Quite a few years ago my husband and I were browsing a sweet little book shop in downtown Holland, Michigan at Christmas time. We could spend hours there. Tim, who is a huge fan of J.R.R. Tolkien, picked up a full-sized softcover book with the most amazing illustrations, Letters From Father Christmas.
I was busy that year and though Tim encouraged me to read it, I never got around to it. But, year after year, I stacked it up along with an assortment of Christmas books on the blanket chest we used for our coffee table.
Then, for some reason, I sat down. Um. Generally I never sat down before Christmas unless we were entertaining guests, and that was because I had to. [wink] Anyway, I picked up Letters From Father Christmas and started to read. Why did I wait so long to crack that binding?
The book includes letters written, over a twenty-year span, by Tolkien, as Father Christmas to his children. During World War II there were shortages. But, Tolkien’s children would really never know. Instead the letter that Father Christmas left them each year regaled tales of mishaps at the North Pole which explained why the packages were damaged, or why there wasn’t any chocolate, or why a much wished gift was not delivered. Father Christmas had the craziest of creatures helping him out. Plus North Polar Bear was so accident prone and got into all kinds of mischief. I truly delight in Tolkien’s imagination each time I read a letter and study his artwork.
Letters from Father Christmas are not simply words on a page written by an amazing storyteller. No, each letter was also hand illustrated in pen and ink and watercolor by Tolkien. I even get a kick out of Father Christmas’s shaky handwriting.
If you have this book, I’m sure you are shaking your head in agreement with me and sporting a big cheesy grin.
For some reason the memory of this book came to me today and I just had to share it with you. If you want a copy, you may purchase it through my Amazon affiliate links where I will earn a few pennies from each of your purchases there. (Thank you!) Letters From Father Christmas is available in paperback, Kindle, or even a hardcover gift edition (which I have never seen, but I bet is amazing.) If you are unfamiliar with Letters From Father Christmas, let me encourage you to get a copy. Just click on the red titles here.
My husband and I spent a few years reading the book out loud, before we went to bed at night, in front of the sparkling lights of our Christmas tree. It was a fun tradition. We also would read a few letters to our annual Christmas Eve guests who had four children within a twelve-year age span. They loved it, too. I think it’s one of those ageless books which would be wonderful for you or to give as a gift. Really…I’m not trying to sell the book…I just love it that much.
I’m sure Letters From Father Christmas will become one of your favorite Christmas books and traditions, too.
Do you have a favorite Christmas book?
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