"Simon Camilleri’s 'When Santa Learned the Gospel' is a wonderful antidote to the message of Santa that kids absorb every Christmas through school, in the media, and at shopping malls. I wish it had been available when my children were younger, to read together after all those school Christmas concerts, where we always had to listen to Santa Claus is Coming to Town, a song that Simon engages with in his book.
This book will be greatly appreciated by parents who want their kids to grasp the difference between Santa’s message and the gospel. I can imagine it becoming a family favourite that’s read every year, as well as a widely used evangelistic and teaching resource for Sunday Schools, kids’ clubs, and Scripture classes."
- Jean Williams, The Gospel Coalition Australia
Let Simon read you the story!
As a father of four young children I’m thankful for Simon’s innovative book and I trust it will lift their eyes to the wonder and truth of Jesus. Wonderfully written and beautifully illustrated this is bound to add some sparkle to your Christmas celebrations. - Guy Mason (Lead Pastor, City on a Hill, Australia)
“When Santa Learned the Gospel” tells a powerful story that combines the secular celebrations of Santa with the Christian truth of Jesus. I highly recommend supporting this project. - Aaron Kelly (Senior Pastor, Fresh Church Banyule)
Coming to Christmas, it can be hard to know how to respond as a Christian to the idea of ‘Santa Claus’. Simon’s idea for this book doesn’t just hide Santa away or seek to avoid it – he does something much better. He uses the all too familiar ideas and themes of Santa to more clearly contrast the difference that can be found in Jesus message of the gospel." - Rory Weightman (Reforming Church, Bendigo)
Good stories always have a twist somewhere. This one has an inspired twist that grips the reader from the very first line. The reader is then carried on a delightful journey all the way to the last line. A must for your Christmas list. - Rob Robertson (Australian Director, Gospel Growth Ministries)
It’s funny, the illustrations look so good, and I like the story. It’s about how Santa thinks you have to be good, but Jesus says you just need to ask for forgiveness.- A 10 year old boy (his thoughts right after he had the story read to him)
We are very fortunate to have teamed up with the incredibly talented artist, Matt Boutros. Not only are his illustrations vibrant, colourful, and engaging for all ages, but they also help to communicate some of the complex ideas being explored in the story.
See how our talented artist Matt Boutros created the beautiful image shown above. You'll be blown away by how much detail actually goes into it!
It has been so exciting to see the interest in this book and quite humbling to see the support come flooding in! In less than two days after launching this campaign we had already met our initial $5,000 target with backers from Australia, the United States, Mexico and Canada.
These funds will go towards paying our wonderful illustrator (yes, he's worked for free up to this point!) and put something towards the cost of printing the first run of books.
The good news is that, having reached this, you can be confident that we have the financial capacity to finish the book.
Help us get to $15,000
There is so much more that we want to do than simply make a book and send out a few rewards.
We would like to send an order to the printer of at least 2,000 books. This will mean that we can distribute the book to schools, churches and individuals all across Australia and Internationally.
It will also mean that we can have spare books that we can give away to struggling schools and churches or even to local libraries! Wouldn't it be great to go into your local library and see "When Santa Learned the Gospel" there on the shelf for anyone to borrow and read!
The cost of printing, shipping, customs, promotion, buying an ISPN (so it can have a barcode on it for libraries) is around $15,000 (taking into consideration that Kickstarter also takes a 10% slice of the fundraising). This means we need 3 times our initial target. That may seem a lot, but at the time of writing this we were at $7,824, so we're half way there!
Read more about why we're aiming for $15,000, in Update #9.
We also have several exciting "Stretch Goals" that we would love to put into action if we have the resources. We'd love to work with churches and schools to see how we can provide resources to compliment this book.
To see some of the ideas we are dreaming up at this stage, scroll down to see our "Stretch Goals" below.
Share the Love!
For us to achieve all this, we need you not only to become a backer of this project, we want to invite you to become a partner! Communicate with us your own ideas and please share this Kickstarter campaign with your friends, family and church community!
If you'd like to promote this at your church and need some promotional media you can DOWNLOAD IT HERE.
If you become a backer, here are some of the wonderful rewards we are offering!
VIP Book Launch Gift Box
Be a Character in the Book!
There are 4 human characters in the story available for customisation: 2 adults and 2 children (aged 6-12). Each character appears once.
Our illustrator, Matt Boutrous, will design one of these characters based on the photos you supply. He's already based Santa on a friend we know so we know it can be done!
Adding to Your Order
In the new year, we will send backers a survey to confirm your details. You will also have the opportunity to add extra books and other items to your order.
Some items that you will most likely be able to add include:
- 1 x Book ($19 per book)
- 3 x Books ($16 per book)
- 5 x Books ($15 per book)
- 15 x Books ($14 per book)
- 25 x Books ($13 per book)
- 50 x Books ($11 per book)
- 5 x Christmas Cards ($7)
*Note: Prices may change slightly in the new year.
Prices in Australian Dollars
All prices are in Australian dollars. For our international backers, prices may be cheaper after currency conversion.
To convert prices to your country's currency, CLICK HERE.
If the campaign is successful there is lots more we would love to do with "When Santa Learned the Gospel". Here are some of our dreams...
For several years, Simon Camilleri has been the Creative Director of the annual community carols event at his church, Bundoora Presbyterian.
Simon aims to use his experience putting together an entertaining and gospel-focused carols event to develop resources that will compliment the book "When Santa Learned the Gospel".
- NOV 2016: Kickstarter launches
- DEC 2016: Kickstarter ends (successfully!)
- JAN 2017: Survey sent to backers
- FEB 2017: Add-ons made available
- MAR 2017: Completed book sent to printers
- APR - JUN 2017: Waiting... waiting...
- JULY 2017: Book Launch Event!
- AUG - SEP 2017: Books mailed to those requiring delivery
- OCT - NOV 2017: Everyone should have their book by this stage
- DEC 2017: Christmas!!!
Meet the Team
If you've read this far, you are awesome...
Risks and challenges
With the success of this Kickstarter, our amazing illustrator will be able to continue to produce the stunning illustrations for this book. We aim to fully complete the book and send it off to the overseas printers by the end of March, but after that point it is out of our hands for a while.
Using an overseas printer ensures we can keep the costs at a minimum. The downside is that you have less control over the process and it also takes months (yes months) to be shipped back to you. If anything goes wrong, then printing or delivery could be delayed.
The most frustrating result would be if there is such a delay that I am unable to get you the book by Christmas 2017. That is why we aim to finish the book before April, to do everything in our power to avoid this. God willing, the books will arrive in time for us to distribute them either at the Book Launch Event in July or by mail so they can get to you in plenty of time, no matter where in the world you are.
Please pray that God protects this process so that no unnecessary delays occur. Either way, whatever the Lord wills, I aim to keep you informed every step of the way!
"Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”"
- (23 days)