Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Child's Christmas in Wales

"I said some words to the close and holy darkness, and then I slept."

And with that heart wrenching line, "A Child's Christmas in Wales" by Dylan Thomas comes to a close. Don't worry, it's not much of a spoiler, I just wanted to share my favourite passage from my favourite Christmas tale with you. The story which comes before that last line, is equally as magical but the ending leaves you breathless and wanting more...more of your own childhood, your memories, the people who encompass your life...every good thing you've experienced but has over time changed.

"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 sometimes 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."

You can read the piece here or listen to a reading if you prefer. If you get a chance, watch that brilliant CBC/BBC co-production with Denholm Elliott, I get goose bumps every time I see it. Especially when they sing "All Through the Night" as the credits roll. Stunning. I can't spend a Christmas without "A Child's Christmas in Wales".

"Always on Christmas night there was music. An uncle played the fiddle, a cousin sang "Cherry Ripe," and another uncle sang "Drake's Drum." It was very warm in the little house. Auntie Hannah, who had got on to the parsnip wine, sang a song about Bleeding Hearts and Death, and then another in which she said her heart was like a Bird's Nest; and then everybody laughed again; and then I went to bed. Looking through my bedroom window, out into the moonlight and the unending smoke-colored snow, I could see the lights in the windows of all the other houses on our hill and hear the music rising from them up the long, steady falling night. I turned the gas down, I got into bed. I said some words to the close and holy darkness, and then I slept."


  1. I am very pleased to have found your blog.

    There are kindred souls with feelings like mine in the world it seems.

    1. Thanks so much Joe for your lovely comment. Much appreciated. Thanks for stopping by and do come again. :)


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