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An Unacceptable Christmas

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Loved it! 😍

A heartwarming story of a young girl's fight for the rights of Santas everywhere, this book will make you laugh and cry at the same time.

Synopsis

Today's surge in youth activism is unprecedented. But being a teenager is hard enough without also tackling social issues. An Unacceptable Christmas follows a young girl, as she balances saving the world and surviving adolescence.

All 6-year-old Michael wants for Christmas is to welcome home his missing father. Stating his wish in a letter to Santa would be the norm for one so young, only the cheerless boy has never heard of the jolly old elf. Federal courts have ruled, once and for all, that Santa Claus does not exist. Lawmakers have thereby banned displaying Santa’s likeness and singing songs that mention his name. Outraged, Michael's teenage sister launches a spirited campaign to force Congress to repeal the ban, insisting that believing in Santa Claus is every child's right.

I'm going to start this review with a personal connection. When I was eight years old, I lost my grandfather, and at almost every chance, I wished for him to come back. Having Michael wish for his father (who is not dead in the book, but I still felt it in my heart) to return shook me to my core.


As for my initial reaction, I was nervous when the book was called a "political Christmas Carol", mainly because I live in America and after these past two weeks politics is the last thing I wanted to read about. However, while this book is about activism (even if it is in a comedic mindset), the overall politics in this book are very mild, so anyone who is nervous can breathe easy with this one.


An Unacceptable Christmas felt a lot like a holiday rom-com, where the main character's life falls apart and somehow gets pieced back together by the end. Despite feeling like we've heard the story before, I thought that the idea of having Santa be an outlawed figure was an interesting take on a common theme. I also liked the idea of the main character, who is not an adult and commonly disenfranchised, being the person who's stepping away from those beliefs to fight against the government. As a relatively young person, it can feel like your opinion doesn't matter, so it is really cool to see someone who is in a similar position prove their worth.


The book finished at what I believe is a cliffhanger. While I won't go into more specifics for this review, I really hope that there will be more to this story. However, this book also features a song (also written by the author), and the music video for that song is on his author's website. And while I'm not here to review his music, the song is, as the kids would say, a bop.


I'm going to give this book 4 stars out of 5, and I definitely can see this book becoming a comfort novel for me in the future. I think that the overall pacing of the book could have been a little better (it felt like it was over way too early), but this is a solid novel that I think everyone would enjoy!

Reviewed by

During the day, I listen to books while working, and when I come home, I pick up a book and read. I’ve loved books since before I can remember, and I try and make reviews that encourage people to pick up and read for themselves. I try my best to be honest, and I hope that people appreciate that!

Synopsis

Today's surge in youth activism is unprecedented. But being a teenager is hard enough without also tackling social issues. An Unacceptable Christmas follows a young girl, as she balances saving the world and surviving adolescence.

All 6-year-old Michael wants for Christmas is to welcome home his missing father. Stating his wish in a letter to Santa would be the norm for one so young, only the cheerless boy has never heard of the jolly old elf. Federal courts have ruled, once and for all, that Santa Claus does not exist. Lawmakers have thereby banned displaying Santa’s likeness and singing songs that mention his name. Outraged, Michael's teenage sister launches a spirited campaign to force Congress to repeal the ban, insisting that believing in Santa Claus is every child's right.

Prologue

I can still recall the day the Supreme Court ruled that there is no Santa Claus. It was like learning that your best friend had been accused, tried and convicted of a crime he didn’t commit. Though the unanimous decision rattled the nation, few were surprised at the outcome. Without proof that someone could circle the globe in one night, in a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer, the justices couldn’t have ruled any other way.

The controversy began one holiday season, when a department store Santa had insisted that he, alone, was the real Kris Kringle. No one took the old guy seriously, but law enforcement viewed his irrational behavior as a threat to public safety. A search of the man’s home revealed the extent of his delusion: velvet sacks brimming with toys, a wall-sized map of the North Pole, and under a tarp in the garage, an honest-to-goodness Santa sleigh. A foul odor then led investigators to the backyard, where they discovered eight live reindeer in a stable. Obsessing over Santa was not illegal, but keeping livestock in a residential neighborhood violated housing codes. A call to Animal Control, and the docile creatures were removed from the property.

When this news reached the on-duty Santa, he went berserk—trashing decorations, knocking over wooden soldiers, and hurling a Christmas tree over the heads of frightened children.

The unruly Santa was promptly arrested, and soon after brought before a judge. “Give me back my reindeer!” demanded the man. “How can I make my Christmas Eve deliveries without them?”

“Learn to fly!” replied the wisecracking official. “Either that, or prove to me that you’re the one and only Santa Claus.” Incensed by the judge’s rudeness, the man accepted his challenge. He hired an attorney and pleaded his case in open court.

Well, the “Madman Santa” trial quickly gained national attention. The testimony of “helpers,” and demonstrations on how to slide down a chimney, heightened the courtroom’s carnival atmosphere. In the end, all the man proved was that his grip on reality had slipped away. The judge ordered him to undergo psychiatric treatment, and further declared that in the eyes of the law, Santa Claus does not exist.

But the legal jousting didn’t end there. The decision was later overturned on appeal, then reversed yet again in a higher court. Ultimately, the highest authority in the land concluded that Santa, while being a harmless diversion, was no more real than the Easter Bunny.

State lawmakers responded by removing Santa’s likeness from public places. Teachers were prohibited from speaking his name in classrooms. Not to be outdone, the U.S. president imposed a nationwide Santa ban. Donning the red suit was now a federal crime. Reciting poems about Santa and singing his praises called for mandatory jail time. Even mailing him your Christmas wishes was a punishable offense.

At first people resisted the anti-Santa law, claiming it violated their right to Free Expression. But opponents soon discovered its benefits. Parents, who had assured their children that Santa was real, only to confess later they had lied, were glad to be rid of him. Church worshipers happily abandoned the secular icon to follow that Bethlehem star.

Ten winters have come and gone since the Santa ban became law, and folks have mostly forgotten all about him. Old St. Nick may have been ousted as the ambassador of Christmas, but what remained was more than enough to keep the Yuletide spirit alive. Decorated trees still brightened the season. Loved ones crossed the miles to be home for the holidays. There were door front wreaths, mistletoe kisses, magical snowmen, candy canes and fruitcakes. And children would continue to unwrap presents on Christmas morning. All in all, brushing Santa aside wasn’t too great a sacrifice to make.


And the people were fine with that.

About the author

Bruce Edwards is a former feature film animator and screenwriter. His other creative endeavors include a stint as a puppeteer and performing magic at Disneyland. But his true passion lies in exploring the peculiarities in human behavior through imaginative storytelling. view profile

Published on October 01, 2020

Published by Lambert Hill

50000 words

Genre: Young Adult

Reviewed by