Santa & Sam by Chris E. Warner
Sam Adams is a retired professor with a bad heart. He lives alone with his aging cat in the home he shared for 46 years with his recently departed wife. Christmas is two weeks away and this one will be special. Sam s only son, Roger, and his two grandchildren, are coming home. After learning the joyous news, Sam scrambles to make a holiday home the way his wife once did. He soon realizes it is much hard work; as well as the humbling fact that more than one of his friends and neighbors will likely not have a Christmas as good as his unless someone helps them out. After many anxious days of careful preparations, Sam is devastated to learn just hours before the holiday that his son and his family will not be joining him. Roger s mother-in-law has had a stroke, and she needs them by her side. Sam feigns a steely resolve for his son s sake, and then predictably goes into the tank. Sam awakes from his stupor with an Epiphany--the real joy of Christmas comes from making others happy. He quickly gets to work, donning the faded old Santa Claus outfit from his teaching days. Using the presents he intended for his family, Sam sets out to affect the true reason of the season by sharing them with his needy friends and neighbors, who are overjoyed by his generosity and kindness. Through a series of timely flashbacks we learn of Sam s lifelong, magical, mysterious relationship with Santa Claus, and how he and Sam worked together for years to make Christmas special for so many. A story of the human capacity to love and be loved, Santa & Sam is a heartfelt contemplation of mankind s most enduring mystery, as well as a lasting celebration of a cherished international holiday tradition.