🧙 The Tolkien Forum 🧝

Welcome to our forum! Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox! Plus you won't see ads ;)

Father Christmas Letters (merged)

FoolOfATook

I'm Still Alive...
Joined
Dec 17, 2002
Messages
1,093
Reaction score
4
Location
Raleigh, NC, USA
Yeah, the North Polar Bear is great.

Since the illustrations and the different styles of writing JRRT used for the different character's letters are so important, an e-version would be somewhat deficient, unless someone scanned the whole book and posted it as a serious of image files...
 

Eledhwen

Cumbrian
Joined
May 11, 2002
Messages
3,148
Reaction score
44
Location
Royal Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire, England, UK
Christmas is coming!

Amazon have the book here in the UK, and here in the US.

I think the Letters from Father Christmas show just how in tune JRRT was with children and their fantasies. Adults, of course, are just children who got older. I really love reading this book! I never realised how many problems Father Christmas has had in trying to get everything ready on time, especially with goblin attacks, and the North Polar Bear trying to help!

Re: Letters to Father Christmas

A quote from the letter sent by Father Nicholas Christmas to the Tolkien children on December 21st 1933:
My dears. Another Christmas! and I almost thought at one time (in November) that there would not be one this year. There would be the 25th of December, of course, but nothing from your great-great-etc. grandfather at the North Pole.

Goblins. The worst attack we have had for centuries. They have been fearfully wild and angry every since we took all their stolen toys off them last year and dosed them with green smoke. You remember the Red Gnomes promised to clear all of them out. There was not one to be found in any hole or cave by New Year's day. But I said they would crop up again - in a century or so.

They have not waited so long! They must have gathered their nasty friends from mountains all over the world, and been busy all the summer while we were at our sleepiest. This time we had very little warning....
My favourite illustrations in the book are the Chrsitmas tree of 1934, and the portrait of FC wrapping presents in 1931.

There is a short phrase in elvish in the letter to Priscilla in 1937, written by Ilbereth, FC's secretary elf. Does anyone know what it says? It's not translated.

Copyright Infringement?

When I saw the Father Christmas HQ on "Rise of the Guardians", I recognised it immediately! The top image is from the film, the bottom one is fromTolkien's "Letters from Father Christmas". See what you think....
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Eledhwen

Cumbrian
Joined
May 11, 2002
Messages
3,148
Reaction score
44
Location
Royal Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire, England, UK
The set designer must have read Tolkien. I wonder if the polar bear is there, too.
They even copied the windows glowing out of the ice underneath the house. This was FC's second home (according to Tolkien), the first having been demolished after a freak accident involving Father Christmas' hat. I now feel compelled to buy the video and see if the influences are limited to FC's HQ. This makes me realise what a hopelessly lost cause I am.
 

feanorfrogstar

New Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2017
Messages
5
Reaction score
1
Location
Nangialia
I have a question.In the swedish version i got there are only a few pictures of the letters does the english version have pictures of all the letters?

Is there an edition where you get to read copies of the written letters and not the letters printed in machine text? I have looked in the 70s edition and swedish edition and they dont have many of the letters.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Barliman

Active Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2018
Messages
102
Reaction score
60
Location
Ummm...Bree, where else?
I know it's an old thread, but thought I'd share.

I thought I had this copy


But only seem to have these two (the boxed set is small, as you can see by the quarter I included for reference)





On a personal note, when my kids were quite young, but I'd read them the Letters from Father Christmas, they refused to let their mom or me see their "letters to Santa" with what they wanted for christmas. So I created an email account [email protected] and told them he liked email now. I'd leave the room and let them send him emails.
After that we could get them things they actually wanted. :)
 

Attachments

Olorgando

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2019
Messages
872
Reaction score
435
Location
Germany
I have a landscape format hardcover entitled “Letters from Father Christmas, Edited by Baillie Tolkien”, “Published in Great Britain in 1995 by Collins Children’s, a division of HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.”

It has ten letters in it, each one inserted into an envelope glued to the back side of a page with a color facsimile of the original envelope’s front side, and with an actually withdrawable glossy paper facsimile of the original letter (thankfully with a printed “translation” of the content on the back side, as JRRT sometimes overdid the “shaky handwriting” bit in his actual writing).

L1: 1920, addressed to John (Jr.)
L2: 1925, addressed to “My dear boys” (John and Michael; Christopher was practically still a newborn)
L3: 1926, addressed to “My dear boys”
L4: 1928, addressed to “My dear boys”
L5: 1930, addressed to “My dears” (Priscilla had arrived)
L6: 1931, addressed to “My dear Children”
L7: 1933, addressed to “My dears”
L8: umm … no date, a picture, no text
L9: umm … like L8
L10: 1937, written by Ilbereth, addressed to "Dear Children”

Between each of these letter / envelope leaves there are further ones with pictures and writing (perhaps from the other letters) on both sides. The last page has the contents of the short Last (farewell) Letter.

I got this as a present. You’ll never guess at what occasion: my 25th anniversary at the company (I’d given them a list of books and music at their request to keep them wandering on unprofitable paths). I can imagine some never-before-or-since looks of bewilderment on some faces at this. 😄
 

Olorgando

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2019
Messages
872
Reaction score
435
Location
Germany
Oh, very much so. I'm still a bit surprised that got picked out of the list I had provided. Possibly a secret JRRT fan (I mostly experienced blank stares from people on the very rare occasions I ever mentioned anything about the Professor - even if it was LoTR! 🙄 )
 

Thread suggestions

Top