Gabriel of Urantia Discusses “The Real Santa Claus”
By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
Published: November 16, 2011
“Author and spiritual teacher Gabriel of Urantia has published many texts, and this book—his first children’s story—is a wonderful addition to compliment his distinctive publishing accomplishments. Gabriel founded Global Change Tools to promote creative and spiritual educational materials for children and adults.”
TCBR: You have published many texts, however, The Real Santa Claus, is your first children’s story. When did you first realize that you wanted to write for children?
Christmas was always a magical time for me. I have had 5 children myself and raised them with a faith in Jesus. Often they asked me “Does Jesus send Santa Claus?” Also as a Christian minister, I realized there were some denominations that even thought that celebrating Santa Claus was wrong. I never thought that way. So I decided to someday write a book that would combine Jesus Christ and Santa Claus together. After many years, I finally put it down to pen, and thus we have The Real Santa Claus book.
I want children to think of Santa Claus in relationship to Jesus being “the Giver of all good things asked for.”
What age group did you write the book for?
Well as far as the outline of the book and it’s easy reading and pictorial presentation, I think even toddlers to pre-teens would enjoy it. But I have noticed that adults who read it to their children love it just as much, as the theme of the book intrigues the adults even.
Is there a message that you want readers to grasp?
That you can enjoy Santa Claus in relationship to your faith in Jesus or another God of your particular faith.
The book also includes a coloring section of all the story sketches, illustrated by a 16-year-old, Savijaveh. How did you select Savijaveh to be the book’s illustrator?
Savijaveh is a part of our church community, and I have noticed her artwork, as she was growing up, to be exemplary.
Do you hear from your readers? What kinds of things do they say?
“We have been waiting for a book to relate both the magical tale of Santa Claus and our faith in Jesus and God.”
“Wherelse but in the mind of Jesus would Santa Claus come from?”
“I love the way you did your research in history and identified Saint Francis as the person who put the tree up, decorated it, and put it on the porch, and Martin Luther as the one who brought it into the house, and Saint Nicholas bringing gifts to the children of his village. Putting them all together, I love the theme of your book!”
Should we expect to see another book from you soon?
Yes, I have another children’s book in mind. I don’t want to give the theme away, but it’s very funny and wives will love it in relationship to how their husbands and children act a lot of the time. I will be working on it every chance I get. I would appreciate readers’ comments on The Real Santa Claus, which can be sent to Global Community Communications Publishing, PO Box 1613, Tubac, AZ 85646 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
What would you say has been the most personally rewarding aspect or becoming an author?
Of course writing is a way to teach, and since I’m a teacher, I’m a writer. Writing a children’s book is a very good way of educating children without directly being in the classroom.
Which books from your own childhood have most influenced your life?
Mark Twain’s books (Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer) and Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. Also, I read Siddhartha when I was 12-years-old, and it opened up my spiritual journey. I re-read the book as an adult, and of course it meant more. Like with most mothers, I was read many children’s books about the life of Jesus, particularly the birth of Christ, and the manger scene has always been very special to me.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I hope my book encourages families to teach little children and toddlers that Santa Claus is coming at Christmas to bring gifts to all little children who are “good,” because that’s what Jesus does. And that Santa and Jesus are one in the same, because Jesus is the author of Santa Claus.
For more information about the author and to book speaking engagements, please call BenDameean Steinhardt at 520-576-2890 or email email@example.com. Books, CDs, and DVDs are available at http://globalchangetools.org.
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