The Halloween Thieves

A Child’s Christmas in Wales

A Child’s Christmas in Wales Analysis

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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.

-Dylan Thomas



A Child’s Christmas in Wales, is an old story written in the 1940s by Dylan Thomas, a Welsh poet. It was immediately successful in Britain, mostly because many adults at the time could easily relate to Thomas. It is a story consisting of several garbled memories, being told to a child by an adult, and the nostalgia of the adult is obvious. A Child’s Christmas in Wales is a British classic and is known as one of the most in-depth poems told from a child’s point of view, and it also has several great themes.


We have all been children, and Dylan Thomas uses this to get the audience to relate to the protagonist in A Child’s Christmas in Wales. It starts with the protagonist (Most likely Thomas) being at a friend's house, hunting cats, which they call Lynxes. Then a fire starts, and the firefighters appear to be somewhat mystical.  Thomas’s childhood imagination seems almost infinite. The garbled memories are strung together into a series of stories, that seem nostalgic and mystical simultaneously. Thomas, who is clearly an adult now, definitely looks fondly at his childhood Christmas memories, and most of the readers can relate to that, since as you get older, Christmas inevitably gets less magical, and doesn’t lie up to your expectations. But for Thomas, Christmas was still magical back then in his childhood, in Wales, in the early 1920s. His imagination as a child no doubt makes the memories seem more magical than they really were, but even so, a child’s imagination, combined with the unspoken magic of Christmastime. But when it comes down to the basic themes, imagination, nostalgia, and memory are easily the most distinct and understandable.


However, it is not just the themes of A Child’s Christmas in Wales that make it a fun, relatable book, but it is also the writing style. I personally loved the way that Thomas wrote the story. It had no distinct plot, but was instead a series of memories that he spliced together. Who knows the time span of the story? It is probably four or five years, from which he has taken memories of Christmas time, and but them in an indistinct order. This simulates memory, since we all have memories that we can’t exactly place into a time frame. There are some times where I remember something, but have no idea how long ago it was, or how old I was when it happened, and that is what this story feels like to me. Thomas writes the story like what the story is; many memories, put together into a few pages of writing. Whether it is Mr. Prothero waving his slipper at a fire, or Thomas almost getting into a fight with another boy before they both blow their whistles, these memories are told in a profound and fun manner, which undeniably contributed to the story’s success.


A Child’s Christmas in Wales is a fun-to-read short-story, which is exactly what the title is; A Child’s Christmas(s) in Wales, which, although it isn’t the most interesting topic, Dylan Thomas manages to turn into a fun read. A read that can bring out the inner child in any reader, both young and old.