Happy Birthday to J.R.R. Tolkien!

Today, being the Twelvity-First birthday of J.R.R. Tolkien, must be celebrated. So get out your tankards, pipes, and dragon-related paraphernalia (a word hoard word my students gleaned from The Hobbit) and prepare to party!

Today is a genuine Hobbit-Approved feast day. It is also the last official day of Christmas break, which means that you need no other excuse to have fun.

Some suggestions for activities (best done in a gathering of kindred spirits):

  • Read “Leaf By Niggle“, one of the most intriguing little myths written by Tolkien. It is not set in Middle Earth, but is fascinating none the less.
  • Go to the local pub, smoke a pipe, and make a new friend.
  • Pour beer (or prefered beverage) into a tankard, and raise a glass to the Inklings.
  • Make and eat a seed cake! (I cheat and just add poppy seeds to a cake mix.)
  • Read aloud from the Hobbit, favorite chapter of LotR, or other Tolkien work.
  • Have everyone share their favorite Tolkien quote.
  • Bring in a piece of poetry/story to share with everyone.
  • Everyone brings a written work of their own to share and discuss a ala The Inklings.
  • Everyone toasts Tolkien with afore-mentioned tankards.
  • Organize a treasure hunt base loosely on a Middle-Earth quest.
  • Just go on a quest in your neighborhood. You never know what adventures will befall you.
  • Take a walk on a local road. You never know where it will take you.
  • Play Middle Earth Risk/Trivial Pursuit etc.
  • Smuggle whiskey into the theater to watch The Hobbit, and take a drink every time something non-canonical happens.
  • Grow a beard.
  • Braid said beard in a dwarf-approved pattern.
  • Read Beowulf in the original Old English. (OK, you can read a translation, if you must.)
  • Say a prayer for the repose of Tolkien’s soul.
  • Do something similar to my plan for seeing The Hobbit but with the Lord of the Rings and in your own living room.

Er, your should probably replace the suggested whiskey in the above activities with tea. Or at least alternate drinking tea and whiskey. Or put whiskey in your tea.  Also, if you cannot grow a beard (like me and my sister muses, for example,) you can get an awesome beard hat on Etsy. So enjoy every part of today to the fullest, and be as awesome as would be if you were partying with Tolkien!

And if you are as shackled as I am, (grading Finals is worse than taking them,) we can have an online party here! Post your favorite Tolkien quote, story, or photo below, and be ready to discuss and party!

4 thoughts on “Happy Birthday to J.R.R. Tolkien!

  1. I’ll start the quotes! (We can celebrate for a week or so afterwards, right?) It is slightly cheesy, but I really love this quote.

    “I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.

    “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

  2. I just had to laugh at the idea to take a drink of whiskey every time they do something non-canonical in the Hobbit movie. In the last one, one would need two bottles of whiskey even if they only took small sips.

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