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The Great Santa Search (The Christmas Chronicles)

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  389 Ratings  ·  70 Reviews
This follow-up to Jeff Guinn's bestselling holiday favorites The Autobiography of Santa Claus and How Mrs. Claus Saved Christmas takes readers on a sleigh ride through the history of Christmas in America that lands smack-dab in 2006, as a new reality TV show threatens to destroy the true spirit of Christmas.

This third installment in Jeff Guinn's bestselling Christmas Chro
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published October 19th 2006 by Tarcher (first published 2006)
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Matt Spaulding
Dec 16, 2015 Matt Spaulding rated it liked it
This third book in the "Christmas Chronicles" is by no means a bad book. I find it quite enjoyable. But it is certainly weaker than the previous two installments.

Where the first two books, "The Autobiography of Santa Claus" and "How Mrs. Claus Saved Christmas", are historical fiction and teach the reader about Christmas and world history through the eyes of Santa and his wife, this one is about a fictional reality show on a fictional station told as though this, too, is an event that really happ
Dec 15, 2009 Amber rated it liked it
I was looking for a holiday book to read that wasn't too sappy, and came across The Great Santa Search.

Santa Claus has been going about his mission to bring good boys and girls toys for about 17 centuries now. Since his good friend JW Parkinson decided to use a fake Santa Claus for his marketing in 1841, the real Santa has been concerned about the commercialization of Christmas. He wants to make sure that the children do not get too wrapped up (haha) in the getting, but remember that his gifts a
Don LaFountaine
Dec 30, 2015 Don LaFountaine rated it really liked it
Book 3 of the Christmas Chronicles was quite good, though I did not think it was as good of a story as the first two books.

This book starts with how Santa found out that one of his friends wanted to have Santa meet people at his store to try to boost his sales. Though Santa says no, his friend finds a substitute pretend his is Santa. Though there were a number of mess-ups by this substitute Santa, it did it's job and boosted the sales of his store. This was back in 1841, and though it did not se
Lisa the Librarian
Jan 01, 2009 Lisa the Librarian rated it liked it
The third in the Christmas Chronicles trilogy I enjoyed this book, but not as much as the two previous books.

The theme of this book is the commercialization of Christmas in general and Santa Claus in particular. There is a bit of true historical info about the first time "Santa" appeared in a store as a gimmick to boost sales and the real Santa bemoans this fact.

The story then takes on an unrealistic twist as the scheme to create a reality tv show to choose the "official" Santa takes place.

Dec 22, 2012 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: have-read
Felix and his Wife Sarah,who work with Santa Claus, meet FUN TV Network Producer and his assistant and end up talking about Christmas TV special's program's. The producer is named Bob'O.Felix unintentionally gives Bob'O an idea...."The Great Santa Search", which destroy the belief's in Santa Forever. Santa and his friends must have Felix and Sarah working on the inside with Bob'O on the show, and Santa must get into shape and Win the Show. The problem is that someone else is a good Santa,even th ...more
Nov 28, 2014 Charly rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone. Especially "True Believers"
This is the last of Guinn's "Christmas Chronicles" series. Like How Mrs. Claus Saved Christmas, this is more of a story than an explanation of how Santa's magical powers came to occur as was the case in The Autobiography of Santa Claus. However this story does deal with how Santa came to accept the many store Santas in the US and understand that no matter how the message of Christmas gets across the importance is that it does.

Quinn does a fine job throughout the series in recognizing historical
Dec 11, 2009 Nancy rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, holiday, owned
This was an enjoyable book. It helped to have read The Autobiography of Santa Claus to know some of the back story. This story is about a reality show to find the "real" Santa. The ending surprised me, but was appropriate.

"Some people believe in Santa Claus all their lives, some believe for a while, and some never believe in me at all, " I said. "What few ever realize is that no matter what you do or don't believe, each of you has the ability to be Santa Claus. At Christmas or any other time of
Jan 31, 2009 Teri rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Those who love Christmas books
Shelves: christmas, 2008
The third and final book in the Christmas Chronicles series. I am so excited. I loved the other two. I feel like a kid at Christmas:).
Loved this series. After reading the Autobiography of Santa Claus for the second time,(I think I loved it even more the second time) and then reading How Mrs. Claus Saved Christmas and The Great Santa Search in quick succession, I am contemplating five stars for all three books.
The author did an amazing job of writing fun and interesting historical facts with a
Dec 24, 2010 Athornton rated it really liked it
Over the last few years, my husband and I have taken to reading this series of books by Jeff Guinn. We found them to be enjoyable, even for people who might not be maximum true believers! Reading them makes everything seem possible! I found this book entertaining for the tie-ins to current culture and Santa's lack of knowledge about XBox and the like. The ending was not quite what I expected but you'll have to read it to find out for yourself. It's conveniently divided into 24 chapters so you ca ...more
Dec 28, 2008 Samantha rated it really liked it
This was an very good book. It brought Santa into the world as it is today. A TV network that has fallen on hard times decides to have a reality show looking for the "real" Santa Claus. This book is just delightful and would be a great read for children. It talks about the true meaning of Christmas...which is showing love for others just like God gave his son...showing love for us. It is very entertaining and fast paced. There is always something going on. You may have to explain some parts to k ...more
Dawn Teresa
Jan 01, 2009 Dawn Teresa rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who is still young at heart and loves Christmas!
Shelves: christmas
This is the first title in the Christmas Chronicles Series that I have read. I picked up a copy at the library, where the only titles in the series still on the shelf were this and How Mrs. Claus Saved Christmas . The premise of this book seemed more fun: A reality TV show will run a contest to find the supposedly true Santa Claus! We know that can't be right, because the *real* Santa would never do something like that, right?

Without getting into any spoilers, let me just say that I really enjoy
Aug 11, 2016 Elise rated it it was amazing
I had picked this up at the warehouse book sale, but so did my mom - so I just read her copy after she had finished it. I know there are other books in the series, but I'm not sure if I've read them.

This particular book deals with, you guessed it, a search for the real Santa. In this case, the real Santa finds a way to compete and ends up being able to spread a really great Christmas message. I'm really glad that I read this book and I recommend it to anyone that has ever believed in Santa Claus
Jan 16, 2013 Brainwise rated it liked it
While not as good as the first two installments of Guinn's "The Christmas Chronicles," this third book does have a few nice nods to Christmas history and a warm, heartfelt conclusion. I believe my disappointment in the story is due to two things: (1) my dislike of reality TV programming, and (2) the present day setting -- the previous stories were more grounded in the past, so it was easier to dispel any potential disbelief in the characters' presence. Still, a lovely story for anyone who loves ...more
Oct 22, 2014 Bob rated it really liked it
Shelves: christmas-books
This is my annual Christmas book. I always find a book to read during the month of December to get me into the Christmas Spirit. This is the third book in Jeff Guinn’s Christmas Chronicles. It is about a reality show that is searching for the “official” Santa among the many that are found around the Christmas Season. Like all of Guinn’s books in this series it explores the history of a Christmas tradition, in this case how Santa’s began appearing in stores and malls. It makes for an enjoyable re ...more
Aug 23, 2007 Amy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
the best book i have read in quite a while. it follows the story of santa trying to stop the reality tv show "the search for the real santa claus" because it does not abide with the true "meaning of christmas." amazing. favorite quote as of yet: "because our gift giving mission had grown so dramatically, it was impossible for us to maintain a single gigantic toy-making facility in secret until Leonardo da Vinci designed what he accurately described as 'a self-contained environment' beneath the s ...more
Dec 16, 2011 Becca rated it it was ok
The concept for this book is great, but I really wasn't crazy about the execution. It's a quick, easy read and a fun story, but the author's occasional religious preaching interrupts the flow of the story and, I think, interferes with the overall "moral of the story". Good for readers who celebrate xmas as a religious holiday, condescending to the point of being obnoxious toward those of us who observe the holiday in a secular way.
Nov 25, 2008 Alisa rated it liked it
As I am getting ready to pick my Christmas themed book for the 2008 holiday season I realized that I never put this book in my "Read" list. This was my Christmas themed book of choice for the 2007 holiday season. It was a fun Christmas read that helps you remember the true spirit of Christmas is more than just Christmas themed movies (or, in the case of this book, television shows) and shopping malls.
Meredith Spidel
Jan 06, 2012 Meredith Spidel rated it liked it
So this was the best of the three for me--moved much quicker and I finished it by the Epiphany (1/6), which was my goal, so I could technically still be within the Christmas season! I still think Santa's voice was off--I get Guinn was trying to capture his innocence, but I think he appeared overly simple at times which made him far less relatable. Anyway, fun to read around the holidays, but will be gladly passing these books along.
Dec 01, 2008 Maura rated it liked it
A light-hearted book from the author of The Autobiography of Santa Claus. This one deals with a reality TV show to find the "real" Santa. The real Santa gets involved to make sure the true spirit of Christmas is upheld in the face of commercialism. Much lighter on the history of Christmas than previous books, but the reader will still come away with some knowledge of why Christmas in the U.S. is celebrated as it is.
Jan 04, 2009 Dianna rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everybody in the whole wide world
Recommended to Dianna by: me mum
this book is so amazing and imaginative. it's about the search for the true santa. for a TV show, mall santas nationwide compete to see who is the real santa. due to high risks in the belief of him, the real santa gets involved, and resolves the problem despite struggles with cheaters and people who never believed in him. it also has a focus on the true meaning of christmas; what's more important than the gifts. it's a really great book that can only add to the spirit of christmas.
Jan 06, 2011 Michelle rated it liked it
In order to save his family oriented tv network, Bobbo Butler creates a reality like Christmas special to find the real Santa. The real Santa and his helpers are nervous that this will ruin the belief of children all over the world and devise a plan to enter the contest. I found it to be a fun, but somewhat slow read.
Jan 07, 2008 casey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book. I have never read a book like it. I thought it was pretty informative about other holidays that other countries celebrate like Christmas for us. I really think that I will read the other 2 by this author next Christmas. The author had a great spin on how Santa Claus works, elves, reindeer, etc. Pretty good book for the holidays.
Jan 02, 2009 Melea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A lovely book, that takes the format of a reality TV show to remind the reader about the true meaning of Christmas, love, giving, and the Birth of Christ. I loved meeting Santa's Helpers, including Theodore Roosevelt, Amelia Earhart, Leonardo da Vinci, Bill Pickett, King Arthur, Attila the Hun (I know, amazing what love can do, isn't it?) and others.

Lauren Czeb
Feb 17, 2016 Lauren Czeb rated it it was amazing
The Great Santa Search is one of the best books I have ever read. It truly captures the true essence of Christmas spirit. I loved the fun story line. Jeff Guinn has written a magical book that was fun, heart warming, and whimsical. He was able to bring Santa alive and create a wonderful personality that makes you want to keep reading. An absolute must read!!
Nancy Bandusky
Oct 14, 2012 Nancy Bandusky rated it really liked it
This is an enjoyable story of the search for the "real" Santa. Although it starts out a little slow, it picks up and is a fun read all the way to the end. Despite all the usual Santa things (the reader is corrected on several points such as elves, Rudolph, etc), it is refreshing to have a Santa story where Santa himself reminds the reader (more than once) the real reason for the season - Jesus!
Jan 01, 2014 Lisa rated it liked it
Shelves: christmas
Our middle two boys and I read this together this past holiday season. I was delighted to read anything aloud to them, and that they were interested in listening, as it had been way too long for us. I liked the actual history of Santa Claus parts the best. It was easy to get into, simply written, and the boys liked it a lot. Not a classic, but it brought us together.
Sarah Fox
Jul 23, 2013 Sarah Fox rated it really liked it
Told as by Santa, the Great Santa Search is an interesting, entertaining Christmas read. The true meaning of Christmas is made apparent by Santa. Bobo Butler finds the perfect Christmas special, a reality TV show that will declare the official Santa, to save FUN-TV.
Dec 19, 2010 Kara rated it really liked it
This is an adorable book. While not as good as the other two books, it is still worth reading around the holiday season. Jeff Guinn weaves historical facts about Christmas into a heartwarming Christmas tale.
Jan 30, 2014 Katie rated it liked it
This was a good book, but I didn't enjoy it as much as the first two in the Christmas chronicles series. There wasn't any historical detail in this one, which was the strong point of the first two books. That being said, the characters were good and the plot was enjoyable.
Oct 10, 2013 David rated it it was amazing
This is the best book out of all of "The Christmas Chronicles." I think part of that has to do with the fact that the history has already been established. This book focuses on the present whereas the previous two books focused on the past.
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Jeff Guinn is the author of MANSON: The Life and Times of Charles Manson, THE LAST GUNFIGHT: The Real Story of the Shootout at the O.K. Corral And How It Changed the American West, and GO DOWN TOGETHER: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie & Clyde, which was a finalist for an Edgar Award in 2010. He was a longtime journalist who has won national, regional and state awards for investigative reporti ...more
More about Jeff Guinn...

Other Books in the Series

The Christmas Chronicles (3 books)
  • The Autobiography of Santa Claus (The Christmas Chronicles #1)
  • How Mrs. Claus Saved Christmas (The Christmas Chronicles #2)

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