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Salem State University Professor Yvonne Vissing Publishes Santa Series

Interview by the Center for Research and Creative Activities

Professor Yvonne Vissing of the Salem State healthcare studies department recently published her Santa Series, a new book series meant to inspire “joy, hope and love” that reimagines the 21st century understanding of Santa Clause.

The series has five books Reimagining Santa: The social construction and transformation of Santa Claus yesterday, today and tomorrow; The Santa Spirit; The ABCs of the Santa Spirit for Adults; The Legend of the Santa Stocking, and A Santa Spirit Advent Calendar Book: COVID Edition, which offers a set of family activities and reading to do during the holiday season.

The books are meant to embrace diversity, inclusion, and multiculturalism in the understanding of the legend of Santa Claus. The series has been a passion project for Vissing, the inspiration of which began many years ago while she was growing up in southern Indiana. Vissing spent many years of her childhood visiting Santa Claus Land in Santa Claus, Indiana as her father was friends with the founder of the amusement park, Jim Yellig.

Once, Yellig visited Vissing’s childhood home and gifted her with 100 pine seedlings that she and her father planted together. This way, Yellig explained, the spirit of Christmas could exist with them year-round, as there would always be Christmas trees in her yard. As Vissing grew, she became passionate about the idea of keeping the spirit of Christmas and Santa alive, but felt there needed to be a change in how we view the modern day Santa.

For more information on the Santa Series and Vissing’s work, you can visit the Santa Series Website.



Learn more about the Center for Research and Creative Activities. All Salem State University students, faculty, and staff are invited to email their research to be featured by the CRCA:

Evea Raye
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