Saturday, December 24, 2011

My favourite Christmas Story -- Number 6

Today's story is called The Father Christmas Letters, by J.R.R. Tolkien. Between the years of 1920 and 1942 J.R.R. Tolkien's children received letters from Father Christmas. Each letter contained news from the North Pole about all the exploits that Father Christmas' helpers (notably the Polar Bear and his polar cub nephews Paksu and Valkotukka) got into during the year, and what trouble Father Christmas went through to get the presents to Tolkien's children.''

Many of the letters were accompanied by colourful pictures (drawn by Father Christmas) that showed different aspects of the North Pole during the year. Sometimes Father Christmas could not write and his Elvish assistant Ilbereth sent a letter instead. Sometimes Polar Bear sent a letter in his stiff, heavy handwriting, and sometimes the letters were very sparse. But each letter was a continuation of the stories that Tolkien created for his children about the life of Father Christmas in the North Pole.

The letters were beautifully detailed, written on stiff paper in shaky Father Christmas calligraphy, and the stamps on the letters were handcrafted originals drawn and pasted onto the envelopes to give a more authentic North Pole feel.

This delightful book is wonderfully peppered with actual copies of the original letters that Tolkien handcrafted himself. You can see the care he took in creating completely different handwriting for his three main letter writers: Father Christmas, Ilbereth, and Polar Bear

This blog contains many more pictures of the North Pole happenings. I hope you enjoy them!

Last, we have a winner for Cat's Mathoms contest, the Christmas Eve First Chapter Giveaway. Courtesy of Random.Org, the awesomest neutral random number generator, the winner is... Craftier!!

Congratulations, Craftier!!

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