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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Review based on ARC.

There's a lot of magic in a book like this. It was encouraging and hopeful reading about all the ways in which the spirit of Christmas is alive and well. I personally agreed with a lot of Mr. Lizard's points and perspectives.

Sal Lizard is a "Genuine Santa" and has spent the past two decades reminding people, young and old, that the spirit of Christmas is what matters. The book really is a "feel good" book, and I spent many pages smiling, reminiscing, and, yes, wiping away tears.

The book does a nice job of going through the life of this genuine santa and many of his experiences, painting a complete picture of why his persona is more "genuine" than the rest.

What I didn't love about the book was really just that at times it seemed that the focus was more on Sal's good-deeds. BUT, to be fair, the book was not actually written by Sal. Sal told his stories, and the form they took in final publication may have been someone else's doing.

Indeed, Sal did do a lot of good in the world. I didn't necessarily agree with all of his lessons or goals, but I didn't have to, to enjoy the book, the stories, the people, and the spirit of Christmas. I particularly loved the story of Donna and have often hoped that I can someday make a similar, faceless impact on someone else's life.

Overall, a great "feel good" book for the holidays.
Definitely recommend!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover
You can tell that this isn't the type of book I would go out of my way to find. However it found me. Courtesy of the lovely man who wrote it.

I generally read bizzarro, horror and the likes. But I thought this would be an interesting and insightful read into someone's life. Someone who chose a career path which really does differ from the normal.

The title " Being Santa Claus" makes one think this will be an instruction manual, which in some cases it does teach you about being Santa but it's main point is to be several small stories gathered over various years.

Many of the stories collected in this book are sweet, touching and humerous, some however are quite sad. Which brings out a lot of different emotions in the reader. This emotional aspect was something I very much enjoyed.

The writing isn't complicated and the book itself is not very long so you will fly through it rather quickly. But sometimes it's nice to take a break from reality and just read something fun. But I guarantee atleast one of the stories will stay with you.

A very sweet book, glad I read it. Not something that has to be read during the Christmas period either, so buy it and re-visit the magic of Santa Claus.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon December 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher.

If your holiday spirit isn't up to par this year, I suggest you go pick up this book. I was a little skeptical about this book at first. I worried this it might be a little too gimmicky. After reading the first chapter, however, I was completely charmed.

This sweet memoir tells the story of professional Santa Claus Sal Lizard. Lizard recounts how he first got into the Santa Claus business and then tells many stories from his career about how he was able to change the lives of others and how they in turn changed his life. The book is completely heart-warming. I teared up several times reading some of Lizard's experiences. I also appreciated how he seems to have come up with some really great answers to some of those tough questions kids ask about Santa Claus. I'm going to use some them on my own child.

It's a short book and I don't want to give too much away. The book can easily be read in one sitting. Especially by the fire with a cup of cocoa. This is a man who truly embodies the Spirit of Christmas and has one of the best jobs in the world.

BOTTOM LINE: Recommended. If you are looking for some reading to get you in the holiday spirit, this is your book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 22, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
BEING A REAL BEARDED SANTA MYSELF I CAN TRULY SAY THIS IS THE BEST WRITTEN BOOK ON THE SUBJECT. I HAVE EXPERIENCED MANY OF THE WRITERS
STORIES AND CAN ATTEST TO THE JOY AND HAPPINESS EACH ONE GIVES ME.

BELIEVE IN THE MIRACLE OF CHRISTMAS.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 26, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Having had so many of these experiences myself, I found this book very informational as well as an excellent source of joy. For someone who has not had that experience, it is a great insight into what kind of a person becomes Santa Claus and it is not usually of his own choosing, but it is who he is destined to be. Being Santa is a blessing and will be a blessing to anyone who reads it. Merry Christmas every day of the year.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 7, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
This heartwarming, though occasionally heartrending, collection of stories from the author's 20 years of playing Santa will rekindle the magic of Christmas for even the most jaded of hearts.

This book is a keeper, one that I intend to re-read every Christmas. Outstanding!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2014
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Sal Lizard Being Santa Claus = Me Being Blessed

I like reading military history quite a bit, but this book has managed to be my favorite non-fiction book since I first read it in 2012. Many of the stories told in this book will make you feel so good! Reading this book never fails to put a smile on my face, and the Christmas spirit in my heart. Mr. Lizard was blessed to look like Santa Claus and adapt the spirit of the seasonal icon into his life, and I (will most likely be we if you read it) have been blessed by the authors sharing that experience.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 50 REVIEWERon December 20, 2013
Author Sal Lizard wrote in the Introduction to this 2012 book, "For the past twenty years, I've had the best vantage point imaginable from which to observe the enchantment of Christmas: behind a white beard and jolly smile. I've listened to thousands of excited children breathlessly whisper their innermost wishes into my ear, and I've channeled Santa's big-hearted kindness to soothe the fears of thousands more who cried... when they encountered the big guy himself... Somewhere along the way, not only did I learn to play Santa, but I also learned how to BE Santa... I'll admit I'm quite proud to be a naturally bearded Santa Claus... but it goes way beyond the physical resemblance. I've come to understand and---I hope---embody the spirit of all that Santa Claus represents. Santa believes that even the smallest child can make a difference, and he treats every one of them with love, dignity, and respsect... In my everyday life, I often ask myself, 'What would Santa do?' And I find that the spirit of the big guy himself always leads me to the right answer. And now I'm here to share with you my stories, in the hope that they inspire that twinkling spark of Santa in all of us." (Pg. 4-6)

He recalls, "As the weeks went on, I saw more and more how powerful an effect that red suit had on people. Everyone I encountered just seemed to light up when they saw me coming---adults included. They became happier, kinder, and most of all, more generous. People would do the most surprising things when they spotted Santa coming around." (Pg. 14)

He states that he tells doubters, "You see, Santa only visits children who believe in him. There comes an age where children start telling each other that there is no Santa Claus, and they stop believing. And that's okay, because there are a lot of other children being born, and it gives me an opportunity to take care of them. Of course, when children stop believing in me, parents usually take over the job of getting the presents. But parents tend to be very practical about their gifts, so they start giving kids things like socks and underwear for Christmas." (Pg. 45)

He advises, "Over the years, I've given a lot of thought to what frightens children when they see Santa Claus. Imagine it for a moment from their perspective. Santa, they know, is very powerful. He is the giver of toys. And if you think about it, the most important thing to children, after love, is their toys. He decides whether you've been naughty or nice, and how many toys you'll get as a result. That's a lot of power for one person to have! And no one seems to question his authority." (Pg. 97)

He admits, "Being Santa Claus has got to be the best job in the world. I get to spend two months out of the year hearing children's secret wishes and their pint-sized pearls of wisdom. Some of my most treasured memories are the chuckles I've gotten from kids just being open and honest. I never know what they'll say or do next." (Pg. 106) Of those who criticize Santa for being in shopping malls prior to Thanksgiving, he says, "people are looking at this in the wrong way... I see myself being out there simply to get people into the spirit of Christmas. When is it ever too soon to feel joyful?... when people say Christmas is too commercialized, it's because they, in their hearts, have allowed it to become that way. We all have to define things for ourselves." (Pg. 125)

This is an utterly charming book, that will be eagerly read by any lover of Santa and his lore.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 30, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
This is a very special book, just like the man on the cover! I wish it had more chapters! There were some tears mixed with smiles as I read this, it is a touching book by a man who takes his vocation seriously. I bought a few for gift-giving, too! Highly recommend this book for all who love the magic of the Christmas season!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 10, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I was interested in this book because I do Santa during the month of December too. This is one of the best little books I have ever read. It is well written and very entertaining. I can't say enough about how much I enjoyed it.
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