her father and raised her eyebrows.
“Well he better hurry up. He only has eight days left. That’s not
“Oh, I know. Believe me, I know.”
“Because Santa has to fit all the way down our chimney with all
our gifts. I can’t wait to see the way he squeezes everything down.”
“Me too,” he murmured. “That reminds me, have you finished
your list for Santa?”
“I mailed that off, remember?”
“Oh, right. What was the biggest thing on your list?”
George rubbed his whiskers and nodded slowly.
“Yep.” Megan frowned. “I wonder how he will get that down the
George stared out the window at the brick column.
“I have no idea.”
STARRED REVIEW BOOKLIST
"If somebody doesn't make a movie out of this book, there's something wrong with the world. This could have been played as an out-and-out slapstick comedy, but instead the author approaches the story like a character study: a portrait of a man with the best intentions in the world watching those intentions collide with reality. It's a steamroller of a story, starting small, with George's idea, and getting bigger and bigger as George tries to put the elements together, as his obsession takes him further and further away from reality. Beautifully done."
David Pitts Booklist
"The author marries the everyday dramas found in the novels of Tom Perrotta and Nick Hornby to the high camp of Carl Hiaasen or Dave Barry. Adults looking for a funny holiday-themed tale that doesn't lose its sense of wonder in the face of realism will find a treat here. A lovingly crafted comedy about the madness that fatherhood inspires."
Best-selling author Hazelgrove (e.g., Ripples; Tobacco Sticks) captures the human need to believe in something good. This book will satisfy readers looking for a happy Christmas story.-- Library Journal
"Hazelgrove's lively improbable narrative will appeal to the readers in the mood for holiday fiction."