Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Out into the moonlight...

I used to have a copy of the The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson. It is the story of the worst kids in town who take over the lead parts in the church Christmas play. I wanted to read it this morning and that is how I came to realize that the operative phrase is 'used to have'. 

Sadly, it is nowhere to be found. 

That is too bad, because I remember it as being lively and laugh-out-loud funny.

So I turned to A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas which is inscribed to me - in my mother's hand - from both my parents: Christmas 1987. This is a wee book with woodcuts by Ellen Raskin. It is the irresistible account of the poet's own
childhood Christmas in a small Welsh town. A story of Useful Presents - mufflers and mittens - and Useless Presents - colored jelly babies and a false nose. A a memory of mistletoe and snow, uncles and aunts, church bells and music, firesides and tall tales. 

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, steadily 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.

And to all a goodnight!


  1. Something else we have in common: my copy of A Child's Christmas in Wales, illustrations by Trina Schart Hyman, has 'To Joan from Mother, 1992' written in my mother's hand. Since I'm no longer a church-goer, my tradition is to watch the Denholm Elliot version of A Child's Christmas ...

    1. I am crazy about this little book! I am not familiar with the movie version but see that it is on Youtube! Life is good...Thanks for the tip, Joan.

      Isn't it lovely to see our mother's signatures in the front of books?