“I saw parallels between Father Christmas’s job and my father’s – he was a milkman. He had to get up very early in the morning and go out in all weathers. On Christmas morning I’d get up very early to help him.” -Raymond Briggs
I am a huge fan of Raymond Briggs’ Snowman book and the animated film version. I love the colored pencil artwork as well as the touching story imagined from a child’s point of view. The film can be seen on TV every year on either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day in the UK. I miss watching it now that I live in Japan.
Raymond Briggs’s Father Christmas is another Christmas favourite of mine. The illustrations are wonderful and the story is both funny and heartwarming. I believe it can be enjoyed by both children and adults. Children will love the level of detail in the drawings and adults will appreciate the wry humour.
Briggs gives Father Christmas a relatable, human character. He dreams of a relaxing holiday on a beach somewhere hot. He complains about the cold weather, especially when he’s flying through storms, rain, snow and fog. He wonders how to get inside a caravan without a chimney. And he enjoys the occasional snack and drink left out for him.
When I was a teenager, I used to deliver newspapers to earn pocket money for comics. I had to get up very early and go out in every kind of weather – rain, wind, snow, and fog. So, I can sympathize with Raymond Briggs’ portrayal of a rather grumpy Father Christmas.
This is a book to relax with, a book that can take you back to your childhood, a book of comfort and coziness, a book to read to your children.
I recommend anything by Raymond Briggs. My personal favourites are ‘Fungus the Bogeyman’, ‘The Snowman’, ‘Father Christmas’, and ‘Ethel and Ernest’. ‘When the Wind Blows’ is another great work of art by this author but I find it too sad to call it a favourite.