Character: Estel and Tom Bombadil
Source: Pre-Ring War
Disclaimer: Tolkien wrote the book... Kortirion wrote the drabble.
Midwinter: North I
The Old Forest – not a good place to camp, but the midwinter days were short and it was less wise still to travel its murky paths by night. Estel travelled north with two companions towards the settlements skirting Lake Nenuial, but rather than ride The Greenway were provisions would not be found, they thought to follow the Brandywine.
They awoke to snow. Soft, drifting, hiding paths, disguising hollows to trap the unwary... all was white, ground, sky, horizon – only the trunks of tangled trees showed dark against it. By sunset they knew they were lost... Then they heard tiny bells.
Midwinter: North II
Warily, they hid, but the approaching bells jingled towards them unerringly. An old man approached cheerily, riding a horse-drawn sled, white-bearded, blue-coated, clothes and hood warmly trimmed with white fur...
“Come out Rangers, stop hiding in the snow.
Come see Tom now, he’ll show you where to go.”
Orald! Estel had heard tell... but...
“Come along Rangers, there’s presents to deliver.
Ride along, come along, we’ll go find your river.”
By winding valley paths he led them – into what Estel recognised as Buckland.
“Go safe now, Tom’s busy tonight. Little halflings expect a visit.”
Harness-bells jingled away into the darkness...
Note: In old European illustrations of Santa Claus, he wears a blue coat.