Wednesday, December 8, 2010

20,000 silver sparklers.

            As the Christmas season draws near, what song is it that you can’t wait to hear?
            Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming!

            Top of the World, North Pole
            Xmas 1929
            Dear Boys and Girl
            It is a light Christmas again, I am glad to say – the Northern Lights have been specially good. There is a lot to tell you. You have heard that the Great Polar Bear chopped his paw when he was cutting Christmas Trees. His right one – I mean not his left; of course it was wrong to cut it, and a pity to for he spent a lot of the Summer learning to write better so as to help me with my winter letters.

            We had a Bonfire this year (to please the Polar Bear) to celebrate the coming in of winter. The Snow-elves let off all the rockets together, which surprised us both. I have tried to draw you a picture of it, but really there were hundreds of rockets. You can’t see the elves at all against the snow background.
            The Bonfire made a hole in the ice and woke up the Great Seal, who happened to be underneath. The Polar Bear let off 20,000 silver sparklers afterwards – used up all my stock, so that is why I had none to send you. Then he went for a holiday!!! – to north Norway, and stayed with a wood-cutter called Olaf, and came back with paw all bandaged just at the beginning of our busy times.
            There seem more children than ever in England, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Germany, which are the countries I specially look after (and of course North America and Canada) – not to speak of getting stuff down to the South Pole for children who expect to be looked after though they have gone to live in New Zealand of Australia or South Africa or China. It is a good thing clocks don’t tell the same time all over the world or I should never get round, although when my magic is strongest – at Christmas – I can do about a thousand stockings a minute, if I have it all planned out beforehand. You could hardly guess the enormous piles of lists I make out. I seldom get them mixed.
            But I am rather worried this year. In my office and packing-room, the Polar Bear reads out names while I copy them down. We had awful gales here, worse than you did, tearing clouds of snow to a million tatters, screaming like demons, burying my house almost up to the roofs. Just at the worst, the Polar Bear said it was stuffy! And opened a north window before I could stop him. You can guess the result – the North Polar Bear was buried in papers and lists; but that did not stop him laughing.
            Also all my red and green ink was upset, as well as black – so I am writing in chalk and pencil. I have some black ink left, and the Polar Bear is using it to address parcels.
            I like all your letters – very much indeed my dears. Nobody, or very few, write so much or so nicely to me. I’m specially pleased with Christopher’s card, and his letters, and with his learning to write, so I am sending him a fountain pen and also a special picture for himself. It shows me crossing the sea on the upper North wind, while a South West gale – reindeer hate it – is raising big waves below.
            This must be all now. I send you all my love. One more stocking to fill this year! I hope you will like your new house and the things I bring you.
            Your Old Father Christmas
            -Letters From Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien


  1. Feliz Navidad by the Three Tenors, of course.

  2. I Wonder As I Wander, by Joan Baez is my favorite.
    Her voice is so very Christmasy and holy, it brings tears to my eyes.

  3. There are so many! Lo, How a Rose is right up there, but I guess O Holy Night, with Kathleen Battle singing would be tops, with the Ave Maria's running close.

  4. I can't wait to hear Behold the Lamb of God by Andrew Peterson. I love the whole musical--both the lyrics and the melodies touch a deep chord in me. And now they also remind me of Patrick's birth because I left Behold the Lamb of God in the CD player and hit "play" every time I sat down to give Patrick a bottle when I stayed with him in Houston his first December. ...sweet memories!