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SATURDAY

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Long after memories of Fat Albert in a Santa suit have faded, there are still those who question the lily-white nature of the season’s second leading legend. Authors Christopher Moore and Pamela Johnson’s new holiday novel, Santa & Pete, is built on the 1,000-year-old Dutch mythology of Zwarte Piet, or Black Pete. As the story goes, old Saint Nick was imprisoned during the crusades for being a spy. It was Black Pete, a Moorish prison cook, who befriended him and eventually saved his rosy cheeks from execution. Santa & Pete is a modern retelling of the fable, expanded with details from Moore’s own family history. Though it’s a little late in my life for more Santa lore, a movie version starring John Goodman and Chris Tucker, as the jolly one’s wisecracking sidekick, could help get me into the Christmas spirit—provided Tucker fares better than the forgotten-by-the-colonies Piet. Moore reads from and signs copies of his book at 2 p.m. at Upper Marlboro Library, 14730 Main St., Upper Marlboro. Free. (301) 627-9330. (Neil Drumming)