A Child’s Christmas in Wales

Today is Group and we have to bring a Christmas-themed reading. For me there is only one choice: A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas.

Now I know that Dylan Thomas was a drunk and a bully and that he never quite got over his success or was able to maximise his talent (as they might say in business-speak). But this is such an evocative piece because it reminds me of childhood Christmases spent listening to LPs and laughing as a family at Mrs Prothero and the firemen. “Would you like anything to read?”

I suppose I could also call on Dickens’ A Christmas Carol but that’s been done to death for me. A lesser-known Dickens could work. Any ideas?

And as for poems, there’s TS Eliot’s The Journey of the Magi of course. I should be glad of another death. But what else? And why am I drawing such a blank on this topic? What story or poem stands out for you at Christmas?

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7 Responses to A Child’s Christmas in Wales

  1. litlove says:

    I’m ashamed to say I didn’t know this Dylan Thomas piece (Under Milk Wood is all I’ve ever seen of his work). Thank you for introducing me to it! The Christmas book that resonates with me is a children’s story by Anne Fine called The More the Merrier. We had it on audio tape when my son was little and listened to it over and over (often in summer!) as it was such a hilarious account of a Christmas spent with too much crazy family. I can’t think of a decent adult Christmas story at all although there must be loads.

    • Pete says:

      Thanks. I knew you would have a recommendation! I also just remembered that The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen has an excellent account of a dysfunctional family Christmas.

  2. natalian says:

    Enjoyed reading “A Child’s Christmas in Wales”. Unfortunately the only poem that comes to mind is “Twas the night before Christmas…” which would definately be laugh at during Group!

    • Pete says:

      Well maybe! But I like it and it’s a classic. You would have approved of the food since we had Stollen. (No Lebkuchen or Zimt Sterne though.)

  3. Sarah says:

    I always enjoy the first few chapters of Little Women which describe the March girls Christmas. This year, I’m also planning to read Rock Crystal by Adalbert Stifter (a novella about two German kids who get lost on Christmas Eve which NYRB has republished) and the new book of Rumpole Christmas stories.

    • Pete says:

      Thanks, Sarah! I’ve tended to avoid Little Women from an irrational fear that my manliness will surely erode even more if I read it. But I’m sure that there’s no harm in reading the first few chapters! And I love Rumpole so wilk check that out too. Hope you get to Review Rock Crystal on your blog.

  4. Grad says:

    Well, you’ve probably already been to Group. My mother had a Christmas ornament of deep blue with a Nativity scene painted in silver on it. It was the one ornament I looked forward to placing on the tree every year. The bright star. Any story that evokes that sort of feeling will do, no matter the theme.

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