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Letters from Father Christmas

Length: 2 hrs and 7 mins
5 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)

Non-member price: $8.98

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Publisher's Summary

Can you imagine writing to Father Christmas and actually getting a reply?

Every year, the children of J.R.R. Tolkien would write to Father Christmas, and the letters they received told wonderful stories of his adventures at the North Pole.

These humorous tales are brought to life by Derek Jacobi as Father Christmas, John Moffatt as Polar Bear, and Christian Rodska as Ilbereth the Elf, complete with specially composed music.

Click here to see all the titles in our J.R.R. Tolkien collection.
©1997, 200 4 (P)1997 HarperCollins UK

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Profile Image for James
  • James
  • 30-06-2014

A fun little read.

What made the experience of listening to Letters from Father Christmas the most enjoyable?

The humour and wonderful narration made this a great listen.

What does Derek Jacobi bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Derek Jacobi read with tongue in cheek and in great humour and the listening experience was very enjoyable.

Any additional comments?

A few letters written to Tolkien's daughter Priscilla were left out of the audiobook edition from about 1937 to 1943 I think. These are included in the Ebook edition with wonderful illustrations from J.R.R. Tolkien.

43 people found this helpful

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  • BodyPositiveZone
  • 23-12-2016

Fun Listen!

Wish there were more letters to this British family. The stories could go on. I love having a new slant (for me) on Santa and the North Pole and their problems. Love the letter sign offs too! "Love from your Father Christmas".

19 people found this helpful

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  • The Super-duper Amazing Silver Golem
  • 11-12-2017

Heart warming letters from a creative father.


This book is less a book and more of a collection of letters from "Father Christmas" and his silly companions to the children of the famous author J.R.R. Tolkien. The level of creativity is heart warming as the letters relate the yearly adventures of Father Christmas and his helpers as they prepare to make their great gift deliveries, most notably the clumsy and lovable North Polar Bear.

The narration was also absolutely terrific, it's hard to imagine anyone could have done better. Hats off to Derek Jacobi, John Moffatt, and Christian Rodska for bringing these fun little characters to life and putting a smile on the faces of listeners everywhere.

This audiobook is recommended to listeners who enjoy a bit of imagination blended into their Christmas holiday and want something shorter than two hours in length. This audio experience is just as much silly fun for the older as it is for the younger. Who knows? It might even inspire some parents to add a little spice to Christmas mornings, themselves.

9 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Lane
  • Lane
  • 07-12-2016

amazing idea for Christmas

A much better idea than the elf on the shelf. As I listened to the story I was thinking of the possibility of doing this with my future little ones

19 people found this helpful

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  • Cathie Dalziel
  • 25-12-2016

Magical Christmas Tale by the best

Heartwarming Christmas Tale surrounding Father Christmas's letters to J.R.R. Tolkien's children every year at Christmas time. They were a delight to read and I can see this becoming a new holiday tradition to listen to every Christmas Eve with new little ones in my life.

7 people found this helpful

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  • IreneMBBT
  • 14-12-2018

Wonderfully charming

Funny, charming letters from Father Christmas written by Tolkien to his children, in reply to their letters. With dates from 1920-1943, many contain wonderful little stories that are so very creative and sweetly innocent. They offer a lovely snapshot of family life and what Tolkien was like as a father. He gets big points from me for focusing on his youngest after the start of WW2; he had to have been worried about his oldest boys, who were 22 and 19 in 1939.

The narration is great - love Jacobi specifically. His phrasing, pacing and voice are spot on perfect. 5 stars

The music slipped over the line into annoying at times, but stayed this side enough to refrain from describing it as hysterical or demented. Please note: I DO like music in productions - when it’s a *complementary* sound that works with the period and mood of the writing, and doesn’t run over the words. 2 stars
That was the only part that could have been done better - and why I couldn’t rate this 5 stars across the board.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Rachel
  • 21-11-2017

Felt the Christmas Magic

The performance was spectacular.
I truly felt as if Santa and the other characters were alive. Smiled through the whole thing it's worth the listen.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Ellen Ludwig
  • 05-12-2018

Wonderful and Magical

My children and o absolutely loved this. It was so special listening together. The last letter when all the children had grown was 😭.

4 people found this helpful

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  • christine luschas
  • 16-11-2017

adorable!!! i loved every minute of it.

i just wish it was longer! such a fun book. adorable!

i enjoyed every minute!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Gérard Benoît
  • 07-12-2017

Kill the music!!

I would love this, were it not for the INCREDIBLY ANNOYING MUSIC! The producers took what could have been a first-rate audiobook and cheapened it with extremely poor interlude music that even plays over the narrations.... a great pity! The music is presumably there to please children, but my child asked, “Why do they keep playing that silly ‘tick-tocky’ song?!” Boo.....

25 people found this helpful

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  • Sally
  • 24-12-2016

Seriously irritating music

Readings were lovely - it would be 4 to 5 stars if you could eradicate the dreadful, repetitive music

4 people found this helpful

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  • Arlene Finnigan
  • 24-12-2018

Perfect Christmas reading

Of course Tolkien invented a grouchy polar bear sidekick for Father Christmas. Of course he invented a fictional Arctic language. Of course Father Christmas has to battle hobgoblins.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Nina
  • 22-12-2016

It brings the Christmas spirit...

This beautiful collection of letters that Tolkien wrote to his children as replies from Father Christmas is full of humour and shows the North Pole through a dreaming child's eyes.
The character of a mischievous polar bear takes you into a Christmas adventure that will make you laugh and will let your imagination run wild.

The narration is simple which will entertain either adult or child listener and is wonderfully supported by uplifting Christmas music.

If you're a fan of Tolkien and love Christmas or are just looking for a story for your children during the festive season, this book is perfect.

The only downside is that the book is short however it is quite a gem.

1 person found this helpful

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  • CEB
  • 02-01-2020

Excellent!

Great festive read, excellent story telling and fun for all to listen to. I have the printed book also, the audible version brings it to life!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • A P
  • 20-12-2019

Charming letters

After a rather quiet start I found this audio book utterly charming. He must have been a lovely father. The tales told by Father Christmas of goblins and wars reminded me of the stories told in his books.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ricardina
  • 01-01-2019

so beautiful

never read it before and it was very interesting to see this side of the author

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  • Ellen
  • 19-12-2018

Absolutely beautiful book

A must have book for Christmas for any age group. Gorgeous letters from Father Christmas and Polar Bear, a joy to listen to. Derek Jacobi was a perfect narrator for these wonderful letters. A Christmas regular from now on.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 17-09-2018

Nostalgia and merriment!!

Such a lovely audiobook to listen too, so cheery and heartfelt! It gave me all the warm feelings of nostalgia, would listen to it again and again!

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  • Harriet Ellis
  • 27-12-2017

A book from my childhood

The voices were perfect, it’s very nostalgic and Christmassy for a certain generation and for a new generation it brings Father Christmas alive

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  • Darran Hughes
  • 28-11-2017

When Christmas was Christmas.

Being 50 years of age I thought I would not enjoy this. How wrong I was, since listening to this I bought the book to see the pictures mentioned. Book and Audio book are both very enjoyable. The music between letters to me symbolised the passage of time until the next Christmas and was enjoyable.
A real shame the audio book is but a short one.