Thursday, November 27, 2008

Santa Responds (Book Review)

The package from Running Press was sitting in the mailbox when my boys and I were on our way out the door. Since we had a bit of a drive ahead of us and they enjoy opening mail, I passed the packet to the back seat while I started the car.

"Dear Santa, I really want some pink ballet slippers..." my 11-year old began to read aloud. Thus began a ride full of laughter, shocked gasps, and a few candid explanations of new words, as Ben read through the letters children had supposedly written to Santa and the no-holds-barred responses he's ostensibly been itching to write all these years.

Santa Responds is not intended for children.

Questions best answered when not in the presence of grandma:
1. "What's a douche-bag?"
2. "...prank with your father's glue gun and your mother's dia....prag-em?" (Me: "It's a silent g. And ph, like in phone.") "Diaphragm? What's a diaphragm?"

While certainly written for a more worldly audience, Santa responds inspired my 8-year-old reluctant reader to pick it up and read two letters to Santa and their responses aloud to me while I cleared the table after dinner.

"As for how I get the presents, I have them made in China just like everyone else. Their handwork is so tiny I'd almost swear they were using children to do it. And I'm not sure what they put in their paints, but the colors are so vibrant they make my head spin. Best of all, I don't have any of the labor union issues I used to have with the elves."

I invited the boys to weigh in on this review. Ben says, "It was cool! Santa was funny sometimes, but sometimes he was talking about things like the kids were doing drugs. And sometimes he said bad words but most of it was fine."

Evan (the 8 year old)'s opinion: "It was funny and good." (Would you recommend it to other kids your age?) "Other kids my age that already know those bad words? Yes."

This would make a great Christmas gift for a jaded teen who thinks he or she has outgrown Christmas, for anyone who still thinks Saturday Night Live is hilarious or who is ready for an occasional irreverant break from the sweetness of Christmas.


  1. Sounds interesting. I have some friends with quirky senses of humor that might get a kick out of it. :)

  2. You're right - that book isn't written for kids. We thought some of the letters were funny, too.