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111 pages, Paperback
First published September 2, 1976
If you find that not many of the things you asked for have come, and not perhaps quite so many as sometimes, remember that this Christmas all over the world there are a terrible number of poor and starving people.
My dear Priscilla,It really reminded me of the interaction between Kat and her father in 10 Things I Hate About You: "You know fathers don't like to admit it when their daughters are capable of running their own lives. It means we've become spectators. Bianca still let's me play a few innings - you've had me on the bench for years. When you go to Sarah Lawrence, I won't even be able to watch the game."
A very happy Christmas! I suppose you will be hanging up your stocking just once more: I hope so for I have still a few things for you. After this I shall have to say "goodbye", more or less: I mean, I shall not forget you. We always keep the old numbers of our old friends, and their letters; and later on we hope to come back when they are grown up and have houses of their own and children.
At twelve, or later,I loved that he created these different personas (Father Christmas, the North Polar Bear, Ilbereth etc.) because the interaction between them (in the letters) was fucking golden and remained authentic and true to their origin throughout the curse of 23 years, e.g. the North Polar Bear always interjecting "RUDE" when the other characters were calling him out. :> How is that even possible? Tolkien was such a dedicated hoe, I am shooketh! But he also didn't fail to address important issues of the time such as World War II and the environment. I loved that he raised his kids to value humility and see things in perspectives; after all, looking at the grand scheme of things, these UK kids were very well off.
he will arrive – and hopes once more
that he has chosen from his store
the things you want. You're half past nine;
[Ilbereth interjecting: She is not a clock!]