posted on December 10, 2014 by Sandra Hill


by Sandra Hill

ChristmasTransylvaniaThese are interesting days in our household.  My ten-year-old grandson Max finally got the “There is no Santa Claus” reality check from his parents.  On a scale of kid traumatic, this is right up there with “Candy is outlawed,” and “My life is over.”

Max had been taunted at school lately by the little grinches who no longer believe in the jolly old fellow; so, his mother and father sat him down for the talk.

He wasn’t buying it.  Not for a minute.

He got angry.  He wailed.  He refused to believe he could have been such a fool (he’s an especially bright boy).  To him, Christmas was over now.  Without Santa, there would be no more holiday happiness.  Finally, he just curled up in a ball on his bed and wept.

Time for a Nana intervention.  (That would be me.)

I explained to him that even at my age, with four grown sons and three grandchildren, I still believe in Christmas.  That, even if I lived all alone, I would have a decorated tree and presents and all the goodies.  Because Christmas isn’t just about Santa Claus, and not just because it celebrates the birth of the Christ child.  No, Santa represents the spirit of the whole season.  He is just a symbol for the time of year when we remind ourselves that peace and love are the most important thing, that there is just as much joy in giving as receiving.

And being of Norse descent, I told him how many of our yule celebrations began with Vikings.

Most of all, I wanted Max to understand that it’s okay to believe in things you cannot see, or touch, or taste.  Like hope.  And love.  And faith.  If you have those in your heart, anything is possible.

He’s okay now.  Of course I had to bribe him by promising to decorate the curved stairway in my front hall into candy canes.  Can anyone say National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation?

What has all this to do with books?

When I decided to write a Christmas novella for my Deadly Angels series, I was faced with some of the same questions.  My vangels are a combination of vampires and angels, with a little Viking blood thrown in.  Literally.  When Vikar, head VIK of the vangels, is talked into a traditional Christmas at the rundown castle in Transylvania, Pennsylvania, he argues that it’s not appropriate for angels to do secular celebrations around a holy holiday.  And the idea of Santas with fangs gives Vikar the shivers (of distaste).  But Vikar’s wife and children talk him into the whole shebang.  Talk about chaos.  Twenty foot tree chopped down with Viking battle axes…a tree that can’t fit through the door.  Mistletoe hanging from the cobwebs.  Blood in the egg nog.  But then the chaos becomes more chaotic when a stranger is brought into their midst.  Laughter and tears guaranteed!

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas.  And if you comment within the next two days, until Dec. 12, we’ll pick two names to receive print copies of CHRISTMAS IN TRANSYLVANIA, just in time for gift giving.

You can read an excerpt on my website at  And don’t forget to stop at my Facebook page at Sandra Hill Author for more news.

Please write and let us know what you do for the Christmas holidays, your family traditions, new things you are trying.  It’s all about sharing.

CHRISTMAS IN TRANSYLVANIA can be purchased in eBook format for/from:

Sandra Hill

Sandra Hill

Humor has become a hallmark of Sandra Hill's books. She started out with Vikings, tried a medieval knight, moved into the Old South, then the California gold fields, on to modern-day Manhattan, Memphis, Maine and Galveston. But the one element that has remained consistent in all her books is the laugh-out-loud humor.

Sandra's first book came out in October 1994, and since then she has published fifteen novels and had novellas in four anthologies, all through Dorchester Publishing.

Married for almost thirty years (to the same man!!!), Sandra is the mother of four sons. Living with five males (not to mention a male German Shepherd the size of a small horse) is enough to make any woman develop a sense of humor, Sandra often says. Either that, or go mad.

The most gratifying thing to Sandra has been the amazing reader response to her books. Almost 5,000 readers have taken the time to write to her over the past five years (some of them repeatedly) to tell her how much her books have touched their lives. This is the one thing Sandra never expected when she first started writing...the need for laughter in a world that is becoming increasingly stressful and sometimes downright dreary. She is only too happy to help and promises her fans that her well of humor is not about to run dry for a long, long time.

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47 thoughts on “THE SANTA MYTH”

  1. Avatar Sarah says:

    Would love to win the book 🙂

  2. Avatar Amber Vincent says:

    Is this where we comment? Interesting idea I look forward to reading the book

  3. Avatar Christina Lagan says:

    Santa is real. He just has help these days. Parents, family and friends are his helpers. They are ok with not getting credit. And it’s easier to blame him when your children don’t get everything they ask for. LOL.

    1. Christina: I know what you mean about blaming Santa. Poor guy!

  4. I am really looking forward to reading your books, now that I’ve read your blog. Sorry to say, I had not heard of them before now. Your explanation to your Grandson was wonderful and close to what I said to my Granddaughter a couple of years ago. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  5. I read all your earlier books and loved them…is there a chance that you might write another book relating to your earlier series? This book would be a good way to start catching up this series…..Have a very Merry and blessed Christmas.

    1. Linda: Yes, I will go back to those earlier series, and I have already, actually. THE PIRATE BRIDE, THE NORSE KING’S DAUGHTER, THE VIKING TAKES A KNIGHT, and VIKING IN LOVE were all continuations of my earlier series. Thanks for asking.

  6. Avatar Tracy Cruey says:

    Bless your grandson’s heart! I’m so glad that he is getting back into the Christmas decorating and hopefully the Christmas spirit! My niece grew up thinking of Santa Claus like other fairy tales (my sister is a hardworking single parent and was determined Santa would NOT get credit for the gifts she worked hard to buy for her daughter!). My niece was very good about not ruining it for other children and she greatly enjoyed the season with all cartoons, lights, decorations, music and gifts…still does as an adult too. 🙂 Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  7. I was born and raised in Denmark, and the Christmas traditions of my childhood and youth I have held onto for all of the years that I had been away. Christmas is the 24th in the evening, the food we eat consist of traditional pork roast with crisp rind on it, Candied white potatoes, boiled white potatoes, red cabbage, gravy, lingonberries, cucumber salad and a dessert called Ris’ala Mande. A rich rice dessert with warm cherry sauce. I have tried to stubbornly hold on to the Christmas eve tradition since leaving Denmark when I was 21 years old, 50 years ago.

    1. Dorothe: I loved your post about your Xmas traditions. That rice dessert with cherry sauce sounds wonderful. Can you share a recipe?

  8. Avatar Sandyg265 says:

    We usually go to my boyfriend’s daughter’s house Christmas Day.

  9. That was a wonderful explanation for your grandson. (I can’t believe he’s already 10!)

    1. Hey, Trana! I’ll bet some of your Christmas traditions involve ghosts. Everyone: Trana is an honest to God ghost hunter, as
      well as a wonderful author.

  10. Avatar melinda jiles says:

    That is so sweet!!!! I’ll never forget the year me and my sister found out the gifts that magically appeared at 5 in the morning were not brought by the mam in the red suit…..I was 11, LOL!!

  11. love that family get togather for christmas,everyone is so busy all year with their lives we don’t get to see much of each other,so we celebrate christ birth and get together

  12. Avatar Sonia says:

    I have a 6 yr old g gdaughter that believes in Santa & an 11 yr old gdaughter that is in the middle of it. She believes in Santa, and at the same time she knows that it’s me who buys the presents. It saddened me that your grandson had to be ripped off the strong believe he had because of a bunch of kids without fantasies. Enjoy your holidays.

  13. Avatar Betty says:

    I love your books and I’m reading this one as an eBook right now. So far so great and the scene with the tree reminds me of my first Christmas with my husband. I love your explanation to your grandson and may have to use it on my nephew soon. Thanks! On a side note, where can I get a nice Saint Jude pendant?

    1. Well, Betty, if you were a member of my mailing list, you might have received one as part of my Christmas Giveaway where there were 25 prizes. Maybe next time. But you can buy them online or in an religious bookstore type of place. Thanks for asking.

  14. Avatar Nancy says:

    You books are wonderful. When ever I read them my husband asks me what I’m laughing about. You put so much humor in them.

  15. Avatar Joan V. says:

    I loved your explanation to your grandson. You covered the most important parts for all of us. Our one small tradition is that on Christmas Eve, my family and I pile into the car and drive around our community to look at all of the decorated houses.

    1. Joan: Lucky you! In our eclectic college town, folks don’t go overboard with decorating. A wreath on the door is about it.

  16. Avatar Diane says:

    Would love to win the book, Big fan of all your series

  17. Avatar Sonya Miller says:

    I can remember that very conversation and the feelings involved, even after so many years. I think you handled it wonderfully. Hope the magic shows back up for him.

  18. I love your explanation because I had it too with my nephew. His sister likes to spoil things for him. I told him I write to Santa Clause and celebrate the birth of Jesus because it doesn`t matter how old you are, to believe in something, there is Hope. I Believe!

  19. Avatar PamB says:

    I raised my boys to believe Santa is the spirit of giving without expecting anything in return. Because of this I have two adult sons who still believe knowing that they are now expected to be Santa when possible.

  20. Avatar suekey12 says:

    Vangels and Santas with fangs sounds interesting.

  21. Avatar Cindy A. says:

    That is a great explanation! It was kind of the same with me daughters, but they cam and told me!!!

    1. Avatar Cindy A. says:

      They came and told me what they thought Christmas was!

  22. Avatar Andra Dalton says:

    Completely agree!!! It’s not about what you can see or touch, but what you choose to believe in!!! No matter how old I get I choose to believe in Santa, along with all the other amazing magical wonders out there!!! Love everything & anything to do with the holidays & being together with family as well as friends!!! It warms my heart to get together & attend Christmas Mass, then gather back at my mom’s house to eat & watch the kiddos shear joy as they rip into the gifts that magically appeared while they were away at church!!! Thanks for the opportunity to win & good luck to all who enter!!! Many Blessings & Happy Holidays to all!!!:)

  23. Avatar Kim says:

    Love it, I could imagine the talk and grandma saved Christmas 🙂

  24. Avatar Rita says:

    I enjoy reading your books. What you told your grandson about Santa and Christmas, it was awesome. More people need to take that approach.

  25. Avatar Diane Sallans says:

    My town has a Christmas Eve Carole Sing around the green – lots of sparkly lights and a brass ensemble to accompany us.

    1. Diane: I can just picture it, like Chevy Chase’s FUNNY FARM, but better.

  26. Avatar Sue C says:

    We meet at my parents every Christmas Day! Usually my Uncle and cousins come and we spend the day with family.

  27. Avatar Gwyn Beams says:


  28. Avatar Debra Bailey says:

    Growing up on a farm, Christmas gatherings were always at our house since it was the biggest and mom came from a family of 6 kids. The families would all gather at our house for usually Christmas Eve supper. One year it was snowing so bad that we weren’t for sure if everyone could make it or not. Well they did, and low and behold who else should appear but Santa HIMSELF!!!! Most of my cousins were thrilled but a few started crying cause they were afraid they wouldn’t get any presents for being naughty. But Santa did give everyone presents. It turned out later that mom had cooked this up with a neighbor to dress up as Santa and Santa almost didn’t make it because of the snowfall. But it is a wonderful memory to have in my life.

    1. The Christmas when my first son was only a toddler, my husband went out in the yard carrying a red cloth covered flashlight and a bell. He was jingling that bell and prancing around like a drunken
      Rudolph. My son, nose pressed to the window, loved it.

  29. Avatar DIane Bratt says:

    My oldest granddaughter is 8 and I know it won’t be long before she begins to question things. Thanks for the insight into smoothing out the transition. I have loved reading your books and always look forward to the next release. Merry Christmas.

  30. Avatar laurieg72 says:

    Unique idea for a Christmas story! I’m off to read the excerpt. I remember when my oldest found out about Santa in 3rd grade. It was traumatic but she was resilient and didn’t spoil it for her 3 younger brothers. My favorite Christmas movie is PRANCER. I love Jessica’s belief in Santa and the miracle of Christmas. Her spirit and belief inspired the whole community. I’m thrilled with people’s generosity at this time of year. A giving tree is a wonderful way to brighten a child or even a family’s Christmas. How amazing even a small donation can bring to someone’s Christmas!!

  31. Avatar Connie Dowell says:

    Oh Sandra, you are just the BOMB~! I cant wait to read your novella and thank you so much for the opportunity to win it in print~! You came thru like the loving Grandmama you are for your Grandson. I can remember being a staunch believer beyond 10 and finding out was devastating~!!!!!!!!!!!! But all the years of joy I had I transfered it into making it real for my siblings. And then my own children, and then grandchildren. The magic of Christmas is so real it lasts a lifetime~!!!!! “Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus.”~!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  32. Fantastic author who writes great books!

  33. Avatar Jan Capstick says:

    Love all your books! Fingers crossed that I’m a winner 🙂

  34. Christmas should be a magical time. Sad when some can spoil it for others. Would love to read your book. Merry Christmas.

  35. Avatar Amy Paul says:

    Sounds like a fun book. I’m sad that your grandson doesn’t believe anymore. My daughter is 8 and I dread that conversation and only hope that when she learns there isn’t a “real” Santa Claus, that she’ll be old enough to understand that she can believe in the concept if not the literal “man with the beard.”

  36. Avatar Avis Hoard says:

    Sandra, I love what you told your grandson! I’m doing something similar for my 7 year old granddaughter. She still believes but there are some kids in her 3rd grade class who are already little cynics missing out on the joy of the season. BTW, you know I love Christmas in Transylvania! Got it the day it came out, so if I’m chosen…please pick another name and gift it to them! Merry Christmas!

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