When my dad saw A Child’s Christmas in Wales in the TV listings, he insisted that my brother and I watch it with him. We immediately started complaining, “That sounds boring!” (which, you have to admit, it does). He got us to sit down and watch, though, and it wasn’t long before we were laughing.
The video is an adaptation of a piece by the poet Dylan Thomas. As our catalog rather dryly describes it, he “recalls the celebration of Christmas in Wales and the feelings it evoked in him as a child.” That doesn’t give you much of a feeling for the humor of those memories, though. The poet meanders from one memory to another, sometimes prompted by a boy’s questions: snow, presents (two categories: “useful” and “useless”), relatives, candy cigarettes, and caroling and mischief with his friends.
Until recently, I had a car with a tape deck but no CD player. I would check out the recording of Dylan Thomas reading A Child’s Christmas in Wales to play in the car. A few years back, the tape was in mid-story when my nephew joined me in the car. Dylan and his friends were discussing what they would do if a hippopotamus came down their street. Options included punching it, tickling it, and bringing it home to tea.
I didn’t realize how closely he had been listening until the next year when he picked up a little plastic hippo from the Nativity scene (my family likes to embellish a bit) and held it up to me saying, “Tickle, tickle, tickle”!