A Lesson in Storytelling: I have long collected history and story books on Christmas and Santa Claus. While this collection started out just for pure enjoyment, I now find these books a great resource to me in my portrayal.
I was reminded on a recent family road trip of a very special book, after enjoying the audio version with the family.
“Letters From Father Christmas” This is a collection of illustrated letters from “Father Christmas” recapping the activities of the preceding year at the North Pole. The letters were written by the author J.R.R. Tolkien (yes THAT J.R.R. Tolkien) to his children from 1920-1942. These letters, precious and creative gifts from a master storyteller, were shared with the world after his death and published in 1976. How lucky we are as a community, to have been gifted with a look at these special and person family treasures.
Many historians believe that these letters and stories were some of the building blocks to The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. It’s even said that Gandalf had his early beginnings as Tolkien’s Father Christmas.
I highly recommend you purchase a copy of these letters and even pick up the audio version. While I am not saying to copy the stories in your portrayal, it has always been clear that Tolkien created his worlds...he fleshed them out.
From the battle of the goblins and elves, to the troubles of the polar bears, to the Arctic language and more, Tolkien helped make the North Pole and Father Christmas REAL for his own children. From his drawing to even the shakiness of his handwriting, he created layers of story.
I believe this is what can be done, in our mind, at the ready, create your layers and depth of your character. It has been said, looking the part just is not enough. When I am portraying Santa Claus, it is my hope that my ramblings and details could only mean one thing to those I visit...that perhaps, just maybe... I really am Santa Claus. 🎅🏻