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Dylan Thomas: A Child's Christmas in Wales (Review)

An Enduring Work by Dylan Thomas

What is A Child's Christmas in Wales?

A Child's Christmas in Wales is a lengthy poem written by the short-lived Welsh writer Dylan Thomas. The poem told from the viewpoint of a young boy, is a memoir in the anecdotal form of one Christmas or many merged. It is often romanticized as a version of Christmases past, portraying a nostalgic and simpler time, perhaps of Thomas' boyhood or one he would have liked to enjoy. A Child's Christmas in Wales is one of Thomas' most famous works. The poem started as a piece written for radio which Thomas rewrote many times. Thomas first recorded his work in 1952 in the U.S.

Why Might This Anecdotal Poem Be Enduring?

A Child's Christmas in Wales is chock-full of beautiful words woven into imaginative anecdotes. A stunning example is the opening lines of the poem which set the stage for this dramatic creation. "One Christmas was so much like another, in those years around the sea-town corner now and out of all sound except the distant speaking of the voices I some times hear a moment before sleep, that I can never remember whether it snowed for six days and six nights when I was twelve or whether it snowed for twelve days and twelve nights when I was six."


Life and Times of Dylan Thomas

Statue of Dylan Thomas, Maritime Quarter, Swansea, England

Statue of Dylan Thomas, Maritime Quarter, Swansea, England

Dylan Thomas' Life Summary

Family Matters

Dylan Marlais Thomas was born on October 27, 1914, in Swansea, Wales and died, an alcoholic on November 9, 1953, age 39, at Greenwich Village, New York, N.Y. He was married to Caitlin MacNamara who was born on December 8, 1913, in Hammersmith, England and died July 31, 1994, age 80, at Catania, Sicily. Their first child and son was Llewelyn Edouard Thomas (1939–2000), Aeronwy Bryn Thomas-Ellis (1943–2009) was their second child and only daughter, and Colm Garan Hart Thomas (1949–2012) was the last child and second son.

Professional Highlights

Thomas recorded A Child’s Christmas in Wales in the United States for Caedmon Audio which launched the audiobook industry in the U.S.

Christmas Crackers are a Favorite Tradition in the UK

Each party-goer pulls on an end of the cracker to snap it open and reveal prizes like a hat or crown, papers with saying on them, and small gifts like plastic whistles and rings.

Each party-goer pulls on an end of the cracker to snap it open and reveal prizes like a hat or crown, papers with saying on them, and small gifts like plastic whistles and rings.

Some of the Many Publications of "A Child's Christmas in Wales"

Collage © Georgene A. Bramlage

Collage © Georgene A. Bramlage

A Child's Christmas in Wales - Collectible Books and Recordings

A sampling of the narrative spoken by a variety of readers including Dylan Thomas.

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"A Child's Christmas in Wales" - Books to Buy and Collect

A Child's Christmas in Wales - Read by Dylan Thomas

Reading Aloud

Official White House Photo by Pete Souz., April 13, 2009, Public Domain

Official White House Photo by Pete Souz., April 13, 2009, Public Domain

"A Child's Christmas in Wales" - Video

Favorite Read Aloud Christmas Stories

Houghton Mifflin and Companys Holiday Books for MDCCCXCV, Armstrong  & Co., Boston

Houghton Mifflin and Companys Holiday Books for MDCCCXCV, Armstrong & Co., Boston

Do you like to read aloud? Do you have favorite young people to whom you read? What are your favorite kinds of books to read aloud?

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