Tuesday, December 15, 2015

More Spirit of Christmas Books

Okay, this is starting to become an obsession...I'm now blogging about books 5 and 6 in the Spirit of Christmas reading challenge.  They are all actually pretty short books, but still!

I read and really enjoyed Jean Shepherd's A Christmas Story, which is a collection of sketches about growing up in northern Indiana during the Depression. And yes, this is the book that launched the wonderful Christmas movie that runs 24x7 during December.  It's all there--the leg lamp, the department store Santa and chute, the Little Orphan Annie secret decoder sham, the bully, and the stolen holiday dinner.  All the stories don't actually take place at Christmas, but that doesn't matter. Fun to read, Shepherd's style is sort of a mashup of James Thurber meets David Sedaris.

Now I have to watch the movie next week when all the kids are home for the holidays!

The Father Christmas Letters was a wonderful picture book featuring the letters that J.R.R. Tolkien wrote to his children during the 1930s on behalf of Father Christmas.  Through the letters, we get a fun, interesting picture of life at the North Pole.  Most of the letters detail the antics of the faithful, well-intentioned, but prone-to-mishaps North Polar Bear as well as the ongoing trouble that Father Christmas and the elves have with the goblins who steal presents and generally wreak havoc on the frozen north.  The drawings, the elvish handwriting, and imagination of Tolkien made this a very special holiday book.

A selection of "stamps" that Tolkien drew on the envelopes of the letters.

Now I have to return it to the library and get a copy for my shelves!  However, I'm not sure which version to get.  I highlighted the one I got from my library, but it's not really available except as a collectible.  There are other versions out there, but I need to thumb through them and make sure they include the drawings as well as the letters.


  1. Oh, I want the Tolkien book! What a lovely discovery.

  2. These look like really interesting books.

    One thing that I find interesting about them is that I never knew that they existed.

    I do not even think that many Tolkien fans know about those Christmas letters.

  3. I'm going to have to pick up Shepherd's book - the movie is a must-watch around our house and it would be great to have the book as a must-read to go along with it.