When Santa Came to Stay

When Santa Came to Stay
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
Release Date
October 18, 2022
Buy This Book
The Grinch meets Snowmen at Christmas in this rollicking, rhyming picture book that answers the question, Why can't Christmas last all year?

What happens when your Christmas cookies are too good? Santa comes . . . to stay! At first, it's fantastic: treats and toys and reindeer flights every day. Then Mrs. Claus arrives. And Baby Claus. And before long, the Easter Bunny and her babies Chuck and Puck and Luck and Duck and . . . you get the picture. By the time the Fourth of July rolls around, everyone's had a bit too much eggnog in their cereal and confetti in their hair. As one family discovers, maybe the true meaning of Christmas is about more than presents and sweets. And maybe there's a reason it comes but once a year. 

Editor review

1 review
Be careful how tasty your Christmas cookies are!
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
A little girl and her parents find themselve the unwitting hosts of Santa and his extended entourage after the jolly old elf discovers that their cookies are so delicious that he doesn't want to leave. Soon, it's Christmas every day in an increasingly chaotic household. At first, it's fun, but as the year progresses and brings Santa's in-laws, the Easter bunny and her children, and hoards of elves, the novelty of presents, holiday treats, and decorations starts to pale. By Independence Day, the girl and her family start to resort to subterfuge to try to dislodge the holiday visitors. When not even carrot cookies and locking the doors keep the revelers out, the girl has to have a heart-to-heart with Santa and tell him that while Christmas is wonderful, part of its magic is that it lasts for only a brief time. Chastizened, Santa and his family return to their home, leaving the girl and her parents to enjoy their normal, simple life.
Good Points
I'm a HUGE fan of Santa mythology and back story, and my own personal children may have been regaled with tales of Santa, Inc. and his global domination of the plaything market, as well as Jeek and Glendle, our own personal elves who had a checkered past with legal problems and personal issues! It's fun to think about Santa living in one's house and making himself at home. How does Santa live his daily life? What does Mrs. Claus do when she's not working at the North Pole? There's even a tantalizing glimpse of Santa's children! There is a lot of humor, but also a good message reminiscent of the 1892 short story "Christmas Every Day" by William Dean Howells.

The drawings are appropriately filled with shades of green and red, and become increasingly chaotic as more and more people fill up the house. The pages are rich with detail, and young readers will enjoy locating items and counting how many presents or Christmas baubles fill the pages.

There should be more "biographical" picture books explaining the details of Santa's life at the North Pole; perhaps I should work on Jeek and Glendle's sad, sad tale that still gets embellished every year, since they still visit and leave a scavenger hunt that always involves going outside into the snow at some point! When Santa Came to Stay is a fun backstory to read along with Hale's Super Santa, Berlin's Hey, You're Not Santa, Brockenbrough's Love, Santa, and Furman's A World of Cookies for Santa. Just make sure that you have a plate of cookies nearby!
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