Cover Detail of A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas

A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas

Welcome to Day 12 of #12booksofchristmas We have made it folks! In case you have missed any of the previous 11 books, I have listed them below:

Those of you who may know me, will know that I do not really go in for poetry or indeed the spoken word. This is a failing I know, as so many get such obvious pleasure from it. It usually leaves me cold. I do love an audiobook of a story and can lose myself for hours in one. If you google Christmas books, than one book consistently on any Books for Christmas list worth its salt will be Dylan Thomas’ A Child’s Christmas in Wales. And so, always on the quest for Christmas reads, I decided to try this and was very pleased I did!

The Plot

Postmen and Presents and good things to eat, snowballs, music and song” Dylan Thomas’ charming account of his own childhood at Christmas in a small Welsh town is filled with festive fun and excitement.
This enchanting classic brings warm memories and the timeless magic of Christmas to every new generation.

My Thoughts

The book is almost pamphlet like, 40 pages long and in the edition I have, has the most wonderful illustrations by Edward Ardizzone which also bring Thomas’ storytelling to life. Apologies for sounding obvious, but when I read I just read, the characters are formed in my mind and in the case of exceptional writing I can smell, taste, touch, hear and see the scene being described.

But Dylan Thomas offers a different way of reading. In the book you are almost invited to perform the words. I imagined a wonderful, deep, throaty, Welsh voice with the most beautiful timbre, reading aloud. His voice became my voice and the words were almost released into the air. It was a performance of the most wonderful memories of a Welsh childhood at Christmas. I now get spoken word performance.

In a way, this taps into the heart of all of us, the collective celebration. For a few months now my friends and family have been talking about Christmas’ past….from our childhood, our family traditions, the meals we had, funny anecdotes or an odd relative or two. And at the heart of us, is our deep-rooted tradition of tales by the fire, shared and passed down generation to generation.

My Sister and I talk about how we were not allowed to open presents until the dogs had been fed and wished a happy Christmas, how our father would bring in a dog food sack for the Christmas wrapping paper and gleefully look forward to a good bonfire later that week with the detritus. How there would be snow, and our boxing day meal was always proper chips, garden peas and corned beef with pea gravy made by my dad who never cooked except on Boxing day. Interestingly, we never talk about the presents we received, just the memories of this wonderful season.

Dylan Thomas has tapped into this deep-rooted tradition of passing on memories, and does it with such beauty of language it makes you ache. I loved this and think this may become a tradition of its own to read each year.

Wherever you are in the world, whatever you are celebrating, please may I take the time to wish you, your family and friends the merriest of Christmases.

Thank you for reading along with my blog, for the wonderful messages, the support and swopping of recommendations. Please know I am sending you all much love.

I will be back at the end of December with a review of my year in books.

With love,