New enhancements to longtime Globe Santa book giving tradition

For six and a half decades Globe Santa has been providing holiday gifts to Boston area children. In this time of heightened need please consider giving by mail or at globesanta.org.

Children’s books have always been an important part of the Globe Santa gift box, but in this year of pandemic tragedy and uncertainty the program has some special enhancements to report in its book giving tradition.

In its 65th year, Globe Santa, a program of the Boston Globe Foundation, will give out some 65,000 books to thousands of deserving children in Greater Boston.

This year, as part of the Boston Book Festival, Globe Santa has been hosting virtual readings of children’s books to aid the program, which will provide holiday gifts to tens of thousands of Boston area children. The last reading is scheduled for Oct. 21 and information can be found at globe.com/bookreadings

Book Festival executive director Norah Piehl lauded the new alliance.

“We’ve partnered with the Boston Globe for many years, and I’m so pleased that we’re expanding our partnership this year to focus on Globe Santa,” said Piehl. “Their mission, which includes ensuring high-quality, award-winning books in the hands of children this holiday season, is such a great fit with what we do at the BBF. We’re proud that donations from Boston Book Festival attendees will help bring joy to kids around Boston this year!”

Meanwhile, Candlewick Press of Somerville, a strong annual Globe Santa supporter since 2016, has decided to increase the number of books it will give this year.

Last year, the children’s book publisher donated 2,000 books.

Candlewick’s Kristin Seim, who handles book donations, said the publisher plans to donate between 3,000 and 4,000 books this year “because of the COVID impact on families,”

Seim said that the donations to Globe Santa are part of the publisher’s wider book giving effort.

“We donate books to a lot of different charitable and non profit organizations,” she said. “For Globe Santa we love to do things local. We’re in Somerville so, of course, Globe Santa is in our area. And we are all about children so that’s just something we like to focus on and that’s what you all do.”

Over the years, Globe Santa has raised $50 million and provided gifts to some 2.8 million children from 1.2 million families.

Last year, the program delivered gifts to 29,869 children age 12 and under in 16,806 families. For the 32nd year in a row, the program raised over $1 million from thousands of donors.

The books included in Globe Santa gift boxes are distributed based on the ages of children in a family and arrive in time for the holiday along with toys and games and winter clothing.

For several years, a certain portion of Globe Santa’s book giving has been guided by The Horn Book Inc., which publishes the highly regarded Horn Book Magazine, an essential resource for people in the field of children’s and young adult literature.

Horn Book has partnered with