Holiday Reads: A special ‘Tolkien’ to childhood

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Now, one must think, this surely can’t be correct. A tale of a small, yet brave, hobbit facing the darkest force of evil within Middle Earth can’t be my favourite, arguably my most sentimental, read at Christmas time. But indeed, it is. The Return of the King stands as not only one of the cosiest adventures one can lose themselves in during these cold months, but as a very special ‘Tolkien’ of fond childhood memories that I am in no hurry to forget.

As the final instalment of the renown Lord of the Rings Series by J R. R. Tolkien, The Return of the King, captured the hearts of millions, myself included. It follows Frodo Baggins and his fellowship through the final events of his attempt to save Middle Earth from the evil powers of Mordor. It is truly a fictional phenomenon that cannot be missed.

The pages of this book truly echo the childish glow and sparkle of those carefree times.

This story draws me back to my Dad and I reading this book together. Although he much preferred the film, he always knew I was a Matilda at heart. He would spend countless hours reading out the tale with funny voices for each character, producing his own musical score alongside events, leaving me howling with glee. Re-enacting battles, both of us running around like fools, grinning from ear to ear. The pages of this book truly echo the childish glow and sparkle of those carefree times. The adventures of Frodo mirroring our own.

So, this book became an anchor, a stamp of remembrance and a defiance against those Christmas blues.

But after Dad passed away, the festive season became more challenging, tinsel seemed a bit too droopy, the fairy lights a bit too dull, Christmas carols a bit too loud. So, this book became an anchor, a stamp of remembrance and a defiance against those Christmas blues. I read this book every year in the Christmas holidays, not only because of my love for the story, but because within those sentences are the memories shared with my Dad, imprinted on those pages alongside Frodo’s journey. Much like Frodo taking those final steps home to Hobbiton, I myself, feel a familiar sense of home, flipping through those wonderful pages which captured not only my mind as a young reader, but special and much-loved memories of a father and daughter.

Photo: Renee Hawk via Flickr Creative Commons

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