Letters from Father Christmas, by J.R.R. Tolkien

Nine stars

Please join me in my last Christmas read of the season. Below, you’ll find my original review:

From the annals of one of the 20th century’s greatest writers of fantasy comes this collection of letters, perfect for the holiday season. A collection of letters written by Nicholas Christmas to the Tolkien children, this book is filled with the Christmas spirit and all the lovely stories that take place each year at the North Pole. The letters, penned in the 1920s and 30s, introduce the children to North Polar Bear and his helpful role as Father Christmas’ assistant in the preparation for the great Christmas delivery. Annual letters talk about wandering reindeer, small polar cubs, as well as the warm weather and fiscal belt-tightening required, which serve to entertain and educate the Tolkiens. As the years progress, the recipients change, though Father Christmas is sure to remember those older Tolkiens who may choose no longer to write. Making loose references to letters written and sent to him, Father Christmas adds a secondary gift with most letters, a hand-drawn picture in ink, depicting some of the key events mentioned in the text. This wonderful set of letters is sure to make any lover of Christmas feel a little warmer during the holiday season. Fans of Christmas will enjoy this short piece, as well as those who love Tolkien’s unique style.

I was put onto this short piece by someone who shares my love of the holiday season, as well as a well-crafted piece of writing. Tolkien surely lays the foundation for both and has made this very short buddy read worthwhile. Using his wonderfully expansive mind, Tolkien surely devised the idea to communicate with his children on an annual basis. Without pulling the children into anything too time consuming, Tolkien develops a set of characters who can be revisited on an annual basis, as well as referencing the children’s letters and trying to explain how he came to choose the presents that appeared in their stockings. From the slightly grumpy North Polar Bear to the always helpful red and green elves, the letters are sure to capture the attention of the Tolkien children. The hand-drawn additions to the letters, done by Tolkien himself, add another layer of beauty to these letters, warming the hearts of the children who were sure to find them in the post close to Christmas, as well as the reader, who might marvel in the detail offered. While I listened to the audio, I made sure to borrow the hard copy from the library to marvel at the drawings. Any parent or adult with children close-by will surely think this a superb idea to bring added excitement to Christmas. I wonder if this idea might be one that I begin with Neo next year, if he is willing to write a letter to the North Pole. That said, my drawing leaves much to be desired. It’s the thought, though, right?!

Kudos, Mr. Tolkien, for helping me spark the holiday season with this piece. I will be adding this to my annual Christmas reading list and wish I had known about it years ago.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons