If you were the coordinator in charge of staging a nationwide Christmas event, one in which every American theoretically could participate, what would this grand event be?
I would organize a nationwide Christmas caroling event, where everyone could gather in stadiums or churches or schools and be linked together by webcams.
Cliff House, North Pole
December 23rd 1931
My dear Children
I hope you will like the little things I have sent you. You seem to be most interested in Railways just now, so I am sending you mostly things of that sort. I send as much love as ever, in fact more. We have both, the old Polar Bear and I, enjoyed having so many nice letters from you and your pets. If you think we have not read them you are wrong; but if you find that not many of the things you asked for have come, and not perhaps quite as many as sometimes, remember that this Christmas all over the world there are a terrible number of poor and starving people.
I (and also my Green Brother) have had to do some collecting of food and clothes, and toys too, for the children whose fathers and mothers and friends cannot give them anything, sometimes not even dinner. I know yours won’t forget you.
So, my dears, I hope you will be happy this Christmas and not quarrel, and will have some good games with your Railway all together. Don’t forget old Father Christmas, when you light your tree.
It has gone on being warm up here as I told you – not what you would call warm, but warm for the North Pole, with very little snow. The North Polar Bear, if you know who I mean, has been lazy and sleepy as a result, and very slow over packing, or any job except eating. He has enjoyed sampling and tasting the food parcels this year (to see if they were fresh and good, he said).
Somebody haz to – and I found stones in some of the kurrants.
But that is not the worst – I should hardly feel it was Christmas if he didn’t do something ridiculous. You will never guess what he did this time! I sent him down into one of my cellars – the Cracker-hole we call it – where I keep thousands of boxes of crackers (you would like to see them, rows upon rows, all with their lids off to show the kinds of colours).
Well, I wanted 20 boxes, and was busy sorting soldiers and farm things, so I sent him; and he was so lazy he took two Snowboys (who aren’t allowed down there) to help him. They started pulling crackers out of boxes, and he tried to box them (the boys’ ears I mean), and they dodged and he fell over, and let his candle fall right POOF! into my firework crackers and boxes of sparklers.
I could hear the noise, and smell the smell in the hall; and when I rushed down I saw nothing but smoke and fizzing stars, and old Polar Bear was rolling over on the floor with sparks sizzling in his coat: he has quite a bare patch burnt on his back.
It looked fine!
That’s where Father Christmas spilled the gravy on my back at dinner!
The Snowboys roared with laughter and then ran away. They said it was a splendid sight – but they won’t come to my party on St. Stephen’s Day; they have had more than their share already.
Two of the Polar Bear’s nephews have been staying here for some time – Paksu and Valkotukka (‘fat’ and ‘white-hair’ they say it means). They are fat-tummied polar-cubs, and are very funny boxing one another and rolling about. But another time, I shall have them on Boxing Day, and not just at packing-time. I fell over them fourteen ties a day last week.
And Valkotukka swallowed a ball of red string, thinking it was cake, and he got it all wound up inside and had a tangled cough – he couldn’t sleep at night, but I thought it rather served him right for putting holly in my bed.
It was the same cub that poured all the black ink yesterday into the fire – to make night: it did and a very smelly smoky one. We lost Paksu all last Wednesday and found him on Thursday morning asleep in a cupboard in the kitchen; he had eaten two whole puddings raw. They seem to be growing up just like their uncle.
Goodbye now, I shall soon be off on my travels once more. You need not believe any pictures you see of me in aeroplanes or motors. I cannot drive one, and don’t want to; and they are too slow anyway (not to mention the smell). They cannot compare with my own reindeer, which I train myself. They are all very well this year, and I expect my posts will be in very good time. I have got some new young ones this Christmas from Lapland (a great place for wizards; but these are WHIZZERS).
One day I will send you a picture of my deer-stables and harness-houses. I am expecting that John, although he is now over 14, will hang up his stocking this last time; but I don’t’ forget people even when they are past stocking-age, not until they forget me. So I send LOVE to you ALL, and especially little PM, who is beginning her stocking-days and I hope they will be happy.
Your loving Father Christmas
P.S. This is all drawn by North Polar Bear. Don’t you think he is getting better? But the green ink is mine – and he didn’t ask for it.-Letter from Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien
I have another cookie recipe to share today - Lemon Cheese Logs!
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 pkg. (3 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 egg yolk
2 1/2 cups flour, Golden 86 (white whole wheat)
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 pkg. (6 oz.) semisweet chocolate morsels, melted
Colored or chocolate decorating sprinkles
Cream sugar, butter, and cream cheese. Beat in egg yolk. Stir in flour, nuts, salt, and lemon peel. Refrigerate covered at least two hours.
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.
Shape about 1 tablespoon of dough into a log, 1-inch long. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets and bake until light brown, about 12 minutes. Slip the parchment paper with the baked cookies onto wire racks to cool. Dip ends of logs into melted chocolate and then into decorating sprinkles. Let stand on wire racks until the chocolate sets. Store between layers of wax paper in airtight containers at room temperature no longer than 10 days or in the freezer no longer than three months.
Makes 9 dozen
From the kitchen of Sally Bennett, 11-08-10