Koehler Books, Oct 1 2014, $16.95
Fifty years old and now unemployed after S&G fired him; George Kroenfeldt feels he failed at life. He knows he was not there for his older children (eighteen year old daughter Jamie and twenty year old son Jeremy) from his first marriage and not that much with his youngest with his second wife, tweener Megan.
Ridgeland Elementary fourth grade teacher Barbara Worthington responds to Santa Claus questions from her class as she has for four decades; which leads to her student Megan having doubts. Her friend informs Megan that her older brother insists Santa Claus is not real as their parents pretend otherwise. Megan asks her parents if that is true and when they say no, record him to place on YouTube when Santa and his reindeer land on their roof.
Jamie demands her dad give her an IPhone for Christmas while Jeremy wants a new car and their mom pushes him to sell their tiny home for a new one. George says no to all three demands as money just got tighter. However, he reacts differently to Megan’s query. Though his plan will cost a fortune he does not have and he will need many people involved, George as Santa will land on the roof with reindeer.
The actions and reactions of the cast to George’s obsession to create a Real Santa in order for his daughter to believe make this a winner. George knows he cannot afford this yet also believes he cannot afford not to do this though the cost in money and relationships is exorbitant. The climax feels logically wrong, but emotionally right as William Hazelgrove authors a wonderful Christmas family drama.