Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Here's a special treat for the holidays that my husband surprised me with a couple of years ago. J.R.R. Tolkien, the author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, wrote a letter to his children every year for Christmas. These letters told stories of life at the North Pole and included colored drawings or sketches. Sometimes, the Polar Bear or Ilbereth the Elf would include a note, adding more life and humor to the stories.
Letters from Father Christmas (Houghton Mifflin Company) revised in 1999, includes new letters and pictures never before published. While this book contains only a few examples of Father Christmas's shaky handwriting, almost all of the pictures have been reproduced and the book also includes "the alphabet the Polar Bear devised from the Goblin drawings on the walls of the caves where he was lost."
It is impossible for me to describe the beauty and wonder included within this book's pages. Reproductions of the fronts of envelopes, detailed drawings and sketches, and the actual letters with printed text underneath, work together to create a stunning collector's item. Even if you're not a fan of Tolkien's other work, you'll certainly admire and enjoy Letters from Father Christmas if you are partial to coffee table books surrounding Christmas or are a lover of Christmas books that the entire family can share.
I'm not sure where my husband found this hardcover copy, but it is available online at Amazon.com and there is a paperback version also available. Personally, I think it's better to spend a little extra to get the hardcover because the cover art is beautiful and it makes the book easy to display on a shelf.
Letters from Father Christmas is one book that should be in the home of every person who loves the spirit and magic and Christmas!