In her literary debut, Nanaimo author Marilyn Jackson imagines what would happen if St. Nick got sick on his biggest night of the year.
Jackson’s first children’s book is Ms. Claus Rescues Christmas: The Year Santa was Too Sick to Deliver Presents. Jackson said she’s been working on it for years but finally felt moved to finish it with “a lot of creativity building up” during the pandemic and thoughts of what would happen if Santa got sick.
In the book, Santa Claus comes down with the “North-Pole-Flu-Cough” and is too tired and grumpy to deliver presents on Christmas Eve. Ms. Claus volunteers to go herself, which sends the elves into a panic. They even threaten to smash the sleigh to keep her grounded.
“Everybody’s freaking out and it is sort of like when a woman breaks through the ceiling and says, ‘Listen, I can do this,’” Jackson said. “And then she says also, ‘You know, I’ve been designing all these toys all these years and keeping all the records of the girls and boys, what do you mean I can’t do this?’”
Jackson said the book also covers themes like pursuing one’s dreams and dealing with self-doubt. At times Ms. Claus questions her abilities and worries that she might let everyone down.
Jackson said she’s been writing “since I can remember,” including poetry and plays, but until now she didn’t feel her work was ready to be published. She said releasing her first book has been a “thrill” and readers are already asking about a sequel.
“It really has been fun to do,” she said. “It’s been inspiring to me to get going on some other things that I’ve put off and [I’ve had] great feedback. I’ve been getting a lot of wonderful messages from people who have enjoyed it.”
Ms. Claus Rescues Christmas is available here.