You Can Surprise your kids with letters from Santa (Father Christmas).

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You can learn from a great master author. Although you might know J. R. R. Tolkien as the author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, this academic was also a doting father who penned “The Father Christmas Letters” for his children.

Here’s what he did; you can use his examples and update them. Then, if you’re creative, dream up your stories from Father Christmas.

On December 24, 1920, J.R.R. Tolkien sat down in his study and wrote a letter to his three-year-old son, John, who had recently asked about Father Christmas. In squiggly handwriting, in red ink, Tolkien replied as Father Christmas (the English folkloric figure now widely equated with Santa Claus), addressed from “Christmas House, North Pole.”

For the next 23 years, Tolkien wrote a letter to his four children from Father Christmas every Christmas Eve. What began as short, informative notes— “I am just now off to Oxford with a bundle of toys”—evolved into longer tales about life at the North Pole. The 1932 letter begins, “Dear Children, there is a lot to tell you. First of all, a Merry Christmas! But there have been lots of adventures you will want to discover. It all began with the funny noises underground ….”

Even the methods of delivery for the letters were as authentic as possible. They were presented to the Tolkien children in envelopes with North Pole postage stamps—two kisses per letter—and later, Tolkien persuaded the postman to include them in his mail deliveries.

Here’s an example of his letters which may give you some inspiration for your letters to your children from Santa (Father Christmas). So have fun and your imagination.


My dear boys,

I am dreadfully busy this year — it makes my hand shakier than ever when I think of it — and not very rich. Awful things have been happening, and some of the presents have got spoilt, and I haven’t got the North Polar Bear to help me, and I have had to move house just before Christmas, so you can imagine what a state everything is in, and you will see why I have a new address, and why I can only write one letter between you both. It all happened like this: one very windy day last November, my hood blew off and went and stuck on the top of the North Pole. I told him not to, but the N.P.The bear climbed up to the thin top to get it down — and he did. The pole broke in the middle and fell on the roof of my house, and the N.P.Bear fell through the hole it made into the dining room with my hood over his nose, and all the snow fell off the roof into the house and melted and put out all the fires and ran down into the cellars where I was collecting this year’s presents, and the N.P. Bear’s leg got broken. He is well again now, but I was so cross with him that he says he won’t try to help me again. I expect his temper is hurt, and will be mended by next Christmas. I send you a picture of the accident, and of my new house on the cliffs above the N.P. (with beautiful cellars in the cliffs). If John can’t read my old shaky writing (1925 years old) he must get his father to. When is Michael going to learn to read, and write his own letters to me? Lots of love to you both and Christopher, whose name is rather like mine.

That’s all. Goodbye.

Father Christmas

Discover more about the book J.R.R. TolkienThe Father Christmas Letters

What do you know about J.R.R. Tolkien? Check out Tolkien Library








Suggestion for how you can create your letters from Father Christmas from Mummy Snowy Owl

And you may have a magical feeling of Christmas in a majestic English Village.


Merry Christmas




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Judy Kundert

Judy Kundert, a recipient of the Marquis Who’s Who Excellence in Authorship award, loves storytelling, from folk and fairy tales to classics for elementary school children. She authors award-winning middle-grade novels designed to inspire and intrigue children. After she left her career as a United Airlines stewardess, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Loyola University, Chicago and a Master of Arts from DePaul University, Chicago. Most recently, she completed a master’s Certificate in Public Relations and Marketing from the University of Denver. For fun, she likes reading (usually three or four books at a time), watching movies from the oldies to the current films, traveling, biking, and hiking in vast Colorado outdoors with her husband. Learn more at can find me at the foot of the Colorado Rocky Mountains hiking, biking

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