Tradition & Memory: A Child’s Christmas In Wales

Bryan O'Nolan

Bryan O'Nolan is the the most highly paid investigative reporter at Ordinary Times. He lives in New Hampshire. He is available for effusive praise on Twitter. He can be contacted with thoughtfully couched criticism via email.

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4 Responses

  1. Jerry says:

    Great story about family, memories and love. Well done Bryan.Report

  2. Jaybird says:

    My mom made us listen to that record every year and, the last year she could reasonably make us sit still and listen to it, culminated in us walking into the kitchen/dining room area and eating “breakfast under the balloons”, like she had always dreamed about doing ever since she had first heard the story.Report

  3. fillyjonk says:

    I love the – is it a poem? A short story? When I was in high school, Vincent Dowling (who was then director of the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival) came to our school for a period of time as an “artist in residence” and apparently he was impressed enough that he gave the school tickets for (all? I think?) the students to go see the production of it.

    It was my first exposure to it – I was about 14 – and I’ve loved it since. I have a recording of Thomas himself reading it and I used to listen to it every Christmas (somehow I lost that tradition along the way). Such great sentences; I have used “Oh, easy for *Leonardo!*” occasionally as a comment and always delight when someone recognizes it.

    I also loved the idea of “Useful Gifts” vs. “Useless Gifts,” and the young boy’s implication that the so-called Useless Gifts were the actually-desirable ones. (And in fact, someone worked up a nosewarmer pattern, though they don’t reference the pattern).

    While I grew up in a very different time and place (and we did not have epic snowball fights, nor drunken aunts singing in the living room), there are things about the poem that resonate very much with me….Report