‘Holidays at Highfield’ creates a world of wonder
“It was snowing. It was always snowing at Christmas.”
This year, from the moment people enter the doors of the grand old home, they will find themselves in a snowy wonderland, as the foyer is transformed into an outdoor scene from Thomas’ childhood memories. Moving into the dining room, set for celebration, the coziness found during the holidays will be immediately evident as the frosted windows reveal a glimpse of snow-covered trees.
“We ran down the garden, with the snowballs in our arms, toward the house; and smoke, indeed, was pouring out of the dining-room, and the gong was bombilating, and Mrs. Prothero was announcing ruin like a town crier in Pompeii.”
The fantasy continues as visitors follow the grand staircase of Highfield Hall up past fire hoses and fireman boots to find themselves immersed in Thomas’ portrayal of this dramatic scene as it is played out on the landing of the stairs, post-fire. However, literary degrees are not a prerequisite to thoroughly enjoying the holiday festivities at Highfield. As Geishecker puts it, “It’s not imperative that you be familiar with ‘A Child’s Christmas in Wales,’ because when you walk into the house, you’re going to be introduced to Dylan Thomas and the story he’s created.”
“Our snow was not only shaken from white wash buckets down the sky, it came shawling out of the ground and swam and drifted out of the arms and hands and bodies of the trees; snow grew overnight on the roofs of the houses like a pure and grandfather moss, minutely—ivied the walls and settled on the postman, opening the gate, like a dumb, numb thunder-storm of white, torn Christmas cards.”
As if the fire scene was not accomplishment enough, Highfield will pay tribute to Thomas’ vivid depictions of snow by transforming the upstairs portion of the house into a giant snow globe that is experienced from the inside out.
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