Dear Santa…

24 September 2012. 09:50 AM by Christine McGinn

EVERY year at Christmas time, Santa’s workshop overflows with hand written letters asking for toys from little boys and girls, hoping they have been good this year.

But this year, deep in the heart of Australia, a young boy named Ruben asks Santa for something quite out of the ordinary.

He doesn’t want new presents wrapped in colourful paper, topped with pretty bows.

Instead, Ruben asks Santa for a new best friend.

The ensuing narrative is a heart-felt story of love and compassion and the importance in believing in the possibility of miracles.

Speaking with Our World Today, rising author Lee-Anne Fairbairn said Christmas has always been an important time to share with family and celebrate a “heart connection”.

“When we celebrate things, that’s when the magic really comes alive,” she said.

“It’s a special time we can really honour, honour each other and just be ourselves.”

Her new book Oh Deer! Christmas Magic is an earnest tale of friendship and responsibility that takes Ruben and Rudolph on a motorcycle flying adventure to save Christmas.

This inspiring story is the ninth book in Fairbairn’s series of children’s books Our Footsteps aimed at assisting children through their early stages of life.

Ms Fairbairn said the tale of Ruben is “a powerful message” as he seeks out a friend, cares for him and shares unconditional empathy.

“The friendship develops between Ruben and Rudolph, Rudolph becomes his new best friend.”

“I have a really good feeling about this one [book] and that it is quite special.”

“I hope it brings families together and inspires them to live their dreams, especially for kids.”

“My belief is that it would be lovely for kids to be inspired by this book to follow their passion and their dreams, to not let them go, to live them.”

Oh Deer! Christmas Magic is the first book in a series that focuses on Australian Christmas, capturing the spirit of the festive season and its ability to allow the youth in all of us to shine through.

“We can be that kid inside again which is really important, our kids help us to remember that,” Ms Fairbairn said.

Drawing upon her own farming family’s experiences and connection to animals, Fairbairn says her family keeps her centred.

“Being around my family helps me to reconnect with who I am,” Ms Fairbairn said.

“My family is a beautiful farming family and we live on the land with animals.”

“I really think when we connect with animals, we also connect with ourselves on a deeper level and when you do that, you realise we are all connected.”

Children’s Book Council of Australia national president Julie Wells agrees that it is crucial for children to feel a connection to a place.

“Having a sense of what life and environment are like in one's own country develops character and understanding,” she said.

Fairbairn said an interview by Andrew Denton with Australian author Tim Winton was the inspiration for this book, with his clear and eloquent words speaking to her creative side.

“The story just came in the next 24 hours after watching that [interview], so it was a great inspiration to get the creative juices flowing,” she said.

“It is quite amazing when you hear someone speak who has a passion about writing, the ideas just came which was beautiful.”

Ms Wells agrees that Mr Winton is an inspiration for all writers.

“Tim Winton possesses a great sense of justice and endorses a simple and healthy life,” she said.

Twenty per cent of the books sales will be donated to the charity Homes for Haiti, a not-for-profit organisation providing shelter for those left without homes after the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

“I came up with Homes for Haiti because I was working with a woman very passionate about Haiti,” Ms Fairbairn said.

“She adopted two children 20 years ago and knew firsthand [of] the plight of these people.”

“I just felt passionate that if I could help in some way with what she is doing then, I would love to help, because when you do that, people are able to help their own communities.”

Haiti was devastated by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake in January 2010 that left 3 million people needing humanitarian aid.

Despite being called the next “J.K Rowling”, Fairbairn remains grounded in her passion to write and inspire close family relations.

“My passion is to assist parents to connect with their children whole heartedly - reading story books is a great medium to do this.”

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