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Letters from Father Christmas

4.2  ·  Rating Details ·  5,336 Ratings  ·  564 Reviews
Every December an envelope bearing a stamp from the North Pole would arrive for J.R.R. Tolkien’s children. Inside would be a letter in a strange, spidery handwriting and a beautiful colored drawing or some sketches.

The letters were from Father Christmas.

They told wonderful tales of life at the North Pole: how the reindeer got loose and scattered presents everywhere; how t
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Paperback, 111 pages
Published November 15th 2004 by Mariner Books (first published 1976)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Bookworm Sean
Tolkien must have been an excellent farther to his children. To put so much thought and effort into the making of these letters speaks of nothing but devotion. They’re so well crafted by a master of the pen. The calligraphy, alone, is fantastic to look at. It’s quite revealing too. It’s like a little peek into the family life of the Tolkien’s, one which shows the patriarch as a kindly gentleman that he no doubt was. This is a great little book.

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I do recommend this edition in particular because i
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Saoirse Sterling
You can read my review of Letters From Father Christmas on my site XLeptodactylous.

I hate Christmas. I am an anti-capitalist, pro-consumerist, left-wing Socialist and modern-day Christmas is one of the most abhorrent things imaginable. But this is what Christmas should be. About family, and love, and living through adversity and war, and just being Bloody Nice.

I always knew he had a great imagination, but this just proves what an excellent and determined Storyteller he was. I almost like Christm
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Diane S ☔
Dec 07, 2015 Diane S ☔ rated it liked it
Shelves: let-it-snow
3.5 When I first started reading this I thought what a fantastic idea, one I wish I has thought of when my children were young. Soon though I was caught up in the letters, waiting for the further adventures of polar bear and the cubs, the goblins and the old Ancient bear as well as the happenings on the North Pole. We can tell as the children age and quit believing in Santa as well as insights to what is happening in the rest of the world. Loved the colored pictures too.

Clever, clever, Tolkien.
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Aurora
Dec 10, 2015 Aurora rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Que livro mais fofinho :3 Foi o primeiro contacto que tive com o autor e acho que não podia ter começado melhor!

Aqui somos prendados com um conjunto de cartas que apareciam como por magia na casa dos Tolkien entre 1920 e 1943. Pelo menos era o que parecia porque na verdade eram escritas pelo próprio Tolkien aos seus filhos fazendo-se passar pelo Pai Natal. As cartas estão recheadas de histórias incríveis protagonizadas por personagens super engraçadas que vivem no Pólo Norte. E a cereja no topo
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Cecily
Dec 31, 2015 Cecily rated it really liked it
A lovely collection of letters from Father Christmas ("aided" by JRRT) to Tolkien's children.

The tone and content of the letters changes over time to reflect the children growing up and incorporate aspects of their lives and things they'd written to him, but there is some continuity in the stories of what FC and his elves etc get up to. Lovely illustrations too.

There are similarities with Mervyn Peake's Letters from a Lost Uncle.

Why this is on my Favourites Shelf

The real reason I love this is
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Mark
Jan 09, 2013 Mark rated it really liked it
This is a beautiful book which contains all the letters JRRRRRRRRR Tolkien wrote to his children in the guise of Father Christmas from the first to his eldest son in 1920 right through to the last one he wrote to his only daughter in 1943. Each letter purports to be an account of various scrapes and adventures that happen to the man in red and his various helpers and hinderers and the lovely thing is that so totally enamoured with this correspondence were his children during their younger years ...more
Paul
In 1920 the Tolkien children started receiving letters from Father Nicholas Christmas. In the letters he starts to tell his children the stories and events of that year, and what he has done. There are a number of characters that surround Father Christmas, from a clumsy polar bear, elves and the battles that they have with the goblins that live in the North pole.

The letters at the beginning are quite short, and as they get older the stories get longer and the themes darker. Each letter came with
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 Lisa Ann ⛄
Originally written by J.R.R. Tolkien, this holiday treasure contains the actual series of annual letters from "Father Christmas" to Tolkien's children. Although the first set of letters written during 1920 is quite simplistic, with each passing year the stories become more creative and complex also including many fun illustrations. Letters from Father Christmas eventually relates the ongoing tales of the North Polar Bear, Snow-men, Snow-Elves, Red Gnomes and finally the evil Goblins. All good ...more
Kathryn
Dec 05, 2009 Kathryn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christmas
I'm not sure what I was expecting when I started reading this collection of letters that "Father Christmas" wrote to the Tolkien children from the 1920s to the end of the 1930s. What I discovered surprised me, and yet I couldn't help but nod my head and chuckle and think, "of course, of course!" When the imagination behind Middle Earth meets up with the magic and lore of the North Pole, a very unique Father Christmas emerges! Here we have a Father Christmas who is kind and thoughtful yet who ...more
Sandy
What fun it must have been to be a child of Tolkien. The next best thing, in my opinion, to receiving an annual letter from Father Christmas would have been to have had a parent read this book aloud every Christmas. The reader is immersed in the world of the North Pole, complete with colourful drawings of Polar Bear, the Red and Green Gnomes, and the dreaded Goblins. What a delight! A great little book to ignite the Christmas Spirit of young and old!
Elilith
Sep 03, 2016 Elilith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Este libro es una auténtica maravilla. La edición que tengo yo es de Happer Collins con tapa dura y sobrecubierta. No la he encontrado aquí en GR pero estoy totalmente contenta con ella. Además de tener la transcripción de todas las cartas de Tolkien, también las tiene escaneadas a todo color, junto con los dibujos y los sobres y de una forma qu eno parece un escaneo, sino que estás leyendo una carta original.
Esta recopilación me ha emocionado, en ella tenemos todas las cartas que Tolkien escri
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Sandra
Such a delightful book! I had to keep myself from smiling the whole time.
Tolkien's imagination and creativity knows no boundaries.

A neat envelope, stamp included.

The letters got more elaborate over the years, a swirly here, a curly there.

And most of the letters had a colorful drawing included.


The letters tell the story of Father Christmas and the happenings and antics of him and his friends, helpers and enemies. Polar Bear knows how to kick some Goblin ass. His nephews Paksu and Valkotukka are
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Jesse Booth
Dec 14, 2013 Jesse Booth rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
Every year at Christmas time, me and my wife read a Christmas book, and this year, we chose Letter From Father Christmas by JRR Tolkien. It was a fun read, but I was most impressed by the fact that Tolkien wrote a letter as Father Christmas to his kids for 13 years! Not only that, he illustrated his stories, too, to give the kids a visual on what his letter was about! The time and effort he must have put in to help make Christmas a little more magical just goes to show that not only was Tolkien ...more
Emma Flanagan
Dec 20, 2015 Emma Flanagan rated it it was amazing
All parents put a lot of effort into ensuring the child believes in Santa/Father Christmas. Be it nawed carrots, sleigh bells in the garden or footprints in the snow. Many children at some point receives a letter from Santa. I have found memories of receiving letters sent on behalf of Santa by Nollaig his elf in the Irish postal system. The excitement of actually recieving post at the age of 6 was excitement enough, that it was from the man himself blew my little mind. Tolkien however took it ...more
Rachel
Nov 17, 2015 Rachel rated it it was amazing
4.5 Stars

So adorable.

I could see this being read yearly as a family tradition. It was funny and sweet and imaginative.

The fact that he spent so much time and effort on these letters to his children is very touching.
Nikki
Dec 22, 2012 Nikki rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
There are very few Christmas themed books that I'm likely to enjoy -- they all seem so gimmicky -- and only one album of Christmas music that I will consent to listen to (Thea Gilmore's Strange Communion). But this one is lovely, probably because it wasn't really meant to be a commercial thing: Tolkien wrote these letters and illustrated them for his own children. This volume is a nice little edition, not just copying the text but including images of them as well.

It's barely a mouthful, of cours
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X
Jan 11, 2011 X rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is wonderful on so many different levels! As a Christmas story, it is perfect, though not always what one would expect of a Christmas book. Father Christmas does a marvelous job of telling his young friends about the North Pole and his own adventures/mishaps, as well as (or perhaps especially) those of his friend and assistant Polar Bear, through his yearly letters. The illustrations (Tolkien's own) naturally match each letter quite well, and though the facsimiles of the actual ...more
Oksana
This book got me in Christmas mood like 2 seconds after I started it.

This is a collection of letters that J.R.R. Tolkien wrote to his kids pretending to be Father Christmas from the North Pole. Besides, there are Polar Bears, reindeers, gnomes and goblins, and this all just created the ultimate wintery fairy-tale.

I loved this book. Even if there's still no snow in my hometown, yet, 'Letters' made me feel like White Chrsitmas has already come.

Zerah
Dec 27, 2015 Zerah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was awesome although it got a little sad towards the end when it got apparent how the Christmas of the family changed because of the war. I bought this book for my kindle because I decided I wanted to read some more Christmas themed books but now I think I'll need to buy the actual book someday to get a better look at the pictures!
Camilla
Jun 22, 2016 Camilla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars!
Steve
I can't wait to read this to my granddaughters! Very cute!
Jojo
Dec 30, 2015 Jojo rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
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Heidi
Dec 07, 2012 Heidi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In 1920, when J.R.R. Tolkien’s eldest son was only three years old, his children began to receive a series of letters from the North Pole. Each year they would arrive with special postage stamps and drawings, bearing the shaky handwriting and stories of Father Christmas. For the next 22 years, the Tolkien children would correspond with Father Christmas, sending their wish lists and best wishes and receiving in return love and stories like no others.

Letters from Father Christmas is a very short a
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Timothy Stone
Nov 19, 2016 Timothy Stone rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After J. R. R. Tolkien went to be with the Lord in 1973, the already growing demand for material written by him veritably exploded. Though most of the interest was on his Middle-Earth mythology, he had written much else that was unpublished in his life time (a great deal of which he never intended or dreamed of publishing). Indeed, writing seemed to be a hobby and private pleasure for the linguistics professor.

His literary estate has met this demand, and one of the books that was published is a
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Keith
Nov 12, 2009 Keith rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
J.R.R. Tolkien, better known as the author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, used to write and illustrate letters to his children from "Father Christmas." This book contains a selection of those letters, each reproduced on a separate sheet of paper and enclosed in an envelope. The letters tell of various misadventures of Father Christmas and his assistant, North Polar Bear, problems with Goblins, etc.

I read the letters with my (then 10-year old) daughter. She enjoyed the novelty of the b
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Sandra
Everything about this book is perfect. The letters are lovely, the drawings are beautiful, all the fonts are wonderful and so fitting for the characters.. all the while this book shows the Tolkien I love so well: the Tolkien who loved myths (he used mythological references, such as the Odinic God Yule), languages (he used runes!) and he had already started his Middle Earth universe (he uses Elvish script one time!). I absolutely loved the book and will definitely look through it more often as ...more
Tonya
Mar 25, 2008 Tonya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Tolkien fans, moms
Shelves: favorite
My all time favorite Christmas story. The behind the scenes,daily life of father christmas. Soooo much drama with the goblins and the clumsy polar bear...but he puts it all into perfect perspective in the letters to his nieces and nephews!

One downside for the newer version that I bought... The words of the actual letters are on different pages than the pictures, so when reading to my three year old, I have to skim the letter quickly as I turn the page to talk in length about the drawing.

First re
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Seraphina
Nov 04, 2015 Seraphina rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014-reads
A fabulous book, the illustrations to match the letters are beautiful. You can tell as the letters progress the growth and aging of the children and their interests. I loved the stories of PB(polar bear) getting up to all kinds of mischief, saving the north pole every now and again.
This is one I will be encouraging my son to read
Kim
Aug 06, 2015 Kim rated it it was amazing
I was browsing on a list of books set during Christmas for the 2015 Reading Challenge and, as expected, most of them were detective books and romance novels - with awesome titles like Ho-Ho-Homicide and Deck the Halls with Love. And then I stumbled upon a Christmas book by J.R.R. Tolkien, and I wondered what THAT was all about. As it turns out, beginning in 1920, Tolkien wrote letters to his children from Father Christmas, telling stories about life at the North Pole, adventures with the North ...more
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  • Christmas Day in the Morning
  • The History of the Hobbit, Part Two: Return to Bag-End
  • The Christmas Magic
  • The Jolly Christmas Postman
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  • The Story of Holly and Ivy
  • The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story
  • Splintered Light: Logos and Language in Tolkien's World
  • Christmas in Noisy Village
  • Miracle on 34th Street
  • Santa Calls
  • I Believe in Santa Claus
  • There and Back Again: The Map of the Hobbit
  • The Art of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The Ring of Words: Tolkien and the Oxford English Dictionary
  • Christmas at Eagle Pond
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John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, CBE, was an English writer, poet, WWI veteran (a First Lieutenant in the Lancashire Fusiliers, British Army), philologist, and university professor, best known as the author of the high fantasy classic works The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings .

Tolkien was Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford from 1925 to 1945, and Merton Professor of English lan
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More about J.R.R. Tolkien...

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“If you find that not many of the things you asked for have come, and not perhaps quite so many as sometimes, remember that this Christmas all over the world there are a terrible number of poor and starving people.” 33 likes
“I hope you will like the little things I have sent you. You seem to be most interested in Railways just now, so I am sending you mostly things of that sort. I send as much love as ever, in fact more. We have both, the old Polar Bear and I, enjoyed having so many nice letters from you and your pets. If you think we have not read them you are wrong; but if you find that not many of the things you asked for have come, and not perhaps quite as many as sometimes, remember that this Christmas all over the world there are a terrible number of poor and starving people. I (and also my Green Brother) have had to do some collecting of food and clothes, and toys too, for the children whose fathers and mothers and friends cannot give them anything, sometimes not even dinner. I know yours won’t forget you. So, my dears, I hope you will be happy this Christmas and not quarrel, and will have some good games with your Railway all together. Don’t forget old Father Christmas, when you light your tree.” 1 likes
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