The Red Suit Diaries: A Real-Life Santa on Hopes, Dreams, and Childlike Faith
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The Red Suit Diaries: A Real-Life Santa on Hopes, Dreams, and Childlike Faith

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  195 ratings  ·  55 reviews
A Jesus-believing, professional Santa shares his secrets--inspiring kids of all ages to live out the love of Christ year-round.
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Published October 1st 2003 by Fleming H. Revell Company (first published October 1st 1999)
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I walked into the library today with the intention of borrowing an audio book for the car and walked out with not only that but also this book. I sometimes feel like when I am at the library, more so than at a bookstore, that books call out to me. I'll be in front of a shelf and one spine and title will pop out and it always seems to be just what I was in the mood for! This one was set on top of a shelf in a Christmas display and I saw it out of the corner of my eye. I am so glad that I decided...more
Who knows, maybe Ed Butchart really is Santa. Not only did I get a glimpse behind the scenes at Santa's Village, but I was left with a spirit of hope and joy and a willingness to look for opportunities to share some Christmas spirit with others. I love that Ed did his best to share the spirit of Christ in his dealings with children and adults.

This is a great uplifting book to read this time of year and a nice reminder to step back from the hustle and bustle of the holidays and make sure that we...more
Ed Butchart isn't a big fan of kids as his book begins but the more children that sit on his lap as he plays Santa the more he begins to enjoy their banter and free spirits.
This Santa has a soft spot for the handicapped and runs an organization that adjusts and fixes wheelchairs for those that can't afford these necessary services. Ed and his wife, Annie, minister through both their wheelchair program and playing Mr. and Mrs. Claus around Christmas.
Ed tells of his first job as a Santa at the l...more
This was a wonderful book to read during the holiday season. Ed Butchart paints a wonderful picture of what Santa is supposed to be. Some of his stories made me cry, while others brought a big smile to my face. I suggest this book to anyone who needs an uplifting read about faith, love, and goodness.
Lori Henrich
Beautiful story of how one man with a dream can grow a simple desire to help people, into a lifetime of service to others.

I was touched at the heart of this wonderful man. The stories he shares will touch the hearts of young and old alike.

Perfect for anytime of year.
Elizabeth G
I got this as a gift last Christmas and just packed it away with the decorations. I rediscovered it this year while decorating and decided to read it. It was a great book and a quick read.
I like this real life Santa because he promotes the true meaning of Christmas by telling kids about Jesus whenever he has the chance. His stories are entertaining and very real!
Very uplifting stories and the impact they had on the lives of others.
The author considers his role as Santa a ministry. He combines it with his ministry to disabled adults and children, where he provides free services such as wheelchair repair to handicapped people around the world. As Santa, he has a special place in his heart for ill and disabled kids and mentally challenged adults who come to Santa like children. He tells all the kids that Santa loves them and that God loves them and explains the real meaning of Christmas. Some stories are sad, such as when a...more
A very cute memoir from a portion of the author's career as Santa Claus. I could tell from reading the book that Butchart takes great pride in his work representing the 'man in red' and strives to live up to the expectations of every child he sees during his times on the big padded chair. From growing a real white beard to handing out lollipops to non-believers, Butchart tkes his job very seriously.
One thing I liked about his experinces from the book was that he's been Santa in a variety of sett...more
It's a little sentimental and a little more earnest than some people might like, but it's a charming, endearing and surprisingly frank look at a very underrated line of work. I enjoyed the author's candid insight into the world of dedicated Santa pretenders and enjoyed reading about how much real heart and soul most of them pour into the job. You'll learn lots of things you have never considered before about Santa pretenders, like the way they often have disproportionately large networks of frie...more
A sweet recounting of precious memories of his years serving as a Santa Claus, Ed Butchart is all grandfather/Santa figure in the telling of what he passionately views as his ministry, serving as a Santa.

As an educator, I found myself agreeing fully to some of the remarks he made regarding family relations and the affects of nature v. nuture and how each plays an important role in character building and development.

Quick, easy, light-hearted read from a man who truly believes in the 'reason for...more
Tasha enderby
I picked up this cute from a yardsale last year in high hopes to read it as part of my Christmas marathon series but didn't get around to it. So this year it has made the pile of books to read. I had no idea what I was getting into but this is a wonderfully quick read and it's a refreshing take on Santa Claus. My husband and I have made it a personal choice to take Santa out of family because of all the commercialisim, why should Santa get all the credit for the great gifts? This book is about a...more
Amanda Yanez
This was an amazing book! It's the memoir of a retired Marine Corp officer who became a professional Santa Claus (with full beard that he keeps up all year!) What makes this book so special is that he is a devout Christian who uses his role as Santa to promote the love and faith that this season is supposed to be about. Reading his stories of the kids he has met along the way evoked a wide array of response from laughing out loud to crying so hard I had to stop reading because I could not breath...more
A heartwarming little autobiographical account of some of the author's experiences during his years of playing Santa Claus in and around Atlanta, Georgia. I laughed out loud at many, was brought to somber reflection by others, and one or two made me sick at heart to know of the evil that some men and women do. Children ought not to suffer so...

I'm glad to know that such people as Ed and Annie Butchart exist in this world. It's a better place for their warmth and generosity of heart.
Very enjoyable offering from Santa Claus for many years at Gwinnett Place Mall and Stone Mountain Park. A Christian gentleman who, along with his wife Annie (Mrs. Claus) are members of Mount Carmel church in Atlanta. This Santa not only has a very special heart for children, but also provides and repairs wheelchairs for adults and children in need. Wonderful human interest stories from a committed Christian Santa.
I absolutely loved this book. Most of this book were funny anecdotes concerning Ed Butchart's career playing Santa. Some were sweet and a couple were sad, but still hopeful. I rarely re-read books, but this is one I may re-read again each Christmas. I highly recommend this book. It was very entertaining and got me in the holiday spirit.
Andy Lee
If you're interested in the lore of Santa Claus in the context of American culture, you may enjoy this book. I'm a bit too pragmatic to have been totally impressed or engrossed by this book. I received it as a gift from a dear Aunt so I read it. An okay read, a good read if you play Santa in malls and things like that.
This was a truly enjoyable book to read during the holiday season! It was uplifting and inspiring and is an excellent reminder of the true meaning of Christmas for children of ages. A true story... and now I have added Stone Mountain, GA to my places to visit "bucket list". I would love to meet Ed Butchart!
3.5 stars

This man who claimed he wasn’t crazy about kids! Ha! He loves children! Of all ages.

A few of these vignettes were extremely touching such as the story of the boy who covered his ears. Also the story under the heading “A Cry For Help is a tear-jerker. Poignant.
Skeeter Jorgensen
A diary of sorts about Santa Claus, the difference that I liked, was that he was a Christian Santa, and always talked to the children with a Christian attitude. Some of the stories were sad, some were happy and some you have to laugh outloud at them. God Bless Santa!
I like this man's vision of Santa and how he tried to embody the true meaning of Christmas while playing Santa. Quick read but (I hate to say this almost) not particularly well written. That being said, it's a sweet book that gets you into the Christmas spirit.
A bit too preachy and self-gloating for my taste, but it's a quick religious read about the real meaning of Christmas, from a man who played Santa Claus professionally and religiously. Some real stories that he encountered in his life were quite touching.
I started reading it not realizing what it was about. Although it was a bit preachy for what I usually chose there are some good stories and I feel the writing is very sincere. For a quick read, especially for some holiday fun I would recommend it.
I listened to the abridged volume on CD and I loved every second of it! I laughed and then got teary in a matter of minutes. What an amazing story and life this man has lived. The book is read by the author and he sounds just the cutest!
Delightful sharing of the author's unusual ministry -- or actually, ministries --- the delightful one being sharing the love of Jesus as a professional Santa Claus.
What a fun book to read -- it really made me feel the Christmas Spirit and want to reach out to others. Lots of laughs too! What wonderful people they are, I love to hear stories about people helping others and reaching out to show love.
Such a beautiful story of a beautiful man, Ed Butchart, who give so much of himself for so little and as he does, realizes his worth. Everyone should find what they can do to help others and I believe they will then find true happiness.
Marie Rutherford
The inside story! An eye opening entertaining read by a dedicated Santa!
This was a great read. I want to read it every Christmas season. The memoirs of a real man who dresses as Santa at Christmas time living out and sharing his faith with others! I highly recommend.
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