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

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  338 Ratings  ·  79 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

(showing 1-30)
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Lisa B.
Aug 12, 2015 Lisa B. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-read
Just delightful. Broken into sections titled Hopes, Dreams, Childlike Faith and Believing, each is filled with nice heart warming stories from a former Marine turned Santa. The back of the book says "You don't have to wait for Christmas to open this package!" and this is so true. This is one of those books to pick up whenever you want to read a short, feel-good story. Perfect for any time of the year.
Matt Spaulding
Dec 15, 2016 Matt Spaulding rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you want cry, read this book. If you want to laugh out loud, read this book. If you want to believe in love and kindness and generosity and Santa Claus and the goodness of humanity, read this book.
Jill
Dec 28, 2009 Jill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
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
Ellen Peterson
Jan 09, 2015 Ellen Peterson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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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Dawn
Dec 19, 2011 Dawn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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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Courtney
Dec 27, 2008 Courtney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 09, 2012 Lori Henrich rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Laura
Dec 17, 2008 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christmas
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
Dec 29, 2009 Dawn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very uplifting stories and the impact they had on the lives of others.
Elizabeth G
Dec 13, 2009 Elizabeth G rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Christine Howard
A gritty Marine becomes the helper of disabled and plays a benevolent Santa.
Heather
Jan 28, 2014 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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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Barbara M
Dec 28, 2014 Barbara M rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Kristin
Nov 20, 2010 Kristin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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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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
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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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
Tasha enderby
Dec 02, 2010 Tasha enderby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010, christmas
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
Dec 18, 2011 Amanda Yanez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Phillip
Dec 26, 2014 Phillip rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
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.
Pam
Dec 23, 2014 Pam rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bios-memoirs, holiday
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.
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.
Melinda
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!
Faye Ridpath
Dec 29, 2014 Faye Ridpath rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Andy Lee
Feb 17, 2010 Andy Lee rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Skeeter Jorgensen
Dec 20, 2011 Skeeter Jorgensen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
Lacy
Dec 05, 2011 Lacy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Karen
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.
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