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Literary Advent Calendar: Christmas in Wales

By December 20, 2016Reading Excerpts

With just a few days to go now until Christmas Day we’re almost at the end of our literary advent calendar and we hope you’ve enjoyed all the excerpts, quotes and poems. Every day of advent we’ve been snipping festive literary extracts and poems for you, and today we’re in Wales with Dylan Thomas.

A long extract today from A Child’s Christmas in Wales. If this doesn’t leave you feeling all festive, we’re not sure what will!

But here a small boy says: “It snowed last year, too. I made a snowman and my brother knocked it down and I knocked my brother down and then we had tea.”

“But that was not the same snow,” I say. “Our snow was not only shaken from white wash buckets down the sky, it came shawling out of the ground and swam and drifted out of the arms and hands and bodies of the trees; snow grew overnight on the roofs of the houses like a pure and grandfather moss, minutely-ivied the walls and settled on the postman, opening the gate, like a dumb, numb thunder-storm of white, torn Christmas cards.”

“Were there postmen then, too?”

“With sprinkling eyes and wind-cherried noses, on spread, frozen feet they crunched up to the doors and mittened on them manfully. But all that the children could hear was a ringing of bells.”

“You mean that the postman went rat-a-tat-tat and the doors rang?”

“I mean that the bells the children could hear were inside them.”

“I only hear thunder sometimes, never bells.”

“There were church bells, too.”

“Inside them?”

“No, no, no, in the bat-black, snow-white belfries, tugged by bishops and storks. And they rang their tidings over the bandaged town, over the frozen foam of the powder and ice-cream hills, over the crackling sea. It seemed that all the churches boomed for joy under my window; and the weathercocks crew for Christmas, on our fence.”

Dylan Thomas’ writing leaps off the page and conjures up vivid imagery, and while he’s better known for his poetry, A Child’s Christmas in Wales is a stunning read, guaranteed to make you feel all warm and festive and full of nostalgia for Christmas Days of the past!

There’s just five days left now until Christmas Day! We’ll see you tomorrow with another literary taste of Christmas.

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