Like so many people do, Wayne A. Van Der Wal loved the carols, decorating, baking, the holiday movie-watching, reflecting on Jesus’ birth and the family time that accompanies Christmas. Then during his worst year yet, when the father of two was in the midst of a budget crunch brought on by divorce, he had an epiphany that led him to begin celebrating Christmas in a greatly simplified way.
“I had been frustrated with the materialism of Christmas for a long time,” he says. “I desired to make Christmas more meaningful for my children and me, so when I started researching more about the Santa Claus/St. Nick connection, [I discovered] wow, not only was he a real person, but he had a fascinating life story.”
Van Der Wal, a school psychologist and Christian, wants to make Christmas more meaningful for all with his new historical novel, The Gospel of Santa Claus: Inspired by the True Story of Saint Nicholas. The seven years he spent researching and writing the book transformed the way he and his family celebrate Christmas. They now celebrate the birth of Jesus with more family time, fewer material goods and an emphasis on good deeds.
Born in the third century A.D., St. Nicholas overcame childhood tragedy, felt called by God to take a vow of poverty, endured horrific persecution for his religious faith, and went on to become one of the most beloved, generous, loving, and famous figures in human history, Van Der Wal notes.
Van Der Wal writes, “My prayer is that you’ll be touched, taught, and entertained: touched emotionally by something or someone in the story, but especially touched spiritually by God in some way; taught something new about Santa Claus, Nicholas, God, Christmas, and the Christian faith; and entertained, so that you enjoy the read and feel satisfied after you’ve finished the novel. If somehow these things happen, then all the glory, honor, and praise go to our Father in Heaven.”
Praise for The Gospel of Santa Claus
“I read it every day as a devotional … and LOVED it! … I thoroughly enjoyed making The Gospel of Santa Claus a part of my Christmas season!” — George Rath, National Radio Network personality
“I heartily endorse The Gospel of Santa Claus! I was blessed to share this book with my grandkids and church family. This book has become a part of our Christmas tradition. I think it will be the same for all who read it!”—Terry Fred, Senior Pastor, Destiny Church Center, Reno, Nevada
About the Author
Wayne Van Der Wal is a school psychologist in Reno. He received his Ed S., MA and BA from the University of Nevada, Reno. His speaking and leadership experience spans more than 30 years of leading various ministries, including bible studies, college, inner-city, jail, men’s, DivorceCare, and youth group ministries.