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Book by former area man links Santa, Christ Child

Former Hollidaysburg resident Tom Catalano has published his 12th book. “Nicholas, The Santa Story” is a 48-page fully illustrated hardcover book that connects the secular tradition of Christmas with the religious birth of Jesus Christ. It may likely become a family keepsake for years to come.

Santa Claus is known around the world. And most of us have a vague idea of how Nicholas became Santa. “Nicholas, The Santa Story” is a unique telling of that familiar tale by blending historical fiction with reality. The premise of the story is that before he ever became Santa Claus, Nicholas prayed for guidance on how to best serve the Lord. His prayer was answered when a mysterious voice foretold the birth of a savior. Miraculously, he was able to meet that newborn baby and his life changed forever.

Here is the opening stanza:

Before he ever suited up

and made his yearly flight,

a holy vision came to him

one clear and starry night.

“Nicholas, The Santa Story” is a heartwarming and imaginative tale told in easy-to-read rhyme. It is a fun read for children of all ages. Parents and grandparents will appreciate the religious aspect of the story.

“‘Nicholas, The Santa Story’ is different,” Catalano admits, “in that it is not a traditional Santa Claus story. Nor is it a retelling of the nativity. It is a whimsical story of Nicholas’s first experience as Santa but does so by reminding the reader of the birth of Jesus.”

There is another unique element to the book. The story unfolds using both hand-drawn illustrations as well as photographs, thereby blending imaginativeness with reality.

Catalano explained the inspiration for writing the story. “We have a Christmas ornament at our house with Santa kneeling next to Baby Jesus. It is my favorite. Showing Santa genuflecting before Jesus puts the reason for the season in perspective. I began to wonder how he could have wound up in that place at that time and what impact it would have had on him. I let my imagination loose and ‘Nicholas, The Santa Story’ was born.”

The cover illustration of Nicholas was done by Lester Yocum (lesteryocum.com). “He is a very talented artist,” Catalano explains. “The moment I saw the illustration I knew that he had captured the essence of the story.”

This is not the first book of a religious nature that Catalano has published. In 2017, he and his daughter Emma Catalano combined their talents for poetry writing and their passion for Jesus and published a book of faith-inspiring poems titled, Poems For His Glory. These are rhyming poems that reflect the hope, majesty, and forgiveness of God. The authors have read their spiritual poems at churches and community events in several states and have been interviewed multiple times on television. Their book has been reviewed and endorsed by Christian faith leaders of various denominations.

Writing poetry is more than a hobby for Catalano. It is a life-long passion. He has written more than 2,500 poems and produced eight secular books of poetry. His rhyming books for children include Jelly In My Belly, Rhymes For Kids, and Rhymes For Teens. He has given poetry presentations at schools across the country to inspire students to read and write poetry. His rhyming books for adults include “Rhyme & Reason,” “Poetry ‘N Motion,” “Verse Things First” and “I Dig Mud & Yellow Blood.”

Catalano grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and has lived in many cities and states during his life, most recently Hollidaysburg, PA where he worked at Curry Supply Company in Martinsburg as Director of Marketing. He currently resides in Tennessee. He is a devout Christian and volunteers his time as a church lector.

“Nicholas, The Santa Story” (ISBN 978-1-882646-12-8, Wordsmith Books, $24.95) is available from any retail or online book seller worldwide. Signed copies can be acquired directly from the author’s website: tomcatalano.com.

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