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

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  268 ratings  ·  68 reviews
Tom Brokaw said it best about the author: This Santa "can only be described as the real thing." With warmth, humor, and wonder, Ed Butchart shares his stories as a professional Santa Claus in The Red Suit Diaries.

Deftly combining his Santa persona with his passion for God, Butchart reveals himself as a once-hardened Marine who found Jesus and began to serve others in unusu
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Audio, Abridged
Published October 15th 2003 by Brilliance Audio (first published October 1st 1999)
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Community Reviews

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Ellen Peterson
Ed Butchart is a retired Marine, Christian and founder of Friends of Disabled Adults and Children (FODAC)who just happens to look like Santa (24/7).

His approach as Santa is to reaffirm the love of God which was the spirit behind the first St. Nicholas, who was a bishop in the fourth century. Ed works at revitalizing the spirit of the first St. Nick and retells stories of spreading God's gift of love where and when he can.

His encounters run from light and fluffy to heart break. But through it all
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Jill
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
Dawn
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
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Barbara M
Need some inspiration? This heartwarming book will make you smile! Ed Butchart shares stories from his many years of working as a professional Santa Claus. Ed approaches his job like a missionary - he goes well above and beyond the call of duty. As a volunteer (outside of his Santa job) he repairs wheelchairs and builds ramps for disabled children and adults. As Santa, he comes in contact with many disabled children coming to visit Santa. If he feels the children or their families need help, he ...more
Heather
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
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Courtney
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.
Laura
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!
Dawn
Very uplifting stories and the impact they had on the lives of others.
Lillie
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
Kristin
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
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Phillip
With a Santa found at nearly every corner at this time of year it is nice to find a memoire of someone willing to share details from his 15 year career appearing in that tell-tale red and white suit.

The broad variety of his experiences include moments which are humorous, heart-warming, tender and clever. He also demonstrates how it is possible while impersonating a secular icon to still keep Christ in Christmas. This is one Santa whose head (beard and all) is screwed on straight.
Andrea
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
Judy Beckert-jones
A Special Man

Mr.Butchery has a lot of fun because he looks just like Santa. In this book he shares experiences he has had as Santa. He is a Christian man who also runs a charity that repairs & refurbishes wheel chairs & other items for disabled children & adults. He has a great love for all people & especially adults with cognitive disabilities. This is a peek into how interesting & challenging it can be to be a real life Santa.
Pam
Ed Butchart's memoir about becoming a mall Santa begins as a perfect holiday book-easy to read, uplifting, and fun. There are numerous sweet stories about the children and parents he meets. Unfortunately, the second half of the book evolves into a sicky sweet justification of his Christianity and while he boasts about his connection to the children, it becomes more about him than the children.
Melissa
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
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Faye Ridpath
This book was a Christmas gift from my dad. This is one of the best gifts I have ever received.

This book touched me so deeply...It made me laugh and it made me cry.

This Santa is truly remarkable and an inspiration to us all.

This is the kind of book that stays with you long after the last page is turned.
Linda  "The Book Lady" Warner
Ed's stories of being Santa is wonderful. He also tells about his work with the disabled by befriending and then repairing wheelchairs. This book will make you laugh as well as cry. He shares his life, hos ministry as Santa and his faith. Maybe you will believe in Santa again.
Lisa C. Doose
True Christmas cheer

What a wonderful way to tie the true Christmas story with the tradition of Santa Claus! I truly admire the ministry the author serves and the way he presents Jesus to strangers he meets. Bravo! Keep up the good work!
Alisyn
Reality Check

This is a delightful account of the authors experiences. The real life stories will make you cry, laugh and shake your head. It creates an atmosphere of appreciation.
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
Thom Malone
ONE OF THE BEST BOOK I HAVE READ THIS CHRSTMAS SEASON.... I LOVE THE WAY HE TIES SANTA IN WITH GOD AND THAT LOVE IS WHAT ITS ALL ABOUT... EXCELLENT BOOK
Mary
I loved this quick little read, especially as I discovered it over the holiday season. Santa is indeed real, and this book is proof!
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
Linda
Christmas as it is supposed to be with faith, grace, love, and the celebration of the birth of Christ.
Debora Baird
Cute book but I didn't love it. A nice take on Santa sharing the love of Christ with the children he sees.
Greg
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.
Susan
Great book to bring back the spirit of Christmas in your heart
Kathryn
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.
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