"One Christmas was so much like another, in those years around the sea-town corner now and out of all sound except the distant speaking of the voices I sometimes hear a moment before sleep, that I can never remember whether it snowed for six days and six nights when I was twelve or whether it snowed for twelve days and twelve nights when I was six.
All the Christmases roll down toward the two-tongued sea, like a cold and headlong moon bundling down the sky that was our street; and they stop at the rim of the ice-edged fish-freezing waves, and I plunge my hands in the snow and bring out whatever I can find."
…and you have to believe that there is magic to be found in language, in literature, in childhood, in a genius' pure perception. And, yes, even in Christmas – all this coming from a person who stood in line for an hour at Ross Dress For Less (I wasn't going to give up a Bill Blass sweater for $7), losing the will to live with each drop of sweat.
These two paragraphs were written by Dylan Thomas (I was always sorry that his first and last initials were "DT") and taken from his semi-autobiographical story, "A Child's Christmas In Wales" – about as precious a jewel as can be found in any library.
Dylan Thomas just might be my favorite writer – he's written things which make my eyes spin from their sockets out of sheer joy.
Every holiday season, I read, watch and listen to 'ACCIW' – making my holidays a season for the senses: I read the book (first edition, babies!), I listen to Thomas himself reading the work, and I watch the adaption (they did a wonderous job):
I do this every year, and bid you do the same.
"'Go on to the Useless Presents.'
"'Bags of moist and many-colored jelly babies and a folded flag and a false nose and a tram-conductor's cap and a machine that punched tickets and rang a bell; never a catapult; once, by mistake that no one could explain, a little hatchet; and a celluloid duck that made, when you pressed it, a most unducklike sound…'"
Happy holidays – may they bring you many 'useless presents'!