It simply is not the Yuletide season for me without time to settle myself down with a cup of cocoa, something minty and chocolate and a copy of my all-time favorite holiday classic “The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus“. I have at least two copies of this delightful story that sprung forth from the imagination of Frank L. Baum (He most famous for “The Wizard of Oz” books) and a very beloved DVD of the truly magical stop motion animated special made by Rankin and Bass. For me, this is the penultimate telling of Santa’s origins (though “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” is very awesome!). From the magic realm that is the Forest of Burzee and it’s wide variety of inhabitant that include The Great Ak: Master Woodsman of the World, Queen Zurline, Peter Knook, Fairies, Wood Nymphs, Ryls and so very many more, to the various perils of humanity that Claus must face and the happiness he creates with his toys, to the decision of Claus’s fate by the immortals, it’s a beautifully written tale.
The Rankin-Bass special (which was to be the last of their Animagic specials) was every bit as magical and to my eyes was and still is pure art. The sets are spectacular and each character comes to life so perfectly.
It has been said time and time again that both the book and special have something of a Pagan feel to them, but that is only because they deal a bit more with natural, or nature-based, mythical elements than other specials tend to do. I think that is part of what lends them such a unique charm and in a way, it makes Santa seem even more real. I mean, who hasn’t felt the magic that nature emanates, hmm? Has anyone else ever read or watched “The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus”? Do you have a favorite holiday special?
Here’s to more Merriment – with a Ho, Ha, Ho-Ho, He!
Namaste ~ Ella