Review: Letters From Father Christmas

12 Days of Christmas Reading Banner

Title: Letters From Father Christmas
Author: J.R.R. Tolkien
Genre: Children’s fiction
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Source: Purchased
Release Date: October 1, 1976
Rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

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


This is an amazing book! I just found it this year, and I wish I had read it sooner.

This is a collection of letters written by Tolkien to his children from Father Christmas. The letters are so sweet, that you can’t help but smile. Some say that “Father Christmas” couldn’t find stamps, or he was so busy he had to send the letter on Boxing Day. These parts demonstrate that they are being written by a busy father.

The stories in the letters become more elaborate as the children grow up. They start with just a short letter saying he hopes they enjoy their gifts. But once there are more children and they are older, Father Christmas tells them about his friend, the mischievous North Polar Bear, who chimes in on many letters too. There is also a big fight with Goblins which is described in detail.

These stories are a nice twist on the typical letters from Santa. They also show what an imagination Tolkien had. He didn’t just use it in his work, he brought his fantasies into his home life with his children. I think this book will be a tradition for me to read every Christmas from now on.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.