The Santa Series has been over a decade in the making. A Santa Claus type character can be found all around the world, in different cultures and with different names and appearances. All of these Santa figures have in common things like kindness to children, bringing joy, having positive values, listening to what others need and want, and doing things that remind us that we are special. The Santa figures were designed to help build community between us.
He has always been a figure that has transformed in appearance over time. It’s time to bring him back to his essential characteristics – loving kindness and joy.
Yvonne Vissing, PhD, is a pediatric sociologist who is an international children’s human rights policy chair. She grew up knowing one of the most famous Santa Clauses, Jim Yellig, of Santa Claus Land, Indiana. He even gave her pine seedlings so there could always be Christmas trees growing in her yard. Realizing that the Santa Spirit can reside in anyone who has a kind and pure heart, she decided that during the COVID crisis of 2020 that children of all ages needed to rediscover joy and loving-kindness. She wrote the Santa Series in hopes of lifting people’s hearts during these challenging and hard days.
Financial struggle was common in southern Indiana where she grew up. Over time this led to Yvonne’s work with the National Coalition for the Homeless and other anti-poverty and pro-human rights organizations. A mom of three wonderful children, Dr. Vissing was a National Institute of Mental Health Post-Doctoral Research fellow, NAMI family-to-family trainer, a former counselor, and knows the importance of children’s emotional wellbeing. She also is the US child rights policy chair for the Hope for Children UN Convention on the Rights Policy Center, a group of scholars around the world who believe that adults have an obligation to help children to play and be happy and healthy. Through comprehensive research, she has concluded that Santa can have many positive benefits for children if he is presented as the Santa Spirit.
She is also the founder of Salem State University’s Center for Childhood & Youth Studies, a pediatric and community sociologist, professor of healthcare studies who has authored ten books about different aspects of child and community well-being. You can learn more about Dr. Vissing at http://yvonnevissing.com