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Former Holidaysburg resident Tom Catalano has released his 12th book. “Nicolas, the story of Santa Claus” is a fully illustrated 48-page hardcover book that links the centuries-old tradition of Christmas to the religious birth of Jesus Christ. It will likely become a family keepsake for years to come.

Santa Claus is known all over the world. And most of us have a vague idea of ​​how Nicholas became Santa Claus. “Nicolas, the story of Santa Claus” is a unique retelling of this familiar story by blending historical fiction and reality. The premise of the story is that before becoming Santa Claus, Nicholas prayed for guidance on how best to serve the Lord. His prayer was answered when a mysterious voice predicted the birth of a savior. Miraculously, he was able to meet this newborn and his life changed forever.

Here is the opening stanza:

Before he gets dressed

and made its annual flight,

a holy vision came to him

a clear, starry night.

“Nicolas, the story of Santa Claus” is a heartwarming and imaginative tale told in easy-to-read rhyme. It’s a fun read for kids of all ages. Parents and grandparents will appreciate the religious aspect of the story.

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

There is another unique element in the book. The story unfolds using hand-drawn illustrations and photographs, blending imagination with reality.

Catalano explained the inspiration for writing the story. “We have a Christmas decoration in our house with Santa Claus kneeling next to the Baby Jesus. It’s my favourite. Showing Santa genuflecting before Jesus puts the reason for the season into perspective. I started to wonder how he could have ended up there at that time and what impact that would have had on him. I let my imagination run wild and ‘Nicholas, The Santa Story’ was born.

The cover illustration for Nicholas was by Lester Yocum (lesteryocum.com). “He is a very talented artist” Catalano explains. “As soon as I saw the illustration, I knew he 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 poetry writing talents and their passion for Jesus and released a book of inspirational poems called Poems For His Glory. They 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 several times on television. Their book has been reviewed and endorsed by Christian religious leaders of various denominations.

Writing poetry is more than a hobby for Catalano. It’s a lifelong passion. He wrote over 2,500 poems and produced eight collections of secular poetry. Her children’s rhyme books include Jelly In My Belly, Rhymes For Kids, and Rhymes For Teens. He has given poetry presentations in schools across the country to inspire students to read and write poetry. Her rhyming books for adults include “Rhyme and Reason” “Poetry and movement”, “Pour Things First” and “I dig mud and yellow blood.”

Catalano grew up in suburban Chicago and lived in many cities and states during his life, most recently in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania where he worked at Curry Supply Company in Martinsburg as a marketing manager. He currently resides in Tennessee. He is a devout Christian and volunteers as a church reader.

“Nicolas, the story of Santa Claus” (ISBN 978-1-882646-12-8, Wordsmith Books, $24.95) is available from any retail or online bookseller worldwide. Signed copies can be purchased directly from the author’s website: tomcatalano.com.



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Angela C. Hale