The little son who communicated with Father Christmas, left forever

2020-01-18 11:42:21Beijing News Editor: Gong Zhaohua
Original copyright prohibits commercial reprintAuthorization

The little son who communicated with Father Christmas, left forever

2020-01-18 11:42:21Beijing News

Christopher, the youngest son of British writer J.R.R. Tolkien, died on January 15, 2020. When he was young, his father often wrote to him in the tone of Santa Claus, a family tradition that continued for 24 years. These letters kept by Tolkien, let us see a warm father, but also let us know the other side of this literary master.

After the death of J.R.R.Tolkien in 1973, Christopher became the executor of his literary heritage. Over the past 47 years, Christopher has edited or hosted the publication of 24 works by his father, many of which have become international bestsellers. Thomas Shippey, a British professor who studies Tolkien’s work, believes that without Christopher, we would know little about how Tolkien created his legend.


On November 21, 1924, Christopher Tolkien was born in Leeds, England. He is J.R.R. Tolkien’s third child and his youngest son. For a time, Christopher was weak and often stayed at home, so J.R.R. Tolkien often read for him, and his son encouraged him. Soon Christopher became his father’s assistant and one of his earliest readers.


According to the obituary of Tolkien’s British publisher Harper Collins, when Christopher was five years old, he showed his talent for editing. He listened to the little bedtime stories told by his father, and picked out the contradictory details of these stories. When he finds a mistake in The Hobbit, his father rewards him with two pennies. As a child, Christopher would type on a typewriter and map the world in Mid-Continent. Back in 1945, when he was appointed an officer of the Royal Air Force, his father had called him “my chief critic and left-right arm.”

Tolkien, who was his father, wrote to his children in the tone of Santa Claus. Beginning with the first letters to the eldest son, these letters have become the Tolkien family’s Christmas tradition for 24 years. Tolkien’s letter is written very carefully, and he uses different handwriting every year-nearly 2000-year-old Santa Claus, sometimes writing with shaking hands. The children also wrote back to their friends in the Arctic. In a 1937 letter from Christopher to Santa Claus, Christopher exaggerated the Hobbit just published two months ago. In the letter, he asked Santa if he had heard of the book and suggested that Santa Claus use the book as a Christmas gift.

Christopher Jr. left, and the Christmas letters of his brother, sister and father remained in people’s hearts forever.

This article is taken from the election, “a letter from the father’s Christmas”, the World Ji Wenjing published in December 2014, the author: J.R.R Tolkien, published by the publishing house authorized.


Tolkien’s Christmas letter


Arctic, Christmas House
December 22, 1920

Dear John:

I heard you ask your father what I look like and where I live. I’ll draw my house and myself and give them to you. Be sure to save them. I’m ready to go to Oxford with a big bag of toys-some of them for you. The snow in the Arctic is very heavy tonight, I hope I can arrive on time.

Your dear christmas dad

This is the first letter, and it is relatively short.

Cliff hut near the North Pole, on top of the world
1925, Christmas

My dear guys:

I’m so busy this year that I feel my hands shake more than before and haven’t become richer. Too many unfortunate things have happened recently. Many gifts have been damaged. Brother Xiong didn’t help. We had to move home before Christmas, so you should think that my new home is full. And understand why I have a new address, and why I only wrote a letter to your three brothers.

Here’s how it happened: One day in November last year, a strong wind blew my windshield away and hung on top of the North Pole.

I urged Brother Xiong not to remove the hat, but he didn’t listen and climbed up to the thin north pole. As a result, it can be imagined that the North Pole was split from the middle and hit my roof; Brother Xiong fell from the crack in the roof and fell into the restaurant with his big nose still on my hat. Then the snow on the roof also fell into the room, extinguished the fire in the fireplace, and poured it into the gift room-all the gifts I plan to give out this year are in it, the most terrible thing is that Brother Xiong also broke his leg .

He recovered now but said he would not help me this year. I am very angry, guessing that his temper may have broken, I hope he can recover before Christmas next year.

I sent you a picture of the scene, as well as a picture of my new home on the cliff of the North Pole (the beautiful gift room is inside the cliff). If John can’t read my trembling words (I’m 1925 years old), ask his dad to read them. And when will Michael be able to read? When can you write to me? Give you and Christopher a lot of love. Say Christopher’s name really looks like me.

That’s it, bye.

Dad christmas

In addition, his old man has been too busy lately, so let me help you to send you a magical wishing cake, which can be opened to make a wish and try, maybe the dream will come true. Please forgive my fonts for being a bit fat because my palms are so fat. Okay, I’m going to pack the old man. I’m still living with him.

I’m Super Bear (from the North Pole)

After a few years, not only did various stories begin to appear, but even polar bears appeared and began to write letters to the children. Of course, it was Tolkien’s “ghostwriting”.

Boxing Day, 1928

Oh my god, I’m so sorry-I gave the letter to the polar bear to send it, but he forgot it all! We found it on the lobby table, today!

But you have to forgive him: he has helped me a lot and is really exhausted. We had a busy Christmas. The wind here is very strong. Several sleighs had been blown by the wind before they started.

Still love your dad

Then forgot anything, please push it to the polar bear, a fictional scapegoat.

Arctic, cliff hut
Christmas Eve, 1934

Dear Christopher:

Thank you very much for those letters! I will not have the time to write you a long letter like last year and the previous year, but frankly, nothing new or interesting has happened this year. So I hope that the gifts I send you will make you happy.

There is really nothing new. Since the war last year, there has been no smell of little monsters for 200 miles, but, as I said last year, we spent a lot of time this summer to repair the losses . I’m too busy to sleep.

So in November, we didn’t even want to work, and the progress was slow, and we didn’t finish it until the last minute. In addition, this year’s Arctic winter was uncomfortably warm, and Big Bear yawned all day.

Xiaopa and Xiaowa have lived here for a while, and have grown up a lot, but still do not forget to take time to do some excessive pranks when helping me. They stole my paint and then doodled on the white walls of the gift room. They also ate the sweet stuffing we prepared for Christmas pie. Yesterday, they also unpacked a lot of wrapped packages. Looking for a toy train to play!

They have a bad relationship with burrowing bears. The bears arrived today to reunite with their uncle, uncle, grandfather, and uncle Zeng for a few days. Xiao Pa always went to kick them, because he thought the sound of the bears crying was strange. Brother Big Bear had to beat Xiao Pa in order to protect the bears. Bear paw is not a joke.

Now that there are no monsters around, the weather is warm, there is no wind or snow, we are going to have a Boxing Day party, outdoors. I plan to invite a hundred elves and red dwarfs, little polar bears, little cave bears, snow children, and of course little par and little tile, big bear brother, Mr cave bear and his nephews.

We brought back a Christmas tree from Norway and planted it in an ice lake. Maybe from our paintings you can’t see how big it is, nor how bright and colorful they are after the magic lanterns are lit. We tried it last night to see if it worked. If you see the northern sky glow, yes, it is!

There are some plants in the snow in the back of the tree. They are purple and black, probably because they can’t see the light in the dark all the year round. Now they are piled with snow, which looks like a Christmas tree decoration. The lakeside of the glacial lake is also very special. They are all colored ice, which is very beautiful. Xiaopa and Xiaowa have begun to eat these colored ice sips, and supposedly they should wait for the party to begin.

I’m too busy, so I asked Brother Xiong to draw it. But he accidentally made a lot of ink stains on the painting, many, many. So in the end I will remedy it. This year’s painting doesn’t look good, but it doesn’t matter, it will be better next year.

I hope you like gifts and happy holidays!

Love you dad

Also, I really don’t remember when I was born, and I don’t think anyone knows it. It really embarrassed me to think of it. It must be at least 1934 years old anyway. good luck!

Dad christmas

Once again, ask Michael and John for me.

And again, the cute bear loves you!

The writing habit of a novelist is always to write a story, maybe.

Arctic, cliff hut
1943, Christmas

My dear Priscilla:

Merry Christmas! I guess this is the last time you hung up your Christmas stocking, I hope so, because I still have some small gifts for you, after which I have to say goodbye to you. But I won’t forget you, we always keep the old figures of those old friends and their letters, and then we will look forward to returning one day. When they grow up, they have their own home and children …

My postman told me: Everyone said it was “cold” this year. I think he meant it was terrible. Indeed, I am very worried. The places I used to particularly like to go to are very bad today. But I’m glad I haven’t heard that you are miserable. Don’t do that! I am still very energetic and I will be back soon, as happy as ever. My country has not been destroyed, and although the inventory has decreased, I think it will soon recover.

The sloth bear said he was too tired to write, so he dictated, I recorded.

I’m exhausted, straight (true)!

He wants to send you a special message, that is: love you, give you a big bear hug. He said he must ask you if there is a bear named Silly Billy, or a similar name? Is that bear a bit old?

Bring my blessing to others: John, Michael, and Christopher. And of course all the pets you mentioned to me in the past. Big Bear and all the little bears are very good. They are particularly good this year. They have no time to encounter unlucky things.

I am hoping to find most of the babies you want, especially sorry I do n’t have kitten tongue cake here. But I brought almost all the books you want, I hope your Christmas stockings still look full.

I especially love your old friend, Father Christmas

This is the last letter Tolkien wrote in Santa’s tone, and there is a meaning in the lines-not enough!


Tolkien and his Christmas letter


From the first letter of the eldest son at the age of 3 in 1920, this tradition of the Tolkien family has continued through the childhood of four children and continued to the youngest daughter at the age of 14. The content of the book is hilarious and very dramatic. In addition to the first few short notes, the content is simple, and it has gradually grown since 1925. The content has also become rich. It is inevitable that the heart of the story is stupid.

▲ From left are the youngest son Christopher, daughter Priscilla, second son Michael, Tolkien couple

“Letter from Father Christmas” let us re-know the other side of the “father of fantasy literature”-the father of four children. Tolkien is a well-known loving father in the world. He attaches great importance to communication with children and teaches children by creating fairy tales. “The Hobbit” was originally only Tolkien wanted to create a good story for his children. The Hobbit in the book is no different from a child in height, pure in heart and natural in nature, and is an excellent learning object for children.

▲ With little daughter Priscilla

As the children grew older and the story became more serious, the Lord of the Rings was born. The reason why a fairy tale is a fairy tale is precisely because it can tell a lot of lessons and wisdom in the children’s context in a children’s way. Without breaking the innocence, let the children take the adventure and travel with the characters And grow together.

The Hobbit was originally Tolkien’s fireside story for his children. It was first published in 1937. It has been translated into 64 languages ​​and sold more than 100 million copies. It has become one of the most beloved literary classics of the 20th century. .

Edit | Gong Zhaohua

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