Book Review | Letters from Father Christmas


Title: Letters from Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien

Pages: 111

Genres: Children’s, Christmas, Fantasy

Published by: Mariner Books (Nov. 15, 2004; originally published 1976)


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 the accident-prone North Polar Bear climbed the North Pole and fell through the roof of Father Christmas’s house; how he broke the Moon into four pieces and made the Man in it fall into the back garden; how there were wars with the troublesome horde of goblins who lived in the caves beneath the house.

Sometimes the Polar Bear would scrawl a note, and sometimes Ilbereth the Elf would write in his elegant flowing script, adding yet more life and humor to the stories.

This updated version contains a wealth of new material, including letters and pictures missing from early editions. No reader, young or old, can fail to be charmed by the inventiveness and “authenticity” of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Letters from Father Christmas.

Letters from Father Christmas

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What I Thought

This was such a sweet book!  I discovered it while searching through Amazon’s Prime books (sidenote: did you know Amazon has Prime books like Prime videos?! I just found that out!!), and didn’t really know what to expect from it other than the fact that it looked like a fun, quick, Christmas-y read.

From a timespan of almost 20 years, J. R. R. Tolkien would write letters to his children as Santa Claus. I loved reading the letters and looking at all the pictures. This book is so sweet and sentimental. Tolkien must have been a really great day to write such thoughtful letters each year.

I loved reading of Santa’s, and the polar bear’s, adventures each year.  Tolkien really made Santa and the North Pole come alive.  These were not just generic, letters from Santa.  They were extremely well thought out and each one grew on the year before.  Also, the letters touched on just the tiniest bit of current events outside of the magic of the North Pole.  I, particularly liked the part where Santa told the children that while many were asking for The Hobbit one year, he assured them that they would not be getting the book!

Many of the letters are accompanied with beautiful drawings as well.  These pictures really enhance the story that is being told through the letters.  I absolutely loved reading and seeing how Santa’s year went through each letter.

Letter’s from Father Christmas is short, fun, holiday read.  I would recommend to anyone looking for a quick, Christmas-y read.  It is one of those books that could easily be read every year.

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