Wednesday, December 7, 2011
A Child's Christmas In Wales by Dylan Thomas, Time Was Antiques Free Ship Coupon
Each of us probably has favorite books that only come our of hiding at Chritsmas and I have many. I have Christmas time reading rituals...always read certain books...and greet them as old friends we have forgotten but are delighted upon encountering them again. A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas is one of these.
The book was written & published in 1954 and has been produced in many versions since then. This is illustrated with watercolors by Edward Ardizzone. It has been produced in film form several times. Sometime in the 1960s I remember seeing a TV version read by Richard Burton who's Welsh musicality was perfect for it.
The story is a narrative by a boy during the Christmas season...totally from his point of view, and is a comic and lyric tour de force!
"And then the Presents, after the Christmas box. And the cold postman, with a rose on his button nose, tingled down the tea-tray-slithered run of the chilly glinting hill. He went in his ice-bound boots like a man on fishmonger's slabs. He wagged his bag like a frozen camel's hump, dizzily turned the corner on one foot, and, by God, he was gone."
"Get back to presents."
"There were the Useful Presents: engulfing mufflers of the old coach days, and mittens made for giant sloths; zebra scarfs of a substance like silky gum that could be tug-o'-warred down to the galoshes; blinding tam-o'-shanters like patchwork tea cosies and bunny-suited busbies and balaclavas for victims of head-shrinking tribes; from aunts who always wore wool next to the skin there were moustached and rasping vests that made you wonder why the aunts had any skin left at all; and one I hade a little crocheted nose bag from an aunt now, alas, no longer whinnying with us. A pictureless books in which small boys, though warned with quotations not to WOULD skate on Farmer Giles' pond and did and drowned; and books that told me everything about the wasp except why."
I know blog posts should be short, but there are episodes with the descriptions of the snoring uncles, "breathing like dolphins", the aunts that had had too much parsnip wine, the treats, the dinner, the outings with friends, the presents...basically everything. A joy from start to finish.
So...enjoy the books...the old friend visiting until it's time to forget them for another year when we will discover them anew. Another joy of Christmas!
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