All I want for Christmas is … a sumptuous supper table



Note the peacock feather decoration in the fireplace! The Englishwoman’s cookery book/ by Mrs Isabella Beeton. London: Ward, Lock, 1882. UL classmark 1882.7.1067. Order in Rare Books room



All I want for Christmas is … a present from Santa



Wake up Santa!

“If Santa seems inclined to oversleep the walrus and polar bear invade his lodging and wake him up” Santa Claus and all about him / by E. Boyd Smith. London: Chambers, 1909. UL classmark 1909.11.66 Order in West Room

All I want for Christmas is … a surprise



It came as a surprise to me that JRR Tolkien used to write letters to his children as if from Father Christmas, and that he illustrated them with these amusing drawings. In this picture a polar bear falls asleep in his bath so that the bath water floods into the room below, where Father Christmas and his elves are at work packing presents. Somehow I can’t imagine the elves in Lord of the Rings doing such a thing.

Tolkien as Father Christmas

The Father Christmas letters / JRR Tolkien. London : George Allen & Unwin, 1976. UL classmark: 1976.11.159. Order in West Room