Children are naturally curious about everything. Even when it comes to something as fanciful and magical as Santa Claus, children want to know more. They want to know about this icon of the holiday season, about his snowy white beard, and what other countries call their version of Santa Claus. The best way to do that is through stories and storybooks, especially if you are not up on all the lore around this real-life-turned-mythical figure. Here are some examples of books that currently exist on this popular holiday subject.
Board Books for the Really Young Readers
The classic poem of "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" has been re-illustrated dozens of times. There is an endless supply of this particular children's favorite available in board book form. There are also special "touch and feel" holiday books, like a Santa Claus's beard children's book where the little ones can touch a fluffy-soft beard on Santa's image on each page of the story. If you have toddlers and preschoolers, start with these sorts of books.
Origin Tales of Santa
These kinds of books are for elementary kids. They talk about the real St. Nicholas, and how he was a real man living in Germany and working in a woodcarver's shop making toys for the children of his village. Some infuse the biographical with the regional variations of the story as well.
Cultural Stories of Santa
For the "tweens" who still believe in Santa Claus, and for anyone who does not want to stop believing in Santa, there are the cultural stories of the lovable figure. These stories relate how Santa dresses in other countries, how he (and sometimes she!) looks, and the other names by which Santa is known. For example, in Great Britain and all of the countries that were once under British rule, "Father Christmas" dresses in a long green velvet coat trimmed with ermine fur and a hood, and wears leather laplander boots. "Pere Noel," belonging to the French, wears a similar garment in red, and his hair on his head is almost as long as his beard. The Italian version is a good witch by the name of "La Befana" who rides a broomstick around to bring toys and treats to the children! These kinds of stories will help teach children about different cultures and holiday customs, and how everyone has their very own version of the jolly old elf that brings presents on Christmas.