Last week ‘Hobbit in 5’ producer Daniel McNicoll announced a contest where we asked you, the fans, to send us your most memorable Tolkien Christmas story. We now have the winners and their stories! Take a look!

1st Place: Andrew Brown: Almost every year my family and friends get me something Lord of the Rings related for Christmas. Here’s a picture of my Christmas collection. I hope there are certain Blu-rays in store for me this year!

1st Runner up: Jim Wert: The Great Hobbit Wreck: Christmas season, 2002 and the opening of The Two Towers saw our family combine our annual Christmas Party with a LotR celebration. We invited roughly 300 of our closest friends, the majority of whom showed up in costume, for an evening of Rings-themed food (One Cheese Ring to Rule Them All, Ent Draught, Lembas bread, “Baked Bree”…), a gingerbread Meduseld impressive enough to make the local papers and the TORN archives, and general merriment. Fitting to the event, my wife and I fully inhabited the roles of Sam and Rosie, with costumes that included full hobbit costumes, appropriately pointed ears and custom-sewn (and liberally hairy) feet. All of this was a warm-up to the main event — seeing The Two Towers en masse later that evening.

An hour before the film began, we crowded into our Suburban, along with our four children and our pastor and his family, and headed to the theater. What my wife failed to mention, however, was that the passenger’s side mirror glass had fallen out of its mounting while I had been out of town on a business trip. Since I only got home on the afternoon of our party, what I assumed was a functional side mirror was in fact a black hole. This proved significant when I attempted to change lanes on the interstate, just a couple of miles from the theater. Hobbit or not, the laws of physics still applied with regard to objects occupying the same space at the same time.

Fortunately, the damage to both vehicles was minor, but we did have to stop and exit the vehicles. Imagine Sam in Cirith Ungol, backlit by bright headlights, marching resolutely down the interstate shoulder toward a befuddled Chinese exchange student, grasping his insurance information card rather than the Phial of Galadriel. You get the picture. And even as the wind whipped away my theater ticket irretrievably across several lanes, I had the sinking feeling that I, too, was not destined to see the Shire again, at least not that night.

The wait for the highway patrol proved interminable, and I finally talked my new international friend into allowing the rest of my family to head to the theater in our Suburban without me. I remained behind, wrapping my elven gift cloak more tightly around me, hostage to a cruel destiny that, at the time, seemed to rival ring-bearing. And still we waited. No police. Ultimately, even as the minutes ticked by, Elbereth’s light shown favorably on us. My Chinese comrade took pity on me, and even drove me himself to the nearby theater. The ticket agents were waiting to waive me through the line, forewarned by my faithful Rosie, and I was soon nestled securely beside her and my 300 closest friends, even as Gandalf fell toward his doom, Balrog in tow: a Christmas memory indeed, and probably fodder for several sermon illustrations.

My daughter subsequently documented some of this little mishap for one of her film classes. I will try to attach a link for any who might be interested!

Mae govannen, my Chinese friend!

2rd Runner up: Larissa Kyer