Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Book 64 of 2013: Letters From Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien

It's a bit of a Christmas tradition to reread Letters From Father Christmas each year in the run up to Christmas, so I slotted it in while I was making my way through the Christmas books on my Kindle.
 It's a collection of letters Tolkien sent to his children, in the guise of Father Christmas, over the course of about fifteen years. He also illustrated all the letters to show the activities of Father Christmas and the North Polar Bear, as well as to give the letters authentic looking postmarks.

Last year I was given a smaller paperback copy of the book, the last few years I've read my large hardback copy which isn't very portable. The version I read last Christmas meant that I could take it to work and read it in my breaks. Although this book is smaller, it's still illustrated and contains facsimiles of the letters themselves. I love the pictures! I would love to be able to draw like that. I love to see all the things he includes in his pictures.

I love how long Tolkien was able to keep going with the letters, I imagine so many parents would fail to find time or a long-term project like that might fizzle out. The care and time he took with them showed how much he loved his children. I also love the way that he gradually built on what had come previously and not only linked to things that the children had experienced, but also to previous letters.

I would have loved to have seen some of the letters the children sent to Father Christmas as well. I don't suppose that they survived and it was just the Father Christmas letters which were preserved for posterity. All the same, there are some that make reference to things that the children obviously mentioned but which we'll never fully get because we don't know what was in the other letter.

In case you haven't noticed from the number of times I've used the word 'love', or some variation thereof, through this post, it's an old favourite. It's one I look forward to returning to each year in the run up to Christmas. I actually make a little space in my reading schedule just for this book. And I think I'll continue to for a long time to come.


  1. Wow! I've never heard of this book, but I love Tolkien... thanks for letting us know about it - I'll have to look it up!

    1. I'd definitely recommend it. I've loved it since I was a little girl.:-)


Let me know what you think. :-)