Letters from Father Christmas
Edited by Baillie Tolkien
This is a classic. It is a set of letters written by Tolkien to his children-sons John, Michael and Christopher, and daughter Priscilla, between 1920 and 1942 telling them some of the secrets behind life at the North Pole on the other 365 days of the year. Some are from Father Christmas himself and some are from his secretary the elf Ilbareth but they paint a picture that is just magical from the antics and adventures of North Polar Bear to the amazing fireworks display that create the Northern Lights.
This edition was released posthumously in 1976 and features precious copies of the originals that are now held in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. You can take them out of the envelopes to read – there’s a translation of Tolkien’s writing on the back of each – and this all adds to the magic and charm. Accompanied by illustrations created by Tolkien himself, the whole becomes a package that is shared each year in this family. It has also sparked a tradition of Santa sending letters to the children acknowledging their individual achievements and accomplishments each year – the ones that only an insider who is constantly watching would know about.
Harking back to the simplicity of Christmas in yesteryear, this is a collection that would add much to a comparison of Christmases past, present and future.