In the opening section of the Wikipedia page for Santa Claus it talks about all the various names he’s known by and then moves on to explain how he’s known for bringing gifts to good children on Christmas Eve. From there it speaks of how the myth of Santa Claus began with a merging of a Greek bishop named Saint Nicholas, the Dutch figure of Sinterklaas and Britain’s Father Christmas. Further, it talks about how he also has a lot in common with the Pagan god Wodan. The second paragraph about Santa talks about his physical appearance and how that has changed over the years. There is a final paragraph which offers more details about how Santa classifies kids as ‘naughty’ or ‘nice’, says ho ho ho a lot and lives with elves who make toys which he delivers with a magical sleigh and eight flying reindeer.
The opening section of Mrs. Claus’ Wikipedia page, however, is a single paragraph. It says she’s also known to go by ‘Mother Christmas,’ is the wife of Santa Claus (also known as Father Christmas), mentions she’s been referred to as Mary, Jessica, Layla and Martha and then includes one other sentence. That sentence?
“She is known for making cookies with the elves, caring for the reindeer, and preparing toys with her husband.”
I discovered all this after watching an advertisement, of all things. In 2016, Marks & Spencer had a holiday ad all about Mrs. Claus. It showed her as a woman with a life independent of Santa. Like her husband, she helped children, but she did it with a totally different style than him. No reindeer or sleighs for her. No way. This Mrs. Claus rode a snowmobile and flew a helicopter!
I adored that portrayal of Mrs. Claus and it made me realise that I hadn’t seen many portrayals of her at all and those I had were usually a rotund woman dressed like Granny (of Tweetie Bird & Granny fame). Then I started Googling and my disappointment grew.
I wanted to read stories about Mrs. Claus. Not tales where she merely makes cookies with the elves, cares for the reindeer and prepares toys with her husband, but stories where she is the star. Stories where she has agency, and personality and—like the Mrs. Claus from the Marks & Spencer ad—secrets from Santa. I had a difficult time finding those stories and so I decided to compile an anthology full of them. It’s sort of like the anthologist version of the famous quote by Toni Morrison, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”
This is that anthology. I’m excited about the myriad ways it portrays Mrs. Claus—a hero, a villain, a homebody, a spacefarer, an ass kicker, a motivator. It lets her step into the spotlight (sometimes alongside her husband, sometimes alone) and really begin to be more than just Santa’s companion.
You may not approve of all the interpretations of Mrs. Claus contained within these pages, but I hope you’ll find one or two (or more!) that really speak to you.