Just as every military group has their own color of ribbon to wear or sticker on their members’ cars, every group has their own version of the classic The Night Before Christmas. As a member of the large and varied defense industry—I’m an Army brat, sister of a soldier, a former defense analyst—I am thrilled this treasure of a book fell into my lap!
The plot is, like most stories, one that has been told before: It’s Christmas Eve, and Santa is on his mission to deliver toys when a massive blizzard knocks him and his reindeer off course. He is stuck for a while; by the time he gets unstuck he’s in a time crunch. With help from his friends, the toys find the right good boys and girls and everyone wakes up to many gifts and many smiles.
The story, like all recycled stories, has its own twist: Our North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) is responsible for tracking airplanes, bombers, Air Force One, and oh! Santa and his reindeer, too. They see the little “blob” that represents Santa on their screens suddenly disappear. A small, elite military team fast-ropes out of a helicopter and finds a cold Santa and his equally chilled reindeer buried in heaps of snow.
This team and others pledge to help Santa carry out his mission. I love when Santa explains the small problem of delivering toys to countries unfriendly with the United States:
“There’s just one little thing,” Santa said with a pout.
“I guess I’ll just say this and then hear you all out.
‘Cuz there may be some places you really can’t go.
The children love Santa, but the leaders say no.”
Santa then learned a secret that very few know…
“We have Special Ops teams that can come in quite low—
Delta Force, Navy SEALs, and tough Army Rangers.
In those types of places, they’ll handle the dangers!”
I recognize that this book is not for every family. I suspect that some moms and dads don’t want to see Santa salute, or have jet fighters featured in a Christmas book. But for those of us who are members of the defense industry, I highly recommend this unique book full of clever lines and amusing illustrations.
At the very least, kids can track Santa through NORAD:www.noradsanta.org.
The Night Santa Got Lost: How NORAD Saved Christmas
By Michael Keane, Illustrated by Michael Garland
Published by Regnery Books
Price: Available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books a Million for approximately $11
|Easy to Read||5|
|Quality of Illustrations||4|
|Appealed to both boys and girls||yes|
|Kept my child(ren)’s interest||4|
|I would purchase this for my family||yes|
|I would purchase this as a gift||yes|
| Overall rating
All ratings on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being highest.
Meet the Reviewer!
Kate Schwarz is a full-time mom
and wife living in Great Falls, VA.
In addition to reading to her three
small hildren, Kate runs marathons,
Crossfits, and blogs about raising
kids with books at