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Letters from Father Christmas
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Letters from Father Christmas

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  11,550 ratings  ·  1,598 reviews

Can you imagine writing to Father Christmas and actually getting a reply? For more than twenty years, the children of J.R.R. Tolkien received letters from the North Pole - from Father Christmas himself! They told wonderful stories of mischief and disaster, adventures, and battles: how the reindeer got loose and scattered presents all over the place, how th
Paperback, 111 pages
Published November 15th 2004 by Mariner Books (first published September 2nd 1976)
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Average rating 4.25  · 
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 ·  11,550 ratings  ·  1,598 reviews

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Sean Barrs
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.



I do recommend this edition in particular because
Angela M
Dec 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even though Christmas has become so commercial and not many kids know the true meaning of Christmas, I‘ve always loved the magic of believing in Santa Claus or St. Nicholas or Father Christmas or the other names he’s known as throughout the world. I got to wondering this year whether or not the young children in my life, my two youngest grandchildren and four of my great nephews still believed. Their mothers said they do. I hope so, for one more year at least.

This is a lovely book of letters th
A lovely collection of illustrated letters from Father Christmas to Tolkien's children.

The tone and content of the letters changes over time to reflect the children growing up, and Tolkien Father Christmas doesn’t shy away from mentioning the horrors of the world, including war and hunger. The letters incorporate aspects of the children’s 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.

Dec 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Matt by: BAM The Bibliomaniac
Shelves: audiobook, buddy-read
Join me in my final annual Christmas season reading. Here is the perfect story for young and not so young alike. Please find my original review here:

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, pe
Joey Woolfardis
[First read: 28th November, 2015.
Second read: 10th December, 2016.]

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien is best known for his high fantasy series The Lord of the Rings and the pre-cursor, The Hobbit, as well as being one of the foremost respected professors on Anglo-Saxon Britain, but behind closed doors he was a wonderful father and a tremendous family man. He had four children, John, Michael, Christopher and Priscilla, and with every passing year they would receive hand-written and illustrated replies fr
Diane S ☔
Nov 06, 2015 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.
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
((This the perfect Christmas read, just saying, get your hands on this book now, and either read it yourself or give it to your loved ones!))

I can't believe I'm saying this but I finished this book bawling last night. I haven't cried so much upon finishing a book since ... oh well, I forgot I read Crooked Kingdom at the beginning of March but, you get me, it's been a month. ;)

This collection of Christmas letters touched me in a way I would've never anticipated. They are a manifestation of "show
BAM The Bibliomaniac
Quite charming collection of letters Tolkien wrote ummm I mean Nicholas Christmas wrote to Tolkien's children during the 1930s. I think this would be best enjoyed with a cup of eggnog, a fireside, a hardback copy to look at the illustrations, and the audio copy to follow along with the reader.

12/25/18 annual audio reread #268
m a r y l i z
Dec 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Reread December 2019:

Honestly, there's nothing I have to say here except:

1) the illustrations are precious
4) and it's Christmas themed
5) so like . . . go read it?

(yes, this is my fourth year in a row reading it & I will never stop)

/ / /

Reread December 2018:

This never fails to make me smile. My favorite Christmas read. :)

/ / /

Reread December 2017:

OKAY SO IT'S ADORABLE. And it's written by Tolkien.

That's all you need to know. ;)

/ / /

I loved this so much! *hugs book* It's
Dec 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cliff House, Top of the World, Near the North Pole [insert date]:

I think the author needs no introduction. But this little gem of a book proves that the man didn't "just" invent Middle-Earth, the place of epic fantasy. No, he was a man with a great imagination in general.

Apparently, like so many children around the world, his kids would write to Father Christmas. Only in their case, he wrote back! Throughout his childrens' childhoods, there would be a letter every December. The letters, the env
Johann (jobis89)
This was so sweet and heartfelt. Such lucky children to have Tolkien as their father. And such gorgeous illustrations!! Really worth reading around Christmas time. This will certainly be a book I share with my future children.
Shirley Revill
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I listened to the audiobook of this wonderful story and it was absolutely magical.
The audiobook comprises of a collection of letters from Father Christmas with cheery festive music before each letter.
The narration and the music was absolutely superb and my Grandchildren where entranced with this book.
You couldn't hear a pin drop while the story was being told and I now feel in the mood for putting the Christmas tree up and decorating the house in November.
Absolutely magical and captures the spir
A lovely read, I would have loved to be one of Tolkien's kids & leading an extensive correspondence with St. Nick.

(Sorry Dad, I love you & you are the top and the uncontested & uncrowned King of DIY-land, but you would have never written/drawn me letters pretending to be Father Christmas!!! :)
Dec 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
2017 review: ADORABLE! <333 I think reading this may become an annual Christmas tradition.

2018 update: Just listened to it on audio for the second year in a row and still love it. <3 Definitely a keeper for the list of annual traditions. :D

When I started reading this, I was charmed with this illustrations and the idea of J.R.R. Tolkien even writing just these letters to his children, and then when I began reading this, I realized what a treasure this was, and I wished I had thought of doing something similar for my own children… and then I realized how it would pale in comparison to these letters, the stories they hold in them from Father Christmas to his children through the years.

And what years they were, the first of these bein
Excuse thick writing I have a fat paw. I help Father Christmas with his packing; I live with him. I am the GREAT (Polar) BEAR
J.R.R. Tolkien ~~ Letters from Father Christmas


This was my first J.R.R. Tolkien read. I was enchanted by this delightful book.

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 strange spidery handwriting and a beautiful color drawing. They were from Father Christmas, telling wonderful tale
Juho Pohjalainen
Dec 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A well-written, imaginitive, and charming collection of letters for children, with a strong sense of continuity and a little bit of somber feels for later years when the world was in the grip of a great war. Still Tolkien's weakest work, probably - but he never meant it as anything more than shallow entertainment for his own kids in the first place, and I think it's quite telling that even then it ends up as highly enjoyable and well worth a read for everyone of all ages.

I can only imagine what
The days are getting shorter, and I frequently don't leave work until after dark (then work more from home). When I walk to and from work – and I feel lucky to be able to do so – I tense my shoulders against the cold. And, of course, the politics have darkened my state of mind.

In such times, warm books are necessary, especially "comfort food." I've never read Letters from Father Christmas before, but this is comfort food. Tolkien's Father Christmas is kind and funny, a good artist, a man who eng
Jan 08, 2013 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
Dec 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tolkien, 2018
Another great Christmas read amidst snow-clad mountains. It really puts one in the mood. For some reason I have never read this one, although a copy has been standing on my shelf my entire life.

Letters from Father Christmas is an excellent little collection of Tolkien's annual Christmas letters to his children, in the guise of Father Christmas himself. It's a beautiful little insight into Tolkien as a father, and into the meaning of Christmas for the man and his family.

Christmas (or Yule as I ty
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
Gary Sundell
A charming book. I will undoubtedly return to this next Christmas time for a reread. Wonderful illustrations by the author.
This is a wonderful collection of letters and beautiful drawings!
Because this is a non-fiction book (in some way or another), I don't feel like I'm in the position to judge every aspect of the letters, but I definitely enjoyed reading every single one of them.
The little stories that are told are simply lovely and also a lot of fun. I laughed quite a bit throughout the book.
Cindy Rollins
Dec 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks, 2019
A friend reviewed this this very morning insisting the audiobook was a must-listen and so I bought it this morning for a couple dollars on Audible and got my steps in listening to this wonderful, wonderful collection. If you have a couple hours in the car or around the house this Christmas, nothing will be more Christmassy than this collection of letters from JRR Tolkien to his children.
Dec 05, 2009 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 als ...more
Quentin Wallace
Dec 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an interesting person Mr. J.R.R. Tolkien was. It's hard to give this anything less than 5 stars just based on the nature of this one.

It's comprised of a series of letters Tolkien wrote to his children "from Santa." (A period of over 20 years!) He creates a very magical and well thought out North Pole, complete with Santa Claus, his helper Polar Bear, his elf secretary and more. And not just letters, but wonderful drawings and calligraphy, including an entire new alphabet, as Tolkien was so
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!
Allison Tebo
Jan 03, 2017 rated it liked it
As part of my 2017 challenge, I'm am reading mostly books recommended or given a 5 star rating from my friends.

My friend, Mary Horton, gave this book a five star rating.

A sweet book, what a charming gift Tolkien gave to his children! A wonderful legacy. I was especially impressed by Tolkien's beautiful handwriting and lively illustrations.
Mayke ☕️
Dec 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Lovely book! If I would've gotten letters like these from Santa, I would've never stopped believing as a kid. So interesting to see the amount of children he writes for diminish as they grow older.
Tan Markovic
Mar 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
YES I probably should have read this around Christmas time HOWEVER a frosty morning is just as good

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December Group Read 1 3 Dec 14, 2017 11:41AM  
Suomalainen lukup...: Kirjeitä Joulupukilta (koko kirja) 8 14 Dec 04, 2017 04:29AM  
Suomalainen lukup...: Talven kevennys: Kirjeitä Joulupukilta 4 13 Nov 27, 2017 12:38PM  
Paper & Glam Book...: December 2016: Letters From Father Christmas 18 164 Dec 13, 2016 09:49AM  
J.R.R. Tolkien: Group Read for December 2012: Letters from Father Christmas 13 99 Aug 03, 2016 11:38AM  
The Bibliophiles: December BOTM 9 11 Dec 16, 2015 02:50PM  

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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

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