During the final12 days before Christmas, I am posting quotes from Santa’s letters – courtesy of JRR Tolkien. It’s a wonderful book and a grand idea. I wish I’d thought of it. 🙂
“It is very cold today and my hand is very shaky—I am nineteen hundred and twenty four, no! seven! years old on Christmas Day,—lots older than your great-grandfather, so I can’t stop the pen wobbling, but I hear that you are getting so good at reading that I expect you will be able to read my letter.”
During the final 12 days before Christmas, I am posting quotes from Santa’s letters – courtesy of JRR Tolkien. It’s a wonderful book and a grand idea. I wish I’d thought of it. 🙂
The following story line occurred during World War II and I couldn’t help but wonder if it was author-Tolkien indulging his own novel-writing habits or father-Tolkien trying to address his children’s fears and anxieties by creating a fictional war both fought and won by Santa himself. It would make a wonderful classroom discussion or term-paper topic.
“Goblins are to us very much what rats are to you, only worse because they are very clever; and only better because there are, in these parts, very few. We thought there were none left. Long ago we had great trouble with them—that was about 1453 I believe—but we got the help of the Gnomes, who are their greatest enemies, and cleared them out.”
“I had to blow my golden trumpet (which I have not done for many years) to summon all my friends. There were several battles—every night they used to attack and set fire in the stores—before we got the upper hand, and I am afraid quite a lot of my dear elves got hurt…They have rescued all my reindeer. We are quite happy and settled again now, and feel much safer. It really will be centuries before we get another goblin-trouble. Thanks to Polar Bear and the gnomes, there can’t be very many left at all”
“I wonder what you will think of my picture. “Penguins don’t live at the North Pole,” you will say. I know they don’t, but we have got some all the same. What you would call “evacuees”, I believe (not a very nice word); except that they did not come here to escape the war, but to find it! They had heard such stories of the happenings up in the North (including a quite untrue story that Polar Bear and all the Polar Cubs had been blown up, and that I had been captured by Goblins) that they swam all the way here to see if they could help me. Nearly 50 arrived.”
The Polar Express has become something of a Christmas classic. Yet, around my house, this book is request, frequently, year-round. It’s 90+ degrees outside, we’ve spent the day at the beach or playing in the sprinkler, and the bedtime story request consists of a mid-winter trip on a magical train to visit Santa.
As the adult, I don’t understand it. I’m sure I made similarly perplexing requests as a child, even though I do not recall doing so. Yet, holiday season or no, the effect is the same – starry eyed children caught up in the fairy tale world of Santa and his elves. Who am I to judge?
Therefore, on the strength of year-round appeal, I am awarding this month’s Giggle Book Award to The Polar Express.
“I knew I could have any gift I could imagine. But the thing I wanted most for Christmas was not inside Santa’s giant bag. What I wanted more than anything was one silver bell from Santa’s sleigh. When I asked, Santa smiled. Then he gave me a hug and told an elf to cut a bell from the reindeer’s harness. The elf tossed it up to Santa. He stood, holding the bell high above him, and called out, “The first gift of Christmas!””
“If you think about it, there are hundreds of little ways and chances for us to be that shining light of hope for one another, especially during tough times. We can give money, sure, but we can also give our time, love, attention, creativity, or even just a shoulder of support. If we all looked for and acted on these opportunities, even on days that aren’t Christmas, well…imagine the kind of world that would be.”
“Polar Bear has been ill. He had whooping cough first of all. I could not let him help with the packing and sorting which begins in November—because it would be simply awful if any of my children caught Polar whooping cough and barked like bears on Boxing Day. So I had to do everything myself in the preparations.”
“Still he is all right now—I know because he has been at his tricks again: quarreling with the Snowman (my gardener) and pushing him through the roof of his snow house; and packing lumps of ice instead of presents in naughty children’s parcels. That might be a good idea, only he never told me and some of them (with ice) were put in warm storerooms and melted all over good children’s presents!”
This is the fourth in a series of posts about Safe For Work (SFW) costumes. The Spy or Secret Agent: The most famous spy of them all is probably secret service agent 007 James Bond. Mission Impossible, Men in Black, … Continue reading →
This is the third in a series of posts about Safe For Work (SFW) costumes. There are some people who would argue that dressing up as a ‘[fill in the blank] fan’ isn’t really a costume. While that is a … Continue reading →