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04 December 2012

'The Father Christmas Letters' by J.R.R. Tolkien

" To write your letter to Santa is important, but to receive a reply..."

I received this lovely book several years ago as a Christmas gift.  I was in my Tolkien mania and BPR would buy me any Tolkien stories he could find.  Yes, he is a sweetheart...not allowed to called him Honey, though.  The book includes most of the letters received by the Tolkien children over 20 years.  Tolkien had four children, three boys and a girl.  He obviously loved them very much.  Sweeter proof cannot be found than these letters from Father Christmas.

Tolkien wrote in various scripts and even invented languages, for which he is famous, to his children in the name of Father Christmas.  I can almost see the excitement in their home.  To write your letter to Santa is important, but to receive a reply, is better than most gifts.  The letters are humorously decorated with pictures that depict the adventures in the letters.  It is a lovely detail, as Father Christmas notes in one of his letters, not all of the children in the house could read yet.

My children were still young enough to enjoy being read to back then and that Christmas I read them this short collection of letters.  We still pick up the book around this time of year, place it on the coffee table and page through it with something festive to drink.  Polar Bear is still the favorite character, what a master of mayhem.  Father Christmas sometimes sounds a little too wise and Polar Bear keeps him young, I suspect.  The letters include the topics that Tolkien enjoyed, calligraphy, invented languages as well as story telling with elves, goblins and snowmen.  They are intimate at the same time.  He wrote them for special children.  The love shines through.

J.R.R. Tolkien
ISBN: 9780261102552


  1. Anonymous11:08

    arrest me, but i am not a big fan of the fantasy genre. neither tolkien or rowlings tempt me. but the christmas discussion brought to mind a thought or two. the religious tone of the season is a personal thing. my favorite part of the celebration is just watching the children. food is a close second. like many families, there are those few years when your children don't believe in santa anymore but the next generation hasn't appeared yet. still a fun time but not quite as noisy.
    merry christmas to you and your family,

  2. I think The Father Christmas Letters are unique in that he uses the biggest fantasy of all, Father Chrsitmas, and creates a whole series of hilarious adventures for his own children. He used elements of his own interests and studies but not to promote himself but rather to share such things with his children... If you read the letters you get the sense of a man who knew what kids want like surprises, adventure, mischief, fights, explosions, friendship and a happy ending...

    I agree about the children and that in between age, but now my teenage children participate in different ways, perhaps I can call it inclusive ways. And I don't know about your children but things are still very noisy around here.

    As for the food... let me tell you, I started baking in October. I have been feeding that cake alcohol once a week since and every time I unwrap it in order to feed it, the smell of Christmas is wonderful. I can't wait to eat it. We have adopted different foods from the different places we have lived in so you can find all kinds of Christmas treats here by the 20th. I can't wait!!!

    Merry Christmas,