Happy Holiday Journeys!

In December 1920 Father Christmas wrote a letter to the Tolkien home. Enclosed was a watercolor sketch. The letter began, “I heard you ask Daddy what I was like and where I lived,” he wrote to three-year-old John Tolkien, and as the family grew to four children, Father Christmas continued to write every Christmas for 23 years, until the youngest, Priscilla, was 14.

Many of his letters recount the adventures of his friend and helper the Polar Bear – in 1926 he accidentally switched on all the Northern Lights – or the goblins who attempted to steal the stored presents in 1932. In one letter Polar Bear “found a hole in the side of a hill & went inside because it was snowing”. He slid down a rocky slope, more rock fell on him, and he could not climb back: “But almost at once he smelled goblin & became interested & started to explore. Not very wise for of course goblins can’t hurt HIM but their caves are very dangerous.” The snow, the entrance to treacherous caves and the smell of goblin will be instantly familiar to readers of the book Tolkien was working on at the time, The Hobbit, the first of the adventures of Middle-earth.

A very happy Christmas! I suppose you will be hanging up your stocking just once more: I hope so for I have still a few little things for you. After this I shall have to say "goodbye", more or less: I mean, I shall not forget you. We always keep the old numbers of our old friends, and their letters; and later on we hope to come back when they are grown up and have houses of their own and children. -- J.R.R. Tolkien

May your holiday happenings  be filled with more inspirations, and less failings (unless it's pie. Even a pie less than perfect is still delicious)!

--Bobbi Miller

About the picture: The 1932 Christmas Letter (J.R.R. Tolkien) told how goblins had attempted to steal presents stored ready for Christmas. Photograph: The Tolkien Estate Ltd 1976


Post a Comment