Is The Silmarillion an entertaining read

Letters from Santa Claus

J.R.R. Tolkien's "Letters from Father Christmas" or "Letters from Santa Claus" was first published in 1976 by George Allen & Unwin. The latest edition with original images of the letters and drawings was published by Klett-Cotta Verlag in 2017.
In this book the most famous fantasy author shows himself from his private side.
For 23 years he wrote letters to his own children in the name of Santa Claus, who had the wildest adventures. Always with him his friends polar bear or the little elf Ibereth, who help him write to the children.

Christmas time, best time. Therefore, an atmospheric reading should not be missing. I came across "Letters from Santa Claus" by chance, because Tolkien's name in large letters on the cover with ... more

J.R.R. Tolkien's "Letters from Father Christmas" or "Letters from Santa Claus" was first published in 1976 by George Allen & Unwin. The latest edition with original images of the letters and drawings was published by Klett-Cotta Verlag in 2017.
In this book the most famous fantasy author shows himself from his private side.
For 23 years he wrote letters to his own children in the name of Santa Claus, who had the wildest adventures. Always with him are his friends polar bear or the little elf Ibereth, who help him write to the children.

Christmas time, best time. Therefore, an atmospheric reading should not be missing. I came across "Letters from Santa Claus" by chance, as Tolkien's name can be seen in large letters on the cover with the bearded man dressed in red and white. Tolkien and Christmas Stories? The man who brought us Middle-earth, the most complex world in the fantasy universe? The surprise sat and the background touched me. Children have been writing wish lists and letters to Father Christmas for as long as he has existed, but they rarely get an answer back.
A moving idea that shows the author not only as Santa Claus, but also as a father. From 1920 to 1943, around Christmas time, his children received colorful letters and drawings in the "original North Pole envelope". Even the stamps were individually designed and canceled! If you don't believe it, you can look it up for yourself: In the book, all existing letters, sketches and envelopes are printed within the 192 pages. That made me feel like I was getting mail from Santa Claus myself :-)
And it all started with a letter to his eldest son John, who wanted to know who Santa Claus really was and where he lived. Over the years his siblings Michael, Christopher and Priscilla were born, so that they too would receive letters individually or all together. I was catapulted into children's lives while reading. Knew who would still learn to read and write, who was getting older and no longer wrote to Santa Claus, what wishes were brought up and world events such as World War II threw things out of balance. Fascinated how ingeniously Tolkien was able to explain from Santa's perspective that not every wish can be fulfilled and that you also learn to appreciate the little things. That sounds like sermons now, but no, it's not like that: Confidence and depth are never lost. Santa Claus reports creatively about his house on the north cliff, about the war with the goblins who steal presents or about the cozy polar bear involved in accidents. The last named writes and comments on the letters with paw-like script and a slight spelling weakness, which make the content lively and cute. Tolkien leaves no stone unturned to make the letters look authentic. Another example is a specially developed arctic alphabet. So you don't miss the familiar touch of the author, only this time in a child-friendly form.
The conclusion left some sadness. Because we have to be realistic, everyone stops writing on Santa Claus at some point and therefore doesn't get an answer back. Here is also my personal shortcoming: It is a pity that the letters written by the children were not part of the book. That would definitely have completed the dialogue.
Nevertheless, thanks to the "Letters from Santa Claus", I quickly got into a contemplative and happy mood and see the author from a new perspective.

Conclusion: Not only for Tolkien fans a special gift with wonderful illustrations and stories about the bearded man from the North Pole.