This past weekend I was craving some cozy, Christmas, comfort fiction so I turned to two stories I had on my shelves. Dylan Thomas’s A Child’s Christmas in Wales and A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote.

A Child’s Christmas in Wales is a charming remembrance, an adult’s memories of his childhood holidays filled with food, ‘Useless’ and ‘Useful’ presents, and the music that roars on Christmas night. Dylan’s language is colorful and vivid and there is a very jubilant energy bursting from the story. It is really a joy to read.

A Christmas Memory is a bittersweet story that I try to read every year during the holidays. It is told from the viewpoint of a child, Buddy, and recounts his memories of his Christmases in Alabama during the 1930’s. Buddy and his cousin, whom he calls ‘my friend’ throughout the story, embrace the traditions of the season by scraping together all of the money they can find to buy ingredients to make fruit cakes. They make them for friends, family and even President Roosevelt. They also find joy in harvesting their own tree and making presents for each other. This autobiographical tale takes the reader back to a simpler time and introduces us to the unforgettable character of Buddy’s cousin, who was based on Capote’s real relative, Miss Sook. This is a gem that I highly recommend.

If you’re looking for some quick and gladdening reading during this hectic time of the year, try one or both of these terrific stories!


  1. I read A Christmas Memory last year and loved it. Such an unexpected find.

  2. I’d particularly like to read the Capote. Very much enjoyed your Christmas-y post.

  3. I was doing an image search for A Christmas Memory and your photo of the cover of A Child’s Christmas in Wales came up, and intrigued me. I was in charge of choosing my book club’s December book a couple of years ago, and I picked my two favorites – The Ellen Raskin illustrated Child’s Christmas and any old copy of A Christmas Memory. Fun to know someone else has the same pairing in her head! Oh, and you should check out Marian McPartland’s beautiful reading of “A Child’s Christmas . . . ” on NPR about 10 years ago.

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