To educate children about overcoming obsticals and unprecendenting challenges that come their way.
For Michael Shienbaum, a professional Santa in the King of Prussia area, the season of giving is a year-round ordeal, which is why this story-writing Saint Nick has published his first children’s book, “The Elves Indoors”.
“It’s been a dream of mine my entire life,” Michael said.
The Elves Indoors tells a story of a storm hitting the North Pole before Christmas, with Santa Claus deciding to stop his toy-making operations and have all the elves stay at home for their own safety.
The story is a reflection of the situation the world finds itself in right now, with the COVID-19 pandemic leaving people to stay at home and deal with their new ways of living.
Michael wrote the story as a way of helping people to deal with the new and unusual circumstances we find ourselves in today.
“I think that the theme is so on point with what’s going on with COVID-19,” Michael said.
The book was illustrated by Leah Stoogenke, an author and illustrator whose work can be found in the children’s book “Maggie’s Box”.
Michael has been a professional Santa for the last 9 years. For the last few years, he has traveled to be the Santa at the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad in Bryson City, North Carolina, which hosts a “Polar Express”-themed attraction in the winter months.
It was through the Christmas event circuit that Michael met Renate McIntosh, who would become his Mrs. Claus at events and for the storytime video series the two make on YouTube.
During the pandemic, Renate became Mrs. Renate Sheinbaum.
Ever in the spirit of giving, Michael made it a point for a portion of the proceeds of the book to be donated to Get Us PPE, an organization that is helping frontline workers and health professionals get Personal Protective Equipment to shiel them from COVID and other diseases.
Michael and Renate plan on hosting live readings of the book and other Christmas stories come the holiday season. Due to the current pandemic, the readings may be hosted live online for all to watch.
Michael plans on writing more books in the near future, with the goal of giving much of the proceeds to charity as he has done with “The Elves Indoors”.
“I feel good being charitable. I’m Santa Claus, for goodness sake!”