The Secret of the Santa Box

The Secret of the Santa Box


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Children the world over have been enchanted and captivated by the charismatic being known as Santa Claus, Father Christmas, St. Nick, Sinterklaas, and Papá Noel. But eventually, they begin to ponder just how, with the help of flying reindeer, he can deliver presents to boys and girls all around the world in only one single night. And how does he fit down chimneys? And visit houses where there are no chimneys?

As the questions begin to multiply, THE SECRET OF THE SANTA BOX helps parents guide their child from an innocent belief in the fanciful realism of Santa Claus to an empowered understanding of charity, love, and goodwill, and the true meaning of the celebration of Christmas: the birth of Jesus Christ.

THE SECRET OF THE SANTA BOX by Christopher Fenoglio and illustrated by Elena Makansi, is a delightful story written in the same lyrical style as’Twas the Night Before Christmasthat helps parents navigate this difficult terrain in a fun and loving way, andis a natural transition for children who have outgrown the “Elf on a Shelf” and are ready to move forward to the real meaning of Christmas.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780996390163
Publisher: Amphorae Publishing Group, LLC
Publication date: 11/07/2017
Pages: 32
Sales rank: 1,240,189
Product dimensions: 8.10(w) x 10.20(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range: 7 - 18 Years

About the Author

Christopher Fenoglio has served in numerous editorial, production, and marketing positions in the Christian publishing industry, including The Tennessee Register, the Diocese of Nashville newspaper, CCM Magazine, and CCM Update, as well as throughout Nashville’s country music and healthcare industries. Fenoglio is currently the managing editor of, the denominational website for The United Methodist Church, as well as a cantor and music minister at St. Henry Church in Nashville. He has recorded three Christian albums, and garnered First Place Awards by The Catholic Press Association for his columns. 

Elena graduated from Oberlin College where she majored in Environmental Studies. She is currently pursuing an MFA in illustration & Design from the University of Arizona. She is a writer, artist, and vegan/vegetarian cook. She is part of the K. Makansi trio of writers of THE SEEDS TRILOGY (currently optioned for film by an award-winning independent production company), and is working on her first solo novel, LUNA AND THE MIDNIGHT CAFE. She blogs and runs a Facebook page about vegetables and cooking and works part-time for an organization promoting farmers markets and local artisans. She has worked on illustrations for several non-fiction titles and has designed many book covers. THE SECRET OF THE SANTA BOX is her first children's picture book. 

Reading Group Guide


© 2017 Christopher Fenoglio

In the magic of Christmas, where innocence dwells
Amid ornaments, presents, and sweet-sounding bells,
There’s a legend revered by the young and the old
With a secret more precious than silver or gold.

Generations of parents have guarded the truth
So their children can savor the sweetness of youth,
Without worries or burdens of earthly concerns
But with love that creates so much joy in return.

For the young ones will dream about gifts that surprise

Even as they grow older and questions arise.
Homemade cookies and milk they’ll continue to leave
As they cling to the facts that are hard to believe.

Like a sleigh pulled by reindeer that power its flight
And that Santa Claus visits each house in one night
Where he fills all the stockings of good girls and boys
With delicious confections and marvelous toys.

There are numerous names for this jolly old elf:
Father Christmas, St. Nicholas, Santa himself.
But the truth about Santa is more than his name;

There’s an actual person who’s rarely the same.

So to all of you children who search for a clue
And your parents who wish to give answers to you
Please consider this tale of a curious girl
Who discovers the truth about love in the world.

When her father brings home a big tree for the den

And her mother hangs stockings and tinsel again.

As the weather turns colder and snowflakes appear.

Little Kristin is certain that Christmas is near.

She displays all her Santa dolls high on the shelves

And believes they were crafted by toy-making elves.

When she places her Santa hat firm on her head

It remains there all night as she slumbers in bed.

As she sings about Santa Claus coming to town

There’s a lilt in her voice, a beautiful sound.

She can name all the reindeer, beginning to end

While she dances with jingle bells clutched in her hand.

Whenher mother bakes cookies that sweeten the air

Helpful Kristin spreads frosting on cupcakes with care.

She’s a curious girl and determined to learn

All she can about Santa before his return.

“Can you tell me why he dresses only in red?
Does he know to watch out for the planes overhead?
Will he eat all the cookies we put on his plate?
Does he care for his health? Is he watching his weight?

“Do his reindeer get tired? Do they ever get rest?
Should we feed them some apples? Are carrots the best?
I just don’t understand how he builds all the toys
And delivers them here without making a noise!”

Glancing up from his book, Father gives her a smile

Glad to savor this moment of childhood a while.
Because parents can recognize innocence lost
And will try to prevent it, no matter the cost.

Yet he knows that her questions are signs of her growth

And to nourish her knowledge is good for them both.

It’s a gift that encourages spreading her wings

And the strongest foundation for all that life brings.

After dinner and dishes they walk by the stores
To see bright decorations and wreaths on the doors.
All the lampposts are covered with ribbons and bows
While the courthouse and theater glisten and glow.

As they walk hand in hand with their daughter between

They arrive at a church and Nativity scene.

In the stable, the parents and shepherds bow low

To the babe in the manger with the glowing halo.

Just outside of the manger, three kings from afar

Offer frankincense, gold, and sweet myrrh in a jar.

Overhead there’s a star that’s so shiny and bright

And an angel who heralds the birth of the Light.

At the car lot, three Santas are singing a song

While two others are gracefully dancing along.

Down the street a short Santa is ringing a bell

And a tall one has garland and flowers to sell.

The department store window displays a red sleigh
And a Santa who poses for photos all day.
With a white flowing beard and a red velvet suit,
He sure looks like Kris Kringle, right down to his boots.

When he shouts “Ho! Ho! Ho!” all the children rejoice
But then Kristin remembers the sound of his voice.
She looks up to her father and says as she blinks
“Is this Santa the plumber who fixes our sink?”

“If this isn’t the one who brings toys on our list,

Did the real one retire? Did he ever exist?”

Quite confused and dismayed, Kristin cries in the night,

“There are too many Santas! Oh, something’s not right!”

Then her parents communicate only with smiles

For they know they have treasured this puzzle a while.

They decide then and there that tonight is the night

When they tell her the secret and make it all right.

As they enter their home, before anything’s said,

Father turns to his daughter and kisses her head.

With a mixture of wonder, excitement, and dread
Kristin nervously waits on the edge of their bed.

With a wink, Father takes from the uppermost shelf
An engraved wooden box that he made by himself.
He declares to his daughter, “It’s time that we tell

You the truth about Santa and Christmas as well.”

Here’s the moment she’s longed for, the secret revealed,
It’s the truth about Santa no longer concealed.
With a slow, gentle lift, Kristin gazes inside
And discovers a bundle wrapped tightly and tied.

She removes the white string and then slowly unwraps

A small mirror—what’s this? Father’s error, perhaps?
She examines the glass but sees only herself.
“What does this have to do with that jolly old elf?”

“You are Santa, dear Kristin, like Mother and me.
There are millions of Santas, as real as can be.
He’s alive in our family, our neighbors, our town,
Which is why there are so many Santas around.

“When Our Father so lovingly gave us His Son
’Twas the ultimate gift, a tradition begun.
As we give to each other, we magnify Love
And begin to resemble the Giver above.

“We are called to be Santas to spread Christmas joy,
To share gifts with each other, and all girls and boys.
What we give can be handmade—just simple and small
For the Love that we share is the best gift of all.”

“Now I see!” Kristin says, her sweet voice full of cheer.
“May I help you be Santa with presents this year?”
“Yes, of course,” Father smiles and says with a nod,
“That is how we can share all the goodness of God.”

So the next time you question if Santa is real,
Place your hand on your heart and describe what you feel.
For within you, dear children, even as you grow old
Is a Love that’s more precious than silver and gold.

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