Letters from Father Christmas

by JRR Tolkien

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Letters from Father Christmas (or The Father Christmas Letters in earlier editions), constitute a wonderful collection of letters penned and illustrated by J.R.R. Tolkien for his children. Spanning from 1920 to 1943, these letters, narrated by Father Christmas or his elvish secretary, chronicle the adventures and occasional misadventures of Father Christmas and his companions.

Posthumously released on September 2, 1976–marking the third anniversary of Tolkien’s passing–the letters were edited by Baillie Tolkien, the second wife of his youngest son, Christopher. The letters themselves were a yearly Christmas tradition, penned over two decades to captivate Tolkien’s children, John, Michael, Christopher, and Priscilla.

The initial edition, published by Allen and Unwin on September 2, 1976, was followed by the Houghton Mifflin edition on October 19 of the same year. The book underwent a revision in 1999, now titled “Letters from Father Christmas,” incorporating all the Father Christmas letters and artwork not present in the first edition.

Learn more about Tolkien’s Letters from Father Christmas